Sunday, March 18, 2012

a LOT deeper

Our first date, high school prom 2002.

I want to share a very personal story with you.

Josh and I are about to celebrate our fifth year of marriage and when baby #2 arrives in August we will have been together for 10 years. I have been reflecting recently about where we are today and all we are blessed to have and be doing with our lives.
We are truly living out our dreams.
Ultimately this also reminds me of how it all started. We are high school sweethearts.
Our first date was absolute magic. Josh asked me to prom when I was 16 and I literally ran down my street screaming. Like out of a fairytale we won prom prince & princess and everything about the night was perfect. He even asked me to be his girlfriend.
This was MAJOR as Josh (who at the time was 17) had never been on a date, had a girlfriend or even come close to holding a girl's hand before that night.
He was, in my eyes, the most attractive and amazing guy I had ever met and to both our our surprises my response was no.
My background was a lot different than his and I had been practically living with my past boyfriend & I was convinced my baggage would ruin our relationship.
Actually I was quite a wild child and the reason we ended up in the same school to begin with was because I had gotten expelled from my last one.
Coming from a divorce (like all children of divorce) I was hurting and trying anything anyone offered me to make life better.
At 13 I skipped 8th grade, left home and went to boarding school in Colorado for some freedom.
God was definitely watching over me during this time in my life because by the age of 14 I had already experimented with any drug offered, gotten alcohol poisoning twice & was not looking out for myself whatsoever. Being expelled was almost a relief as I was out of control and needed purpose and a moral compass.
I was not raised in church like he, nor given reasons as to why purity was important.
But when you fall in love with someone who has been waiting, saving themselves and views intimacy as a gift for their spouse alone- its a horrible feeling to know you have not done the same.
If you are not a Christian this all might sound quite foreign and even silly to you as I once had no idea about anything to do with God or Jesus or faith before I started attending church but hopefully you at least enjoy the background story.
Back to Josh.
He didn't give up on me and waited. By the time he asked again a few months later I was MORE than ready to say yes. Somewhere into our senior year, when I realized how serious our relationship was, I felt like it was time to share with him about the other people I had been in relationships with. It was a rough night and it took me a long time to share with him.
Shame was the strongest feeling I remember about the first part of that night.
In that moment you realize that your choices affect others and your choices matter.
Especially when you are looking into the face of someone whom you love and seeing the pain that you have caused.
He is a very strong person but when I finished talking he was quiet and visibly hurt.
It hurt him that he had valued something so much that I had easily (even without much thought) given away.
I told him I completely understood if he wanted to break up and with tears in his eyes he told me that nothing I could do or did would make him love me less.
The love and grace Josh showed me that night was a perfect picture of how God will accept us if we choose to allow Him into our lives- baggage and all.
So 10 years later here we are-
We can proudly say we saved ourselves for our wedding night.
In these days that is an out of date, "impossible", unpractical and archaic concept.
But to us it meant something & fostered a deep amount of trust and respect for each other that I know benefits our marriage even today.
Needless to say I share this to brag on what an awesome husband I have, let the single ladies know there are gentlemen out there in this world & to let everyone else know that they matter and so do the choices they make.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Wow, its been a long time since I last blogged!
It has been on my heart for a while to start up again and share more than just my job or pictures of my family but finding the time is the hardest part.
Midnight it is!
With so much going through my head this week, now is as good a time as any....right?
To catch up since the last post:
Josh has left his band and is working for our church
Bayside, I have left my job at the very same church to work from home and care for our daughter Annabelle & we also have another baby coming this summer.
You will have to excuse my grammar and all such related issues.
Im not a writer, I just like to tell stories.

And off we go!

Last week we flew to Ohio for the funeral of Josh's grandfather & on the way home a funny thing happened (well it wasn't funny to me at the time).
On flight #1072 from Canton to Tampa Annabelle had her first cry on a plane.
This being flight #10 in her extensive flying career of 8 months I was sure we were golden by now but the flight departed around 9am and we woke her up around 4:30am, so she was pretty cranky by the time we sat in our seats. She cried for maybe 5 minutes and I was horrified thinking we are "those people" on the plane and everyone hates us. Luckily after 5 minutes she was passed out and fast asleep for the rest of the flight and my father in law said I was more bothered than anyone else around us. Whew.
What this experience did was jog a memory of a 15 hour flight I took back in December of 2010.
I was leading a trip (pregnant with Annabelle) to Zimbabwe of a team of people from our church. The flight was South African Airways flight #0204 from Orlando to Johannesburg and I learned 2 very very valuable lessons on it.
For hours and hours and hours and hours a toddler screamed in the seat across from me. Literally I could not sleep, relax or even concentrate on my watching my movies. I was MAD.
15 hours flights are not that bad if you can sleep, watch movies and relax and I wasn't able to do any of those things or even move seats for that matter! I cannot tell you how many times I looked up in total anger at this mother. Why are you not able to calm him down? He must be exhausted by now? What is wrong with him? What is wrong with you? PLEASE Jesus make him sleepy!!!!
I would go in waves of mad at mom and praying that God would make this baby fall asleep. At some point I answered my own prayer and fell asleep. When I woke up I immediately noticed there was no screaming. I looked across to the seat I had eyed so many times before in anger and what I saw slapped me in the face. One of the women from MY team was sat talking to her while another woman from MY team has taken the child for a walk through the isles.
I cannot express the shame that overcame me. As the "leader" I was supposed to be leading by example and I had totally missed my first opportunity!
I was so eager to rest up for the destination, I had overlooked the journey.

Two things I took away from that experience on flight #0204:
1- The mission can be right in front of us and if we are too busy "preparing" for the mission we can completely miss it.
2- You NEVER know what someone is going through. The story turns out that this woman was not even the child's mother. She is just traveling with him to take him to a relative. She was baffled, completely exhausted and extremely grateful for the help our team provided.
Of course when we had time to de-brief after our arrival I shared my boo boo with the team and praised them for being so attentive.
The irony of this story is, we were traveling to Africa to work with orphans (many of which turned out to be the same age as this child) & this child needed exactly what I had stepped on the plane to do. Be loved on.
I still tear up a bit when I think about it. Not because I am still ashamed but rather because of how grateful I am for grace and love. The grace and love of God and that same grace and love we receive from people in our lives at the exact times we need it most.

Trust me-I have made many mistake since and have many stories yet to share :)
Hope you enjoy the journey with me,

Below are shots of our amazing team & me with the baby boy I would have liked to sneak home with me.

Monday, July 20, 2009

As summer ends, it is all just beginning.

Currently I am on tour with Josh and the band, today we are in NJ.
The last few months have flown by (speaking of flying, when I fly home tomorrow it will be my 12 flight this month).
I have taken a position at my church coordinating local outreaches and world wide missions.
If I could have written up my so called "dream job" it would have looked a lot if not exactly like this.
My first trip was to Peru with the youth last week, where we dug wells, build a house and treated over 1400
 children for parasites and lice. 
It was really incredible to do something so hands on and practical.

Back to tour- Josh is over half way through a 6 week summer tour and because of all that has gone on at home with my new job and life in general it has been hard to be without him.
But every time I get down and wonder-
why in the world are we doing this? 
I am reminded that the road less traveled. 
Although it is a tougher trail with signs or guide maps, it is the path worth taking. 
It is the adventure, it is the reckless abandon to everyday society. 
It is just as Jesus did. Give up everything that you may have life.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring & all things new

Again, apologies for the lapse.
I will at some point update this weekly.
Whats new?
Josh & the band recorded an album in Ocala, FL for most of February (which comes out May 12th) and also shot their first music video!
He is on tour right now and will be pretty busy through the summer with festivals and summer concerts. 
I flew out out last week and traveled through Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky & Michigan with them to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary.
I have had a few great things happen also; 
I now have my work on display and for sale at a design center in downtown Sarasota,
have launched an online store along with the website; 
But best of all have just landed my dream job!
My church (Bayside Community Church) approached me about being the worldwide missions and outreach assistant! 
My job entails communicating with our missionaries, organizing trips, going on trips, shooting trips & helping with local outreaches. 
This was my first week & I LOVED IT.
I cannot wait to start traveling as my job. 
It blows my mind.

So needless to say, Josh and I are both in a season of dreams come true.
We both are grateful to God for bringing all these good things our way.

"Love life & it will love you back"

Sunday, September 28, 2008

September's Status

Sorry for the gap, I forgot all about the blog!
-In August Josh and I celebrated 7 years together  & went to Key West to scuba dive.
-As of right now, Josh is on the road out west with the band and I am just home from England where I spent 10 days with my family.
New News:
-Along with my photography I have started working for Adtech Design Inc. designing logos, brochures, etc.
- The band has: a new lead singer Kyle from Connecticut, a new bus, and had their tee-shirt picked up nation wide by the store Hot Topic!
-Josh has started making Video Tour Blogs, they are really funny you should check one out.
I have listed the link under the photo of Josh on the right side of the blog.

*The above photo is from Kendal's last show in Sarasota. 
The guys all surprised him with the " I heart Kendal" shirts. 
Kyle is in black on the far left .

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A little rest, a lot of fun.

Courtesy of our dear friends the Schells, the band and wives spent a few glorious days at the Big Sandy Lake in Minnesota this week where we hung out, fished, canoed, and jumped off of bridges into muddy waters.
It was a classic American summer holiday I thought. 
Josh told me he could easily live there year round, but with only a gas station in sight for miles -I'll settle for short vacations. 
To view more pictures go to: My Facebook

Monday, July 14, 2008

Venice Beach, California

This week while in California I had a shoot with hip hop artist 3IZE, who is gearing up for his first live performance 
at The Verity Room in Topanga,CA.
For me it is always an exciting challenge to take on something new and different which pushes me to get out of my comfort zones or photo rituals. 
I have been in "senior portrait mode" and this was a welcomed chance to get a little bit edgier and moody with my work. 
Be it that this is a small step, I like to think that daily steps will lead to giant leaps.

"Don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions:
could have, might have, and should have."