Chantielle & Stevie : Expecting

she came into my life 4 years ago, as we set out together, along with 9 other amazing young people, to pursue Jesus by setting aside a year of our lives and diving into LIT. her story resonated with me. her testimony seemed to mirror mine and she immediately had a special place in my heart. i could relate to every single word she spoke as she shared with us who Jesus was in her life. we shared many laughs and many cries together that year and it’s a year i know that none of us will ever forget.

when i found out Chantielle was pregnant with her first child, my heart was so over joyed for her. Chantielle has such a loving and generous heart and i know she will be an amazing mother. having the opportunity to capture this incredibly special moment in her life was a dream come true for me. i can’t even put into words how much i loved spending the evening with her and Stevie. Chantielle & Stevie decided to do their photos at her parents home and it was beyond perfect. i love it when my clients choose locations that are perfectly them. and this shoot, this shoot was perfectly Chantielle. especially when we ventured out into her parents field just as the sun was setting:)

Chantielle, i love you! thank you so much for letting me be a part of these special moments in your life!

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Diary of a Military Wife : An Honorary Best Man

the rehearsal went flawlessly and was full of joy and laughter at what the next day would bring. yet as we sat at dinner later that night my heart hurt at the thought that he was missing out on it all.

we went around the room, sharing stories of their past and excitement for their future but as the turn came closer to mine my mind raced as i tried to think of the perfect words he would want me to say. every word i could think to speak brought a lump in my throat and tears to my eyes.  my turn came and went and the only words i could speak were “i’ll pass”. not out of a desire to leave words unspoken but simply because i knew i wouldn’t be able to speak any of them.  my heart hurt at the thought that he was missing out on it all.

the sun was shining bright and the buzz of last minute wedding details being put into place left a smile on every ones face. it had been months in the making and she had thought of every little detail, leaving all involved thoroughly impressed. while she put the last minute touches on as she prepared to walk down the aisle i snuck away, with laptop in hand, determined. while he couldn’t be there in person, i wanted him to experience it as much as he could.

we walked down the aisle, all smiles. but as i took my place in the bridesmaids row and turned to look at the many who came to show their love and support for the happy couple i couldn’t help but look immediately to the computer screen. front row, third chair from the aisle, there sat chris, watching via skype, from Afghanistan. and my heart hurt, knowing he was missing out on it all. his best friend and brother was now committing to a life of love and laughter to his best friend and chris was 8000 miles away.

when my brother asked chris to be his honorary best man, i cried.  the thought of my husband, my brothers best friend having to miss my brothers wedding overwhelmed me. the thought of deployment overwhelmed me.

as the ceremony concluded and the reception commenced i stood in the grass and talked to him. “thank you so much baby”, he said. he didn’t look at it as missing out at all but rather was filled with gratitude that he was able to experience it. and while my heart hurt, and i missed my best friend like crazy, i was so grateful that he was able to witness one of his best friends marry the love of his life. even if from 8000 miles away.

Diary of a Military Wife : This Season

i shed a tear as we sat in the car, wishing that time would freeze right there and hoping that this next season in our lives wouldn’t come. maybe if we just stayed right there it wouldn’t happen… if we just stayed right there, in the car, we could skip this season entirely, move onto the next and start our live together outside of the Army. but time didn’t freeze. and this next season was unfolding right before us.

we kissed, he prayed, we kissed again and then we opened the car doors. he threw his bag over his shoulder and gave me one last kiss goodbye and as i watched him walk away i couldn’t help but feel that i was dreaming. it was surreal. and if i was truly honest with myself… it’s still surreal.

last deployment i was a mess. it was his 3rd deployment but my first, and i wasn’t ready. there were many days that the thought of him being gone overwhelmed me. i cried and i cried and i couldn’t wait for the deployment season to end. i isolated myself from friends and family because i could’t bare attending anything with out him by my side.  i allowed my circumstances to dictate my emotions and i sank under the weight of it all.

there’s something different about this deployment. and maybe that’s why it feels so surreal. there’s a peace, a comfort, an expectation that in the midst of it all there is hope. last deployment i lost sight of Jesus, and i sank. i allowed every circumstance around me to consume my attention until i could no longer see who Jesus was in my life, that He was my peace, my comfort and my hope. but as i sit here tonight, alone, i am reminded that while i can not change my circumstances, i can change my perspective. so tonight i set my eyes on Jesus, the one who never changes, to be my constant. where my husbands arms normally give me peace, comfort and hope, there is Jesus, my constant and everlasting source of peace, comfort and hope.

 

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with it’s earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  

Philippians 4:6-7

Engaged : Aaron & Catherine

When Catherine messaged me and asked if I was available to photograph her and her finance, Aaron’s engagement photos I was floored! And as we began planning the shoot I knew it would be nothing short of amazing. Catherine was the confident, lover of people who reached out to me when I first began attending my church in Oregon and Aaron & I went on a Spring Break missions trip together last year. As a few of the only “college age” brave enough to board the bus full of middle school & high school age students venturing to Camp Harlow & then to the GC conference Aaron & I had a lot of laughs. And as we went about the night, Chris & I photographing this amazing couple, we all shared lots of laughs and had an incredible time.

Aaron & Catherine decided where their shoot would take place and I LOVE it when my couples do this. Not only do they get photos that are 100% “them” but I also get to explore all sorts of new places and spaces,  and this couldnt make me happier.

I’m so excited for these two and can’t wait for their wedding this October… it’s going to be a party, no doubt!

Internet, this couple is incredibly photogenic and I had a very difficult time deciding which photos I wanted to share, so prepare for lots of them:)

The image on the left… GAHH… I’m IN LOVE with their adorableness!

Did I mention we had loads of fun?!

Aaron is a total shoe guy… so a shoe shot was a definite MUST!

We concluded our evening at Aaron’s family farm just as the sun was setting. It made for the most delicious light. YUM!

Camilo & Juri – Pre Deployment

my pre deployment photo sessions are ones that i hold most near and dear to my heart. as the proud wife of a soldier i know how incredibly difficult it can be for a family to be apart for months on end. and my goal as a photographer is to make it as easy as i possibly can on the families by providing them with images to cherish during the deployment months. so naturally i take advantage of every oppotunity possible to capture these military families.

we met up with Camilo & Juri in NYC while my husband and i were there vacationing for the week, and while the weather was less than cooperative we made the best of it.

i feel so blessed to do what i do and have the ability to provide them with these images before Camilo leaves, especially with the exciting news of their little bun in the oven!

Doug & Cortney – Pre Deployment

in less than 24 hours they say ” i do ” and in less than a month they will say goodbye as he leaves for Afghanistan. when Cortney moved up to Washington from Arizona I couldn’t wait to get them in front of my camera for their pre-deployment shoot. and when Doug proposed soon after i KNEW i couldn’t pass up the opportunity to capture their overflowing love for one another.

feeling trapped

i felt trapped, and i didnt know why. every shoot, i left feeling as though i failed, as though i wasn’t adding up, i wasn’t good enough. i had these poses in my mind, shots i desperately wanted in my portfolio yet i could never seem to produce them… as well as others had. and there in lies the problem. rather than allowing myself to be inspired by the couple i was shooting or the scenery i was in i was constantly attempting to create what others were inspired to create. i had lost all trust in the creativity God had given me and became completely consumed by what others were doing and how they were doing it. and i felt trapped.

the feeling didn’t stop at my photos either. as a new photographer i find myself working on a website, pricing structure and marketing plan, all of which seem to not match up to those i follow. and the feelings of entrapment paralyzed me.

i read trevor dayley photography’s post titled pinterest is ruining me today and it was me he seemed to be writing about. i took in his every word as he spoke and couldn’t help but feel incredibly vulnerable as he called out my every weakness. i decided on sunday to stop looking at others work, stop comparing myself to those more experienced than me and start letting myself be inspired by what i love, not what others love. and his post confirmed my decision while giving me practical steps to putting my decision into action.

while i fight the feelings i have of insecurity and questions of whether others will approve of what i do i’m excited to allow myself the freedom to be who i am and produce the work that is true to me. i’m ready to be inspired by life and can’t wait for what’s to come!

check out this sign i found on the streets of seattle this past weekend! i love it:)

Travis & Carrie – Engaged

me: mom & dad are coming up the weekend of the 14th.. you guys should come too!!

brother: i’m pretty sure i have class that saturday… 😦

me: play hooky. problem solved.

brother: haha i can’t.

me: next weekend?! we have a 4 day weekend!

brother: like 6 days from today?

me: yup! and bring your HOT fiance!

brother: sweet. we’ll talk about it and get back to ya

(8 hours later)

brother: keep an open space for me on the floor and for my fiance in the bed next weekend!!!:) cool if we come up friday?

and just like that my brother and his fiance came up and visited for easter weekend. with chris being put “on-call” soon after we arrived home from our honeymoon we hadn’t seen them in what seemed like ages! we love our family and were missing them dearly so a visit came at the perfect time! and of course i couldn’t pass up getting them in front of my camera:) so i just stalked them all weekend and took photos wherever we went:)

 

if you know my brother at all you know that he is a total dork! thankfully, carrie was grace with the patience to take it in stride

yup, that’s my brother

in these moments

most days the thought doesn’t even cross my mind. i enjoy all that we are and all that we have and think nothing of the looming future. but there are other days; often brought on by a specific event, something someone says, or a movie we watch, that the thought is painfully present. and it’s in those moments that i can’t help it. i try to hold back the tears but they just begin to flow.

as we lay on the couch, watching PS I Love You, the thought of having to do life with out him, even if only for a short while, was overwhelming. and i cried. i tried to tell myself that his 3.5 month absence is less than most have to endure but the reality of being away from the one you love, no matter the length of time, hurts.

it’s in these moments, when i feel so weak and vulnerable, that Jesus reminds me yet again that He is sufficient for all that i need, and it’s in these moments that i know i’m going to be ok

each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” so now i am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

“us-time” and living for today

every sunday we drive to seattle to go to church. and every sunday we have over two hours round trip of uninterrupted “us-time”. when we tell people we live that far away they give us that look. it’s a look that questions our insanity, but we just laugh it off, knowing that, though it might seem crazy to most, we know we are exactly where we are supposed to be.

every sunday we have over two hours round trip of uninterrupted “us-time” and i look forward to it every single week. two hours to simply chat about life, our thoughts, what God is doing in our lives, our dreams, and even what areas we are struggling in. we listen to each other and encourage each other to look beyond our current circumstance and go after what God is putting on our hearts.

every sunday we have over two hours round trip of uninterrupted “us-time” and every other Tuesday we have over two more hours of uninterrupted “us-time” as we venture up to Seattle again for our City Group. as we left our group last night we shared the topics discussed and shared our hearts. i admitted that the fear of becoming trapped in another job that i hated held me back, while at the same time i found myself feeling trapped by my own expectations to find a job and be a financial contributor to our family; that i have always been held to the standard that holding a full time job was the “right” and “responsible” thing to do. he graciously listened to me and when i was done unloading every thought he simply said “your past has made you who you are today, but you can’t let it make you who you are to become.” those few simple words spoke directly to my heart and i melted. his unceasing encouragement is truly a God send.

so here is to living for today, and not letting our past make us who we are to become.