Sunday, June 30, 2013

Shine!


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Go be light!



Scripture and Snapshot

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Things That Make Me Happy

1. This is a set on my flickr account with photos from all the different weddings I've shot. It starts with my first one that I did about 3 1/2 years ago (I think). My sister-in-law absolutely insisted that I shoot her wedding. I was terrified and did it for free. But this album shows my progression from shooting in almost auto, taking some workshops, learning to shoot in manual, figuring out some editing, shooting in RAW and then putting it all together. Plus there is loads of love going on in these photos... it's hard not to smile when looking at them!!

At some of the weddings I was just a guest, some I was second shooter, and some I was the solo shooter. I love it all! I just want to photograph weddings. :)


2. This video!! Confession... I like One Direction. But even more... One Direction done by the piano guys! This makes my insides happy!




3. This beautiful story of a dad who struggled to accept his special needs daughter and how he overcame that and embraced life with her. Tears people! Big. FAT. Happy. Tears.




4. Evolution of the bikini. Love her thoughts and presentation. "Modesty isn't about covering up because our bodies are bad. It's about revealing our dignity." AMEN! Best way I've ever heard to describe modesty.



What has been making you happy??




Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hey Mom!... What would you say if I got a tattoo?

That's the question I asked my mom over the phone one summer about twelve years ago.

MOM: Laura?
ME: Well... what would you say?
MOM: Laura?
ME: Don't worry mom... I got one yesterday.

Guess what mom!
I got another one today. :)


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(It's still looking pretty fresh because I only got it an hour before this photo.)

Why hope?

It's no secret that this has been a tough year for me. There were times where I felt hopeless, defeated, done. But every time I got to the end of my hope I found another reason to hope a little longer. Plus, if I was going to put something on me permanently where it would be forever visible I needed it to be something that is timeless. Hope is timeless.

HOPE
*the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best
*a person or thing in which expectations are centered
*to look forward with desire and reasonable confidence
 
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

My hope is in the Lord, my expectations are centered on him... and because of that I can believe that events will turn out for the best and look forward with confidence.

So why on my right ring finger?
Well, I didn't want it on my left because that is where my wedding rings go. So I went with the right. I put it there because I want the daily reminder to keep hoping but also to remind me that the last time I continued to hope in God I made it through.

Hope.
It's necessary.


Baby Animal Obsession

There's just something about baby animals that gets me every time. I just love them... as long as I don't have to take care of them and can just take pictures. :)

It's a baby water buffalo!
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The baby kangaroo is a current favorite. It was so fun to watch it crawling in and out of mama's pouch and hopping around. Baby was still a bit clumsy... it was adorable!
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Zebu
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Scottish Highlander
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Baby camels are so weird.
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I think Liza needs to meet a farmer. Get the girl some goats!
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This baby deer was just super sweet!
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Another deer...
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Muntjac
(Liza and Jason love these things!)
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As soon as it's not 20 degrees over buckets of sweat we'll be heading back to visit all these little ones!



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bad Habits

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It's no secret... I love food. I love it too much. And because of that and a lack of self-control I find myself near my highest non-pregnancy weight... again. I'm uncomfortable in my body and my clothes don't fit well. I'm also completely out of shape.

Something needs to change.
I need to change!

That's the only option.
No one is making me eat all the wrong things. Even if someone brings me something I shouldn't eat I am still the one who has to put it in my mouth. I am the one who has to decide to say yes instead of saying no. I am the only one to blame.

I've been blaming life lately for my bad eating. It's tough... eat it away! I'm angry... eat some more! Indulge.

Emotions DON'T make me eat!
No... I choose to DEAL with emotions by eating.
Not good!

Something needs to change.
I need to change.

But it's hard! And there is no easy way to make this change. I was talking with a friend about it and she said "just do it doesn't work". I responded with "what if just do it is all we've got?"

And that's where I found myself today. Not one bit of motivation. Faced with loads of yummy temptation. Not feeling like putting in the hard effort that is necessary for change... but just doing it anyways... because if I don't just do it, no one else is going to do it for me.

I got myself here.
I have to get myself out.

Hopefully I can wake up each morning and just do it again.



Monday, June 24, 2013

Waking Up

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I feel like I am FINALLY waking up.
I've been really down for the past two months. Depressed. Somewhat hopeless. Angry.
There has been a lot of stress, a lot of hurt, a lot of uncertainty.

I've been grieving.
Grieving the loss of hopes and dreams.

The grieving process is important. I looked up how it usually goes and I know that this talks about death and usually that refers to human death... but I find it also applies to grieving the death of dreams. The five stages are:
1.  Denial and Isolation.
     -I don't think I was in denial but I am definitely good at isolating myself.
2. Anger
    -I think it would have been strange if I hadn't experienced any anger. I don't think I'm quite as
    angry anymore but there was definitely some time there where I was. I needed to be. I needed to be
    honest about how I felt and honest with God.
3. Bargaining
    -I don't know that I actually made any bargains with God but I did tell him things like "I'm never
    doing that again." Or "You can just find someone else to do your work." Or "Leave me alone."
    Thankfully he understands when we speak out of hurt and still continues to do what is best for us
    despite ourselves.
4. Depression
    -I definitely had a good dose of that and still do some days. But it's less and less.
5. Acceptance
    -This is where I currently find myself. Not a place of great joy and happiness... but acceptance.
    Calm. Still a bit withdrawn.

I'm processing. I'm still working through it all. But I feel like I've had a bit of a breakthrough... like my hand finally felt the top edge of the pit. There's been a breath of fresh air. Life. Hope.

And along with it all... new dreams. Inspired ideas from God. I'm excited about a vision he has given me for a photography project. If I can make what is in my head and my heart happen it will end up being an amazing piece of art... something far beyond anything I have ever accomplished with photography. It will have great meaning and be very symbolic of what I have been going through in recent months.

God is good.
And it's when we go through the trials and hard times that we find out how good he really is.

I am so blessed by my God and my friends.
God has been true to his word and never left me.
And my friends... there are several who know the details of my life and didn't run when they realized how messy my life was. They were there for me every step of the way... listening to my angry rants, letting me go through the grieving process, praying for me, not allowing me to put too much distance between us as I attempted to isolate myself. Friends who still wanted to be around even though I didn't bring my silver linings and buckets of laughter for a while.

I am blessed.

Psalm 143:8 is such a good verse. God has shown me his unfailing love... constantly and I do trust him.




Sunday, June 23, 2013

Greenville Railroad Park Museum

On our way home from our little vacation last week, Mike and I stopped in Greenville to check out the little railroad museum. It's a pretty cool place. Free admittance, donations accepted.

There is a great collection of old railroad stuff. Communication center, brass bells, railroad models.

And there was a really neat couple working the day we stopped. The man walked us through and told us about everything. He has a ton of knowledge and shared some experiences of what it was like to ride a train back in the day. He fought in WWII and shared some of those stories as well.

There were some railcars to explore as well as a big old steam engine. It was kind of fun because I've been reading a lot of historical fiction lately and I seem to be getting a lot of books that deal with the beginning of the railroad. So I've been getting bits and pieces of history from the books and then I got to see the engine... kind of cool. It's super massive!

We'll be taking the kids to this place when we take them to the Pymatuning Spillway.

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How Far?

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'Nuff said.
Happy Sunday!
Embrace His love for you and receive His forgiveness for ALL your sins!


Scripture and Snapshot

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pymatuning Spillway... A Whole Lot of Fish!!

We were told that while at Pymatuning we MUST go to the Spillway. It's the place where the fish are so many that the ducks walk on their backs. True... saw it. Crazy!

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You guys! I couldn't believe the amount of fish and geese and the insanity of it all!

It pretty much looked like this for, I don't know... 150 yards? More?

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Fish up against the wall and the geese right next to them.

People were throwing bread (we didn't have any) and both the fish and geese would just go crazy over it! So much noise... squawking geese and fish slapping the water. Pictures don't even really do it justice so I took a little video... because my awesome new camera can do that. :)



Madness.

Amazing and completely gross at the same time.
We watched for at least 45 minutes.

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The fish would go over the little spillway and they couldn't get back out. So they stayed there. Jam packed. Ridiculous. They could swim out the other side and be in wide open waters... I'm guessing they wanted the bread??? Ha... who knows but I'd be all "I'm outta here!"

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And that, my friends, is the Pymatuning Spillway. We are planning a day trip to take the kids up to see it. We'll be taking bread with us this time!


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