Thursday, October 2, 2014

October is here! I have been enjoying the cooler temperatures and the fall colors all around! I am so happy to be alive and healthy. My two amazing children are so good to me and we are enjoying the new school year in our new home.

October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month.  I have walked 60 miles, raised thousands of dollars for research, volunteered my time and now I have the world’s best friend battling it.  I am broken hearted that she is 1400+ miles away fighting a battle that I can’t beat for her.  I have reached out to a few close friends about my feelings of helplessness and wanting to do something more.  I have been praying for God to give me the sign to do something...what do I do? How do I do it?

Earlier this week, I received an email from a client.  She had this to say about her photographic experience with me:

"You really have a way of capturing moments. I love looking through your photos because when I think about how moments with my family feel, they are beautiful...but then when I take pictures I often just cannot seem to capture things the ways I remember them. I think that is your capture moments the way they feel to the people in them...that is why we all cry when we see them!

And so, I have a gift...and I want to share it...with everyone, everyday.  How that translates into Breast Cancer Awareness month is up to you and who you share this post with.  If I can capture moments the way people feel in them...I want to capture moments of life with the people we love that are living with, surviving from or battling with cancer.

My still very best friend in the
whole world. 
I kept asking friends and praying for God to give me the words to ask for your trust, for your faces and families and your stories to share.  All I have are these:

I want you to exist in photos with the people you love.  I want you and your families to show us the way to live with or survive the battle.  We can beat this.  We can exist in photographs.  We can capture moments and remember how we felt and we can look back and be thankful that we showed everyone what being brave in the face of cancer is all about.

If you or someone you know is battling cancer, please ask them to contact me for a complimentary individual or family session. I will come to you and spend time with you and your family, creating memories and moments to last a lifetime in images that you and I will cherish forever.  

We do it for you girls!!! Our babies Feb 2014.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I have to remind myself everyday that my relationship with God is what is most important to focus on...then everything else shall and will fall into place the way it is intended.  Do you know how difficult that is for me? I struggle with it, I fail at it and I pray again to have a fresh start. I was reading the other day about how some people view Christians in challenging times....and wonder if we will fall from our trust in God, that our faith just isn't strong enough.  I agree that holding on to my faith and trusting in Him in times of adversity are what everyone needs to see in order to know that God is real. That He lives in us and walks with us all the time.  Good or bad.

For the past few days I have been reading more about forgiveness than ever before, it pops up EVERYWHERE.  My priest had given me a book about a year or so ago...forgiveness is the hardest thing to give for almost everyone.  Then this morning I read: "God’s great deliverance is like the rope that must be grabbed hold of with both hands in order to be pulled up and pulled out of that place you are in, and set in His perfect will for your life. "

I love the visual that provides...I can literally see the black hole, the well behind me as I reach up with both hands for the rope...being lifted into the light.  That's a good place to be. 

I am working towards that, I am working towards not walking around with a knot in my stomach all the time from the worry that sometimes envelopes me and makes me feel like I am drowning. Uhhhh, feels so good to let it go.  I write these epic long emails and you don't  receive replies and sometimes that makes me wonder...about too many things that I shouldn't wonder about or worry about or otherwise...this morning's devotional also said to release anyone from any debt or any expectation that you have...and I have to in order to be able to grab the rope with both hands.


Monday, May 12, 2014

My best friends...

I am the luckiest person in the world to have a few very close and very wonderful friends.  Some from junior high, a couple from the college years and a couple from the past few years.  Each friend shares unique and special memories with me...keeps secrets for me, me for them.  I honestly do not know what I would do if I couldn't just pick up the phone and call one whenever I needed him or her...

Laura and I on top of the Marina Towers in Chicago...with Homan H.  I met him on ICQ and we flew up to meet him and spend the weekend.  I make new friends easily. Some stay for a lifetime.  The day after this photo was taken, I was rollerblading around the IBM building on State Street.   I stopped and layed on a cement bench...looking up at the architechture. Suddenly, a peach hit me in the back of the head.  Laura says, "of all the things that could have happened to us in get involved in a drive by fruiting!"  I love Laura.  We were fast to be best friends in junior high and I have looked out for her everyday since. We have some crazy stories...we have not lived in the same town since we were 23, stayed best friends forever and will be that way till the day we die.  She is my human diary, my other half...the one friend I can always expect to set me matter what.  I love you Laura.

 I think this was taken with a polaroid camera...oh geez.  On our way out to the rodeo...Elyse and I have been friends since before my 21st birthday...I know this because she and all the girls I worked with at Chevy took me to Tony Roma's and ordered me drinks for lunch. Oh to be 21 again!
 My 23rd Birthday...celebrated in Pines, in a hot tub with all my closest friends.  We were only friends in the same town a short time...I did get to visit you, Jennifer in Soho at Lucky Strike AND we had some really great times living it up in South Beach.  Remember dancing on those wooden spools all night?!
 What is the word for girls if we have a "bro-mance"?  I love you Laura...this was on the monorail at Disney, probably like 87? I remember this trip specifically because juice boxes just came out...and I was thirsty and the only one we had in the car was warm.  You told me to hold it up to the air conditioner, so I did.  You couldn't stop laughing because you couldn't believe I would think that would work!
Toni and I at Estes Park in Colorado in 1984.  We had spent the week at church camp in Laramie, WY. I won't divulge what we were up to that week...just know for sure...we had a really good time. Toni and I met in church, went to lots of church camps and never stopped being BFFs. I see her every trip home to Florida. She calls my mom, "mom" even though my mom wouldn't let us be friends in 7th grade.  I love Toni for her infinite wisdom when it comes to living life.  She does it well. She is always honest, loving and would give anyone the shirt off her back.  She has never expected anything in return from any of us.  My daughter refers to Toni as her "best friend"...what more could I ask for in a BFF?
Melissa and I got this wild idea (ok 100% mine) to quit our jobs and drive to Tennessee and Ohio to see Def Leppard in concert. I loved Def Leppard, never seen Tennessee and Missy was from Ohio.  We were gone a week, met  Def Leppard, Europe and had the time of our lives.  We lived in a one bedroom apartment near the beach in Hollywood, Florida.  What a great time in our lives.  Missy left for Ohio after I moved to Orlando.  She and I could pick up the phone right now and pick up where we left off. 

 Girls night out in Orlando.  The one in white has been my friend since we met in 8th grade at the bus stop. She has always accepted me for me and never done anything but guide me in finding my way. I have always looked up to her and found her to be a source of strength and love.  Her parents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  Her dad was a pastry chef and made us this HUGE like 50lb chocolate cookie dough one year so we could make gingerbread houses.  We swam lakes together, learned how to drive and did chinese fire drills on the way to the beach each weekend.   I don't ever get to talk to you enough...there are not enough hours in my trips to Florida to spend with you!  I love you Yvette. 
 I met Meg in New Hampshire.  She was a gift from God to teach me patience, love, kindness and humility.  She is a mom of 4, Mema to 4 and loved by so many people.  I will never forget the day I found out you were in the hospital for an emergency surgery.  It made me realize how special you are and how lucky I am to have you as the NH Auntie to my beautiful children.  I love you Meg!

This note! I love this note because one of my dearest friends of 20+ years always takes time out of her day for others. Her husband, kids, someone else's kids or just me.  She is kind, sensitive and the complete opposite of me. She shares my son's birthday and the Aries sign with me.  She had to have a "talking" with me once.  She has been one of my best friends since. I love you so much Kelli. I wish we could see each other everyday. You have taught me so much about love, family and kindness. 

This list is a short list..there are more, I could write all night. I just wanted to be sure that no matter where I am guys know you are always in my heart.  Always.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sometimes you have to just let it all go...get it out...on "paper".  I "kind of" want you to read this, but mostly it is for me. At the risk of sounding narcisstic, it is MY blog. I can write what I like.  You can choose to read it, comment, defriend me, go to the next blog...all up to you.   For now, I will write. About me.

Here is my wordle.

I was told that if I start talking about God to my friends...I would lose friends. That sounds so absurd, if  I cannot talk to you about God, well, are you my friend? Would you be so offended that you turned away from me?  Then I thought...hmm, I will call my 4 friends and talk about God and see what they say.  Guess what?  Yes, they are all still my friends.   In fact, they said..."its about time...I am sick of hearing about your life of sin...glad you found your way back!" Okay, not really...they did agree however, that following God is the right choice, the only choice and affirmed why we are and have been friends forever.  Forever. 

Ever had so many questions that you couldn't fall asleep? I feel like that now...I asked someone I have known 33 years,  " you ALWAYS put God first? Is that the #1 relationship in your life?"  "Yes, God, my husband, then my children."  How does one do that?  Where did that come from? How did she know to do that?

Commitment...making it to all the scheduled appointments on my calendar.  Making sure my kids get to school on time...making sure my life is about being committed to sharing the good things God has done for me and the people I love.   How do you stay committed to something? A diet, a change, a relationship? I always think some commitments take a special kind of person. Am I that special person?

Vulnerable...defined below.  How does one become vulnerable without appearing weak? Maybe we are weak, maybe being vulnerable makes us stronger.  It leaves me puzzled. 
[vuhl-ner-uh-buhl] Show IPA adjective
1.  capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon: a vulnerable part of the body.
2.  open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.: an argument vulnerable to refutation; He is vulnerable to bribery.
Faith...Having enough of it to get me through the day and have a little leftover for my children.  Faith? Faith is believing that there is someone with me along for the ride who enjoys a little bit of a rollercoaster now and again...and has an amazing sense of humor.  Is faith tangible? Is it only a belief? I feel like I have had it, lost it, gotten it back again and wish for my closest friends to find theirs again.
When I graduated from college as a teacher, I wanted to save the world.  I was committed to it...I was open (and vulnerable) to the possibility of making it happen...I had faith. 
As a mom, I am committed to being the best person I can for my children. To love them, guide them as they find their place in this world...THEY are vulnerable, I am vulnerable when I think of them...I have faith they will grow to be strong, good people.  I have faith.
As a woman, I am vulnerable, but I am not weak.  I am committed to keeping my faith my heart, sharing it with my children, talking about it with my friends.  I have faith.