we are the whitmores || nashville, tennessee »

Masthead header

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

whatif

Five years ago today, Brett Whitmore and I packed our belongings, left the first home we lived in together, and started a new adventure to a city we had never heard of.  “Adventure” is the right words for that, huh? It seemed like we, in our flesh, were going blindly – for a job and income. But we knew that we were not actually going blindly. We knew the Lord had plans for us in this, and we were just saying “Yes.”

However, for the first few months, it didn’t feel that way.  It didn’t feel like there was a plan at all, and we immediately started dreaming of the day we could move back to Tennessee.  I remember driving in my car one day and the way that it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was on the highway between exit 10 and 12 in Columbus. “Why are we in Columbus? What is the point? What is meant to happen here? What is the purpose? What is our purpose?”  Those thoughts and those prayers were really just a big part of me, a big part of my heart that was opening, a desire He had placed there that I was starting to uncover.

I don’t even know how to start a post, write a post or finish a post in regards to purpose. It is something big that has been laid on my heart. Even more so, it’s been laid on my heart to help others find their purpose, uncover their dreams, run after their goals.  Did you know they are there?  They are hiding deep within the recesses of your heart. You have a purpose. Quit thinking it has to be something insanely huge and world-changing. World change doesn’t happen through one person and one instance (unless you’re Jesus, in which case, this is irrelevant).  It happens in the dreams you have – big or small or maybe the parts of your personality you may often ignore. We see an example of this in the life of Nehemiah who is called to rebuild a wall – a freaking WALL – in his hometown. Surely that can’t mean a thing, right? There can be no purpose in a wall being built.  But then man named Shallum is introduced in one single verse.  The ladies at She Reads Truth tell this much better than I can…

“Can I tell you a little secret about one of these builders that may shed some light for us? Did you notice Shallum, in verse 15? He’s just one of the dozens listed, but he repaired the wall of the Pool of Shelah. No biggie, right? Well, it is actually a huge deal. It’s one man, sacrificing his time and effort to rebuild his community because of the larger vision at stake. But there’s more to the story there.

In John 9, they’re calling this pool “Siloam,” but don’t be confused – it’s the very same one. This time, we’re there hundreds of years later with Jesus – as He heals a blind man, declaring His divinity in miracle form. Then in Acts 3, in the very same place, Peter heals a man who has never walked. THIS is an important place, right?” [Nehemiah study: day 4]

Shallum was mentioned in one single verse building this one piece of a wall…and many years later it was used to declare Christ’s divinity.  AYKM with this?! That is incredible.  What a wakeup call for us! We need to stop considering our lives unworthy and understand that the “little things” He is asking of us are not little things at all.

Purpose.

Dreams.

Goals.

What are those for you today? What are you hiding in your heart? What have you stuffed in a box? Who are you?

Write it down. Journal the mess out of that. Let Him do the work in you, and grow whatever it is that’s in your heart.