Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Marry Me: Carol and Jed {Brown's Point Wedding Photography}

Saturday was a day of love and celebration as friends and family, gathered from all over the world, came to watch Jed and Carol get married. It was an amazing day and I am honored to have been a part of it.

Like every bride and groom, thoughtfulness went into the details....from the blue hydrangeas in the bouquet to the hand drawn order of service (a gift from a friend); from the fabric that Carol brought with her when she moved back from Jakarta a few weeks ago to the jewelery and the faith traditions they both share.

Before I go any further, I have my own personal story to share....my family has known Jed for a handful of years now and it is kind of its own "red thread" story. His parents and my family have mutual friends who live in Singapore, so when Jed was moving into the area, those friends gave us Jed's information and told us to have him over for dinner. Boy...are we glad we did! Jed is a "red thread" friend...we were already connected but we just hadn't met! When he and Carol let us know they were getting married, we offered our house for some of their friends to stay at....and now I have more "red thread" friends after this weekend - some from England, Texas and Kentucky.

Carol was STUNNING in her wedding gown!!

I always love the getting ready part of the wedding. What takes the bride and bridesmaids a couple of hours, the groom and groomsmen do in about 4 minutes flat! Guys sometimes just do not understand the process that needs to go in to looking beautiful on the wedding day!

I am always glad when the bride and groom decide to do a first look. I think it helps everyone relax and have more fun!! Since Jed and Carol both come from a strong Christian background, as I put this series together, I thought the story in the second chapter of Genesis could provide captions to these pictures....

(upper left) - It is not good for man to be alone.
(upper right) - So God made a helper suitable for him
(middle right) - And God brought her to the man
(bottom right) - in the Hebrew text after the words "And the man said..." there is a sort of loud pause, which can be translated as "WHOO HOO!!!"
(bottom left) - for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.

So I finally left them along for a few minutes, but was still a little nosy!!

The bridal party could not have been more fun!! I know there were a few countries represented in the group, including but not limited to....Singapore, Costa Rica, United Kingdom, Indonesia, United States....please forgive me if I forgot yours!!

It was supposed to be pouring rain on Saturday, but obviously God knew Carol's favorite color was blue and His gift was the blue, blue skies!! After a few pictures with the bridal party down at the beach, I sent them away for just some of Jed and Carol.

This sweet 90-year old couple was at the beach and agreed to help hold the bouquet while Jed and Carol danced on the sand. (I think it might be good luck to have a much older married couple help on your wedding day like this!!)

Caught them kissing in the back seat of my car!!

The ceremony was beautiful!! Both of their dads are pastors and both took part in the service (and neither one cried! I'm impressed!)

I always love it when we get to the reception...there is a sense of "whew!" and "now we can relax and have some fun!!"

Are there really any words needed for this picture??

I had to put a few more of the bridal party in!! Jed's mom had bought umbrellas for all the rain that never showed up, but we decided to pull them out anyway! I think the girls were way more thrilled with them than the boys!!

Jed and Carol got into the fun!!

Carol put special touches at the reception too! The blue adorned the cake and tables...as well as beautiful batik cloth from Jakarta and the party favors of the coolest chopsticks EVER!!

This is a crew of "kids" who grew up in Costa Rica together...

The sunset was probably another gift from God...

Carol changed into this cute dress she brought back from Jakarta....and boy, could the wedding guests make A LOT of bubbles!!!

Jed and Carol....it was a privilege to capture a piece of your story!! May God bless your marriage!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sweet Expectation {Tacoma Maternity Photography}

Will they have a boy or a girl??  That answer will come soon enough.  What is for certain is that they will have a child who is deeply loved!!

It was a tremendous privilege to get to photograph Maria and Andrew the other day as they get ready to become parents!!

What began on two continents and three countries...(she is from Sweden, he is from the US, and they met in Spain)....has grown from love, to marriage, to waiting expectantly for a new little life to arrive.

I have to say that I LOVE this picture.  New life is springing up all around us!!

"Sometimes," said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."  (I have to say that is one of my favorite quotes.)

OK....LOVE this one too!!

Thanks for allowing me to photograph you two (well...actually, three!).  I can't wait to meet your little one when he or she is born!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

This past week, my plans got interrupted A LOT!!  I didn't plan on being a one car family (and all the scheduling that entails!), nor did I plan on trips to the doctor and a kid at home for most of the week.  I found myself frustrated with the interruptions to my "work"....and then came across this wonderful reminder from Henri Nouwen.

It reminds me of the movie Mr. Holland's Opus.  In it, the wonderful composer intended to do something amazing, but "life" (ie. marriage, kids, paying rent...) interrupted his plans.  He just wants to compose one memorable piece of music to leave his mark on the world, but instead has to become a teacher.  In the end, he realizes he has left his mark on the world (and created a great opus), but it was made out of all the detours and interruptions that came his way. 

Oh, to remember that!  And to be thankful for the "interruptions" that are my REAL work anyway!

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

My son is a lego builder.  He constructs amazing creations (without instructions) out of those primary color pieces.  The building process begins as a huge mess on the floor - individual lego pieces strewn across the ground.  Slowly, thoughtfully and creatively a work of art is created from that initial pile of chaos.  How those pieces go from being singular blocks that are hazards to the feet when tread upon, to a beautiful, well-built network, boggles my mind.  But they do...and this week it reminded me very much of how we {re}build a life after a major move.

Four years ago we moved to the Pacific Northwest from the desert Southwest - different climate, different culture, and most ominously, no support structure.  We left family and friends to move to a place where we knew no one.  Our life was a bucket of legos spilled on the floor - pieces disconnected and far from being networked with one another.

Being the expert lego master I am (NOT!!), I put together rudimentary structures - grocery stores, schools, doctors - all things a new-to-town family needs.  It was my best attempt to create something, but was boxy, simple and boring.  (And honestly....that is the extent of my real lego building skills - squares and boxes!  Ughhh!!)

What I needed was the skill of my son - to see the parts and pieces, be patient and create something intricate and amazing.  But how do you do that with your life in a brand new city?  My answer....time, vulnerability and perseverance.

It takes time to build a new life (and I hate that fact!!).  We have to log many hours with people that will eventually turn into friends....but it is different from when we were in high school or college.  Now we have so many more things to give our time to...and so does everyone else.

It takes vulnerability.  We have to say we are new, say we need help, share our stories.  I had to be so vulnerable as to look at some new folks in my life and say "I need a friend"!!  Most of them were shocked because:
1.  they thought I had it "all together" and
2.  they had never moved away from their support system before and never thought about it...or
(I guess there is a third option.. they were so shocked because they had never seen anyone so desperate before!!  Just kidding!!)

It takes perseverance.  Not everyone I've met wants to be my friend and that has been hurtful.  Not everyone wants to hear my story.  When I wish someone would call me, I've learned to call them even though I feel like a burden and a big dork!!  We stay at it, not because it is fun, but because we need a network of friends.

Piece by piece, over these last few years - through lots of frustration and tears, a network of friends has emerged.  I realized it this week as two emergencies happened:

I got in a car accident (rear-ended, no one hurt except the car) and after the initial adrenaline rush I started to panic about who I could call to come help.  Almost immediately my fears calmed as I thought of one friend, then another and yet another.  (Not a lot, I know, but 3 or 4 friends in an emergency are better than 1000 acquaintances!)

The second emergency - taking my daughter to the ER (again...everything is OK) meant I needed someone to pick up my son.  I can't tell you how nice it was to call a friend who swooped in and took care of it all!!  Yet a few other friends have texted to be sure we were OK and offer their services (and cars!!).

It was as though this week I got to step back a little from trying to piece together my mess of legos - that I got to see a new life was actually coming into formation!

So what to do with all this?  (After all, hopefully inspiration leads to action).  If you find yourself in a new city, trying to build a new life....give it time.  Be patient with yourself and with others.  Be willing to go out on a limb and tell someone what you need from them...you might be surprised how it builds a friendship.  Keep at it.  Somewhere out there are people you will connect with...keep trying to find them!

And if you are not new, would you do me a favor?  FIND SOMEONE NEW TO TOWN and stick to them!  Ask them to join you for holidays.  (You know those Memorial Day barbeques coming up?  Well, those new people don't have anyone to be with or anywhere to go!)  Try to meet practical needs....and here is a good test.  Anything you would rely on family or friends for, offer to do or be that for the new person.  (Example:  be the emergency contact on their child's school registration.  It is a little thing, but daunting when you are new-to-town-with-no-support-system.)

May we all step in, help pick up the multi-colored pieces, and help build this structure called life!  May we connect with one another in this vast, multifaceted network.  And may we be surprised with joy at both the process and the final creation!

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Class of 2011: Miranda {Graham Senior Photography}

Ahh...sunny, sunny day with a sunny, sweet girl!!  Meet Miranda...

She was so fun to hang out with....and I love the vibrant colors she chose!

You look amazing!!!  Love how that shirt brings out the blue in your eyes!!

Miranda is headed down to Southern California for school next year.  First, let me say, I am jealous!!  Anytime you need a photographer down there...please call me!!  Secondly, I think these images are the beginning of looking like a California girl!

I like this series of micro-expressions.  I bet they are looks mom has seen year after year after year....

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this one!!  (It is the epitome of a Pacific Northwest girl...what with the mossy log and greenery in the background!)

It was wonderful to photograph you, Miranda!!  I hope the school days go by fast and the summer feels long!!  AND I hope next year is just amazing for you!!