Nathan's Almost Here and Winning Already

The Morgans have officially moved to town.  I met them on their first day of unpacking, and let me tell you, rounding the corner and seeing the U-Haul made my stomach queasy and my heart full all at the same time.  We're all taking a leap of faith moving the Morgans to town and it was so crazy to see them in our little bluegrass again, handing over cell phones, saying hello to the baby and trading paperwork.  I'm super pumped and I can hardly wait to see what happens with this little place the Lord built. Now, if you need a recap on who the Morgans are or what is going on, head over here and take a read.  That post explains most of what Nathan will be doing, how cool he and his family are and where he's coming from.  The part you don't really know is the why.  And the how.  So 5ish years ago I started this little firm to help pay for my school and equipment expenses.  I had a pretty awesome scholarship that covered nearly everything I needed, but I wanted to start a good life early and not be too much a burden on my parents (hah!).  So I started shooting weddings and families and kiddos and I decided then - in my little journal - that I would always make this business about loving people and I would never let it trump real life.

Well last year that got a little tough.  Not that we're just turning clients away left and right, but I didn't have time to stop and sit on the front porch over strawberry pie with my family.  I still don't some days.  I can't get out of my phone.  I can't spend hours and hours working on a project.  I have to scrape by on the little time that I have, more often than not.  Now, I realize this is a problem that we all have, but I want to try my darndest to spend my life doing the things that the Lord wants me to.  The things that make my heart beat.  Loving little kiddos, encouraging others, talking about orphans, making mentor programs (that no one participates in), telling stories of babies with heart problems for parents' hope, spending hours on my couch talking to high school girls.  All those things matter much more to me than the latest camera or wearing a new sweater or drinking a mocha (yes, really).

And there just hasn't been enough time for that.  So God talks, I ignore him for a few months, he talks louder and I hired Nathan, even though we're walking in faith every step of the way that God continues to grow this business at the rate that He has.  And if you're my friend or we're semi-close, you've prayed about this.  A lot.  All signs were a go.  All of them.  So we're walking.  All 4 of us, in faith.  Because God provides.  Always.

Nathan's been shooting weddings with me for a while now.  The Morgans and I have been Skyping and phone chatting for a long time on the progress of Lizzie Loo and when this would all be possible.  They wanted to be close to family and I wanted someone(s) in this who would love you all and embrace community as much as I feel we should and can.  They've only been here 4 days, and they're already being invited to your homes, getting emails and invites to their inbox and to top that off I've introduced them to no one.  And only seen them twice.  And you all are in my inbox asking when they'll be settled, how old Milo is and when you can meet them.  I've always known this is a stellar place to live and grow, but this whole process has reminded me of all of that.

When I went Krogering yesterday to grab some coffee (shocker, I know), I made a little I-may-cry-because-I'm-Elizabeth-and-I-wear-rose-colored-glasses-face when I realized that my friends live in the same town as me.  That they could be one of you that I run into in the new Kroger.  That they get to be closer to their family because God is good and I've made a frail attempt at trusting in Him.  I get that I'm 23 and I have this life and this dream that I dreamt up.  I get that the Morgans being here will be a start to lots more goodness that God will bring.  What I don't get is where we're going or where He's leading.  I can only say that Monday brings lots of newness, a little change and lots of potential to serve you all much more closely to my original intention.

And this week brought another award to Mr. Morgan, which was the original intent of this post.  Nathan won 2nd place in Newspaper Picture Editor of the Year for the National Press Photographers Association's Best of Photojournalism.  He placed behind The Virginian-Pilot and on top of The Palm-Beach Post (these make me cry), St. Petersburg Times and The Los Angeles Times.  I think it's safe to say that this fellah who will share my office on Monday will be editing my photos.  I've included a few of his favorite layouts from his work at The Midland Daily News - a paper similar to the size of ours, by the way.

We're all super proud of him and I'm super glad he got this great honor on the tail of leaving Midland and the tip of trusting in Shelbyville.  So far, so good, though the Morgans have expressed a little disdain at our strange one-way street system.  And to that, I add....we're clearly going to get along well because I tell the story of two way roads with trees and non-parallel parking in downtown to anyone who will listen.  Perfect.