Thursday, May 25, 2017

Lifestyle Portraits | Antonietta

My sister turned 24 last week, and naturally we had to go out to celebrate and take photographs to document. We brought along the ginormous number balloons everyone loves and made sure we were super careful because well... they can fly away. 

We got to the park and just as I was taking a few test shots, a slight touch and yes... the number four went up, up, and away. Sooo we had to drive back down and buy another balloon. 

So a little advice with number balloons... make sure they are tied super tight! Here are my favorite photos of my beautiful little sister. Happy 24th Birthday... love you!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Bliss & Brett | Allison Park Wedding

The rain poured what seemed like buckets of water nonstop. As I pulled into the park entrance, I hoped it would stop just to photograph the ceremony. 

Everyone was laughing and the energy and excitement couldn't be stopped by the weather. Though it didn't stop raining, Bliss and Brett's joy and love for one another was contagious. We gathered our umbrellas in hand and watched them say I do. I had such a great time photographing this fun group, and won't soon forget this day... congratulations Bliss and Brett!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

An Emblem of Living hope

Celebrating my Nonno's 80th birthday 2 months after he was home

"There isn't anything else we can do…" A year ago around this time, my father stood at the kitchen counter talking to us quietly.

I clutched at my Mom's shirt, tears shedding down my face. It was 11:00pm. They had taken my Nonno to the hospital and we were all waiting.

Everything was failing.

His lungs, his liver… they didn't know where he was bleeding from. But his vital signs weren't good. 

I looked at my father and choked up words mixed with sobs came out of my mouth.

"But he can't go... he can't die!" I sobbed into my mom's shirt.

My father just looked away. My mother shook me, took my face in her hands and told me to stop crying and to have faith.

"Do you believe God could help him? We need to pray… it isn't over yet."

I wanted to believe it so badly. The slightest bit of hope I had in me that my grandfather would live had been shredded away when the doctors said everything was failing.

But how? But why? But God?

That night I went upstairs and hit my face to the cold wooden floor and I just sobbed. I begged God to
heal him because we still needed him here.

I wanted my grandparents to see me get married one day. I wanted to continue reading the bible with him.

I wanted to tell the world his story of how he came to know Christ. It couldn't be over.

It was the beginning of many long nights. Almost a month to be exact.

The first night we went to visit him… things didn't look good. Before we left my grandfather whispered “Pray for me…”

I knew there was nothing any of us could do. This was all God's territory. Days became weeks. 

At one point I felt reading through scripture was becoming repetitive. God I'm reading your words, but why can't I see any of it happening? Where are you?

But even when it felt like nothing was happening and that God was silent... we prayed anyway. Somehow this wasn’t over. Not yet. God was up to something.

My entire family gathered together in the waiting area for nights. 5 people soon turned to 30, all anxiously awaiting any news. 

Then things became worse. He was taken into the ICU. This verse stood out to me in the pool of words as I was reading scripture:

// When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. // John 11:4

After a transfer to another hospital, dozens of tests and weeks later… the internal bleeding stopped. There was no explanation for it.

Driving home that night, a giant truck sign on the side of the road I had never noticed before had the word GRACE, spelled out in big letters. Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe God sets little reminders in place to let us know He was there all along.

That no matter how bad a situation is… it is never too far gone from God's grace. That you never give up and when the situation is impossible for us, is when we fight the hardest on our knees in prayer.

This post was really hard for me to write and share. But I promised God when my grandfather was healed, I'd give Him all of the glory.

And so I want you to know that God hears and acts. That things in this life are beyond us... but nothing is beyond God.

The Lord heard us and He healed. Today my Nonno is here because of Jesus. For that I owe Him my all. 

// Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. // Philippians 4:6-7

Monday, May 8, 2017

Little Ones | Grace

I got to run around and photograph this little beauty the other day... and it was so much fun! The day was absolutely gorgeous and the pretty green scenery was the perfect backdrop for this smiley girl. Here are my favorites from her lifestyle session, enjoy!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Just Follow

I’ve come to a realization about the choices I’ve been making out of fear lately. 

I’ve been faced with a few different decisions and I found myself jumping back and forth between things and then returning back to it again... because well it's better than having nothing right?

After reading through scripture, a book, and listening to a sermon that all pointed me to the same message, I realized this:

The truth is, God never intended us to choose the easier option out of comfort.

But here’s what hit me, Jesus never told us to say yes to something because it seemed okay… He wants the absolute best for us. 

The prettiest view always lies all the way on top of the mountain, but if we settle for midway because it's nice... we'll miss out on it.

When Jesus told people “Follow Me”, he literally meant that they had to leave what they have behind. (Their safe jobs, sometimes their fancy homes, etc...)

It never meant to take our first aid kits, security funds, and plan b’s along. All He said is “Follow Me” and the rest would be completely unknown. 

But Jesus promised if we do… it’ll all be worth it. 

But seek ye the kingdom of God first, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. {Matthew 6:33}

And here I am trying to settle for "just alright".

{I call this the wind didn't wanna die down so I look like Cousin Itt photo shoot}

To be honest I’m not sure what's going to happen. As of right now I’m in limbo again. But there's a certain peace about it that I’ve never had before. 

Jesus didn’t say to worry, actually contrary to what the world says about all that anxiety stuff... Jesus said the total opposite.

Who of you by worrying can add a single day to your life? // Luke 12:25 //

So I’m handing it all off to Him. I’m fully trusting that the Lord will provide like He has in the past, and that my best is truly yet to come.