Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day After Christmas Photoshoot-

*** Edit: My goodness me. I am blessed with some of the nicest and sweetest blog readers on the planet! I got eight comments in less than 7 hours from 8 people I love a lot. I meant what I said - I love you guys!! Thank you so much for putting happy tears in my eyes and a joyful smile on my face - what a great gift! Thank you! - Jean Marie***

Original post -

Ok. So. Epicness coming up.

I can say that because I am wearing my grandfather's hats...thus, it's not really because I can take pictures, but because I have these amazing hats and caps that still smell like my grandfather after 7 years of being in my possession. It's wonderful...I hope that never fades. What else is wonderful is that the day after Christmas, it was COLD outside, and the world outside was filled with twinkling Christmas lights and cheery people driving around in their cars, and my brilliant idea of getting all dressed up in whatever I wanted and trundling props around and sitting outside in the DARK, actually turned out to be ... a brilliant idea.

Shocking, I know.

I came back inside and Dad laughed and took the camera away from me for a quick shot by Himself Truly. He loves me. I know it.

So I took about 150 pics, but I'm only sharing about 33? somethin' like that. I had fun. A LOT of fun, it was the perfect Day-after-Christmas joy I needed. A gift for me. :) ... and what followed were a bunch of experimental pictures that actually worked, which made me SOO happy because "look what I did!" ... ok, fine, it was a hopeful guess, but STILL! Ok, you're right. I really ended up thanking God for the fun. Ready for some epicness? Me too! :D Here we go!

Scarf: check. Fedora: check. Jewelry: check. Jeans & blue shirt: check. Boots: check. Camera & remote: check. Smile: check check! Body heat: check? Bobbypins: check! Gloves: check! Books and chair: check! Ok! After checking image and remote and tripod ...

"The Loveliness of Christ" by Samuel Rutherford. I could not recommend it more highly. (it doesn't hurt he was Scottish) .... (or Presbyterian) ahem! moving on - do you like the bookmark that I made? It is of red roses! :)
"To Betsy and I - "They are not lost to you that are laid up in Christ's treasury in heaven." Love, Tacy.

... and then I headed out into the darkening and chilly night.

And now - part of the inspiration for a shoot ...
a little sign ... and yes, that's my Bible on my lap.

"I LOVE you, ALL MY Blog readers!" ~ Jean Marie

Yep ... it's true. I love ya', people!!
Oohhh, mystery, mystery. (wink)
I decide I like the garage door as my backdrop, and with the deepening dusk and the outside lantern by the door my only light, I shoot pics for the next 30 mins.
The boots that took me through MO to VA weather, and countless joys in between.
Just going to let the pics speak for themselves for a few here -

Love this sort of childlike school/Victorian one.

Isaiah 61 brought to mind -
from a Diana heart to an Anne heart.

I changed my mind. I don't want to cut my hair anymore. I love it long.

Trying to "think" and be serious while cars drive by reeeaaallllyy slowly. Nothing to see here! Drive on! (I think they were confused ... all the Christmas lights, and this girl in boots and hat, sitting in front of her garage door with all the doors closed and the lights on. No, I was not evicted from my own home, with my little chair and camera, no I do not have treats, DRIVE ON! FASTER!)

Some fun with colors. :)

Oh, sigh.

I really don't know how my hair stayed all stuffed up under that cap either. No bobbypins. Amazing.

In case you were wondering, yes, I was sore the next morning
from sitting on concrete and pretending I was comfortable
and from getting up and down and up and down
and UP and DOWN to check the picture,
and yes, my knees were killing me. Thank you.
You are too kind.



Blowin' kisses to ya'll!! (and I did not crop out the remote -haha!)
... and back inside. Still with the remote. And oh, how I felt so uncharisticly elegant.
and uncharisticly beautiful ...
and old fashioned
and happy. :D
and kinda giddy and giggly and all that sort of Jean Marie stuff.
It felt like me, and it felt so good for a little bit to be ME again.
And THAT was my Day After Christmas Photoshoot. I was SO delighted with the light that I gathered with the camera and how amazing things could turn out like that! Really really had fun experimentin' around with it. And of course, dressing up and pretending like I was a model for a little bit. Haha. Quite, quite fun. You should try it sometime. And if you do ... you should find an old Grandfather-y smelling cap. Because that really made my reading shots.

Are ya' ready for the icing on the cake? The coconut on the ice cream? The ... the Macro lens for your camera? The ... lemonade for your brownies? The sparkle for your eyes? The brilliancy for your smile? The ... ok, I'll stop. A shout out for analogies goes to Miss London!! :D Hahaha.

READY? ... because I knocked off my own boots with this one. Dadda' took it. Which is why I was laughing in it. I LOVE ya, Dadda'! It's like my own Currier and Ives Christmas postage stamp circa 1940!!

My love to you all, and a Happy New Year.
My hope and joy is found in nothing else,
than the knowledge my Savior does all things well,
and that He has conquered the grave and redeemed my soul,
and that His Spirit sings a sweet song over me in my sorrow,
~ Jean Marie

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"In the dark" teaser -

I have left you all somewhat in the dark. Why? Because my joints are achy, and I'm tired, and even though that just made me sound 89 instead of 21, and all my pictures are uploaded for a perfectly thrilling and adorable post - I am TIRED, and I'm going to bed soon. So you shall all be in the dark for a little while longer. Trust me, it SHALL be worth it. For me ... and for you. Ahem. The post is aptly named for tonight, because tomorrow's post is ON a photoshoot I did in the dark and chilly damps of the night the day after Christmas.

So, Happy Eve of Eve of New Year's Eve tonight and much love to ALL!!

In God's arms we rest,
and slumber softly as
we listen to His sweet song of peace over us,
~ Jean Marie

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day '09 -

(taken this afternoon by yours truly - Mopsie fell asleep) :)

Merry Christmas from our clan!!!
Ed, Mary Ellen, Kimberly, Jean Marie & Mopsie.

"Thou who wast rich beyond all splendor"
by Frank Houghton.

"1. Thou who wast rich beyond all splendor,
All for love's sake becamest poor;
Thrones for a manger didst surrender,
Sapphire-paved courts for stable floor.
Thou who wast rich beyond all splendor,
All for love's sake becamest poor.

2. Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love's sake becamest man;
Stooping so low, but sinners raising
Heavenwards by thine eternal plan.
Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love's sake becamest man.

3. Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Savior and King, we worship thee.
Emmanuel, within us dwelling,
Make us what thou wouldst have us be.
Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Savior and King, we worship thee."

"Our Lord Jesus Christ ... was rich,
yet for your sakes He became poor,
so that you through His poverty might become rich."
~ 2nd Corinthians 8:9

"He is Lord of lords and King of kings - and with Him will be
His called, chosen and faithful followers." ~ Rev. 17:14

For me, and for my family this year,
and for SO many other beloved families,
(S.'s, J.'s, D.'s, Y.'s, N.'s)
this(next hymn) is a precious hymn to read through -
it is grace I flipped to this page and as I read it, tears rose.
What words of comfort, how true of our dear Savior.

We remember His word shall NEVER be broken,
that while we mourn, His glory and grace are revealed,
that beauty rises every moment from our ashes,
He makes lovely our waste places,
and comforts His people with everlasting love,
we praise Thee, this Christmas, our Lord Jesus!

Merry Christmas from this blog, and our family.
~ Jean Marie ~

"Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem." ~ Isaiah 40:1, 2

"Comfort, comfort Ye my people"
by Johannes Olearius (1671)

"1. Comfort, comfort, ye My people,
Speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
Comfort those who sit in darkness,
Mourning 'neath their sorrows' load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
of the peace that waits for them;
Tell her that her sins I cover
And her warfare now is over.

2. Yea, her sins our God will pardon,
Blotting out each dark misdeed;
All that well deserved His anger
He no more will see or heed.

She hath suffered many a day,
Now her griefs have passed away;
God will change her pining sadness
Into ever-springing gladness.

3. Hark, the Herald's voice is crying
In the desert far and near,
Bidding all men to repentance
Since the Kingdom now is here.
Oh, that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way;
Let the valleys rise to meet Him
And the hills bow down to greet Him.

4. Make ye straight what long was crooked,
Make the rougher places plain;
Let your hearts be true and humble,
As befits His holy reign.
For the glory of the Lord

Now o'er earth is shed abroad,
And all flesh shall see the tokenThat His Word is never broken."

(italics and bold added by me for emphasis)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009 -

It is the eve of Christmas Day ...
the day we celebrate the coming of the Christ Child,
born to save His people from their sin,
and bring them fullness and salvation, and eternal life.

This eve, I'm more quiet than last year.
I'm more prayerful.
I'm not as understanding, but I am not trying for now.
I'm just sitting still and listening,
and remembering, and trusting.

That's what my Christmas Eve will be like -
Trusting in the Jesus who divided the sea,
whose waves roared ...
the Lord of hosts is His name.

I praise Thee, Thou Holy King ....
~ Jean Marie ~

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hurt and Grace -

I'm hurting tonight. Inside.
I'm wishing for what I'll never have,
and the people I won't live life with here,
and the voices I won't listen to say my name,
this side of the veil,
of the glass,
of the River Divide ...
this side of the valley.

I'm hurting inside a lot,
ALL of these days,
even if I'm laughing my head off and dancing in glee,
and hugging everyone in sight ...
and those whom I love most are hurting too.

... but I'm seizing every moment of precious joy I see,
as it passes me in my crashing, whirling world,
and I'm calling it - precious grace.

~ Jean Marie ~
Isaiah 9:6

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

6:00am's as good a time as any -

Taken on our recent travel to VA, location:GA highway.
Good morning. Yes, I'm awake. Are you?

I've been awake since 4:45am, and before that, at 12:00am to 1:30, I spent some miserable moments (moments? an hour and a half!!)trying to get my body heat up to a desirable temperature, namely, not the 50 degrees that it was outside. I wasn't outside, in case you read into that. My sister and I share a room, and it is the coldest in the house. I was wrapped up in a blanket, and then covered with 4 other blankets and sheets, and I was frozen. The last time I remember being that cold in the morning while trying to sleep was when I had to get up at my aunt's farmhouse in Ohio and get a fire going, and then wrapping back up and watching snow fall outside my window. That was in Feb. in the dead of winter. So, yes, I was really cold this morning.

I don't remember why I was telling you this. It has yet to be decided if the heat really was on last night, but let's just say that it WILL be on tomorrow night, if I have any say. (which I really don't, but I will most likely make myself be heard anyway)

I tried to make myself sleepy and warm really quickly, once I got up ... like, by listening to sleepy songs on YouTube and reading my blog...I mean, what else can be more boring than reading something you already wrote and thought about 10 million times before you wrote it? (I exaggerate) ... that didn't work. I tried reading my e-mails. Not going to say that was riveting either. I tried pretending the air coming out of the vent was really warm, fire-breathed-beach-sauna-air straight out of July at Cocoa Beach (oh, and yes, we do own Heat in our home) instead of a chilly breeze ... my imagination must be broken, because I'm curled up and still cold.

HAHHAha! Total side comment - in my half-sleepy-frozen state earlier (at 1:30am), Kimberly told me to get up and eat some bananas and chips, and I murmured "I can't have bananas", and she said "then just eat some chips! You need calories! I'm not that cold!". At which point, I shake my head and pretend I'm in a flannel sleepingbag.

(do you NEED me to repeat that none of this worked?) ... and so, I placed myself at a blog that I never tire of reading, a woman who blogs of grief and sorrow and God's amazing peace and His perfect will, and I played some Third Day on YouTube. And made myself stay there.

*** Sometimes I'm scared to blog. It's hard being vulnerable (really and truly vulnerable) and open with your feelings, and hearing nothing back, or hearing something back that hurts, or just writing out your heart and feeling like later that you shouldn't have shared. Because people who are open get hurt. God does not call us to fear, He calls us to obedience and joy. That might not apply in everything to you, but it does to me. There are days I cannot get off the top of my head that I should blog what I'm thinking, but I let fear of man overtake that thought.

Or prompting from the Holy Spirit. You decide. Some of you are sitting back and saying "Oh brother!! She thinks she has something that important to say?". Absolutely not. But the Voice that talks to my heart when it can't let something go....that Voice always has something to say to those who need it. And when do I NOT need it? :) I need, thee, Jesus, every hour.

Fear of man is Satan tapping you on the shoulder and telling you that you are worth nothing and are stupid for blogging about what God just gave you when you least expected it. (in a blogger version) :) I'm not going with that this morning. So many times, fear has held me back, fear of ... you name it. Fear holds you back from joy.

I.E.: I'm scared when I catch a big wave on my boogie board, and as I catch it and ride it the first few seconds, I freak out, thinking, how stupid was THIS idea?? I'm going to get smashed and hurt myself and look ridiculous!, and then, as I hit the sweet spot of powerful speed and curves, the joy sets in. I did it! Wow! Look how fun this is! WOOT! Thank you, God! I made it! ... and then I paddle back out and do it all over again. (Rewind, repeat 90 x's, and that was my amazing summer :)

If I'm going to be held back by fear when I'm blogging, I may as well give up now. Because if I'm not open and vulnerable, there's no way this blog will knock you out of your chair from the Sweet Smelling Aroma that is our Savior Jesus. If I can't hold onto joy, this blog will wither and die into powdery dust. Like I will. Do you agree with me? Please leave me a comment on how you feel about this or write me at my g-mail on the sidebar. I rarely ask for comments or feedback, but I'm asking this morning, because I'm genuinely interested in what you think. :) Ok. Fear lesson over for now ***

I wasn't really listening to the music at all. I wasn't really listening to anything at all, except the words of what I was reading swirling in my mind: hard, deep, painful - words on trusting God when you feel like you can't, and praising Him when you don't understand ... I wasn't listening.

I was reading something that I've read before, and thinking how very hard this burden on my heart is, all my burdens - they are hard, and I'm not thankful for them very often. Not like I should be ... all of a sudden, the music playing burst into my mind. It was the same volume as before, but it was like I just realized it was playing at all, and I clicked over to the playlist to see what it was ... you won't believe it. I didn't. I cry even now as I type this out - the song was: "Blessed Assurance", and the verse was on -

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long.

I know this song well, and as I looked over to the sidebar and read the lyrics, my gaze would not move from the 2nd verse. It wholly captured my attention -

Perfect submission, perfect delight
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight,
Angels, descending, bring from above,
echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

I put my hand over my eyes and broke down and cried. And this thought came to my mind - "to the praise of His glorious grace." I thought of those whom I love who gaze all day as visions of rapture burst upon their sight, and all in Heaven sing the praise of His most glorious grace, praising Him all the day long. I am sad, I want them back, but they gaze upon the face of the One Who loves them most, Whose perfect will took them when it would seem too soon to us, but the perfect time to our Father. (do you know how hard that is to write out?)

God, it's so HARD, but it's to the praise of Your most glorious grace. It's all for Thee, Jesus, it's all done by Thee. It may be a HARD story, but it's Thy story of grace for us, that we may turn and praise Thee all the day long by trusting Thee.

Here are all the lyrics, written by Fanny J. Crosby:

"Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine,
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight,
Angels, descending, bring from above,
echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blessed
watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love."

It was so worth losing sleep and being frozen, that little moment. Thank you for reading ... no, really ... I think of many of you readers when I blog, and pray for you. :) Many thanks.

Yes, oh, yes, Jesus,
lose me in Thy love,
~ Jean Marie

You can click HERE to hear the version of the song that I was listening to.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A catalog exclusive shot -

Oh my.
I have to post this picture because
every time I need a good smile I pull this up,
and laugh out loud over it, and what I wrote on it.
Because it is sooo hilarious. And true.
Anyone want to sign us on for a catalog? ... anyone?

... and I had to post this one because it makes me shriek inside:
it's just sooo gorgeous.
... and I had to post this one, because it's a favorite ...
a top 5 favorite, out of the 200 I shot. :) (grin)

... and that's the way things work 'round here.
Much love to ya'll!!!

In our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Savior of His people,
~ Jean Marie ~

(Goodness, Becs! You are lovely!! love ya'!)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A little "more" :) -

Because Emily Case demanded a few more,
because I listen to my readers,
because I've fallen in love with these pictures,
and because Dad was feeling sorry for Jessica,
who has only seen 3, and has to wait for the
DVD's to come in the post.

Oh, yeah, and because I love Jessica to death.

In our Lord, Who loveth best!!
~ Jean Marie ~

Oh, and has anyone noticed that it's only 6 days
until CHRISTMAS? How did THAT happen? :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009


The Senior Pictures for one very, VERY lovely and darling girl in MO, as of this morning at 2am...are - DONE!!! HUZZAHS all around!!!

Here's us joyfully throwing leaves.

and her ridiculously beautiful and charming self.

The pics are on their way, dear! I love you!!!

In our Lord,
Who sustains our life,
with every breath we breathe,
~ Jean Marie

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We all um, scream? for ice cream!!!!

Today, while on THIS photoshoot, which was so entertaining, I think that we sang equal amounts of Christmas carols and spent as much time laughing as taking pictures ....

Becs and I went to Brusters for ice cream. Because I know how awesome ice cream pictures are, and how much fun it is to go for ice cream when it's almost lunch, but you really want sugar instead.

Becs got THIS - Oreo Cheesecake Ice Cream, which was basically the smoothest oreo ice cream I've ever had in my life, and I proclaimed it to be one of my choices for my wedding ice cream bar.

... and I got THIS - (jean starts singing in joy and throwing flowers in the air). To save on incredible analogies, I will just post my status from FB on here -

"just finished a 2 hr. photoshoot with a dear friend .... awesome being the only photographer, I got to do whatever I wanted...muwahhaha. AND if you live near a Bruster' ALL COST, raid, plunder, pillage, steal and BUY their Nutty Coconut Ice Cream. Oh. My. Word. It is the best stuff ever...and a close 2nd is the Oreo Cheesecake. I will be dreaaaaming of that ice cream. Oh, yes, and I shot 200 pics. HAHA."

oh. my. word. and no, I am not being endorsed to write this. GO GET SOME.

I was going to say something witty and interesting and a disclaimer on this like: "Give us a break, it's almost Christmas, and we had ice cream.", but the truth is: We are just this awesome all the time, and we were reveling in the fact that we had just had some of the best ice cream ever made by humankind.

**No, I'm not scared of the ice cream....we were finishing up some singing here....**
Becs, darlin', I love you, and had a wonderful 3 hours with you!!! Swate Tae and Ice Cream OUT!
Happy Sweet 16!!

Loves, in our Lord,
~ Jean Marie

P.S. I have some shocking news for the world. Are you ready? Joel .... is not Santa. If he IS Santa, he's the worst Santa ever...a horrid Santa...because he told me I wasn't good this year. What? How is that possible? It's like he has audio feed of our kitchen or something....of the time when I sliced my hand or sang at the top of my lungs.....or. Ok. Enough.