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The Ringling Ca’ d’Zan Mansion

One thing I love about my job is the opportunity to travel to new places and enjoy different scenery. There is much of my job that is not glamourous or necessarily enjoyable, but this is one of the better parts. A few weeks ago I met up with this lovely lady that I have known for a while via social media. It’s wonderful to have the chance to connect with so many amazing people that way, but it is infinitely better to meet in person. Candice is such a beautiful and inspiring individual. It was such a pleasure to work with her in such a gorgeous  location. The Ca’ d’Zan Mansion was the winter home of Jon Ringling of The Ringling Brothers Circus. It is quite a unique place. I would have loved to tour more of the grounds and museums while I was there. The architecture alone was fascinating. I look forward to visiting that beautiful place and this beautiful girl again in the future.

All images shot on my Contax 645 with Fuji 400h and developed by RPL.

Kaylie B. Poplin - April 16, 2014 - 11:50 am

I feel like I am in a fairy tale looking through these!

jennifer blair - April 16, 2014 - 3:59 pm

You’re so sweet Kaylie! :)

St. Augustine Glamour | Coming soon…

I love this time of year for engagement sessions, especially in such beautiful surroundings. I traveled back to my beloved city, St. Augustine for a gorgeous engagement session.I can’t wait to share more of these two glamourous love birds! We’ve been busy traveling and setting up our new home…thus, the quietness on the blog. I have so much to post in the next few weeks! I hope to share a little house tour as well. Stay tuned!

Comparison won’t make me a better mom…

 

It’s such a big thing, bringing a person into the world. Just over 23 weeks into this journey, my heart feels the strain between what matters and what doesn’t. Having a little one is so much more than buying cute mini clothes and decorating a room. Children are a gift, yes, but they are also a huge responsibility. Very soon our little girl will arrive and we will be entrusted to raise her, provide for her, teach her and so much more. She will depend on us and we will help shape her life. That’s an enormous undertaking that we don’t enter into lightly. God has a unique plan for our girl and it’s our job to help guide her on the path to find it. What a task! We know it will be a tremendous joy and challenge…and probably more on the challenging side. She may not do what we have done. She may not have our same weaknesses and strengths, accomplish what we have accomplished, or even take interest in the things we love. Our bigger picture is to raise her in God’s ways, however that plays out for her unique person. Period. Even when she’s just a baby I hope I have eternity in mind every single day.

I don’t want to get caught up in the wrong things, but I’ve found that it’s so easy. She’s not even here yet and I feel it! It really doesn’t matter if we choose not to go the usual stay-at-home mom or working-mom route. It doesn’t matter if I use this bouncy chair or or a different one. It doesn’t matter if my child isn’t always dressed in adorable outfits. It doesn’t matter if I feed her organic this and that or not. Comparison won’t make me a better mom, nor will it help me stay focused on my real mission. I feel mom-pressure and mom-judgement already, and I really want to stay as far away from it as possible. I’m no veteran. I haven’t done this before. However, I do have The Perfect Guide. No book, no class, nothing even comes close to Him. I can rest in knowing that if I seek Him, He will lead me. He will show us His ways for our little family. I can’t expect any other family’s story to be like ours, because we will be different! All the information and tools out there may help, but in reality only God knows what is best for us. He alone can give us wisdom and strength for the dauntingly yet beautiful years ahead. He has given us this precious little one and He will be the one to show us what she needs. I hope I guard my heart daily, so I don’t substitute the wrong things for the real thing. Ultimately, she doesn’t need us – She needs Jesus. We will never be her all in all. We can’t give her everything. He can. He is more than enough for her and He is more than enough for us.

Holli Brown - April 15, 2014 - 6:52 pm

Beautifully written. I have a 4 1/2 year old boy and feel the same way. It’s so refreshing to see how you are already guiding her in the ways of the Lord and seeking his direction for her life. Love your posts. :)

When He bestows and withholds…

“I trust in You, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God. My times are in Your hand.”
Oh, how abundant is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You,
and worked for those who take refuge in You, in the sight of the children of mankind!
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!”
(Psalm 31:14, 15, 19, 24)

Right now I am sitting in my office space in our  new house. I gaze at through our big windows and see our big, blooming Camellia bushes, the sun shining on our deck and little Robins flitting from one tree to another. My heart is overcome with thankfulness for this beautiful home. We don’t deserve this; it is above and beyond all we hoped for or dreamed. It is grace poured out into our lap. Of course, it’s not perfect. I could make a fairly long list of all that others might change, but it’s just right for us. We think it is incredibly beautiful, and a perfect place for our little family to grow. The day we got the keys we came in to look at our then empty home. Sitting on the edge of the bathtub we thanked God for this lavish blessing and gave it back to Him. We know it’s not really ours, even though that’s what the deed says.

It’s so easy to feel like we deserve certain things in life. In reality every single breath is a gift, not to mention everything else. Anything we can call “ours” is a result of God’s mercy and grace. Even though we have been given exceedingly more than what we asked from the Lord, my heart still hurts because of what He withholds. We have a beautiful home, a little one on the way and we are both doing what we love for a living. To most it may seem that life is pretty wonderful. I can’t say we aren’t extremely blessed, because we are. I don’t ever want to take these things for granted. Yet we know pain. I feel hurt and darkness. It seems crazy that the two can exist in the same heart. For one thing I am praising Him with so much joy for extravagant provision and for another I am on my knees, in anguish and tears, begging Him to move.

I cannot pretend to understand the ways of God. He is a mystery I will never fully comprehend, at least while on this earth. But one thing I do know – He is faithful. Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of what he bestows or withholds, He is good. I have been on the mountain with Him, when rivers of blessing overflow. I have been through the valley with Him, when all is dry and broken. I have been in both places simultaneously. He is faithful in every season and does not forsake His own. He has a plan for our good and His glory in everything. Each day His mercies are new. In Him we find all we will ever need for every single day, no matter what it may hold. There is peace in His presence in the calm and in the storm. We can rest in that truth. “Be strong, and let your heart take courage all you who wait for the Lord…”

 

Emily Wright - March 31, 2014 - 8:57 pm

So true, I can’t fully fathom Paul’s heart when he expressed, sorrowful yet always rejoicing, but I know I have experienced that in my own way.

We wait with hope! :)

Grace - April 1, 2014 - 12:44 pm

Oh, my heart is swelled with joy for you–because of your happy new home (I’m sure it is gorgeous) and even more so because of your beautiful devotion to God, and his devotion to you!
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Lisa Marie - April 12, 2014 - 12:41 am

Just what I needed to read tonight! Thank you for sharing and posting!

Moving & few nursery things…

We are currently in the middle of packing up our whole house and moving to a new place. It’s been a slow process this time around. (Maybe little girl has something to do with that.) After knowing about our move since September, we cannot wait to get in and put our home together. We had no idea we’d be bringing home a baby to this place when we decided to move, but it couldn’t be a more perfect family home. Things may be a little quiet for the next few weeks as we paint, paint some more, move, unpack and settle in. (One downside to having a home office is that you have to work there, even when things are chaos!) We will finally have a room just for our little girl and I cannot wait to work on setting it up. I tried to wait to purchase anything for her until after we moved, but that definitely didn’t happen! Here’s a few small things I’ve picked up. I’ll be creating some art just for her this weekend and I hope that’s special to her one day.

I hope you have a happy weekend friends!

 

Laura Nelson - March 31, 2014 - 10:04 pm

love these colors! every time in in the store and see shades of blue, I think of you! :)