Monday, June 11, 2012

{sara + luke}

When I first met my husband, he was a youth minister at a small town church that he had grown up attending. As our friendship began to blossom, I began to see all these wonderful, attractive qualities that he possessed. Loud and clear, baby. 
The first being his generous heart. Nate was constantly giving any and all that he could. And he gave with little thought to what he might receive in return.
He was dedicated. No matter what circumstance he found himself in, he was passionate about following through with his task. 
He was a hard worker. He so diligently worked and he did it with integrity. Laziness never crossed his mind.
And even with his strong, ethical heart, he possessed a joy that lit his beautiful brown eyes up. He always found moments to grin whole-heartedly and to laugh loudly with a purity that I've seen few men wear.
I adored him. And I was inspired by him. He still has all of these qualities today, but he's added so much more. It's impossible to explain how much more I love him. There just aren't words.

When I began hanging around Nate as much as humanly possible, I met one of the kids he so unselfishly invested in. This boy had the brightest eyes and the sweetest temper. I was a fan. He was always with Nate, cruising around in Nate's little white truck and eating all the time. Nate loved this boy and then I loved him too. I loved this bright eyed boy so much that I dragged him off for the summers to camp to work with me on staff. And he loved it as I loved it. The fun we had will always be tucked in my heart, for it was during those summers that I began to see this boy possessed all the qualities that I loved in my Nathan. This boy was generous. He was dedicated. His work ethic was beyond compare. He had joy light up his bright eyes with unspeakable peace, even through life's storms. I was proud of him. And it was in this season that this bright eyed boy became a man.

And then he met a girl. At that camp. Where I met my brown eyed husband. Who introduced me to that bright eyed boy. That I loved with all my heart.

And the rest is history.

It's my privilege to walk through life with this couple. I've been blessed to capture so many important moments for them with my camera. And now they celebrate their one year wedding anniversary this month and I was able to do some pictures out at that camp that we love. They aren't perfect. They are impossibly flawed just like the rest of us. But they are dedicated. And they are passionate. And they are committed to each other. 

I simply can not wait to take pictures of their babies whenever the time comes. I'm excited to see where their many roads take them and to see them glorify the Maker with their lives.

Love you guys.
No seriously. 
LOVE yall!

Enjoy the trip down memory lane....ending with some of my favorites of their anniversary pictures.

feeling quite mushy,
xo, jade

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Two things

While driving to run an errand with the boys this afternoon, I passed by a park where a mom was sitting at a picnic table playing on her cell phone while her children played on the slide and swings.

Then, whilst at a store, a mom and grandma were shopping with their kids and actually was reprimanded by a store employee for allowing their children to run like crazy people through the store, knocking over displays and playing with products.

Both of these incidents were very loud and clear to my heart of what I DO NOT want to do.
1. I have been guilty of paying attention to social media while my kids play before me.
2. I have also been guilty of letting them run amok in an inappropriate place. (rarely, though, I am sort of a manners nazi when it comes to public places. I will walk from a restaurant or store before I allow my child to ruin an outing/eating experience for someone else) But I have had my moment before.

I know that I make mistakes, it's what makes me human. BUT, I will do all that I can to not let the excuse of being human keep me from being a joyful, giving, disciplined mother. I refuse to sit at the park on a beautiful, hot summer's day, staring at a piece of plastic and buttons, just to keep "connected" to the rest of the world, when the best gifts I will ever receive on this earth are right here by my side. To play with and celebrate with and to figure life out with.

I desperately want to teach my little sheep how to live life well. I want to invest in their hearts. I want to show them hope and fulfillment. Not in men. Not in the world. Not in a future wife or children. But in salvation through a relationship with the Maker.

And one of the only ways they will know that life is if I take time for them. I'm a stay at home mom who owns her own business. It's a good business. It keeps me busy throughout the week and I'm fortunate enough to be able to do it from home and not be stuck in an office. But I'm a mother before a photographer. I'm a wife before a mother. I'm a woman seeking God's heart before I'm a wife. I will accomplish none of my goals in life without putting down my phone or stepping away from the blasted computer or investing in a quiet life.

So if you'd like to know how I am working at not being "connected", I'll tell you.
  • I leave me phone on silent in my bedroom in the mornings. I check it only mildly. (Some of you have noticed how I don't answer as much as I used to. This is why.)
  • I set goals for us everyday. (organize their closet together, plant some flowers, take a walk on the beach, etc.) I do my best to meet them and try again the next day.
  • I work on the computer only during quiet time or nap time or after bedtime (unless I have a deadline, then I set a specific hour aside while they have "quiet play" in the playroom)
  • I leave my phone in the car while we are at the park. If I want a picture, I can use my real camera, that way I don't feel constantly needing to check the phone. If I specifically want to do some iphonograhy, which you may have noticed is a blossoming hobby of mine, then I will only allow myself camera access, then stow it in the pocket or bag where it belongs.
  • Discipline. It's a big, tough word to swallow. But it's all it takes to break a habit. So everyday I battle selfishness and old natures and find freedom more each new day.
That list is small, but daunting at the same time.  I don't want to live a life tethered to anyone or anything but God. I don't want to waste time, squandering what I have to celebrate here and now simply by worrying or being selfish. I don't want to miss real life moments because I'm working on the pretty silver computer or staring lovingly at the pretty glass screen of my magical iPhone.

I'm not a perfect momma. I'm not even close. But I want to be a warrior for my Maker and for my family. I want to do battle against the principalities of this world and fight. The true battle has already been won, so why allow my home to be tainted by the struggling darkness.

Maybe I should start my own Avengers Initiative for moms. Tiffany, you in? Amber? Judith?

I'm ridiculous,

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

{The Queen of Quite-A-Lot}

When I was little, my mother used to (and still does) have a collection of Mary Englebreit books, stamps, etc. She just loved ME's positive outlook on life and celebrated all of the whimsical art that ME studios hosted.

One of her favorite pieces was called "The Queen of Everything" an adorable illustration depicting a noble looking gal reigning over her castle with sunglasses on. Thus, my mother was forever known as the Queen in our household. When I whined about not having a royal title, mom obligingly found me a Mary Englebrit poster that fit me wonderfully "Princess of Quite a Lot". It was hilarious. To us, at least. We like to laugh, so it may not be that humorous to you. Needless to say, we were forever indebted to ME for providing the women in our house the appropriate titles.

Now that I am a wife and mother, indeed I am, I have claimed title of Queen in my household. My adorable 4 year old often refers to me as Queen Mommy (only after I corrected him for calling me a Princess. Yes. I did do that.) I laugh about all this because though I call myself a Queen, truly, my mother is the Queenliest of all. You who know her can testify to this. She has a royal quality about her that many of us mere copycats only dream of. :)

That being said, this past weekend a friend of mine threw me a tea party for my golden birthday. It was quite hilarious fun and a very simple, small soiree with a few of my favorite gals (we were missing a couple!) The tea was delightful and frilly and exactly what us girl-time-starved females needed.

Shayna even made us crowns and set up a backdrop of frilly girlishness for us to take pictures in front of. :) Oh yes. She did.

Anyways, here's to another year of frills and flowers and crowns and all around girly goodness.
Me, adjusting my crown.
 And a special thank you to all of you, my beloveds, for working so hard to show your love to me. Indeed I am wonderously blessed by all of you. From the BBQ on Memorial Day to the Tea on Saturday, to the hugs and love I was given at church....I am thankful for every message, every owl, every text. Thank you!!

<3 blissful,....jade