its simply better to take your senior pictures with your best friend // nikki + annie


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IMG_5344 ah, what to say about these girls. i don't have to tell you that they're beautiful. but you should know that they truly are beautiful from the inside out. i have never known annie to be anything but genuinely kind. and never have i seen nikki without a smile on her face. i suppose its customary to sketch out a blip of good qualities underneath a collection of photographs of a person, but here i am, saying only what these girls are. its a rare thing in this world to find people who are true and honestly themselves. i spent midday with two of them. annie showed me around her home, we walked the grounds outside, she made me feel instantly at ease. (which i know is opposite of how its suppose to be considering i was the photographer, but that's annie). nikki arrived and we began the shoot. we had a perfect day for it too, a warm change from the cooler weather we've been use to. we dodged bees. ventured across fields. they switched in and out from being my camera's subject. and it was so much fun. slightly bittersweet, seeing these two get along as i know they have for years and years in school. college is a big change, though i know they both will rock it. their friendship however, i see it staying. growing. i loved listening to their memories and stories of pastimes. it made me thankful that people can depend on people, for the strength of friendship.
i'm blessed i got to do this. and blessed by these girls. x

a little boy turned six today which makes him not so little anymore


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there is a tiny burst of reality that comes around with the birthday of a younger sibling. or a birthday of anyone. but with kids, the knowing is especially there. where has the time gone? it seems like just yesterday... words alike pop into your head and it hits you that these days are flying by.
solomon natnael turns six on this cloudy, fine wednesday.
he wished for a hot and ready cheese pizza from little ceasers.
granted, he pitched a two minute fit because we are making him wait till tonight to open his presents. granted, he pouts sometimes. granted, a little boy will be a little boy. this baby has taught me more than he knows about parenting and patience and what it means to let go. to let go of arguments, of the strictness of rules, to just be. he has always been the one with the fantastic imagination. his mind is color. his heart is good. solomon inclines himself to care for others. from the nest-thrown-baby bird we found years back on our walk in the woods, to a sick family member - he is constantly on the look out for ways to help, ways to nurture, to make life better for anyone and everyone. he is head strong, not easily swayed. he sometimes acts like bill cosby. he likes to listen to louis armstrong and old jazz.
my sweater was a bit much to fit him, but it was cozy. 
whenever i make a run to starbucks, he's up for the go. i can remember one sunday afternoon that he sat with me and drew pictures in his sketch book and sipped chocolate milk. it doesn't take much to keep him happy. he's content. he's a backseat driver, but that's okay. he is a star wars fanatic. he likes blue, lions, spiderman. he loves learning and loves his school.
the very first moment i saw him. he was tiny, wearing a white shirt. he was also wearing the sweetest grin i've ever seen. and waiting never had been so worth it. 
his first words were daddy, mommy, and moo. he loved to stick his tongue out as a baby. he would rock his head from side to side on his pillow to fall asleep at night. french fries were "dee-eyes", yogurt was "yogrit". i wasn't madison to him, i was meme. he was a persnickety picky eater. he was a man of many faces, mostly serious stare you down expressions that made us question if he'd ever smile again. but he did. he convinced us to build forts out of quilts in our living room and play jungle expedition. he was born with rhythm, born to dance, to move.
he finds the bright side in everything. 
and now six years have come and they've gone. i can honestly say i look forward to watching this kid grow up. because he's doing it right. happy birthday, little buddy.

thoughts on the year passed and the year ahead


time is a funny thing, isn't it? days can fly by or drag on. this year seemed, for the moments i was in, an everlasting stretch. looking back on it now though, i can't really believe its gone. i'm sure i'm giving you a dose of cliche. but is a funny thing. a beautiful thing. i find myself trying hard to sum up last year in a single paragraph, perhaps with some piece of knowledge i came across, an inspiring lesson, something astounding i discovered. silly girl, when are you going to learn that there simply aren't words for some things? because time isn't something i should spend in order to have something to say at the end of the day. it is not a process of engaging myself so that i can have something interesting to blog about, to impress my friends. sometimes i'm so busy with life, it doesn't cross my mind that i might want to remember what is happening. sometimes i'm not busy at all, and that's okay. i find that i take life as it comes. there are times i grin and bare it, times when i cannot get enough. moments i wish i could relive. others i dread to even reminisce. people say life is crazy, life is good, life is a bowl of cherries. and here is what life (these past twelve months) is to me. 
it is a story
it is moving on from highschool, but not moving away from home, learning to sacrifice, learning to love life
it is being surrounded daily by sweet little faces
it is having my life touched by people i don't know, witnessing that the body of Christ is everywhere
it is shooting my first engagement couple, being blessed by them
it is new life in spring
it is fresh food from our garden in summer
it is breathtaking color in autumn
it is hot cups of tea in winter
it is chaos
it is truly enjoying good health, because it has a whole new meaning to me now
it is a neverending process of learning
it is being restless until i rest in Him, finding only He can satisfy wholly
it is fearing the unknown, being comforted by hope
it is noticing that my sunday morning drives to church are paintings, blue skies and green fields
it is finding out that love brings us closer and heals our hearts in ways we could not imagine
it is little outtings with cousins and friends, laughing so hard our stomachs hurt
it is failing, falling, and being taken under His wing
it is making plenty of mistakes
it is relying on Him for all my needs
it is laced with sickness and sadness, prayers and tears
it is dancing on the stage for the last time, dancing under the stars for the first
it is knowing things will never be the same, learning to be okay with change
it is movie dates and dinners with my man
it is leaving for beach conference with new friends, coming back home as close friends
it is letting out hurt, speaking and not holding it in anymore
it is having forgiveness because of grace
it is a journey
life is a constant of understanding that i am blessed with breath in my lungs. it is remembering to live for my Jesus, to love because i am loved. this year, i want to seek Him more. i want a hunger placed deep inside of me that leaves me wanting Him more than anything this world can give me. i want an appetite for life, whatever it brings me. i want to be thankful. i want to stop wanting things to go my way, and to appreciate the spontaneous moments that occur, knowing these moments were planned by Someone all along. i want to be content. i want to see the beauty amongst the pain, to strive for joy reguardless of my circumstances. and so, two thousand thirteen is here. twelve months, just twelve. i could say that want to make them count, do something great with this year. but all i want is a sincere want for Jesus, to always lean on Him. and everything else in my life will follow.

happy new year, my friends