10-10-1 as a family

50mm | f2.0 | 1/160 | iso320

We have a money system in our house where our girls pay for their own clothes, entertainment with friends, shoes, spending money for gas, to go out to lunch, etc… Part of earning money within our finances, is to complete checklists. They hate them. They rarely do them. SO their desire for money can be a motivator to do things they might otherwise roll their eyes at…like life coaching. I am drawn to self help resources of all kinds. SO I often find things I know not only benefit me, but really could help all five of us. Danny and I decided a bit ago that we would pay our girls $5 a week to participate in some type of life coaching activity. We have mainly listened to podcasts (like Brooke Castillo, Better Than Happy, and their new favorite, Show Up).

Like I mentioned yesterday, I love the 10-10-1 concept Rachel Hollis teaches in her book GIRL STOP APOLOGIZING so we listened to chapter 12 together around the dining room table. I had pens and paper on the table. As the audio book played, they were taking notes! We paused after Rachel spoke about envisioning your life in ten years. We did the exercise right then together. My girls pushed back a bit on writing about life that far in the future and we encouraged them to pick a year. When two of my girls said, “nothing we are doing today will matter in 10 years” we had a great discussion. I explained how my inattention and lack of drive in high school and the first few years out of high school effected my ability to graduate college in a timely manner. I did it. I graduated at 30, but what could I have accomplished if I had believed in myself earlier? They were back on board. We finished the chapter.

10 dreams…then 1 goal. They were writing their dreams with absolutely no input from us. We actually cautioned about sharing them if they thought they would be influenced by other’s opinions. (who isn’t influenced by other’s opinions…ugggh!) These are YOUR dreams. We did dangle a carrot. If you write down your 10 dreams everyday like Ms. Hollis suggests there will be NO MORE CHECKLISTS…we will pay you your “checklist money.” They were IN!

Their checklists consist of practicing instruments, household responsibilities, exercise, etc… They will still be helping around the house, and taking their turn with what MO needs but they don’t have to spend anytime or energy tracking it. That energy can go toward remembering their dreams and rewriting their goal daily. In my opinion, that will be much more powerful than any checklist we have ever created. The checklists felt like a list of what they haven’t accomplished. Their dreams brighten their futures and motivate them today.

I wasn’t sure if they would like it, or need reminders. The next day two of them had already rewritten their dreams that morning, without any prompt from Danny or I. (YAY!) The other completed it excitedly in the evening. I am so excited for us. Some daily goals are hard, but when it is something that feels so good to do, there is a bit more motivation behind it.

the sign is found here and the letters are found here

I am amazed by all of the fantastic resources out in the world that are free, or very inexpensive. The tools and motivation found in podcasts and audio books are incredible. I could listen all day. I have tried to make sure they are off when my girls are in the car…that we are talking or listening to music so I don’t oversaturate that for them. As Rachel said in this chapter, “If everything is important, nothing is important.” Even though I love all of theses resources I am learning to slow down…and instead of consuming too much, start listening less and putting into practice more. If I only have these on for my girls during our “life coaching time” they will be more likely to listen and take it seriously. Having said all of that, are there any podcasts or audio books that you know I would LOVE?


I want to not like her. After reading her first book (that I really liked) I decided to follow her on social media. I couldn’t take it. I unfollowed her within the week. Why is it some of us are turned off by highly motivated-have it all together-living their dreams-women? (I feel super shallow admitting that) Maybe it is an insight into why we resist in ourselves, or maybe that’s just me. HA! Regardless, I want to change this in myself. Anyway, her new book GIRL STOP APOLOGIZING came out last week, I had a credit on audible and downloaded it. I am over half way through Rachel Hollis’s new book. Chapter 12 especially got my attention. I took it seriously and began.

10 YEARS: envision who I will be in 10 years…what will I wear, what will I drive…how will I spend my days…who do I love…how do I love them, etc…

10 DREAMS: what 10 dreams, when I accomplish them, will get me to who I want to be in 10 years

1 GOAL: this is a tough one, pick ONE goal that will help you toward a dream or dreams. Just ONE. She explains this much better in her book. I had never thought of it this way, but I love it and I am all in for trying it.

EVERYDAY: write your 10 dreams down every single day. I am writing my goal too. A friend gave me this darling journal for my birthday and this is my first dream journal.

WHY: another idea she discusses in the book, if you aren’t sticking to your goal your why isn’t strong enough or clear enough. SO in my daily dream writing, I am adding my goal AND it’s “why

I am going to share my ten dreams:

  1. I am a covenant keeping woman of faith
  2. I create>consume: writing, photography, music, art & exercise
  3. I am strong, flexible & energetic in a body that weighs 118 lbs (which is ideal for my 5’2″ frame)
  4. I am an exceptional wife-in love with my husband
  5. I am an amazing mom that has a strong connection with her children
  6. I am a certified life coach
  7. I am a life documenting expert
  8. I live in a paid off home
  9. I am a cheerleader for women in their 40s-50
  10. I travel the world with Danny and close friends

Rachel teaches that it is important to be specific and write your dreams as they have already happened…no “I will” or “I am going to”

Tomorrow I will write about how we did this as a family. I will also REfollow Rachel Hollis again on IG, and practice celebrating the success and accomplishments of other women!  Have you read this book? I would love to know what you loved, or didn’t love!

phone editing apps

It’s been too long.

I haven’t been focused and haven’t made time to write here. I am sitting in the car waiting for Sophie to get out of her tumbling class. Rain is falling so when the thought “take photos of SOMETHING” popped in my head I immediately dismissed it, to protect my blow dried hair. 🙂 I recognized the excuse and played with my phone camera from the drivers seat of my car.

Here are three images SOOC:

Then I edited them with two different phone apps.

VSCO: AU1 + sharpening


I used DUSK filter plus a bit of curve adjustments.

What phone editing apps do you use? Sometimes I honestly like my phone edits better than my desktop!


135mm | f2.5 | 1/2000 | iso100

They scored 20 points against her. Kate is playing lacrosse on the WX lacrosse team. She was at practice a few weeks ago and they asked the girls who would like to try goalie. She saw dread and hesitation on a few faces and raised her hand. “I will!”

She is fairly new to lacrosse. She has never played goalie for any sport. She was SO excited/nervous/anxious for game day. She loves her team and really wanted to do her best. The opposing team has a JV and a Varsity team. Kate’s team has only one team and it is combined…from several different schools. It was a significant challenge. She stood in the goalie box and watched the ball like a hawk. She blocked 5 goals. They scored 20 to her team’s 1.

As a mom it is hard to watch your daughter in that kind obstacle-especially in front of spectators. “What other people think of us is none of our business” repeating through my mind as often as I could remember it. Yet at half time when the players gathered with their coach I heard over and over again, “Good job Kate!” Even other parents on the sideline were praising her. She had 20 points scored on her…and they were seeing her effort! I absolutely loved it. I wasn’t sure how Kate was taking it. At the end of the game I gave her a big hug and she said excitedly, “I blocked 4 or 5 shots!”

My girls, again…are so much better than I am. Their growth mindset is going strong, and I am grateful to be cheering from the sidelines learning as much as I can from them!

Valentine flowers

Kate, Trader Joes & I made a pretty good team for our Valentine flowers this year. They were pretty yesterday-and made for good practice tonight. I shot them in low (iso1600), tungsten (household…light bulb light) which is for sure my least favorite lighting situation. I also shot them with manual focus which is great to practice, and even better to practice on a stationary object other than a moving, fidgety person!


We had the studio light up for my nephews (here) so the teenagers (Ellie & Kate with my nieces Lauren & Rivers and their friend Johnny) decided to play. I set the camera for them and plugged in the light and they had so much fun. And I LOVED the photos they downloaded to my computer!

I honestly LOVE having teenagers so much. (I claim these nieces of mine too!) . You know when you meet people for the first time and over small talk they ask you how many kids you have and their ages, etc… When they learn I have three daughters (currently 12, 14 & 16) there are responses like-

  • wow, you have your hands full
  • there are a lot of hormones in your house
  • your poor husband
  • how are you doing?

But truly, I LOVE being a mom to teenage girls. They are independent in so many ways, which makes room in our relationship for more fun. Teenagers LOVE to have fun! I love seeing their personalities shift and change and become their own. They share more with me now, because they are deeper thinkers than they were in early elementary school. They want adventure, which stretches me out of my comfort zone…which is good for me!

  • Are they sometimes moody? yes.
  • Do they love their cell phones more than me? sometimes…ok, maybe always 🙂
  • Do they have perfect grades and on a direct path to ivy-league? nope
  • Do we agree on everything? again, no

And yes, I love that too. I remind myself frequently, what I was like at their age. They are so much further ahead than I was! I have learned a bit of what is natural development at this age- how important their peers are to them and their desire to be more independent and can relax when that comes up. I have let go of the idea of wanting “perfect kids.” I really did want that when they were younger. I am so grateful that my relationships with them have taught me not only to be at peace with not having it, but I truly do not want that. Especially because no human is perfect and hiding imperfections is not a healthy way to live and weakens relationships. They have taught me so much…and we are just getting started. I feel so lucky.

Now let’s take a look at a few more of their photos:

and my very favorite…

I will be using the light box a few more times this week- photo booth for the 6th grade Valentines and I want photos on my wall over our new couch in the basement…I will share the details of the equipment AND my favorite setup for the best light next week!

my cute nephews

My sister in law wanted a little help with a Pinterest project she found like THIS. I got out my studio lights and we played with some kid headshots. How cute are my nephews?

35mm | f14 | iso100 | 1/200
35mm | f14 | iso100 | 1/200

35mm | f14 |iso100 |1/200