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Some Random Encouragement

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This CS Lewis quote just never gets old to me. I came accross it in the book I'm reading right now (The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller) and felt compelled to share it today. We go through life, at an ever increasing pace, with head strong persistence. We hold on so tightly to the ideas and plans we have made for ourselves.

Though we resist, resist, resist, it's only when we give up our insecurities, pride, or selfish motives that we finally find the very things we've been hoping for. My encouragement to you today is to STOP struggling and simply surrender whatever it is you are fighting for. Consider it gone, forever (seems crazy, I know!). Keep moving forward with this new perspective, and humbly prepare to be amazed at what is about to happen in your life...

Wanna try? Everyone's striving for something, it's human nature. Perfection, acceptance, a relationship, a promotion, more money, more respect. Once we achieve one thing, we're on to the next, never satisfied. Take 1 minute (maybe 2) and ask yourself, "What am I tirelessly striving for?" Beware, it may not be obvious at first... really think about it. Giving up on something you have been chasing for weeks, months, years is SO much easier said than done. But hey, give it a shot... Because really, what have we got to lose? 

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All Packed Up - Haiti

If your life is anything like mine, Christmas is a memory and it's back to the regular day to day routine... except for one minor detail: my bags are packed, and I fly to Haiti tomorrow morning (from Florida, where I'm spending tonight). For years I have wanted to go on a volunteer trip, but the right trip never seemed to come up. It either conflicted with school, or work, or wedding season, or was too expensive, or there was another reason it just wasn't right. I eventually resolved to just wait. I would know when the trip presented itself. 

One thing I LOVE about the photography industry is the passion I see amongst my fellow photographers. It's unlike anything I've ever seen. Everyone seems to have a cause that they actively contribute to in their 'off season'. It's so inspiring. About a year ago, I was sitting in a photography conference in Santa Barbara, California when the next presenter took the stage. For the next 25 minutes I listened to Josh Newton's presentation about using your passion to make a difference in the world... either on a one on one basis, locally, or internationally. He had just returned from Haiti, volunteering with a team of photographers at Child Hope International in Port au Prince. 

Here is a glimpse into their trip: 

All of a sudden (and out of no where) I realized the trip I had been waiting for was right in front of me. My decision was made that day.... I was going on the next Passion Project to Haiti. 

The time came to sign up, pay my funds, and sign a few papers. I sent what was needed without much more thought. Booked my flights, and double checked my immunizations, again, without really thinking about what lay ahead. There wasn't much to think about... I knew in my heart I was meant to go on this trip. 

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Well.... the week of departure arrived and I've been kind of freaking out. It's almost GO time. I'm about to enter the unknown. I'm about to be standing amidst a different world, wondering if anything I'm doing is actually making a difference. 

But, the more I think about it, the more I remember that God works in mysterious ways. He is making a difference every day, and he uses us when we are open and willing to go where we are called. So. Here I am. Not naively believing that I will make any difference at all.... but having faith that HE will work in me and through me in ways I never imagined possible. Once I come to terms with that fact... I'm actually excited to go and see what's in store... the last bit of nerves will fade once we get settled in, I'm sure. 

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Thank you for your prayers, well wishes, donations of supplies for the kids... Below is a photo of just some of the supplies that were generously donated. I ended up fitting about twice that amount into my suitcase... somehow.

I can't wait to share the stories and photos when I return! 

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10 Books I Read in 2014

It's kind of hard to believe, but the end of 2014 has come and gone. If you're anything like me, you make an attempt every year to make some changes, and set some resolutions... and, like you, I usually blow mine by mid-January. 2014's resolutions included some things that didn't exactly stick - eat more vegetables, for example... (I'll try that one again in 2015). I also decided I wanted to read more. I loved bookstores, and the idea of reading books, but I wasn't exactly what you might call a consistent reader. I got bored easily, and always seemed to be too distracted to actually sit down and read for any length of time. I set a goal to read six books throughout the year. That's one every two months, which seemed reasonable enough, but by the time the summer rolled around I had already read six! I readjusted my goal to ten and finished my tenth book with time to spare! Since I'm so proud of myself for actually following through on a new years resolution, I thought it would be fun to share the books with you! I love that I spent all of these hours reading and not on social media, or staring at my cell phone. And trust me, that is a lot of hours because I am one verrryyy slowww reader.

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The Teahouse in Stanley Park Wedding – Tanya and Andrew

Tanya and Andrew enjoyed a spectacular destination wedding, and although they live in Toronto, they decided to host a tea ceremony here in Vancouver for some of their West Coast friends and family who couldn’t make it to Mexico… They planned to wear their wedding attire again and, of course, that called for more wedding photos. I think an in town reception is a great idea for any couple who has opted for a destination wedding. Having a photographer present will leave you with more wedding photos, and with only a few hours of coverage needed, it doesn’t have to break the bank!

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The Wedding Albums

Last week I received a shipment of wedding albums for my 2014 wedding clients! The albums are custom designed and digital proofs are sent to the bride and groom for feedback. After a few rounds of changes and tweaks, each album was given the final stamp of approval, and I had the pleasure of delivering them last week. As our generation slowly pushes back against social media and technology, in an effort to focus on real human interaction, we need to remember the value of a book. A non-digital heirloom that can sit on your shelf, or coffee table. Something that can be opened up and enjoyed by guests without having to crowd around the glow of a screen. Something that doesn’t need time to load. Something that can be discovered by your children, and their children. I’m so happy to take this opportunity to share Katie and Kyle’s wedding album with you all. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the quality and service of my new album supplier. Of course, the photos below are photos of photos, and don’t do the final product any justice at all! That being said… I hope it inspires you to find ways to enjoy your photos off the computer screen! Happy Thursday!!

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