This little cutie pie is my friend Lindsay! I've watched her grow over the years into a beautiful young lady, but boy oh boy, I never realized how hilarious she was!! Seriously, I laughed the whole time we spent together last fall. Lindsay is planning to study to become a nurse, and they say that laughter is the best medicine, so I think she's going to be pretty successful. :)
Hi world!! It has been a busy Fall season for me, and I still have lots of fun coming my way to finish up 2017! I'm okay (sometimes) at sharing photos on Facebook, but I love seeing them all together in a blog post.
This family is one of my all time faves! I've known them for about half of my life, and it's been so fun to watch these two littles grow. I took their family photos about five years ago, and they are just as awesome now as they were then. What I love most about the Groce family is that when you're spending time with them, you always feel like you're the most important person in the world. The live in the present so perfectly.
"Present over perfect. Quality over quantity. Relationship over rushing." Shauna Niequist
In 7th grade I met a beautiful, outgoing, CRAZY senior in youth group named Emily. I was pretty bummed when she left for college, but she always made time for little ole me whenever she was in town. Emily is one of the most loyal and faithful people I have ever met. She has been a camp counselor at the same camps for close to ten years. She loves people so well and has a special way of making everyone she meets feel comfortable in their own God-given skin.
Back in January I had the great honor of photographing her wedding with my buddy Andrew of The ALPS. We had a BLAST...except that is the understatement of the century! It was a beautiful day filled to the brim with love! I am so happy that my friend found someone as great as Roman to walk through life with. Thank you both for the privilege of being up in your business on your wedding day. ;)
"I’m yours completely
No matter what comes our way
I’ll love you til the end of my days."
-For King and Country
"Look for Christ and you will find Him. And with Him everything else." -CS Lewis
I decided I would attempt to take a photograph every day of 2017, with either my camera or my phone. My hope was to stretch my creativity and look around more to find moments to photograph. I've already failed quite a few times, but hey, grace covers every step. Every single one. It was pretty funny that many days when I was busy doing things, I would completely forget to take a picture of what I was doing, but on boring, at-home days, I always remembered! This month flew by. I loved my J-term class, I photographed a wedding, and I had quite a bit of down time. It's nice to have a breather after the holidays before jumping into spring semester. Enjoy seeing a little peak into my January :)
January 1: We woke up to a blanket of snow! Perfect opportunity for photos, right? WRONG. I completely forgot that I had challenged myself to take a photo a day in 2017 until 9:30pm. So I ran outside in my llama pajamas and had some fun underneath the porch lights.
January 2: Taken on the drive home from shopping in North Bend.
January 3: My first day back at school! It was a great start to Jan Term besides the sidewalks being icy. I kept picturing myself slipping, falling, hitting my head and passing out in the cold until aided by a Good Samaritan. Nothing of the sort occurred.
January 4: Nothing fancy here. I just liked how the light was falling on my mom's sewing gear.
January 5: Babysitting my little buddy. He is honing his walking skills and doing great!
January 6: Dead salmon found on an adventure near Clark's Creek.
January 7: Reading The Magician's Nephew" while babysitting.
"For the rest of that day, whenever he looked at the things about him, and saw how ordinary they were, he hardly dared to hope; but when he remembered the face of Aslan he did hope."
January 8: I forgot to take a picture. Whoops. BUT I did finish reading The Magician's Nephew and especially liked the quote above.
January 9: What could be better than drinking apple cider and watching the National Championship?
January 10: My momma sewing aprons for my nieces.
January 11: Celebrated Dad's birthday early!
January 12: Dropped off Dad at the air port and made a stop at Ikea and Baja Fresh with Mom on the way home.
January 13: Busy day! Top left was my view walking into school. The picture doesn't do it justice but I love seeing the sun hit MBR every morning. Top right was a view of the Space Needle with the 12 flag flying! (We went to pick up some camera equipment in Seattle.) And finally, we went and saw La La Land. We liked it...I think. The ending made me a little sad.
January 14: Jordan and River playing during halftime.
January 15: I got to photography a wedding! And it was beautiful! And I am so so so happy!
January 16: Hobby Lobby. Enough said.
January 17: Our best friends and worst enemies simultaneously. The stories and secrets these shoes have experienced.
January 18: I officially have a major. Does that mean I'm a real college student now?
January 19: I love our snuggle time. LOVE.
"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised." 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
January 20: I (once again) forgot to take a photo. But I've been reading in 2 Corinthians this week and thinking about how much culture opposes this. We live in a world that tells us we should be in control. It's beautiful to know that I am not in control, but am controlled by the love of Jesus. It isn't a scary type of control, like imprisonment or abuse, but rather a change of heart. I am no longer controlled by my sinful nature because I have died to sin and been raised. Christ lives in me. I don't have to live like I used to...and THAT is real freedom.
January 21: I went to a Daddy-Daughter Dance with my daddy. It was so fun to spend time with him and such a refreshing night. My Facebook and Twitter feeds have been filled with so much division and complaining. It was remarkable to see men put their phones aside and invest in their daughters. Those hours make more of an impact than any amount of social media post ever could. Rather than merely typing that we should value all people, those men lived it out by showing their daughters that they are worth love and affection. Thank you, Dad, for teaching me that every day of my life.
January 22: Having curly hair is fun until you have to wash it. Ouch.
January 23: Mom and I went for a chilly bike ride on the trail! It's good to be back.
"Well begun is half done." -Mary Poppins
January 24: Another day, another picture I forgot to take. But Mary Poppins knows best.
January 25: I love getting mail from my buddy Ryan!
January 26: My momma made our house bright and beautiful with flowers!
January 27: I love watching the sun rise. :)
January 28: Another sun rise!
"We all eat lies when our hearts are hungry."
January 29: I don't know who said this (Pinterest quote!) but it couldn't be more true. This month was all about filling my mind and heart with TRUTH to combat the lies constantly trying to worm their way in. One of the practical ways I did this during January was listen to worship music as much as possible! It's hard because I love listening to Country when I'm driving to school, and I still did some days, but being intentional about putting truth in my brain as much as possible helped tremendously this month. Our emotions follow our beliefs...our beliefs come from what we are putting into our minds. I want truth so my emotions respond appropriately.
January 30: Just another lazy Monday. I was feeling under the weather so I watched Beauty and the Beast. :)
January 31: WOO! One month down! I am ready for warmer weather so I painted my toe nails. Bring on spring!
2016. Is. OVER. Wham bam, that happened quick. I know that there was a whole lot of crazy this year but you guys...God is SO good. I've seen His incredible redemption and grace abundantly this year. In August, I took a leap of faith and quit my job to devote more time and energy to photography. It hasn't been all rainbows and butterflies, but it has been an incredible journey of learning to trust Jesus more and more. I am THANKFUL!
Choosing the "best" photos from this year was no small task. This was an awesome year for photography! I chose the photos that show the most "life"....they aren't perfectly composed or lit, but the people in them are really living and really loving. That's why I love doing this. I still have one more family to finish off 2016 with, but THANK YOU to everyone who asked me to photograph them this year. I love you all and I cherish the life you let me capture.
"God is not looking for extraordinary, exceptionally gifted people, just laid-down lovers of Jesus who will carry His glory with transparency and not take it for themselves." -Heidi Baker
This girl? She's one of my closest friends. We went to lunch after church one Sunday, spilled our guts to each other, and have been walking with Jesus and each other ever since. (I say "ever since" like it has been years...it's been six months. That's how good this friendship is.) And this guy? He is pretty special, too. It has been incredible to watch him pursue her and point her to Jesus. They've been married about a month and a half but it feels like they've been together forever. I am so thankful to not only have amazing friends in this couple, but also an incredible example of what it means to be in a Christ-centered relationship. Thanks for letting me try my hand at engagement photos. I don't know if I'm completely hooked yet...but maybe someday. :)
"You're the only thing that I have ever been sure of." -Needtobreathe
This girl!!! Don't you just want to give her a big hug?! Don't you just want to sit at a table and drink coffee and let her love you?! She is sweeter than she looks, friends. Sarah and I have been friends for years, and I have benefited immensely from her kind, gentle spirit. She is the life of the party and the sweetest person you've ever met all rolled into one. Seriously, she is the real deal. I was so honored to capture her senior photos this past spring. And now, she's settled into college, plugging away, following Jesus and shining brighter than ever! Thank you, sweet Sarah, for you incredible heart. I love you dearly!
"Lighthouses don't go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining." -Ann Lamott
It has been fun watching my little "business" grow. When I first started, it was mostly just close friends and family asking me to snap some photos, and in turn they would donate to my mission trip funds. Through the years, I've been able to get some referrals which is so encouraging! As a creative person, I often question if my work is "good enough," so knowing that there are a few people out there who liked what I can offer is pretty special. This is my sweet friend Julia's brother and his adorable family! These photos are almost a year old (seriously, people, I need to lock myself in my room and CATCH UP) but I love how you clearly you can see that these three just love each other. And that makes my job worthwhile.
"The best thing in life to hold onto is each other." -Audrey Hepburn
These photos have been sitting in my blog draft box just waiting to be seen! (There are a lot of those...I'm trying to catch up!) Anyways, I just love these two. I know I probably say that about everyone I photograph, but that's just because I'm lucky enough to capture the moments of the people I treasure. My first vivid memory of Julia is sitting in a tiny office at a YoungLife house, just talking about life and Jesus. She is such a kindhearted, loving, inspirational lady, and she is doing an amazing job raising her son. Seriously--AMAZING. I have spent a lot of time around kids, and this dude is one of the very best. I feel so thankful to know them both and be able to capture their special relationship. And I'm thankful that they keep me in business! ;)
"Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing."
This girl. She's got a heart of pure gold. It's been a wild ride getting to know Emma through youth group. We met when she was a freshman, and it has been absolutely incredible to see how Jesus has transformed her life. If you ever meet her, ask her about what she's going to do with her life...you'll be amazed by the caring heart that God has given her. I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do without her next year when she leaves me for college, but I am also excited to watch her flourish as she walks down this next pathway of life with Jesus. I love you, Emmalou! Thanks for our sweet friendship and our fun Leavenworth road trip.
"I care. I care a lot. It's kinda my thing."
This girl...it is impossible to say enough about her love for others and her vibrant personality. I love her "go for it!" spirit. Big or small, she is always ready for an adventure. And she's always ready to make you laugh. Over the years, I have cherished our friendship and enjoyed watching Brooklynn grow into the beautiful lady that she is. May we all strive to have a love for life the same way that Brooklynn does! Congratulations on your graduation, my friend!