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Welcome to our blog! We are a husband & wife photography team based in Madison, Wisconsin who document weddings & anniversaries for joyful couples who believe in marriage. This blog is a journal about real love stories, marriage & our own adventures along the way! We are so glad you're here — please stay awhile!

MAISON      CALEB

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LIFESTYLE

Hello, 2019 | Welcoming a New Year with Fresh Perspective.

December 27, 2018

It’s (almost) 2019 and we are back from our six week social media sabbatical.

Ending the end of 2018 unplugged and spending the holiday season focused on being present was a true gift for me. I will admit that I really struggled in the beginning to be totally unplugged. I was so desperately craving the freedom to not have pressure to post on social media and after giving myself that permission and then taking action, it was only a matter of days before I found myself questioning and doubting what I was doing! It was this weird tension of totally enjoying the freedom and yet experiencing anxiety want to creep its way in as my brain filled with questions like, “Should you really be doing this? It’s booking season. This is going to affect your business negatively. You are … lazy.”

It was important for me to notice these thoughts and to ask myself if they were true. I quickly found that all of them were lies (shocking) and just chose to let them go. This was an almost daily occurrence in my brain but that is the thing about mindfulness and trusting God — they are not things you learn and then master, to check off a list and never think about again. They are practices that you engage in for the rest of your life.

My Sabbatical in a Nutshell

Overall, I LOVED my time unplugged. The game changer was when I actually deleted the Facebook and Instagram app off my phone about three weeks into the six week sabbatical. Within a week, my “screen time” on my phone dropped by HALF and I found myself more relaxed, calm, and able to be present with myself and those around me. When I had free time, I couldn’t just go on Instagram; rather, I read, talked to whomever I was with, listened to music in the car or was just … present with myself. This was not easy and heightened my awareness of my addiction to my phone.

I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, actually. This was something I had been wanting to do for a long time. Caleb had done most of the cooking for our entire marriage and though it was something I wanted to do, I never felt I had the time. I am really enjoying this new creative outlet!

We spent time with friends and just, together. We had slow nights and we let our bodies begin to shut down for the night as the sun would set, even in those early hours. For me, I found that being unplugged allowed me to notice what my mind and body were truly experiencing in sync with what was happening around me. When the day said rest, I did just that. I cooked dinner every night and we ate slowly and enjoyed one another’s company.

I am so thankful for what this time has taught me while I am able to learn it. I realized that we don’t have kids yet which plays a huge factor in our ability to truly slow down. But I do wonder, what are we convincing ourselves we need to do? Is it possible to live a purposeful and full life and yet not feel … so stressed? So anxious?

Something tells me the answer is yes.

So 2019, I welcome you with an eagerness to learn this life I feel so drawn to. FULL, yes. I love people and having things on the calendar and getting out of the house and just DOING. That is me. But DOING with purpose and peace, less stress.

I made a list of the six things I am really committed to in 2019: my faith & community, wellness, Every Daughter, reading, our business, and personal transformation/life coaching. If what I’m engaging in doesn’t fit into one of these six things, I am going to take a step away. Maybe this is something that could work for you if you’re feeling overwhelmed! It’s just an idea : )

I’m feeling so refreshed and ready for what’s to come. Here’s to a peaceful and purposeful 2019,

M

(Some) Pictures from the Sabbatical

Badger Basketball with some of our besties!
When you show up at the local brewery and are wearing the EXACT same coat and flannel as another patron … : )
Remodeling one of our bathrooms … more pictures to come when it’s finished!
Tuesday’s Together Madison
One of the most fun nights of the entire sabbatical! Karaoke at Ohio Tavern with these two crazy ladies!
The annual neighborhood Christmas party
Dinner with our old neighbors // Volunteering at Blackhawk Study Day!
Babysitting these two cuties : )
The most gorgeous (of course!) Christmas gift from our dear friends Sarah & Andrea of Cherry Blossom Events
Hanging Christmas lights and celebrating Christmas : )
Our special Christmas date thanks to two very generous clients <3
Running in SHORTS in 50º December weather // Driving my father-in-law’s new van (you know that thing where you buy a van once all your kids are grown adults ; ))
Drinks at the Sawmill – so pretty at Christmas!
Lots of amazing faces <3
Christmas with Grandma Shirley!
All the dogs : )
Hiking/running in Rhinelander!
The cutest Christmas dog toys you ever did see : )
More dogs!
Christmas with the Gustke fam <3

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