Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Project: Her Heart | Beach Day

     I won't deny it, I've always been the kind of girl who loves girly things. I love flowers, I love wearing lipstick (in every bright shade that a girl can possibly own), I love twirling around in dresses, I love the tip tap my heels make on wooden floors, and make fun all you want I actually don't mind bawling my eyes out to a good movie :P. And here's the big one.... I LOVE love stories, or also known as Chick Flicks. Yep I admit it, I love all of these things and more about being a girl. I mean why wouldn't I? I was created to be and to enjoy all of those beautiful things, and I am not ashamed of what makes me exactly who I am. 
     But it isn't always as simple as it should be. Girls grow up facing many things both physically and emotionally and often times the world tells us that we either aren't good enough, or we should be a certain way to "fit in". This often leads to girls that are more reserved (like myself) to be looked at as weaker in a sense, or to girls that are more outgoing to be known as the more possessive charactered. In any sense, I believe these things are all protective coverings to our fragile hearts, lest we expose who we truly are.
     Have you ever wondered why they seem to put all of the most perfect scenarios in romantic novels and movies? I'm talking about the sweetest guy driving you to see this amazing view at sunset----on a rooftop complete with sparklers of course. Or dancing out in the rain, or piles and piles of beautifully handwritten letters. Women either fall completely in love with the stories (that would be me), or completely dislike the ideas because they believe it can never happen in real life. Why do they place all of these ideas in movies mostly geared toward women? It's because those are the things that are at the core of being a woman. 
     And so I decided to turn all of my loves of being a girl into a personal project. This photo project will be a series that embodies all that a woman's heart is made up of. Sparklers, bubbles, sunsets on the beach, love letters, books, balloons, splashing around in the ocean, and everything else in between. These are the things that make my heart come alive.
     So here is my invitation, no here is my permission to be who you were meant to be. All of the things that make a woman who she is... the beauty, the strength, and the heart. It takes courage and time to be and show who you truly are created to be. I am who I am because of a truly wondrous God, and I grow a little more everyday in Him. It's a beautiful journey of self discovery that never ends, but a rewarding and fulfilling one I promise. You were created beautifully, don't be afraid to show the world. 
     Here is the first part of my project, a day at the beach I spent with my sister. Enjoy and stay tuned for my upcoming posts for Project: Her Heart. Happy Wednesday! 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Dear Mama

     It has been said that sometimes on Earth we will see glimpses of heaven. I can say with the deepest sincerity that a mother's love is one of those glimpses. A mother's love doesn't need to speak to you to fall in love with you, it doesn't need proof of your love in return. A mother loves her child even before it is born. No matter how many times that child will break your heart... a mother always waits for her child to return with open arms. A love so pure and without reason but simply to love can only come from above.
     When I was little, my mom would read fairy tales in Italian to me and then teach me various words such as apple, tree, popcorn, and then record me speaking. Although because my mom barely knew any English, words such as popcorn I would pronounce "popehcorneh" (the cassettes which I still have are truly hilarious.) 
     One time I wasn't having too good of a day. I was on the floor of my room frustrated and my mom sat at the end of my bed listening to me and through half sobs I said, "I'll never be good enough. What's wrong with me?" I looked up to see her in tears and she softly replied, "But to me... I think what you do is beautiful. How you think, what you write...I love who you are." Those words stayed forever in my heart. 
     Mom your dedication to not only your children, but to God, to Dad and to your passion shows me how incredible you truly are. Sometimes I find myself speechless when I thank God for you because out of the million women over the centuries in the world... He chose you to be my mom.
     Proverbs 31 depicts the beauty of a virtuous woman, and when you find her, she is worth far more than rubies. She is a woman of valor, her husband trusts in her, she provides for her family, she is wise and highly respected by her children. She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs at the days to come. She is beautiful inside and out. Many women do noble things, but she surpasses them all. 
   Mom, you embody all of those beautifully written words. Thank you for all of the things you do and have ever done for me... it has been a blessing and honor to have known such a beautiful soul in my life and to call you my mother and friend.
     Every night long after everyone has fallen asleep, I peek into your room and there you are reading scripture in bed. I push open the door and quietly tiptoe by you, and hug you for a moment only to smell your sweet scent and kiss you good night. I want to wish all of the beautiful Mothers in the world a Happy Mother's Day. Tonight hug your mom a little tighter, and tell her how much you love her... for a mother's love is one of a kind. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wild At Heart

     I love to read and I'm always on the lookout for books with amazing stories or that are trying to teach me something. And then every so often comes a book that helps you see certain things in a new light. Such is the case when I finished reading Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. 
     This book isn't something I would normally pick up, but I was intrigued by the title as well as the description that stated Discovering The Secret of a Man's Soul. I have a younger brother and one day asked him if he would like to come outside and demonstrate some of his "stunts" or as he calls it Parkour as I photograph him. 
     "Oh really?!?! Can I like hop over the fence and you capture it when I'm in the air?!?!? Okay let's go!!..." I have never seen a boy's eyes and smile so widened and full of excitement at the permission to be reckless. 
     Boys. I never fully understood why they like mud, shooting games, bloody scars and the list goes on and on. My little brother loves to dress up as his favorite super hero and slash the enemy and save the day... whereas I was always the beautiful and lovely princess who waited for the brave prince to come to the rescue. 
     As cliché as that sounds, isn't it funny how boys and girls grow up adoring these characters and wanting to be them? Even though you might not realize it, these qualities are still very much the core of many plots in today's movies. 
     I realize though how incredibly beautiful and awesome these differences are that distinguish men from women. If we are created in God's image, then it's safe to say that God has all the qualities that make up a man's heart and a woman's heart.
     God gave men the hearts of warriors. Deep inside their soul comes alive when there is adventure awaiting. They strive to be someone's hero, they proudly showcase their bloody wounds, and at the same time have a passionate heart. 
     But I find that we have sort of drifted boys and men away from this position over the years. The whole "boys save girls" is no longer deemed as chivalrous as it once was. And in turn, boys grow up feeling it isn't necessary to be that hero to someone any longer. But why?
     Chivalry is never dead. It can't be dead, it's something you are born with.... it's within your soul. You may not be fighting on a horse in a bloody battle with swords, but every man has their own battle to face in this world. And so don't be afraid to fight for whatever it is you are facing, and whatever it is that is in your heart. Don't be afraid of fighting for a dream or for love. Fight the good fight that is within you. You were created to be a valiant leader, and no matter what the world tries to convince you of... always stand up for what is right.  
     There are many men that follow what the world needs, but do what makes you come alive. Whatever it is that you love, do it. The world needs people who are passionate and have come alive.
     I smile now when I hear my little brother making his crashing noises as he plays his games. It reminds me of just how imaginative and passionate he is being just as he was created to be. Beat on brave warrior, beat on. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekend Getaway: The Pine Barrens

     Every once in a while it is good to have a getaway. Whether it be a vacation to a faraway place or even somewhere not too far from home, taking a few days away gives your mind a chance to press rewind. I spent the weekend with a few friends by the Pine Barrens in a cute cabin by the lake. I bought a sleeping bag for the first time and boy am I glad I did. The unexpected cold had us all huddled together with 20 layers of clothing and zipped up like Hot Pockets in our sleeping bags. 
     We visited a nearby Winery, told stories, roasted marshmallows, had a classy dinner including homemade pasta sauce (and everything else you can imagine at an Italian dinner ;)...and finished the night dancing around our small cabin. Not your typical outdoorsy experience, but who says you need to follow any specific guidelines right? :) Here are a few photos I took...Happy Monday!