Grace + Living Consciously ~ Chicago Wedding Photographer

Life has been a bit crazy lately. Things went from feeling pretty normal and manageable for quite a while there – to being pretty overwhelming, if I’m being honest.

Between our seemingly constant doctor appointments, meetings with potential clients, the commercial shoot, engagement sessions, weddings, and the editing that follows… I have been feeling like I just can’t keep up.

Thankfully though, a few years into this full-time gig, I feel more equipped to handle this feeling than I did in the past. Which really means nothing more than I have learned to show myself some grace (most days). So when I start feeling really run down and like I just can’t keep up – I try to remind myself of the following:

1. I can only get so much done in one day. I have this problem where I write my daily to-do list and inevitably add 3 too many things to it than I could ever possibly get done in a workday. I don’t know why I do this – but I usually feel guilty about the fact that I didn’t get those last few things done. So instead of going crazy on my to-do list (trying to fit everything I possibly can on my post-it), I try to only fit what I truthfully know I am capable of doing that day on the list. Knowing I’m knocking my way through the list makes me feel really positive about how productive I’m being and I get way more done than if I had a monster list I was trying to work through – where I end up feeling terrible because I barely made a dent.

2. Sleep is my friend. Most nights we work until 7 or 8pm during busy season. This means we eat dinner at 9 or 10 (yeah, yeah, I know that’s late) and go to bed by 11 or 12 (or a piiiinch later). Some mornings I wake up at 6am and am convinced I must get up and work, but the truth is – I shouldn’t. I haven’t gotten enough sleep and even though my brain is telling me to get to work – that doesn’t mean that is really what is best. (Trust me, I’ve tried it and end up feeling miserable by noon because I didn’t get enough sleep.) So instead of trying to put ourselves on everybody else’s work schedule – we’ve accepted the fact that we tend to work later (hello – wedding days go until 10pm or later, so it’s probably better we’re normally wide awake then anyway! :)), and so we embrace the hours that work for us during busy season. That means most days if we have nowhere we need to be early – we don’t set alarms. We allow our bodies to rest when they need to rest and work when we need to work. Most days I’m up by 8 or 8:30 without an alarm, eat some breakfast and get to work by 9am. Some days when we have work obligations (like meetings or sessions) later than normal, I allow myself to sleep a little later the next day if we didn’t get to bed as early as normal. The bottom line is – sleep is good for you. Sleep keeps you healthy. Sleep keeps you sane. All vital things for life in general, and especially if you’re super busy and running your own business! (You aren’t doing anybody a favor by being exhausted all the time.)

3. I need a (daily) break. It can get really easy to convince yourself that you need to work ALL. THE. TIME. This session needs to be edited. This email needs to be replied to right now. This needs to be checked off my to-do list… But that’s just not true!!! Actually, if you take time to do things outside of work that fill you up and balance you out (especially physical activity) – you’ll be more productive when you do sit down to work! That’s the truth, friends! 🙂 And thankfully, I have a furry little friend to remind me of this every day. Chloe makes sure to let me know I need to get my butt away from the computer and head out for some fresh air and physical activity – every day at approximately 1:30pm. haha. This is the point in the day when my brain is fried, and when she becomes an annoyingly antsy little dog who likes to yell at me. 🙂


So yesterday, like every day, Chloe and I took our daily walk (albeit, a bit later than normal) – and all my stress, anxiety, and feelings of being overwhelmed washed off of me with each block we walked. The air was cool & crisp, and the city was in full bloom. We rearranged our route so that we would pass by every flowering tree and lilac possible, and it was perfection. I stopped to smell the flowers…  felt the air filling my lungs… listened to the birds endlessly chirping… and laughed as Chloe jumped 6 feet in the air up a tree trunk in attempts to catch a squirrel.

As it turns out … life is sooo good – if you just take the time to notice it. (It’s especially obvious when you look at the the proof below from our walk yesterday! ;))





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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!