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So you want to start a small business? Or you have one and are lost?

I have had so many sweet friends ask me questions on how I started my business, how to stay away from failing, and how to just get the ball rolling!

I have tried to answer questions…
believe me I have!
But there is just SO much to cover.
Seriously. Like an overwhelming amount.

I’m not sure if you have heard of my awesome friend Whitney English, but she recently hired me to film a portion of her new course, #BizDesigners. We were recording the other day, and I don’t say this lightly, the information that she’s providing in this course is GAME CHANGING. I would have KILLED for something like this when I was starting out, and the information is even valuable to me now and helping me stay afloat!! If you’re an entrepreneur, or want to be, I would seriously encourage you to make an investment in her course. You can find out more here http://whitneyenglish.com/biz-designers-plan?ref=1  or message me if you have any questions!

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Baby Shower for Parker Blake, and a thank you letter to you all.

Saturday May 2nd we had our baby shower for this baby boy, and as you can tell by the photos we had a blast. It’s so fu to get the people we love together to celebrate the happiest things in life.

My sweet step mom was there getting all our party pics, and my dear friend Shannon grabbed my camera and took these below… she captured it exactly the way I’ll always remember it. Thank you Shannon : )

But before the photos, after we opened all of our wonderful gifts I tried to thank everyone with this ‘thank you speech’.

Thank yous.

I would like to start thank yous by thanking my ever so handsome and charming husband for not taking the threats to his life seriously, taking me on endless amounts of ice cream trips, rubbing any muscle or joint that was requested of him, carrying my bags, boxes, equipment and sometimes even my body as they got too heavy, and most of all for pointing out the joy, beauty and absolute gift from God that is this moment in our lives at times when I would get off center from those thoughts. Like I always say, you’re the best choice I’ve ever made shoogie, you’re going to be an amazing Daddy. 

Then I would like to thank all of you.

Thank you for those who put time, effort and cash money into throwing this wonderful shower and filling every request that this precious angel girl required…. Like having everyone at one large shower… And the lighting requirements of the space…. 

Thank you for those who took time out of their own busy lives to answer my endless amounts of text messages or phone calls with answers to questions I had about what has been happening to me, just to let me vent, or keep me connected to the world outside of Checotah. I have no doubt that will be a large part of my saving grace when baby boy gets here.

Thank you anyone here who has ever let us stay in their home, recently or throughout our marriage who has watched us drag bag after bag into where we were staying and laugh under their breath as they thought to themselves how much more stuff we would be carrying after our baby gets here. 

Next time you’ll be able to cuddle and watch baby as we do the bag transfer process! 

But honestly, thank you for letting us stay in your home at any moments notice and feeding us. 

‘Showering’ is an understatement. 

Seriously, thank you all for constantly pouring large buckets of love, excitement and prayer over us and sweet Parker Blake. We are spoiled rotten to have this many people in our lives who carry us through ups and downs like we were drifting on a cloud through each moment. It’s corny I know. But if we started counting blessings to fall asleep, we would be awake eternally just reading off the list and a huge majority of that list are each of you all.

So continue to send us those happy thoughts, encouraging words and prayer as we start this new adventure. Maybe slowly but surely we can somehow show you our gratitude by loving you back in any way we can…and maybe that comes in the form of a good baby cuddle. 

WE CAN HARDLY WAIT for Parker to be here for so many reasons, but most of all for him to start his life learning all of the great, silly, and weird things each of you has to teach him, just like we have learned them from you all throughout our lives. 

We love you so much as stand in awe at the mighty team God has put together for us. 

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Why I’m terrified, and why that’s stupid.

** this post is very personal and in no way as traumatic as anyone who is going through things that are worse like health issues etc. I do realize this and told myself that every day of going through this ** 

I sat with my back against the wall, holding our tax papers. Bawling. Crying huge huge tears.

All last year I had worked so hard to send all of the extra money we made to pay off debt. I was doing it right I thought. I was cleaning us up, I was making our future easier, I was taking the dark shadow off from above our heads.

I never accounted for taxes.

I never knew that when I answered God earlier that year and said yes to the ‘no plan, plan ‘ we would then get pregnant so fast.

We joyfully paid off all our debt last year, but then in the slow season of my business… maybe $30 to our name and a baby on the way… we got our tax papers back in the mail.

We owed $4,000.00. 

I had just a few short months to make that much money to pay for my mistake of not saving for taxes, and get ready to be on maternity leave from my business.

I was terrified.

Josh and I bought rice and beans, spaghetti, and canned marinara. We had $25 on a homeland gift card and spent literally every penny to get us to Josh’s next pay check.

I worked my butt off creating a video course to sell online, I had talks with a financial advisor friend who kept talking about the future and IRA’s and big dreams. All I could see were rice and beans and a $4,000 voucher sitting in my kitchen.

Last week I booked enough clients, and sold enough classes to pay every dime of our taxes, my tax prep guy,  my office manager her salary, and the baby doctor her monthly dues.

I cried again. This time happy tears.

As we were setting up the paper work and wrote the checks out, I looked at Josh and told him I couldn’t believe it all came together.

He looked at me and said “I don’t know why you don’t just trust God”

Why? Why don’t I just trust God? Why do I worry SO much about money when God has ALWAYS taken care of us. Why do I worry so much about our location and Josh’s job, when wherever he places us is exactly where he wants us? Why do I worry about our family and how in the world we will be able for this precious new baby to have connections to all 26 immediate family members, when it will all work out for the good? Why do I worry how I will balance a baby and business when he showed me I could balance 4 jobs before Josh and I got married? Why do I worry about how my house or car looks, when I know that people who matter only care about how your heart looks.

Every. Single. Day. I need to get OVER myself and realize that God’s got it. Sure I still have to hustle and get my work done, I still have to have a busy schedule and sleepless nights, Josh and I will always get a little frustrated by our teacher salary income budget, but NONE of that should stop me from enjoying every single second of this amazing life God has given to me in order to grow his kingdom. All of that and better planning for our little dreams, and we are going to be fine. No, we are going to be great.

Thank you Jesus.

and thank you everyone who has kindly helped us in ways you probably didn’t know you did.

I’m going to look back on this and just laugh.

I told my best friend that I wished I could look at life like an 85 year old does. Someone who has seen things resolve themselves hundreds of different ways so they don’t really worry anymore.

She said “I’m pretty sure that only happens with time”

Listen to this song if you’re going though anything you think you can’t quite see the end of right now.

I cried listening to this song a lot too haha.

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7 Tips on How to Survive the 1st Trimester of Pregnancy : When You’re a Basketball Coach’s Wife.

How to survive the 1st trimester of pregnancy, when you’re a basketball coaches wife.

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     Let’s be real honest. I love basketball. I prayed hard when my husband and I got engaged that I would fall in love with basketball, and over the past three years, it has happened.
Basketball never stops.
Josh has a shirt produced by Nike that says just that. It’s real, you can google it.
He has basketball practice at 7:30 am with junior high, 6th hour practice with high school, then Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights, are game nights.
I also no joke, have woken up in the middle of the night to him shouting  “GET ON THE FREE THROW LINE”. I swear during basketball season he makes layups, or coaches with his body during his sleep.
So in all actuality, basketball never stops.
So for all of you ladies who just got the big ol’ positive on that pregnancy test you just took, and also happen to be head over heels in love with a basketball coach, I have created a few tips to help you survive this season of life.
1. Scarves.
Preferably ones with no holes. Why you ask is this the first tip? Scarves help cute up that huge top you’re wearing, but most importantly, scarves are the easiest and best way to cover your nose from the constant surprise of smells that come along with basketball season. Farts, the rush of body odor you weren’t expecting, weird court cleaner smells, and concession stand BBQ sandwiches that come from a tub…. my nose during 1st trimester is similar to spidey senses. I can’t tell you how many times scarves have saved me from an embarassing yammy in my handbag. ( If you don’t understand this reference, please watch ‘ I’ll be home for Christmas’ with Jonathan Taylor Thomas, if you don’t have time for that, yammy translates to vomit)
2. Snacks.
I don’t care what you read on Pinterest about your snacks needing to be blah blah % protein, or whatever % vitamin something. Pack a purse with whatever snacks you know you will eat. Have a variety, I switch from salty to sweet on just a thought, so have both. An empty belly makes 4th quarter of the last basketball game seem like an torturous eternity away, and also amps up the nauseous feelings. Take your prenatals, drink water, but always have snacks. I’m not kidding friends, go get them now.
3. Cash
The only time I carry cash is during basketball season. Carry it with you now, so juuussssst in case your snack stash runs out, OR by a God given blessing from heaven above, the concession stand has warm, salty, pretzels with cheese, and you can buy one and not be cranky.
4. A good stadium chair.
Save your hunkus now girls. I don’t care how old it makes you look to carry a chair and take 3 minutes to get it set up right. I have one like this I really like, handed down to me by Josh’s mom.  This will save your sit bones from piercing through your skin during the 3rd of 4 games of the night. If you don’t get one, you will want to stand up even when the other teams cheerleaders are asking. Just bring it.
5. Fold Up Yoga Leggings
Like these. I know you’re not big enough for maternity pants yet, but that button on your jeans will feel like a steel death trap, after sitting in a bleacher seat all bent up on your bloaty, too many pretzel’s tummy. These leggings I think are appropriate with running shoes, and can be worn with boots to be a tad more stylish. They are legit. Buy 7 pairs. I only have 2 right now and they are always in the dirty clothes.
6. People to sit by who make you laugh.
I am so very blessed by the friends I have made though basketball, and that they share my same humor. They make the nights shorter, and give me something extra to look forward to when I’m zoned out at 3 o’clock putting on my makeup to get ready for the nights games.
7. Get your emotions in check.
Pregnancy hormones are the real deal, and will sneak attack you. I have almost cried, during the first few games when our team would run out, because I was already so proud of how hard they had worked to prepare themselves for the season. I have wanted to scream remarkably to the point obscenities at clock keepers calling my husband a jerk, parents making false statements about my husband on social media, and my husband himself for not doting on me like a princess because he’s so incredibly emotionally and physically exhausted from teaching/coaching, and I feel like I’m set on the back burner every now and again. Have a mantra, a joke, or just plain tell yourself ‘wow your crazy pregnancy brain needs to get it together’ 
I wouldn’t change being a coaches wife for anything in the world, watching Josh coach, especially when I catch him doing so off the court, always makes me remember how remarkable of a man Josh is. When the boys on the basketball team found out, they seemed almost excited as we were, and I can’t help but think about all the really cool older brother figures this kid is going to have : )
If you are a basketball coach’s wife, and have any life saving tips for being pregnant during basketball season, or have a 5-9 month old during season, please send them my way!!! lindsey@lenaephotography.com
xoxoxxoxo
Lindsey
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The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever.

I was determined.

I am 97.6% sure I am successful.

These are always a winner at holiday parties and I have to wait until riiiiiiiiight before the party almost to bake them, or Josh eats them all!

Here is the RECIPE ( aren’t you a lucky duck?)

1. Heat oven to 325* – oven racks at upper and lower middle

2. Mix

2 cups and 2 Tablespoons of flour (I know it seems like a lot, but I think this is key for fluff)

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

-set aside-

3.  In a separate bowl mix

1 Cup brown sugar packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

4. Melt 1 1/2 sticks butter in the microwave

5. Pour butter over sugars and mix well.

6. Add 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk ( I usually separate the yolk out by cracking the egg and letting the white fall into a separate container moving the yolk back and forth between shells)

7. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla and mix well.

8. Add dry ingredients and 1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips until all is mixed smooth.

9. take 1/4 cup dough at form a ball. break in half and place rough sides up on the baking sheet.

10. Bake until cookies are set around the outer edges, yet centers are still soft and puffy. Around 11-13 minutes. Cool on cookies sheet.

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Little One McClennahan : The story on how we got here

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Around April earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop called The Beautiful Art of Balance, created by my sweet friend Shannon Ho. The workshop was Christ focused and had allotted quiet time with God ( which I had been absent from due to my busy ‘I own my own business’ working hours) this specific quiet time we were inspired to be ‘expectant and waiting on the Lord’  for him to speak to us, to be quiet and listen, instead of being full of requests.

I literally couldn’t remember the last time I had done that, if ever.

So I listened to my worship playlist I had created and sat quietly, writing all the thoughts that ran through my head. My little journal soon looked like a jumbled mess,  which wasn’t a big surprise, Josh says I’m great at ‘ water falling’. Soon enough the thoughts of ‘The Plan’ starting running though my head. Since we were married, Josh and I have always been on ‘the 5 year plan’, we knew the pressure would be on, both of us being the oldest children in our families to have little ones, and we wanted to make sure our families didn’t get over anxious. ( they did anyway… love you guys!….)

During this quiet time, God kept telling me that it wasn’t my choice, there was never a perfect time to have a child, I needed to give up on  ‘the plan’. At first I was hesitant, I’ve always wanted kids but the unknown has always freaked me out a little.What if we have an emergency and a huge NICU bill? What if our house is never cute enough or big enough and I can’t take cute photos of my kids in it? ( yes that was a real worry) What if I literally, never in my life have a body I’m proud of? What if Josh dies and I have to do this alone?

There was no solution to any of these problems, no possible plan I could come up with.

No solution except to be obedient to what God was asking of me. Obedience brings blessing,  disobedience brings discipline. I fully believe this heart and soul.

He was asking me to give up my worries, my stress, and my plan, to him.

I put it off. I put it off a week, and felt absolutely sick about it. Josh and I went over it, prayed over it, and finally decided to follow God’s word.

We were now on the no plan, plan, or God’s plan, plan. It was scary, exciting, and nerve wracking.

It took 5 months. That’s all. I knew in my heart the week before we took a test that it was real. We were both super nervous to see the results. Josh even came home from basketball practice early to get our nerves over with! I videoed the reaction I promise, and did so everyone’s reactions pretty much as we got to tell our families over thanksgiving about the new addition to come June of next year.

Through everything though, it still hasn’t really hit me. I mean sure, I’m super crazy tired, am the pickiest eater ever now, and get a little sick every now and then. Seeing the live ultra sound and hearing the heart beat got me a little closer, but it’s just crazy hard to believe that in about 195 days Josh and I will be parents, and get to be constantly entertained by the amazing blessing God has given us.

I pray almost non stop for a health. Lots of my family has joined that prayer now, so I feel better.

So here we go, trusting God to carry us every step of the way.

Please continue to pray for our little family. Pray for health, financial stability, our relationship when my hormones make me cranky, for us to continue to follow where God leads us, and know when he is speaking.

I am so thankful and in awe of the response of excitement that our announcement produced. We are so fortunate to have such amazing people in our lives who celebrate with us every step of the way.

Love,

The McClennahans

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Photos by Amanda Watson Photography 

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