Heather Hall lifestyle photographer based in Omaha, NE, US


What does Sunday mean to you? 

Very simply, our Sundays mean rest. Rest from rushing and responsibilities and instead chasing after an unhurried ramble of a day.

Could you talk a bit about your initiative “the revolution of less”? How did you decide “to sift your life”? Did this somehow influence your family's Sundays?

Sifting is this idea of separating the distractions from what's important - the dross from what is precious - until you are left with just what you love. We hold every possession or activity in light of what is important, and if it doesn't meet the mark, we let it go. It's like maximizing life through minimizing it.

For us, that which is precious to us is family, gardening, coffee, making things, the slow life. Tim Ferriss said it best: “Luxury is feeling unrushed. It is designing a life that allows you to do what you want with high leverage, with many options, all while feeling unrushed.” We love to live as we want, on our time.

We sort of fell into the slow life a number of years ago when we began a family and moved to one income. Adjusting our lifestyle - and expenses - was necessary, but we found that instead of going out or shopping, we were enjoying a fuller, happier life at home, cultivating a garden, cooking from scratch, riding our bicycles, sitting on the porch swing eating fresh strawberries and ice cream. We were discovering that a life of less was actually a life of more. More time. More happy.

Once we caught onto our new freedom, I began sifting our whole house and calendars, and we suddenly found even more room for the things that mattered. Because I don't work a full time job for someone else, I get to be present with my littles and read them stories and teach them kindness and teach them to love learning and making. It means I get to be a creator as a photographer and homemaker. Because we don't have more than we need or want, I spend less than an hour a week doing laundry and almost no time cleaning. It means I can have loved ones over at the drop of a hat without panicking. It means everything we use is our favorite. Because we don't watch tv, we have time to grow our food and play and write. Because we are not in sports or lessons or the million other things kids are doing these days, we have time to eat as a family every. Single. Night. It's a beautiful life, and we have made it.

This lens certainly spills into the way we Sunday. We usually spend time encountering God alongside our friends in the morning, and then we mosie back home for a quiet lunch, swaying in the hammock, puttering around the garden, reading into other worlds, making coffees, and taking naps. One of the wisest things I've ever heard was by our pastor who used to say "sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap." I agree wholeheartedly!

You're saying that when you have “a stack of books” in your home, you feel cosy and right. Could you recommend a book for Sunday afternoon reading?

This question has me all twitter-pated. I absolutely adore anything by L.M. Montgomery, particularly her Anne books or the Emily Starr Trilogy. They are so restorative. I find myself reaching for them any time I need a reset or a reprieve from the tragedy and fear of world news or even the materialism our culture idolizes. Sometimes my soul just grows a little weary and I need a detox. Lucy's world of one hundred years ago - while fraught with it's own perils and problems - gives me such relief. It's almost as if I feel cleaner, like my mind was washed new and given beautiful, noble things to think about. There is a verse I remember often that mirrors this: "...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things and the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:8) Isn't that beautiful? Lucy's words fit that description. And I'm convinced that Anne and I are kindred spirits ;)

To my children, I read a whole lot of favorites. I'm a sucker for beautiful illustrations, good design, cadence and clever words. We love laying out a blanket in the shade with our stack of worlds and pillows. Alice listens with rapt attention; Milo can usually be found searching for bugs or making us bouquets of grass. If we had to make a stack of favorites, these would be in it:

Rosie Revere Engineer
Imagine a Day
Little Bear
Heckedy Peg
The Rough-Faced Girl
The Gruffalo
Miss Rumphius
The Lady & the Lion
Crows
The Mightiest Heart
Journey, Quest, Return
Anything by Jan Brett, Graeme Base, David Wiesner

As they grow older, I'm excited to read them tales like Little Women, Swiss Family Robinson, The Chronicles of Narnia, Robinson Crusoe, Anne of Green Gables, King Arthur, The Little Princess, Sherlock Holmes, The Secret Garden, Little House on the Prairie...quality literature that will inspire them to love reading and learning and living well. It's one of the best parts of motherhood :)

Photography: Heather Hall @thesiftedlifeco