hello from the underground. hello from the thick of it – the height of wedding season. where sometimes i feel bad blogging because there’s so much to get done with editing and shooting. where i also feel bad that i’m not blogging because you don’t know what’s going on in my life. where i want to make sure i’m telling a little bit more about my life other than just showing engagement sessions and weddings. because at this time in the season, there has to be a balance.  

i’ve been striving for balance this summer. every weekend i’m working with a new JQP couple and loving it all. some weekdays are reserved for shooting as well. and when i’m not shooting, i’m editing, packaging, designing albums, meeting with new potential clients for 2014. if i’m not doing that, i’m in an airport, or boarding a flight, or making future travel arrangements. with all of this, there’s no complaints, but it does force me to find a balance. with my calendar booked clear until the end of november, i’m in the middle of the busiest wedding season yet. and i’m thankful. 

oh yeah, did i mention i’m planning my own wedding?! so there’s that as well. :) 

in the midst of it all, when i need to take a breath and need to be still, i read. i’ve never really chatted about books on the little bloggity before which is silly because books are among my true loves. in the midst of all the crazy and while i travel, i slow down and read. and three books have become a steadier in the craziest times. so much so that i had to recommend them – three books by shauna niequist.

 i first stumbled upon shauna and her exquisite writing when she had her first book published with a company i worked for out of college. i bought it as an audio book and would sit on the back porch of my parent’s home in chicago, closing my eyes, listening to her words. i’ve now read “cold tangerines” over and over again and each time, i’ve let her writings sink in, refreshing me from the inside out. that book is all about celebrating the extraordinary nature of everyday life and it’s those little bits of life that get lost first in the runaround of wedding season for me. 

“bittersweet” was her eagerly awaited second title, with thoughts on change, grace, and learning the hard way. again, i dove in. i stayed up all night, dog-earing page after page, crying and screaming, “shauna, how do you know me so well?!” you read her stories and you finally feel like someone out there gets it. for a girl who always invites change & adventure but hates transition, this was a keeper i referred back to many times in the move from chicago to seattle.

and lastly, her latest masterpiece of “bread & wine” left me with the need to write this blog post. i want everyone to know about her books and read her tales. “bread & wine” is a love letter to life around the table…and there are delicious recipes nestled between the pages. everyone who knows me knows i’m a foodie. i’m also a person of community. eating and drinking and conversing together is absolutely my favorite way to spend an evening. in the three apartments i’ve lived in in my adult life i’ve never had room enough for a dinner table. i’ve hardly ever had room enough to entertain. it’s the number one item on the checklist for my and billy’s newlywed home. i can’t wait to throw dinner parties, potlucks etc. i can’t wait to have an open door policy with friends and be close with our neighbors. this book is all about shauna’s love affair with food. she talks about some of her most sacred moments in life and how those have often taken place around a table. “something extraordinary happens when we slow down, open our homes, and look into another’s faces and listen,” she says. it’s a reminder to do those things, even when life gets to be its craziest.

what i’m saying is – read these books. add them to your late summer reading list or your fall list or winter list. let them slow you down and take notice of life unfolding around you. cause i’m sure of one thing – these days go by too fast when you don’t.  

how do you slow down? what do you turn to to take your mind off things for a bit? how do you find balance? 


Comments +

  1. Marizzo says:

    Such great books! Love all of them. Especially Bread & Wine. Good post, JQ. xo

  2. KARENA DIXON says:

    These have been on my reading list for a while now. I may have to log onto Amazon tonight. :)

  3. Tara says:

    It all started at Symtio. :) Thank you for writing all the things that go on in my head, but can’t find the ways or outlet to say them.
    You Rock!

  4. Kristin Johnson says:

    Thanks for the recommendations! I’m definitely adding these to my "must read" list!

  5. Kisha Pierre says:

    I’ve never read any of her books, but after reading your post I kind if want to. I admire your willingness to slow down and encouraging others to do the sameI think it’s a concept most people take for granted and can be missed opportunity for personal growth. Thanks for the great post

  6. Kisha Pierre says:

    I’ve never read any of her books, but after reading your post I kind of want to. I admire your willingness to slow down and encouraging others to do the same. I’m learning to do this currently. I think it’s a concept most people take for granted and can be a missed opportunity for personal growth. Thanks for the great post.

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