we are the whitmores || nashville, tennessee »

Masthead header

“I’m not good at before + after pictures.” That’s what I told my husband this morning when I sent him the following transformation image.

transform

Here’s what I saw in these pictures:

  • I am not good enough because there is no change here.
  • You can’t see my muscles when I don’t flex, and that’s just ridiculous.
  • The shirt looks a little loose, but it’s probably just a fluke.
  • I should see a bigger difference in 5 months.

 

(ETA: why do we say these things to ourselves, ladies? If I said them to one of my friends, she would punch me in the throat and run away forever.)

I texted those things to my husband, who – I’m sure! – was thrilled to be receiving them while he is hard at work. Nevertheless, he took a few quick seconds to message me back. He immediately sent me an encouraging “duh, there’s change” kind of text….and that’s all it took for me to fall madly in love with my husband again today and look at everything differently.

 

So then I saw that there is change. They may look slight here, but I know that they matter.

The biggest thing Brett’s text helped me remember? Two days after the mid-May picture, I suffered a very unexpected setback that required I stay out of the gym for two weeks. In fact, it required that I stay away from exercise altogether. (That setback was completely out of my control and an external factor unrelated to weightlifting and nutrition).  But pure fear turned two weeks into two months. I refused to go to the gym, use workout dvds or even so much as do a sit-up. Walking up three flights of stairs to our apartment was enough exercise for this girl!

But when I decided fear couldn’t control my life, I also knew that my body deserved more. By that time, I hadn’t given it what it needed for a full two months and had somewhat regressed in the nutrition + health arena. What I had gained though was a renewed spirit and a changed heart.

That is life though, right? We encounter unexpected circumstances, we let fear win, and then we come out it knowing how to be even better.

So really this transformation says A LOT more than just visual differences. Between the two, there is a changed person - a happier heart, a more joyful spirit and a stronger lady. There is a man that isn’t shown here who was created in the image of God and uses it as a husband…to encourage, to affirm worthiness, to help me see how I am also created in the image of God.

It’s not about the list above that details all of the changes. It’s about being confident enough to make the list. It’s about being sure that even the slightest changes are progress, that they are for ME and no one else, and that they are REAL.
But also that it doesn’t matter because I am still so very loved by a God whose grace I do not deserve.

And all of that? I will take it any day over “being great at before + after pictures.”

At least I didn’t manipulate them with Photoshop and call it a day, right?;)

 

 

 

 

Every time I put together a new video and prepare to post it here, I struggle with the words. I’m almost positive that I say that each time, too. Honestly though, how do you really put something like this into words? Watching a friend meet her baby girl for the first time…almost speechless, y’all.

What I can say is that the music that goes with each birth is incredibly important to me. The entire video is meant to tell a story, and each piece of it must fit perfectly together – music included. I had listened to One Republic’s “I Lived” several times before October 2. I loved the lyrics and what they could stand for for each of us. However, after leaving the hospital following Ella’s birth, I played the song again and this time? Sobbing mess. So much so that I probably should’ve pulled the car over for the safety of myself and everyone around me. I knew this was it. It was not the country song that I thought would end up in Ella’s birth video, but the words…they are the words every parents hopes for their babies. I couldn’t not make that a part of the Kennamer family’s story.

I’ll stop writing…I can never do this justice with my words alone. You can just see the joy in Stacy & Brett for yourself.

I did it all
I owned every second
that this world could give
I saw so many places
the things that I did
With every broken bone
I swear I lived

 

 

(If you would like to view this video full-screen, I recommend accessing the video via youtube for the best resolution.)

Want to see more videos like this? Don’t you worry…I’ve got a slew of them HERE. (Maybe grab more tissues before you click over!)

andybernard

 

We just wrapped up watching The Office all the way through for about the 154th time. (The only other show we’ve watched more is FRIENDS and that tally is at least 216 times.) During the last few episodes of The Office, I’m always a sobbing mess. I can’t even tell you how many times Brett looks over at me just to see if happy-sad tears are rolling down my cheeks (the discussion about why he feels the need to look at me every time I’m crying also happens each time…”just leave me alone while I’m crying, dangit!” But I digress).

I’m consistently intrigued by great writing. I would prefer a writer who is daring and controversial over a totally predictable ending. For example, I loved the endings of How I Met Your Mother and Inception. So watching the ending of The Office is always a joy…those writers took a 9 year show centered around a comedic tone and made it even more worth the many hours we have spent watching it.

The last episode includes the cast making statements about why the nine years mattered. Andy Bernard says, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good ole days before you’ve left them.”

And that pulls me right in every time.
In fact, it’s part of what I feel called to. What I believe each of us are called to but often miss.

Though I fail often, I feel that I’m meant to live every day finding the good in ordinary things. Working to be MORE? Yes. But also working to be happy with wherever I am? VERY YES.

So often we, in our flesh, are looking to the next big thing. When we get there, we realize how great the previous season was….while still looking to the next big thing.

How do we know we’re in the good ole days while we’re in them then?  How do we know that we’re in a great season before it passes? Below are a few ways that finding joy daily has become easier and easier.

1) Read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She writes in metaphors…lots of them. Don’t expect it to be an easy read, but expect it to be a good one. A heart-filling one. And then start your own list of One Thousand Gifts. My list currently includes “unexpected cool air in the middle of summer,” “a marked-up Bible,” “freckles on a husband’s shoulders,” and “unmade beds.” (Purchase here!)

2) Put down your phone for a given period of time, and do it frequently. The first few times I did this, I may or may not have been twitching the entire time. However, when I finally picked it up after the given period of time and saw that I missed NOTHING that couldn’t wait, it made me feel a little more free. It’s not so much about a “get the phone out of your face” idea but more about the “spend some time alone and just breathe because you can” idea. It makes you notice small things that you wouldn’t otherwise.

3)  Often ask yourself “What is happening in my life right now?” This one takes lots of practice and lots of intentionality. For me it works best when I’m overwhelmed, thinking about future things or worrying. When I ask myself this question, it makes me stop and just BE. To notice every little thing around me. And then I scribble it all down on my list of One Thousand Gifts.;)

 

It’s so easy to look at others’ lives and wondering how they find joy…instead take time just to be alone for a few minutes today. Just a few. You can work that into your schedule, right?

 

 

 

In case you haven’t noticed, this blog is officially wearethewhitmores.com instead of katewhitmore.com. Pretty fun, right? That change is also the reason the site has been down for a few weeks, but I am happy to say that everything is back up and running properly. In celebration, a new post! For those who always wonder how mini-sessions work, this is it. Even with three kiddos, you can have lots of great images within a very short time span…the key? Just be prepared. The Collins’ were ready to go for this session so when they jumped out of their car, we could dive right into the best light ever! (I mean, really, Smyrna? Thanks for this!) And if I dare say so, I personally believe super short sessions (or really long ones to work in time to play, not shoot) are better for kiddos. The photographer typically only gets about 15-25 minutes of their attention anyway so this mini-session allowed us to take FULL advantage of it! Seriously….20 minutes here, you guys.  And look how precious they are! Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1001 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1002
Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1004 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1005 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1006 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1007 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1008 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1009 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1010 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1011 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1012 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1013 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1014 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1015 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1016 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1017 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1018 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1019 Collins-Smyrna-Tennessee-Travis-Ryan-Lifepoint-Church-Family-1020

new copy

It’s  been awhile since Brett and I had a serious honest-to-goodness competitive 24 Day Challenge.  The last couple of times we’ve done it, we’ve done it different months (not easy!) so this time, we’ve got our game faces on. Our bodies are in dire need of a good scrub, especially before the holidays start, and we’re excited to get another boost of energy.  Just for fun tonight, we took some pictures outside to help invite our friends to join us.  We already have quite the crew of current distributors starting with us next week so we figured we would open it up to our other friends who have been wanting to start and want lots of accountability!  We spent a good 25 minutes outside working on these images (dedication right there, y’all!) so we, of course, ended up with some “outtakes.” Enjoy!

28.AdvoCare-1003 28.AdvoCare-1004 28.AdvoCare-1005 28.AdvoCare-1006 28.AdvoCare-1007 28.AdvoCare-1008