Saturday, April 30, 2011

Goodness in Quote Form

She is a friend of mind.  She gather me, man.  The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.  It's good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.  ~Toni Morrison, Beloved

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Something Beautiful

Something is birthing inside of me.  An idea.  A concept.  It's resting in music and ideas.  Conceived in lyrics and emotion.  I can't wait to bring it to light and capture fire and water.  Joy and sorrow.  Love and loss. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In & Through

Tonight we loved on each other at small group.  Going around the circle that keeps growing and speaking encouragement into each others lives.  How we see God in and through each other.  It was good.  It was healing and restful and sweet.  I've been listening to the Tangled soundtrack today also.  And this song kinda fit that moment.  This scene is one of the most beautiful ever, in a Disney movie.  And wait, are you ready?  I see us just like this.  Women whose light is bright and together we are making something beautiful. 

Found This Today

LOVE it. What a great way to express this feeling.

I am tired, Beloved,
of chafing my heart against
the want of you;
of squeezing it into little inkdrops,
And posting it.
~Amy Lowell, "The Letter"

Step by Step

Last night I watched one of the signs of the end of the world.  New Kids on the Block, and Backstreet Boys have formed some kind of supergroup called...wait for it....NBBKOTB or something equally long and resembling alphabet soup. 

Ok.  Confession.  I did perhaps sing along to Step by Step and bust a move on my couch. 

Boy bands bring back memories of the high school bus rides and NKOTB trading cards.  Singing Hanging Tough.  Debating which one was hottest.  And then, as the Fates would have it, Misty Ferguson came into my life as my college roommate.  Not only was she a collector of all kitchy things NKOTB, she knew all the words to all the songs.  Eureka!  A lifelong friendship was born.  And trust me, there were times at Pensacola Christian College when a girl had to sing Hanging Tough just to get through the day.  You try wearing nylons in 90 degrees and humidity.  That's right.

Me, Misty, Jen...(and somebody in the middle)circa 1999.

Hmm.  So here they are.  Drink it in, baby.  And know that I'm busting another move on this side of the screen. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


There's a high school track right down the road from us.  Conveniently always lit, and always open.  After sitting on my butt all day it felt super amazing tonight to go run a couple miles after a rainstorm.  The breeze was nice.  It's about 75 degrees still tonight.  And my body needed the stretch and the exercise.  Just me, the track, my shoes and a great soundtrack.  Score.  Holla.  Bring. It. On.  Doesn't the world smell amazing after rain?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter & Inner Lights

Dave, speaking on Easter Sunday, opened up the reality of Christ.  As defined by God.  

He is the image of the invisible God. 
And as Todd led worship, How Great is our God took on lovelier meanings.  Deeper shades of grace.  I wrote a lil note awhile ago about wanting an extraordinary lifeBut every now and then I'm struck with the selfishness and the emptiness of what I focus on from day to day.  Instead of feeding the orphan and visiting the sick, I spend my evenings getting pedicures and watching TV.  Way more times than I would like to admit.  

Not to say that I want to run away and be Mother Theresa.  Nor do I think getting a pedicure is a bad thing.(they're grrreeeat!)  It's just that the balance of 'me' stuff and serving stuff I feel like should tip more to the side of serving.  And right now, can't say that it is.  Also, can't really say that I've been putting Jesus front and center as the image of the invisible God in my heart.  Or in my life.  I'm talking real.  In love.  All out.  Worship filled.  Communion with Jesus.  Every day.  

It's not even been every week.  

And that is prolly why the selfish side of CG is winning.  Here's the thing.  I can't live a life less ordinary if all I serve is myself.  My purpose has to be greater.  My God has to be the only God.   My love has to be for my first love.  Everything else falls out of and into that.  Into Him. 
Last week I got a lovely e mail from a friend.  It said something along these lines:

I am not sure if anyone has ever told you this but you seem to exude your own light. A kindness and beauty that draws people to you and leaves an imprint on their hearts. 

And in the same week, I exchanged e mails with my brother in which he accused me of judgmental Christianity.

Despite your criticisms, I feel like I have a bright future.  I’m going to be happy to prove you wrong.

Two opposing points of view on my heart.  It's not about being liked.  Although, that's nice.  It's not about forcing my brother to live his life my way.  Obviously I failed in communication.


In winning and losing.  In living.  No matter what the situation, I want my light, my inner light to be that of Jesus in me.  If at the end of the saga that is Crystal, people can say that they are better because Jesus loved them through me.  That is enough to be extraordinary.

And so my takeaway this Easter is a reminder to come further up and further in to the love of God, so that He can go further out to the people he's placed me near.

Elephants and Robert Pattinson

Last night I went to see this movie.  Obviously, as a Twilight fan I've seen Robert Pattinson work before.  But in this movie, he was...wait for it.... really good.  It's been interesting to watch him progress from the first Twi-movie to this.  Good, and a hottie.  Something about that era.  The way the men dressed.  YUM.  Anyway, he gets a gold star for much improved.

The movie was shot beautifully.  The framing of the important moments.  The lighting.  The color....ahhhh yes.  And Reese got to wear some amazing dresses.  Story line was sweet.  Kinda the Notebook with a better ending. :)

So I loved it.  Amanda and I giggled through it like 2 twelve year olds.  Late movie and a friend.  Yes, please.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

give me wild gardens
and forest paths
borders & order
are great
but my skin itches
for random ivy vines
climbing walls
sun dappled paths
where wild flowers grow

For magic and mystery
and riots of color
give me surprises
and a mountain to climb
once in a while
give me music and sunsets
that no one has seen yet

all things wild and wonderful
all things bright and beautiful
the half bitter; half sweet song
life sings

Friday, April 22, 2011

People say the oddest things sometimes.  I was walking out of a store today in the DC area, and a delivery guard from an armored truck was walking out also after making his stop.  The cashier behind the counter leans around and yells at the guard so the whole store can hear, "Hey!  Has anyone ever tried to rob you?"

We exchanged a lil eye roll and laugh.  Cuz really, the question not to ask the man with the gun is if anyone has robbed him lately.....

Thursday, April 21, 2011


This. song. Cracks me up every single time.  Business time, baby.

Time for Another Random Post

So, last night as I was exiting my building post small group, creepy guy was hanging around.  I called the police to come check on him...thinking of course about saving the computers and cameras...cop was like, why did you leave the building BY YOURSELF.  oh yeah....hahaha....cuz I'm a ninja that's why.

We were talking about insecurities in SG last night.  Here's a random factoid.  I've heard that your ears never stop growing and I have a very odd but very real fear of being an 80 year old with ginormous ears. 

We have an Easter Egg hunt scheduled for Saturday with all the nieces and nephew.  Poor Gabriel.  He's surrounded by girls.  It makes him scrappy. ;)

Off to DC tomorrow to spend the day taking engagement pics with 2 awesome couples and to have lunch with Armin.  Good times will be had by all.

Ryan gave me 4 mix cds, which I, of course, ate up like ice cream on a summer day. 

I'm wearing a flannel shirt today and it makes me feel good.  And hipster.  Just need a pair of oversize black rimmed glasses.....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

You & Me

Sometimes God gives you a lil unexpected joy.  And hope begins to grow like a teeny the form of a mix tape.  Hey guess what?!  God joys over us with singing....:D

"The LORD your God is with you,
   the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
   in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
   but will rejoice over you with singing.” 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ain't No Reason

Another one of my favorite singer/songwriters is Brett Dennen.  He looks a lil like a Raggedy Andy doll.  Poor guy.   
 But his music is amazing.  Lyrically he's genius.  Here are some of my favorites from his song...Ain't No Reason: 
You can spend your whole life workin’ for something
Just to have it taken away.
People walk around pushing back their debts,
Wearing pay checks like necklaces and bracelets,
Talking ‘bout nothing, not thinking ‘bout death,
Every little heartbeat, every little breath.
People walk a tight rope on a razors edge
Carrying their hurt and hatred and weapons.
It could be a bomb or a bullet or a pen
Or a thought or a word or a sentence.

One of the consistent things about life is that every now and then it's gonna sting.  It's gonna hurt. In the spiritual home God brought us to so many years ago, I've seen again and again how God takes our broken stories and really, truly makes it work together for good.  It's taken a while but he's been peeling down my walls and my masks so that instead of insisting that everything is fine(MKs are good at that) I can say that things are not fine and I struggle here and there.  More than that he's given me a family and a support that I can call on for prayer.  Like I did today.  And wow does God move when we give him our pain instead of holding onto it and acting in emotion. 

And so, even though my family is going through another rough spot I have a lot of hope, because I know that God is good.  He works all things out for good.  And he was present today at lunch as we chatted with Sam and is present in us going forward. 

Just like the rest of the song says....

But love will come set me free
Love will come set me free, I do believe
Love will come set me free, I know it will
Love will come set me free, yes.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sometimes stuff happens right out of the blue.  Like 1 am in the morning.  With a text.

If I tell the truth, I'm annoyed.  I'm scared for J.  I'm not looking forward to the stress on the family as we navigate this again.  Obviously marriage is painful and hard sometimes.  But in this moment tonight as much as I love my brother.  And I love him a lot.  I also just want to smack him.  And hug him.  And smack him. 


Here we go again, Sam and Candice breaking up, the sequel.
Tonight I wandered on a lovely spring evening through a store and scored a pair of earrings for 50 cents. (YES)
Came home and organized and purged my closet.
Fit into some clothes that I had bought a size too small on purpose last year.  Oh happy day! :D
Painted my toes. 

Feeling pretty good about being a girl right now.

Not Guilty

My first close encounter with this song came in Managua, Nicaragua as Wade sang it to a room full of prostitutes and ex-prostitutes.  And if you've never heard a white boy from Ohio sing in Spanish,  it's a sight worth seeing.  I could listen to Wade-O sing the phone book.  He's amazing.  This song speaks so much truth.  And after days and weeks and for some of us years of getting beaten up spiritually, mentally and emotionally, this is healing.  I needed to hear it again today. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
~Lao Tzu


starts with a glance
or a word
like hello.

it's a chemical reaction
it's eyes and hands and smile
and forgiveness

gotta have laughter
lots of holding hands & kisses
it's protection
it's passion

all of the things that
go deeper than skin
who you are and what makes you tick

finding the other half of your heart
walking around in another body
that recognition
Ah, yes.  This is it.

there are no chains
or commands
or twisted roles
only freedom

shared ideas
goals and dreams
all wrapped up in the mystery

of something strong like a river
and deep like an ocean
and for me
falling means falling hard

never let me hit the ground

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

God is Doing a New Thang

Well, turns out our 6 year old small group has turned into a 25-30 person medium sized group that meets on Wednesday nights.  It's getting ready to move to the BRCC building and become an official church thing.  Whatever that means. 

And as scary as that could possibly be, GOD is growing, changing, moving hearts and lives and women are getting real.  I love it. 

And it makes me want to sing some old school DC Talk. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Prefer a Real Man

Celebrity causes are usually:  Meh. Blah.  Whatev.

But I can get behind this one.  It's clever.  It's funny.  It gets to the very important point.  YES.  I wish it was Ashton saying my name, but hey.  I'll take it. ;)

My Kiddos

 Today as I was editing my sister's family portrait, it just hit me like a ton of bricks.  How big the kids are already.  How fun it
is to look across the spectrum of my family and see the similarities in each child.  And the differences.  I love them so much.  And this post is just a vanity post cuz I want to look at their pretty faces and feel like a lucky auntie.  :)

This is Renner. He has a lil dirtbike that he loves.  Obviously.

And his brother Hudson.  I kees his face.

 Jordan. JJ. J. Princess.  Munchkin. My bebbe.

All drama and personality.

Cheyenne.  Smart. Tomboy.  Punk Princess.

Big Sister.

Nathalie.  Spoiled rotten.  Loves to dance. 

Gabriel.  Wanna be ladies man.  Mad scientist.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Big ?

I need a prettier blog.  Well need is a strong word, how bout, I want a prettier blog.  Howesomever, as those who know me well know, I have nary a stitch of design skill.  My blond and blonder brain does not think in straight lines or code...and so.

I am on the hunt for a change in the scary big world of free templates.....more to come....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

highs & lows

Today I debuted a fun Alice inspired shoot that I had a great time working on.  The response was super positive.  Overwhelmingly positive actually. :)  And the lil bride is getting all kinds of complements.  Score. :)

On the flip side, I had a hard to hear conversation with an MOB today.  I love all of my brides dearly, and really become a part of their family for the day of the wedding, so hearing that they aren't happy is hard.  It hurts. 

Ni modo.  You dust yourself off and carry on.  Clarifying expectations at the beginning of every booking is super important and that is the lesson for today. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Lil Bit of my Crazy

It's a byproduct of my traveling youth.  Well, ok, my traveling life. (That part never really stopped.)  Especially in the Miami airport.  Home Sweet Home.  I've been in and out of that sucker all my life since I was the ripe old age of 2.  Slept overnights in it.  Eaten lots of meals.  And, here's where the crazy begins....met up with lots of friends.  One time stands out in particular.  I randomly met with 2 guys I went to high school with.  We hit up the restaurant on the top of the airport and just chatted and caught up before going our separate ways. 

But really, it happened quite often, that we ran into people we knew almost every time we were in Miami.  Even now.  There is only one plane that flies in and out of the Burg so we are almost guaranteed to meet people we know coming or going. 

And thus my habit was established of expecting people to be around every corner in airports.   Truly, I do look around whenever we go somewhere half expecting to see a familiar face.   I hadn't realized how often I do it, and how often it carries over to other places.  I mean, you really can't go to the grocery store or Target without meeting someone familiar, so it seems normal.  But I found myself doing it at a gas station this weekend.  3 hours from where I live.   And in the immortal words of Cee Lo, does that make me crazy?  Possibly.....:)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kenyan Weddings

Are the best.  They have a tradition of singing the bride from where ever she got ready to where the ceremony is being held.  All of the women in her circle of friends and family sing to her as she leaves the house and place blankets/scarves on the ground in front of her so her feet don't touch the ground.  She is treated like a queen.  The whole thing is so full of joy, celebration and laughter. 

The bride and groom are sung into their reception the same way.  There is absolutely nothing that makes me cry like a baby more than such a vibrant celebration of love.  This song has been on repeat since the last Kenyan wedding on Friday past.  Love it. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

 i look for you sometimes
around corners
 lose minutes in daydreams
of hellos by chance
 and laugh, because only kiddos have
imaginary friends

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