October 29, 2013

re-claiming contentment

just a few years ago, God was majorly pressing contentment on my heart, specifically in the area of relationships, of ever meeting "the one." it was a hard lesson, but a freeing one. when i came to peace with finding my worth, value, and identity in Jesus alone, Travis came out of nowhere and started pursuing me (it doesn't work like that every time, but that time it did, and it was an incredible God-gift).

right now, i feel the challenge to be content showing up again, differently this time. it's about finding contentment in our circumstances, our financial situation, our work, our friendships with others. and that's hard in a culture that feeds on our desire for more - i need this dress, or purse, or pair of shoes, i wish my hair looked like that or i wish my house looked like theirs, i need a bigger income, more time, a better relationship, more talent, or more space for "me." the thoughts, the wants, are endless. and we're never satisfied with what we have. lately, i've been picking and choosing contentment - i'm happy with this, but i wish that would be easier/bigger/better/more. but the challenge is to be content with everything, exactly where we're at with exactly what we have. to say "no" to more and "thank you" for what we've been given. because we will never find fulfillment in chasing our desires, wants, or the things we think we need. our hearts must choose to be still, to be grateful. i'm heading in to this fall/holiday season pursuing contentment. and i know it will be challenged, but by grace, i'll choose gratitude for what i have and look for ways to give instead of ways to gratify myself. 

a changed perspective

last weekend, on our way from our first camping trip, we stopped along the way at mormon rocks. we've driven past these strange rock formations a handful of times, but always passed them on the way to a destination. but this time, we pulled over and decided to savor the rest of our day together, exploring and adventuring any way we could. they almost look like the carsland rocks, right?! it's a puzzling and majestic sight. the landscape around us stirred me, and as i looked around, i realized how photography has changed my perspective.

being a photographer has changed the way i see things. the big picture, the details - i never noticed them before. i wouldn't be surprised if i never took the time to notice them. especially the details. the patterns on a little leaf, the textures in the ground, the shades of color in a plant, the way the sunlight reflects on the earth. but as a photographer, i've learned to train my eye, to look for something different through the lens, and it's changed the way i see everything. and it's deepened my understanding of our Creator as well. my awe of Him and the beauty He is intricately designed has only grown in the last year and a bit, and i hope it will always continue to grow. 

October 26, 2013

a delicious autumn day at apple hill

there is nothing quite like apple hill in the fall. barns are stored full of apples, shelves are lined with apple butter and apply syrup, and picnic tables are covered with plates of pie, crumble, crisp, turnover, or any other kind of apple and pumpkin pastry you can imagine, and cups are topped with hot apple cider. it is a delicious place to be. and a beautiful one. 

yesterday, we celebrated my little brother's 9th birthday, and it is just oh-so-good to be home. my soul needed it. plus, as excited as people get about fall in southern california, there really is no such thing as fall in southern california (not along the beach that is). we can pretend and dress like it, but we can't see it and smell it and feel it. 

so, grab a cup of hot chocolate and imagine yourself here...

the birthday boy! 

and thus started an impromptu string of family photos in an apple orchard - how could i resist?! 

here's to wishing you all a happy weekend - go bake a pie or heat up a cup of hot chocolate and savor this delicious season! 

October 24, 2013

recipe // breakfast bagels

breakfast is hard for me. i mean really, who can be creative about their food at 7 am? i just need it in my stomach, asap, with a big cup of coffee. but, we all know "it's the most important meal of the day," so Travis and i have gotten into a good routine of eating together before we leave for the day. sometimes, it's as lame as a bowl of cereal, but that's better than nothing right? or, on our sleep-in days, we go nuts with french toast, waffles, or pancakes - we've even coined "french toast fridays." but sometimes, i need an inbetween, and this little go-to breakfast sandwich has been a new fav. i thought i'd share in case anyone else is looking for a little quick-and-easy breakfast inspiration. 


cream cheese
lunch meat (we use oven-roasted turkey)
sliced cheese (currently, we're as simple as colby jack)


grease a latte mug or bowl with either non-stick cooking spray or a drop of olive oil (any bowl with a smaller base will do - nothing too wide). crack an egg and lightly beat it with a fork. add a pinch of salt or other seasonings - i love adding a crack of lemon pepper. microwave the egg for at least 1 minute, or more if needed. when cooked, the egg should be completely firm and "patty" shaped. toast the bagel and shmear it with cream cheese. add a layer of lunch meat, the cooked egg, and then the cheese on top. sandwich everything while it's still hot so the cheese melts. and wham-o, you're ready to eat an easy, filling breakfast. 

i've always been inspired by food photography, so if you like this, i'll keep taking pictures and posting recipes, because i have a love affair with both my camera and making great food! 

October 23, 2013

orange county family session // the johnsons reunited

these dear people have not been in the same place for almost two decades. so, when the stars aligned, a few phone calls were made, and last minute flights were booked, the whole affair just had to be documented. these photos prove that time and distance have not at all lessened the love and joy this family shares, and it was a joy to be a part of. 

dear johnson family, thank you for taking a few moments out of your precious weekend to give me the opportunity to get to know you all - it was a delight to capture your reunion!