{Dating days. Both put our long hair in top-knots and squatted Sumo style. I ruined a few takes, but we had fun in the process.}

Laughter is this week’s subject over at Approach the Light’s {Project: Draw With Light}.

I’ve realized just how much I feed off laughter. Just hearing laughter can perk me up and make me want to join.

{Literally, rolling in the floor laughing with the fella.}

Sadly, I’ve been too serious for most of my life and have taken myself too seriously. I was always afraid of doing something that I would be made fun of for. Insecurities, self-doubts, fears. The works.

But I have quite a goofy streak hidden deep within that I’ll drag out if I trust you enough or if you can get on my goofy-level. But it might take a little while. And there are only a few that it comes naturally with.

Regardless, laughing is one of my favorite past times =}

{I think this was my 27th birthday. Karaoke party with friends. Sara and I rocked it out =}

And I’m going to make a point to bring more of it into my life. By surrounding myself with people that evoke it. By learning to take myself less seriously. To laugh at myself and not care if others are laughing, too.

I know this sounds weird, but I’m also going to try to smile more. To make myself laugh. Because from things I’ve read, it actually releases the same “happy” chemicals in your brain, even if it’s not sincere in that moment. Maybe I’ll even try Laugh Yoga.

Or I can just watch this everday {one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite Disney movies}:

{Ok, that’d probably get old after awhile…}

But here’s to laughing! And may you find more laughter in your days!


A Million Moments of Gratitude + {Project: Draw With Light} Week Two: Gratitude

58. The last known photo taken of me and bec before her wreck. She just graduated from high school and we were out to lunch to celebrate. I think this may be the only photo of her and the fella together as well. Needless to say, it’s one of my favorites. Isn’t she the most adorable little thing?

59. I can’t get over the fact that this is one of my jobs: to make clay things and sell them. I didn’t think you were supposed to enjoy your “job” this much.

60. Thankful to this guy for investing time and energy into teaching me how to throw pottery over the years. Worked with him for several months back in 2008 and currently apprenticing with him again. One of the best opportunities a person could have for working with clay.

61. This was one of my favorite days in long, long time. It was in hilton head, sc, the last leg of the trip the fella and I took. We got to stay with a friend for free while he was there (grateful for that, too, t.g.!). But i happened to have this turtle kite in the back of my car and decided to see what she could do. I spent hours walking up and down the beach with this thing. And it really was one of those child-like moments when the most simple things can make you happy. Loved this day to bits.

62. This, my friends, is the Amontillado Burger from Poe’s Tavern in Sullivan’s Island, SC. It’s a monster. And it’s perfect in every way. I love random discoveries of good food. I’ll probably want to go back there on vacation based on this meal alone.

63. Just after eating the world’s best burger at Poe’s Tavern in Sullivan’s Island. One of the best trips we’ve taken, just the two of us. Thankful for some sweet down time.

{Project: Draw With Light} Week One: Sunlight 2

I know this place.

This wide angle location of open water and sun setting behind green hills.

My childhood is here.

Or parts of it.

And I know the curves of the shorelines.

And the sand bars.

And the kudzu patch.

And where I was pulled behind a boat on a board.

And spun around and jumped waves and rode in tubes.

And fell off, forcing down gulps of water.

And I hear the radio playing on my dad’s old boat.

And I feel the breeze as we ride around.

And I see her with me, small and sweet.

Still full-cheeked and long-haired.

And I hear her laugh.

And see her smile with the small gap between her two front teeth,

And the one that didn’t want to grow in.

And I ache in the now

for all the beauty and sweetness of then.

And I miss her.

And a lump grows and tears form.

But I don’t let them fall.

And I don’t make a sound.

I just remember.

And type out images in my head.

And remind myself,

how sweet it is to have something so lovely to miss.

Introducing {Project: Draw with Light}

So, I’ve been wanting to get some kind of community-based project going through Approach the Light for several months now, but was super worried about how to go about doing so. Decided to just jump in with both feet and figure it out as we go! Reposted via Approach the Light.


{Project: Draw with Light}

Yay for new beginnings! Are you guys ready for this?

Starting tomorrow, as part of our Project: Approach the Light initiative, we’re hosting a weekly photo project as a venue to explore ourselves and our surroundings, while connecting with and inspiring one another in our own journeys as we each approach the light.

So, grab your cameras or iPhones and prep yourself for some photo-sharing goodness!

Ok—I have a confession: I can be a total geek in that I love knowing what a word means—the root words and origins. So, naturally, I would look up the meaning behind one of my favorite creative mediums: photography.

Check this:

Photograph: derivative of the Greek φωτός (phōtos), “light“and γραφή (graphé) “representation by means of lines” or “drawing“, together meaning “drawing with light“.


Drawing with light

Pretty amazing mental image.

In this project, we are using light in the literal sense {sun’s rays, lamp light, the flicker of open flame} to focus on and capture the light we see in our lives in the metaphorical sense {the things that move us, inspire us, leave us in awe, bring us joy, and/or make us feel grateful to be alive}.

Capturing moments of light with light.

Mmm…nice. I like that.

You on board? Yeah!? Alright!

Let’s do this…

So, how will it work?

Each Monday {starting with tomorrow}, a new word, phrase or question will be posted to prompt you in what to take notice of in the life around you. It’s your job to be mindful of, attentive to, and creative in seeing, interpreting and capturing those images.

A gallery will be available for you to share what you’ve found in your particular sliver of the world, via a link to your personal blog, Flickr account, and/or in a group Flickr pool.

If you’ve always wanted to start a blog, why not consider this the time to take the leap? If you don’t like the idea of writing out your feelings, let it be a photoblog, sharing photos from this project and other moments from your life. Let your photos speak for themselves. {And who knows? Maybe one day you’ll find that you really do have something you want to say!} <— If that’s the case, I highly recommend Susannah Conway’s Blogging from the Heart e-course to help you get your feet wet.

You don’t have to get fancy camera-wise to do this. Got a point-and-shoot? Got a monster of a DSLR? How about an iPhone? Grand! Whatever you have is just what you need. But try to keep it on you at all times so that whenever you come across the subject of the week, you’re ready to snap it up!

Join the Project: Draw with Light Flickr group page by clicking here!

The gallery will be open all week, so feel free to add whenever.

But let’s just say the sooner, the better, because I’m too excited to wait!

Check back tomorrow morning for your assignment!

52 Photos Project: Week 1 {Begin at the Beginning}

Well, it’s a new “year” over at 52 Photos Project.

I’ve been wanting to jump on the wagon for awhile now, so this is the perfect time to  make that happen!

This week’s prompt: {What are you starting right now?}

This blog! I’ve got my hand in a whole mess of things at the moment, but this has become one of my favorite projects as of late. Just a place to collect thoughts, feelings, ideas and share them with those that care to read. I find myself wanting to be here, in this little space, more than any other project at the moment–almost to the point of neglect and irresponsibility towards my other roles and projects. Is it weird to feel so “safe” within such a publicly accessible location? Maybe so. But I do.

Sometimes, we don’t really get to pick what we’re passionate about. There are a lot of things in life that I’ve wanted to learn to be more passionate about {i.e. piano or voice lessons, horse back riding, yoga, etc.}. But then something like this comes along and Passion taps me on the shoulder to let me know she’s arrived and might stay for awhile. What can you do with her, but make a little room in your life and hope she’s not an unruly house guest?

So, I’m accepting this new passion as friend and welcoming her in. Here’s to new beginnings!

{A Million Moments of Gratitude}: Installment #3

42. A sunny Saturday afternoon, quilt spread wide on front lawn, smell of fresh cut grass, chirp and song of neighboring bird life.

43. Huge maple tree in front  yard, trunk stout and strong, branches reaching tall and wide, healthy green full and bright.

44. Small house near town, but still quiet, even with busy streets so near.

45. The fella’s jeep and the freedom he feels when riding, rop off, wind blowing, radio blaring.

46. Sweet swirling scents of blossoms wafting from neighborhood yards.

47. The past 5 1/2 years to deal with and heal from wounds of grief.

48. The new-found understanding of gratitude, the joy and appreciation I hope to cultivate.

49. Naps out of doors with the fella and Bellobaby.

50. The handful of coffee shops in this little town, each with their own unique personality and strong points.

51. A birdhouse in our giant maple, bare for years, come to life with the chorus of chirps from baby cardinals.

52. A mockingbird dancing around our quilt, in feast, like a Native American ritual around a bonfire.

53. This little home that has given us shelter, let us heal.

54. The highways and narrow ways of squirrel traffic, from branch to wire, to post, to wire, to branch, to roof….

55. A business partner, who is friend, and her husband, and for hand-made feasts before “work”.

56. The warmth from the light’s rays.

57. Time free to be lazy when feeling nappish.


{Inspiration Collection}: Part 1

1. Lotta Jansdotter  

I’ve followed this Swedish-born textile designer and artist for several years. I absolutely love the simple, minimalist designs and colors,  the story of her self-taught origins, the insistence that anyone can pick up a potato or contact paper and create their own designs. I find her refreshing and downright adorable. She reminds me that you don’t have to have a ton of formal training, but just a desire to create and a playful spirit to explore. That your inspiration can be found anywhere and that simple is beautiful.

Here are a couple of books I have of hers:

Simple Sewing: Patterns and How-To for Fresh and Easy Projects

Lotta Prints: How to Print With Anything From Potatoes to Linoleum

2. Ann Voskamp

I randomly picked up One Thousand Gifts by Ann a couple of weeks ago, but from the moment I opened the book and began to read the first few pages, I knew it was a life changing one. Reading Ann’s poetic honesty about her struggle with trusting God and discovery of how gratitude is at the heart of joy was like a friend that gently held my hand and walked with me as I came into my own understanding of what she was sharing. It hit me squarely in the gut and heart of all that I’ve been struggling with since losing my sister and has challenged me to start seeing the light around me and give thanks for it, knowing that He is good and I can trust Him, even in the hard things. I’ve started my own list here.

                 One Thousand Gifts

3. Gwendolyn Yoppolo

As a project for a hand-building (clay) class at the Appalachian Center for Craft, we had to select an artist from a given list to interview and conduct a presentation about their work. After glancing over Gwendolyn’s website, I instantly knew she was who I wanted my project to be over. I am so in love with her work and the ideas behind them. Her forms have such an organic, natural feel to them, yet they are so fun and playful. By looking at each piece and her collection as a whole, its obvious she has put a lot of thought and consideration into their purpose and structure. I’m in love with the microcrystalline glazes she uses, adding a beautiful variation of color and texture to each piece. Fabulous, refreshing, and fun work. Love love love it =}

4. Christine Mason Miller

I love when life surprises you and reminds you that things are more interlaced and connected than you could even imagine sometimes. Discovering Christine was one of those little “Oh, Wow!” moments. Maybe I just get excited too easily by things, but I can’t help it =} A few years ago, while in a local shop that sells fun things for the home, I ran across this 5″x7″ plaque:

It said exactly what I needed to hear at the time, so I bought it and brought it home and it has kept a loving spot in my home ever since. A few months ago, while browsing through the portfolio of a web designer (that I’m sure will make it to this list sometime soon), I stumbled upon the site of an artist and really liked her work. I went to the Etsy shop listed on her page and saw a piece similar in style to the plaque I have on my wall. Ah! Wait! I know that font! That style! And sure enough, it was the lovely Christine Mason Miller. She has written a book called Desire to Inspire. I ordered the book and wrote her an email to say thanks for sharing her messages with the rest of the world. The book is great, P.S., and you can order it here!

Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World

5. Susannah Conway

I really love this woman. I’ve spent the last couple of months being led through a couple of e-courses with her and actually stumbled upon her through the same web designer’s portfolio as I did Christine Mason Miller, above.

{Polariod Self-Portrait by Susannah Conway}

She lost the fella she loved due to a heart attack, the same year I lost my sis, and through her bereavement and healing sprang forth her course, Unravelling, in which I’m currently participating. She also teaches a wonderful blogging e-course called Blogging from the Heart, which I just completed =} Blogging and photography were two ways that she found healing and I absolutely love that she’s sharing that with the world. She’s found her light, is approaching it, and lucky for us, has the desire to let others in on her discoveries. She also has a couple of books, Instant Love {which I have} and This I know: Notes on Unravelling the Heartwhich you can pre-order. I recommend any of her courses, books, and, of course, her blog.

Ode to Feet

I love feet photos. You could maybe call it a fetish.

I like it because it’s a way of sharing where you are in the world and of being in the photo, without actually & awkwardly taking a self-portrait.

I’ve collected quite a few over the past few months and thought it’d be fun to post a collection of them.

All the tootsies you see belong to the fella and me.

Here they are, in no particular order: