Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Breathe {inspiration for Wedsnesdays}

I was challenged this week by a quote I heard.  And since it keeps tumbling and rolling in my mind, I thought I'd share it with you.  It is by Pierre d'Harcout who during the Nazi occupation of France was taken into prison....

Beneath everything, beyond everything, I felt myself humiliated and defeated.  I had been so confident, and now my pride had been laid low.  There was only one way of coming to terms with my fate…by offering to God all that I had suffered. I must not only have the courage to accept the suffering he had sent me; I must also thank him for it, for the opportunity he gave me to find at last his truth and love.

Then the inspiration came to me to kiss the chains which held me prisoner, and with much difficulty I at last managed to do this…Once my lips had touched the steel I was freed from the terror that possessed me. As the handcuffs had brought the terror of death to me, now by kissing my manacles I had turned them from bonds into a key…In the blackness of that night my faith gave me light.

What chains do we feel are binding us right now in our lives?  I have a friend who would say it is her marriage.  Another might say (but not out loud) it is motherhood.  It may be finances, aging parents, a child catapulting into adolescence, or some heartbreaking situation we never asked for or dreamed of.  For me it is living in a location that leaves me, for half the year, cold, in darkness and prone to depression.  But when the above quote was spoken this week, I had to ask myself...can I kiss the chains?  Can I kiss them with love and thanks for all they have taught me?  Can I see them as a key rather than bonds?

Or perhaps the better question is....will I?

 May we all learn to give thanks for the chains in our lives.  May we have the courage to kiss them and as we do, may we see them transformed before our very eyes.
Breathe, smile and go slowly.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Nineteen and Counting...{Port Orchard Family Photography}

These two started this all...

I am not sure how long it was from the beginning of just those two until now, but it now the family has expanded to nineteen and counting....there is one more on the way!!

I got to photograph each individual family and each kid....but thought I'd highlight the youngest ones because they are so cute I just can't stand it!!

Grandparents with all their grandkids.  Does it get any better than that??  (For both the grandparents and the kids!!)

Thanks H Family for inviting me to photograph you!  I had a lot of fun with all of you!!  Enjoy these few "sneak peaks" while the rest of the images are being finished!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Marry Me: Katie and Steve {Sumner Wedding Photography}

It is that time again....I invite you to join me at the latest wedding!  Katie and Steve got married this last weekend and I had the privilege of photographing this amazing event.

The day started off early for the girls with lots of hair and makeup being done.  All of Katie's bridesmaids were there, as well as her mom (oh yeah...and her two dogs!) and they were a fun bunch.  I got to hear lots of great stories and her cousin from New York became the resident makeup artist. 

The dress and shoes...absolutely stunning!

But the dress looked even better when it was on Katie!!  The venue, by the way, was Laurel Creek Manor - a beautiful old estate that became an amazing backdrop for this wedding!
Just a few of the details...beautiful flowers, unique ties for every groomsman, and the heart on the front door.

But of course, the two main attractions were Steve and Katie...

I always love the expressions that I capture from a First Look!!  Steve was absolutely stunned at Katie's beauty.  He just kept saying to me, "Have you ever seen a more beautiful bride?"

And I am sure Katie has never seen such a handsome can see it in her smile and eyes!!

What a beautiful, beautiful couple..but you can see that for yourselves...

The majority of this bridal party met in college and have remained friends since.  They had a lot of good stories to tell about their college antics!

Just before the ceremony, Katie and Steve exchanged gifts.  I LOVED this mostly silhouette of them kissing a "thank you" to one another.  (Katie is showing me her gift in her hand, but I was much more interested in their connection!)

Here comes the bride...

A few more details....

Of course, the weatherman had said there would be a 70 percent chance of rain, which made it all the more fun to go take pictures out in a field with a little golden sun peaking through the clouds warming our day.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this set....
(we had no raindrops the entire day, by the way!!)

Katie is a dancer and it showed out there on the dance floor!

Evidently Katie is also a diplomat.  Someone told me that a handful of single ladies each asked her to throw the bouquet to them.  Katie, not wanting to play favorites or disappoint, decided to throw 5 little bouquets so everyone had a chance.  Maybe Katie could help negotiate at the United Nations????

Not really sure where this image fit in, but I love it, so here it is.  Katie was a radiant bride!!

Just when I thought she couldn't get cuter, she changed into another little dress for the rest of the reception.  Love it....and evidently, so did Steve!!

There were so many great pictures from the reception (or was it just one big party??) but here is a sampling of some of the fun!

Katie and Steve, it was an honor to photograph your wedding!  I wish you all the best in your future!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

Little ones instinctively know when they are being held, don't they?  We can put them on the softest blankets, press a button to create the sound of an artificial heartbeat, even dim the lights and control the temperature.  But they will still stretch and fuss, even just a little, as though we've placed them on burlap and there is no position comfortable.  There are little whimpers, jerky movements with the hands and feet which startles them all the more and no amount of "shhhhhhh" and patting them on the back seems to bring peace.

However....scoop that same child into your arms.  A magic spell is cast over them; eyes close and they fall into the most peaceful slumber imaginable.  Their whole body relaxes at the touch of skin; the sound of little breaths become rhythmic and calm.  Though they may be bent and folded in funky ways, defying all chiropractic knowledge, they find their perfect "sleep number" on hard working biceps.

Once in those arms, they give in to total trust.  They don't ask where they are being taken, why they are being softly bounced, or what tune it is they hear being hummed.  They simply know they are in arms who will take care of them...and can rest peacefully in that.

We would do well to learn this childish trait - this giving ourselves over completely to the Arms of Love.  We knew it instinctively once as a baby and somewhere, to our detriment, we outgrew it.  To learn to rest and trust in the embrace of God may be the toughest "developmental milestone" we adults need to move towards....but it is what we are made for.  

Moses once reminded the Israelites (after they had been delivered from Egypt and spent 40 LONG years wandering in a desert) "how God, your God, carried you as a father carries his child, carried you the whole way until you arrived here."  The same is true for us....God longs to pick us up and carry us THE WHOLE WAY until we arrive.  Our job is to stop fussing and trust the Arms that hold us.

May we all practice giving in to the embrace of God.  As He picks us up in our frenzy, may we feel our bodies relax and go limp with complete trust.  May we know that He's got us and will carry us the whole way.

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kiss Me: Jenn and Justin {Kirkland Engagement Photography}

Got to photograph this amazing couple the other day and before I tell you any bit about them or our session, I thought I would start with my FAVORITE picture....

Ahhh...these two are very much in love and were really fun to photograph!  I just think Jenn is drop dead gorgeous, and Justin, while handsome, also has a rare kindness about him.  (Both times I have met with these two, my son has been with me and Justin always engages him in conversation, treating my 11 year old with dignity and respect.)  Good catch, Jenn!!

(OK...the one on the right is also one of my favorites!  Those smiles are just bursting with love for one another and joy at the thought of life together!)

I told you these two were fun!!  On the left, Justin decided to do some pull-ups to kiss his bride-to-be, then (in the middle) he surprised her with a little big dip!!  Of course, Jenn would not be out done as she decided to do a few push-ups on Justin!

Oh forget all the activity....let's just enjoy a kiss!

We almost got through the whole session without one drop of rain even though the clouds spoke of impending showers.  But we didn't quite make it through....such is life in western Washington...although umbrellas make for great pictures!

Jenn and Justin, it was a pleasure to photograph you!!  I am looking forward to your big day in August!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Little Ones: Inara {Tacoma Baby Photography} this beautiful little lady!!  Her name is Inara and she is a sweet little snuggler!!

I had the opportunity to photograph her...well, mom and dad...before she was born.  Then this little one was born while I was on vacation so I missed the "newborn" window, but mom and dad waited and brought her to me yesterday!!  YEAH!!

Inara is bright eyed and beautiful!! I know she is going to be inquisitive and playful as a little girl...but for now, her favorite activity is snuggling (preferably with mom and dad).

When I looked it up, the name Inara means "ray of light" or "heaven sent".  I am sure her parents would agree.

Out in the garden....she was wide awake looking at everything!!

I HAD to put the top picture in...evidently this little miss is going to be quite a thinker as well!  (Then check out that little smile).

More expressions...

I have to say I LOVE little toes!!

Inara's grandmother made this little sweater for her (way to go, grandma!!) and obviously she enjoys it!!