365 Project | 1/365

I was determined to finally make myself be in the habit of picking up my DSLR every day.  When I was younger I probably did take some photo every day.  And while I (like many others) use my iPhone on the daily to take little snaps, it’s simply not the same.  I am so grateful to have a phone that I love and pack around for capturing things I wouldn’t otherwise, but I miss using a real camera.  Ironic for a professional photographer?  I think it’s so easy for anyone who takes photos for a living to look at any occasion with that camera in hand as work, and so we just want to stow our gear away when we’re on “our” time.  So I’m doing a 365 Project, which essentially means I’ll take (and eventually post) a photo every day of 2014.  Now, I will do my best to make the habit of it.  I make no immediate promises of beauty, or of ‘challenging’ myself in my creativity.  I only challenge myself to be willing to pick up that hunk o’junk and use it to capture a little piece of each day.  And I’ll likely always be posting them later than that day, but I’m okay with that.  I don’t want to be a slave to sitting down to post them.  As a matter of fact, this blog post is dated January 1, but if I’m being honest, I’m sitting here on January 5 typing this.  And I’m going to back date this post.  And I’m okay with that.  I’ll have a post for each photo for each day.  And I imagine I’ll have to backdate them a lot.  And that’s okay.

I said I wanted to do this on January 1.  It was a decision made in haste.  And in haste comes no preparation.  So as the sunset was closing in on the first day of the year, I ran upstairs to grab my bag and go back to a field I had seen a couple days before to try and catch the sunset.  And well, I did a pretty crap job.  But that’s okay too.  I suppose I can embrace this for what it is.  Even though it wasn’t what I wanted, I did it.  Done is better than perfect.   Here’s to trying not to let the rest of 2014 escape me in the way it’s first hours of daylight did.  Here’s to being intentional, even when I can’t be perfect.

365 Project-1

Another year, come and gone.

It’s the last day of the year.  The eleventh hour of the calendar.  The day we all try to focus in on what matters in our lives as we prepare for the next 365 days.  I haven’t been here to write anything in many weeks.  I think it stemmed from playing catch up after the move, and that I was left wanting to just be still.  I’m not sure how much of that stillness I’ve experienced.  A wee bit of paralysis, perhaps, but stillness not so much.  I am pretty certain at the end of 2012 we had some incredible expectations and dreams ahead of us.  Not that I remember any of them, but I’m relatively certain that most of them drifted off to sea many weeks or months ago and the others are simply out of reach, no matter how desperately we’ve grasped at them.

This year has been far from anything we could have predicted as we transitioned to our city and all the changes that came with that.

In 2013 I…

truly settled into my studio back in Murray and made it the perfect little space for my business.

taught a little workshop for ladies learning their cameras with my best photographer friend in that studio.

snuggled a TON of really cute babies in that studio and made friends with some of their parents.

got rid of tv.  best decision.

enjoyed far too few but still just as sweet good times with friends.

celebrated two years of my husband being cancer free.

thought about moving our whole lives into some ridiculous roadtrip adventure which clearly did not happen.

watched an entire community grieve the loss of one of the kindest, most authentic souls to ever walk this earth.

celebrated the first birthday of my best friend’s twin girls.

saw Bob Dylan in concert with my hubs and brother.  Which was not all it was cracked up to be, but makes a great bucket list item. 😉

shot a gun for the first time.  Clearly I don’t belong in the bluegrass.

watched my dear friend embark on the most incredible journey of adoption.

watched my husband finally get a guitar worthy of his incredible talents and subsequently watch him fall in love with playing again.

enjoyed a summer full of flowers on my back deck.

endured a summer without my husband at home after he moved for his new job.

celebrated getting past the quarter-century mark.

spent a lot of time packing up our lives in Murray, most begrudgingly.

looked at a lot of houses.  Didn’t buy a house.

sold our house a mere 5 days after listing it.

suddenly found myself more in love with the little town I never wanted to live in in the first place.

packed up my perfect little studio and finished packing my house.

went on a wonderful, much needed beach vacation with my hubs and family.

finally moved.  Into a rental.  And finally got to sleep beside my husband again at night.

celebrated three incredible, incredibly trying, and indescribably wonderful years of marriage.

experienced loss & grief for things yet unknown and discovered what powerful catalysts those can be.

did a terrible job of celebrating my husband and his 30 years on this earth.  Thankful he loves me anyway.

cried some terribly painful tears in solitude.

learned that my oldest friend I ever remember knowing will be getting married this year.  We’re getting old.

embraced my new city as best as I know how.  It’s home for now.

taken lots of photos of some really awesome people.

started a new journey with my husband as we go into another year.

learned that circumstances in life should never trump the condition of my heart.

It’s been a bountiful year, in so many ways.  In the last few weeks of the year I think I’ve mostly tried to find peace and comforts in the unknowns.  God is working in our lives and I know His hands are but a breath away in the hard times and in the good times, our joy is also His joy.  I can only imagine the things in store for the coming year.  I truly hope that I can focus on building a much more intentional life, one that I’m proud of, and at peace with.  I hope that some mighty prayers are answered.  I hope I learn to enjoy the present in a way that I’ve never experienced before.  I hope it’s a year of great adventure with my favorite companion by my side.  If 2014 is anything like this past year, I’m sure I’ll have my work cut out for me.  Here’s to jumping in, getting messy, and enjoying the ride.

I need a reason to sing

I went through a phase a few months back and I could listen to this track on repeat for hours, singing along, longing for something.  I haven’t had time to be longing in a while because life got too busy.  But the last couple of weeks I’ve been longing again and it’s hard and it hurts and it’s such a terrible lonely feeling when you’re longing for things you can’t even find the words to explain.  There are some very specific things that we are longing for right now and waiting for answers on, but there is such a vast pull for things I can’t identify.  And maybe I’m not supposed to.  God and I have had some good screaming crying car rides lately.  And we all know it’s true because I’ve spend the last three weekends driving back and forth between where I’m living now and the other places I’ve called home.  I know that these feelings will pass and that he’s using them to draw me closer but knowing that in my mind doesn’t affect the feelings of my heart.

He has given me countless reasons to sing, but right now when I try, my voice cracks and tears stream and the singing has become a quiet hum of perserverance.  But the melody is still there.

3 Years

Two days ago, on October 23, we celebrated three years of marriage.  In those first few months of our marriage it was all about survival.  Both in the literal sense of things while navigating his cancer treatments and surviving the toll that took on our relationship.  While in many instances it built us up because of all the love endorphins it produced, we weren’t without a lot of challenges to remember to be kind and to love each other, even in the worst times.  We were experiencing our ‘for better and for worse’  right from the start.

So on this our third anniversary we had that conversation that comes with milestones.  You know the one; where you evaluate where you are and where you’ve come from and talk about everything yet to come.  Not only what’s to come but how you want to get there- what you want the journey to look like.  And we inevitably came back to talk about what a lot of that period in our lives taught us.  I remember sitting there and telling him that I feel guilty sometimes because it seems like no matter where the conversation starts that when it’s about the big picture of our lives, if we come full circle on a particular conversation it will always come back to that chapter.  And that I sometimes feel guilty that we still pull out the cancer card.  Because we know people who’ve died from it.  Because we know people who spent more time in treatment.  Because we know people who suffered more.  But it was a paramount time in our story.  It helped build a foundation for who we would be for the rest of our lives.  I guess we shouldn’t feel guilty for that.

Now, three years later, we come back to those same conversations of thankfulness for being here together.  And with that, we are trying to embrace the season that God has put us in right now and hope that we aren’t blind or deaf to what he has in store for us next.  Every time these conversations happen we are reminded that His plans for us are truly His and that they are far greater than what we have in mind, after all, he gave us the gift of starting this marriage, and here we are, three years wiser, better and more in love. Cheers to three, and many more!

These fabulous photos (if I do say so myself!) are thanks to our incredible photographers, Phindy Studios.

Settling In.

We’ve been getting settled in.  We have a little old house and a wood paneled upstairs that initially made me dream of painting it white (rental buzzkill…) but has quickly become our favorite spot in the house.  It’s cozy.  And the critters have found the best windows from which to creep on the neighborhood.  So I think we’ll make it here.