Yesterday was my first full day as the owner (and employee!) of Fresh Art Photography! You guys, I don’t even know the words to describe how this feels. Which is funny because I’ve been dreaming about this day, vividly, for years.

There were parts I really loved about working with my parents, and if I didn’t have this other, much larger passion waiting for me each day I would have been happy working for them for a long time. In fact, there were a lot of days I thought I COULD work for them forever. Because while construction wasn’t my talent, there were things I brought to the table that no one else in their company could and I felt useful. I also loved watching the day to day of my dad running and owning his own business. The highs are HIGH and man are the lows LOW but at the end of the day it’s all yours. He taught me some invaluable lessons that one day I need to sit down and articulate so I never forget them.

And so while it wasn’t miserable having two jobs, it was just plain hard. My job at Kuhn Const. was super flexible so that if I needed to have a weekday session I could, but ultimately if I wasn’t shooting I was working in their office which meant that most of my time at Fresh Art was late at night after my job as mom, house cleaner, laundress, car pooler, homework helper, etc. was done. It made for lots of late nights and gallons of Mnt. Dew to stay awake! It also meant that a lot of things I love doing have kind of fallen by the way-side. I can’t tell you the last time I did a craft project for myself or worked on decorating our new house or reorganized something (I LOVE purging and reorganizing! HA!) or just hung out with the kids guilt-free.

If you’re wondering WHY I worked for KCCI it’s because my parents swooped in when we needed them. Our health insurance for me and the kids was with their company so I was basically working for insurance. It kept a pretty huge bill off of us for a lot of years when we just didn’t really have the money. Having Kuhn Const. there was our safety net. A really large safety net. If I didn’t make my hours (which I’m not sure I really ever did in the 8+ years I’ve “worked” for them) they never canceled our coverage. When Parker was sick and I didn’t do anything for a long time they held us up… and that was a time we truly relied on that insurance.

So while I have gotten more done in 48 hours of working solely for myself it is super bittersweet. I’m going to miss working at a desk next to my mom and chatting all day. I’m going to miss the guys that work for them and seeing my dad on a regular basis. I’m a nosey rosey so I’m definitely going to miss knowing the daily info of what’s going on over there too! They are still my parents though, they live just a few miles away and my mom and I chat at least once a day so that really isn’t much of a big deal. The biggest deal for me right now is not having that safety net underneath us anymore. It’s having this intense pressure to succeed weighing fully on me. It’s watching the money coming in and steadily going out, praying it all adds up to be enough. Chris was always our steady income and now that we’ve moved our insurance over to his there’s quite a bit coming out of his checks. That’s scary folks. If I don’t book clients it’s suddenly a big deal.

And in the past I’ve never worried too much about it. We are almost 100% word of mouth and booking clients hasn’t ever really been too hard. But I wasn’t counting them before either. And I was so busy working it was ok to have weeks without a session (because I was still getting paid for my hours at KCCI so it was all good). Now, if the email isn’t chiming or the phone isn’t ringing my heart beats faster. Of course on the flip side, I’ve never in my life had much time to actually market this little company and now I do. SO here’s hoping some of my ideas start paying off! HA!

All of this to say, the last two days have been amazing but with this undercurrent of stress and emotion. I just closed a pretty big chapter of my life. I’m not working for my parents anymore. I finally said goodbye to our final safety net (which means I’m a grown up I think).  I also, at the exact same time, am fulfilling a dream I’ve had for so long I can’t even remember when it was born. When people say they’re living the dream, well, I really am! And even as I sit here, at my desk in my new office (our converted back room that still needs TONS of work) looking out on our backyard in total peace I can’t believe this is my new life.

I don’t take these new steps lightly and I know this was all in God’s plan for us. I’ve had these inaudible prayers just whispering at the back of my mind this week… almost this constant state of praising God, thanking Him and asking for continued guidance. I can’t do any of this without Him and I am fully aware of that. God’s hand has been in Fresh Art from the very beginning. From the old days of Jodified, to meeting one of my best friends, Kim, to stepping out on my own apart from her, to working full time for myself. Myself. I still can’t believe it!

I guess I just had to share my feelings because someday I want to look back on this and know it was a major turning point in my life. And I want to remember how excited and terrified I was. On day two I have no idea if I will sink or swim but I’m praying constantly that my ability to float will help me! HA!

This might not need to be said but I want to thank my mom and dad for all the years they’ve helped us. It was a long and expensive journey. They have never held it over our heads or made us feel guilty. They allowed me to see the good and the bad and all the in-between… they trusted me enough to show me all sides of their lives and business. When I worked at my desk for the first time yesterday, here in my own house, I kept thinking about my parents 30 years ago when they took over Kuhn Construction from my Grandpa. I wondered what my dad felt knowing so much financial responsibility was on him. It makes me really proud that in some ways I’m taking after him!

And lastly… a big thanks to my friend Kim. I was literally heart broken when she wanted to step away from the business. I didn’t have faith that I could do it alone. I was scared and worried and sad. But as the months went by and she’s stayed a true constant in my life I’ve gotten more used to our new arrangement. And it was her friendship, guidance and belief in me that helped give me the push to take this step. Without her in my life Fresh Art would never be what it is today.

If anyone has gotten this far, HI! HA! I’m sure I just bored you silly! This post is really just for myself. I just want to remember this time in my life. Not just this time, but today. I want to remember TODAY and how grateful I am that God has allowed me to get here.

More cute families coming soon I promise! HA!