With Ross' training and deployment schedule I have been traveling quite a bit over the last few months... with Charlie, our three year old. We have gone thousands of miles by plane, train and automobile, stayed in all kind of different houses, explored new cities, and been blessed to spend time with lots of people we love. It really is a sweet opportunity for Charlie and I to be travel warriors and adventure seekers while Ross is gone....but I will say that along the way my expectation and experience of travel and the term vacation have been turned upside down from life before Charlie. To say the very least, it's been a humbling experience.
Before Charlie, there was no greater delight than getting to travel, and spend time in the home of family or friends. It was such a treat for me to just step into their daily life, and I think I really prided myself on begin an "easy" guest to have around. I'm pretty laid back, happy to just be along for the ride of whatever the day might bring. I love lingering in good conversation over coffee or a a great meal. I really try to make an effort to be helpful to whoever might be hosting me, pick up my messes, give appropriate space when necessary and try my very best not be demanding to my host. Well all that just gets flipping turned on its head when there is a 3 year old in mix.... all my effort to be an "easy" guest gets thrown out the window with a little person who is a tornado of noise, neediness, opinion and total disregard for toning anything down in any way for the effort of being less obtrusive. He is awake at odd hours of morning, makes wild man noises, climbs on anything and everything, turns what should not be toys into play things, and he seems to have a special radar for anyone who might be trying to relax - look! my new best friend! It's actually quite comical.
But more than anything, travel with Charlie reveals my own selfishness and its an incredible opportunity to not put my own needs and wants first (ouch!). It reveals my desperate need for mercy and grace -- to see the bigger picture outside of my immediate wants. It reveals my tendency to feel that I "deserve" this or that. So the long and short of it all, it just that I see how God is working on my heart in this season and I pray that I would be soft to it. I pray that I could learn and see how to be more dependent on God, rather than myself... that I would continue to learn the blessing of seeking Him first. Even in the small or big expectations I have for myself and traveling! This business of parenting is waaay more humbling that I ever bargained.
Shooting for Southern Proper is ALWAYS one of my favorite projects, but this shoot we did for the Spring 2014 line was just flipping magical. The remarkable team at SP, along with Gadabout and Drum, made this a shoot that went above an beyond our typical boundaries. Oh the beauty of the creative process is when you can join forces and push yourself father than expected. I'm so thankful to everyone because I traveled to this shoot just days before Ross deployed and it was just such a lovely, rewarding experience. I'm thankful for this people that make this brand awesome. I'm thankful to stand (squat/kneel/lay) behind my camera and capture these images.
I can't wait to see the web launch of the spring line, but until then I'll post this tiny teaser...
Dear early morning light - I love you.
"To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us."
― Timothy Keller
― Timothy Keller
Dear Special K:
You are an amazing, beautiful, brilliant, driven, feisty, fun and tender hearted woman. Since you are Ross' youngest sister you most certainly deal with everyone giving you a hard time about well... just about everything, but I hope you know it's because we love you like crazy. This is such an exciting chapter in your life as you prepare to marry Corey and we are more than honored to come alongside you in celebrating all the fun details, and even the hard parts too. I love that you let me capture you two with my camera on this perfect cold, snowy Ohio day after Christmas.... and you better believe I can't wait to capture the beauty of your wedding day this summer. We love you to the moon and you know Charlie loves his Aunt Nin Nin too!