Tuesday, November 25, 2014

thoughts | brokenness & the american dream


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brokenness.
i've been thinking about that word a lot lately.
especially with what has been unraveling in Ferguson, MO.
i'm a broken person.
i lie, cheat, steal, gossip, lust, sin, and take low blows.
i think i'm righteous.
i think i'm good.
i put myself higher than others - when i'm humbled to find i'm lower than most. 

i look at this country, america, and am reminded of Martin Luther King, Jr's i have a dream speech. there are parts of his speech that are quoted over, and over again, mostly to drive home a point. i've found that the first sentence in his speech is almost always overlooked:

"I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation."

let's pull three words from that sentence, happy, freedom, nation. 
overlooking everything this country has done in the last twenty years do those three things ring true?
are we happy?
are we really free?
are we a joined, connected, family nation?
i beg to say no. 
no we are not.

it pains me, ruins me, that race is still an issue within this country.
within families.
within churches.
within hearts.
God does not see race.
hispanic, black, white, asian…we are all beautiful - individually created with unique characters God crafted. 

and yet we war.

we war because it is comfortable.
easy.
the 'just' thing to do. 
we war because we see it as getting our point across.
we, as a nation, tear down laws and expect no consequences. 
we focus on the latest technological advancement and when we can get our hands on it; instead of focusing on the child who lost their life from violence. 

we zoom in on the injustice of one.
and overlook the sexually enslaved within our own cities.
we are focused on the best.
and hand out the worst.

i love Martin Luther King Jr's words.
they bring truth.
and pain.
and shed light on one truth:
we, all of us, all races, all people, are God's children. 
and we must join together.
to bring our country back to unity.
to break free of the lies we have been forced to believe.
to shut off the media and what it feeds us to see, and instead to look to our neighbor and partner with them to carry their struggle.

when i walk the streets and see men and women of any race i don't feel hatred.
no, i see brothers and sisters who need someone.
someone to listen.
someone to help carry a burden.
someone to invest in them.
to tell them they are loved, worthy, of use.

we've bought into the lie that this is the best we can be.
i won't buy into it any longer.
and not that my words matter, or that they will reach those rioting in ferguson, but i just want to tell you that your hurt is not meant to be carried alone. 
stop burning.
stop neglecting.
stop causing pain and havoc and chaos.

instead, lean on each other.
build each other up.
encourage.
rebuild.
offer hope, and grace, and love, and mercy.
to all.
we are not always in control of the outcomes we have been handed, but we are in control of how we react. 
our reaction says a lot about the character of our hearts.

if i could sit down with those hurting i would let them cry.
i would let them yell.
i would see the pain in their eyes and my heart would break.
i would gather them in my arms and hold them tight.
and then i would tell them they are loved.
they are cherished.
they are beautiful and there is an outlet for their pain.
there is hope.

there is always hope. 

"We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back."

"Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today, and tomorrow, i still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream."

the american dream.
the beauty of it.
it requires hard work.
sacrifice.
effort.
banding together with others.

it can not be bought.
unfortunately my generation, and the ones to come after me believe it can.
we believe we are entitled to a good life.
to a wealthy life.
to a life with no pain.
no sacrifice.
no struggle.

and that is the lie we have believed.
and it's brought us to our knees as a country.
those three words earlier: happy, freedom, nation.
they don't ring true because we don't work for them to ring true.

brokenness.
it's all around us.
suffocating.
drowning us.
and we believe the whisper that it is all we will know.
don't believe it.
don't walk alone.

instead, turn off your screens and find the hand of your neighbor.
hold on tight and listen.
help them with their burden as they help you with yours.
work hard.
love deeply.
and seek justice with grace and mercy.

then maybe, just maybe that beautiful start of Martin Luther King Jr's speech will ring true again one day…

"I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation."

we can build a new history for a nation.
forge a new path.
a path that bleeds with mercy and grace.
preparing for a future where injustice isn't met with leveling a town.
but with a nation helping each other to heal from brokenness on all ends.



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Friday, November 21, 2014

friday | links

charleston, sc | sunset

la la la.
it's friday! which means the weekend is almost here. let's just make it through this work day!
i have a lot of things i want to get done this weekend; cleaning, organizing, picture taking, and christmas list making for family/friends. let's also keep fingers crossed that i can get christmas cards taken care of this weekend (made and ordered!).

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// this tattoo is simply stunning.

// it's been decided. i'm going to move in with jenna + her husband and camp out in this room. they have no idea who i am, so it might get a little dicey.

// stop being so cute and yet so expensive.

// i'm completely in love with the back of this dress.

// i want to live here. just give me a sleeping bag and i'll stay forever (see the herringbone in the fireplace!!!)

// LOVE this easy, delicious looking apple crisp recipe!

// current life phrase ;)

// paleo pecan pie recipe = thank YOU! (granted i don't have half the ingredients haha)

// anyone have an extra $400 laying around so i can buy these? oh you do, you're awesome thankssss

// kinsey, please teach me your ways.

// made this easy broccoli soup recipe the other night...it may already be gone. yum.

// ...a world starved for solitude | such truth.

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happy happy friday!
may yours be filled with joy!


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Thursday, November 20, 2014

photography | lando & emily

this past weekend my brother & his girlfriend came in for a cousins wedding.
they got in late friday night, the wedding was out of town saturday, and they left early sunday morning - it was a crazy fun whirlwind!!
saturday morning before we left for the wedding i pulled them outside to practice some of my couple shots. lando was being hilarious..."i feel so weird, this is weird!" apparently he doesn't want to show affection with emily in front of his sister - or the camera hahaha. #ohwell ;)

i was a little worried with the light - we shot these around 10am which can sometimes be harsh lighting...but we found some great spots in the neighborhood.
after the wedding on saturday we went across the street from the church and down the lane of some of our families land and took some pictures. (i got so many of other family too!)
i love the golden hour session too - they are so dramatic and fun.
you'll have to check out the rest of their set to see all of the drama.
some of theirs looks like an album cover.
i love it.
they are just so stinking cute!
<3

make sure your browse the rest of their session! :)

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since this is my brother, its probably my favorite shoot at the moment.
when you take pictures of family members do they become your favorite?!


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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

wisdom | you


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...the one thing that you have that nobody else has is YOU.

your voice,
your mind,
your story,
your vision.

so write
and draw
and build
and play
and dance
and live

as only you can...

- Neil Gaiman


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Monday, November 17, 2014

my weekend | iphone pictures

grrr monday.
i'm not a fan of you today.
i woke up exhausted (and nauseous) and felt like doing nothing.
but work calls.
life goes on.
i will do my best to put a smile on my face and kick your butt today.

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friday: LONG work day. it was just a little crazy and weighted, i was happy when it was all said and done. i had my brother's friend come check out some stuff with my car (it has been acting weird) and then cleaned a little before bo & emily arrived. we (roommate, cousin, brother, his girlfriend) all went out to dinner. we stuffed our faces with some delicious southern cooking and waddled back out to the car. it was a good night.

saturday: was a blast. we got up early made bagels (carbs, YUM!) and then i drug my brother and his girlfriend outside to practice some "couple" shots for some upcoming photo sessions i've got. it was a lot of fun, and my brother & i even got our christmas card pictures done! WOOHOO. we then all got ready, loaded into the car and drove out of town for a cousins wedding. it was beautiful and so good to see family for the day. i spent the golden hour sunlight to snap some pictures of other family members and to build my portrait portfolio. i'm in love with all of them - i can't wait to share them with y'all! we came home, started a fire, ate delicious food, and chilled out. it was a great way to end a saturday.

sunday: was hilarious. it started off FREEZING and raining and my brother couldn't find his keys, which meant i missed church (he was parked behind me). he went to try to replace the light bulb on our garage door light - and it fell off the wall. duct tape wouldn't even hold it up. -__- the day turned warmer and muggy and the roommate and i had good conversations, cleaned the house, watched project runway, and cooked. i ended last night getting some pent up aggression out at boxing.

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how was y'alls weekend?

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Friday, November 14, 2014

friday | links

queen street | charleston, sc

friday...you glorious beast!
I AM SO HAPPY YOU ARE HERE!
not only are you the end of the work week - but you mean that i get to see my broseph tonight!
WOOHOOOOOOOO!!!
yup! my brother and his gf are coming in for the weekend for a family wedding!
my roommate and i were joking that i think emily (brothers gf) has stayed with us more than lando has this year...i think thats true!
needless to say this weekend will be fabulous!
AND i'm forcing able to practice some posing/directing couple shots with them for some upcoming engagement shoots i have. ahhhh the joys of family, they really can't say "no" to you. :)

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// if princess ariel and prince eric actually got married in real life and more of their pics here!

// i want to take portrait pictures like this one...WOW!

// the most overlooked characteristic of who you want to marry. (so good)

// i want to be like the seagulls in nemo....mine, mine, MINE!

// disney gets burtonized... <3

// i don't know my way home....such beautiful words.

// the original harry potter creature vault. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

// this could become the latest obsession for me.

// why didn't i ever think of using paint pens like this?!?!?!

// this is basically me packing...for any trip.

// this engagement session is me - all day, every day.

// i want this dress.

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happy friday!! 

have a lovely & safe weekend!!! <3 <3 
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

photography | the website

tweaking.
no, not twerking, tweaking.
my photography website needed some of it.
i created the website using wix and it was super easy to do and continually edit - thankfully since i'm sure my aesthetics will change over time.
i'm a lover of white space.
i think it's beautiful and it really lets the photography be the focal point...which isn't that the whole point of a photography website?
so when i created the site i thought "some color would be nice"...and it was... until it wasn't.
i just was using it all wrong.
those boxes? blehk.
so with a little tweaking i took the colors away, changed a few pics (i'm constantly changing those), and am really, really happy with how it is looking now.
cleaner, crisp, more defined.
ahhh...it's the little things.

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before:


after: 




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what draws your eye when you find a new website?


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