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  • WELCOME!

    A little about me.....
    * Drew {my husband} first kissed me in 1991, we've been in love ever since.
    * I grew up in a large family, loved it & continued the trend.
    * Shopping is relaxing and therapeutic.
    * Bright colored stripes and the color orange thrill me.
    * I have a weakness for purses & bags of all shapes and sizes.
    * Pretty painted toenails make me happy, the crazier the color the better!
    * I love the tranquility of a clean house, but rarely get to experience that.
    * I successfully quit drinking pop 2 years ago. I never thought that was possible.
    * Photographing people is the best creative outlet I could ever ask for.

Carson: Senior Landmark Christian

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Carson is a rising senior at Landmark Christian School. Her passions include performing on stage, but don’t limit her to just acting. Her skills spread beyond theatrics. Word has it she has some mad hula-hoop skills too! The girl can hola-hoop for a really long time. If she invites you to a hula-hoop competition, you’ve been warned, and you will probably lose.  Another competition to avoid if Carson is involved is “Best Hair.” Her hair is AMAZING. As in, when I get to heaven I will be putting in a request to God for “Carson hair”. In the 80s I tried to perm my locks to reflect Carson’s hair, it did not go so well. However, I do believe we may have a chance of winning hair and hula-hoop competitions against Carson if we can distract her with her favorite food, strawberries & whip cream. She says she loves that combination.  It’s worth a try, I think it’s our only hope!

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July 18, 2017 - 2:58 pm

Molly - These are absolutely gorgeous!!! You’re awesome!

July 19, 2017 - 7:09 pm

Judi gertz - Molly
I’m amazed at your gift! You had a beautiful model, and your photography is incredible!!!!❤️❤️

Less Stuff, More Experiences

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Our family has been on a journey to simplify our life, to live with less and experience more. I talk about it more in depth on my Instagram account: Simply.Anthonys. To give you a brief overview, we downsized our home & got rid of a lot of things we deemed “excess”.  During this process we kept asking ourselves: How much is enough? We discovered that we can live very happily with less clothes, less shoes, less pots, less pans, less towels, less bags. Overall, A LOT LESS STUFF. The whole process has allowed us to make room for more experiences, more family time, more relationship building, more travel and more generosity. We haven’t figured it all out, but I think we are on to something.

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In an effort to invest in memories, we opted to go on a cruise for the kids’ mid-winter break.  We’ve cruised before, in fact it’s one of our favorite ways to vacation.  Reasons being:

  1. In the middle of the ocean it doesn’t allow for easy access to cell towers, which means a week of the being UNPLUGGED!
  2. You have very little decision making to conduct.  All food and activities are already scheduled.  You just have to show up. This worked extra great for our group of 11.
  3. You get a one day taste of several tropical locations, a sampler platter of sorts. Consider it an educated inventory of places you’d like to visit again, perhaps for a longer period at some point.
  4. The unending supply of soft serve ice cream cones!

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*All the images were taken with my iPhone 7+ & edited via phone with the PicTapGo App.

My Forever Friend & Our Accountability Group

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As my kids grow,  I’m always thankful for the friends they meet at a young age and they still have connection with today.  I know in my own life I have a few friends like that and I cherish them.  You know the friends, the ones that shared a bath with you in an adjoining kitchen sink. Or, knew you when you went through your spiked-feathered hair stage & agreed to join you when you wanted to wear matching outfits.  It’s friends like that that are worth holding on to.  One, because they have bribing power and two, because they’ve been friends with you this long surely they are willing to stick it out no matter what!

One of my friends that falls into that category is Christy. We met at church when we were elementary school age. Our mom’s were best friends and so naturally we spent a lot of time together. My mom sewed, therefore we had matching outfits.  Her mom sang, so Christy holds the record as my one and only duet partner when we sang for a nursing home.  As we grew up and changed churches I didn’t get to see Christy as often. However, as adults we reconnected over our love for photography and the beginning of our businesses. It’s a bond that means lots of texting and training workshops, basically any excuse to connect.

During a photography group text Christy asked if anyone would be interested in starting an accountability group.  I immediately thought of all the reasons I couldn’t join that group.  Business to run. Kids to raise. House to clean.  Instead of saying anything, I just ignored the question; the perks of a group text. Then several weeks later I was frustrated with my lack of drive, my inability to prioritize the things that were most important to me and I remembered Christy’s request.  I called her to gather more information about this “accountability group”.

During our quick phone conversation I found out that she had done something like it once before and wanted to try it again.  The concept involved setting goals that fell under certain categories such as family, marriage, and vocation. Then we’d meet weekly over the phone and “check in” to see how we’d done.

Christy has always been my go-getter, driven friend.  Personally I would prefer to sleep in and plan vacations in between naps. I was hoping that through this process some of Christy’s drive would rub off on me. I agreed to sign on.  Apparently I was the only one to take her up on her previous group text offer.  So, we were a party of two.

We set our individual goals, emailed them to each other and agreed to check in the following week.  When a week rolled around we touched base via text and tried to find a time to connect. We quickly found we’d both packed our schedules so full we didn’t have enough time to have a phone conversation long enough to tackle all the categories we’d set goals in.  Other weeks when we did connect we would give each other a lot of grace when we didn’t meet a goal. To sum it up, we weren’t making much headway.  We lasted about a month and then Christmas season  hit and we gave up.

January brings with it a fresh perspective and a natural reset with the new calendar year.  Not to mention, everyone is willing to set goals on January 1! So Christy and I decided to try again. We accessed  why our goal setting hadn’t produced the results we’d hoped. We uncovered a few truths & decided to reset.

1. We needed a few more people in our group.  We were too nice to each other & let one another off the hook when we didn’t hit the marks we’d set out to achieve.

{Group size: 4- 5 max to keep the conference call to a tangible 45 mins conversation}.

2. We needed to preset a day and time that we would meet every week for check ins. Then it would be on the calendar. No excuses.

3. The goals had to be worded in such a way that we could evaluate the success of them week to week.

(“Encourage my husband”  was too vague & needed to look more like, “Say one kind thing each day to Drew, 5x a week”}

We each grabbed another friend & started again.  This time it worked.  We are celebrating one year of goal setting & achieving. I’m proud to say that because of my goals I’ve lost almost 20 pounds, consistently worked out 4x a week {even through the summer}, had a daily devotional time with God before the rest of my family is awake, and read several books to name a few goal related accomplishments.

If you’d like to start an accountability group, I highly recommend it.  Here are a few tips for getting started:

  1. ASK A FEW FRIENDS TO START AN ACCOUNTABILITY GROUP:  More than 1, but no more than 5 {for reasons mentioned above}.  You don’t have to all live in the same state; thank you technology.  It’s great if you don’t all know each other well.  Personally, it helps push me to accomplish my goals when there is at least one person in the group I don’t know really well. I don’t want to look “lazy” in front of them. Where as my close friends already love me lazy or not.
  2. SET A START DAY: We meet for two months, then reset & start back up with new goals {or some of the same.}
  3. SETTLE ON A DAY & TIME TO “MEET” VIA PHONE: Once the day and time is set put it on your calendar.  We found as busy women that a phone call every week was wearing us out.  We opted for mixing phone calls with an email and alternating every other week.
  4. WEEK ONE: Email your goals to everyone in a group email. The following are categories we chose from.  You don’t have to do them all, pick what you most want to be kept accountable for.  In addition, I added a sample of what each category might contain.  They are just ideas to help you understand the categories. They are not intended to become 10 new guilt trips.

Vocational: Arrive 10 minutes early to work 5x a week.

Family/Kids: Spend one on one time with each child once a week.

Spouse: Plan a date night 2x a month with just the two of you.

Spiritual: 5x a week spend 15 minutes in prayer or reading the Bible/Devotional.

Health/Fitness: Workout 4x a week or/& consume X amount of calories a day.

Social: Connect with a friend or acquaintance for lunch 1x this month.

Organizational: Clean out one closet a week.

Personal: Read a book a month.

Social Media: Phone/Computers are off during the evening hours of 5-8pm.

Financial: Only shop at Target 1x a week.

5. MAKE YOUR GOALS VISIBLE: Print them out and read through them first thing each day.  It will keep them fresh in your memory.

6. PLAN AHEAD: Be careful when setting goals that are dependent on other people in order to accomplish them. If you set a goal to meet a friend for lunch and you wait until the day of your 11am check in to ask them out to lunch & they can’t meet you at 9am for lunch, there is no one to blame but yourself.  Plan ahead, people, plan ahead. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.

7.  WEEK TWO: Connect via a conference call.  There are several free options, we use Free Conferencing.  We have tried a few different ways to make the phone call effective & efficient. This is the method we found to best fit that description.  Begin with each person highlighting one accomplishment they are most proud of that week & one goal that didn’t go so well.  One of our group members affectionately termed this process “a win & a clear”. Once that is complete, one at a time, each person goes through all of their categories and says how they did that week. Be careful not to take up more than your share of the 45 minutes.  Sometimes it’s helpful to share using percentages; I came in at 100% with my spiritual goal, but I missed one day at the gym so I have a 75% in fitness.

8.  TWO MONTHS ARE UP, NOW WHAT? Congratulations!! You have a gap week to regroup, evaluate what worked & what you want to change.  The goal is to create habits that will stick.  I’ve set a goal & think it’s a habit only to have to add it back in the next time because I haven’t quite solidified the routine as I’d hoped.  Some goals don’t necessarily need to become habits.  They accomplished what you needed it to in the 2 month timeframe and you are finished with it. You may also take this time to enjoy a nice big cupcake, if you opted out of sweets for the last few months.  However, what I have found most effective is to “try out” a few goals during the interim week. Pay attention to how it makes you feel.  Thinking of adding another day at the gym? Test it out that week.

9. EVALUATE: The gap week is also a time to evaluate if an accountability group is for you.  If you found yourself coming in at a percentage of 50% or below most weeks this may not be for you.  In addition it can affect the rest of the group negatively as well. If I know my goal group tends to come in with “passing percentages” on a weekly basis, I will push myself harder to meet my own goals. However, if I get wind that one of the girls is struggling in several categories that can cause me to give in to my excuses. Peer pressure at its finest.

10. RESTART: Two more months and several new goals.  Maybe even a new person in your group. Begin again. The fresh start always begins with some great momentum, take advantage of it.  Write your goals out.

I’ve always felt like people work best under a deadline & a check in.  I’ve found it true in business, child rearing & personally.  This accountability group has only solidified my feelings about it. If you decide to begin a group I’d love to hear what worked for you and what you altered.

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Kasey

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Kasey is a senior at Trinity Christian School.  When asked about some fun facts he’d be willing to share, he admitted that he has a grandpa back, which I find hard to believe because he plays 3 sports.  I don’t know a lot of grandpas that can maintain that type of regimen in the sports arena.  He says playing sports also allows him to eat a lot of food & still stay in shape.  One of his favorite restaurants is Chic-fil-a.  He admits that he could eat there everyday!

Kasey is a romantic at heart, noted by the fact that he enjoys chick flicks. When he’s not playing sports, eating Chic-fil-a he may be watching a romantic movie with his girlfriend.

When he vacations he prefers to be on the beach with his toes in the sand!  Therefore, his senior session location was perfect for him!

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Becca

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Becca is not just another pretty face, although she is strikingly beautiful!  In addition, she is talented on several levels.  She’s an artist, athlete and philanthropist at heart. Becca attends Landmark Christian School and each year they offer a missions trip for the students.  Becca has gone with them to Kenya the last 3 years. It was during that first trip she fell in love! After high school she plans to pursue more missions travel. Kenya is definitely on the list of post graduation stops.

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Becca’s artistic abilities come in the form of photography. She’s taken summer classes at SCAD to improve her natural talent. Her photography skills will be a huge blessing to the people of Kenya.  No doubt she will have her camera in hand as she travels the world after high school.

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