Saturday, November 29, 2014

My Project 52 {Week 48} -

{Week 48} November 28, 2014 ~ New Smyrna Beach, FL 

I love this picture. I love so many things about it, but I also love it for the reasons that I can't explain. I told Sadie Beth "I love photography more when I have a connection to it that doesn't make sense. Photography makes more sense to me when it doesn't make sense.". Which makes sense to my brain, but sounds rather confusing to everyone else. Haha. 

1. I adore the light. The echoes and sun flares and bursts of light. 
2. I love the way Sadie Beth is holding her hair and bracing against the 45 degree cold wind. 
3. I love the old house for sale on the left
4. I love the wave gate for the beach, and the soft sand sign on the right.
5. I love Sadie Beth's skirt blowing into the light.
6. I love that Sadie Beth is turning into the sunset, as if the warmth will warm her up right away.
7. And the obvious reason, as pointed out by herself, was that Sadie Beth was IN the picture, thus being my favorite. ;) 

But this is the reason I love photography. That on days when perhaps work or life doesn't make sense ... that emotion and memories do, and the snapshot of that will bring back those good memories to mind. And I won't have a hundred reasons why, I'll just remember that I loved it, and we loved it together, and it will seem wild and free and completely my own moment. 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sadie Beth is HERE!!! -


I spent all last week crying my eyes out because we were going to be alone for Thanksgiving. Like, I cried myself to sleep several nights and was just devastated we would be without friends or family to celebrate with.

Little did I know that my parents were going to surprise Kimberly and I. This evening I was playing Christmas music on the piano and my parents walk in (from their "errands"), and I hear a voice say "Happy Thanksgiving!!!". I turned from the piano and see my dear friend Sadie Beth, who flew all the way from England to celebrate Thanksgiving with us!!!! 

I stared at her, stared back at Mom, back at her, back at Mom, back at her, my mouth open in shock. Then I gasped and screamed and promptly burst into tears and cried for the next 5 minutes in her embrace. 

I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT BELIEVE THIS. I was SOOOO surprised!!!!! SO amazing. 

And then we took this grainy picture and told the whole world she was here.

So many happy tears. We haven't seen each other in 2.5 years!!! 

And suddenly Thanksgiving means family, friends & joy again. 

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!!! 

With love always, 
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy 22nd Birthday, Tricia! -

Sunday night I texted Tricia and asked her if she'd like to have a little "date" before her birthday on Tuesday. So yesterday I drove up to Ormond Beach, picked her up, and we walked the beach in the beautiful setting sunlight, and watched the wetsuit clad surfers in the water. 

We also drove up to Palm Coast that night to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as a movie night at Gabe & Leah's with a bunch of people in our gang (yes, we are old fashioned kids at heart), and sang along loudly and dramatically to 80's music as we drove to and from the beach. How I love times with her. 

{Ipod Selfwe at the beach!}

Ormond Beach, FL 

Honestly I don't even remember what we talked about, because we kept interrupting ourselves by singing and laughing hysterically.
 Hahaha. I love time with her so very much. She truly is one of my dearest friends. 

"I've haaaadd the time of my liiiiiiffe, and I've neverrrr felt this waaay beforeeee." Hahahahhaa!! 

Tricia is a rain or shine, mountain or valley, day or night, dark or light, up or down, every emotion between extreme joy and utter sadness sort of friend. She is an incredible listener and empathizer. She is often the person I write or call when I'm so upset I can't think or do life anymore. She's been my calm and peace and Truth speaker on so many occasions. She has been grace and mercy to me. 

As I wrote last year: "She is honestly one of the most empathetic, amazing, caring,
 loving, genuine, true, brave, compassionate and deep people I've ever known." 

Moon jelly!! ..... dead moon jelly. 

More dead moon jelly pic because of the gorgeous light and incredible bokeh. 

Such beauty we live with every day!! 

"I love every time with you, every laugh with you, every adventure with you. And I've been blessed to have you comfort me through many a cry with you too. Thank you for being the real Tricia & allowing me to do the same. You are an amazing, wonderful, special friend, and I love you so very much." 

Us. Us wonderful, crazy, hysterical, two. 

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

"Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top..."

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~ E.E. Cummings 

Tricia, it's hard to really put into words how much you mean to me. I've tried and been successful many other times (here, and here), but for now all I can think of is that I would have driven NINE hours for all the laughter and joy we shared yesterday. I'm SO grateful and thankful for you. 

I'm truly thankful for every conversation we've ever had, including the apologies we've uttered for sometimes saying the wrong things, the hugs that mean it's alright, and the desire to be better, be more, be as real as possible with each other. I appreciate your friendship more than I can say. 

You, my beautiful friend, are stunningly gorgeous, and wonderfully treasured. Jesus loves you more than all of us combined
and more than we can ever dream or imagine are the joyful gifts He has in store for us.

You complain so little, and praise Jesus for so much.You have dreams, and sometimes it's hard
waiting for the fulfillment of those, but you parent so well and live as Cody's wife so well. 

I'm amazed and encouraged and inspired by you. 

And I'm drawn closer to Jesus through you.You are a shimmering light in my life, a reminder that God truly cares about relationships and friendships and building His church into a beautiful community that reaches out and cares well and loves deeply. 

You listen to me more than most, and understand better than many. You've heard more of my heart
than most will hear because you have won the rights to those places by true compassion and mercy. 

"We are mirrors whose brightness is wholly derived from the sun that shines upon us." ~ C.S. Lewis

I love you, my dearest Tricia. Life is so much better with you in it. I hope we shall always be friends. 

Happy 22nd Birthday!!!! 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~

Saturday, November 22, 2014

My Project 52 {Week 47} -

{Week 47} - November 22, 2014

This week has been a very difficult and sad week of missing people. Grief comes calling in unexpected places and in unwelcome ways, and it all hit hard this week. It's so hard missing so many people so much, all at once. There have been many tears this past week.

But thankfully the week is over, and now - rest. 

And soon - Thanksgiving. May our hearts fill up and overflow with thanksgiving to the One Who gives us all in love. 

~ Jean Marie ~ 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

My Project 52 {Week 46} -

{Week 46} - Sunday, November 9, 2014. The beautiful sunset at Ben & Emily's. 

"In silence the three of them looked at the sunset, and thought about God."
~ Maud Hart Lovelace ~ "Betsy, Tacy, and Tib" (one of my all-time favorite book series)

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My Project 52 {Week 45} -

{Week 45} November 2, 2014 ~ Barberville Pioneer Settlement ~ Jamboree 2014

One of my most favorite people (and one of my best friends) on this planet we call Home. 
So grateful for her friendship and love in my life. It is a happy friend that finds a Shannon in life. 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My Project 52 {Week 44} -

{Week 44} October 28, 2014 

Last week my parents and I went on our Annual Autumn Trip to Georgia & TN!! We had such a wonderful time. We were driving through the mountains of TN, and had to pull over beside this lake....I found this lovely walkway, and actually hiked up around the mountain a bit before coming back. 

It was such a sweet time away with my parents. I love them so much, and I love Autumn!! 
Grateful for times like these. And for pictures to remind me of the memories and the Autumn hues. :) 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~