We're Erica + Jon, professional photographers, Mr + Mrs and Mom + Dad. We like to share insights into our industry, behind the scenes and stories about our life and chips + salsa obsession.
If you followed along with our stories over Thanksgiving this year, you probably saw us face one of the most stressful situations we had been up against in quite a while. We spent Thanksgiving in Northern Arizona with Erica’s parents and left early in the morning after to try to beat a big storm that was in the forecast. It was raining like crazy, but at least we had beaten the snow!
…or so we thought…
What you need to understand is that part of the drive back down to our house involves driving through a canyon – straight down hairpin turns on one side, and straight-up hairpin turns on the other. It’s our least favorite part of the drive.
Just as we approached the canyon on our drive home, we started to see a few beautiful snow flurries that unfortunately turned into whiteout conditions and tons of snow on the road in a matter of minutes. Feeling really uncomfortable driving in those conditions in a two-wheel-drive pickup, we turned around to head back to Erica’s parent’s house.
Five minutes into the drive back, a snowplow passed us going back in the direction towards our house. “Brilliant!” we thought. We’ll just follow the plow through the canyon and be good to go! So, we turned around to follow the plow only to find he had switched sides of the road and was plowing the opposite side.
We turned around again. Unfortunately, too much time had passed and now it was snowing everywhere. We found ourselves sliding to a stop on a downhill stretch of road with a semi-trailer full of cars jack-knifed across the road behind us, and a slippery, unplowed, uphill road ahead of us.
We were stuck.
Thankfully, we got a quick phone call out to Erica’s dad to call for help. Over an hour later, the plows finally arrived, but because of the semi blocking the road behind us, traffic was more backed up going the opposite direction, so the plow took care of the opposite side of the road. Once traffic cleared, we got a rolling start and painstakingly inched our way back to Erica’s parent’s house. The drive that had taken us 30 minutes away took us 3 hours to return.
As we pulled into their neighborhood, we breathed a sigh of relief. Safety at LAST! As we slipped and slid up the unplowed neighborhood hills to reach their home, wouldn’t you bet a snowplow pulled in behind us?
We shook our heads in disbelief that all day long we were left to plow our own way. Each leg of the journey was gut-wrenching and stressful. We were fearful and unsure of what was going to lie ahead on a day where we came across multiple accidents and stranded semi-trucks. Tears were shed and we had no guarantee we weren’t going to get stuck or wind up in an accident ourselves.
It was terrifying.
But you know what our next thought was when that plow pulled in behind us?
Wow, this feels a lot like everything else in our life as business owners.
We feel like we are always having to plow our own way ahead. Each new season of business can feel gut-wrenching and stressful. We often battle fear and the uncertainty of what might lie ahead. Tears are often shed and we aren’t guaranteed that we won’t crash and burn in our attempts to build our dream.
But just like the survival instinct that kicked in during that day stuck in ‘the Arizona blizzard of 2019,’ our drive to reach our dreams and provide for our family keeps us pushing forward.
So maybe that’s you, friend. Maybe you read those words and raised your hand in agreement. Well, take heart – you aren’t alone. Keep pushing forward and driving towards your big dreams.
We know that in the end, it will feel just as beautiful as the warm fire and hot chocolate we gathered around once we had reached safety.