Monday, December 28, 2009

Hello Seattle

Time to play a little catch up! My newlywed sisters recently came for a visit!

Emma and Jake gave me such a great shock when they showed up at my door a few days before Thanksgiving! I can't remember the last time I got such a huge and happy surprise of a visit. On their last day here we went to Seattle and showed them around. I love this shot I got at Pike's Place Market.

Lauren and Steve arrived on Christmas evening--best present ever! They just took off tonight and I miss them already. Poor Lu caught a flu bug and has been sick the entire drive back to Spokane. :(

And, of course, I had to take the newlyweds on little photoshoots.

Emma ♥ Jake

Lauren ♥ Steve

I love it when my beautiful sisters come see me! I instantly go into shopping/vacation/chick flick/crochet/hang out mode. Can't wait to see you all again!! And thanks, Steve, for taking that last shot of Lulu and me. :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Warning: Christmas Card Spoiler!

A big thanks to my friend Jill who took our family Christmas photo for us! I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! ♥

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunsets and Silhouettes

With the end of '09 fast approaching, I'm feeling anxious to set resolutions for 2010. There are so many things I want to do better next year, so much I want to rework. To you who follow my blog regularly, forgive me for the huge gaps between posts lately. December has been a full month for me in many, many ways. But from now until 2010 I'm going to kick back a little--crochet, read a stack of books, get into an exercise routine-- clear some room for all that next year has to bring!

And to that macho man in the first photo (who so patiently and willingly did what I told him to while I practiced shooting silhouettes in Maui)~~~

Happy 31st birthday! I love you more than I can express. ♥

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rich in December

Mo-ney. For a two-syllable word it's a heavy little thing because regardless of financial circumstances, we all feel its burden in some way. I assume it pesters the poor with want and weights the rich with guilt. Across the board, I think it's most wanted for sparking envy. Sometimes I wish it would vanish and free us all from its sorrier temptations. But more often I'm wishing for more of it as my never ending wish list cycles through my mind like an annoying song that won't leave.

On that note, a few inspiring memories and stories have recently hushed the echoing "me, me, me" that creeps into my world:

As a little boy, my brother once stole from a knick knack store. My parents told us we couldn't buying anything, but together we eyed the toys and goodies anyway. There were handfuls of things we both would’ve liked, but eventually, we reluctantly filed out. As we followed my parents back to the car, my brother pulled something from his pocket—a beautiful necklace—and tenderly gave it to me as a special gift. Even bigger than the lesson on stealing I received after watching him return it, I’ve always been impressed that instead of something for himself, he’d wanted something badly enough for me, to steal it. He was a young boy and obviously didn’t understand the crime in shoplifting, and so I think it’s touching, the big heart in that brother of mine.

In college, I had enough money to cover my living expenses, but sometimes I'd manage it poorly and spend too much on a new outfit or eating out, leaving me short on grocery funds. I can remember once at the end of a two-week pay cycle, having a single loaf of bread to feed me. I wasn’t starving; I just felt lousy after eating bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I was in this type of situation as I trudged home in the snow on a late and bitter evening after an exhausting day on campus. The thought of my empty cupboards awaiting me was depressing. I just wanted a warm dinner. I prayed and prayed that I might find something—anything—to eat. I hoped to find a random can of soup I’d forgotten about or better yet, maybe one of my roommates would be home and want to share their dinner with me. But it was pushing midnight and they were probably asleep already, so that scenario wasn’t too promising.

I was right about my roommates; they were all out for the night. The place was dark, very dark, until I flipped the kitchen light and felt my spirits lift at what was illuminated before me. On the table stood a stack of Tupperware topped with a note addressed to me. Me? I read the note:

I hope you survived your busy day. I felt like I should drop off some dinner leftovers for you. Hopefully they hit the spot. --Steve

I slowly sat down and read the note again and again. Then I dished myself the most warm and hearty meal I’ve ever eaten…mashed potatoes, chicken and vegetables! Nutrition for my churning stomach and sweetness on my tattered spirits! I was struck by God’s generous answer to my prayer, and very grateful. Most impressive to me, though, was my friend’s quick response to a heavenly prompting. Had he not listened, I would’ve been fine, but he did, and it rejuvenated me in boundless ways and has stayed with me always.

Lastly, I recently got an email from my dad while he was in Charlottesville, VA visiting the brother I first mentioned and attending a business conference. He told me that at church in Virginia he met a man who grew up in Cardston, Alberta, Canada and knew my great grandpa and his old theater there. My Great Grandpa Gordon Brewerton would sell this man his movie tickets, but never charged him the full 25-cent price. He’d always give him a discount and hand him a dime back.

Little stories, but here’s the well-known, less-used secret tucked into each: despite how many pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, dollars, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions a person does or doesn’t have, when their mantra is “what can I give to someone else?” the “me” slips right out of the money factor and a person is instantly rich.

This always seems most clear to me in December.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

When Work Is Play

This photogenic family has some serious style and really knew how to coordinate colors without being too matchy-matchy. And they introduced me to this fabulous, fabulous location that was oozing with variety and inspiration. ♥♥♥

PS. Whoever taught me how to make the heart emoticon (I can't remember who) should be in serious trouble because all I want to do is post ♥s all day.

Speaking of inspiration, I've been reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Sprinkled throughout the book are quotes of sweet inspiration. Here are some of my faves:

"Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain in anything."
Eugene Delcroix

"Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish."

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong."
Joseph Chilton Pearce

"You are lost the instant you know what the result will be."
Juan Gris

"A painting is never finished--it simply stops in interesting places."
Paul Gardner



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