Skinny Blonde Chick

I ALWAYS wanted a sister when I was a girl. Preferably a twin because I thought it would be great to have someone my same age. Well I was an only child for seven years and then the Lord blessed me with a brother. I was sooo happy to have my own real life baby to play with. But my desire for a sister was still always there. When I was 14 I had just started high school, and would eat lunch with the same friends from junior high. I noticed there was some new skinny blonde chick that would sit with us. She didn’t really talk to anybody so I wasn’t sure if she was aware of the fact that none of us knew her! It turned out she had just started public school and the one soul she knew in the entire high school from years ago happened to also eat lunch with us. We also happened to share a computer class together. It was 1998, we were learning to type. You got mail. I digress.
 
It was over the course of about 6 months that I would occasionally say hi to her, and that’s it. One day we both came to school dressed EXACTLY alike. For seriously, it was like a detailed striped shirt that was identical, not just like a plain white shirt. Talk about horrifying. I wanted to melt into a puddle. Even worse, she was not bothered by this! What. The. Heck. Somehow over these months I learned she liked The Dixie Chicks. This is my very first memory of wanting to be her friend: My grandma took me to the music store (this was before itunes, try hard to imagine.) and told me I could pick out a new cd. I remember there were about 10 new albums I wanted, but do you want to guess the one I picked? The Dixie Chicks. I am trying hard to remember why I did this. I think because I trusted I would’ve liked them since we liked similiar music, and it was a conversation piece other than “hey, remember when we were dressed like twins?” We also were allowed to listen to music in the computer class. I started going over to sit with Hannah and bringing my Dixie Chicks cd, leaving it out so she could see how freaking awesome I was. And that was the starting point of almost 14 years of friendship. I have known her half my life. Oh, her name is Hannah by the way. . .
 
 
 
Isn’t she beautiful?
 
Well if I went into that much detail over the next 14 years, your face would probably melt off all Raiders of the Lost Ark style from sitting in front of the monitor for so long. We have gone through more highs and lows than anyone else in my life. New friends, boys, husbands, babies, no babies. We went through periods of almost hating each other, of not talking, of spending every waking minute together, crying together. We’ve shared the biggest chapters in life as best friends. I’ve learned my shortcomings throughout this friendship. Again, listing this will make your face melt off. And still after everything she is always there for me. My biggest cheerleader and “woo”er when I need encouragement. She will cry with me, laugh with me, I’m sure she’d punch the crap out of someone’s face if I asked her.
 
I’ve changed more in the last year than probably my entire life combined. With that change I’m learning to appreciate these amazing people God has placed in my life. I’ve taken her for granted so many times, but am trying now to show her just what an amazing woman she is! We are not perfect friends, but we are perfect BFFs together!
 
Hannah, I love you my sweet friend! You make my life brighter, and have loved me when I haven’t deserved it. You are kind, hilarious, an amazing mom, and just all around wonderful. I can’t complain about one single thing (for the sake of making this post as mushy as possible I will refrain from expressing my hatred for your humming. Okay, seriously though it is like nails on a chalkboard in the middle of the bosnian desert with a viper biting your eye while Dr Phil says “ya’all” on repeat times infinity). Thank you for being the sister I always wanted.
Also, live closer to me.
Fin.

engagement session in union station and chinatown

A couple months ago I got to photograph some good friends that were in love. Awww. I also got to eat my first French dip sandwich. Tied for best part of the day, just being honest. We started off in Union Station, and then took the metro to Chinatown. Here are some of my favorite shots of the day. Happy weekending to you!

My favorite of the day*

*Side note: While we were in Chinatown I swore I saw Jessica Claire. I got all giddy and fangirly and I even tweeted about it. She tweeted me back saying she had been home all day. Fail! I’m like the backbrace girl that waved at the cheerleader because she was waving back, and then realized the quarterback was standing behind her. Yeah, I think like that 🙂

My Identity in Christ

 “What do you do?” is often one of the introductory questions when meeting someone new. Now this is usually the time I would panic as I try to develop a clever answer that would satisfy my particular audience at the time. Thoughts swirl through my head, “Well I’m a wife and I take care of our home, I’m a photographer too I guess, but then I also babysit weekly . . .” I stress myself out about giving the “right” answer. Will they think badly of me as a housewife? Think that I’m too carefree as a photographer? Too juvenile as a babysitter?

Do you see the very clear problem in my feelings in the first paragraph? “Me, me, me!” I become so wrapped up in myself, who I am, and how I can impress someone with what I identify myself with. It would have been a far better use of my time to hear the Lord and what He says about me. Identity is defined as “the distinguishing character or personality of an individual.” In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we are told “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” I am in Christ, and therefore should be looking at Christ as the source of my identity—for who He wants me to be in Him. What sets me apart and distinguishes me from the world is simply Jesus.

Sometimes the world gets so wrapped up in labels and categories. I remember the quad in my high school during lunch period. Everyone sat with their group: the athletes clung together discussing game scores and new plays; the band kids sat together in the music room; the theatre group (admittedly, I was one of them!) would gather together telling jokes and quoting movies. There wasn’t much wiggle room for those that didn’t solely identify with just one thing. You made your decision, typically at the beginning of your high school “career”—and that’s where you usually stayed. Whether or not you were an athlete and a musician, and even sometimes a dancer—you were usually seen as one. And let’s be honest, some labels were more desirable than others. I know for me that age really began the temptation to impress others with who I was, and what separated me from the rest.

As most teens grow into adults, labels take a backseat to the internal struggle of finding yourself. Where do I place my identity? If it’s in my career, I will forever be climbing the totem pole of “corporate success”—but then what happens when it’s time to retire? If I’m a mother and raise my children til they’re grown—well, then who am I once they leave? If I place who I am in what I see in the mirror everyday, eventually the wrinkles and grey hair will change that picture too. Everything in this world can try and place my identity in will eventually change or go away. If where I place my identity disappears, what happens to who I am?

You see, the only safe place to stow (and keep!) our identity is in Christ Himself. Hebrews 13:8 tells us that Christ is the same “yesterday, today, and forever.”  We should always remember that our Savior is an ever-loving, never-changing God. He knows us better than we know ourselves. It’s Christ alone that defines our identity and distinguishes us from the rest of the world.

So, who are we as new creations in Christ? We are beloved, treasured, and most desired by God Himself. We are on this earth for a number of days to know God, love and worship Him, and to make Him known to others. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)—we still sin and fall short, but in obedience to the Holy Spirit’s refining work, He redeems us. He loved us even in our darkness—and through the veil of crimson blood, we were able to walk into the light. Next time someone asks “what do you do?”, remember who you are in Christ instead. And use every opportunity to share your true identity with others. I am more than a wife, photographer, or babysitter: I am the child of God, in Whose perfect identity I can rest secure for all of eternity—and that is far, far better.

the “C” puppies

So if you’re my friend on Facebook (and why aren’t you if you’re not?!) you may see that I post endless phone pictures of various puppies. Yes, it’s true, I have puppies. I’ll allow sufficient time for envy. We good now? So I sorta fell into being a foster parent for our local Humane Society. This means when there are abandoned puppies that are too young to either go to the pound or be adopted, I will take care of them full time at my house until they’re old enough. That means I get lots of adorable puppies and then give ’em the boot once they start growing up. I’ll be honest, I cry everytime I bring them back. Some I’ve only had for a couple weeks, while others I’ve had for pushing three months. It’s hard no matter how long I have them, but I’m a sucker and keep saying yes whenever they call. I absolutely love doing this!

The most recent brood to enter into my fosterdom is Cassidy and her puppies. We got them when they were a day old. We have no photos of them at this age because Cassidy would go all shades of Kujo on us if we got within 5 feet of her. It took a good week before we could pet her or the puppies without risk of death or dismemberment. Fast forward 3 weeks and Cassidy thinks this is her permanent home (I haven’t the heart to tell her otherwise yet) and we have 2 thriving puppies. We originally had three but the runt, Clarence, passed away last Thursday. It was devastating and sad for Justin and I. My mother in law wrote an amazing eulogy of sorts on her blog, you can read it here. We miss Clarence terribly, but are still overjoyed to have Cassidy, Charlie, and Casper with us to love on.

And now for enough boring type, on to the pictures:

This is Cassidy (or Mama Cass if you’re me)

Charlie

Casper

I put them in my shoes. I’m a good foster parent.

I woke them up. They’re not happy with me.

How can you not love them? Even if they are chihuahua mutts.

These are the three brothers. The only photos I have of Clarence are on my phone. Casper and Clarence look almost identical, we called them “the twins.” Here they are hugging, which Charlie providing butt support.

***Blooper Reel***

This picture did not come out in focus, and the little stinker wouldn’t yawn again. I can’t not post it because it is seeping with adorableness. So here’s the best blooper of your life. In history. Ever.