December 17, 2015

blogged!

I've blogged a couple mini sessions from the Pacific Palisades over HERE, check it out! xo



December 15, 2015

fender bender

Sigh.....so California finally got some much needed rain, that's the good news, the bad news is Californian's don't know how to drive in said rain. The other night we were coming home from dinner, about 2 blocks from our house, it was dark and rainy, we were at a red light and then the light turned green and we went to make a right turn, as did the person in front of us...only the person in front of us ran up on the curb and ran into a light pole, as we turned the corner we inevitably rear-ended him as his car was half in the street, half on the curb and we had no way of seeing him before we turned the corner. One insurance person said it shouldn't be our fault since his accident caused a chain of events, another person said we hit him from behind so that's on us -WHAT?! We had literally no where else to go but into his rear! Its maddening, I'm not yet sure what the end result will be but I spent my morning dropping off my car and getting a rental. BIG SIGH. There is clearly never a good time for a car accident but the added stress/$ at the holidays is a big ol' bummer. Booooo.

On a lighter note, we had a nice weekend! Our Friday night plans got cancelled since our poor friends got sick, so we stayed in and had a chill evening. Saturday I ran some errands and that night the 3 of us went out for pizza and then went to the annual Christmas lighting on Christmas Tree Lane here in Altadena, that was so fun! Sunday we listened to a sermon online from our church in Texas and then went out to this cute place in South Pasadena that serves cereal and grilled cheese sandwiches and had breakfast, then we went to the park where we celebrated B's 1st birthday. Sunday night we met some friends for dinner and then got in a car accident and then had them over for dessert -fun times (minus said accident). I've been baking like a crazy person, lots of cookies, fudge, peanut butter balls, etc... I don't want to know what the scale says but tis the season, right?!

I hope everyone out there is having a better week-start than me! Looking forward to Christmas and having a nice, relaxing break coming up. xo

December 8, 2015

some thoughts on forgiveness

The other day I was part of a hard conversation, several people were talking about this tragic event that took place recently wherein a pregnant woman was raped by 3 men and then shot in her own home while her infant child slept in the house. Her husband came home shortly thereafter and realized he had left the door unlocked when he went for his early morning workout. There is more heartache here than I can even wrap my mind around but the topic of the conversation quickly turned to that of forgiveness. Apparently the deceased woman's husband is a pastor and was on a news program preaching forgiveness and how he knew that is what he needed to do. Someone in the conversation made mention at how ridiculous that notion even was...and I think it wasn't so much that he didn't think it was the "right" thing to do inasmuch as an impossible and unrealistic task. We discussed how yes, it seems a lot of time would need to take place and God would really have to do some mighty work to allow forgiveness to happen, but it begged the question of how could that even be what is required? We all have a hard time forgiving those who have wronged us when murder of a loved one isn't involved (or maybe I should just speak for myself here? I have a hard time). Let me jump forward a bit, a month or so ago I found myself in a conversation discussing the existence of God with someone, we each have our own experiences we bring to the table that shape our thoughts and opinions as one would expect, but here's the deal, God has proven himself to me time and time again, I would be the idiot not to believe, but moreover, I choose to believe God exists because that is literally the only way the world and its brokenness makes sense to me. I believe that God will do what he says he will do and that in the end, he will make all things right. But here's also the "deal" -I want to believe. I want to live and raise my daughter believing that there is more to this hard, broken, earthly life where people can be raped and murdered and to know without a doubt, that isn't the end. Back to the topic of forgiveness, I think we can all agree that the widowed husband would fare better in life to forgive those men who took his wife, being bottled up with rage and anger will ultimately eat him alive, right? But to go through the process of real forgiveness seems like such a hard and daunting task...does it not? But here's the thing about Jesus, he asks us to do things that we don't want to do, that seem really unfair and hard, and where earthly justice doesn't necessarily get served - isn't that just so ughhhhhhhhh (insert cringy crying face) for lack of a better word. That when someone hits you we're supposed to turn the other cheek? That if someone asks for us to walk a mile were to go two? Isn't it just like Jesus to ask for such an extravagant response that we can't.even.wrap.our.minds.around.it.? And really, any one who has forgiven the unforgiveable, aren't they the ones who turn out blessed, who have the amazing story of redemption and healing and freedom that only real forgiveness from Jesus can bring? The movie "Unbroken" (as hard as it is to watch, and sadly ends before the really good stuff happens -do some research on the real story, the forgiveness/redemption is beyond words), is such a neat picture of the torture that someone can endure but with whom Jesus can do a mighty work and bring about healing because he did the hard work and chose to forgive his persecutors. Isn't that the stuff that movies are made of (literally)? Only Jesus can do that. When people really don't think there are signs of a living God I'm almost at a loss for words, there are stories all around us of something extraordinary that can only be explained in miraculous ways -in Jesus ways. It reminds me of the quote "If you never listen you'll never hear the voice of God calling your name." Please here me here, I'm no expert at/on forgiveness, in true transparency (which really, is the only way I roll) I kinda suck at it, but I know its what I'm called to do and so I go after it. In my lifelong quest to be more like Jesus I work at forgiveness, sometimes it haunts me and I confess in several areas of my life I'm not there yet, but I'm thankful for a God who's paved the way and doesn't ask anything of me that He hasn't done himself. You see, Jesus can ask extravagant things of us, because He is extravagant in His love and sacrifice for us. Come Lord Jesus, come. xo

December 7, 2015

Waiting/Advent

This past weekend went fast, too fast in fact. Last night B said "I feel like we need 1 more day of the weekend, that went too fast!" Friday night we stayed home and had a cozy night of Thai take out, Christmas music and cookie baking, it was lovely. Saturday our cousins came early in the day and stayed until very late in the afternoon -it was so fun! Plans had been in the works for ages for Saturday and it was so fun to have everyone together jumping on the trampoline, doing Christmas crafts, watching movies/football, decorating Christmas cookies, eating pizza, etc. So fun. Right as our company walked out the door we hopped in the car to go to our friends house for dinner where we spent the evening eating good food and playing with some dear friends. Sunday I had a shoot on the west side of town so I made the most of it by doing some Christmas shopping and eating by myself...it was pretty great. :) All in all a great, busy weekend!

Isn't it so crazy how as a child the season of advent seems to take forever and the countdown to Christmas is soooo slow and as an adult there don't seem to be enough hours in the day to get it all done? I feel like a lot of Adam's and my life together can be described as a season of waiting, we've done more than our fair share in the 15 years we've been married. Each year for the past 7 years (the last one not withstanding) our whole year was a season of waiting, in the fall we waited to see what jobs would be posted, in the winter we waited to see if we'd get an interview, in the spring we waited to see if we'd get the job, etc.. It was an exhausting season, and at times seemed endless. Now that he's in year 2 of "the job" its still weird to not be in the "job waiting" but we find ourselves in other kinds of waiting. I don't want to go into that too much b/c some things aren't worth talking about at certain points, but as one example, we're still waiting to see where we'll end up at church. This has been an exhaustive road and one that has left us wanting. I've never not been in church my whole life and we've taken a couple months off...I miss it, I can feel the void of that part of our lives and anticipate it being filled again. The older I get I realize just how much of our lives involve waiting and waiting can be so hard and it can be so hard to do well. My Waco pastor said "When you learn to wait well, something transformative happens." I think this is true, and I know its something I've struggled to do well but something I hope to get better at with time. In this season of advent I've admittedly been waiting on other things more than the birth of our Savior and I hope to be more intentional about that in the coming weeks. I hate that I get caught up in getting Christmas cards out, gifts purchased, photos edited, and events planned more than I get caught up in Jesus -I want to be better, He is so worth anticipating and celebrating. xo

December 3, 2015

the thing about the holidays for me is....

...its the busiest time of year for my job and it makes me a little nutty nut bears. Its been busy over here! I've been editing like a crazy person, giving myself carpal tunnel to get folks their photos quickly so they can get holiday cards going-whew! I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, I'm super thankful for the work, I'm just a tad over my computer screen right now. :) Last night the 3 of us went out to get our Christmas tree, we don't normally get it until the first weekend of December but since we're gone for a chunk of the month we want to enjoy it as much as we can. We're calling this year's tree "the scoliosis tree." The trunk is super twisty which made it very hard to put in the stand and the topper is in sad shape! Most of the trees weren't out of their "sleeves" yet and time was an issue so, needless to say, its not our best tree ever but it will work (unless it falls over...which, to be honest is a strong possibility!). So, I just wrapped up editing a newborn session and I'm going to  go put the lights on the tree so B can help decorate it when she gets home from school. I hope everyone is having a lovely day, head on over HERE to check out this sweet little guy and his cute fam! xo