September 29, 2015

How to Wake Up Fast, Alert and Feeling Awesome

This is so simple and exciting, I can't believe you don't hear about this all of the time... Because ever since I've noticed the difference this makes, I am going to be talking about it all of the time. You hear about REM and sleep cycles, in general, but you rarely hear it so simply put or what a huge difference 30 minutes can make. 

It's amazing. 

I discovered this after one night when I had set my alarm for 6:30..... and the next morning, I naturally woke up at 5:30. That's not usually how it works, right? I felt so awake and ready to tackle the day, but the house was quiet and it was so dark out, so "Why get up now?" I thought.... Why not wait until my alarm goes off at 6:30? Another hour of sleep means more rest, right?!!! So I went back to sleep... 6:30 hit, my alarm went crazy, and there was nooo way I was getting out of my bed! I felt even sleepier than I did at 5:30. I kept thinking back to 5:30. I felt so good at 5:30. Why? I'd get up at 5:30 any day feeling that good. I figured there must be a science to this, so I started to research it... and I found out that so many people say it's a night and day difference when they intentionally aim their wake-up-time for the end of their REM:

"Waking up at 8 hours and I'm groggy and grumpy for a good while. 7.5 hours and I wake up fast and alert feeling awesome. It's not an exact science. The main thing is to aim for the REM, hopefully the tail end."

So, I did. I gauged that if I was asleep by 10:00, then I should hit the end of my REM at 5:30. This time, I set my alarm for 5:30, and just like before- I woke up fast, alert and feeling awesome. Keeping a pretty consistent sleep schedule is also key... and eating healthy and exercising and... ;) and you probably won't even need an alarm clock anymore if you get to bed at the right time. If you want more in-depth info, there's a ton online. I'm just giving you the simple overview and this link to calculate what time should help you to wake up fast, alert and feeling awesome.

June 18, 2015

Zephaniah and Heidi | 5.30.2015

You could totally consider Zeph and Heidi's wedding a destination wedding. I didn't even realize that until just now, as I sat here looking at this photo (below) from the top of a mountain in St. Maries, Idaho, hundreds of miles away from my home. I know a lot of other people traveled about as far as I did to this breath-taking venue that had no address. (Which is part of what makes it a destination wedding, right?) The ceremony was so meaningful, and there were generations of love and support present. In the end, everything added up to equal an amazing day, and I felt so, so honored to be there... 

I feel like I could never adequately put my whole trip into a blog post. So many memorable things happened, I met so many wonderful people, and we fit two weeks worth of adventures into one week and it all felt like 2 days... I guess that's what happens when you're having the time of your life!

I just have to interrupt right here with a bunch of photos of Heidi and say what a beautiful, kind, real bride she was. The way she went through the day so peacefully, the smile never leaving her face, and how she loved everyone around her... I really don't even have to explain what I mean, you can see it in every photo:

Even after the wedding, the amazingness continued. Everywhere I went, I was surround by the best of people and scenery... That seems like a reoccurring theme in Idaho, doesn't it?!!! There is so much beauty in the world. So much. I would get excited with every turn in the road. 

My friend Annie's house was our home away from home. More kind people, more hospitality, more good food! 

This is how Saturday morning started. Just getting some branding done really quick before the wedding...! ;)

Wait. I also started receiving mail here. You know you've been gone a long time when you start getting mail from friends back home and packages from Amazon Prime... ;) 

You should also know that behind pretty much every picture, there was my dear friend Annie, standing behind me, sitting next to me, carrying my camera bag, or arranging the bride's train and veil for photos.  We did everything together that week. Now I miss her so much! 

And after a long, hot day of shooting a wedding, we went camping and jumped into the river. (This was a definite highlight of the trip!!)

In the end, I'd say the best part about traveling or photography isn't necessarily the places you've gone, but the people who were with you and the memories you made along the way. As I look back on the drive with my bro, the adventures with Annie, and all of the amazing people I met and photographed, I was never alone- and that is what it's all about. The nearness of God, and being surrounded by all of these wonderful people is what made this trip one of the best weeks of my life...  

It is all a gift from God. 

"So I commend pleasure, for there is nothing good under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry, and this will stand by him in his toils throughout the days of his life which God has given him under the sun." Ecc 8:15