Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Doing: training for a half marathon. My 4th one! I am so, so confident that I am stronger than I've ever been in my life. I did 8.5 miles this past Sunday and didn't wake up the next day with even a hint of soreness. In the past once I hit about 8.5 to 9 miles, that's been my breaking point where my legs just don't want to work anymore. I believe this year will be much different!

Excited About: LOTS OF THINGS! I just upgraded my camera from an entry level to a pro DSLR, and uh, it was a dose of humility at first. I literally googled "where does the memory card go?" and "how do you take a picture". Yes, how do you take a picture. In my defense, it was a used camera and was on a setting I had never heard of that was the problem :-) ...Also, I am working on a website (I have a domain name, that's a start!). And becoming a legitimate business. It's so cool knowing that I set goals and timelines for myself back in December, and those timelines are looking like real possibilities! Next month marks one year since I picked up my first camera (and you better believe I will NOT be showing you any of those early pictures...ick!)

Looking At: two pictures I took of Josiah this weekend. Only a photographer understands this, but I decided I would only shoot RAW once I got my new camera, and I'd do anything necessary to make that happen. And by golly I made it happen! I cannot stop staring at these two photos of Josiah. One, because I've never seen his eyes look so beautiful and piercing, and those luscious pink lips! Two, Josiah stops smiling the second the camera comes out anymore. He just wants to play with it. So the fact that I actually got to freeze that perfect split second in time just makes me giddy!

Thinking About: the future of this blog. While I love keeping my family updated on things going on, or occasionally sharing things I'm learning in the Word and God's faithfulness, I'm having to reevaluate how I'm spending my time. I never spent time pursuing a big following on here, because I kind of always knew that one day I probably wouldn't want to do this anymore. And right now, outside of being a wife and mom, my greatest desire is to be doing photography. And if my little bit of extra time isn't spent learning or trying to grow my business, I don't need to be doing it. I'm pretty sure once my website is live, my blogging will move it's focus to business and this particular little place of mine won't be used anymore. Just something I'm thinking about right now.

Looking Forward To: the next several weekends! Part two of a college senior photoshoot this weekend, plus my parents are coming for Easter. Mid April we are FINALLY going to see our beloved friends, the Bumbaloughs (babies sure make travelling and seeing each other much more difficult). And of course, the half marathon at the end of April in Oklahoma City (Rob is doing the full marathon)!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Josiah - 17 Months

I haven't done one of these posts in a long time, but Josiah is 17 months today, and he deserves a post dedicated to him today :-)

I honestly don't know where to start - he is doing and saying so much these days.

Every afternoon when I get home from work we always go for a family walk. As soon as I say "go for a walk?" Josiah RUNS to his stroller and pushes it towards the door. Kid knows! And of course the dog knows what "walk" means and starts going nuts. We always go check the mail, then go through the front gate so Boss can do his business. If we don't go through the front gate, Josiah will literally freak out. That's our routine, and he can't handle when the routine is broken. From what I hear, his daddy was the exact same way when he was a kid. Oh boy.

Right now Josiah's favorite book is Clifford Barks. We have read this book so.many.times that we have it memorized. It's mindless for us now. He even says Clifford now (Ci-fur). Also in the book, Clifford's owner is that little girl, right? He points to the girl on every page and goes "Guh!" for girl. There comes a time every day that I think oh my gosh, I don't want to read Clifford for the 157th time today, but then I just have to remind myself that these days will be over way too soon, and I'll wish I could have Josiah sit in my lap and read him Clifford again.

Little man is a seriously picky eater. I guess part of it isn't really the food, but our lack of mealtime routine. We don't have a kitchen table, and probably won't for a very long time, so Rob and I have sat on the floor until last week when we got a couch. Josiah will often get two bites in and refuse to eat anymore until we take him out of the high chair so he can eat like Momma and Daddy eats. I know, I know, you don't need to say it.

This winter we have been truly, extremely blessed health-wise. I'll preface this by saying that even while I was pregnant with Josiah we prayed over him often that no sickness would enter his body, not even colds. And? He has only been minorly sick twice since he's been born. He had a possible ear infection about a year ago, then at Thanksgiving this past year he had some congestion going on while we were in Oklahoma. But since? Not a trace. He's been so healthy this winter (and guess what folks - we don't believe in getting the flu shot!) and I believe it's because we covered him in prayer (I also know that this can lead into a big debate, but uh, let's refrain from going there please?)

I just love my little boy SO MUCH. I love watching him grow and learn and become this little person. Being his Momma is the absolute best thing in life.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

One Year Ago

This morning before I got Josiah up I had a few minutes to spend with the Lord.

Honestly, this is extremely rare. I kid you not that ever since Josiah was born, any time I've tried to get up early to spend time with the Lord, without fail he wakes up. I.Kid.You.Not.

Anyway, this is beside the point. I was reading through my journal entry from this time a year ago, and I melted into tears at the Lord's faithfulness, and I just need to share this with you all. Those of you closest to us know the depth of the struggles we were in. You know our story, and our pain, and you see where we are now. I look at these blessings different these days, knowing how quickly and easily money and earthly things can be taken away. I don't hold them so tightly anymore. I know there will be struggles in the future. But I hope and pray that things are never as dire and desperate as they were a year ago. Here is what I wrote at the beginning of March one year ago:

Earlier this week a friend of ours out of the blue sent us $80. Obviously, we were quite blessed! Then yesterday we went out to Teen Mania for alumni reunion weekend. During one of the services we went up for prayer and this man had a very powerful word for us, that God's favor was on us and He was about to really bless us. After the service this man slipped Rob a note. We looked later and rolled up in this note was $100. We were blown away that twice this week people blessed us with money! But it wasn't until later that I noticed the significance. The total we'd be given that week was $180. If you think about it, a 180 degree turn takes you in the complete opposite direction of where you're headed. We have been on a path of discouragement, joblessness, financial struggle, emotional struggle, uncertainty, lack of faith, etc. But this week God is saying "I am changing the course of your path. I'm doing a 180 degree change of where you've been. You are going to experience encouragement, a job, financial blessing, vision for the future, your faith will grow leaps and bounds. Change is about to happen." .....This is stuff that we would never experience if we didn't go through the fire and trials beforehand. We wouldn't see these kinds of miracles if it weren't for the trials - I feel so blessed that God chose us to go through these things.
Despite my bitterness, lack of faith, frustration, even anger, God's love never fails, it never gives up, never runs out on me. Our lives are going to be a great testimony to others!

Really, this speaks for itself and I don't need to add anything else. I am completely and utterly blown away at God's faithfulness.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Telling a Story with a Diptych

I've seen so many photographers make diptychs with their photos (placing two images side by side to tell a story), and I've always thought it was only possible with photoshop.

This weekend I took some time to go through tutorials on how this can actually be done in Lightroom! Needless to say, I'm quite thrilled with how my first diptych turned out. You can see the original on my facebook page HERE.

By the way, the tutorial I followed is HERE .

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pinterest and Fake Beauty

I'm cautiously admitting to spending a healthy amount of time on Pinterest. But I just love how easy it is to keep all of your ideas and things you love so accessible in one spot!
Pinterest has literally supplied nearly my whole menu for the past month and a half.
Also, having a billion photos at my fingertips, I've also gained a lot of inspiration in my own photography.
I've learned how to do "ombre" nails, thus avoiding spending lots of money getting my nails done all the time.
And I've acquired many at home workouts for those days when I simply can't get to the gym.
This little corner of the internet has served me quite well.

Along with all of this good stuff, however, there is a major downside that I believe is affecting a lot of women.

Everywhere you look on Pinterest you find pictures of thin, ripped, strong women with hardly an ounce of body fat. Those pictures have captions like "Motivation to get in shape," "Tips for the fitness junkies," or "Lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks with these workout tips."

Friends, this is SO UNHEALTHY! It's so easy to be inundated with these images that we think that it's the norm, or everybody but you looks like that. We all have very different body types, and the women featured in these photos are so very, very different than many of us. Can you push your body past its limits and get in amazing, kick-butt shape? Of course! But I'm just afraid that these photos are casting an unrealistic goal to us.

For one woman, 140 pounds would be a healthy weight. To another, that would actually be overweight. And to someone like me, that would be anorexic! Ladies, it's time to love yourself. It's time to be okay with who you are, accept your body type, and focus on being the best YOU. Use Pinterest to gain ideas and inspiration, but tread carefully. If your aim is to look like the images you are putting before you, chances are you'll never reach that image and will live in a state of unhappiness and dissatisfaction with yourself.

You are so incredibly beautiful just the way you are. Don't let Pinterest tell you otherwise.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Family Date Night

Before we had Josiah, Rob and I would have a date night every Friday night. After my job loss and things got tight financially, and especially after having a baby, weekly date nights just aren't possible. However, even in the hardest of times, we've still made it a point to do something together. We love Friday night frozen yogurt. Josiah loves it too - it's his big treat! Tonight I just wanted to capture a few moments of our Friday night family date.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Dream

Does God speak to us through people we admire or look up to?
What if said person is someone we've never met?
And God uses a dream to speak to us in the voice of that person?

Weird and vague I know.

And sometimes I get anxiety about sharing something that feels a little more personal.

But last night I had this very vivid dream where I was communicating with a photographer I really admire, and she is such a lover of God too. I can't remember her full, first comment to me, but she ended it with "beautiful lady."
I replied, "I love that you always say 'beautiful lady.'"
And she said "Well of course! Your creativity is exquisite." (At least, I THINK those were the exact words said, I'm a little foggy now)

I immediately woke up from this dream and knew that God spoke those words to me. I knew, because I've desperately needed to hear those words.

It's been a long time fault of mine to fall into the comparison trap. I fall into it big time regarding beauty & photography.

I see women who have had 3 kids and look like supermodels. Or women who can eat whatever they want and not gain an ounce. (how unfair, right?!)

I see these professionals with their college degrees and $15,000 worth of equipment and feel I can never measure up.


I am enough. I am beautiful. The dreams God has given me are unique and the ability he's gifted me with are exquisite. God can and will use me exactly where I'm at, with my limited experience and funds. I must continue to be faithful with what he's given me and stop comparing to everyone else!

Step up. Step out. Your creativity is exquisite.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Greener Grass

It seems I'm constantly learning that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I've talked about chasing dreams, moving, believing things will be better when we get to x, y, and z. But sometimes the grass is just green enough to paint a beautiful portrait...if you allow yourself to see it that way. I can almost picture the dead grass next to my apartment shining a beautiful golden hue at sunset. A picture worth hanging on my wall.

I'm not where I want to be, but I'm getting there. My heart is being refined, I'm choosing joy even when I don't feel like it, I'm working to be faithful in the small things, in the things that aren't my own, believing that God can then entrust me with much more.

On a less heavy note, my cousin in Oklahoma gifted me with the chance to attend a full weekend photography workshop in Oklahoma mid-February. I feel so blessed and excited! I am just crazy itching to actually launch a business and be doing more with photography. I have so much vision and so many dreams. Just praying that the Lord would help me bring in clients :-)

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Places I've Lived

When I see pictures of any place I've lived, there are fond memories attached to each of those places. There are hard memories, tough times attached too, but I seem to only recall the good times. And naturally it leaves me longing for it a bit. I experienced it when I moved away from east Texas. Golly I longed for that place. It's been 2 1/2 years since I moved away from there, and while I occasionally miss it, I've realized with time, that I miss the people, the experiences, the things that only existed in that season. I've come to terms that I don't get those things back, and I'm glad I lived life to the fullest while I was there.

When I lived in Canada, newly married at the ripe age of 21, plucked from all things familiar, I did not live life to the fullest. I complained, I hated the cold, whined about the snow, talked often about missing my home church in Texas, missed my family. But when I look at pictures now, see familiar people, Canadian family, and sweet friendships that were made in that 9 months, my heart deeply longs to go back. I see what I missed out on while I spent so much time complaining. And I guess I wish I could have a second chance. And I wonder how life would have turned out had we not moved back to Texas.

I sense that there is more regret, more longing, when we don't live life to the fullest. Either when we don't see the blessings in a certain season, or when our hearts are guarded - it holds us back from all that God has for us.

I cannot change the past and my mistakes. Maybe one day we will get the chance to live in Canada again, who knows. But I want the lesson learned from all of this to stick - no matter where I am, live life! We miss out on so much when we choose to complain rather than let God reveal the beauty and the blessing of where we are at. That includes right now, living in Texas, wondering what the future holds, trusting God with our desires and dreams, knowing that He really does have the absolute BEST in mind.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

First Week of 2013

Well we are a few days into 2013 now. Josiah seems to have picked up some little bit of sickness this week. He doesn't want to eat much, doesn't want to drink anything, and is breathing like darth vader. Poor baby. I've pulled out all the stops to try and help the guy out, and he seemed to have a lot more energy today, but still darth vader and no appetite. Hopefully this clears soon! I started to feel a bit of his cold hitting me, so I'm drowning myself in vitamin C, hot tea, and green smoothies. Seems to be working so far.

Rob started his new job. He's working overnights 3 nights a week as a security officer. It's definitely a change to get used to, being alone for 14 hours, then being alone during the day so Rob can sleep. Good thing I have a fun and energetic little boy on my hands! After Josiah goes to bed and I'm all alone, reminds me of my single days. Days that I don't miss, days that I pray I never will know again. I am so thankful and blessed that God allowed me to get married and have my own family at such a young age. Pretty sure I'm the only 23 year old on the planet who is celebrating that I'm going to bed at 10:30 at night! I wouldn't have it any other way :-)

You know, I have not taken a SINGLE picture since 3 days before Christmas? Yes, that means I didn't take any pictures of our Christmas this year. Which is like, blasphemous when I'm so passionate about photography. It's been kind of nice to just soak it all in, to be refreshed. It's actually stirring my heart so much for what's ahead with photography, coming up with plans, ideas, and lots of vision and determination :-)

Forgive me for the randomness and lack of any point to this blog. This momma's brain is exhausted and foggy! Glad I only have like 6 followers on here ;-)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012. Yes, Like Everyone Else

One year ago today I wrote in my journal - "2010 was the best year of my life, 2011 was the worst, please please please God just let 2012 be normal." And it's safe to say that it was. 2012 had the normal ups and downs, but it was never consistently bad, nor consistently awesome, just the winding roads of ups and downs. And I'm okay with that.

The first 7 months we relied absolutely and completely on the provision of the Lord. We did without a lot, and I mean A LOT. But God always provided exactly what we needed each and every month.

Two different times there was an anonymous and unexplainable deposit in our bank account that paid our rent. A couple of times strangers handed us cash. Several times friends wrote us checks so that Rob and I could have a simple, desperately needed date night. Each time God provided, it was thrilling!

In the midst of our financial struggle, in April God spoke to me about taking a giant leap of faith and pursuing my passion for photography. That was tough, really really tough, to trust God on that one. But my husband fully supported it, and it was one of the best decisions.

In June I was offered a full time job, one that would finally take care of our family. I cannot even tell you what a relief it was to finally KNOW that we could pay rent when the 1st came around. And while God providing for us each month was thrilling, and I am so thankful for that season, the growth, and the lessons learned, I hope we never go through that again. In fact, that season has changed my heart SO SO SO dramatically towards the poor and needy all around us. My hope is that God can use this experience to change other people's lives in 2013.

In July, Rob became a permanent resident of the USA! This is hands down the highlight of the year. The immigration process was the most difficult and trying thing I've ever done in my life, and I'm so glad we never have to think about it again.

Rob started working in the fall for a valet company, and while we've been grateful for that job, ten hours a week and not knowing if you'll even end up getting those hours was getting pretty lame. So Rob was offered a job as an overnight security guard, and this is a job he is really going to love. It's right up his alley! I cannot tell you guys how much Rob deserves this. After spending a year as strictly a stay at home Dad, seeking God and trusting Him during this season of being unable to work, man does he deserve this!

I am so, SO excited for 2013. There is something melodic that leaves me in great anticipation for this year ahead.