I came upon this field by chance. Rather as a result of a mistake made by poor preparation. I was disappointed and trying to make up for lost time when I glimpsed this sea of yellow. The kids and I made this field our plans and popped out to explore and eat our picnic lunch. I have never offered mini sessions before but I knew I wanted to magnify this field before it faded. So two days later I captured three families in this glorious gold.
Lora and I have been friends for over a decade. We’ve adventured Lebanon and Thailand at each other’s side and when this world gets crazy I dial her number to reaffirm truth. When I visited her last month we found a park with a speckling of daisies where I could capture her family aglow in the heat of our midwest summer. In return she is making my baby in the womb a quilt to keep him warm when he is greeted by the turning of summer to fall. Love this friend for all seasons.
I was struck by how many photos of hands I'd captured during Chris and Hope's wedding day. Grandpa holding Bride's veil, Groom's' thumb caressing his love's jaw, Father of the Bride holding a perfect euchre "loner" hand, hands mingled in prayer, flower girl reaching up to beautiful Bride, and Mother of the Bride's hand clasped in that of her daughters.
I know Chris and Hope's deepest desire is to know and serve Christ in their marriage. Thus, my prayer for this Indiana girl and Haitian boy is Moses' words in Psalm 90:17:
"May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands."
A also have to share a favorite moment from the day:
I, Chris, a bridesmaid, groomsmen, and two empty car seats were packed liked sardines into a little sedan heading back to the wedding site after portraits at a park. The bridesmaid asked if Chris thought he would tear up seeing Hope walk down the aisle to which Chris shared that he might get emotional thinking about his dad, who had passed away a couple years ago, not being there. A few minutes later he mentioned as we were passing a cemetery “that’s where my dad is buried." We immediately suggested a stop and Chris was able to take a special moment with his dad at his gravesite. Such a beautiful gift from God.
The Livingston family chose this trail for their session. A river on one side and cars zooming by on the other. Green and blue in the midst of the city. Their Sabbath ritual is walking this trail from their home and the boys showed me their special spots: a sandbar by the water, the rocks where turtles sunbathe, and the trees full of purple mulberries ripe for staining hands and cheeks. Little Greta got lots of kisses from her three big brothers and it won’t be long until she’ll be running alongside them on this path.
When Erin was a girl she walked through this bluebell wood and dreamed about some day being wed on this hill of blue. Not deterred by recent rains, we waded through knee high water to return to this significant spot for her engagement session with Will.
They lying in the bluebells reminds me of the Midsummer Night’s Dream monologue:
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight;
And if the high water wasn’t wild enough…I am 90% sure we spotted a bobcat on our walk out of the park!
My friend Allison Rhea dreamed, designed, and debuted her goal setting planner, Pace & Pattern, three years ago and I have loved watching her creativity and passion unfold. I photographed the planner last year and was delighted when she asked me to be a part of capturing the 2019 beauty!
In her own words:
“Pace & Pattern is a system designed to help you clarify your personal vision and integrate your goals into your real life.
It's not about doing more. It's about doing what matters.
This planner takes you from a high-level purpose, through setting meaningful and realistic goals, into mapping out your months, weeks, and days.”
I’m a believer. Pace & Pattern has helped me dream about what I want my life to look like and from there focus on the practical steps that will take me from desire to action. Last year one of my goals was “cultivating a merry home.” A practical aspect of this goal was completing open ended home projects. You know the kind: the ones you always plan to get to some day but somehow never find the time. For example, since we moved into our home two years ago I really wanted to paint and add some design touches to the kitchen in a way that felt more like “us” and “home.” Pace & Pattern helped me think through the steps to break up the project into small actions: decide on paint colors, buy supplies, tape the kitchen, find a babysitter, clean up, measure wall for shelving, contact carpenter, order brackets, hang shelves, etc! My kitchen is much more my own now and I know I wouldn’t have accomplished this project without the focusing power of Pace & Pattern.
I am excited and hopeful about the goals I have set for 2019 using Pace & Pattern. I, like many others, ask for a “word” to direct the coming year. Last year my word was “wick” which signified the desire to come alive…to awaken the liveliness inside when the outside seem dormant. Mine this year is “near.” To be near to God. To rest in him. To be close. To listen. To cease striving.
At the start of the planner you are guided through choosing five core intents to focus on in the coming year from which you craft a vision statement. This year mine is “I will live in the abounding joy of the nearness of God by listening to the Spirit, pursuing the souls, voicing the spark, nurturing the body, and havening the home.”
Your intents inform the goals ( habits - things you do daily, rhythms - things you do weekly or monthly, and big projects - you know what I’m talking about) that you choose to pursue that quarter. Here are my Jan-March goals:
Habits: 1. Eat vegetables at every meal (nurturing the body) 2. Memorize John 1 & 2 (listening to the Spirit)
Rhythms: 1. Host a game night monthly (pursuing the souls) 2. Organize & sell the excess in our home (havening the home)
Big Projects: 1. Restore Lilias’ antique four poster big girl bed (havening the home) 2. Start Lilias’ Home Preschool (pursuing the souls, havening the home)
Pace & Pattern is certainly a beautiful investment in your self and the dream ordinary you hope to walk in.
Also a special thank you to my models in my two shoots: Abby Nelson, Sarah Delotelle, and Melody Ussery and the shops that so generously allowed us to photograph in their space: Grounded Plant + Floral Co and Wildflower Tea Shop.
Jim + Brianne on muddying up their wedding clothes on their one year anniversary.
Beneath the waterfall
Over river rocks
Under the tree’s roots
Beside the cliff
Near each other