Zane + Shauna

Around every turn is a memory. God has allowed today to be another one of those that will forever stay with me.

Today was Zane and Shauna's wedding day. It was going to be a very private, small courthouse wedding with only their closest friends and family, and I was allowed so graciously to be there capturing their special day. So, Shauna and her m.0.h. Justine came over in the mid afternoon to finish getting ready for the occasion. We had some laughs, and then piled in the car to head out to greet this new life awaiting Shauna. We arrive at the courthouse, and to our dismay, no justice of the peace. I think every lady friend reading this probably just gasped, and yup, it's true. I mean, there was a sneaking suspicion that we may be in trouble since I guess we were supposed to call an hour before hand, but, it was only a half hour or so after the usual business hours.. but, I'm still a little surprised. The bride, the groom, the family, the best man, maid of honor, photographer, but no one to marry them. Hm. Well, hang on. This thing still has a chance, right? Ok. We start making phone calls, had a church graciously opened up to us, and then the waiting started. Most importantly in this whole thing, we asked the Lord to provide someone to marry them (I don't remember exactly what was said, but I believe that to be the idea.)

And you know what? God provided. He is SO Good to us. We went down to a local restaurant for Zane and Shauna to see each other for the first time in the beautiful yard there, and it just so happened that the manager of the restaurant also is a minister.. BUT, we already had one by this time, and the location where we were ended up for photos in the restaurant's yard was the perfect spot for a summer's eve wedding. Zane and Shauna were married under the dusky sky of a mid summer's early evening, with those around them supporting them and loving on them on this crazy beautiful day. The pastor rocked it too, and his little wedding sermon was perfect. I didn't catch all of it, and I hope David can re-relay it to me, but what I did hear was beautiful.

Life seems to be getting more eventful. Or maybe I'm noticing stuff more. I don't know, whatever the case I wouldn't change anything. Tonight, tonight was memorably wonderful.


New Mexico

If I ever drive the New Mexico stretch of highway again, I may consider wasting some money on "the thing". Well.. no, probably not. But my sister in law AND my husband have seen it, and one couldn't totally remember what it was, and the other had their own memory of it. Well anyways, these billboards showed up along the way, and aside from the mountain and open landscape scenery, there wasn't too much that human hands had touched. I think that's generally a good thing though.

We were debating on how long to drive, so I talked to David who was able to look at what the weather was like on the way in to AZ. While we were on the phone, a semi heading east comes down the road with white smoke coming out of the opening in the roof. Not like puffs of smoke, and not really billowing smoke, but smoke none the less. So, in my dramatic tone, I say something to David along the lines of "there's a truck driving down the road in the opposite direction, and it's smoking bad, I mean REAL bad!". Ok, so that was a general paraphrase of what I can remember, as is the following.
I hear "Hello?"

me "Hi"

the other end "Hi, this is Lucas with (such and such hotel) in Las Crucas"

me "Ok, thanks, bye!".

Somehow my cheek dialed one of the last calls on my sis-in-laws touch screen phone, and somehow I lost the call/had hung up on David. Well, needless to say Lucas was still working his shift when we arrived in Las Crucas. I'm glad he got some closure though on the smoking truck, and that he didn't have to lay in bed that night wondering what had happened. Oh Lucas.


It had been tense, getting on the road and starting out from Louisiana to arrive in Arizona two and a half days later. I went with Christian to journey with my sis-in-law and her little ones down to their new home of AZ. With a rocky start, things turned around and had the makings of a great girls (and little guy) trip. Louisiana to Texas was great, the scenery was pretty consistent in being interesting, to me at least. We were trying to be good with time as not to arrive at the hotel in Texas too late, but oh I just had this desire to snap a photo in rural Texas that I couldn't shake. I mean, there were some from the car shots, but.. I guess I just wanted the control of being on my own two feet. Christian started fussing in the back, which was perfect, because I could jump out and into a gas station to get him a drink, and snap a quick photo and continue on down the road.

That gas station happened to have Bubba in it. He so generously allowed me to take his photo, but I do wonder what he was thinking when a girl asks him out of nowhere if she can take a photo of him in front of a gas station.. poor guy.


Not everyone gets to say they've met their great-great-grandparent. Christian was blessed in Louisiana to meet Grandmother Crooks. What a wonderful thing.



Recently God has graciously allowed me to travel some new places, some old as well. Meet new people, and spend time with loved ones. Some places haven't been traveled yet, and those that have I'll be writing about in their own separate posts -- consider them chapters if you will. For now, we'll begin with our first adventure, Indiana.

The beautiful bride and her new husband featured below brought us to their home state of Indiana for their wedding celebration. So, I didn't quite know what to think when I thought of Indiana, since the last time I was there I was about eight, and when I found out that we had to drive 2 1/2 hours to arrive at our hotel, only to pass the prison where Timothy McVey was executed, I was terrified. Oh yeah, we weren't supposed to arrive at the hotel until 2:30 am, driving straight from the airport that is. I don't know why, but the idea of driving in the middle of nowhere Indiana past Timothy McVey's last home freaked. me. out. Well, to this fear David responds "It's not like he had a following that's going to be outside the prison or anything"... yeah...

So, we get on the plane (first time I'm leaving my baby boy btw) and David and I hadn't done the early bird check-in, so we don't get to sit next to each other. Oh well, no biggie. I'm also afraid of flying, p.s. So, I sit in the seat by the door, you know, the seat that if you're in you have the responsibility of figuring out how to open the door in the case of an emergency.. well, it wasn't really thaaat bad I guess. So, I strike up a conversation with the nice man sitting next to me. Jason. He lives part time in Tennessee part time in Indiana. I told him some of my life, he told me some of his. And three short hours later, I made a new friend. He even told me towns along the way from Indianapolis to the hotel location. During mine and Jason's conversation, I see David get up, say hi to me, and then I didn't really pay all that much attention to what he was doing. We get off the plane, around 11:30 pm.

David, nervous, rattled and potentially tense tells me how his three hours went. I guess he noticed a man get up and go to the restroom, and seem to hang out in there for about half an hour. When he came out he was touching his chest, his feet, and had a seeming visual appearance of possibly praying. Poor David. So, he gets up, ready to tackle this guy, and I think the guy ended up maybe going to the back of the plane or something.. So, David tells the flight attendant his concern, she makes an announcement over the speaker (neither of us heard it) and the man comes back to the front and sits down. She kindly reassured David, and the flight continued along. Well, it doesn't seem fair that I got to make a new friend while David was planning exactly how he was going to bring this guy down way up in the air, but, I think the rest of the trip helped wipe it off his mind.

So, we get out, rent our car, and start on the road. I wanted to see a little of Indianapolis, and it was a Friday night after all, somewhere must be open, right? Not quite. While David's getting nervous at driving around a strange city somewhere around midnight, we find a Turkish restaurant/hookah bar.. ok, let's try it. Park the car, walk in, hmmm... interesting crowd. Like, I may not make fast friends in a dark alley interesting, but let's not judge a book by the way it's dressed, shall we? We're seated, and we start deciding on our late late dinner. As we're sitting there on the outside patio, one of the fellows takes the base of his hookah to the alley near us. Great. Well, once again we judged too quickly, I think it was just to empty his ashes. Anyways, we let some girls next to us know that we're from somewhere else, our first time visiting, and they welcome us with open arms. What a welcome surprise! They didn't know where the interstate was that we were looking for, but they were quite friendly, and the previously mentioned "night crew" weren't so intimidating either.

We bid our farewells and were given a hearty goodbye by the fun group we had just encountered, and start heading in the direction of our hotel. Down the road at least an hour later we passed a "correctional institution" that could've been the prison, and lo and behold, the bad guys really are kept inside the fence. We arrived at the hotel around four a.m. and quickly fell to sleep. The next morning we got our gear ready, and headed out to the church. I expected a little white church in the country, but what lay before us was a dream. A sweet little white wooden church with a steeple, cornfields by it and a priests house nearby, just perfect. It was so peaceful.. so calm. We went and congratulated the bride, and began "working". It really wasn't work at all, just hanging out, eating, laughing... and photos of course.

The ceremony was beautiful, the reception was a blast. The bride's family was so hospitable and welcoming to us, I could've moved there that night. Oh, not to mention I saw my first lightening bugs, it doesn't get much better than that. The bride and groom left quietly, said they're goodbyes and drove off without a fuss. The party continued on inside, but David and I decided that was a good time to say our goodbyes as well. We got back to the hotel ready for bed, and it hit me. What exactly IT was is a mystery, but some kind of terribly unpleasant allergic attack. David took care of me and I woke up as it had never happened, so, this attack had no room to taint the memories of everything that had happened the day before.

We got back on the road Sunday morning, and I had my first out-of-state driving experience. Maybe I shouldn't have been allowed to drive, what with the pulling over for photo ops and oooing and aahing over every new visually exciting thing I saw. On our way past a little town we came across a White Castle burger restaurant, and to David and I, the opportunity seemed irresistible. We each got a little something there, and realized when we left that the burgers were reminiscent of high school cafeteria burgers, but that's totally fine with us. We brought back cups too. Yup, we think ahead.

Well, we arrived back at the airport just in time, and came home to the sweetest little guy. I'd say Indiana was a place of simple treasures. It wasn't all city and glamour, it was home and love and community. It was fireflies and toads, new friends and laughter. Firsts and hope-to-see-you-agains. Indiana was just right.


Doug and Valerie

This is love.

We first knew Valerie as the new pharmacist at my husband's old job, but she quickly became our friend. She decided to move home to a small town in Indiana, and when I found out she had fallen in love and become engaged, I let her know I would be there camera in hand.. I guess asking if I was invited would have been more polite? She was just darling about the whole wedding. So laid back about everything, the wedding came off beautifully. More importantly, her and Doug received the gift of one another's lives. They are simply beautiful together, and with a couple full of this much love, I just believe it's going to spill over into the rest of the world. They decided to see one another before the ceremony, and they allowed me the gift of capturing their first moments with one another -- priceless. Valerie was the only person we knew at the wedding, but I can say with some confidence my husband and I came home with some beautiful people as new friends embedded in our hearts.


June Thirty

Self Portrait

Well, late last night took the last photo. Just me, tired after midnight, but looking forward to what July has in store. Today we're about to embark on a new series of adventures. Stay tuned, pictures will be sporadically posted when I'm able to.