Thursday, November 30, 2017

Paola & Joe | Maternity Photography

I spent a beautiful afternoon with the lovely Paola and her sweet husband Joe photographing their excitement for their baby boy arriving in April. 

As we walked in the park, you could sense their love for one another and pure excitement for this new adventure of parenthood awaiting them. I had so much fun laughing, telling stories, and jumping for joy with them. Here are some of my favorite photos I got to capture. Paola and Joe, I wish you the best of luck, a bundle of happiness, and endless joy!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Just Keep Marching

Have you ever been in a situation where you feel that you are constantly doing what you're supposed to do... but see no results?

Perhaps you're working hard at a job where no one seems to notice your dedication and hard work.

Or maybe you're a mom who dedicates so much of her time and energy to a home where it often goes unnoticed.

Now imagine coming out of walking the desert for years. People are tired, hungry, and want a place to call home.

You are told that you will take a city. It's all yours, all you have to do is follow a few steps.

Great! So what do we have to do?

March around an entire city for 6 days. Oh, and the 7th day... march around 7 times and shout.

Wait? Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?

This is what the Lord instructed Joshua to do. He was told that the city of Jericho was already given to the Israelites... all they had to do was follow EXACTLY what God was telling them to.

// And the Lord said to Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus thou shall do six days.

... and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.// Joshua 6:9

Now when people mention battles, usually it means you fight and then take what you want. But marching around a city? How does that even begin to make any sense?

When I sang these words in high school part of my chorus, "Joshua fought the battle of Jericho... and the walls came tumbling down..." I didn't know the story, so I thought there was an actual battle.

But the truth is, God had already given them the victory... all they had to do was obey. Regardless of how ridiculous they probably felt.

I mean can you imagine being a soldier, and literally just being told to walk around the city you're supposed to take? And doing it everyday for 6 days?!

No talking, just walking. No questioning, just doing.

Maybe the people in Jericho might have laughed at the fact that all these so called soldiers were doing was leading in a parade around their city.

The bible doesn't tell us the thoughts of those inside the walls of Jericho.

(We're only told of Rahab, the harlot and her family who was saved for hiding Joshua's messengers.)

But, it does tell us that Joshua and the people did exactly as they were told.

And after they completed all of it, on the 7th day after marching 7 times around the city they shouted... and the walls crumbled down flat.

// And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout for the Lord hath given you the city. Joshua 6:16


... And the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. // Joshua 6:20

You may be walking around a city of your own right now.

You feel pointless in continuing because it looks stupid to other people who are watching you do this with no results.

But I'm telling you to just keep marching.

When it feels redundant. When it feels like your family, your friends, the whole world is laughing at you... just. keep. marching.

God often tells us to do something that doesn't seem very valiant. He tells us to walk through the chunky muddy path instead of the perfectly laid out concrete.

He tells us to do the thing other people usually laugh at.

But I'm telling you to look forward and march on anyway.

God promises that those who persevere will see their victory at the end.

Just keep marching... and it's only a matter of time before your walls come crumbling down too.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Love Always Comes Back

The kids all gathered around the colorful carpet as the teacher opened up the story of the day, "Llama Llama Red Pajama".

The story is about a little boy llama who is in his bed about to go to sleep, but begins to miss his mama. Although she is right downstairs, he begins to imagine all of these scenarios of his mama leaving him and never coming back.

He hears the sound of dishes clanking and water running, the phone ringing... but Mama is not coming back upstairs.

He starts to fret and grow impatient thinking she will never return. Finally, he screams and yells and His mama runs back upstairs to kiss him good night and tells him she will always be near, even if he can't see her.

I sat there in a daze, my eyes starting to tear up, so I quickly began to fix some toys and look away so no one would notice.

The story reminded me of God's unending love and promise to us.

Jesus came here to earth to be with us, but He promised before He left that He would be back for us one day.

// And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. // John 14:3

Those of us that would trust and believe in Him as our savior would see Him again, but not to fear because He would always be with us in our hearts.

That no matter how scared we are in certain moments, He would never abandon us because He loves us so much. Just like Llama Mama.

We grow impatient many times in our lives and sometimes start to think God abandoned us. He's too busy and can't hear our cries.

But God never breaks His promises. When you feel alone, just remember you have a Father who is always near and just a whisper away.

He's coming back someday... because love always does.

// I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen. // Matthew 28:20

Friday, November 3, 2017

Sweet Love | Stephanie & Michael

Everyone has a story. The day they met, when he finally decided to call her, when she said yes to a casual coffee date. I usually always ask my couples about their story, but for this one in particular, I didn't.

This one is very special to me because they are two of my oldest friends... and I got to play a little part in their love story.

Stephanie and I were in the same grade and have countless tales of us suffering through poor badminton gym days, crimped hair for semi-formals, etc... (sorry Steph, haha I love you!!) But we laughed all the way through them.

Mike was a year older in the same high school, and when we found ourselves in the same Roman history class in college with another mutual friend... eventually we ended up being class buddies. (Mike I still hold you accountable for "my chattiness" in that class! =P)

One day Mike asked about the really pretty girl in one of my photos, and as any typical friend would, I totally gushed about Steph. She was beautiful, loyal, and a total sweetheart.

It became a mission. Through a circle of mutual friends... this was the perfect match and it just had to happen.

But to make the story short, once they met and started getting to know each other... the rest was history.

I along with my other friends have gotten the privilege to see Mike and Steph's love story grow over the years, and it truly is the sweetest.

They went to Europe last summer, and as they walked through the gardens at Linderhof Palace in Germany... Mike proposed.

We celebrated with close friends when they came back, and I was so excited when Steph asked me if I would photograph their engagement.

We strolled through Central Park one early morning and recounted old memories and Mike made sure to carry along our pumpkin prop for the perfect photo ;).

Steph and Mike, I can't promise you that I won't cry when I watch you both say I do next October.

But I wish you countless joy in this new beginning. I hope you'll choose to say "I do" day after day, and remember to always forgive one another, but most of all love each other through every passing season.

Thank you for having me document your love and I can't wait to celebrate with you both next year... Love you!!! ♡