I literally have been wondering where am I going to go with this blog for LOTL. I have spent many moments sitting here staring at my iPad only to walk away to go do something else. Unlike Jason who has been photographing weddings for 19 years, I am brand new to this wedding industry which for me, it sure is not just an industry. It is an ever-evolving and creative experience- for myself, my husband and family, for our couples, and for this entire farm and venue space. I am no expert in this industry- or at anything really- so what do I even write about for our Lavender Blog? And then I was asked this question not too long ago and it hit me deeply. 

“Where do you start?”

It had been a long day of some setbacks at the farm; we truly believed that we were wrapping up painting, only to realize we needed to do one more coat on the entire interior. Therefore we got home much later than we had hoped; my “plan” had been to get home to see my two littles and to clean the house to prep for pizza night with some neighbors and family. But instead, we rolled in- covered in paint- with 45 minutes to get ready for our night. As you get to know Jason and I, you will understand that for us, this can tend to be our normal.  We were tired emotionally and physically, and yet our life together has always been about creating memories and moments that we will cherish forever with hopes that those who we are with, do so also. 

After literally running around, straightening the kitchen, bringing the firepit and pizza oven out back, cleaning up the yard dog bombs, a quick cleaning swipe of the toilet- yup! I admit it!- and setting up the pizza fixings- don’t worry, I am a big hand washer- I poured a glass and went to rinse off quickly. Jason did the same and then we were all together in my kitchen which happens to be one of my most favorite places to be with my friends and family. My oldest daughter Reese and her boyfriend Kyler even came home from UCF, and my heart was so happy with all of us together.

My neighbors have 3 small children whom I have grown to love. So into the night after making and enjoying pizzas, homemade sourdough chocolate chip cookies- yes! That is a thing and goodness, are they delicious-, roasting s’mores, and kids playing games and running around, my neighbor Janelle turns to ask me for some help. She said that her son Jack made a painting in school, that he is really upset about it because it isn’t finished,  and he doesn’t know how to fix it. It was for his dad and could I help. As an art teacher, there is nothing that I love more than to encourage our little people to live a creative and artsy life. So I got out some paper and colored pencils for their middle daughter and went into my creative space- which is a total disaster at the moment- with Jack. Together we figured out how to find the right paint colors to mix; he fixed his painting and asked if he could use the back of the paint brush to add dots. The answer was of course- the only rules in art making is that there are none. I apologized to him about how messy the room was. He told me that he didn’t mind it, and that he actually loved it because it reminded him of his Great Gram who was an artist who had passed within the last year. His big eyes got bright and he smiled when I asked him if he liked making art, and he said, “Yes, I love to make art.” I told him that from the looks of his piece that he made for his dad and from how well he mixed the colors that he seemed to have a knack for it and that I would love to help him to develop his skills if he wanted. And then I went back out into the kitchen while he stayed in there for a while. He came back over to me and said, “Hey Shelley? Do you have something that you are working on right now?” I showed him a few things that are sort of in transition that are sitting in that room- I mean, I’m a little bit busy in other spaces at the moment so I don’t have much time for making my art. 😉 He looked at the pieces that I showed him and he got super quiet. We stood in that mess of a space and he said…“Where do you start?”

And that was it. It’s where I knew I would start this blog. His question is HUGE and perhaps doesn’t have any clear explanation. When it comes to making art often times, there is no real defining starting point. For me anyway. But as a child- or anyone who is interested in creating artwork- that question needs to have some sort of answer right? I looked at Jack and I said, “That is a magical question. And for me, I don’t truly know. But I do know that I can help you to find the way so that YOU can start.” 

How do we start? When we have a dream or an idea, this question can actually stunt us from even beginning. Every single day is a new beginning and every moment presents a blank canvas for some stroke of paint or mark, but wow, is that blank canvas scary and overwhelming. So much so, that oftentimes we do not start and the canvas remains blank.

 For us, Lavender on the Lake started with Jason dreaming on a napkin after a night of photographing a wedding. Years and years later, it was nudged on a bit more by my question of “What are you waiting for?” Then we got the farm in 2019 and our canvas started to have some marks on it. Or maybe the painting began well before with just the thought of creating this space. It has been far from easy, and we have grown and learned so much throughout our process. Nothing is perfect. I am still learning every single day on how to be and become a flower farmer. I’m learning how to write contracts, how to figure out event insurance, and how to create the flow for onboarding with our couples. (Special thank you to a few of my sweet couples who have been guinea pigs for me!!). Jason sometimes figures out how to do something moments before he begins or in the middle of his process. We can save 40K by hanging our own drop ceiling? He’s on it. Sometimes we have had to white out parts before they even formed into shapes, and there have been major fears and setbacks. But through it all, we begin each day again to create our marks on this canvas.

 We are starting. 

Is there something that you truly want to do? Maybe it’s taking a guitar lesson or starting to run so you can do a half marathon. Maybe it’s a huge life change that you just don’t know how to take the leap away from or into. Whatever YOU need to do, just start. We certainly don’t have all of the paths figured out here at LOTL, but our canvas is continuing to be full of beautiful and wondrous things because we just chose to start.

 After all, we get just one life. Begin. Right now.



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