Jan 25, 2009

Rebecca, Brooke, Becky, Katharina + Chelsea

A few months ago, we held a contest here at TWP for a free photo shoot. Rebecca Thorpe was one of the two contest winners. All the judges here at TWP LOVED what she wrote about her girlfriends + the detail that she went into about each one of them! What a wonderful letter! Here's what Rebecca sent in ...

My four closest friends, Brooke, Becky, Katharina and Chelsea have not only been the phone conversations or movie nights out a girl needs once in awhile, but more importantly they have also been my support and encouragement through the year my husband was deployed and my first child was born. God has blessed with me four beautiful friends and four beautiful sisters in Christ. As I think about each friend and her own unique gifts, I can clearly see how God used each one of them to show me His love during what could have been a very tough year. .

Brooke, also my sister-in-law, has dealt with her own health struggles this past year, yet setting her own problems aside, she filled my house with talk, laughter and friendship when I needed it most. Specifically, the following weeks after Steve deployed and I was 6 months pregnant, she and my brother (her husband) made an extra effort to call nearly everyday and spend many evenings with me watching movies, playing cards, and simply sharing in conversation. I am sure they don't fully realize the comfort of their presence on those evenings, but without them, the last couple months of my pregnancy would have been incredibly lonely.

Recently we got new neighbors, Jared, Becky and their son Colton. It's amazing how God can fulfill a need before you even realize it's there. With a son only 6 weeks older than ours, a common love for fitness, the outdoors, and our relationship with Christ, Becky and I had no problem becoming fast friends and even better, morning running partners. Running together has given us much more than an incentive to get in shape, but also a chance for real conversation. It gives us an hour for advice and encouragement as wives, moms and women of faith. Having a willing and eager listener is a true blessing.

Katharina has endured an incredible test of her faith this past year when her 2 month old son was diagnosed with Tetrology of Fallot (a hole in his heart) and had to have open heart surgery at three months old. Amidst this personal agony helpless in her child's sickness, she was still visibly joyful in the Lord with such a peace and understanding that He is in control. She showed me that through every trial life brings, you can maintain a true joy in the Holy Spirit. Life does not depend on being happy about every situation, but it does mean being joyful and trusting in Him. She has also been an active part in strengthening my faith when she followed a call from the Holy Spirit to lead a cell group through our church and encouraged me to join her in a leadership role. I had reservations. I felt intimidated and inadequate. However, through her encouragement, I agreed and found that I have been more blessed as a leader than I ever could have been as a participant. Being in a leadership role has stretched and challenged my faith and taught me how to better hear his voice when he asks me to step out or accept a challenge.

Chelsea and I have the kind of friendship I will take with me everywhere. With both of our husbands deployed last year, we were each other's emotional support, but even better yet, we understood each other. I could never thank her enough for the support of this past year; the television/dinner date nights, Raleigh road trips, church events, running races, and most importantly birth coach. How do I thank someone for getting a call at 3am, rushing to the hospital 30 minutes later and assisting in the birth of my son? To sum it up, she has been and remains to be the friend who is always there and always will be.

I believe that God provides us friendships to illustrate the kind of friendship he desires with us. He wants to be our comforter, confidant, encourager, and support. He wants us to know that he understands us better than anyone ever could. He has placed each of these women in my life to give me a small glimpse at the friendship He desires with me. Each of these four women have showed me God's grace, love and compassion, for which I am eternally grateful.

This contest arrived at the perfect time. We (my husband and I) are PCS-ing this February to Columbus, OH and I have been thinking how I could thank each of these women for the past year before we move. A photo shoot would be a perfect way to have a tangible reminder of our friendship and a great opportunity to get all of them together before the year is out.

If for nothing else, entering this contest gave me a reason to really sit down and take a minute to reflect on each friend and realize how wonderful she really is.

Thank you, Rebecca!!!

In order in the photo below... Becky, Katharina, Rebecca (the contest winner), Brooke + Chelsea. The three girls in the middle are all pregnant, but only 3 to 4 months along, so it's still in that 'do I look pregnant yet?' phase. But those little bellies were all very cute!

For the shoot, we headed out to a farm with my big leather chair... (and photographers, I can't stress this enough, ALWAYS get permission before shooting on someone's land! ALWAYS!) ...

I love this one...
And it's very difficult to get great photos of FIVE people, in the same 2-hour slot that I usually photograph ONE person, but these ladies were all so photogenic + fun! Jodi was also there photographing + her photos from the shoot ARE NOW ON HER BLOG, too!

I first met Rebecca + Brooke when I photographed Brooke's wedding a few years ago. Brooke was a GORGEOUS bride + the wedding + reception were both outside at the Covington House. It was such a BEAUTIFUL wedding! It was so fun to get to see Brooke again. She's FABULOUS + I love the hat!

Thank you ladies for a WONDERFUL time!!! You were INCREDIBLE, + FUN + ultra FAB!!! Hope you enjoy your photos! (+ you'll be getting these photos, plus even more photos, on CDs for you to keep!) And ladies, if you're ever in town (they live south of here) + want to meet for lunch/coffee @ Panera or Starbucks, give me a call or shoot me an e-mail... I'd love to meet you there!

Jan 22, 2009

The Last Few Months

I took a moment today to look back at all my photo shoots from October, November, December, and then just a few here in January. Here are some of my favorite images from these past 3 months...

I have such a bond with all the people I've photographed... I think your photos will be implanted on my brain forever. People are surprised when they've had a photo shoot with me years ago, and then call up for a second shoot and I still remember them. "Oh, yes!" I assure them. "I remember what you were wearing... you couldn't decide between the gray scarf or the necklace, but we went with the necklace + you looked fabulous! I remember the little snort your girl did when we'd get her to REALLY laugh, + that you had forgotten your boys' shoes, so we all just went barefoot + had fun with it. I remember that call I got after your photos were posted... THANK YOU! I loved them, too!"

I don't think I'll ever forget someone I've photographed. These are not just your memories, they are mine. You are not clients, you are friends.

You all had such great photo shoots... You were fabulous + you were fun! THANK YOU!!!
I'm looking forward to photographing you all again!

Snow Day

We were all pretty shocked to see the forecast for Tuesday.... SNOW! Let's just say, there was a lot of screaming + jumping with excitement at our house!

The icicles that you see were hanging off our 2nd story roof. Winston wanted them for pretend swords, so Jeff climbed out the window, onto the roof, to get some for him. But what happens with really long icicles is that they break easily. But patient Jeff, climbed out on that roof 4 times for more swords. What a dad!

Jan 21, 2009

Ruby Hope

Yesterday was such an exciting day! For those of you who follow this blog, I'm sure you will remember Chris, who was photographed along with her friend, + contest winner, Sarah. You can view their fun photos by clicking HERE. Chris was the pregnant one in the photos and yesterday I had the opportunity to meet Joe + Chris' newest addition to their family.

Joe + Chris arrived at the hospital at 5:30am, even amidst all the snow. I waited with excitement all day for "that call" saying that it was time. At 3:23pm little Ruby Hope was welcomed into the world. She came so quickly... not even the doctor, who was just accross the street, could make it in time, so another doctor out in the hall performed the delivery. She weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces, 18.5 inches long + she is absolutely precious. She is such a beautiful girl with such loving parents + two delightful big brothers, JT + Micah. The family plans on calling her "Hope", although Micah would really like to call her, "Dora Mermaid Barbie." Words can not describe how blessed I am to have been a part of their very special day! I love this family + I couldn't be happier for them!

Congratulations Joe + Chris!