The One Who Gets It

When ABS-CBN asked me to write a book, I had a hundred different feelings at once. I called my best friend Cindy to help me try to make sense of what I was actually feeling. I told her I wasn’t confident about writing a book at all, but she assured me that if they don’t sell, we will give them away at every possible occasion until we finish giving away all the copies.

Don’t we all need a best friend who will support us like that?

As I am writing this, the first print run is almost sold out. (Thank you God and thanks to all of you who already bought your copy!)

My husband played a major role in helping me sort out my thoughts and feelings. He encouraged me to not think about the technicalities in writing the book. Since it is the first time I am doing it, I really had no idea how to begin. Just write from the heart, he said.

Writing from the heart has always been a therapeutic process, as I get to see my ideas and emotions sorted out on screen or on paper. But it could be really challenging too. I needed to condense a lot of stories within a set number of pages. I am thankful to ABS-CBN Books for allowing me to write at my own pace until I got it right.  

I am deeply humbled with all the feedback I receive ever since the first copy of the book went out of our doorstep.

Yesterday, I received my first full-blown book review. I was scared to open the document at first. My mind is set to accept the negative feedback, because I know that it’s a great way to help me improve.

I’ve always wanted to reach out to more people, to share my advocacy of organizing and homemaking not only to married couples and to parents, but to homemakers of all ages. God answered this prayer through giving me this beautiful opportunity to write a book.

God’s timing is always perfect. Through this book review, I understood all the more that He gives every opportunity at the right time – when you, and the people around you, are most ready for it.

—–

One Wednesday evening, after a hard day’s work, something precious was delivered by a kind Angkas driver. I was very happy to finally hold a copy of Ms. Issa Reyes’ Neat Obsessions book. I first heard of Neat Obsessions and Ms. Issa from my best friend. From her happy stories, I wanted to find out how the magic works. So, I followed Neat Obsessions on Instagram and to my surprise, found heaven on earth.

The Neat Obsessions book by Ms. Issa Guico Reyes has been a pleasure to read, and I think it has been released at just the right time. Seemingly, we are living in a time where reality is stranger than fiction. The global pandemic has caused great disorder in all our lives. Many of us have lost touch with the people we have in our lives, both literally and figuratively. This book helps us to restore the homes we have in our own terms guided with concepts and values of practical organization. Through the unassuming personal accounts of the author, we get a glimpse of the humble beginnings of the woman behind Neat Obsessions and what has driven her to build a movement that is tailored for the Filipino homes.

The different principles embedded in the book enlighten the readers to embrace homemaking – a concept that must be revived whichever phase of life you are in. From the manner of narration to the actual technique, the readers are led in a homeward direction.

Allow me to indulge you with the meaningful elements a reader will greatly appreciate from the Neat Obsessions book:

  1. Valuing the families we are born into and the families we make

As a reader, I felt how much love there is in this book. The author opens her life to other people and shares a big part of who she is. She is selfless and very much grateful for the people around her who have taught and given her different ideas that not only left an impact in the business that she is running, but in the life that she is leading.

2. Significant memories that last a lifetime

Many would consider that the best gifts they received are the luxurious material things they inherit. Contrary to this, the author shared with simplicity and honesty how her parents had given her memories that led to her realizations of the most significant qualities a person should know to cope with the messy world. The genesis of what has become her is the unconscious reception of the values of neatness and order instilled within the family under her father’s strict eye; incorporated with the wonderful nurturing memories she has learned from her mother, the author has weaved her stories of how she has developed the passion for homemaking.

3. Respect for everything and everyone

The very act of organizing itself, which the author advocates for, is a form of respect to oneself – by way of honoring and taking care of the things one possesses whichever space is occupied. Her localized system of professional organizing made friendly and more contextualized to the Philippines pay respect to the different culture and perception of Filipino homemakers. There is recognition and regard to the different walks of life as she asserts that there are no requirements in qualifying to be a homemaker, and that cleanliness is a universal language. Another form of this demonstrated love is her account of their young daughter’s precious toys where there is a resonating importance of respecting space. This is ultimately reflected with the relationships she has built with her clients. This book is homage for all the valuable lessons she gained from others.

4. Advocacy to genuinely help others

The author shares her realization and impressively enumerates the numerous ways one can apply the Homeward Technique especially by those who are most hesitant. She poses all these in the form of a challenge, rather than an outright excuse, which helps the reader understand that this state of mind is a matter of choice and willingness. She acknowledges each one and educates her readers that it is never impossible to try and live more efficiently. Simple and practical solutions are offered to help and guide those who are in the similar boat. This interesting part of the book is an acknowledgment of the different shapes of the homes we have in real life. As a reader, I felt a sense of encouragement as the author paints pictures of the inclusivity of homemaking.  She walked us through different types of homes with personal concerns such as oversentimentality over possessions,lack of space, lack of time, lack of help, claims of innateness of being burara, and hoarding. These issues were processed well to give readers a different perspective over the things they have control of. The book does not impose, but rather, unburdens by giving options carefully suggested out of care and concern for the welfare of others’ homes.

5. Living with a clear direction

Eventually, the readers are redirected back to the home – the center of it all, where the heart is. The narration of the stories woven together is faithful to the technique embodied by Neat Obsessions where everything is, where everything starts, where everyone returns to – homeward. This book is a reminder of a journey everyone may venture without leaving to go to other places. This book helps you to find your happiness right exactly where you are and helps you accept what you already have. 

After having read the book, I lied down, closed my eyes and thought of everything I am grateful for. I have personally recounted my own memories of where my heart is. I started to have plans on my head about how I can do this and do that. I grabbed a pen the day after and started writing. I started to remember what I have, what I need and what I must accept.

During this time, many feel trapped or limited because of the call of the pressing health crisis. I have realized that everything is a matter of mind setting, and we must change our views about our current state.  We must even more protect our homes to become safer for our families. We are all responsible for the homes that we have. It is a good time, no matter what type of home we live in, to recognize and to be grateful that we have a home to start with.

It is admirable to see many people try to beautify, to organize and to reorder their stuff at home. However, we should be reminded that cleaning, organizing, and homemaking are not a matter of temporary purification, elimination and acquisition, but a continuous process of enrichment and acceptance of what we already have.

Thank you, Ms. Issa Reyes, for sharing your home.

I hope we find genuine happiness in our homes, too. 😊

Bianca Camille L. Guese, Subject Area Coordinator, English Department, Elizabeth Seton School Las Piñas | MaEd Literature, Philippine Normal University

—–

Bianca, what you gave me is a gift. You brought me back to WHY I have this book: what the purpose is behind the sleepless nights and why it took me a year to produce it. You became the voice of homemakers, and I will always be grateful for you and the Neat community – THE ONE WHO GETS IT.

Thank you Bianca for knowing what’s in my heart. You and the Neat Obsessions’ community are the reasons why I am grateful today.

God bless you! ♥️

Introducing: The Neat Obsessions Book

Dear You,

Hello! How have you been? I hope that you are well and good. Safe from any harm and always strong in facing all the challenges that a lot of us are having right now. I want to share with you one thing that has been very close to my heart for the past few months. Many of you know that I have been a private person most of my life, then I found my passion. It started from being a mom, to becoming “obsessed” with being neat and orderly at home, to finally sharing special moments with people that I discover along this journey. The journey apparently is not to be the best organizer in this planet, this journey is about happiness. I want to share with you my first book –

Introducing: The Neat Obsessions Book

The Value of Waiting

July has ended, which means another chapter closed.

Today, please allow me to indulge in a little recollection of the month that was and in bits of happy updates!  

A quick summary of my July 2020 goes like this:

Layouting the Neat Obsessions book

I remember the days leading to Metro Manila turning from MECQ (Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine) to GCQ (General Community Quarantine). I couldn’t wait for the ever passionate team from ABS-CBN Publishing that I work with to come here at home to have the last leg of the photoshoot! Oh to be allowed to receive guests again after a long time! As soon as all the photos in our checklist were completed, I was shown the initial layout of the book a few days after! I was so thrilled to see it finally come together, and I must say – it does take a village to publish a book!

The Value of Waiting

Meeting Marie Kondo

We are sentimental beings.

I bet that some of you still have your very first blanket, very first toy, or maybe your or your child’s very first dislodged tooth. If ever you have given them away or thrown them out, I am pretty sure that the experience was not easy. But there are some things that you can never be able to give or throw away, like memories.

Meeting Marie Kondo

Teaching through Listening

I started driving when I was 16. Learning how to drive at that age is empowering. It’s a different kind of feeling to be behind the steering wheel, to be in control of something, in the midst of everything else in the world being overwhelming and uncontrollable. 

Last week, @kimilulifecoach and I held an “Organize Your Feelings” talk through Instagram Live that ran for a little over an hour. Kimi and I shared so much laughter (and selfie poses!) in this talk, while also introducing and sharing with our viewers our very own practices and love for essential oils.

Before the talk ended, Kimi sponsored a giveaway that asked viewers to simply share in their IG stories their takeaway from our talk.

The moment we said goodbye to our viewers, the IG stories started to come in.

You can’t learn how to drive if you don’t know how to focus. This is one of the most important things I kept in mind as I learned how to drive.  

When a driver loses his focus, he endangers not only his own life and his own passengers, but also other people on the road. So whenever I am on the driver’s seat and I hold the steering wheel, I automatically drop whatever bothers my mind and focus on the task at hand.

After the IG Live I did with Kimi, I realized that holding the steering wheel is pretty much like speaking in a conference or facilitating a talk on Instagram Live. You get to control what happens in the time you are allotted to speak. You focus – or else, you just go in circles, and you waste everybody’s time.

In all my talks, I make sure to focus on the three steps that we at Neat Obsessions have been practicing for more than two years now. I am just so blessed that in this particular talk on IG Live with Kimi, I felt like my Sorting-Decluttering-Rehoming steps took in another flavour as Kimi integrated her practices in each step, helping us come up with a one-of-a-kind talk/workshop.

One of the things I really appreciate about our participants is that they dropped everything to listen to us. We may have been used to sharing these practices in our talks, whether face-to-face or virtual, but through the IG stories that served as feedback, they told us that they still picked up a thing or two from what we shared.

Learning only takes place where there is listening. They learned because they listened.

Learning does not occur in an environment where people speak at the same time. It’s like being on the road, following the traffic lights. If all drivers go at the same time, they all get stuck. Worse, they might even meet an accident. The opposite is also true: if all drivers stop at the same time, nobody moves. They get stuck and will not go anywhere. What really works is the proper flow of stop and go.

As a homemaker whose advocacy is to share the system that works for me so that homemakers eventually find a system that works for them, I am very humbled to see the impact that one hour had to many homemakers, and this was only possible because they allowed us to “go” – to make us part of their day by allotting time to listen to us.

And when the time came that we had to stop, they went through their feedback. With it, one learning cycle was completed.

I have always been grateful to be part of a community where members are not holding back information from one another. It’s just a generous flow of learning, a systematic stop and go.

Just when our viewers thought they were the only ones who learned from the IG live, this is my takeaway: listening is an important part of learning both for the teacher and the student, the speaker and the audience, the driver and the passenger.

I will never have learned how to drive if I hadn’t listened at some point. Back when I was 16, learning how to drive was not just empowering; it was also the “it” and “cool.” When I got married, I learned how driving is such an important life skill, most especially in emergency situations.

When we listen, we’re more than just it and cool. We take in wisdom that will lead us to take control.

I am always ready to listen to your everyday challenges in homemaking, so in turn, I can empower you to take the steering wheel and become a homemaker who’s in control of your home and your life.   

Why Mother’s Day is Special

My mom and my mother in law have their own ways of keeping a home together. Many of the things I know about motherhood are things I observed from how they are as a mom and a homemaker. Their collective wisdom has saved me from a lot of stress and headaches, and I guess I will never be too old to listen to their pieces of advice. 

I’ve been a mother for 9 years now, but I know there is still a lot to learn about motherhood. I don’t think there will ever be a morning in my life when I’ll wake up and think I already figured out everything about being a mom.

However, this will not stop me to seek ways to improve myself as a mother, because I am never a mother to myself; I am a mother to my children. Times are changing and their welfare is always on the line, and I have to make sure I am prepared to be the mother they will need at a specific point in their life.

They say a mother is a child’s first teacher, but children are capable of teaching their mothers a lesson, too.

Today, as we celebrate Mother’s Day, I wish to honor my children, the reasons why I strive to be better, and the reasons why I am called a mother.

Sabina, 3yo

Of the three, our youngest Sabina is the most strong willed.  

Today, I honor Sabina’s firmness.

I asked her the other day if she wants to eat hotdog. She said, “No Mommy, I want egg.” While my other two children have more submissive personalities to eat what I offer, Sabina would speak up about her preference.

As mothers, we may think that we know better than our children because we are older. Sabina taught me that it is not always be the case. I learned from her that I should also learn to listen to them, and to respect the things that they voice out. They may all be reared by the same set of parents, but they are individuals, with their own likes and dislikes.   

Of course, this doesn’t mean that I will give in to what they want all the time. As their mother, it is part of my job to make them understand why sometimes, they are allowed to do what they want.

Sabina is my everyday reminder that my children may have little voices, but they have their own mind.

Stella, 7yo

Stella, our middle child, is our moral compass.

Today, I honor Stella’s consistency.

A mother is known to guide and remind. In our home, Stella does this job so well that even her dad and I are on the receiving end of her reminders.

If there is one voice in the house that will constantly and tirelessly remind me to close the door and turn the lights off, it’s Stella’s. More importantly, Stella never fails to remind us about prayer time, and to ask us before we sleep what we are grateful for that day, as part of our family routine.

Stella’s reminders greatly show her heart. She does this not to boss everybody around, but to tell us that these little things she reminds us of are the very same things we once asked her to do; she considered them important and kept them in her heart.

Stella teaches me that the little things parents do for their children don’t go unnoticed.  

Seb, 9yo

If I would tally the number of questions each of my children ever asked me in this lifetime, Seb would definitely win, not because he’s the eldest, but he just never runs out of questions to ask.

Today, I honor Seb’s curiosity.

His curious mind pushes him to ask a lot of questions – and when I say a lot, I mean it! I actually reach a point when I get annoyed by the never-ending series of questions he has, but I had to remind myself that Seb has a strong thirst for knowledge.

As a mom, we feel like we have to provide answers all the time. Seb sometimes asks me questions I know nothing about! There are times when he would even ask me questions not because he wants to know the answer, but because he knows the answer and he wants to know if I know it too.

Seb loves learning. I am fascinated by the things he knows at his age. Most of the time, I’d feel like watching a show when he approaches me and begins reciting something he read with, “Mom, did you know that…”

My son knows a lot but he never kept these things to himself. In all those times he approaches me whether to ask or tell a story, he shares a piece of his mind, something I find very generous.   

Seb teaches me to never stop at what I already know. I must continue to learn and improve, and in the process, share these things so others can benefit from this knowledge, too.

Their strong points may be attributed to what they observe here at home, similar to how I learned from my mother and mother in law, but I’d like to believe that my kids have developed their own personalities – and I don’t take credit for the entirety of their good behaviour.

They are their own, and I honor their individuality. I celebrate my children this Mother’s Day, and I will choose to celebrate them every day, in every way I can.

The One with a View

What is the most beautiful view you’ve ever seen?

For Team Kramer – Doug, Cheska, Kendra, Scarlett, and Gavin – one of the most beautiful views can be seen from their new home.

This part of their house allows them to relax with a “grand view” overlooking Metro Manila. The first time I stepped in their new home, I had to stand here for a long while for me to take all the beauty in.

When Kendra and Scarlett were about to start homeschooling two years ago, Cheska and I fixed their home school area that shares the same space as Doug’s office in their previous house.

Initially, Cheska’s plan was to have our organizing session when they move in to their new house; but the kids’ homeschooling made her decide to have the organizing session right away.

This was the initial moving in plan which supposedly will give us a good 3 weeks to finish. But it was moved to last week of June and we were only given 5 days to complete the unboxing and organizing.

Cheska assured me then that Neat Obsessions will be a part of their moving in. What I really love about Doug and Cheska is that they are true to their word. While their new house was still under construction, they share the progress and developments with me. I was part of their moving in timeline.

Finally, when our organizing schedule came, we wasted no time as we had four floors and five days to finish!

Photo from @dougkramer’s Instagram

Team Kramer’s new house is such a sight to behold. Believe me, it’s difficult to be in a position where you are completely in awe of the house and all the beautiful views that come with it, but at the same time you are reminded by the balikbayan boxes in the hallways that you have to move fast to get a lot of job done within a short time frame!

I can already hear you ask me how we were able to do it in five days.

To answer your question, the five-day organizing was a collaborative project. The effort did not only come from me and my team. Team Kramer’s household staff lent their hand, too. Even Cheska and Doug were with us, not just to assist, but to actually pull the things out of the boxes, move the things around, and organize some of their personal things themselves!

For those who are building a new house or moving out in the future, here are three things we learned from the Team Kramer Moving In Project:

Know your things really well. The new house didn’t need so much storage solutions because there were no storage problems to begin with! Doug and Cheska know their things so well that there was a space provision for everything they own.

Team Kramer’s Homeschool Classroom
Cheka’s Bag Collection

Cheska allotted more than enough space for her clothes, accessories, bags, and shoes. Doug had his storage space for his DVDs and collectible figure collection. Even Kendra and Scarlett had so much space for their clothes and bags. Their play area had enough space for the children’s toys.

Sort your things. Prior to moving out of their previous house, Doug and Chesca already sorted the things from their old house in balikbayan boxes, and labelled each box with the rooms (and corresponding floors) in their new house! I could not imagine having to deal with unsorted items and be given only five days to sort and organize everything. Their sorting really helped us be efficient in our work.

Involve your children in the process. Kendra, Scarlett, and Gavin had their special participation in the organizing process. Doug and Cheska made them choose which toys they still play with, and which toys they can already let go so that other kids may enjoy them instead. They asked the kids to identify which toys are always played with, because these are the toys put on places they can easily access.

I really admire how Doug and Cheska lead their kids in understanding how important home and family life is. Like many family journeys, they also transferred to a more spacious house as their family grew. In each house, they made beautiful memories.

This new home is the cherry on top of their bountiful blessings. It’s true that they have a home that offers a really good outdoor space and a view of the city, but the most beautiful view is not just what the eyes see.

Photo from @chekakramer’s IG

For Doug and Cheska, the foundation of their house is built with a view on what really matters:

“What makes a house a home is family.”

For me, no matter the size of your house, having this kind of view will make a world of difference in the way you live your life everyday.

Here’s a throwback video of our organizing journey in Team Kramer’s new house:

While in Lockdown

Our week was full before the weeklong Metro Manila-wide class suspension was announced. Knowing what the class suspension was really for, there was no other choice for me but to cancel all our projects for the week.

Just when I thought the suspension would only last for a week, the month-long community quarantine for Metro Manila was announced a few days later.

I’m sure you too had plans for that week and the succeeding weeks, but the fast spread of this virus pushed all of us to retreat in our homes instead. Schedules had to be redrafted. Meetings and events had to be postponed. Much to the discomfort of many of us, the world is suddenly at a standstill.

We’re now on our second week of quarantine. We can only go as far as the premises of our homes permit, but a little appreciation and gratitude everyday can go a long, long way.

Being with my family 24/7 for two weeks now is something I really treasure. I used to have mornings where I’ll rush out the door to avoid traffic on the way to a project. Now, my family and I have all the time in the world to bond, do home works and prepare school requirements, eat together in our dining table thrice a day, and enjoy the view that our windows generously provide. The little activities that make up our everyday at home are things I commit to my core memory, since we don’t have this much time when my husband and I are at work and our kids are at school.

This is why my heart goes out to the frontliners and their families. I cannot imagine how difficult these past weeks must have been for them, taking care of patients while being away from their families. I really admire all of them for they stand brave and true to their sworn professions everyday, even if it means that their lives are at risk.

I also appreciate the people who are stepping up to help the frontliners and daily income earners even if they too have limited resources and movement. Small businesses offer free food, delivery guys wait longer in line due to distancing and other protocols, small groups organize donation drives, fashion designers sew protective gears, and households refuse relief goods from the local government so others can benefit from it – it is an incredible time where people do not wish to buy anything; many of us search our own homes for something to give instead.  

It seemed at first that we won’t have anything productive to do when we were all asked to stay at home. In truth, it is our best contribution. This situation makes us realize how the things we thought are making us happy are not real sources of happiness. Since malls and shops are closed, we now know that we can live without spending our time and money there.

Also, we understand how important it is that we mindfully use our things, down to our most taken for granted resources. We may be used to pulling too much tissue on our bathroom trips, but knowing that the resource may be scarce due to the closing of factories, we will thriftily use what we have instead. This also goes to the other resources we have at home.

When we go to the grocery stores, I hope we realize more than ever that we need to live within our means, that we don’t have to buy the entire grocery for us to survive. On the contrary, the limits set for us, such as buying two at most for a particular item, should teach us that in order for us to live a healthy life, we must learn how to share and give.

I’m also happy to note that many huge companies and big stars have shared their resources and talents. How many times have we seen a free online concert recently? How many resources have we accessed without the hosts asking you for fees? We thought we were cut out from the rest of the world when we locked ourselves inside our houses. Ironically, we all became very much connected.

We now have so much time in our hands to catch up and reconnect with friends, and we must do it, for not everyone is doing well in this situation. They might need something for the day and you might be the answer to their day’s prayer.

Thankfully, while we continuously pray for this virus to stop spreading and for less individuals and families to be affected, God is answering our long-time prayer we may have pushed at the back of our minds…

Photos and videos online show us cleaner air, clearer waters, noiseless streets, traffic-free highways, along with kinder neighborhood. These are problems that we thought won’t have any more solutions. We may be in the middle of something serious, but just like how the earth is breathing, this pandemic asks us to keep in mind that there is time intended for healing.

I can’t wait to go out and enjoy the gift of a better environment we have. In the meantime, let’s all stay home, follow precautionary measures, and find meaning in this situation we are currently in.

Lastly, I hope we clean our thoughts and intentions as much as we clean and wash our hands. I pray that we continue to be better stewards of things entrusted to us – our families, our homes, our community, our planet… and even the people we don’t know by name. May we come out better people after all this is over.

Hang in there, Neatropolis! This too shall pass.

Neat Obsessions The Book

It felt surreal to type Neat Obsessions Full Manuscript in the subject line of my email one week ago.

I paused and stared before I hit send, just like how they do it in the movies.

It was so momentous, I felt like crying.

To tell you honestly, I never thought I would publish a book one day. I did want to share my passion, but it didn’t really cross my mind that my passion could go this far. I could only thank God over and over for blessing me with opportunities beyond my wildest dreams.

I’m writing this blog right now because I already missed working on the book, even if it’s only more or less a week since the day I finished it. If you’re familiar with the feeling of wanting to finish reading a book or a series because you can’t wait to know how the story ends, but at the same time you don’t want to finish it yet – that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling since that night I finished it. I kind of wished the writing could stretch for a longer time since doing it is part of my every day, but I know it just couldn’t happen! I’ve been working on it for quite some time now, and I guess it’s time my story goes beyond my laptop.

Why am I being so nostalgic about this?

This milestone makes me remember the past milestones I had in Neat. Growing my team, braving the camera for my vlogs in Youtube, sharing my experiences through workshops, and many others I can’t mention anymore. Since God gave Neat to me, I was brought to places beyond my comfort zones. I clearly remember how my hands and knees used to shake on the first wave of interviews, workshops, and shoots for the vlogs. I’m not saying that I don’t feel nervous anymore. I would like to think that in those two years, I understood more that in order for my advocacy to reach as many homemakers I pray to reach, I need to go beyond my comfort zone, beyond my usual Instagram posts.

To be given the opportunity to write a book is entering another territory for me. I really had no idea where to begin!

But with the support of my husband and the ABS-CBN Publishing Team who worked with me, I realized that to be able to write it, I need to retrace my steps and go back to the exact place and feeling where Neat Obsessions started. As you probably know by now, it started way, way back, and continued up to this day when my passion is way beyond the walls of my household. 

Writing the book is baring my entire heart. I wrote about everything I believe in. I wrote as a daughter, as a wife, as a mom, and a professional organizer. Most importantly, I wrote as a person with a dream. It has always been my dream to contribute something to the community, (I expounded on this in the book!) and because it is a dream I really wanted to pursue, I started. I started small. I started with Instagram and WordPress. I started with passion, along with inevitable bouts of hesitation and anxiety here and there. I was unsure but I started anyway. What I really want to tell you is, pray, begin, and commit. Have faith, but always remember to put in the hard work. One day, you’ll realize that what’s in store for you is a lot bigger than what you planned for yourself.

Finishing the book is literally and figuratively closing a chapter in my life. There’ll be no more long hours of brainstorming for it, writing on scratch papers on the way to a project, staring at the traffic searching for the right word to express how I feel, or rereading and reviewing the draft manuscripts. It really is parting to a season in my life I can never go back to.

And as you know, as one chapter closes, another begins. While I am slowly saying goodbye to that writing phase, I am beginning to reflect on the entire experience.

What did I learn from it?

Why did I have to write it at this time in my life?

This whole experience of putting the book together is a new experience for me! I was used to just booking projects for my clients; now, on my calendar are schedules for photoshoots for the book! I hope by writing this I communicate how happy I am seeing the photos from the first shoot! It really does feel surreal to be working with a team whose eye for visuals match exactly what I envisioned for the photos to be.  

While we all wait for the book to be published, I wish to remind you to not give up on your dreams. Your time will come. Begin, pray, and commit.   

Happy Monday, Neatropolis!

It’s a good day today!