Yesterday started like any other day.

(That’s so foreboding, isn’t it? Extravagant news always starts that way. “Yesterday started like any other day…and then my foot got caught in the lawnmower.” “Yesterday started like any other day…and then I ran into Julia Roberts and she invited me over for lunch.” Don’t worry – neither of those things happened. In comparison, this news is mild. But still exciting. Let’s continue.)

Yesterday started like any other day. I woke up hoping that the rain I fell asleep to had carried on into the morning so I would have an excuse not to run…but it was gloriously sunny. So out I went. And then came back and did some yoga, took a shower, ate breakfast, watched SportsCenter, wrote a blog. Business as usual in my newly adapted out-of-the-office-because-I-don’t-work-there-anymore routine.

As I was going about the morning, checking things off of my to-do list, I noticed that more people than usual had stopped by the blog. A lot more. Almost double. I thought two things:  1. Cake Boss is a popular topic of conversation and 2. I wish I had another chocolate cannoli. And then I paid my electric bill.

And then I checked my email. And this is what I found.

And then I started hyperventilating.

I didn’t want to get too excited before seeing what this actually meant, so I subdued my initial reaction into a continuous non-breathing sentence of “Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh” until I saw THIS…

My post on the homepage of That’s approximately when the screaming commenced.

As fate would have it, I was the only person in the house. This, however, did not hinder my reaction in the slightest. A reaction which encompassed a full range of human and animal decibel levels, the repeated ascension and descension of multiple flights of stairs, and more elated squeals than can be found at a Twilight Saga premiere. I then proceeded to grab a jar of peanut butter and a dark chocolate bar. And call everyone I know. And eat a bag of Trader Joe’s Powerberries. And call everyone else I know.

I learned several things from this reaction. 1. My voice can go higher than I ever imagined possible. 2. Time bears no meaning when you are repeating the same combination of phrases to no end. 3. Food and celebration always go hand in hand, especially when there is food in both of those hands. 4. Sharing the good news with friends is so much more fun than sharing the good news with myself and with unsuspecting neighbors whose lunches were interrupted by muffled screams and an impromptu display of aerobics.

The flip out reached a whole new level when I saw this on Facebook:

Hold the phone. Hold all of the phones. Hold anything that is capable of making and/or receiving calls. Someone I don’t know sent a link to someone else I don’t know about my blog and pictures?! Are you kidding?! Did I also just win the chocolate lottery? No? Well, that’s ok…because this is still AMAZING!

On a serious note, this was yet another well-timed dose of reassurance. There have been times over the past 2 weeks – most of them while sitting on the couch at 10am Googling housing options for my upcoming trip and watching reruns of Chopped – when I have felt like I have slipped to the lowest rung on the Lame Ladder. (For those of you who are newcomers – welcome! To catch up: read this. To catch up faster: I just quit my job so I could go travel around the country for 3 months. Kind of like Jack Kerouac minus the drugs/alcohol. Or Donald Miller plus a camera.) There’s just something about being at home in the middle of the day surfing the internet and watching cable that degrades a productivity-based self esteem.

Can you see the tangled web I’m weaving with that philosophy, though? By defining productivity by cultural norms and self-worth on how much I get “done” in a day I’m setting myself up for quick downward spiral. That system is going to break down, and fast. Probably in less time than it will take Brett Favre to retire and unretire again this season. In the midst of this mindset was a wonderful time to learn two things:

Freshly Pressed Lesson 1: Spending time with my family, taking a million and five pictures, chronicling life via blog – those things are productive. Tangibly and intangibly, albeit unconventionally.

Freshly Pressed Lesson 2: When I leave things in God’s hands, I have to actually leave them there. Chill. Listen to Frankie on those 80’s t-shirts and relax. He has a better plan and perspective on what will ultimately be productive for my life in the grand scheme of things and will make it all come to fruition in time. God, not Frankie. (And by the by – this experience will definitely be added to the immeasurably more than I could ever ask for or imagine list.)

Life as we know it – photography and calories and levity – will return again tomorrow with a post from a recent session with a lovely couple. And since I just can’t wait a second longer…here’s a sneak peak of what’s to come!

It takes great restraint to stop at two…but stop I must. For today, thanks for coming back to the Orchard! Feel free to wander around and stay as long as you like.