We have some BIG NEWS….
THE HOLLS ARE MOVING TO TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA
Okay – I know you are all in shock. Here’s the story of the past couple of months – I’ll try to hit the high points. God has been preparing us for change for quite a while now. We wanted to live here near Jackson, TN and be close to our parents but in the last few years, 3 of our parents have passed away. I’m thankful we still have my mom (I’ll come visit – I promise mom) Ian’s sister lives in Jackson so we’ll visit her too of course! A few months ago, Ian came to me about something that had been on his heart. As you know, Ian and I both run Starla Photography full time. He has seen how many hours I put in – day and night – to keep the business going and how stressful it is supporting our family. Ian would wake up super early and put in his hours too so he could watch Finn while I worked and then we would both photograph seniors and weddings. Lately I’ve been working until 1AM and waking up at 630AM with Finn Danger. We just aren’t making those families memories I’ve dreamed of yet because I’m working soooo much. He brought up the idea of going to work as an art director full time (his degree is in graphic design) and I can pull back on photography and spend more time raising our son. The idea behind this too was so I could go to Missouri for longer stretches and make more memories with my sister, nephews, nieces, and mom. I got excited about doing more things with my sister. So- Ian started looking for jobs. However, there’s no jobs in this area that offered an art director position so he started the resumé and application process online across the country. He got an initial job interview at a company in Tuscaloosa, AL. He then completed the art portion of the interview. On Wednesday, August 3rd, this company did a second phone interview. On Thursday, August 4th, they checked his references then asked him to come down the next day for an in person interview. We all travelled down to Tuscaloosa and on Friday, August 5th he had his in person interview. They loved him (as I knew they would), offered him the job, and invited us to lunch. We took the weekend to pray about the move and the job and would give our answer on Monday. Our weekend did not go like we thought… On Sunday, August 7th, I got the other phone call that would change our lives forever. My sister fell asleep at the wheel and died on impact on her way home from work. It was her daughter’s second birthday and she was only ten minutes from home. My whole life stopped at that phone call. We rushed to Missouri for the worst week of my life. We were supposed to grow old as sisters and make fun of each other’s wrinkles. We were supposed to raise our red headed babies together. How do I make new memories without her? I was planning to drive to Missouri on Tuesday for my mom’s birthday and tell the whole family in person about the job, the move, and being able to plan more things with them. But instead, I’m in Missouri for my sister’s memorial service – it doesn’t seem real. All the while- we still need to make a decision about the job and the move… After months of prayer about the job search – Monday, August 8th, Ian accepted the job. We spent all week in Missouri meeting with a lawyer, social security, human resources, the funeral home, the florist, planning the service, and spending time with family. I just loved on her four babies that she loved more than anything. The week was more horrible than I can say. Shayla’s memorial service was Friday, August 12th. I’m still in shock and I’m not going to talk much about that on this blog. I’m sure I’ll write a really long blog about my sister later – right now, I just can’t. I will say- thank you all so much for your prayers, your love, and your donations. For those of you that have asked, here’s the gofundme account for Shayla’s memorial fund if you’d like to donate CLICK HERE
What a huge life change we’ve had in the past few weeks and will continue to have. God is mighty. God is in control. God is our strength. God is good all the time – in times of sorrow and in times of happiness. We are grieving the loss of my sister on earth. We are rejoicing that she’s reunited with loved ones in heaven and we’ll see her again one day. We are thankful for God’s great plan and for the life He has planned for us. We give all glory to Him alone. And I pray every day that the Lord gives us a peace that passes all understanding. I pray that every one knows the Lord as their Savior and I’ll be more than happy to talk to any of you about God’s saving grace if you have questions. We all have sinned and fall short of God’s perfect standard, but we have a mighty God that sent His Son to die in order to forgive us of those sins. That’s amazing gospel! This link will help explain it much better than I can in a blog post. http://youtu.be/nPIOkdNL- But I digress.
Ian’s first day of work was Monday, August 15th in Tuscaloosa. He has been hired as the Art Director of Events at large marketing firm in Tuscaloosa, AL. I am so proud of my husband. I’m so proud of him for seeing the big picture even when I can’t. Certain phrases are so loud in my head now… like… God must be preparing me for something huge. I had no idea just how huge. I had no intentions of moving in the beginning but God changed my heart and I am ready to support my husband’s career and have more time for our son. Ian has helped build up my career with Starla Photography throughout our entire marriage. Ian has made so many sacrifices and worked along side me while putting his career on hold. Now it’s time for me to support his career goals and step into a new role that God has planned for me. It seems like the worst timing in the world!! It does! But God is in control and it’s His perfect timing. I just have to trust that.
THANK YOU to our clients….
I opened Starla Photography in 2006. I worked a full time job at the Jackson Sun to pay for my bills and then I did photography during my mornings, my lunch break, late evenings, and weekends. I started when digital photography first came out and I had to educate the area about offering digital photography – of course now everyone knows what it is and what to expect. I had zero social life in my young 20’s and worked so hard to support myself. I am so thankful to each client that gave me a chance. Clients that didn’t judge me for shooting in my kitchen or spare bedroom or learning right along side me. Thank you to each bride who trusted me with their wedding and mom with their newborn. Thank you to each senior for being willing to try new things with me. Thank you to my family for understanding when I would say… I can’t… I have a photo shoot. Thank you to this community for supporting me for TEN years!! I love you all. This is a very loving community and I have felt your encouragement over the years professionally and personally. Thank you to my husband for taking Starla Photography to another level with design, logo, website, blog, marketing material, sports banners, second shooting at weddings, and most of all the encouragement to bring it to the level it is today. I couldn’t have done it without you. I am by NO means hanging up my camera. Starla Photography will reopen in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It’s only 3 hours and 45 minutes from our current studio – I’d love to see some of you come down for a weekend for a session. I may even come back up here a few weekends and offer some sessions. My business model will be a little different – but I’ll still be offering sessions. We are finishing out all 2016 weddings. If you’ve booked a senior or newborn session over the next few months, I’ll be sending you emails this week. We are not “bailing on you” or “ditching you” but we will be sending you instructions in your email. Photography is insanely important to me for so many reasons. Mostly, photos are all we have to look back on when we get older and when we lose loved ones. More now than ever – my heart encourages you all to get photos with your family – things can change in the blink of an eye. Thank you all for letting me photograph your families and create those priceless photos that you’ll cling to one day. I look forward to photography in Tuscaloosa.
We will be selling our home (big blue). Our home is in Beech Bluff, TN in Chester County. Our home is beautiful with modern fixtures and clean lines. It is so peaceful and placed out in the country but only 10 minutes from main street in Henderson. It’s at the end of a cul-de-sac and each home is on a 5 acre lot. So there are great neighbors – but not too close. We frequently see deer walk through the yard. We built this home 5 years ago and absolutely love it. It’s 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2100 sq feet with attached garage and paved driveway. It has a 600 sq ft large room (included in the 2100 sq feet i stated). I currently use it as my photography studio. It has the 1/2 bathroom in it. You could use it for anything: entertainment/movie/game room, kids play room, crafting room, mother in law room, home gym, whatever you’d like. It has a brand new pool area with large wood deck, fire pit, grilling area, and storage container. I love the 5 acres of land as well – not wooded but goes to a tree line. If you’d like to buy our home or know someone who would be interested – please message us. Info@starlaphotography.com Photos below.
UPDATE: BIG BLUE SOLD in September. We moved to Tuscaloosa, AL October 1st. Praise the Lord for a fast sale and move.
Watch out Tuscaloosa – here comes THE HOLLS and Starla Photography
Much Love and Roll Tide,
Ian, Starla, Finn Danger