Enneagram 102 | Dive Deeper!


If you are new to the Enneagram, I highly recommend reading the 101 version of this blog post! Once you have a basic understanding of your number and potential wings, come back here to dive deeper.

Source: The Enneagram Institute

Source: The Enneagram Institute

The 3 Triads

If you notice, the Enneagram symbol has 3 different sections. These are called the Triads. Your Triad tells you what your center of intelligence, or body connection is. Basically, how you see, process and respond to the world. There are three types under each Triad and knowing yours, could help you better understand your tendencies and behaviors. It could also help you understand your loved ones and why they function similarly or different from you.

 Remember, one of the goals of the Enneagram is for us to have more compassion for others. We don’t use this information to excuse poor behavior or vindicate our choices. It’s simply a tool to help us learn more about ourselves and others. You might grow to understand….

  • Why your brother might always seem to pick a fight.

  • Why your bestie stuffs her own feelings, but validates everyone else’s.

  • Why your co-worker appears self absorbed all the time, but you know she’s got more to offer.

one of the goals of the Enneagram is for us to have more compassion for others...

The 3 Triads

Head (fear-based) 5s, 6s, 7s

These types are driven by fear. They tend to think and plan carefully before they act. 

Type 5 - externalize fear by searching for more knowledge: “I need to do more research first.”

Type 6 - internalize fear by considering worse-case scenarios: “I’m not sure this is a good idea.”

Type 7 - forget fear by avoiding and chasing new adventures: “What’s next?!”

Heart (feeling based) 2s, 3s, 4s

These types relate to life from their heart. They are typically more aware of appearances and very image-conscious. 

Type 2 - focus outwardly on the feelings of others: “Let’s talk about you first.”

Type 3 - have trouble recognizing their own and others feelings: “Those aren’t tears, I have allergies.”

Type 4 - concentrate on their own feelings: “I am unique snowflake.”

Gut (anger-based) 8s, 9s, 1s

These types are honest, blunt and direct. They react instinctually or from their gut. 

Type 8 - externalize their anger physically and powerfully: “I’m so mad about this!”

Type 9 - forget or deny anger to avoid pain: “No really, it’s fine.”

Type 1 - internalize or repress their anger: “I’m in control.”

The Enneagram is so much more than just a simple personality test! When we dive deeper, we learn more about our tendencies, core fears and inner narrative. The things we tell ourselves has a strong hold on the lives we lead. If this felt uncomfortable to read, I get it! As a 7, I know that I am skilled at jumping from fun event to fun event to avoid pain and boredom. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s the truth. Knowing is half the battle, right?

I’d love to know how you’re using the Enneagram in your everyday life. Have you shared the quiz with your spouse or family yet? If not, let me encourage you to take that step. I can’t wait to hear about what you learn!



She Speaks Studio Top Takeaways! | Personal

If you ever get the opportunity to invest in a dream that’s so big you-can’t-say-it-aloud-because-OMG-it-is-terrifying….do it. Book the room, pack way too many shoes, board that plane, find a babysitter, leave before dawn…whatever it is you need to do. Make. It. Happen.

Hurricane Florence pushed back the date of the She Speaks Studio to November, and I had been anxiously awaiting it now for months.

She Speaks Studio was put on by Proverbs 31 Ministries, and if you have no idea what this organization is - I suggest you check it out if you’re looking for resources to grow in your faith.

This was the first Studio event and it was organized with instructional time, keynote speakers and hands-on workshop time. I signed up for the writing track and immediately made some amazing new friendships. I love how God cares enough about the details to make sure we were all sitting together at the same table!

Confession: I cried at least 395 times over the span of 1 1/2 days. Here are a few takeaways I never want to forget: 

  • Listening to best-selling author and speaker, Lysa TerKeurst, remind us that God does not want to be explained away, but invited in

  • When author, Suzie Eller said “when we hesitate in our calling, it becomes about us and not about God.”

  • The personal and heartbreaking stories of some of the strongest women I’ve ever met. Getting to hug them and process through some big emotions was an honor.

  • Having a mentor I respect, read my writing, look me in the eye and say “This is really, really good. Go write this.” #totallysobbed

she speaks studio

I am beyond grateful for this experience and I can’t wait to see how God is going to use it!

Curious what I’m doing? 

Join the Limitless Motherhood and come along for the ride!

Check out Instagram for more behind-the-scenes moments!



2017 Summer Reads! | #MomLife | Hampton Roads Family Photographer

If you're new here, you might not yet know what a HUGE bookworm I am. Until my oldest daughter was born, I was a 6th grade English teacher for VB Schools. I loved my job and the angst of 11-year-olds. My favorite part was unlocking meaning and connection from stories. If I could have done that all day, it would have been soul-fulfilling on a deeper level. But, alas, that is not how the life of a teacher really looks.

I'm looking at you SOL's...

This love of books and stories runs deep in my nerdy little soul. My current favorite app (okay, besides Instagram) is GoodReads. Whenever I see a title that catches my eye, I add it to my 'want-to-read' list. Then, when I'm browsing Amazon or the library catalogue, I have all those titles stored. Super helpful! You can read more about the 99 books I read in 2016 HERE!

So far this year, I've been reading a mix of great books! I'll share some favorites:

Everything, Everything - I love the occasional YA romance! As a girl who married her high school sweetheart, it always gets me straight in the feels. #socheesy #butIloveit

Dark Matter - Not one to usually pick up sci-fi, but this was SUCH a page-turner. I could not finish it fast enough. It's long-ish, but totally worth the read!

I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time - Wow, this book was super inspiring and motivating! It's full of the daily schedules from Moms who are rocking it at life! If you're struggling with work/life balance, this is a must read, Momma. 

My Not So Perfect Life - A fun, rompy book for the beach! Very British, so of course I loved it, ha!

James and the Giant Peach - If you're looking for a read-aloud with younger kids, we really enjoyed this one! I managed to find the old claymation movie to watch after too. The girls are obsessed with all the Dahl classics!


Currently, I am reading Longing for Paris: One Woman's Search for Joy, Beauty, and Adventure - Right Where She Is and really enjoying it. It's about how God wants us to use our gifts and desires to live our fullest life - even in the middle of daily monotony.

Plus, it's making me crave croissants! ;) 

Do you have a pile of books on your nightstand?? I can't be alone here. I'd love to hear what you're reading this Summer and loving. Comment here or send me a message! 

Happy Reading! xoxo

2016 Reading Goals Recap | #MomLife

At the beginning of 2016, I set the lofty and seemingly unattainable goal of reading 50 books. You can read about my tips and favorites HERE and HERE!

This is certainly more books than I have ever read in my entire adult life. I was an English major, a teacher, a stay-at-home Mom and now small business owner. My love for reading is deep. I was the kid with the flashlight under the covers and I feel empty without a book to dive into at night.

But there are seasons of busyness or sometimes Netflix wins at the end of a long day. I knew this was something I had to prioritize. And ultimately, I was okay with my kids (who were now a bit older and more independent) seeing their Mom taking time to read more. For this reason, I mostly read traditionally bound books. I found if I was on my Kindle app, the girls might just think I was doing other work or lost on social media. With a book in my hand, they knew Mom was reading and they would inevitably read too or find a (sometimes) quiet game to entertain themselves.

I knew that my goal for 50 books roughly equated to a book a week if I was going to succeed. This seemed like a fast clip, but I decided to include books I read aloud to the girls as well. If it was a longer novel (100-ish pages) or even a cookbook - it was included! I also gave myself permission early on to delete a book if it wasn't grabbing my attention. I never finished a book I didn't love out of the obligation to reach my goal. I would have ended up miserable and resenting the process! If it was left unfinished, I still added the book to the list though. Sometimes I revisited it, but other times I just returned it to the library. I'd say I read at least 3/4 of my list from cover to cover.

Oh yes, I was putting books on hold at the library one after another. I kept a running list of books I wanted to read in my phone and every time something caught my eye I added it. At one point, I had at least 5 books on hold at the library and realized I was never going to read them all before they had to be turned in or renewed. So, I slowed down a tad after that to give myself more breathing room.

Until October/November, I was completely on track to reach the goal of 50 books. But then - BAM- a busy portrait season hit. I was editing and delivering images in most of my open hours. Of course I was so thankful for this, but sometimes other things have to temporarily take the backseat. Plus, I had already read SO many awesome books, I was having a hard time getting into ones I had recently chosen. So a few weeks went by without me really diving into a read. At this point on December 27th I have read 47 books. WOW!! I consider this a victory! Nothing wrong with aiming high for a goal even if you fall short. I'm still so close to the finish line. I think for 2017, I'll keep the same goal of 50 books. It's so motivating to make it daily priority.


Major Take-Aways I Learned...

  1. I can still completely lose myself in books. It's a hobby that I need to maintain, even in busy seasons. It's on the priority list!
  2. Having a trackable goal was really motivating. Watching that number of books grow was exciting and kept me continually looking for more great titles to include.
  3. I prefer to vary what I read. A mix of modern or historical fiction, personal growth/self care, business and mothering books are my favorite. I bounce back and forth.
  4. I can set a big goal and even if I fall short, I still feel like I succeeded.

So if you are looking for some good reads in 2017, here are my Top Five absolute favorites I read in 2016! Please send me new suggestions - I would love to get a new list going for 2017 :)

  • The Nightingale
  • Big Magic
  • Wonder
  • Present Over Perfect
  • The Magnolia Story

Happy Reading!



Summer Bucket List | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

Virginia Beach Family Photographer | #MomLife Series

Today, I have a Kindergarten graduate. How is that even possible?! While my heart may turn into a puddle of mush, I am really looking forward to our Summer together.

When I consider how many Summers I have with my young children before they are grown, I can feel the years passing swiftly. And let's face it, the older they become the busier we may be. So for now, I'm relishing the joys of having a couple of simple months off school with them.

hampton roads family photographer

We sat down and chatted about what big and little things we'd like to do this Summer. Here's our list in no particular order :)

  1. Beach time! As much as we can get.
  2. Bike rides.
  3. Norfolk Botanical Gardens. They have an amazing splash pad and lots of activities for kiddos during the Summer.
  4. YMCA and neighborhood pool. All the swim practice and chlorine we can get!
  5. Playdates with friends.
  6. Library dates. We go weekly and I'm excited about having the girls participate in the Summer Reading Challenge again this year.
  7. Amusement Parks. Ocean Breeze and Busch Gardens if we can swing it.
  8. S'mores. Because... chocolate and marshmallowy graham cracker goodness.
  9. Farmer's Markets. Best time of the year to enjoy fresh produce!
  10. Berry picking. Freeze bags for Winter!
  11. Writing stories and journaling. A great quiet time activity.
  12. Dollar Movie Days! Thank you, Regal :)
  13. Playing with the garden hose, chalk, bubbles and other backyard shenanigans.
  14. Fireworks. I hope my kids can hang this year, we'll see!
  15. Park time. In the morning before the slides are fiery infernos and burning their thighs.
  16. Painting and arts n crafts. My girls love it all, time to stock up at Michael's.
  17. Pajama Days. My girls love this, and I usually get a nap out of it ;)
  18. Spa Days. When I paint 40 fingers and toes and get my hair braided all crazy.
  19. Science experiments. I MUST make a volcano explode. Any tips?
  20. Tent building and backyard camping. We'll see who lasts outside at night, ha!

I think this is a pretty good start! Even if we only get to 1/2 of these activities, I consider that a win :)

What are you plans for the Summer? Any amazing camps or activities your kiddos are signed up for? Happy graduation/promotion week to all the kids!

Be brave, Moms.