"FOR THIS CHILD I HAVE PRAYED AND THE LORD HAS GRANTED ME THE DESIRES OF MY HEART."
-1 Samuel 1:27-28
A house holds life in its bones. Breathtaking, joyful and heartbreaking moments of truth are embedded in the walls. It becomes part of you, and you part of it. Your comfort zone. Your happy place. Your hiding place.
As the saying goes, "If these walls could talk", this house would tell you stories of love and happiness; like when this man proposed to this woman in the backyard workshop with shaky knees and a fluttering heart. Stories of heartbreak and hope as they navigated their way along the dark trail of infertility. Stories of firsts; first born miracle child locking eyes with her parents, first diaper changes, first "I love you"'s. Different rooms would tell you of prayers said, tears shed, messes made and of a gracious God, ever present in the midst, making a way where there seemed to be no way.
A story of doctors who told them of a 1% chance they'd be able to conceive naturally after IVF. And as they were about to go through the entire process again as they did with baby girl, I mean down to the dotted line, Mama took a pregnancy test that revealed a positive in mere seconds!
"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the Lord, "and my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine." - Isaiah 55:8
"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
There's blank pages in this family's life book that are waiting to be filled with new stories as they move to a new house (that's, in my selfish opinion, too far away). Sometimes it's scary and sad to close a chapter in your life together, especially one written with the depths of your soul pressed into the pages, but the anticipation of what lies ahead is enough to keep you pursuing the good and finding the happy.
Never give up hope.
These two... every time I see them together, they are smiling at each other. There's such a passionate love between them. It's funny how life works out the way it does, how two people find each other. Michael grew up in Pennsylvania and Teresa grew up in Florida but their lives intertwined in grad school at USC and love blossomed from there. They have such a deep appreciation for each other, always savoring the time they spend together, always showing kindness and encouragement towards each other. I'm sure everyone who knows them can agree with me in saying that just being around them does a heart good. Their smiles are contagious. :)
The wedding day was absolutely beautiful. You guys know I am a huge sucker when it comes to love. Seeing how perfect two families joined together to support these two lovebirds and surround them with joy was just lovely. There's a photo I snapped during the dancing that perfectly sums up this day, if you ask me. You'll see what I'm talking about as you scroll through the images! ;)
Michael + Teresa,
I wish you an entire lifetime of love, happiness, patience and adventure! I'm so grateful our paths crossed; you have definitely enriched my life! :)
BRIDE'S DRESS: New York Bride & Groom
*tailored by Candace Saxton Design Co
GROOM'S SUIT: Belk
FLOWERS: Tupelo Grove Events
HAIR + MAKEUP: Capelli Salon
CAKE: Sara Christmus
This was my first time working alongside a videographer. I was a little nervous and worried that I was always in their way, but after seeing what they captured, I am just blown away. I literally "ugly cried" the entire 20 minutes that I watched the video. Cole and his partners did an amazing job and I feel like their video goes hand-in-hand with my photographs! I HIGHLY recommend their company to you couples out there looking for a wedding videographer. Moreover, I highly recommend hiring a videographer in addition to a photographer. You'll want to look back as the years go by and actually be able to hear audio of your wedding. Do yourself a favor and click the link to watch Teresa + Michael's wedding video below.
TERESA'S BRIDAL PORTRAITS
I swear the best thing about this job is becoming a family's regular photographer and getting to spend time with them every year! Watching their babies grow does my heart so good. They are two of the absolute sweetest girls in the world. Two little apples that don't fall far from the trees at all. ;)
I love you guys so stinkin' much!
My mind feels like it's been shaken up like a snow globe again. Thoughts fluttering around, crashing into each other before slowly falling down. Thoughts on us moving again, thoughts on business things like establishing your brand and how to market without fear, thoughts on digging deeper in my art. It's chaos up there in my noggin!
They say it's "bad for business" if you write too in depth about those intense thoughts you have and struggles you go through and share it on the same space you share family sessions and weddings. Something about it not being consistent with your brand and scaring potential clients away. Woah- you mean I shouldn't let people see that I know what it feels like to push through the pain in order to find happiness? I shouldn't boldly share what's in my heart in hopes of bringing encouragement to others?
I had to ponder that long and hard and I've come to determine that some rules just don't apply when it comes to creating something that you're passionate about.
My "brand" is who I am.
I'm passionate about capturing raw moments with honesty and grace. I believe in sharing what's in my heart out loud with others because, if you really try, you can find common ground with everyone you meet. There's happiness in all of us and there's pain in all of us. Why should I not acknowledge both in my art?!
Finding beauty in chaos, strength in pain, and love in all things; that's what keeps me going.
And so, In the middle of all these thought flurries flying around in my mind, I was craving somewhere to let them fall and become still. My heart cried yet again, "Take me to the river!".
* * * * *
When I need peace, when I need clarity, when I need to unwind, when I need to create, when I need to cry, when I need to feel the pull of something stronger than I, the river is where you'll find me.
many heartfelt thanks to my beautiful friend and fellow artist, Cory, for joining me for some art therapy!