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Auntie Em

Aunt Emy, my new favorite title.

I married into a huge family, not your average ‘huge’ but really truly huge. My hubs has 18 siblings. I used to want to marry into a big family, I was thinking around 4 or 5 siblings, but 18 I didn’t’ even know what to do with that.

I’m pretty outgoing by nature, people don’t normally intimidate me, which I attribute to the amazing way my mom, dad and grams raised my sister and I. They taught us that you’re no better or worse than anyone, financial status, social status, skin color, nationality, or lifestyle, you’re no better. I can hear my dad saying it now. I’m forever grateful for this being instilled at a young age, it’s taken me far in this life. This has also fared me very well when I married the youngest of 12 boys, and second to youngest of 19 kids. I jumped right in with both feet, and I can say with all honesty, I married into an amazing family and I’m so thankful for them!

I’d never met any of my nieces or nephews (and even some of the family I married into) until we moved to Oregon in 2016.

Since we’ve been here in Oregon, I’ve fallen in love with being an Auntie. These kiddos are literally amazing, so smart, adorable and fun to watch grow.

They are profoundly smart and I am seeing more and more why Jesus tells us we must become like children. They get it y’all, for real. They know who they are and they don’t let any failure or mistake they make modify their identity. They know Jesus loves them and they’re quick to tell you too.

There are somewhere around 42 nieces and nephews in the family, and in this season I’ve gotten to know 8 of them really well. Two of Seth’s brothers live close to us and we get to see their kiddos often. So as I’ve been learning and venturing out in photography, these kiddos have become some of my favorite subjects to capture.

We went out evening camping and fishing this week with some of them and we had so much fun, look how cute these girlies are!

 

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All that to say, Aunt Em is a hat I’d not thought much about historically, and since we’ve been here in Oregon, it’s quickly become one of my favorite hats to wear.

Here’s to all the Aunties out there!

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Picture Perfect – In Progress

Cool old building huh, we wondered what the story behind it is. Was it a bank, was it a mercantile, or the local grocery. I landed on it was a pharmacy of sorts, similar to the one in Bedford Falls in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. Truly we’ve not a clue what it really was back in it’s prime, what do you see? That’s the question I’m loving so much about photography!

Some of you might have seen an Instagram post I shared a while back about photography. Lately I’ve been reading all I can get my hands on, googling at the details and settings — learning all I can. However, one thing remains true —practice really does make perfect — and few things in this world will give you the experience and learning like hands on learning does.

Deciding to be disciplined in doing, in practicing, in trying — even when it’s not perfect or anywhere near — is the difference in honing a craft and just dabbling in it.

So Seth and I went out last week, just driving, we stopped when either of us saw a fun photo-op or thought something was worth documenting. After all one of the biggest draws to photography for me is the capturing of memories — the feeling of the season you’re in whether that be a literal season physically or one of the many mental, emotional or spiritual seasons we find ourselves in.

I love telling the story of us through the memories we snap and the beauty that we behold everywhere we look.  It makes you search for the beautiful, the different, the eye capturing, the serene, the gorgeous and the gorgeously flawed. Photography has forced me to stop and really take it all in, to open my eyes to God’s creation. It places the sense of awe back in my head and my heart that tends to drift all to often.

So here are a few shots I took last week when we had the windows down and an unseasonably warm summer breeze floating through our souls as we took the back roads and leaned in to the long way.

 

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This last one my hubs grabbed of me — Toyota if you want this hit a sister up 😉 Talk about an add for an awesome adventure! Central Oregon you truly are beautiful — majestic and unknown.

I’m learning the magic is in the mystery most times, the unknown really has a way of making your soul come alive. I’ll want these memories to remind me of how magical it really has been, even on the days I couldn’t see it for myself.

These are our stories, the story of Seth and Emy in that season they spent in Oregon. I’ll want these, I’ll cherish these. These mark a part of us, a part of me that has grown in a way I’d never in a million years expected when we headed out west.

 

The Cost of Friendship

In my last post I wrote about friends, vulnerable and authentic friends, which I am so very blessed with in my life. This week I want to talk about friends again with a different perspective. I’ve been reading in John recently and just finished it up this last weekend. So much goodness and revelation! 🙌🏼 

Continue reading “The Cost of Friendship”

Booger Friends   

The older I get the more I care about quality over quantity. I know I’m not all that old, 32, but quality is becoming increasingly more important to me, and has been on my mind a lot more often.

Don’t get it twisted, I’d take 10 pairs of TJ Maxx jeans for $20 a pair, over one pair of expensive brand named jeans any day. What can I say, I am a bargain girl through and through!

What I’m talking about can’t be bought with money. I mean friends. There was a time in my life and I’m sure many peoples, when we’d do anything to have tons of friends and people to love and be loved by. (which was not true love anyways, motives change things.) High school was a breeding ground for this superficial aspiration.

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not turning away from friendships or avoiding new ones, I adore people, way more than everything else in the world.

What I am learning though, more and more, is that I have a deeper desire and hunger for them to be real, deep, authentic, and vulnerable.

I was pondering on this today in the shower, I do some of my best thinking in there! I landed on a ‘type of friend’ I want and want to strive to be. “The booger friend”, this is the person who will tell you if you have a booger in your nose, or food in your teeth. In other words they are honest and vulnerable, and with a propensity to be both of those proactively. I don’t want friends who feel guarded around me, or I around them. Secure in who we are, and secure enough to be honest with someone in life’s ups and downs. As flattering as it may be ‘hearing what we want to hear’ that does us no good, not one lick. I venture to say it likely does us harm. I want people who love me enough to tell me the truth even when it hurts, and to do the same for them.

As I ponder on this I don’t write from a place of longing for these authentic relationships, but from having them. Yes they are less in quantity, but the quality is deep and rich, in a way that no amount of money and popularity could attain. Yes they are spread out all over the nation, but they are my people, they are my “Em, you have a booger” friends, and wow and I humbled and thankful for them!

So here’s to the booger friends, let us have them, let us be them. And for goodness sake with all the selfishness and anger in the world these days, let us become more interested in developing quality over quantity with people. It’s more realistic, more reasonable and way more satisfying!

 

I’ll never understand

Random, but usually true, well in my case, always true – women go through conditioner faster than they go through shampoo.

Raise your hand if you have this problem, I’m positive I cannot be alone here, there’s no way. I also happen to be one of those people who would prefer to open a new shampoo/conditioner duo at the same time. Having excess shampoo and a new bottle of conditioner drives me bananas; it’s one of my quirks I suppose, I might be alone here. Continue reading “I’ll never understand”

Lacking the ‘When’ not the ‘What’

In this fast paced world we are bombarded with information, to-do lists, next steps, self help, how to’s, who to follow, the next fashion trend and all the pretty lights.

During my time in the Word this week I had a fresh revelation, very fundamental almost basic Christianity 101, yet very critical. These days the trend is to push the limits, to dare to challenge the status quo, to do our own thing, to choose our destiny. While I am all for adventure, newness and taking mighty leaps of Faith, I do think “we”, as Americans anyways, tend to push the envelope in the opposite direction at times, and it could be and is, fatal, all to often. Continue reading “Lacking the ‘When’ not the ‘What’”

Your Diagnosis and What to Do

If you’ve known me anytime at all you probably know I am a Registered Nurse and I worked in ICU and Emergency Room prior to the job I have now. I miss it terribly some days, being let into a persons life at what could possibly be the most fearful, devastating, tragic moment they’ve ever had, is truly something special. I’ve been honored to hold the hands of many during these hard times.

Like I mentioned last week, this is how the Holy Spirit spoke to me a couple weeks ago and shared some revelation, I’m hoping it resonates with you all.

Continue reading “Your Diagnosis and What to Do”

Living the Unexpected: 3 Lessons from this Year!

I’ve been reminded so much lately about the actual state of my insides, my heart, my emotions, my soul satisfaction and ultimately the undeniable need for a Savior to heal me and keep me.

My husband and I moved to a small town in the middle of nowhere Oregon, a little over a year ago, for the ministry. It will be fun they said, it’s the best place to be “right in the center of His will” they said. It’s been nothing short of the most stretching season of my life. I’m keenly aware of the spiritual maturing that is happening, and it’s not so comfortable most days.

Continue reading “Living the Unexpected: 3 Lessons from this Year!”

The live broadcast, is it what you thought?

What are you worshiping? Or who do you worship?

It can’t be both, not whole-heartedly anyways. By default when we worship a thing(s), or person(s) its like a budget, if you have just one dollar you can’t give it away twice, you’d have to split it.

When you worship God only, nothing and no one  else, with your entire heart, soul, and being you become full.

By full, I mean of peace, joy, happiness, blessings, abundance, love, faith, and truth.  You see, if you are truly worshiping the one and only God, these amazing gifts are a byproduct.

‘Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.’

Psalms 34:8

Continue reading “The live broadcast, is it what you thought?”