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Last Day of SCHOOL!!!

  Well I don't know about you all, but we are super pumped about the last day of school today. I am naively excited that I don't have to pack any more school lunches for awhile. Even though I know deep down in the dark corner of my brain that I want to ignore that I only have about three days till the "I'm bored"s start.  So. THREE CHEERS FOR

5 Ways to Preach STRENGTH not Skinny

{Alright you know how this works but just a reminder, any amazon links you see in this post are affiliate links. By clicking on them, you help me bring home some more bacon, at no extra cost to you! You don’t even have to buy what I’m blathering on about, but if you buy anything at all, you are helping support this blog and this business. THANK YOU!}     I'm pretty passionate about teaching my daughters to have a healthy self-image and a healthy view of fitness. I've wasted too many years of my life worrying about how much I weighed or how toned my tummy was. I've struggled with an eating disorder and a terrible results-focused approach to fitness. I want to teach my girls to be STRONG and healthy. Not just thin.     So here are five things I do:    1. Expose them to a variety of types of exercise.  The important thing is starting the conversations. Show them which muscles are getting stronger with the

Otterberg Cistercian Monastery [and New Tattoo]

  There is a village in Germany that means a whole lot to me. It probably doesn't make it to the top 10 list of anyone's travel plan... it's not necessarily famous... it's not even that big. But it was home for four years. I never thought I'd have a "German home town" but I sure do. And a part of my heart will always be wandering those cobblestone streets on my way to the bakery for a fresh pretzel. I learned how to use my camera in this village.  My babies grew up in this village.  Sometimes I feel like I grew up in this village.      In the middle of this village... Otterberg, Germany... sits a 12th century Cistercian Monastery. It's the second largest church in that state and no other church or cathedral I saw in Europe impacted me like this church.     When I first stood inside this church, it took my breath away. I have never stood inside such an imposing building that was so simply designed. It was very

A Letter to my Daughter

This might be the beginning of the end of a really funny and adorable era in your life... ...the end of you dressing like a homeless, color-blind princess.     You have always been adamant that your favorite colors are blue... and the rainbow. You have been seen in dress up clothes at ice cream parlors, the grocery store, and kindergarten open house. We have gotten in fights because there aren't any "fancy" pajamas clean. (seriously??? for the love.) You also make it very clear that if I force you to wear jeans I run the risk of being put in a really crappy nursing home when I get old. The other day you came out of your room dressed for school in a relatively tame outfit. I thought it was Opposite Day... that you had had your sister pick your clothes or something. There were no conflicting colors or patterns and there was no lace or frills or glitter or anything. There weren't even mismatched leg warmers! (Now the next day you came out decked head

Ponderings from Kid Books (and my trip to Yosemite)

{Alright you know how this works but I should say it anyways, any amazon links you see in this post are affiliate links. By clicking on them, you help me bring home some more bacon, at no extra cost to you! You don’t even have to buy what I’m blathering on about, but if you buy anything at all, you are helping support this blog and this business. THANK YOU!}   I try not to be disturbed by the fact that a lot of times the quotes that come most often to my mind are from children's books or movies. I guess that's just a Mom's lot in life! Anyways if you've never read Julia Donaldson's book The Snail and the Whale, you are totally missing out and you need to get yourself a copy. Even if you don't have kids, it's just fabulous. It's all about a snail who wants to travel and hitches a ride on the tail of a whale. And there's a surprise twist ending that I wouldn't dare spoil for you ;-) Read it to your kids and be inspired!    So I thought of

Ready or Not, Here I Come!

Rebuilding your business is hard. I mean, moving is hard, too... but on top of just having relocated back to Corning, I'm also relocating and rebranding my business! And here it is!  Life with Jess Photography is here and ready to go... and by "ready" I mean kinda-sorta. I'm practicing treating myself with kindness and grace as I say, "You know what, things aren't perfectly set up, yet, but that's okay!" Sometimes you have to remember that all of life is under some sort of construction. We are constantly working and growing and changing. And so my journey (as a Corning business owner) starts today. In whatever form of ready I am. Even if I feel it's less than it should be.  I want to get to work and I want to recognize that even if I'm still learning my  new website or I'm still not sure what box my tripod is in, this day is still full of potential. In the words of one of the wise sages of my life, Fancy Nancy, "All of life is a thrilling adventure!" I hope