MOM WIN! MOM WIN! MOM WIN!

ORANGE COUNTY: Aug 8-11 (2 shoots available)

SEATTLE: End of August (3 shoots available)

SANTA CRUZ: October 1-3 (2 shoots available)

Click here to ask all your questions and book your family hang out, I mean, photoshoot (They will arguably be the most laid back photos you’ll ever have taken…)

As it frequently does, the wind blows yet again and I will now be taking on more weddings than family shoots. Weddings are the most fun I have had while carrying around cameras, and we all know I prefer fun over everything else in life!

If you know someone getting married or almost getting married I would love to be their friend…

Film Below: Ilford 3200. Portra 160. Indie Film Lab. Pentax 645nii. Michigan’s stunning backdrop exactly 1 year ago.

Now to my letter to Goosie.

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Goose (or as you always remind me to say, “Myyyy Gooooossssiiieeeeee” while you melt into the cavity of my body…),

Goose (o como siempre me recuerdas que diga, "Myyyy Goooossssiiieeeeee" mientras te fundes en la cavidad de mi cuerpo …),

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No one will ever tell you what to do — I felt that even when you were in my belly. I knew that in parenting you, my attention would have to be less on your words and actions and more on my own!

I got to practice the other day focusing keeping my cool, and the experience was perfectly enlightening:

Nadie te dirá qué hacer, lo sentí incluso cuando estabas en mi vientre. Sabía que al criarte, mi atención tendría que ser menos en tus palabras y acciones y más en mis propais!

E otro día practique enfocándome en mantener la calma, y la experiencia fue perfectamente esclarecedora:

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Grandma has taught you to love flowers, beauty and growth. You swoon over blossoms like she does and when you see tiny buds and sprouting vegetables you tell everyone around you, “Look!! See how beautiful!!” 

You appreciate micrometres of leaf and petal growth. You love the earth and every creature that comes from it; you love like grandma loves — both effortlessly and completely. 

One morning a tall green stalk, with bright red specs running to the top, towered over you. I didn’t notice it but it immediately caught your eye and you said, “Mom, look!!! It’s growing!! Isn’t it going to be so so pretty?!”

Tu abuela te ha enseñado a amar las flores, la belleza y el crecimiento. Te desmayas en las flores como lo hace ella y cuando ves pequeños capullos y brotes de vegetales, le dices a todos a tu alrededor: "¡Mira¡Mira qué hermosa!”

Te aprecias micrometros de crecimiento de hojas y pétalos. Amas la tierra y toda criatura que proviene de ella; tú amas como ama la abuela, tanto sin esfuerzo como por completo.

Una mañana, un tallo alto y verde, con brillantes puntos rojos corriendo hacia arriba, se alzaba sobre ti. Yo no lo noté, pero inmediatamente te llamó la atención y dijiste: "¡Mamá, mira! ¡¡Está creciendo!! ¡¿No va a ser tan bonito?!”

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I took a moment with you admiring the gladiola and then preceded to unload the car. 

A few days later grandma mourned a branch she found broken in half, one tapered in bright red blossoms that did not have the chance to fully develop. She left it on the porch to enjoy before it completely shriveled and died. 

My moment of choice began.

Me tomé un momento contigo admirando a la gladiola y luego procedí a descargar el carro.

Unos días después, la abuela lloró una rama que encontró rota por la mitad, una en forma de flores rojas brillantes que no tuvieron la oportunidad de desarrollarse por completo. Ella lo dejó en el porche para disfrutar antes de que se marchitara por completo y muriera.

Mi momento de elección comenzó.

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I know enough to know I don’t “teach” anything. What I hope to do as a parent is to uncover truths for you that you can notice and feel, choose and accept, on your own. 

How could I present this situation regarding the flower (that I did not KNOW you broke, but was 99% certain) in such a way you would feel love however it unfolded.  It’s easy to shame, to yell, to nag, to talk at you then walk away. Too easy. I’m trying desperately in my parenting to let you make choices without negative ramifications from me, who wants to be your protector and safe place — your home (I feel that’s how Jesus entreats us; it doesn’t matter where we have been or what we have done “his hand is stretched out still...”)

I called you outside to the porch where the broken branch lay. Without words, and barely making eye contact I squatted below you, shrugged, looked at the plant, and with a who-knows-what-happened questioning face, shrugged again. Without words I tried to ask, “What in the heck?!” 

Ya sé bastante para saber que no "enseño" nada. Lo que espero hacer como madre es descubrir verdades para ti que tu puedes notar y sentir, elegir y aceptar, por tu propia cuenta.

¿Cómo podría presentar esta situación con respecto a la flor (que no sabía por cierto que la rompiste, pero estaba segura al 99%) de tal manera que sentiría mi amor? Es fácil avergonzarse, demasiado fácil. Intento ser made que descubre piezas de rompecabezas que puedes descubrir por tu cuenta sin ramificaciones negativas de mi parte. Quiero ser tu protector y tu lugar seguro, su hogar (creo que así nos atrae Jesús; no importa dónde hayamos estado. Dice Él, "su mano todavia esta extenddida …")

Te llamé al porche donde yacía la rama rota. Sin palabras, y apenas haciendo contacto visual, me puse en cuclillas debajo de ti, me encogí de hombros, miré la planta y sin palabras, traté de preguntar: "¡¿Qué pasó?!”

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I said nothing. You got a contorted look on your face, fidgeted, chewed on your lip, also avoided eye contact, and said, “I didn’t do that.”

I stayed silent looking at you, at the branch, waiting.

You suggested, “Maybe John did it!”

And then, “Maybe the wind blew and blew and blew...” while rushing your arms hands back and forth showing me wind in motion. 

No dije nada. Tenias una mirada retorcida en tu cara, te agitaste, te mordiste el labio, también evitaste el contacto visual y dijiste: "No hice eso".

Me quedé en silencio mirándote, en la rama, esperando.

Usted sugirió, "Tal vez John lo hizo!"

Y luego, "Tal vez el viento sopló y sopló y sopló ..." mientras apresuraba los brazos hacia atrás y hacia adelante, mostrándome el viento en movimiento.

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I do admit I cracked up inside at how creative you were (and artsy in your attempts to reenact what happened!) but also that I didn’t quite know what to do next. 

And when I don’t know what to do I tend to do nothing. 

So I asked, “What else do you think could have happened to the branch?”

You said softly, “Maybe John did ittt....maybe there was a st-ohm....remember that big stohm (storm)....maybe the wind blew it and blew it and it fell over....”

I said, “Grandma is a little sad her flower is broken and I just wanted to see if maybe you knew what could have happened to it... If you want to talk about it any more I’ll be in the kitchen.”

I did my best to stay (positively) neutral and walked inside. 

Admito que me burlé de lo creativo que eras (¡y de lo artístico en tus intentos de recrear lo que sucedió!) Pero también que no sabía muy bien qué hacer a continuación.

Y cuando no sé qué hacer, tiendo a no hacer nada.

Así que pregunté: "¿Qué más crees que podría haberle pasado a la sucursal?

Dijiste suavemente: "Tal vez John lo hizo ... tal vez hubo un st-ohm ... recuerda esa gran tormenta ... tal vez el viento sopló y sopló y se cayó ... . ”

Le dije: "La abuela está un poco triste porque su flor está rota y solo quería ver si quizás sabías lo que podría haberle ocurrido ... Si quieres hablar más sobre eso, estaré en la cocina".

Hice lo mejor que pude para permanecer (positivamente) neutral y entré la casa.

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You ran around the house, found Pa, and came bounding excitedly into the kitchen, “I talked to Pa and he said John probably did it!” and then went skipping on your merry way. 

I made some snarky remark to grandma, “You know, right now it’s broken branches but in a few years it’ll be....”

AndI didn’t know what to do next... so I did nothing. 

Later that evening the conversation came up again — I think you brought it up but I can’t remember clearly. I think I left it again, “When you want to talk about it I’ll be ready.”

That evening and the next morning no one said a word about until you came in my room, plopped your cute body on my bed and said, “Mom, did you want to talk about that fwow-ohr (flower.)?” I replied with as much glee and optimism as I had in me, “Oh, did you want to talk about it?! I would love to!” I was confident you were going to spill the beans! 

Corriste por la casa, encontraste a Pa y entraste entusiasmado en la cocina. "Hablé con Pa y él me dijo que probablemente John lo hizo" y luego te fuiste saltando en tu camino bien alegre.

Le hice un comentario sarcástico a la abuela: "Sabes, en este momento están las ramas rotas, pero en unos años será ..."

Y no sabía qué hacer a continuación ... así que no hice nada.

Más tarde, esa noche, volvió a surgir la conversación: creo que lo mencionaste, pero no puedo recordar con claridad. Creo que lo dejé de nuevo, "Cuando quieras hablar de eso, estaré listo".

Esa tarde y la mañana siguiente nadie dijo nada hasta que tu entraste en mi habitación, dejó caer su lindo cuerpo en mi cama y dijiste: "Mamá, ¿querías hablar sobre ese fwow-ohr (flor)?" Respondí con tanta alegría y optimismo como yo tenía en mí, "Oh, ¿querías hablar de eso?" ¡Me encantaría! ”¡

Confiaba en que me ibas a contar todo!

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You said, “Ya.” 

Then silence. 

Then, “John pwob-wee did it. Or maybe the wind blew it...” 

I walked over and sat by you and asked, “Goose, do you want to sit in my lap and tell me what happened?” 

You nodded and climbed in my lap and with my arms wrapped around you while you recounted similar and equally amusing tales. I frequently hid my face to conceal the laughter. 

Usted dijo: "Ya".

Luego el silencio.

Entonces, "John pwob-wee lo hizo. O tal vez el viento lo sopló …”

Me acerqué y me senté a tu lado y te pregunté: “Goose, ¿quieres sentarte en mi regazo y decirme qué pasó?"

Asentiste, te subiste a mi regazo y te envolví con mis brazos mientras contabas cuentos similares e igualmente divertidos. Con frecuencia escondía mi rostro para ocultar la risa.

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It was not going to come out easily! I began tickle you, tossing your body back an forth. With you lying on your back, my hands covering your torso, and leaning in real close I asked, “Goosie did you break the branch ?”

You took your Elena princess dress and began to slide it up over your head to hide your face while saying, “Nnnoooooo........”

I began tickling you again asking, “NO?!?!!!!! NO?!?!?!!”

You were cracking up loving every second, a silent language between us being spoken of a truth left untold…

!No iba a salir fácilmente! Comencé a hacerte cosquillas, echando tu cuerpo hacia atrás y adelante. Con usted acostada sobre tu espalda, mis manos cubriendo tu torso y, inclinándome muy cerca, te pregunté: "Goosie, ¿rompiste la rama?

Tomaste tu vestido de princesa Elena y comenzaste a deslizarse sobre tu cabeza para esconderte mientras decs::s "Nnnoooooo ........"

Comencé a hacerte cosquillas otra vez preguntando: “¡¡¡¡¡¿¡¡¡¡¡ ¡¡¿¡¿¡¿NO?!?!?!!"

Te estabas riendo bastante, un lenguaje silencioso entre nosotros hablando de una verdad que no se ha contado ...

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And then I said some magic words: “Kate, if you tell me what happened all the yucky feelings you feel will go away. All of the feelings that make you a little tickle-y and uncomfortable will disappear, I promise.”

And then you said, “OOOOOOHHHH-KKAAAAAHYYYYY

“......I looked both ways to see if no one was looking and then I hurried and picked the fwoh-wohrr but it just fell over and broke! 

“Because I wanted to pick a beauuuuuutiful flower for you, mommy.” 

Y luego dije algunas palabras mágicas: "Kate, si me dices qué sucedió, todos los sentimientos asquerosos que sientes se irán". Todos los sentimientos que te hacen sentir incómoda  desaparecerán, to prometo ".

Y luego dijiste: "OOOOOOHHHH-KKAAAAAHYYYYY…

“...... Miré a ambos lados para ver si nadie me estaba mirando y luego me apresuré y escogí la flor, ¡pero se cayó y se rompió!

"Porque quería elegir una flor hermosa para ti, mamá"

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(That is true. Goose is always picking grandmas new beautiful flowers for mommy —always to grandmas dismay. But grandma taught her to love the flowers so...)

I began to tickle and snuggle and wrap you up, baby goose. I whispered and shouted, “Wow! Thank you for telling me!!!  So glad you told me what happened. How do your insides feel?!?!”

And you teased me with chants of, “Yucky feelings!!!! yucky feelings!!!!” while completely cracking up which begged for nothing but more tickles!

You then bounded up and out of the room hollering, “Happy day!! Happy day!!! Happy day!!!” All the way down the stairs. 

(Eso es cierto. Goose siempre está recogiendo las nuevas flores hermosas para mamá, hasta la consternación de la abuela. Pero la abuela le enseñó a amar las flores así que ...)

Comencé a hacer cosquillas, acurrucarme y envolverte, ganso. Susurré y grité: "¡Wow! ¡¡¡Gracias por decirmelo!!! Me alegra que me contaras lo que pasó. ¿Cómo se siente tu interior?!?! ”

Y me embromaste con los cánticos de, “¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡Feos sentimientos !!!! ¡¡¡asquerosos sentimientos !!! ”mientras se ríe por completo, ¡lo que no pedía más que cosquillas!

Luego saliste de la habitación gritando: "¡Feliz día! ¡¡¡Día feliz!!! ¡Feliz día! ”. En todo tu camino.

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It worked. Letting you choose to talk worked. Teaching you about your spirit and giving it what it needs worked. And the lightness and brightness that followed worked. The circumstances will assuredly change, but the basic principles will be a constant, principles that no matter what happens — no matter what you choose — you can always, ALWAYS fall back on because “his hand is stretched out still.” 

Mine and His. 

I love you my beautiful baby goose. You can talk to me forever, whenever you are ready. 

I love you. 

Love, mama

Funcionó. El dejar que to me hablaste funcionó. Enseñarle sobre tu espíritu y el darle lo que necesita funcionó. Y la luminosidad y el brillo que siguieron funcionaron. Las circunstancias seguramente cambiarán, pero los principios básicos serán una constante, principios que no importa lo que suceda, no importa lo que elijas, siempre puedes, SIEMPRE, retroceder porque "mis brazos aún están extendidos.”

Los mios y los suyos.

Te amo mi hermosa Goose. Puedes hablarme para siempre, cuando estés lista.

Te quiero.

Con Amor, Mama

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my pool of bethesda

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I am crazy for this blog of mine! It has evolved into a series of open letters to my powerful girls. This space will forever be for my heart, and all are welcome.

Today’s letter is addressed to both of my babies.

AnnieKate!

While you were sleeping I had a powerful experience reading a story in John, and I could hardly wait to share.

One day Jesus found himself beside the pool of Bethesda. Many congregated here because they believed it possessed healing qualities — when the water bubbled, whoever was first in the pool was healed!

Jesus addressed a man who had been unable to walk for 38 years! I imagine the man spent much of his time watching everyone else be healed. Jesus asked him, “Wilt thou be made whole?”

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The man, not recognizing the Savior, answered, “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.”

Lights seemed to turn on in my head and their short conversation struck me! This interaction became a lesson on Introspection, Trust, No More Excuses, and always, Faith in Christ.

The man told himself: “I would be made whole, but I can’t.” In other words: I can't walk. I move slowly. Everyone beats me. I've already tried it and when I try I fail. I have made multiple attempts and they did not work.”

Without hesitation Christ says, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.”

The man packed up his bed and walked away! But was he free of every problem every day after?! Nope! Was he "whole" right away?! Nope!

But he could walk!

My lesson from the pool of Bethesda was: no excuses; keep a steady closeness to the Savior, no matter how weak, unfit or unable I feel. He will do the rest.

Girls, in your attempts to “dream big and after you’ve done that dream bigger,” will you kick perfectionism and quick results to the curb?!

In seeking Him who makes you whole, your first miracle might be “getting your legs back.” But others will follow! You may witness one at a time, but over the course of your life - miracle by miracle - He will enlighten your mind and soften your heart, helping you become exactly who you were born to be. And He will do it because He loves you, because He is perfect.

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Sometimes our invitations to “be made whole,” come via another’s voice, and they can be hard to recognize. Your mind might play tricks on you and say, "Well, actually there's this thing I have...it’s hard...and that thing...then this other thing happens...and no one is helping me.... But, yes! When I clear this all up then I will come and ‘be made whole!’"

If you will instead say,

"Yes, I’ll choose faith to be made whole. I will take the smallest possible step toward healing. And when I try and it doesn't seem to work I'm going to try again! And no matter how many times I fall I will not stay there! I know the Savior’s way fills me with happiness that spans the eternities, so I'm going to keep trying so He can mold me into exactly who I want to become,"

you will never be wrong.

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It does not matter how many detours you take, how many times you slip up or fall down,

it is in your turning toward Him, again and again and again, that He makes you whole.

That is saving grace.

One word of caution: beware the differences between shame and guilt! Guilt feels like: I made a mistake but when I say “I’m sorry” I am filled with confidence, unity, happiness — I am healed. Shame feels like: I am bad. I have made too many mistakes, there is no going back. I am not worthy of love, blessings or forgiveness.

Shame lies. And shame never comes from God.

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For now you live in an imperfect world and you will lose your footing. When that happens, hear Christ at the Pool of Bethesda saying to you, “Annie/Kate, Rise, take up thy bed and walk.” He is always helping you, one miracle at a time, even when you don’t see them right away — Bethesda does mean house of mercy or house of grace after all.

Never give up on yourself, your faith, your God. He knows exactly how you feel, all of the time, and He will pick you up as many times as you need.

I love you with all of me.

He loves you always.

Mama

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If someone comes to your mind as you read these posts please feel free to share them. I would love for anyone who needs this to find it.

To subscribe to future blog posts click here.

SEATTLE: I’m coming back in June when the babies are born!!

UTAH: I’ll be there in May.

This is where you book your very own snuggle sesh/hang out/photoshoot!

Click here to ask any questions in the world (though I may only have answers for .00000001% of them ;)), or to share your thoughts with me. I listen better than I talk and I would love to hear your heart!

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(Side note on this Sister Pic my dreams are made of: my girls have been wearing their hand-me-downs for years!!)

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xo, Christina

Portra 400

Ilford Delta 3200

Pentax 645nii

Canon 1V

The sun

A family who says yes to it all, smiling the whole time

Goodman Film Lab

"you were the healer"

There are not many words to describe the way things are transpiring around here - we are mostly trying hard to follow our feelings.

I believe in that practice fiercely: following tender impressions.

But it can be scary because it means I take a step into the dark, or begin at zero, or…who knows what else?! Sometimes it feels like I’ll fall into a dark pit and a monster will eat me! On the other side of softening and submitting, of listening, is an elaborate pile of unknowns!

Sometimes what we cannot see feels like darkness. But that’s only because we haven’t given time the opportunity to shed light on it yet! Who knows but all your favorite colors are up ahead on high beams, shining blinding light you cannot see only because you haven’t stepped into it yet?!!

A month or so ago Annie was bouncing all over “Pa” (my dad) and I asked, “Dad, was I like that when I was little? Was I exactly like her?” (Because in my mind she and I are (mostly) exactly the same…)

My dad responded, “You were always taking care of people; you were the healer.”

In that instant he vocalized (and I learned!) my heart’s greatest desire! All I want is to be an instrument that is used to fill people with light and confidence.

When I die, I want to know I followed every impression, left nothing on the table, left no one behind, reached everyone I was sent to reach, on this, my personal journey through mortality.

I want to be an instrument in the hands of Light.

Here is where our recent changes come into play:

First, we do not have more answers than we do! We ride on faith daily for guidance and assistance. We practice asking, waiting, thinking, working through scenarios, praying, and waiting some more. We listen to the tiny impressions, thoughts, and feelings that come. And we receive answers.

****If you have questions, find a quiet place to pray, to talk, to converse and commune with heaven. Be open about all of your worries, your plans, your thoughts, your goalsdreamshopesfearswishes everything!!!

Then write down your impressions and thoughts and feelings.

Your answers will come, I promise! We are living it and it’s true.

Second, we had a plan, but then something unexpected (a miracle!) occurred so I need to wait for that to work itself out before I start blabbing anymore about plan details ;)

Third, we are moving eventually, so my blog and brand will change, but the idea has become sweet to me! I am ecstatic to evolve with everything this business and I become together.

Next, photography has been a spiritual journey and I want to be true to that.

So,

I feel “brightness” in announcing that my blog will mostly be composed of my spiritual thoughts, stories, experiences, and prayers, including specific things I learn from study. I will be sharing openly my thoughts about my life and what comes of the impressions I follow.

Ultimately, I want to share light - in all its forms. I get to do that through pictures and (very lacking) words (encompassed in big feelings.)

I want you to know you can find answers and help and guidance from Heaven!

I want you to be filled with light and confidence.

If you are aching, I want you to feel love, compassion, mercy, grace, and healing.

I hope you find those things here.

All my love, forever,

Christina

TRAVEL SHOOTS are about to begin around the bend of the new year! Contact me to book your DREAM shoot (I’m serious. Even your husband will say, “that was fun!!”

Bay Area! Nor Cal. Everywhere in CA. Everywhere period :) also SEATTLE, I’ll be back in March! East coast, NYC, North Carolina!! “Dream big and after you’ve done that, dream bigger” 🥰Howard Schultz -Starbucks CEO

to chase the light

These images come from the most sacred photoshoot in which I have ever participated.

An evening of remembering, of leaving some things behind to cling to others,

of grieving and healing, of waves that ebb and flow like tears, like laughter, like sorrow.

Conversations, time, and embraces with this family have forever changed me.

In moments of engulfing darkness they choose - and over again - a fight for light

almost at the cost of life.

I learn what it truly means to chase the light.

gone home, too

I am shooting more and more families like this one, who traveled from all over the states to Newport Beach for a family vacation! Grandma and Grandpa, their five kids, each of their spouses, and all of the grandkids joined in this fun.

Each shoot is beautifully unique to every family and their own story, and when they leave I feel like pieces of me have gone home with them.

@OURRESCUE giveaway

I want to share more photos and HAVE A SPECIAL GIVEAWAY HAPPENING NOW:

The GIVEAWAY is live until Friday night 9pm! 100 PERCENT OF THE PROCEEDS GO TO OPERATION UNDERGROUND RAILROAD - an incredible organization that rescues children from sex slavery. I have purchased the course but am giving it away to another photographer who wants to jump in and start taking pictures!

The course, The Light and Liberation Project, was designed for any photographer wanting to develop their skills. Details are in a quick video made by the photographers in that link. The photogs who created the content are TOTAL ROCKSTARS (one is even a former mentor of mine.) I love these people. If you want a free 2-hour long photography check it out my insta post here!

If you are thinking of delving in to photography don’t give up. Keep going. I am so happy about all of the photos that are being pumped out of my camera. I’m in shock when I go back and look at them. I love them even more as time passes.

This beautiful friend, Krystil, is also a fellow photographer. We laugh and play and chat and hang, plus she orders take-out when I’m at her house and whoever gives me food becomes my instant best friend.

I always tell myself I will only choose 10-15 of my favorite photos from a session, but when it comes down to it I can never whittle them down.

Check out this Portra 800 +1!!!! And this Ilford Delta 3200. I’m crazy about this stuff.

no more excuses

Oprah’s Masterclass podcast is by far my favorite of all the podcasts (with Seth Godin’s Akimbo a verrrrry close second.)

I’m currently listening to Oprah’s interview of Simon Cowell. Here are some favorite lines:

“The good news is, it can’t get any worse from here.”

“When I first started…I was never off the phone. If I had to sit there for a minute I always thought, ‘There is something going wrong here. So I would just hustle - daily. I’m just just sitting there, daily, making it up every day. Trying to make a living…”

“I mean, what a lot of people do, ‘It’s the radio people’s fault, it’s the video’s…’ Ya right! It wasn’t good enough. End of story. You made the decisions. Take it on the chin and learn from it. It’s the only thing you can do. And there is a certain positive you can take from that. Because you’re not kidding yourself. If you start kidding yourself you’re dead. You’re dead.”

I learned very early on not to make ANY excuses in photography. If something wasn’t going right I knew it was me - not any one else. And I have learned to love the hustle.

This is the exact reason I will NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER TELL MYSELF:

“No one will pay me that here.”

I have heard too many people - who have made it HUGE - talk, and they never fed themselves these types of lines, they hustled. And after a lot of years it paid off. I am a witness to that in my business and see where it takes me year after year.

If you need business advice call me - I’m really good at saying, “Stop making excuses. Stop spending hours on social media. HUSTLE - the rocky, muddy, up-hill-battle-with-rejection-after-rejection-after-rejection sort of hustle. And then you will see yourself standing at the top of the mountain looking back at all of your growth! And when you look out the other way you will see another mountain even bigger than the one you stand on - and you will want to climb that one! Because you know you can, and will, with the right amount of sweat equity, patience, and grace.”

Portra 800 for life. Canon 1V and Pentax 645nii (don’t waste your money on that camera - just buy the Pentax 645n - for those of you who are looking ;)) Goodman Film lab.

Call me to book your shoot: 801-473-2272! And if you feel so inclined, please send my website to everyone you know traveling to So Cal!

xoxo

christina

slice of orange heaven

so many feelings

not clear words

lots of pictures

I never know how much to say or not say. But once again, I’m just gonna go for it:

This was a recent response to an email I wrote to a friend (we don’t live near one another and rarely see each other. I recently spent a brief moment with her after 6 years. This was my take away after we tearfully shared difficulty, heartache, and success in all of 20 minutes):

“This observation shook me while driving away from our discussion: I see my own imperfections and those of my family members, and sometimes I think we are living a lesser version of ourselves because of them, but when I see you and your family I am shocked at how all I see (and saw) is how beautifully each of you is living life. I would never even think of, or care, what anyone’s faults might be because all I saw is how everyone is just THEIR OWN BEAUTIFUL SELF. 

I can’t even describe my feelings or thoughts well, except I came home wanting to extend so much more mercy and grace towards myself, and each of us, because I more clearly see beauty in the chaos, growth from imperfection. I see how our efforts…work! Tyler and I were both in tears the night I came home and I told him about each of your babies, and you, and [your husband], and our time together. My mind is flooded with, “How can I ever judge or criticize myself?” In our time together I saw so clearly how beautiful life is even with the messy parts.

[You were right - we just] keep trying. And most of all keep giving thanks for a Savior who creates beauty from my measly efforts. 

I am learning to abide: abide the chaos, abide the Savior’s embrace, abide in the scriptures. (“Abide” is my new favorite word... [Our favorite teacher] mentioned that on [that sacred ]Sunday morning the apostles were at the tomb, as well as Mary, but when the Savior was not inside they left! She chose to abide and [the resurrected Savior] appeared to her. [The teacher] said, “Abide longer in your scriptures, in the temple. When you receive revelation ask, “Is there any more?”) Recently I have chosen to abide [and felt a flood of answers and love and confidence]. I abide in family, even when it’s uncomfortable or I don’t know what to say or do, in study even when I’m tired, in worship when I feel angry or frustrated.

It’s what I see you do and I see how powerful it is and I want that, too. 

You are so wonderful I can’t even say it enough. 

Maybe none of this makes sense in word but it feels precious and important to me, and I want to remember it…

I love you!

Christina”