Saturday, March 24, 2012

[jadeinmypocket 2.0]

jadeinmypocket 2.0

That's what my friend Christina said about me. Hahahaha. Cracked me up to pieces. I could not stop cackling about it.

She was referring to my insane overuse of Instagram.

It's true. I'm obsessive about it and I whine if I happen to miss really good posts from my friends. I love to glimpse into everyday lives of my peeps. (Yes I am including Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift in this mix)

Instagram is really a sort of creative exercise for me. I try to use it as a way for me to be as creative as possible with my iphone. I try to use it to keep my brain from getting rusty. I know that it's easy to forget some very basic principles in art, so I try to incorporate those things I learned so many years ago into my snapshots.

(Rumor alert: IG is going to Android very soon! My Droid nerd of a husband is pumped) When I am shooting for Journey Tree Studio, I always whip out my phone and snag a pic of the bride or venue or something about where I'm at. If I am visiting with friends, going out, just living life with my little family, I capture it with my phone.

Confession: I've become lazy shooting my everyday life with just my iphone.

So I've decided to stop doing that so much and work on carrying my big girl camera around :)

But just for kicks, here's a few recent IG pics that I just adore.

And here's to a new season of shooting with my big camera more. :) Hopefully. <3

Refocusing (ha ha, get it?),

Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter.  ~Ansel Adams

I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it.  ~Author Unknown

If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug around a camera.  ~Lewis Hine

There will be times when you will be in the field without a camera.  And, you will see the most glorious sunset or the most beautiful scene that you have ever witnessed.  Don't be bitter because you can't record it.  Sit down, drink it in, and enjoy it for what it is!  ~DeGriff 

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs.  When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.  ~Ansel Adams

When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes.  But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls!  ~Ted Grant

Friday, March 23, 2012

{i love the boy with the bread}

I love him for going to midnight shows with me
So I have a book club that meets at my house once a month. It's comprised of an eclectic group of ladies all ranging from close bffs to women I just met and I just can't get enough of them! They are my soul mates and I grin whenever one of them come to mind.

Back in the fall, one of the books we read was The Hunger Games. Well, of course we read all three and just gobbled them up in one tasty sitting. Our group is hilariously divided between the leading men and hilarity always shows it's silly face whenever we sit and debate Gale and Peeta's qualities (Yes, I love the boy with the bread, baby! And yes, my husband is okay with this.)

Three great gals
When we read the books, they were just starting to show previews for the movie and we were all GIDDY. Pretty much like the teenage girls waiting in line for Twilight. It's embarrassing how excited we were.

As soon as movie tickets became available, I bought straight up 20 tickets for the midnight showing. 10 other friends bought their tickets separate. We had a massive group at the midnight showing last night. And it was perfect.

Two sisters who are always followed around by random guys
A few of us (my cute husband included) got in line so early. (I won't mention that time here. Ask me privately. Haha) And we laughed and made friends and painted our nails (not the hubby) and we snuck some people into line and helped other people sneak their friends into line. (we are shameful.) And it was a blast. I laughed so much and was so delirious with the excitement of the night.

Cristi loves Peeta
And to top everything off, I LOVED the movie. It was excellent. Followed the book wonderfully. I wasn't angry or bitter or yelling at the screen like I normally did with the Harry Potter books or some other book to film flick. I was ecstatic! Obviously there were some minor changes and a few of my favorite scenes from the book were cut down to nothing, but I was pleasantly surprised by the film overall.

I only found myself disappointed in one area, and that's the intimacy and closeness that Katniss and Peeta share during the second half of the Games. In the book, they share a few moments of "foolish happiness" that you didn't really get in the film. Although they really nailed the few scenes that did.

 Overall, I loved it. I had so much fun with the friends that were there and missed the rest of the friends in book club that couldn't make it. 

So, in honor of the Hunger Games, I will leave you with some of my favorite quotes:

“Remember, we're madly in love, so it's all right to kiss me anytime you feel like it.”--Peeta

“You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope.”--Katniss
Girls on fire

“Deep in the meadow, hidden far away
A cloak of leaves, a moonbeam ray
Forget your woes and let your troubles lay
And when it's morning again, they'll wash away
Here it's safe, here it's warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.”
--Rue's Lullaby

“You’ve got about as much charm as a dead slug.”  --Haymitch

Some friends we made
“It crosses my mind that Cinna's calm and normal demeanor masks a complete madman.”--Katniss

“Yes, and I’m sure the arena will be full of bags of flour for me to chuck at people.”--Peeta

“Here's some advice. Stay alive.” --Haymitch

“Peeta, you were supposed to wake me after a couple of hours," I say.
"For what? Nothing's going on here," he says. "Besides, I like watching you sleep. You don't scowl. Improves your looks a lot." This, of course, brings on a scowl that makes him grin.”  --A conversation between Peeta and Katniss

Happy Hunger Games!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Uno and Dos

Thing 1
My kids teach me new things everyday.
They teach me how to laugh at the small, silly things in life.
They remind me to be crazy and zany and hilarious.
They remind me to always say I love you. Even when I feel grumpy.
They remind me that running fast is ALWAYS fun.
They teach me to sit and color and not worry about lines.
They show me that the clouds in the sky can be anything that we want them to be.
They teach me that The Leaning Tower of Pisa can really be just a pile of folded bath towels.
They teach me to be excited. About dirt. And flowers. And trees.
They remind me to sit and cuddle when I want to go and be busy.

I know my job is to train them, to teach them, to encourage them, to nurture them, to love them, to discipline them, to teach them the ways of the Lord, and to support them.

But they encourage me, they love me, they teach and support me. And they remind me to love Jesus with abandon with faith as secure and gentle as theirs.
Thing 2

I'm not the perfect mama. I lose my temper, my patience. I struggle with the same sins and insecurities that plague the rest of the world.

But the best thing that ever happened to me was my reconciliation with the God of the universe as a teenager, so therefore I fight the darkness of the world with the light inside my heart. My prayer is that these young ones that the Lord has asked me to shepherd will know and love and pursue the Maker even more passionately and be light-bearers to this dark world.

Grateful, and so much more,

Saturday, March 17, 2012


The Legend of the Bluebonnet

The Texas fields are covered
With a blanket of deep blue.
But for a little Indian girl,
This would not be true.

Texas land was buried and dry
Rains just would not come
Indians danced and prayed for rain
And beat upon their drums.

The Chief made a proclamation
He appealed to one and all
A prized possession must be sacrificed
Before the rains would fall.

The Indian camp was silent
while each person searched his heart.
But when it came to sacrifice,
With possessions they would not part.

Suddenly a little girl stepped forth,
Holding her blue-clad doll.
She placed it in the roaring fire
and raindrops began to fall.

The rain brought forth the grass,
Among it's blades, flowers of blue.
To be a sign for all the time
Of a love so pure and true.

-Author Unknown

Monday, March 12, 2012


Hello. Raise your hand and clap for joy if you're ready for Andrew Peterson's new album to happen?? (and just while we are on the subject of new albums, Bethany Dillon is tossing out a new EP this Friday....squeeeeal!! Love that girl and her amazing sister Kate)

Here we go. My affections for the Rabbit Room and it's proprietor run deep. I've shared with many of you how his lyrics feel as though they have come straight from my heart. I listen to music constantly and I have never met an artist who's songs seem to have been songs that I have written (and no, I'm not a musician in ANY way nor do I ever write music) but Andrew's songs are MY songs. I claim them. It's like he has stolen my journal and turned them into these beautiful declarations and poignant stories. I listen to them as I drive down these beautiful, winding Texas roads, with the windows down and a song in my heart. My four year old knows him by name and asks often about him (with sweet, innocent curiosity). We celebrate the way the Holy Spirit works in our home through the honest, obedient testimony of Andrew.

And the best part of Andrew is that he's SO human. His human faults, his doubts, his lingering suspicions are all laid out on the table for the average Joe or Jane (or in this case Jade) to witness and share in. Because of all this, Jesus is brightly illuminated. If you want to know more of his heart, I encourage you to dig into the Rabbit Room files or just read this recent post that he shared about his journey with the great Steven Curtis Chapman on a recent tour.

And while I have the Rabbit Room on the brain, I want to share with you some delightful news! I was able to snag a golden ticket to the annual Rabbit Room gathering in Nashville called Hutchmoot. You can read all about Hutchmoot at it's website, but to summarize; it's a group of kindred spirits that get together to learn, sharpen, grow, eat, play, and laugh and love together. I've told a few friends about it and they all smile and say that it sounds like it has my name written all over it. And I feel that it does. I think this is going to be a very special time for me and I just pray that I can use the time that I have with these fellow RR friends to sharpen my heart. And to maybe give something back to them. I am plagued with doubt and guilt and lies from the enemy, but I'm thankful for the light that is shed upon that darkness. When I first registered (It's a pretty slim chance of getting in because of limited spots. They SOLD OUT in 7 minutes flat) I was immediately fired upon by Satan's nastiest shooters. I knew, just KNEW that I was ridiculous for thinking that I could fit in with the proprietor and his circle of amazing friends. I was crazy to think that I could POSSIBLY have ANYTHING to offer to the people that I meet there. How could I have anything to give? I haven't read half the books they have. I have a mediocre level of creativity at best...the lies just kept coming.

Even now, as I sit here writing, I feel the lingering doubt curling up in the back of my mind. I fight it off. I must, because the spirit is telling me to go.

So in September, I'll leave my babies home with the cute, supportive, warrior of a husband, and I shall catch a flight out to the Music City (again, I'm no musician) and surround myself with like-hearted people for four days.

Someone tweeted the night of registration that it takes a special person to pace around while waiting for Hutchmoot Registration to open. Well, I must be a special person, because I was not only pacing, but my hands were shaking, my heart was racing, and the firey arrows of the enemy were being fully launched at me.

And PS, some of my favorite authors will be there, including Andrew and his Wingfeather Saga and his brother Pete, both having written some spectacular tales. We gobbled them up and have felt privileged to share in the stories.

With all that said, I don't have any clear expectations for my weekend in Nashville. I don't know what I can give back to these people, either. I do know that I can only trust that my going is anointed, and there are friendships to be made.

Hutchmoot bound,

And as a side note: Below I have posted a video of AP playing a new song from his upcoming "not yet named" record. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

hello, sky

Often, if I am running a quick errand in the evenings and I am by myself, I pull over on the side of the road and stare in awe at the wide sky before me. I couldn't stop myself if I tried. There is something about me and a field and the sky that has such a special bond. A history.

One night, nearly 9 years ago, I stood in the middle of a north Texas field and just gaped at the wondrous frontier before me. I was meeting several thousand other college students in a gathering known as One Day and we arrived in time for a great storm to hit. The following morning, the earth was baptized and sparkled and the sky ran forever in front of me. I was enthralled.

Several years before that, at the tender age of 14, I stood in a south Texas field and stared wide-eyed at the sky above. I was mystified. And smitten. I had entered the gates of Zephyr for the first time and taken a walk to sort out my jumbled teenage mind (there was also a boy that I fancied and needed to forget) and the sky met me and smiled down on me.

And yet, some years before that, I have a clear memory of me standing in the middle of a field, even further south than Zephyr. It was a field near my childhood home, in the days when wandering around after dusk was safe and good. I stared up at the first twinkling lights of the stars and held my breath from the beauty of it all.

As time dances on, as my babies grow, as my husband and I age, hand in hand, I stop and look up at the sky and I marvel at how it has not changed. It's beauty still causes me to hold my breath, to sigh deep sighs, and to stop and wonder.

I'm out of words for tonight.
I hope that when I am an old woman, I can still look out and up and feel that same peace. That same pleasure that curls in the very center of me. That part of me that is glimpsing that far country that is my home. Aslan's country. God's country.

from a sky chaser,

We Get To

Some of you might not be aware, but I wedding crash. A lot.
And by wedding crash, I mean people pay me money to hang around their party all day long.
And by hang around their party all day long, I mean I GET to take their pictures. All day. Long.
(and yes, those days are quite long)

I adore wedding photography. Being a part of someone's celebration. Witnessing this miraculous union of two completely different, awkward, fallible, so so so human, people.

Boy meets girl. Boy loves girl. Boy marries girl.

And I GET to celebrate with them.

It's a beautiful, special, honored thing for me to cherish the moments all the day long with their friends and family.

The other night I was able to spend some time with other local photographers for drinks and conversation and dinner. It was a splendid night celebrating each other's talents and unique perspectives. I loved seeing how diverse our crafts are, but how affectionate we feel towards one another.

And I was able to share with them how I felt wedding photography was an opportunity to love the people who wander into my life. I welcome it.

Jamie (my shooting partner) and I make the most of our day with the families to serve, to love, to do for them what the normal photographer wouldn't do. We help run errands, we help the girls get dressed, we tease the boys so that they will grin for us instead of running from the camera. We love them.

In our world today, often the meaning of a wedding covenant is lost. Jamie and I want to be there to help remind them of what their purpose is. We encourage where we can, and we hold their hands when they need a firm touch. We do damage control. We have people on speed dial that can come and save the day should a dilemna arise.

We aren't perfect by any means. We make mistakes just like the next homo sapien. BUT we love with our whole hearts and we laugh and cry and clap and cheer alongside the families. (and sometimes we have to keep ourselves from dancing)

We love our brides. We are honored to walk alongside them on the day that so many symbolic moments flow from. Symbols as old as time are present on these days and we get to witness it. We get to capture it.

We get to.

both weepy and giddy,

{ps, the shots above are from a bridal shoot this past summer and I still tear up whenever I see them}

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

{spring cleaning}

So I've been doing some "spring cleaning" and "purging" of unnecessary clutter. It's a good feeling, but it's also shameful how much the cute husband and I have accumulated in only six years of marriage. Granted, we've added a house, a car, a dog, and two kids to our crazy little circle of trust, but still....that's NO excuse to keep the house stocked with useless junk.

And PS, I have been warring with myself about cleaning. I've been following along the journey of a family that has been under months of stress since the dad was hospitalized for some pretty bad stuff. I've been overcome with guilt and grief over their whole journey and so moved by their passion for perseverance and peace. Their faith is the mountain moving kind and I long to be their friend. I just want to sit at the wife's knee and listen to her pray, because her words stir within me a deep and dazzling hunger for more Word. One thing that Denisse said was that she shall never again complain about cleaning or chores, for her life had become so upside down that she began to long for the days of schedules and naptime and chores.

It struck a chord with me and I realized that I should NEVER complain about piled dishes or piles of laundry. I need to rejoice in the chores set before me and celebrate the reasons for the jobs that I have. CELEBRATE, you see. Nor will I complain about my household or any who live within it. Yes, exhausting days come and go and life stirs up some unpleasant moments. But those beautiful, miraculous, celebrated days where I can stand still and stare at the people around me and celebrate....those are the moments to cherish.

I am excited about getting rid of excess. It delights me. It sets me on fire thinking about freedom from plastic stuff. Stuff that fades.

I want to live a life that celebrates the lasting things.
I want to plant trees.
I want to invest in my children.
In my marriage...
In my relationship with other humans.
and in my relationship with the Maker of all life.

I've done it again. I've turned another post into something sappy. My brother told me this weekend that he stopped reading my blog because I barf rainbows and puppies all over the place.

Is that such a bad thing?
Haha..well, the barfing might be...

dusty trails to you,

Thursday, March 01, 2012


And so I bid the month of love adieu, and climb into the bed that I share with my beloved and reflect on the past twenty-nine days.

A new month will be upon us with new adventures and new stories to share. And just like that, time keeps sailing on.

The future king and the Throne Warden
Look round and round upon this bare, bleak plain, and see even here, upon a winter's day, how beautiful the shadows are! Alas! It is the nature of their kind to be so. the loveliest things in life, Tom, are but shadows and they come and go, and change, and fade away as rapidly as these! --Charles Dicken

In the depths of winter, I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer! --Albert Camus

Spring has come when you can put your foot on three daisies! --old irish proverb

Goodnight, February. Your hearts and your sparkles and your snow did my soul good.

tucked in, jade...