happy mother's day!

mother's day.

the day that i always felt was a "hallmark holiday", grows more and deeper in my soul every year, and i've spent some time trying to reflect on why. 

maybe it's because i have transitioned into the mother of all teenagers...

i've been "in the trenches" longer, if you know what i mean.   i've had to maneuver through life's obstacles, triumphs, and disappointments with my 3 children, long enough to experience happiness and heartache for them and WITH them in many different ways. 

could it be that they have become more attached to my soul than i ever thought they could?

hmmm....life's musings...

maybe i've seen enough, to recognize the strength it takes to be a mom...to try to match every decision alongside what is best for the children.  to know when to hug, to know when to say "no", how to encourage, and to always love unconditionally. 

maybe it is because i've watched foster moms, and moms who have adopted children, love so fiercely, and fight with every momma bear instinct for the children that call them, and long to call them,  "mom."

then, as i let these thoughts soak in, i think as to what this past year personally has shown me as well. 

to watch my mom let go, so honorably and honestly to the husband that she loved so.  

i know that hurting with her, and learning from her, my love for her has never been greater.  

as i longed and tried as i could to step in to be there for her, we then began to watch my 92 year old grandmother start to slip away as well.  and even still engulfed in grief, i've watched my mom, be there as her daughter.  fighting for her mom, praying for her, and tending to her.

and i too, began my goodbyes to my beloved mum mum. 

putting all of this together, as i type, i have to think, "yes", i have LEARNED to have a deeper appreciation for the role that a mother plays. my life experiences have granted me this insight.  my work has granted me this insight.  

here are a few i can share:

i've witnessed a mom give birth, only to say good-bye to her baby on this earth. i've heard the guttural cry - a sound i will never forget as she let go of her infant. 

i've been there when a mom looks at her daughter in her bridal gown for the first time, and has fought back tears. 

i've watched the sacrifices and commitment of mothers, who became single mothers.  i've seen their charge as they worked tirelessly, became creatively resourceful, and still made time to "take in" all of the experiences of the children that they love. 

i've been the one to double over in pain, for the distress i've seen in my own babies' lives.

i've stood in tears and complete awe as i witnessed the birth of my niece. 

i've observed with such wonder, as a woman becomes a mom, and immediately adapts to the role, just as if they were always meant to be this new person...

and i've been on the receiving end, grateful to be a daughter (to TWO special women - my mom and mother in law).  i've been privileged to receive the love, care and prayers that only a mother can give.

 

you know, mother's day may be a "hallmark holiday. "  

and that's ok...

because to me it's not about the cards, or gifts that are bought or received.

it's about the role, the commitment and love...

that only a mother can give. 

SENIOR CALL!

a very special SENIOR CALL!

it has started!
2019 seniors are starting their bookings.
but before the senior shooting season officially starts, 
i wanted to put out a CALL for all you Seniors (or parents!)

this year, we have added even more to our senior session, and pricing options, including, our mentoring program, CLICK. 

here is all the info you need!
and please, feel free to tag, share, re-post or get in touch with me!

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if that isn't love...

we attended a sunrise service this morning. 

really no-one in my family are extra happy morning people :),

but this seemed a perfect service for us for quite a few reasons.

so at 5:40 this morning, (we had to leave at 5:20) we arrived up on Gardner Hill, (i've often explained to people unfamiliar with gardner hill, that if terrorsits came to take over our country, i would run to the hills of gardner hill.  they would never find us!  you're welcome for the positive thoughts :)))

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this church is no stranger to us. 

Gardner Hill is  the home grounds of my in laws (my mother in-law Dodie and her family).

while dating, charlie and i would often attend to provide music there.  he would play piano, i would sing.

even years after, and with our babies, we would continue to do this quite a few times a year. 

most of my in-law's funeral services have been here, and the adjacent cemetery, taken care of by charlie's uncle, we visit most memorial days to walk the gravesites, plant flowers, and hear the old stories of back when. 

so this morning, it felt early, but normal. 

we pulled up to a TON of cars, including a local ambulance vehicle. 

and when we went inside, that little church was filled to the brim.

it was a plethora of variations of lives, both old and young, and from all walks of life. 

as the quaint, simple service started, i looked out the windows to the still darkened sky, wondering a little bit of WHAT prompted SO MANY people to show up HERE at this time of day. 

the program / bulletin, was again, simply put together,

a solo, followed by a musical piece, followed by a duet, then another solo...the message...

i never expected my heart this morning. 

these days, we are used to grandiose musical performances and animated activities to draw people into the church walls. 

this morning, my heart could not have been drawn any closer.

as i listened to the 80 something year old woman sing, clear as bell, without a lick of music, only her voice...

"were you there when they crucified my Lord?...."

my heart melted.

this is my faith.

it's not perfectly orchestrated and it's not bright and poppy.

it's not amplified and it's not fashioned to draw the masses in. 

MY faith, is simple.

although sometimes the wrestle i have with it and my flesh is complex, my FAITH is bare yet deep. 

this is what my family experienced this morning, and what we will all get to carry in our hearts, from here forward. 

how thankful i am for the Cross. 

for the willingness for my Savior to come, He a king, live like me, and then take the cross for me. 

my mind cannot comprehend.

my heart, forever grateful and i only have to think of the question posed this morning at that simple country church...

"why would He leave the splendor of heaven, knowing His destiny, FOR ME?"

if that isn't the love that He has for me..

 

"He left the splendor of heaven
Knowing His destiny
Was the lonely hill of Golgotha

There to lay down His life for me

If that isn't Love
The ocean is dry
There's no stars in the sky
And the sparrow can't fly
If that isn't Love
Then heaven's a myth
There's no feeling like this
If that isn't love

Even in death He remembered
The thief hanging by His side
He spoke with love and compassion
Then He took him to paradise

If that isn't Love
The ocean is dry
There's no stars in the sky
And the sparrow can't fly
If that isn't Love
Then heaven's a myth
There's no feeling like this
If that isn't love"

 

Happy Easter friends...

be blessed, and know...

our Savior died, he rose again, and we have Promise because of Him. 

that is truth.

no bells, whistles, lights or candy attached.

simply - that's all we need.

kassy...here she is!

admission:

i've known kassy for about 7 years.

her sister and my daughter are kind of besties :).

i've adored this girl from afar, as long as london has been friends with her sister, natalia.

but this year, i had had the pleasure of having kassy in my CLICK group, and getting to know her on a much greater foundation. 

FYI:
kassy is da' BOMB.

meaning:

she is the sweetest, 

most sincere,

hardest working, 

most lovable, 

homecoming queen!!!!!,

and friend ever.

this girl, i love from head to toe.

here is a sample of her winter session.

MUCH MUCH more to come from our kassy!
 

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btw, winter sessions are SO MUCH FUN!!!!

we were freezing, (temp was in the the low 30's), but it had our adrenaline going, and we were moving and shooting quick.  the cold almost heightens our experience!!! :)

here's more!

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can't wait to show you more...i adore this girl entirely!!