On January 1, some time after 6pm…I officially logged off of Instagram and Facebook for a period of time that wasn’t pre-determined. My first goal was a week, then it turned into TWO…then…THREE?! I mean…for a girl that hasn’t been off social media for more than a few days in seven years, this was quite the feat.

This was one of the most life-changing experiences I’ve had, ever. What you can learn about yourself when you’re not busy sharing AND/OR soaking in learning about other people’s days, lives, purchases, trends, blog posts, business decisions, whatever…is far more than you realize it will be initially..because you have to learn to stop drowning a stillness you have available with noiseThe good old days. It felt like the good old days.

It’s just massive to hop onto one app and find out in 5 minutes what 30, 40, 50 people have done that day or recently. It’s info overload, it really is. And we’re not really built for that…but we’re all trying to adapt to it. And that makes us feel busier than we actually are…trying to soak in all that info. Remember growing up in the 80’s and 90’s when you had to go to school, or make a phone call or walk around the neighborhood to find out when someone had a baby or find out where this person got into college or when someone was moving to another state? Now we can know this kind of information about hundreds of people a week. That is TOUGH to keep up with.

And after seven years, that made me feel very tired.

But it’s not all bad. Actually…I’ve met some of my best friends through social media and I consider it a huge gift when I get to log on, head to their account & catch up on the latest pictures they’ve posted. Then sometimes, I like to head to the accounts of people who have inspired me who I may not know in person but our souls are aligned with the same interests, life views, hobbies, etc. You know the people that you follow because they inspire you to have a better life? Maybe for you it’s to live more simply, give more of your heart to God, save money with Dave Ramsey, to go on a mission trip, to get involved with a charity. To be kinder. To pursue more education. To start that business you’ve been putting off. To start that family you’ve been putting off. To move to somewhere you love. Whatever it is…as long as you’re filling your soul with GOODNESS, and not stress…I think it’s okay to spend limited but intentional time there. Limited but intentional time. 

So what did I learn?

I learned that my soul is just not built for daily social media use. I’m just really not built to soak that much info in about others daily when I’m eager and inspired to live my own life simply and peacefully. So, I won’t be on there daily anymore…but that’s okay! I am SO happy to have a plan in place, I thrive from planning and structure.

For me, taking in so much daily is so loud. The only LOUDNESS I love is when the ocean roars on a warm windy day or my girls are getting wild in our little salt box cottage. Being on social media doesn’t make me a better mom, friend, wife…it just helps me to keep tabs on a lot of people all at once and then for some reason, it causes me a lot of overwhelm. I know this is true because I didn’t want to log back on today. I loved not clicking a red button with a white number in it and instead waking up every day knowing I was going to do life things that fill me up like sit in the windowsill with Cammy at 5:30am, while we journal together…or read my fourth book in weeks, or soak in times like when Autumn sat in the window with me at 6am and told the moon I was her best friend and her masterpiece.

My soul knows I have a calling to share our story though…because when someone shares their story, they impact people in a way that is authentic and meaningful and inspires others to take action:

We’re the people that moved our life into a Uhaul and gave our daughters more stars in the night sky.
We’re salt air inspired people who happily cram into a little salt box cottage on the water.
I’m a survivor of many traumatic things I have been vulnerable and brave to share about.
I am a hopeless Nicholas Sparks, marsh grass, Dawson’s Creek and book obsessed nerd.
We all lived through a horrible car accident less than a year ago.
I started a business and family at the same time.
We love our simpler life here, and we love having more money and less weight through Dave Ramsey.
I’m meant to share about losing a sibling to a drug overdose and what it’s like to be the daughter of an alcoholic and how both of those subjects are painfully dripping into my life in unexpected places sometimes, and how I’m working SO hard to battle that daily.
And how amazing therapy is and has been for me to deal with these kind of issues.
I’m a short, flawed, inspired, cheerful mother of three and wife to my best friend who is determined to stay thankful for God’s grace through all of my mistakes and continue to make the best of life.

I am loved, I am worthy, I am saved.

So are you.

So I’ll keep showing up. Smiling, crying, winning, losing. Then winning again, and failing again. I’ll show up but at my own pace. I’ll give when it feels natural to and not because I have to. I’ll give myself space & margin to create content that feels valuable because making an impact and inspiring others is so important to me because I know what it feels like to be inspired and make huge, or small, life changes because of that…thank you Katelyn James, Ashley LeMieux, Jenna Kutcher, Lara Casey, Jasmine Star, Brené Brown, Steven Furtick, Lysa TerKeurst, Nicholas Sparks, Shauna Niequist, Joanna Gaines. And so many more.

(I think if you don’t experience overwhelm from social media but are looking to lessen your use a little bit, you will LOVE our free download on phone use HERE from our website, in the Five Waves Shop!)

What will you find when we show up? What you always have. And you’ll know things you’ve always known, but just in case you’re new here…

Things we are not: 
Rich
Stylish, lol
Cool 

Trendy 
Perfect 
Wanderlusters (Is that a word? We kinda just wanna stay home ALL the time🙂)

Things we are:
Obsessed parents
Homebodies
Salt air breathers
Extremely weird
In the arena, and we don’t listen to the cheap seats (Brene Brown)

Flawed and determined to learn from all the mistakes made
Inspirational by default of how we live 

January was magical for me. For us. It taught me a lot about truly simplifying and that you can’t just lessen your physical belongings and say you have a simpler life. Other things need to lessen, too. We were snowed in..and then snowed in again. We lost power and had to huddle together tightly under was felt like 100 blankets. We had sleepovers, we laughed til we cried a lot and we made crafts upon crafts upon crafts. Cammy’s art was in her FIRST art show…and we all made a huge deal about it and hilariously, the inspiring piece on display of hers was “a germ”. We prayed well and we broke up sister fights and we all made up and then fought again. We saw our friends Misty, Chris, Piper and Wrenny in VA beach and I got to be present for the baby shower of a sweet friend, Annamarie, in Richmond surrounded by women who have prayed for me and supported me at my worst over the past couple of years. We brought icicles into the house for fun. We went to the beach. Sunny got stressed out about seagulls out the window as usual. We got Front Porch Cafe as usual. We sat in the windowsill a lot. We colored, colored and colored some more.

It was the best way I could have possibly started 2018.

Sending you much love from the Outer Banks, friends. We would love to have you on our Five Waves Newsletter list (for Outer Banks and beach lovers) and/or our Salt Air Entrepreneur Newsletter list (for those trying to find all the ways to make life and work/business easier) so we can continue sharing all the best things we can with you.

xoxo,

Want to keep up with an Outer Banks mama of three sweet (and oh so wild!) little girls shooting weddings & small business photography while making time for the things that matter most? Click on the links below and let’s connect!
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Posted by:amandahedgepeth

Hey there! We're a husband and wife team who has the honor to document inspiring wedding days for the most cheerful couples around. We have three daughters lovingly referred to as the mermaid mafia and we love nothing more than salty beach days, laughing as much as possible and living the simple, good life.

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