both - and

the date has been set. i am just a little excited to start off the new year with another trip to ecuador.  

last week a very good friend of mine asked me why i leave the country to share the gospel? 

"there's hungry, lost and hurting people right here in our community. a large percentage of americans are lost. focus your energy at home."
i mean really. my friend is right! the dozen of people whispering about the crazy machachi group are right when they say there's lost and hurting people in our backyard. so why go!?"
i came across an article (here) that explains this perfectly! this explains why i go.

"sharing the gospel it is not an either-orbut s both-and." 
























little busy

the pictures on this post are from a time one of bennett's quick trips home. i honestly picked them because they were reposted :) they haven nothing to do with the few words on this post. 


 right about now, i shift into temporary survival mode. christmas sessions are in full swing.  thanks to three computers, two office helpers, an understanding family, the season has been fast and furious, but equally fabulous! praise God! 



(gluten free pizza that left a LOT to be desired!)
i am looking so forward to the thanksgiving holidays. family, family and more family!
(and good food!)





happy birthday birdie!


wishing our sweet middle child a very happy birthday today! this is the day i get to gush and gush about how perfect we think you are!


before i begin, let me say... this little lady is our strongest willed one out of the bunch. she holds an unbreakable family record for the most time outs. 

she entered the world over a month early with a will made of steel. she was spunky, independent, and occasionally defiant.  she was "the kid" in the grocery store that would have a meltdown in the cereal isle. she was "the girl" in preschool who could be a ticking time bomb if all did't go her way. she was "the toddler " on the beach that others would watch slinging a lounge chair during a temper tantrum. she was "the child" that made her parents exhausted by bedtime. 

molding this precious spirit required God's mercy, grace and a  lot of energy and effort from her parents. dr. james dobson wrote a book just for anna katherine.
 but that face! that sweet little face and eyes as blue as the sea! we loved this spirit with everything we had. we would never have changed a hair on her head.
 perseverance pays off. 

 over time, we watched this strong willed girl transform into a girl full of kindness, mercy and compassion. 
 she is now "the girl" who has a missionary heart she understands the role Jesus plays in her life.  "the girl" that lives to help others and it psychically pains her to see someone in need. 

God may have given her a big dose of stubbornness,  but He gave her a bigger dose of compassion. 
 i love her humbleness. she is ok with not having the latest and greatest. she understands that her parents work hard to provide. she rarely asks for anything and understands she has to work for what she wants.  
 she still requires an 'occasional time out' (no phone) but most days, she is pretty awesome to be around. we are so in love with this young lady! happy birthday!

a birth story

i am just getting around to sharing something amazing! i photographed a little person entering the world. amazing does not even begin to describe the experience. the photo journaling of this day resulted in hundreds and hundreds of images. with the mom's permission, i have chosen a handful to share...
way back.... like sixteen years ago, i photographed katie and wayne's wedding. it was one of my first weddings and boy did i ever start with some favorites. we kept in touch over the years. 
fast forward sixteen years and three (beautiful) children... this was (as they called it) their bonus baby. very planned bonus baby!

when they asked me about photographing the birth i was so apprehensive, they could tell. the due date was in july ~ the month we would be out of town with the exception of a few days. 

the sensed my apprehension even though i never mentioned that i faint at the sight of blood. 
i really wanted to do this. when they first mentioned it, i added this to my bucket list. but again, i am a fainter.

so between florida and ecuador i was home for three days. her induction was scheduled for one of those days.

with a 24 hour notice i was ready! cameras ready, smelling salts packed (j/k) and a two hour drive i used to mentally prepare myself. this was going to be awesome!
and it was! 
watching from the beginning of labor until the end was amazingly awesome!
  for the next several hours i watch in awe. she was trying to use a little medication as possible. (not me said the photographer in the corner)

all i could feel was excitement.


psalm 139:14 kept going through my mind

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    
your works are wonderful. I know that full well.
the next ten minutes...yes, ten minutes. this was like a super hero birth... was a euphoric rush of seeing God's most amazing creation. i did not know this baby, but an intense wave of love rush over me.
and there she was.
absolute perfection!


i never fainted, never felt light headed... i was so thankful for this experience!



all the way home, all i could think about was,
"BIRTH photography is highly addictive."

since this post we have had a newborn session
 and a three month session.
i mean look at that sweet face!!


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