Friday, January 6, 2012

All Things New

Happy New Year Everyone!!! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and have had a great start to 2012 so far...

Our Christmas was spent on lake Hartwell (near Clemson, SC) with Kyle's family. I was slightly disappointed that we didn't have a white Christmas like last year, but was so thankful that our very rare white Christmas came while Skylar was here with us. We still enjoyed our time with family and loved staying warm by the fire. We were able to see some of our best friends from college and hang out in Clemson and enjoy some fun memories together.

For those of you who keep up with me on facebook, or in real life, you know that I've been fighting a wicked cold for two weeks now. Not really the start to the new year I was hoping for... What started as a swollen, painful, sore throat and ears right after Christmas turned into a major sinus infection and who knows what else. I cancelled New Year's Eve plans because that's when I really started feeling worse and I didn't want to get anyone else sick. Kyle cooked a wonderful dinner for me and we just enjoyed resting in front of the tv - something we don't do very often. Apparently a lot of stuff is going around right now so make sure you're washing your hands a lot!!! Kyle has managed to stay healthy, thank God, and I woke up today relieved that I could breathe through my nose again! I am just thankful it's nothing I can't get rid of with rest and vitamin C. I know there are plenty of people suffering with much worse...

So to catch you up on some things - I started breaking down Skylar's room at the beginning of December. It's just as awful as you might imagine. Kyle was out of town and I knew I was going to be an emotional mess so I went ahead and decided to have my breakdown while he was gone. Before disassembling her bed, I curled up with her blankets, put in Finding Nemo and just cried for hours. I didn't want to sleep because I wanted to cherish every last moment, but ended up passing out in her bed for the night. Losing that bed was like losing a piece of Skylar all over again. We lived in that bed together. Kyle came home a few days later and we slowly tackled packing up her toys and books.

We decided to re-paint her room completely and turn it into an office for the two of us. On January 2, our cousins had come into town for the Passion conference at the GA Dome, which is the night we started painting and finished cleaning her room. Passion is an organization that puts on a yearly conference around the nation attracting tens of thousands of college students wanting to learn more about Jesus Christ. This year, someone generously donated the funds to make the live-stream possible and we took advantage of it. While we were listening to the live stream on our computer, I found one of Skylar's little wrist splints that was formed for her hands. It fit so perfectly in mine and the tears started streaming. I miss her sweet little hands and her little hand hugs when she could muster the strength to give me a squeeze. Not that I needed any more help producing mucous with my cold, but my nose became a waterfall to add to the tears rolling down my cheeks.

Anyway, I was in the middle of my emotions, holding her wrist splint in my hand needing to blow my nose, and all of the sudden, Louie (the main speaker that night) started reading scripture about a widowed woman who lost her only son and was walking through his funeral procession. It struck me a little odd that a scripture about death and funerals was being read to open up the conference to a ton of college kids... Then I heard Louie say in a stern voice, "Stop Crying" and I just looked at the computer. What?! Can he see into my room? How does he know I am crying? He goes on to talk about Jesus, full of compassion, coming along side of this woman and telling this woman to stop crying. Then, Jesus tells the dead son in the casket to get up and he does. Louie went on to talk about funeral processions, death, and arising to new life. It was an incredible message - one that I cannot do justice in just a few sentences.

I really was shocked how applicable all of it was. I felt as if he was speaking to me personally, yet there were over 40,000 college kids packed in the GA dome, plus the millions watching online, and I know each person heard the message in a way that was personal to them. It is such a beautiful thing. We learned a lot listening to passion online, and if you're interested, you can visit their website to learn more. There's even an option to buy/download the messages online and to donate to the causes they have partnered with to help end slavery that is still going on - including sex trafficking.

So back to Skylar's room - yesterday we bought an ikea desk from craigslist and set it up so that Kyle and I share what we now call the "office" instead of Skylar's room. It's actually pretty funny because our desks split the middle and it's funny to see our personalities split the room as well. We spent most of hte night setting everything up. His side of the room is natural wood and black and mine is silver and white with a lot of Skylar's colorful storage bins still being used. Pictures coming soon! As painful as it is to no longer have a nursery and a daughter to go with it, I needed the space to work with the launch of my new companies. Yes, plural.

Shutter Sweet Photography is my new company for weddings and portrait photography. I'm really excited about it and am already staying busy with photo shoots and events. What most excites me is the potential to help others. With every photo session or event, 50% of all print proceeds will go to a non-profit cause of the client's choice - whatever they are passionate about. I have a list of my own causes that I am supporting as well and look forward to hopefully helping a lot of people through portraits.

Skylight Creative Group is my new company for commercial work. Corporate photography and graphic design go hand in hand with good marketing for any business and I am happy to offer those services to help companies succeed in this economy. I already have several clients and look forward to growing this business as well. I love the variety of projects I get to work on and the challenge each client brings.

As for me, I am re-purposing to be my own personal website to showcase my personal projects. Being my own photojournalist, I hope to inspire and challenge people who stubble upon my work. Being sick has set me back a few weeks already into my first project, but I hope to have something to share in the next month or two. All of the websites don't have working portfolios yet, but everything should be completed in the next few weeks.

I'll try to get some before and after pictures of Kyle's new haircut, our new office, and anything else that seems to change between now and then :) Thanks for reading and keeping up with the Jones'! With the new year already in full swing, Kyle and I are moving forward with hope. Whatever situation you find yourself in, may 2012 be full of hope and blessings... and of course, peace.


  1. So glad to read an update. I hope you continue to feel better!

  2. Happy New Year to you guys too! Good luck with your new projects! If you're on facebook with any of them, send me a friend request! xoxo

  3. I love your precious heart. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!