I'm swamped!

Monday, November 30, 2015
I may or may not have already shared this, but this past month has been a HUGE one on a personal level for me. I obtained a business license for my photography endeavors and I have been working on networking, marketing, and really branding myself these past few weeks. It was a really big step for me, as I have always said that photography is definitely a hobby. I'm really shocked at the gradual growth that came along with my passion for photography, but it's also exciting to be expanding my skills and doing something that makes me happy. That being said, taking on a business endeavor while 8 months pregnant, in the middle of college courses, all while having a 2.5 year old and her daddy? Not so easy. I try to remind myself that even with a family and other priorities, finding something that is just for me is necessary. I have been getting a bit emotional about the work schedule though. This weekend alone, I spent 8 waking hours away from my family. I really can't remember the last time (if ever) I spent that much time away from Ava or Justin on our weekends together.

I got a little teary eyed yesterday on the way to my afternoon session, but it was instantly replaced with a smile when I met the family I was to photograph. I'm optimistic that incorporating this business into my lives will only force even more balance into my world. Justin reminded me that even he has to find balance with his demanding career. While he absolutely hates being away from his girls, he has a job to do, and that has to be a major priority in our lives. The added bonus to everything has been the amount of time Ava bug and her daddy get to bond just one on one. I'm so excited about it because I know once Olivia arrives, this concept won't be completely foreign. I do have to make a decision on what I plan to do once our second baby girl does make her entrance into the world, because everything outside of her and our family will be taking the back burner.

On another note, Thanksgiving for the Howland family could not have gone better. Justin and I woke up at 530 am on Thanksgiving morning to prepare the turkey, and get a head start on some of our other dishes. While I hated waking up early, the outcome was definitely rewarding. This year was the best turkey Justin and I have ever made! It was completely perfect and it definitely received a lot of great reviews. My heart was full knowing we opened our home to other military members and their families. While Thanksgiving was definitely a busy and tiring day, we ended our night watching a Christmas movie. I'd say that's another successful holiday down for us!

Justin also re-enlisted in Seattle (at the Space Needle) this past week. That was an amazing experience to be apart of. Wouldn't you know that in our marriage, each time he's reenlisted, he's been either overseas or out of state at a training facility. It was pretty awesome to have both Ava and I there to witness such a proud moment. Speaking of proud moments, it's also really weird to have a potty trained toddler. I'm going to write up an entirely different post on that, but seriously... watching Ava go into the bathroom alone to handle her business, alone... It's definitely different. We are proud of her, and I'm extremely proud that this switch was made on her time. Tomorrow I'll be 33 weeks pregnant, and I'm sure I'll be sharing some type of update, so look out for that! On that note, Happy Monday all! I hope you all enjoy your week.

Here's a picture of Justin and Ava at the Space Needle after his reenlistment! 520 feet off the ground.

♥- Leilani

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