4 Reasons to Smile

So many reasons to smile, little everyday blessings from God.

Pretty pink lotion.

Coffee bark anyone?

This cup, a gift from my family when I started wedding planning :)

Pretty evening light and it's making a perfect shadow.

"give thanks in all circumstances; 
for this is the will of God 
in Christ Jesus for you."
1 Thessalonians 5:18


Seth & Jamie Engagement Session : Freeport, IL

When Seth announced that he and Jamie were engaged, our family was ecstatic (just ask them;).  I was doubly blessed when I was asked to be their wedding planner, I ended up taking some engagement photos for them too, these are them. 

It is so sweet to see Seth and Jamie's love for one another and how content they are just to be with each other.  You two were wonderful in front of the camera and made my job super easy!


This was a candid moment that I said "Wait, do that again," and then snapped!

SO happy for you two!! Congratulations on your new life together!


Post Valentine's Reflections

I've found myself coming to a conclusion these days, a discovery really.  A discovery that the whole mass of humanity is desperately wanting  love.  When I say "love" I don't mean batting eyelashes or swaggering gates, I'm not talking about nice feelings, I'm talking about that, "It doesn't matter what you do or say I'm always here," attitude that, "100% of me is 100% devoted to you even if you give nothing in return," commitment . . . like a mother and her baby.

"Love", a word that can be spoken with some of the sweetest rejoicing on earth or spoken with some of the greatest sorrow known to man, a word carelessly marketed by Hallmark but treasured by some as the dearest word ever heard.  It's romance to some and heartbreak to others. To some it's just a word and to others a tangible offering of one's self to others.  For some it's a dream for others a reality taken for granted.

What I'm realizing more fully is how desperately and with what intense longing all of mankind begs for love. Not just to receive it, not just to give it, but really to be wrapped up in it in a consuming kind of way.  It's as if we want to know it.  We want to feel it, to realize it.  You'd think we couldn't live with out it . . . and maybe we can't.  Not really live anyhow, not the satisfying "I'm doing what I'm meant to do" sort of living.

That being said, I don't think having a "someone", whether that be a friend, significant other, parent, or child will equal discovering love.  I mean we discover love to some extent in our relationships - some relationships bring us closer to knowing it's fullness than others.  But love can't be fully know or fully discovered or found completely satisfying  in any person or in any human relationship. So, why are we on this desperate treasure hunt, why do we have this intense longing to know love anyways?  I think it's 'cause we're wired that way, after all . . . 

God is love

and we're created to know Him and be known by Him!  When I say "God is love" I'm not saying it in a sappy platitude sounding way either.  I'm saying the perfect essence, the perfect beauty, the perfect fulfillment, the complete definition, of love is found in who God is.  One day in heaven, when all this sin and corruption is behind us, that longing will be perfectly satisfied for those who believe because our affections will be rightly placed.  We'll stand face to face with love in a way we could never have imagined, completely awed and passionately grateful for a love we never deserved.  But until that day . . . 

"'love the Lord your God with all your heart 
and with all your soul and with all your mind 
and with all your strength'" 
and "love your neighbor as yourself.'  
There is no other commandment 
greater than these."
Mark 12: 30-31b

A Confession

I have a confession to make, winter has never been my season when it comes to photography.  I just don't take nearly as many photos because I don't like being out in the cold, my experience is that others don't love being out in it for pictures either. :) Anyways, I did take some pictures recently, not lovely smiling faces but a "before" and "after" house keeping project that I thought I'd share with ya'll.

Hidden in various corners of my room were stashed letters.  Having entered the world of pen-pals at a very young age and not being one to want to throw any of my letters away I had accumulated quite a collection.

(Yes, those boxes are holding letters.)

 So, finally, finally I collected up my letters . . .

. . . and my tools . . .

after years of letters stashed in various corners I now have them all neatly bundled and organized in one place where I can enjoy them!

If any of you sweet people who've ever written me are reading this - thank you for your penned words!! Receiving cards or being a pen-pal is so neat and can mean so much to people.  If you've never really done it you you may just want to give it a try.  Who knows, you might  love it!

His Will

Happy Friday ya'll! :)
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