Creating Space

It’s a cool and misty morning here in Bucks County. And life is a journey. A crazy, changing, wild journey.

If you had told my 20 year old self what I would need to know and have learned by 37, I would have curled up in a ball and said, “Um. No thanks!”. And I’m sure if my 50 year old self could sit me down today, I’d do much of the same. BUT let me clarify: I lead a good life. A really privileged one. I daily rest on the shoulders of many, many hardworking people ahead of me. My Husband and I are blessed with Grandparents and Parents that have worked hard their entire lives to give us the life we now live.

Ok. With that fully known and understood. Life is still life. And it is still challenging. And it challenges all of us in different ways. The point here, is not to negate someone else’s struggles, or claim that mine are bigger, or worse, but to say mine outloud. To take away some of their power. Because brokenness loves to be buried and hidden in the dark.

I struggle with depression. If you know me well, you know this small fact about me. There are varying levels of depression. Varying levels of intensity or lack there of. But it’s forever a part of me and who I am. And like most things about us as humans, there are parts of us that display themselves as weakness, and those same parts can also be our strengths. Most of the time my depression feels like a weakness. A crack in my structure. A fault in my geographical foundation that cause earthquakes at the most inopportune times. It can bury me alive. Become suffocating and feel insurmountable….and on rare occasion it causes me to be still. Which I’m not good at. It makes me stop. And listen to my own pain. This quote from Glennon Doyle Melton literally caused me to stop in my tracks.

“Oh my God—what if the transporting is keeping me from transformation? What if my anger, my fear, my loneliness were never mistakes, but invitations? What if in skipping the pain, I was missing my lessons? Instead of running away from my pain, was I supposed to run toward it? Perhaps pain was not a hot potato after all, but a traveling professor. Maybe instead of slamming the door on pain, I need to throw open the door wide and say, Come in. Sit down with me. And don’t leave until you’ve taught me what I need to know.
I’ve never let myself trust love because I’ve never let myself trust pain. What if pain—like love—is just a place brave people visit? What if both require presence, staying on your mat, and being still? If this is true, then maybe instead of resisting the pain, I need to resist the easy buttons. Maybe my reliance on numbing is keeping me from the two things I was born for: learning and loving. I could go on hitting easy buttons until I die and feel no pain, but the cost of that decision could be that I’ll never learn, love, or be truly alive.”

What if running from my depression was what it wanted? What if it causes me to lose the lessons that might be learned? Imagine an entire life spent not knowing what might have been done or learned? Simply because I just never knew to stop and sit with it…

I know this to be true. I have MUCH MUCH still to learn on this journey. But starting small is still a start right? So what has depression taught me?

To create space. 

See. We are all broken, in different ways. But still broken. And I’m still working on this lesson, cause, it is NOT an easy one. Being the sort of soul the allows space for other Humans to just be. Be real. Be honest. Be silly. Be broken. Be afraid. Be excited. Be.

This is a huge. Have you ever been with a person, and after you walked away, you thought…wow, they took up every ounce of space in the room!? They suffocated me! I have. In fact I’ve walked away from Friendships for this very reason. People who were so wrapped up in their own flesh that they couldn’t see past their own selfishness. People who were so lost that they were trying to find their hope in anything they could get their fingers around. People who’s only joy is in tearing others down. I want to be the opposite of that.

I want to sit with my fears, my cracks, my flaws…in such a way that people feel welcome to just come and be. As they are.

I want to be a space maker. I want to be a soul feeder. I want to love. Love so deeply that people feel understood. That they see a glimpse of light shinning through their own cracks.

God has his mighty hand on me pretty heavy right now. He’s been literally tearing me down to the core. Asking me to simply let go, and let Him. Cliche, maybe. True, yes. He’s trying to remind me that without His strength, I’m a shell. A broken and depressed shell of a person. But if I want to be a soul feeder, I must first be fed. If I want to love people deeply…I must first accept His love. If I want to be the light, I must first find the Light.

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love. Zephaniah 3:17

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{Zone Sicura} ~ The Story of a 160 Year Old Farmhouse: Our Newest Adventure

Dear Friends, far and wide, close and across oceans…meet Zona Sicura (also known as Casa Bianca).
These names are subject to change…but will serve as placements at this time. My Husband and I have been to busy discussing dry wall, plumbing, and heating issues to land on a final name. 🙂
Zona is a 160 year old Farmhouse. Tomorrow she will officially belong to us. All her beauty and craziness. We are both excited and terrified.
Here are the only facts I can offer you at this time.
~ I love her. Not sure why, but I fell in love almost 2 years ago..and have been dreaming about her ever since.
~ She’s gonna be full of blood, sweat, and tears. Most of the sweat will by Franco Salvatori‘s, the tears will probably be mine, and the blood? Well…probably both of us.
~ She is only 5 minutes from our current home. So for any local Friends who were about to succumb to ash and sack cloth…don’t yet. We’re sticking around.
~ I plan to share our adventures, before and afters, etc. on my blog periodically. Feel free to come hang out.
Prayers greatly coveted as we embark on this crazy new adventure!! #yolo

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Why I don’t Celebrate Halloween {No judgment zone}

It’s me. Not you.

When I was a kid I remember dressing up as a Cowgirl for a Halloween event at our local Church. It happened once. And only once. The event was so terrifying, scary, and over that top that my older Brother was traumatized…and that was it. My Mom made a call. She’d never subject us to being scared in the name of a social holiday. That was the same year that I saw a moving face covered with blood at a local Seven Eleven. I had nightmares for years about that image. Not kidding.

After that year, we lived in Congo for the most part. Where Halloween is not a thing. But it is a country cloaked in deep deep Spirituality. Things there are very clear.  Good and evil are real. Evident. Out in the open. I saw demon-possessed people. I witnessed it first hand. I came face to face with Witch-Doctors. I saw the power of Satan in very real and evident ways. A lot. I was never afraid. I always knew who my Protector was. I knew I was covered by the all-encompassing grace and love of Jesus. It didn’t scare me to see those things. But it made me aware. Certain that when scripture talks about the ‘kingdom of darkness’, well, it’s real. And it’s not really a laughing matter. It’s not something funny to use as the plot line for a movie, or for entertainment. It’s real. It destroys lives. Lots of them. And when we take something that real. That dangerous and make it a commonality…a normal thing. Well. I feel strongly that we do ourselves a serious disservice. We open the door to a world that we simply do not understand or fully comprehend.

Fast forward a few decades to a Youth Group gathering where my Husband was the Youth Pastor. One of my dearest Friends took the chance to share her testimony about Halloween. About the research she had done, the former Witch she had talked to, and all that she had learned about what actually takes place on that night. The truth of what happens behind the cute costumes and carved pumpkins. It was eye-opening. Jaw dropping. And sickening. I was stunned to have an inside look at what the Holiday was really about to those to celebrate it for “religious” reasons. I knew right then, that I couldn’t ever be apart of it, in any way at all. I couldn’t even touch the idea. It was too real. To gross.

Fast forward a few more years and now I have Kids of my own. I live in the good ‘ol U.S. of A. Halloween is a thing. A BIG thing. It’s everywhere. 3 months before it even happens. I find myself having to walk out of stores in September because of the vampire with blood dripping from its fangs, because my 4-year-old is screaming and crying from the sight of it. I have to censor EVERY SINGLE thing on TV. Because fear is funny and it’s everywhere. Even on G-rated cartoons. The joy people find in fear is weird to me. And the fact that it has to be everywhere, even grocery stores, is beyond me. Even my local YMCA has had ghosts hanging for over a month in the hallways. Cause, ya know, the spirits of dead people, that’s totally fun. And completely belongs at my local gym. OK. I’ll lay off the sarcasm. 😉

I don’t find skeletons cute. Ever. They stand for death and toxicity.

I don’t think ghost are funny. They are the spirits of the dead.

I don’t find witches to be endearing. I’ve met real ones.

I don’t think fear. Death. Blood. Demons. Witches. Spiders. Bats or Zombies are entertaining. I just don’t.

I am not owned by fear. But neither do I have to celebrate it.

I have heard all the arguments  a 100 times.

“It doesn’t have to be scary! It doesn’t have to be about fear!” But it usually is.

“Just let your kids dress up in cute things, it’s fun to pretend!” I encourage them to pretend. All the time.

“What about opening your door to your community? Loving on your neighbors?” I have 364 days a year to do that. And we all should, daily.

Now let me state a few things. I hold zero. And I do mean zero judgment for those who choose to celebrate Halloween. In fact, some my closest, most cherished Friends call it their favorite Holiday. I don’t judge them. I don’t fear for their souls. We just have a different stance on the issue. We’ve lived through different experience. And that’s ok. I’m not looking to make my convictions theirs or yours.

It comes down to this. I have to live out my convictions. And they just might be different from yours. Or even my close Friends. But I have to stand by them. Because if I don’t, then I do my children a bigger disservice by teaching them to compromise their values. And that might be worse than celebrating a holiday I despise.

Why waste my time writing this? I’m not sure. I don’t have a strong reason. More to share my heart than anything. I’m not trying to turn anyone. Or make anyone feel belittled. Simply sharing my experience. Take it or leave it. But it’s mine. And it’s helped me to make the choices that I make with firm confidence.

Happy Weekend Friends! I hope that whatever you’re doing you soak it and enjoy those you love! And if you live anywhere where seasons are a thing…I hope your view is as gorgeous as mine!



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When looking back…

My Grandfather is dying.  He’s lived and long, full life…and right now our entire Family is walking the journey to the end with Him. Although, I’m pretty sure it’s actually just the beginning, but that’s another blog post entirely. My Aunt and Uncle have been keeping us posted. Letting the whole Family know how He is doing. Daily updates. It’s not easy to see someone you love start to slip away…

My Nephew did some research and found Grandpa on Wikipedia. Pretty impressive to say the least. And it’s stuff that most of us never knew. I had no clue that this man I had grown up sharing Thanksgiving dinners with was a genius. Feel free to see it here:

After the moment of being kind of awestruck by his accomplishments, it hit me. Not one single person will remember him for those things…not for a bunch of computer discoveries and mumbo-jumbo. You know what we will remember him for? His heart. His huge, kind, thoughtful…loving heart. I will always remember the way he intentionally hugged every single Grandkid and whispered in our ear, “Jesus loves you, and so do it!”. He did that EVERY SINGLE time I saw him. No lie. I will remember his amazing cooking. His supernatural patience as he cared for and loved my Grandma for years while she was in a wheelchair and unable to walk. He took care of her every need. And did it with so much gentleness and smile on his face. I will remember the way He cared for His Children, and Grandchildren. I will remember His priorities. Jesus. Family. And Others. Period. No ifs ands or buts…if you knew Him, if you met him even once…you would know those were the things he cared about.

Our legacy has little to do with accomplishments. Our Kids will not praise our memory with how much money we made, or how famous we became. They will remember how we lived. How we treated others. How we loved those less fortunate. How we approached life, and those around us.

Go out today and seek to love and to serve. Not to get or to attain. Some things are fading…others are eternal.


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For the Balance of it all…

So. Here it is. I pay hard earned money every year for this blog. A place to showcase and share my amazing Clients and their pretty faces. But love for Photography, and hence my work, is only a small percentage of my life. So. The blog gets put to the back burner…and weeks, months…pass and I don’t blog. What is a girl to do?

What if instead of JUST blogging about Photography, I share my life in more ways? What if I talked about food? Weight loss journey/struggles? My crazy Kids? My life? Well, it might be less interesting to the general audience but at least I’ll have something to blog about…the rest of my life. So here it goes…my 1st entry, and it has very little to do with Photography.


Have you achieved it? Mastered it? If so. I would like to come read YOUR blog!! Because even the best of the best, the most fit, rich, together humans alive…they struggle with it. Cause it’s real. Yes. The struggle for balance is real folks. And we all know it.

Day 1. Get up early. Work out. Come home. Get the Kids to school. Husband off to work. Meal plan. Grocery shop. Buy only healthy amazing food. Cook. Clean…squeeze face time in there somewhere with my 3 year old. Oh’s 8:00 PM, I’m exhausted, and I haven’t touched one single part of my other job. I haven’t edited one image. Or responded to those 10 emails. Ok. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Day 2. Get up early. Work out. Come home. Get the Kids to school. Husband off to work. Place 3 year old in front of TV (only educational shows, of course). Sit down at computer and edit. Respond to emails. Squeeze a shower in there somewhere. Phone call with a Friend. Get 3 year old fed. 3 year old down for nap. Edit more. Blog. Oh snap…it’s dinner time and guess what? Yup. Nothing prepared.

Day 3..repeat Day 1 and Day 2 over and over and over…..

I can’t do it. I can’t do it all and do it all WELL. If I prioritize working out and eating well…I lose time to work. If I prioritize work, I lose time with my Family. If I prioritize Family…I lose eating well….ugh. It’s an endless cycle of mystery.

And it’s so cliche too. Everyone loves to say “Just everything in moderation.” or “Just do the best you can!”. What if your best isn’t enough? What if you can’t be strong, healthy, productive and a loving soul all at once? What if you don’t have the grace for it? What if your capacity just isn’t that high? You can’t save the world from disease and run a meager photography business at the same time?

Then add social media to the mix. Oh glory. That’ll make your head spin. Just 60 seconds on Instagram and you’ll see the whole world has it all together. Yup. Creative. Bright. Happy. Adventurous humans. They’ve got it all mastered. Their Families are like super models + fairies. Their food? Picture perfect and always healthy. And if it’s not, no biggie, cause they just did this amazing yoga session on the beach that burned 1,000+ calories (in their fancy Lulu Lemon tankini, of course), so that In-and-Out Burger is totally OK. Their work. Flawless. And you sit there and think to yourself…whoa. I’m so far behind. My life does NOT look like that. I guess I should take my Kids on more creative adventures. And we should probably live on a beach somewhere and have a zero level carbon food print, cause you know…raising your own cows and chickens is the new thing.  And geez…my Family should dress better. And we should probably start thinking about adopting a Kid from Africa soon. And…and…and….

…stop! I can’t do it. You can’t do it.

How do I find the balance? How do WE find it?

Oh. You thought I had the answer? Hahaha! No chance. You’re suppose to help me here! 🙂

OK. Here’s what I’m gonna try.

I’m going to take it 1 day at a time. I’m going to pray my way through them. Surround myself with loving, kind, and adventurous Humans. I’m going to try harder to live each day with my priority list in front of me.


2. My Family.

3. Others I love.

4. My health.

5. My work.

And each moment, each day…I’m going to try and remind myself, NO ONE has it all figured out. I have a good, good life. Do NOT compare my reality to anyone else’s highlights. I am blessed. I am lucky. I have so, so, so much to be grateful for. Give everything MY 100%. Not someone else’s. Just mine.

And hopefully. Just hopefully, at the end of each day…the most important thing is that I have loved and loved well. That I have made my Children feel safe and valued. I have supported my Husband, and told Him at least once how much I adore him. That I have seen the beauty in the chaos and, well…embraced it.

Sincerely seeking,


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