Monday, January 9, 2017


If you noticed or even cared, I took a six month hiatus from blogging. 

It was for many reasons.  One reason was to do some thinking but, probably among the biggest reasons was building our new house, and moving.  It took a lot of time and energy.  We built a custom home.  I started by sketching out a design on paper, and ended by picking out every last detail inside.  Needless to say, we were here for every step of the process.  IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!  I want to share more about the process here, so more on that to come.  Here is a pic of the finished product:

 photo house_zpsib7yvly8.jpg

We moved in at the end of October, and had just enough time to get our front yard in.

If you want to follow more of the process, you can follow us on Instagram @valleyviewabode It has originally been a private account, but I have felt very led to make it more public, and have it be a design and creative Insta account for me.  I will still keep our family Insta acct. private however. 

After all those house decisions, my brain was a little tired.  I tried to tell myself that I would blog about the process.  At night, when I thought I would have time to blog, I couldn’t.  I could not think about one more thing.

I blamed my lack of blogging on no brain power.

Then we moved in to this new house, and settled in.

 photo front door_zpsvmzskpvp.jpg

  I realized that I was lost on this blog and the true me, long before that.

I lost myself somewhere between Pennsylvania and Utah.

When I look back over my blog posts, the frequency and even my heart seemed to diminish somewhere between Pennsylvania and Utah.

When I would sit down to blog, my heart wasn’t in it.  I was lost.

I went out a few days ago and took a few pictures after a huge snow storm we had, and I realized I felt a little like this bird.

 photo Winter snow storm scenery 2017-0499_zpsk2ifgdow.jpg


 photo Winter snow storm scenery 2017-0496_zpsmwonf6v5.jpg

Why is this bird here in all this snow?

As I started taking pictures, I remembered how much I love having this camera around my neck.

 photo Winter snow storm scenery 2017-0510_zpsnzhsdikb.jpg

  I remembered how much seeing a scene through my view finder brought a quickness to my heart that I almost can’t describe.

 photo Winter snow storm scenery 2017-0484_zps6cdrghkw.jpg

When we moved in this new home, I started feeling bits of the old creative me coming back, and wondered where she had been.

I am beginning to feel more like me again.  I haven’t been a full Andrea since we got to Utah. 

I’ve been half an Andrea.  I’ve been a mom and a wife, but not a photographer, a blogger, a creator.

 photo Stella WInter Photoshoot 2017-0516_zpswu49fx1z.jpg

I think I figured out why.  Some of the reasons why are very personal, and I will keep to myself, and some are as simple as I forgot to find time to be creative.

 photo Stella WInter Photoshoot 2017-0523_zpspn1sbkl9.jpg

I need time to be creative and use my creative brain each day.

Sure, I have gotten away for a weekend here or there to scrapbook, but once I came home; I was lost again.

Now that we are in our new home, I have my own space to find myself each day.  I have my own craft room/office.  It is amazing how that space has brought me back to life.  I can just walk in to that room and my eyes light up. 

It helped me realize that creativity is so important for me.  15 minutes in there can do my heart good.

When I was blogging frequently, I used to make time for photography.  That was a huge outlet for creativity for me.  When we moved here, I told myself I didn’t need to work anymore so I kind of just tucked my camera away, and started using my iPhone.  That makes me really sad.  I need to use my brain, I want awesome pictures of my kids.

 photo Stella WInter Photoshoot 2017-0565_zpsqjudedvs.jpg

  I need to remember how to use my big girl camera, and stretch myself with it.  It’s what makes me happy. 

 photo Stella WInter Photoshoot 2017-0544_zpsx87netdc.jpg

{Photos of Stella from our impromtu photoshoot, on a snowday this week, oh be still my heart; this is true happiness for me.  My children + photography = happiness}

When I share my thoughts here, when I share a pretty picture here, or a creative idea; all these things bring me true happiness.  We all need to find what it is in our heart that brings us our personal happiness.

For you it might be soccer, or a good book, painting, or exercise.  Let’s not forget to make TIME. 

I have lots of things in life that bring me happiness; my kids, my husband, my church.  This, however, this one is about ME!!  This one is about spending time with me.  Doing what I love.  I kind of lost that for a while.  I let some of my anxieties, the world, some health challenges, being busy, and telling myself that I didn’t have time, take away some of that happiness.  I’m kind of tired of being lost.

 photo Me and camera_zpsemhao5le.jpg

{Photo Circa 2011- taken by: Krysta Moes}

So… my camera is back around my neck.  My desk is a mess again, and my computer is open once again…. and your gonna have to listen to me ramble here at own little corner of the world wide web.

Well… I guess that’s if you want to. 

Thanks for being here.


JoAnn said...

So happy for you to find your happiness! I feel the same way sometimes too. Wonderful reminder to slow life down & enjoy it! I am thrilled to get to know you better as our lives keep intersecting :) Great blog & photos! Such beauty all around us all!!

Carrie said...

I noticed and missed your blog. I regular check directly to see if WordPress missed it. I checked out Instagram and WHOA! GORGEOUS! Great job!!!!

katie@tulsadetails said...

Looks beautiful! Can't wait to see the inside! And love the snow pics! Welcome back!

Jaron said...

This reminds me of a conference talk from President Uchtdorf years ago. In it he said that we are daughters of a Creator and are meant to create. Your post made me think how I've forgotten to make time to be creative too!

Lori Keller said...

I was just thinking something very similar this morning. And for similar reasons as yours. I decided that I indeed need to create. It's my time to rejuvenate. Here's to more creating! I'll be checking up on you! :)

April said...

I kind of know that feeling of being a little lost in who you are for a time. After my second child was born I had less free time to enjoy my little creative outlets. Not only that (which was a wonderful reason to be busy) but we also had our home on the market 2 different times, for six months each time. So I hated to create a creative mess that I would have to quickly clean up for a showing. We have finally decided to stay in our house for the time being since it did not ever sell and I feel like my brain is about to explode with all the creative ideas I have for our house and for our family. I want to blog again too but I really want to get back to sewing and digital scrapbooking my kids. So glad you are finally coming back to finding yourself again and I so enjoy your pictures and blog.

Bloom said...

Yay! You're back! My very favorite blogger. Glad to here you are taking time for yourself. :)

Sherri Price said...

I think more people feel those same lost feeling than we know. I'm glad you recognized it and are finding ways to reignite the flame. You are a great example to others. So happy you are back!

Sherri Price said...

I think more people feel those same lost feeling than we know. I'm glad you recognized it and are finding ways to reignite the flame. You are a great example to others. So happy you are back!

Stella said...

It's so good to see you blogging again. And I love this post. I am so happy to see and read that you are happy. I follow you on IG so I always felt "connected" (although we never met in real) Blogging can be time sonsuming and you were in a very busy stage of life ( and still are) I t's lovely to see that you found happiness in photography again; I LOVE these photos. But on top of that; you are happy. That's what really matters.
Sending a hug!

Mommydear said...

So glad to see you're back and read your blog! I find it very inspirational!

Kathy@mishmashmom said...

I know exactly what you mean. When I was working, I didn't have the time or energy to create. I felt like I was starving my soul. I had to realize that taking time to be creative was something that was non-negotiable. Welcome back!

Leslie Posey said...

Looking forward in reading them again!!! Glad your back

Michaela Anne said...

love having you back!

Tara said...

I'm glad you're back, Andrea - it's so good to read your voice. :) Life is so full of seasons, it's hard when we don't have it all together, but getting back is such a great process. Thanks for sharing - it's so comforting to me to hear about others with similar struggles and triumphs. I think you're awesome!

Elaine said...

Inspiring as always Andrea! Love our new home and your new excitement about YOU!
I do follow you on Instagram and dream of building our own home like you have. Whenever I am on the home computer, I check by to see if you have posted, like checking in on an old friend.
Time for you to create is important, as I also have found. It just makes us better in every way!

julie said...

I'm so very glad you're back and your creative spirit has been rekindled. Happiness for me reading your darling blog. Love the photos, your beautiful house too. It's wonderful to know all is well with you. Welcome've been missed :) x

Veronica Perry said...

It's great that you've carved out a room for crafts, but you needn't worry about being creative once again. The material and color scheme that you’ve chosen for your new home's exterior shows your creative touch, and I can tell that you’ve put a great deal of thought into it. I love the outdoor bench!

Veronica Perry @ Team Robinson CA Homes

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