We almost moved to California!
You read that right we almost moved to California in JUNE!
How about a little life update from this end of the internet world.
Whew where to even begin. I’ve been so fortunate already to see some of my favorite families already this year. More of you I know I will see this fall and I truly CAN NOT WAIT! Fall is my favorite time of the year!! I love getting to see you guys, your kiddos and how much they have grown, with the occasional floof included!
First you should know families are the glue for me. You help me remember to be a mom not a businessperson. You remind me of how important our people are. Ya’ll remind me that every single individual in front of my camera is valued & loved. More than that you give me a big break from the heavy structure of wedding days and the pressure for ALL the perfect pictures in an 8-hour day. You give me time to laugh, to feel joy and above all else you welcome ME into your families but trusting me with your babies.
Words will never, ever express my gratitude for that. Your loyalty over the years has meant the world to me & my family. Thank you is never ever enough.
Bear with me. Today, I’m sharing a bit of a lengthy update. I know many of you have been with me for the long haul of this journey or at least close to it. I believe you all have deserved an explanation about the seemingly CHAOTIC frenzy of my social media posts & emails about “cutting back.” It’s not a requirement to explain, but I WANT to explain.
Post covid & the “let’s get back to work phase” my life got chaotic. Between the stress of wedding reschedules + an already full family calendar + I was ¾ booked for 2021 my life sort of flipped upside down. What no one knew and was also happening in the mix of all of that was Eli (my husband) went back to work. By May of 2021 he was traveling again.
The big change was that he was traveling A LOT! We went from him gone 25% of the month to 75% of the month. I went from someone here to help on the days I had sessions to no one here. I was scrambling finding a babysitter, wearing out our friends, having my parents use PTO to come be with her. There were several times in 2021 + the start of 2022 we were swapping Adelaide at the airport. One of us catching a flight, while the other parent was taking off. We were meeting halfway between sessions just to get there on time.
All this to say the last two years emotionally and mentally wore down on all of us. I made the decision in 2022 to cut back to sacrifice for some stability in our lives. Hence the first announcement that summer about not taking more sessions and my delay in eventually reopening the remaining mini session dates.
Now we arrive at December 2022. Eli was sent to Bulgaria at the start of the month for a project that HAD to be completed and ready to be in Las Vegas for a big tech conference right after New Years. This project was so behind he ended up there for THREE WEEKS. We missed all our Christmas plans, all our Christmas traditions and he barely made it home in time for Christmas arriving back the evening of December 23rd. It was over the holiday break we decided enough was enough. We needed some foundational life changes on ALL sides moving forward.
In March 2023 I announced that I was closing my books for bookings. I had a ton of email responses saying “we hope you’re not quitting” and “we respect this decision” etc. What you didn’t know…. I was crying on the other side. That change we had committed to was leading to a new job for Eli and a big huge move to SAN FRANCISCO!!!!!!! Things were going to move some what fast. He interviewed from March until May. Got the official we want to hire you call while we were in Paris. We came home and started clearing out our house and packing because a move would be happening at the end of JUNE! The initial job posting required a full relocation to California.
I was a wreck. Excited about an adventure, y’all know I have wanderlust so bad, but more than that I thought it would be a fresh start for us. It also meant so much stress for me traveling & fulfilling wedding/family session commitments here if everything fell in to place with the move. It meant sacrificing missing Adelaide’s first days at a new school to be in Michigan to fulfill commitments.
The good news is you now know we didn’t almost move to California. We are still here. The company gave him the option to stay in Michigan and be fully remote. He now travels quarterly to the main office in California. He occasionally heads to GM in Warren for meetings or a quiet space to work when we are all home over a break. Otherwise, we are all home together, I have a bit more control over my own day-to-day again. I can commit to projects without the worry and anxiety of having to cancel, decommit or reschedule sessions.
I’m excited to start next year fresh again. I have time to finally commit to sending CHRISTMAS CARDS and snail mail WHICH I LOVE and have been so sad not to have time to send. I will for sure in 2024 be able to host my customer appreciation minis in person, the easter egg hunt & I’m hoping a cookie exchange in December. Things I have wanted to do again for a while.
I am so blessed to know you & have you in my life.
If I have gotten to see you this year already LOVE YOU! If I get to see you soon, I can’t wait to hug your neck! And if I will miss you this year… I HOPE TO SEE YOU IN 2024!!!!
Sending you all my love with an open heart!
Ashley + the whole Auger family!
P.S. if you haven’t booked a family session this year I am STILL BOOKING! Be sure to visit the website pricing page here! Also don’t forget to follow along on the Instagram Page here and the Facebook Page here!