We are moving

God is calling us out upon the water.
We are moving.

Life this summer 2015

Summer started so incredibly slow. What in past years used to be days full of 8am to midnight planned summer camp craziness, with weddings and photo shoots shoved in, were now replaced with days full of watching Netflix and staring at my big belly and swollen feet. ( if anyone would like me to tell you details about the entire seasons of LOST or OITNB let me know)

Then really late in the pregnancy game we got some awful, gut wrenching, life altering news. One of Josh and I’s very best friends and mentors, James, suffered a major stroke at 37 years old, and days later passed away, leaving our dear friends without a husband, or a daddy, or a leader for our home away from home, Central Christian Camp and Make Promises Happen. This camp being the very location and atmosphere Josh and I met and fell in love , got engaged and were married, and have spent countless wonderful days.

We were, and are, devastated, yet still in a zone of not being able to believe it’s actually real.

One week and 20 hours of natural labor and delivery later, we welcomed our beautiful, healthy, 8 pound 13 ounce 21 1/2 inch long, baby boy, Parker Blake McClennahan into the world, June 29th, at 5:05pm.
We are so joyful to be given the responsibility from God to be this precious boy’s parents. I literally had fits of laughter because of the happy hormones surging through me.

The day after Parker was born, the head of the board of directors of camp called Josh and asked him if he would be interested in James’ position as the Executive Director. To be honest after he got off the phone we looked at each other across the bassinet where Parker laid in the hospital… and laughed.
What was going on here?
We were processing death, new life, and now a job opportunity on maybe 40 minutes of sleep. This was crazy town.

If you’ve followed Josh and I’s story through this blog you’ll know that our decisions are very much so decided not on our own accord, but to what prayer and listening to God’s voice tells us.

Proverbs 3:5-6
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.

Matthew 14:24
but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

You can read the post about deciding to start growing our family here.

https://lenaephotography.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/little-one-mcclennahan-the-story-on-how-we-got-here/

There isn’t a doubt in my mind that God intricately plans and protects every detail of all of our lives. I Especially feel this truth when I zoom out and look at the big picture.

We brought our baby boy home. We have started our journey as parents. I am obsessed with our little family and so thankful for our health and all the securities and love we have been given. Every day we have prayed for the direction God would like us to take. When you get an answer from God it isn’t a letter that’s been written and dropped in your mailbox unfortunately. For me, answers from God have always been in the form of how peaceful an option feels after prayer, patience, and most of the time an opportunity to step up to a ‘challenge’ or ‘risk’.

Moving to Guthrie or north Edmond to be closer to our families and friends has always been a dream of ours, so it was hard to see the risk when Josh was first offered the job. But leaving the security of a school teaching job is scary, and not to mention how Josh is going to feel as he drives away leaving those precious boys he has spent three years raising up in the basketball program, and the wonderful friends he’s made. Checotah really took us in with open arms and we will always be thankful for the past three years, the years we learned to be married.

I’ve also run my small business out of Checotah for 3 years wracking up so many travel miles I can’t even laugh about it anymore, but it has still grown and grown.
Josh has spent everyday since Parker’s birth on the phone with at least one of our camp mentors chewing over this decision and the slow process of moving forward.
The patience of both of those things are my patience factors here.

The challenge.
The challenge is the shoes.
Josh wears size 13 shoes, and though his feet might physically bust through James’ shoes, the metaphorical aspect I know scares us both. James spent 25 years of his life dedicated to camp. Josh and I have spent 7. James knew every leaf on the camp property and every penny being spent. Josh was the best at “hide and seek mr banana on camp property” (you had to be there),but the money aspect has never had to be a huge consideration for him.
We loved and respected James so much it has been very hard to understand the need or ability to try and carry on his legacy in such a very tangible way.

But God asked us, so we are saying yes.

We are saying yes to throwing everything from a small house in Checotah that holds a business, a newborn and three years into a uhaul in about a weeks time.
We are saying yes to stepping into a ripped off bandage of hurt and attempting to keep things running to the best of our ability.
We are saying yes to the hundreds of questions we will be asked about why Josh left coaching and teaching to go run a camp. This part is so hard to explain and understand if you’re not a part of our camp family, but we will spend the time trying to explain.
We are saying yes to using all of the support available from our friends and family to make this transition peaceful and smooth for everyone involved.

Your prayers for peace, stability and little to no stress would mean the world to our little family.

We are incredibly humbled by this opportunity. We are excited but aren’t taking the weight of the responsibility lightly.

There is not a doubt in my mind that Josh is the person camp needs right now. Being married to him for three years and together 5, I have seen him take on things with patient dedication and become so versed in each task. His ability to balance and bring logic and peace to his surroundings make his leadership style effective and beneficial for a gentle transition.
There is lots of growing and learning that will be required of him so your support, encouragement, and prayers will be highly needed.

Thank you for reading this post and hopefully it will help you understand our decision. We love you all!

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. (‭Psalm‬ ‭126‬:‭3, 5-6‬ NIV)

Goose Dog turns 5 years old!

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Yep. I’m posting about our dog…. Goose turned 5 today June 2nd 2015, so I figured he needed a little loving before he got a tad demoted this month. haha. poor puppy.

Anyway. 5 years ago, Josh and I were just dating, but I’m pretty sure we knew we were going to be togetha forevah… and what does that mean? That means you get a dog. Or, well, I get a dog while living with my gal roommates, and we call it ours.

This sweet sweet puppy was a fire cracker. You can’t see it in any of these photos, but he had daggers for teeth and being part husky his energy was… well.. RIDICULOUS. We literally had to sit on him to get him to calm down at times so he wouldn’t attack us, he escaped anything we put him in, security fenced backyards, backyards with cement surrounding the bottom of the fence line, fencing with chicken wire (he chewed threw it), and even a kennel… without even opening the little gate… that one is still a mystery. He used to never want to come inside even in crazy snow, unless you bribed him with cheese-itz, and even then could somehow manage to snatch the cheese-it and still remain outside no matter how quick you were.

All that among a million other things( like one time playing a little too rough with a kitten……), he has always been the most handsome boy and has chilled out quiet a bit with his age. haha. He loves his chest being scratched, to sit next to you while you read or work, little kids and babies, running ( I’ve literally never seen him tire out… I really need to get him a sled..), listening to his Dad, playing tag around the house, and hugs.

I’m super proud we have somehow managed to keep him alive and at our house this long even though he was born to adventure. I hope he makes it with us 10 more years and can be Parker’s buddy for a long time.

Thank you anyone who has ever watched/fed/ cleaned up after him when he got sick and we were out of town…./ loved on our Goose!

Yay Goosey boy!

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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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Bed

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.