Archive for ‘Personal’

June 28, 2011

You know it’s summer….

when you finally get to go out to the farm and go strawberry picking!

Mmmmmm. Strawberries are just one of my many favorite summertime fruits. (; You can use them in a plethora of recipes (mainly desserts!) or make smoothies…or just eat them plain! With or without sugar, take your pick. My mom and I took the two little boys I nanny during the summer strawberry picking a few weeks back, and I’m finally just going through the photos. If you’ve never been, you should go sometime. It’s a fun way to get some sun…and some yummmmmy & healthy fruit!

gotta have a fun big hat for the hot sun.

mmmm. yummy, messy goodness!

love always!

June 19, 2011

Father’s Day:::personal

Well, he taught me my Bible
From seven to thirteen
Taught me to drive when I was a wild thing
I reached and he prayed when I made some mistakes
That I wouldn’t have made if I’d’ve done it his way

Daddy’s Little Girl//Kippie Brannon

I love my father. He has been the best dad I could have ever asked for, and I say that with complete sincerity. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’ve always been happy with him…like alllll those years he forced me to play violin (; …or said we had to go to church together as a family….or made me listen to my mother… or told me if I wanted the iPhone, I’d have to pay for the data myself. But because of those things, I’ve grown as a person.

I now have skill as a violinist (I’m not the best one…but I’m pretty decent!;) ) and I value going to church with my family, (although I’m finding my way at some other ones now)….and I’ve learned money management and (hopefully!) some self-discipline. (;

Daddy, thanks for loving me through all the good times and the bad…the times I’ve screamed and acted like a child, and the times that I’ve made you proud. Thank you for teaching me the important lessons in life, like how to persevere through tough situations, make it through chemistry and algebra II without failing, and most importantly, learn how to live my life for Jesus.  You have set your eyes on Him, and it shows in how you live your life. I’ve seen it play out over the past 19 years, and realized it more recently. You’ve shown me an earthly glimpse of what my true Father is like:) and, thank you for all the hard work that you do…I really DO appreciate it!

I. love. you. (:

June 7, 2011

it’s not the wood that saves, it’s the Man who came and wore it.

[Mike Mains and The Branches, Stereo.]

It’s late. 12:09 am. Early, actually, if you want to be technical. I got into bed about 10:30…popped back out about an half-hour ago. Started doing some research for a project on my laptop, and ended up on Katie’s Blog. I cry every. single. time. It’s so real, so honest. The joy, the pain that she shares with those who end up on her little page of the internet. And my heart just cries out when I hear of the latest news, be it in a sad or rejoicing spirit.

Katie’s life has impacted so many people because of the risks she has taken, the sacrifices she has made for the Kingdom of God. I know that she has strongly influenced my best friend’s desire to go to Africa (and she’s going to Kenya for almost 5 weeks this summer!). But in my life, Katie has made me think. I’ve realized how selfish I am, how un-humble and weak in faith I am, and how extremely blessed I am.

It has definitely made me wonder, is it wrong to want to be successful? To live a life where I am able to enjoy myself and possessions such as the much coveted iPhone? (; I think, ultimately, that it is a heart issue, as it is with so many other items & issues. It starts with God, the Giver of Life and all that is good. He will choose to bless me with jobs, opportunities, and finances. Then, it is up to me to make the right decisions, to take them or leave them, to squander or spend wisely.

Someday, I’ll perhaps be able to (in good conscience) afford that shiny white iPhone of my dreams….but today I choose to go simpler, and instead share some of those Ben Franklin’s with others such as Katie, who are doing the impossible. Because with God, all things are possible. And even if I’m not in a position to go to Africa right now, or build a house in Alabama, or feed starving children in a third world country in person, I can support those who do with my finances and my prayers.

May 4, 2011

April showers bring May flowers;)

I am so excited that it is finally warming up, and the sun is out and shining again! (it rained here for at least a week. Felt like I would neeeeever see the sun again! I’m sure you know how I felt. Blech.) Thanks to the good ol’ sunshine that is out now, our flowers are out in full bloom, soaking up the warmth, and they are a very welcome sight! I went out to get some photos of them in their prime, and stumbled apon some pretty little violets poking up between the cracks in our brick walkway. As my sweet friend Rachel pointed to me, it is so amazing that God can take something so mundane and dead and inanimate, even, and prove His majesty and power by giving something so dainty and beautiful life. Right there, among the “dead” stuff.

and it goes even farther than that! We, as sinful people, are just as dirty and dead. But God sees our potential. Even though we’re stuck in a not-so-glamerous place, be it physically or spiritually or any other way, He sees our potential. And if we just reach up the the Son, and drink up the Living Water…He can change us into something beautiful!

He’s pretty amazing, huh? (:

April 19, 2011

Lake Red Rock (personal)

Life is full of beauty. Notice it.

Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces.

Smell the rain, and feel the wind.

Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.

-Ashley Smith

and so, that’s what I did this weekend.:)

April 7, 2011

late-night, thursday kind of thoughts.

I’ve been stressing a lot lately.


As I’m sure you’re aware, stress is a part of life, and it is not fun. However,  it is possible to put more stress than necessary upon yourself. Which just so happens to be what I’ve been doing. I have a lot coming up this summer, and I’m so excited about it! But I am also out-of-my-wits nervous about it.  Making lists. Worrying. Searching the entire contents of blogs for potential help…stressing.

Thanks to this stress, I’ve started breaking out and I’ve had a headache all afternoon. (of course, eating a just a package a little debbie’s for lunch doesn’t help, either.) And I was starting to get upset with myself. Kinda going crazy. Not so good, you know?

And I realized something. I’ve got my priorities all wrong. It’s not about me. Nope. Nothing is. The world, this business, even my life. It’s about Someone much greater.

I’d allowed myself to forget that. Worry and uncertanty had crept in the back door, because I’d left it open for that when I had started to focus on these worries. on me.

So. I’m taking a step back. I’m trusting that God will provide for my needs, I’m giving Him these exciting but scary situations, and I’m going to set my priorities back where they belong. On glorifying Jesus with my life. Knowing Him, and helping to make His Name known.

Because that is what this life, all life, is all about.

March 23, 2011

my winterish ‘spring break’ {personal}

I can’t wait to share some up-and-coming engagements and weddings that I’ve been booking for this spring and summer! But you’ll just have to wait…. (; I’ve been busy with school and work lately, and with iowa winters, most people tend to wait until it warms back up to schedule their shoots. It can get pretty nasty outside, so I completely understand. (although: I’m perfectly up to shooting outdoors in the winter if my clients want to brave the cold & snow.)

I guess that it’s pretty obvious that I love winter and snow, considering that I went to Colorado last week during my spring break, and not some warm, sunny beach on the coast. What can I say? I was raised that way! Since my family moved to the States when I was 6 1/2, I’ve not gone skiing in Colorado only twice (I think). And I’ve been skiing since I was 4! Let’s just say it’s a pretty major part of my life. In the, I-only-ski-once-a-year kind of way.

This year I wasn’t expecting to get to skiing, for multiple reasons. One: I’m in college and working a part time job, and it’s difficult to ask off a lot of time, because it’s a local small biz. Two: My family wasn’t planning on going. MAJOR problem there. (My dad was working, and my little sister and mom were going on the tri-annual high school choir trip.) Three: I’d planned on spending some quality time with all my friends who were coming home from out of town colleges.

Then, I heard that a group from the Navigators at our local university had plans to go out to Colorado over break. To Ski. Sign me up! I got the info, turned in the papers and money, and was up at 5am Saturday morning, March 12, to head out west.

It was such a blast. I only knew one of the leaders and his family (I actually just blogged his little boys a few posts ago) and my Bible study leader, Betsy. And I ended up making lots of great friends, spending time praising God in His marvelous creation, working (dining and housekeeping. dining is soo much better.) and skiing for 3 days:) It was such a wonderful break from my very predictable schedule of school, work, and homework. And if you’ve never gone skiing in Colorado–GO! It’s the best of times:)


(p.s.:these were all taken on my point&shoot, because I didn’t want to worry about my ‘baby’ up on the mountain!)

we went up to the top of the mountain, right before they shut the lift down. it was windyyyy!


February 20, 2011

a snippet of my sunday

I’ve always loved Sundays-there is just something so refreshing about them! It may be that it is in some ways the end of a hectic week, yet the beginning of a new, unwritten one. My family always goes to church together on Sunday…at least up until this year. Now that I’m in college, my dad has said that I am able to attend church at other places. but that’s a story for later. Usually I’m still at our church, either working at the nursery counter or singing/playing for the worship team. Today I was pleasently surprised to discover I had to do neither! And even more surprised was I when I got a text yesterday from my friend Jessica, saying that she was home from college this weekend! So, I quickly made up my mind to go to her church with her family (who, I might add, is basically my second fam.)

It was really wonderful to go somewhere different for a change and just be able to enjoy the service. I never realized how much work church can be until you have a part “behind the scenes,” so to speak. The message was wonderful and I was able to catch up with my old small group leader (I went to youth group junior/senior year at this other church) as well as some other friends.

And of course, whilst catching up with Jessa, we just had to take some photos. Here’s one of the best ones! (; (sorry about the cruddy quality…I didn’t want to lug my ‘big’ camera around, so I took my point&shoot instead.)

February 13, 2011

february love.

february. the month of love, of pink hearts and red flowers. of glittery valentines and plush kissing bears. some people love it, other hate it.

this post actually doesn’t have much to do with Valentine’s Day–but it does have to do with what I’m loving this month…and that is… fasting facebook! It’s been so much easier than I thought it would, and I’d definitely recommend it. Whether it’s for a week or month or even 3 days, it’s good to take a step back and get a fresh perspective.  It’s amazing to realize that I’m not constantly checking for new notifications on my iPod touch or refreshing the newsfeed, although I do admit I miss being in the loop and knowing what is going on in the lives of those I don’t otherwise talk to daily, or ever for that matter! I’ve also been able to do some more deep talking with friends via the phone or email. I even reconnected with a good friend from my younger years and had a really lovely phone chat (which probably would not have happened had I been on facebook instead of skype at 11 pm!)

I’ve also been able to dig deeper into my Bible and prayer life with God, and strengthen my relationship with Him little by little. January was already amazing spiritually, and February has definitely not disappointed! It’s definitely not because I’m not on facebook or anything, but that does help to re-evaluate the more important aspects of my life.

So, here is me saying: God, I love You! Thank you for being my perfect valentine. For showing me more and more who You are and what true love is, and how to go about showing it in my daily life. You are there to hold me up when times are tough, and to share in my joy when times are wonderful. Your love is perfect. (:

and to all you out there, real or cyber friends or even unknown friends!, may you begin to know this Love, the One who wants to be YOUR valentine. When others let you down, He won’t. And maybe, if you take a step back from the fast paced, micro-analyzing, perfect-wanna-be’s…you’ll discover the only One who has always been there for you, who will ALWAYS love you for who you are.


amelia (:

December 26, 2010

I hope that you all had a blessed Christmas and pray that you all know the greatest gift of all.. a gift of a relationship from God to you! more perfect, longer lasting, and more mind-blowing than any other gift you could ever accept. (:


for the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. we have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.–John 1:14