Oh, hey there, Austin.

I’m so happy to have had the privilege to spend a little time in Austin this past Monday and Tuesday. My sweet niece Emma, is currently living in Austin, and invited me for a visit, and I thought, why not make it an overnight trip and take a little time to roam around and see what I see while I’m there.

This is a unique phase of life for me. Both of my kiddos are getting older, and though I am of course still very dedicated to them, it is not quite as demanding of a season as when they were little bitties. The business that my husband and I own is also officially in it’s “tween” years, and of course I have many more goals of growth and development planned for it, but all in all it is a much calmer time than when it began, and I am happy to have the flexibility to spend some time creating something new.

The intensity of the early stages of a business, and the constant evaluation, revision, and innovation, that comes with that can be all consuming. Partner that with raising young children, dealing with some health issues , and just general day to day life chaos, and it has been quite a maxed out decade or so. I am not saying that the current season is easy (is it ever?), because it is absolutely not, but the contrast to the previous season is so vast that it’s honestly been quite an adjustment.

My greatest struggle right now is grappling with guilt. I feel guilty for not spending every waking minute focused on our business. I feel guilty for not being able to solve every problem my children are faced with, or not being able to prevent the problems from coming their way. I feel guilty for the flexibility I have – which, is a crazy thought because I purposefully worked to create exactly this. I feel guilty for not filling my spare time by adding in a traditional career, or for not yet having another active business simultaneously in the mix.

I feel guilty for feeling guilty, and I feel guilty for not feeling guilty.

Guilt and I, we are BFF’s.

Mind you, I am completely aware that in order to be able to reach any of the goals that I have, it will take having time available that is designated entirely to just creating. I know this, but, I am fighting the guilt nonetheless.

Taking some time to write and think in Austin, Texas. Work doesn’t look the same as it used to…

Yesterday, I had a bit of an epiphany. I remembered the days prior to Moments & Milestones (our photography and event planning company – you should totes go check it out). I remembered the binders upon binders of notes and brainstorming that I compiled. I remembered the long conversations with friends, the online research, the meetings with other professionals, the inspiration and creative process. It was out of those binders, that research, those conversations, that this company was born, and had I not taken that time, we would have missed out on the gift that this business has been to us for this last 12+ years. So, it is with that thought, that I am pushing myself forward to allow this new season of wondering, researching, creating to happen again. I am leaning in to this unstructured freedom to create. Hopefully, soon I will be able to do so in a more liberated and guilt-free way, but for now, the guilt is circling my head like an annoying mosquito and I will continue to swat it away.

It is in the middle of the guilt and self imposed expectations that I decided to go ahead and take this trip to Austin to look for photographic opportunities, take time to work, think, write, and spend some relaxed connect time with my niece, and though it would have been way better experience without all of the guilt weighing me down, I am still so thankful that I made the choice to do so.

Included are a few of the images from my trip. I hope maybe these images bring some beauty to your day, and I also hope that you’ll feel encouraged to keep swatting the guilt that’s buzzing around *your* head away and keep taking those steps to acknowledge what’s calling you today.

Thoughts? Tell me something in the comments. Can you relate to any of this? What are you struggling with right now? How do you cope with guilt? Let’s talk.