Why I Had to Get Fat in Order to Save Myself.

Right now, and for the past year, I have been the heaviest weight I have ever been.

Before I got this heavy, I told myself I would NEVER allow myself to get so big.

But this post isn’t going to be a trip down memory lane to a time when I was thinner, dreaming + wishing of being thinner again. No, this post is going to be something else.

This post is going to be a love letter to my fat.

Yes, you read that correctly. A love letter…..to my fat.

My lowest adult weight was around 147 when I was 23 years old. When I got married, I was at 160, and now, I am around 190-195. I didn’t get here quickly, though; it’s taken me 3 1/2 years. Since my wedding, I have been using food to comfort me, like many people do. But I am not upset with myself for it, I’m not angry that I “let myself go,” and I do not even hate my body. I am so thankful for my body getting fat because honestly, I needed something to comfort me during the most trying years of my life.

Since our wedding, my husband has been injured in some way or another and this has greatly impacted our life. Many times, I am so exhausted and I haven’t had enough energy to take care of myself. I know, I know. Bad excuse. But I have pledged to speak the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and I have been exhausted for years.

Eating has been an indulgence, an addiction, a comfort, and a chore, all at different times in the past almost 4 years. But now I’m ready for eating and food to be something else, and if you’ve read my past few posts, you might guess that I’m ready for it to be nourishing.

Right now, I am first and foremost just trying to make sure I am eating. For a while, I was only eating 1-2 meals a day, and that is definitely not good. So while I am being mindful of what food I am eating, I am just really focused on stopping whatever I’m doing (I have a bad habit of working ALL THE TIME) and giving myself the honor of rejuvenating my body with good foods.

So, this is a love letter to my body + to my fat. Thank you body for not hating me for treating you so poorly the past few years. Thank you for putting up with me not valuing you. Thank you fat for providing me with safety, warmth, comfort, and a shield. You did serve me well. But this is also a goodbye letter. Not as in “YEAH! I’m going to work out and kill myself to get back to my lowest weight.” No. I plan on doing this as gently as I did putting it on. I am ready to let you go. I am ready to release you. I am ready to start caring about myself and giving myself the best of everything. I am ready to experience joy like I have never experienced before, and therefore, I no longer need you.

So mote it be.

xoxo-

La Rae

photos in this post are the work of Jenni Chung Photography, Cedar Falls, Iowa.

2 0 1 7

OMG it’s finally that time! The post where I share the most important word of the upcoming year. If you are just joining in on my journey, every year, I chose a word that will basically serve as a theme and anchor for my growth and learning.

In 2015, my word was Courage.

In 2016, my word has been Trust.

These two words and the lessons that they taught me have launched me into my purpose, but really made me work hard!!

For 2017, I am doing something unprecedented (maybe?)….

I AM HAVING TWO WORDS FOR THE YEAR!!!!!

Honestly, I couldn’t pick just one of these words, and they totally both came to me intuitively, so there must be something important for me to learn through them both. I have honestly had such a difficult 2 years and have worked so hard, that I am kind of going in a new direction with my theme.

Could you possibly guess what they are?

 

tic

tock

tic

tock…..

Ok, no guesses?? Well, here they are!

After 2 years of very hard work and working through many blocks, I am hopefully going to give myself a year of joyful lessons.

I chose nourish because it encompasses self-care entirely-mind, body, and spirit. I am going to focus on doing as many things as possible to nourish my whole self. These things include: monthly massages, eating foods that energize and fuel me, not weigh me down, moving my body in ways that bring me joy, listening to music, taking hot baths, reading, traveling, saying no to things I don’t want to do so I can say YES to things that I do want to do, not being so hard on myself, hiring a maid, snuggling with my husband, and so on and so forth. I think you get the idea ūüėČ

Now, on the other hand, in order to do these things I also need to learn how to RECEIVE. In fact, the Universe can only give you that which you are capable of receiving, so by practicing receiving, you are showing the Universe that you are ready for all the gifts that are meant for you. This can show up in many ways, from accepting compliments, to being open to new ideas/inspiration that comes to you, to picking up change on the ground, all the way up to accepting gifts, accepting help, allowing people to take responsibility for themselves so you don’t have to do it, to manifesting money or experiences, etc.

I have laid the foundation for abundance and success the past few years, and these two words for 2017 will catapult me even further into living my dream life. After all, we can choose the way we want to live our life at any moment, and unfortunately, the past few years I have been neglecting that fact. I have been stuck in sadness and grief, and I hope to not continue that negative mindset any longer.

I am so excited to see what is in store for 2017. <3

Sending you so much love, joy, and success.

xoxo,

La Rae

Spiritual Life Savers

Today I wanted to share a list of books, coaches, and experiences that I had this year that utterly and completely saved me. I want to share these things with you so that you can access them if you need them.

This list is in no particular order, really, so no one resource is more important than the other. I do have to say that the theme that does tie them all together is the fact that each of these resources made me feel like I was part of something bigger, and not alone. Loneliness is something I have always felt since I am so much different than everyone I am around, but having access to all of these things made me feel the comfort and warmth of belonging.

So without further ado, here is my list.

  1. The book Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton. This book seriously changed my life so profoundly and honestly did more good for me than all the therapy I have ever had. Glennon writes with an open + honest heart.
  2. The Untame the Wild Soul Woman podcast + Untame Yourself Facebook group, by Elizabeth DiAlto. Elizabeth’s insights are basically amazing and wonderful and she has helped me along my journey SO FREAKIN’ MUCH. The podcast and FB group are FREE so join in on this fun!!
  3. The book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book taught me a lot of courage, and even helped me throw away old fashioned ideas of what is right and normal. I listened to this one on audiobook, which Elizabeth actually reads. So moving.
  4. Being a part of Becca Piastrelli’s The Dabblist Collective Sisterhood. In April I joined the Sisterhood, which is a monthly membership program that includes a monthly guidebook, video conference call, and Facebook group of like-minded women who are focused on divine femininity and working/creating with our hands. This group has held me so much in my growth and has really given me a sisterhood to confide in.
  5. Being a part of another group of ladies who all did the Live More Weigh Less program together. This group of ladies has been such a source of strength and comfort for me the past 2 years and we just keep getting closer! I have shared so much joy and sorrow with them that I will forever be in their debt for holding me so closely and tightly during my year.
  6. Business/Life Coaching with Liz Nead. I met Liz Nead when I was at a conference in Mason City this year, and her passion and spark caught my attention. She has been a huge source of strength and inspiration for me in the past 5 or so months.
  7. Spirituality coaching with Lauren Wardell of Vitality Coaching: I have been friends with Lauren for about 5 years and I have seen her blossom on her spiritual journey. Her work and intuition on being an empath and creating energetic boundaries has helped me this year IMMENSELY and I have been lucky enough to have some 1 on 1 calls with her on my own energetic shit. She is incredibly intuitive and anyone would benefit from 1 on 1 coaching with her. 
  8. Taking the Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp course with Denise Duffield-Thomas. Lauren Wardell actually recommended to me that I take the Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp, and I am so thankful for that! This course has not only helped me financially, but spiritually as well. I have learned even more about myself and my pre-programmed beliefs that I have been able to let go of. I haven’t even been through the whole course, technically, but this course has already changed my life in so many ways.¬†
  9. The book Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola-Estes. I listened to this as an audiobook, and while the audiobook is abridged, the true joy is listening to Dr. Pinkola-Estes telling the stories. She is a true storyteller, and everything about her voice and the way she shares the myths about the Wild Woman is enchanting. This book really stirred up my own inner Wild Woman, which is a huge reason why this year has been so incredibly wonderful for me.                                                                            
  10. The book Playing Big by Tara Mohr. I listened to this one on audiobook too, and it is also read by the author. The biggest ahas I took from this book were from the chapter on the two types of fear: pahad and yurah. Pahad is irrational fear, and yurah is simply the fear of being in a larger space than normal. When you can distinguish between the two, you can move forward in confidence (yurah) or you can give yourself a pep talk and move into logic (pahad). Tara also has a whole chapter devoted to actual small steps you can take to play big and stop selling yourself short, such as stop using the word “just” and also not using intonation all the time. I love this book so much because of the soul-stirring nature as well as the down-to-earth advice she gives. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†
  11. Developing my intuition through journaling and writing poetry was also a huge lifesaver for me this year. In the thick of my lowest depression, I decided to start writing down whatever I felt and thought, no matter how bad it was. I let go of self-judgement and just let out the venom onto paper.
  12. Honoring my intuition by pursuing any intuitive hit I got (even talking to random people at the Barnes and Noble in Jordan Creek Mall) further allowed me to develop my intuition because just like inspiration (as you will read in Big Magic), the more you use something, the more it comes to you.
  13. Since my husband hasn’t been able to go on adventures with me for a while, I had to make a decision: stop adventuring altogether or just go on adventures alone. I chose the latter and even though it wasn’t the same experience, I did get to do some fun things. I did something I’ve been dying to do for a long time, which was visit Clear Lake. The time I spent by the lake affected me in a profound way, and I don’t think I can even describe it correctly. I guess the closest thing emotions would be comfort, clarity, and resolve.
  14. And last but certainly not least, my best friend Alicia. Without this girl in my life, I would seriously go crazy. She never judges me and always knows how to make me feel better. Love you to the moon and back girl!

So there you have it! If you are ready to start your own spiritiual journey, I really think that these resources will help you along your way. I have been on this path for about 5 years and I think this year has been my biggest year of growth yet. The best part about growing spiritually is that your path is your own and there is no right or wrong answer. If you are committed to growth, you can take as much time as you need!

Sending you lots of love-La Rae

The Year of Trust.

I have been waiting for the right words to come to me so that I can describe fully, truthfully, and hopefully about what 2016 has brought to me and my family. For about 6 months, words and knowledge has transferred into my brain at the most random times, but there has been a bit of silence since the beginning of November. Maybe the Universe knew I needed some time to process, but also, I desperately needed rest. When you learn and grow so much so fast, there are definitely growing pains. They needed to work themselves out.

So much came to me on Christmas Eve. So much. The words, the way I needed to say it, the truths that needed to be shared just flowed right out of my fingers onto the paper, as it has so many times this year.

I TRUST that whatever I share in this post will benefit those who read it, and whatever I may forget to include, well, that it was meant for me to know and share later.

This post may feel heavy, but I know that once I let it all out, I myself will feel light. Today, though, I do feel a sense of sadness. Sadness that so many people are experiencing the joy and happiness that I once felt or are experiencing new adventures that I so desperately want. But since my word for 2016 is trust, I trust that what is not happening right now is just as important as what is.

Zora Neal Hurston once wrote, some years have questions, and some years have answers. I thought this was a question year, BUT it’s actually an answer year.¬†I have obviously learned TRUST, and I have probably beat that topic to death in this little blog, but I set out to learn it, and I did. Honestly, too, I have learned faith. Since I ended my affiliation with the Christian religion, the word faith has been something I’ve steered clear of, but faith goes hand in hand with trust; I wouldn’t say that they are interchangeable, but they are 100% related. Trust is a verb, faith is a noun.

2016 has been a year of trust, but it has also been a time of  incubation. A year of destruction. A year of death. A year of rebirth. Kali has come into my life and completely burned everything to the ground so I can rise.

The practice that got me through the tough times was simply breathing and expanding into the uncertainly. When I got scared and felt myself contract, I made a conscious effort to expand and melt into that space. This, along with EFT (emotional freedom technique) aka “tapping,” is how I developed trust and strengthened my intuition.

All of these lessons have changed me completely. So, who am I now?

Who I have become is a woman who knows her worth, isn’t scared to take chances, who deeply knows and loves herself, but still wants to feel taken care of. A woman who has a deep understanding of her heart, mind, and inner knowing. A woman with a connection to the Universe. A woman that can see opportunity and seize it. A woman that can nurture relationships and people so much that they can see the potential in themselves, the goddess in themselves, the lionness in themselves. I have also become a woman who knows her limits and dislikes and knows when to bring in help when needed.

I’m still not ready to give up my word for 2017 because I have a little bit more to share before then.

So until then, I’ll talk to you later.

xoxo-La Rae

Money + Spirituality

Money + spirituality.

These two concepts have always had a rocky relationship. Even for me, I have always been told the age old adage that money is the root of all evil.

I grew up with food and a house, but other than that, money was tight. My mom was always very frugal and PRIDED herself on buying good bargains. She even used to yell at my dad because he would buy name-brand cereal instead of store brand.

Of course, as adults, we have to undo a lot of programming that we learned as a child, and this is one major thing I have had to give up, especially recently.

Last year, in 2015, I left a comfortable, decent paying job at a non-profit to try my hand in the for-profit world as a Marketing Director. While I didn’t stay with that job, it really made me a woman who knew her worth, how to hustle, and just made me a fierce force to be reckoned with. Little did I know, this job laid the foundation of who I needed to be in order to truly be successful and financially stable.

That job led me to another opportunity, which was being the Director of a small non-profit.¬†I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about these topics at length in other blog posts, so I will be brief here. For the first few months of this job, we were extremely broke, to the point that the electric company almost turned off our service.

But, things did change. My word for 2016 has been TRUST, and boy did I ever learn that concept. I started booking TONS of weddings because I finally was able to give myself fully to my photography company. I decided to keep looking for more opportunities and found a great fit with the direct sales company Senegence. I never thought I would do direct sales, but their products are so amazing I couldn’t say no.

Along the way, I have taken a course called Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp with Denise Duffield-Thomas. This course has been a game-changer for me! I have begun to really undo the stories I used to tell myself about money that were passed down to me from my family. I also started believing in myself more, thinking out of the box when it comes to money and income, and am feeling more comfortable with money.

Denise has a Lucky Bitch income tracker for IPhones that I downloaded, and I noticed that I was smashing my money goals. I set a very modest goal of $2,000 for months because I knew that was attainable. What I didn’t know is that I would be making progressively more and more above¬†that goal for months.

Last month, November 2016, was my highest earning month ever. As you can see, I earned $5,362.10, which completely blew my socks off.

All because I trusted the Universe to bring me the opportunities I needed, but then I ALSO recognized the opportunities and seized them. You can’t expect miracles if you aren’t willing to open your eyes and then welcome them with open arms.

Now, I do have a goal of becoming a millionaire. Why? Because I want to be able to do what I want, when I want, and I don’t want to worry about if I have enough money or time to do it. This may seem selfish, and it is. I won’t lie and say it’s not. But being selfish isn’t always bad. Last week, the local humane society needed donations for a surgery for a cat’s broken foot. And I was able to donate without hesitation. I’m able to surprise my husband with his favorite food for dinner because I have the money. I’m able to support local businesses I love, like our coffee shop, without worrying about where those nickles and¬†dimes are coming from. And of course, I’m able to pay my bills without fear.

Money is NOT evil. Money just makes people more of what they already are. If you are a good person, chances are having money will only help you do good in the world. If you aren’t such a good person, well, money will just amplify that.

I also want to add that every spiritual lesson I’ve learned has led me to this point. I believe it was either Marie Forleo or Kate Northrup who said that business is the most spiritual journey you will ever embark on, and I have to agree. I have put into practice all the spiritual lessons I’ve learned in order to become who I am today, and now I can look back and be truly grateful for those lessons, no matter how hard they were.

So there is a statistic I heard that the average millionaire has 7 streams of income, so I am working towards that. Here is a break-down of my current streams of income:

My part-time job is basically a fixed amount every month and is my lowest-earning stream of income, and also one of the most time consuming. Basically, I stay at this job because I love it. I love what I do, and I love helping other business owners gain the skills and mindset necessary to be successful. Will I always stay at this job? Probably not, but I know I am needed here now.

My photography company is my highest earning income as of right now, and I have even raised my prices, which are still very competitive. However, there is a cap to how much people will spend on this, so it might not always be my highest earning stream of income. Also, this equipment is expensive, so that is definitely something that needs to be considered.

I just joined a direct sales company called Senegence because they create makeup that molecularly bonds to you and doesn’t smudge. My favorite of these products so far is LipSense, lipstick that doesn’t budge. Of course, when you sell product, there is an initial investment of stock. I have spent around $1,200 in building my stock, but have made all that money back already in 3 weeks.

Our puppy Lili is going to be a little money maker once she is able to breed. This won’t be a huge income, but will definitely be a supplement. Based on size of litter and markings of the pups, I believe we can make between $2-$5k each litter. We don’t want any more dogs, so this will probably be a once a year or every other year thing. And of course, we love her to the moon and back and don’t just consider her a stream of income, obviously, but I figured I’d let everyone know that in case you think we are horrible people.

I am working on writing an e-book on Pull Marketing, which is a concept I teach to my clients. I don’t know when I will have this done, but this will be a product that will definitely earn me money while I sleep and be an evergreen stream of income.

I am also hoping to start business and spirituality coaching in 2017, but when the actual launch will be or how I will format this, I am not sure.

So, since I try to be open and honest about all things in my life, I figured I would give you an update on my financial life. This year has been incredible terrifying, crippling, and beautiful all at the same time.

In the next few weeks I will be divulging what my word of 2017 will be! I don’t know 100% what it will be yet, but I have a feeling it will tell itself to me soon ūüôā

xoxo, La Rae

Hygge.

Welcome to Part 2 of a series of unknown length that doesn’t particularly have a title, but is more of an explanation of sorts.

In Part 1, I wrote about how I have to stop caring about things that I normally care about for a little while in order to regain sanity and recuperate my heart, mind, and body.

Today, I want to tell you a little bit about a concept called hygge.

hygge

I first heard the term hygge from The Dabblist, Becca Piastrelli. I have been part of her Dabblist collective group since April, and we all have been talking a lot about this concept. Hygge (pronounced hooga) is a Danish word that describes a cozy, warm, secure atmosphere in a long, hard winter, but obviously this can be a part of every day life.

Here in Iowa, we all know how brutal winter can be. The past few years have been dreadfully cold, with temps going to -30 to -80 with the wind chill, and so much snow. It’s hard to enjoy life in an Iowa winter.

This year, for me, has been a winter year, meaning I have been hibernating in my heart. I have been very busy, yes, but my heart has been wrapped in a little cocoon. But now that it is actually winter and I have the time to slooooooooooooooooow down, I want to be totally intentional about my environment. I want to create the feeling of this image in my home:

snowy-cottage-2

Here are things I plan on doing to bring hygge to my home this winter:

  1. I am upgrading my holiday decor. This past weekend, I bought REAL garland, and I’m going to buy a REAL tree. I am going to be doing many crafty things for my decor as well, such as creating little evergreen hoops to hang from my windows.
  2. Buying real candles. I have used Scentsy for a VERY long time, which is great, but there is just something about a real candle. Real candles create warmth and elicit the feeling of hope. I bought 1 new candle and will be buying more.
  3. I have stocked up on hot cocoa! And every occasion is a good occasion to make some hot cocoa.
  4. I’ve been making chili basically every week.
  5. Blankets everywhere.
  6. Onesie pajamas. Not sexy, but definitely warm and cozy.
  7. Hot baths with essential oils. Need I say more.

And really, the biggest thing I am giving myself is permission to say no. No. No period. No, with no explanation. I am not going to be doing anything that I don’t want to because my soul needs space and time to heal.

How can you bring hygge into your life this winter + holiday season?

xoxo, La Rae

Why I Have to Stop Caring.

Have you ever been so weary that your entire personality has to change for a little while in order to get some rest? That’s where I am right now.

This post is basically going to make you hate me, probably.

While I’m hoping you don’t, I understand that it’s a possibility.

But here we go.

I am an empath.

What is an empath, you ask? An empath is a person who feels and takes on other people’s energy. This is an enormous gift, but also an enormous burden and responsibility. Most empaths really have to work on boundaries or else they will essentially go crazy in one way or another.

There have been certain times where I have sobbed for the world. Sobbed for animals. Sobbed for the environment. But my heart reached it’s peak heartbreak this year in terms of my empathic abilities.

It started with Bernie Sanders.

If you know me personally, you know that I have always been a fighter for humanity. I believe in equality in all things, for all people. When I first heard of Bernie Sanders, I was like “Who the hell is this guy? How does he think he can win?”

Then I heard him speak. I was inspired. This was the leader I had been waiting for.

I talked with people about him. I supported his campaign financially. I gave my heart and soul to him and his cause, his message, his love.

When he dropped out of the race, I sobbed. I couldn’t stop sobbing. My heart was absolutely shattered. I don’t think I have ever been so broken.

This was a breaking point for me. I realized I couldn’t let my heart break like that again.

Then I got a new job. This new job has been an absolute blessing to me in many ways, but not necessarily financially. Like a cliche, yes, I have taken a financial cut in order to do some real good in my community and in the world.¬†So I have been focusing on trust, which is my word and goal this year. I knew I was taking this risk, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck, and it doesn’t mean it’s happening without heartbreak. Every time I have to hold my breath at the checkout line at the grocery store, hoping that my payment actually goes through, my heart breaks. Every time I worry about where my mortgage payment is coming from, my heart breaks a little more. Every time my husband and I fight about money, it breaks even more. So I have had to build my walls a little higher.

And my new job is just one thing-I am also an entrepreneur. I am coming out of perhaps my busiest time EVER. I worked myself to the bone every day for 3 months. I have sacrificed my health, my husband + our time together, our enjoyment of life, our puppies, etc.

No, I am not trying to get you to pity me or even throw myself a pity party.

All of this has been a choice. I chose to do this. I’m not trying to be a martyr.

But now, I have a broken heart, a broken body, and a broken soul.

I have to stop caring about things so much and start focusing all of my attention on me.

I understand that this may make me seem selfish, but in order to really show up in this world in the way I want to and need to, I have to take some time off from caring. I have to take a break from caring about recycling, about always and only using my reusable grocery bags, about eating organic, about climate change, about fighting the good fight for humanity. I just need a moment to only care about my small little microcosm of a world.

And if you need this, too, I give you permission to do it.

Sending you love,

La Rae

Full Circle.

Today I would like to tell you a story about myself + some interested current events that have unfolded in my world. Bear with me though, because there are so many beginnings to this story that I’m not really sure where the best place to start is.

I guess the beginning was this. This was me.

Bright-eyed. Full of dreams. Ready to bloom. Most importantly, full of love, but more so, full of a void in my heart that I wanted to fill with love.

me-4me-2 me-3

My biggest problem was that I didn’t know how to love myself. I mean, this is unfortunately a pretty common thing for many people.

At 18 or 19, I got a tattoo of a lotus that said “Love is everything.”

Back then, I got the tattoo for new beginnings. I also got the tattoo to somehow show my high school boyfriend that I was serious about wanting to get back together with him. Well that never happened, and soon, the new tattoo’s meaning faded away.

Fast forward to about September 2016. This month was pivotal for me in terms of courage, trust, and self-love, as I am finding out now, but of course didn’t know it was happening then.

As many of you know, I have really been working on trusting my intuition. For me, this has meant believing my intuition, and go for whatever it tells me without really questioning it.

So, I received the intuition that I was supposed to get a tattoo, and that I was supposed to work on my lotus tattoo.

Not questioning it, I decided to look for designs to incorporate. I was so excited because I knew exactly where I was going to get the money, and everything would work out.

Of course, then, in October, numerous expenses came up and I realized I wouldn’t have the money to do this. I wasn’t worried, though, because I knew my intuition was correct, and I knew that something would happen that would allow me to get this tattoo.

A client had contacted me about photographing her wedding, and then I hadn’t heard back from her, so I checked in to see if she was still interested. I got a really strong feeling about this client, so I didn’t want to just let her go. She told me she loved my work, but was having trouble coming up for the money for the deposit. I told her I would work with her on the payment, and then she mentioned that her fiance is a tattoo artist and he would be happy to trade services for part of their payment.

BOOM. YES UNIVERSE. I SEE YOU.

So this guy is actually incredibly talented, so of course I said yes.

After my consultation with this artist and now client, we set up a date, and I was sooooo stoked.

2 days later at yoga, my instructor decided to show us the lotus mudra.

Mind blown. YES UNIVERSE. I SEE YOU.

She told us that this mudra is about learning unconditional love.

UNIVERSE, I SEE YOU.

While this post isn’t going to go in-depth on my processes of how I’ve been learning unconditional love just yet, I just felt that this is such a powerful message from the Universe for me. When I got the lotus tattoo 9 years ago, I didn’t exactly know what it meant. I thought it was meant to be for someone else. But it was supposed to be for me. It has been an amulet, a talisman, without me even knowing it.

And I am now not the same. I am different. I am new. I am free. I am on my way. I have come full circle.

Watch me shine.

xoxo,

La Rae

Take the Leap.

What if.

What ifs sometimes bring us from bad times to good times. What if I hadn’t have made that bad decision? What if I had chosen differently? Those are often the what ifs we think about.

Today, I have been filled with positive what ifs.

What if I hadn’t made the decision to pursue photography? How did I ever believe that I could do something I barely had any knowledge of.

What if I had never taken that first wedding client?

What if I actually gave up when I thought about giving up?

I am so happy that I took the leap. That I tried something I never even imagined trying. I am so happy that I believed in myself.

Following my dreams has been sooooo hard lately.

We’ve gone to the grocery store, filled up our cart, then asked which one of us was paying for it, resulting in having to put some items back on the shelves, and praying our payment gets accepted at the checkout.

I have feared losing my house because we didn’t know where money to pay our mortgage would come from.

The electric company literally came and posted a sign on my door to tell me they were close to turning our electricity off.

I probably have $100-$200 in overdraft fees each month.

I have sobbed. I have mourned my old life where although my situation sucked, I had enough money and didn’t have to do without.

I have questioned why I quit my full time, good paying job, to get a part time job I adore and love with all my heart and to pursue entrepreneurship, but where money is never guaranteed and the hustle game is strong.

But this is why. This feeling of joy. This feeling of coming out of the fog. I know it will still be a struggle. I know that we’re not out of the park yet. But there is light at the end of the tunnel and I’m running towards it.

Take the leap, friends. It’s scary. It’s hard. It’s exhausting. But do it anyway.

xoxo,

La Rae

Just babies.

No, I didn’t imply there are those on the way.

What I mean is, look at these two.

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Just babies.

No idea what was in store for them. No idea that their world would be turned upside down in just a matter of years.

Life is so hard. As Taylor Swift says, Life makes love look hard. Love isn’t hard, life is hard. But sometimes it takes love down with it.

Life doesn’t care if you just got married. Life sets you on the path you were meant to be on with no regard for your feelings.

So here we are now.

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Not babies anymore. Adults who have had a really hard couple of years. We are older, maybe wiser. Tougher, less hopeful. We are weary.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep the faith, ya know?

But we dig our nails into it to keep it here.

Because to not go crazy, you just have to keep believing.