Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Project 52 {Week 35} -

{Week 35} August 24, 2015 ~ Ponce Inlet at Sunset.

Today held some very heartbreaking news about some friends of ours.
It was stunning & devastating to learn; I've spent most of today crying my heart out.
Please keep them in prayer, unnamed, as they grieve their loss.

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." ~ Hebrews 13:8

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Happy Birthday, Sadie Beth! -

Happy 27th Birthday, Sadie Beth!!!!! 

I love you so, SO much, and hope you have a truly lovely day!!! 
Your friendship is such a joy and object of God's mercy in my life, and I'm so thankful for you! 
Blessings, hugs, more hugs and love from all of us!

~ Jean Marie ~ 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

My Project 52 {Week 34} -

{Week 34} Playalinda Beach, August 20, 2015 ~ Mariah being a mermaid. 

Actually one I composed. ;) Love it so so much. 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Playalinda Beach in August -

Wow, y'all. 

I can't believe August is almost over!! 
I feel as though once August starts, the rest of the "Fall" Months come tumbling down,
 then it's Christmas and then it's January and a new year starts all over again!! 

I've been working incessantly on getting my Photography Website Blog all caught up!!! 
You can view all the glory - HERE. :) It feels SO good to be getting this done! 

But I really really really have missed the beach. 
I haven't gone nearly as much this summer than usual, and I've missed it so much. 
So I texted Mariah {and Kaylee!} earlier this week and asked if she could go,
 and so we went to Playalinda this morning and it was sooooo nice. 

I never ever ever get tired of this, and I never ever will. *love* 

Mine & Hers. {my new deep teal beach towel from IKEA!} 
See the yellow stakes on the sand dunes? Those are markers for sea turtle nests!! 

GoPro pictures make me sooo happy. I don't use my GoPro very much except for the beach, 
and water events, but in those moments, it's worth every penny. It's the coolest. 

Just in case you wanted to see what the white of a wave coming over you looks like. :D 

We had perfect weather, beautiful waves, hot and shining sun and cool water. 
August at the beach is SO GREAT. August without the beach? SO HOT. Haha. 

Mariah channeling her inner mermaid. {i love this picture so much}


Honestly I have no idea what is happening in this picture but it makes me laugh so much!!

That water droplet decided to hover right over her head. Hahahaha. So hilarious. Selfwe!! 

It feels as good as the smile on my face. I love the ocean so much. Florida Girl. 

Beautiful Sky. 

I love you, Playalinda Beach. Thanks for the fun. 

Hope your August is equally as fun and full of getting work done and the joy of accomplishment! 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

My Project 52 {Week 33} -

{Week 33} August 15, 2015 ~ St. Andrews Chapel, FL 

I got 4 hours of sleep last night, 2nd shot a 9 hour wedding today with Shannon (with no caffeine),
 I've been awake for 16 hours, and on my feet for most of those. ;) 

I'm so beyond tired and I'm going to bed soon, but not before I say that I LOVE weddings,
and I love watching people in love and I love love love 2nd shooting weddings. It was such a fantastic day. 

I shot this in a mirror in a quick second that I had, and I swear I was smiling inside,
I was just so in "The Zone", hahaha. ;) And there's my new Kelly Moore camera bag that I love so much! 

Oh, happy day. And now - sweet sleep. 

With love always, 
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Listening -

Hi World. It's me again. 

I'm flipping over my iPod, and pulling my hair up. I'm turning on the peaceful writing music. 
All of a sudden I had to write. I thought about waiting until Five Minute Friday, but I couldn't wait that long. 

Ooh. It must be something big, right? Well, it's not. It's nothing. 

"It's nothing", not even anything, it's "just" small....we say that a lot don't we? We make little of ourselves. 

I've decided I don't like that at all. 

We aren't small. Jesus says we are worthy to be known. Jesus says we are worth so much

So why do we minimalize ourselves? Why do we hesitate to spill the real reasons of our hearts' hurts or worries? 

I've seen many friends share things in life, and at one little question at how they really are doing, they'll say "It's really.....nothing...." as their eyes fill up and overflow as they share the hardest things that are "I know it's not....well. As hard as ____". I'm on a mission to stop that. 

It may sound small to say it aloud, but that doesn't mean it IS small. 
The smallest things are usually the hardest things, because it's the one thing that reminds you that something is wrong. 

And even if it IS small, that doesn't mean it's unworthy of being shared. Of being heard. Of being prayed for. 

Pain is pain. Burdens are burdens. Hurt is hurt. Grief is grief. Hopes are hopes. Dreams are dreams. 
Don't make yourself small. Don't tell yourself you don't matter. Don't listen to the one who says "You aren't worth it.". 

So often I feel guilty for sharing my heart. I feel as though I've burdened others by sharing. 

So I hold in, hold back, keep quiet.  

I don't want to waste anyone's time. I try to shorten sentences. I try to tidy it up in a happy box at the end.
I smile when I want to cry. I bite my lip from spilling too much because this probably isn't a good time. 

I have friends (and family!) who listen so well, and I'm so blessed by them. 

One time I met a girl named Anna who lived in Texas and we spent a few very short days talking almost constantly. We didn't know each other at all, and spent time getting to know each other well. She drove the car, asked questions, and I spilled out who I was, joys I'd seen and grief I'd known. She took me out for BBQ and then on the way home, I wiped away tears over a little boy named Avery and how that broke my heart, and she listened to it all. She had time for me, and wanted to know who I really was

It was one of the greatest blessings of last year. I still tear up when I remember how loved I felt. 

How much she really wanted to know. And know ME. 

{Thanks, Anna. Love and miss you!}

Coincidentally, this very same trip, a very vivacious (and very in love with a guy named Josh) girl named Mercy turned to me in a Panera Bread on the day that our Jas married her Philip, and lovingly told me flat out and in no uncertain terms that I mattered. I immediately looked down at my napkin and fussed with it to hide the fact that I had instantly burst into tears. I had needed to hear that for a long time.

I have come to the conviction that there are fewer ways to make someone feel loved than to LISTEN to their hearts.
No matter how long it takes. No matter how the pain and questions and the way you won't have answers at the end. 

I wish I could say that I'm going to start sharing my heart so much more now....
but I'm not sure that's true. ;) 

Here's what I know: 
1. Jesus says we have great worth. Trust this!
2. Jesus calls us to community. It's important.
3. Jesus calls us to be like Him. No greater goal!
4. There is no Greater Listener or a more Compassionate Friend than Jesus.

I've recently been bringing everything to Jesus, and I do mean EVERYTHING. I've been more like talking than praying. Constant stream of talking. I've needed it. And it's such grace and mercy that He is always there and He never grows tired or never tunes me out because I've rambled on too long. 

He is faithful to love. He is faithful to be near. He is faithful to hear the worries and fears and take them. 
He is good to remind me that once they are laid down that they do not need to be taken up again. 

He is Comfort, Refuge, Shelter, Companion, Friend. He is Always, Forever. He is Peace

He is the Safe Harbor where I can bring everything I've ever thought to and know He will never be surprised or turn me away.
He already knows my heart before I bring it!! I'm so thankful for this. 

And I want to be like that, to the best that this imperfect heart can! I want to be like Jesus. 

Thanks for me. 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

My Project 52 {Week 32} -

{Week 32} Saturday, August 8, 2015 ~ Yogurt & Peaches for Breakfast: My Summer Fare. 
Barefoot & Coral Shorts and Porch Sitting. Thankful for these days. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Perfect Florida Evening -

Three weeks ago, on a Thursday night, I texted Shannon and said "Are you free tomorrow night?", when she said "yes!",
 I said "May I take you to dinner and we can go walk the beach afterwards?", and she said "yes!" again!! 

And so that's what we did and it was perfect and everyone was on time and everything was higgelty-piggelty. 

*alarm rings* wrong!

Things were going pretty smashingly as we set up plans and I left on that Friday afternoon, planning on picking her up and getting to Aunt Catfish's early before the crowds. Well. As I merged into the ramp onto I-95, there was a Park Ranger truck in front of me (Hello, Ranger Rick!!) and I thought that was a bit odd, but not as odd as when he sped past everyone and flipped on his lights and seared up the highway. 

"Well, that's weird..." I thought, but I quickly turned on some music and forgot about it, intending to enjoy my ride up to Ormond Beach. And then 8 miles on the road, we started to rapidly slow down. I looked ahead (on a straight road, mind you) and there was a huge plume of black smoke. "Oh no. That can't be good." So I immediately started praying it wasn't an accident. The sign had warned of a 2 car accident closing both lanes....turns out a fire had started on the East side of 95, gotten in the tops of the trees, JUMPED THE HIGHWAY and started a fire on the opposite side of a 4 lane highway. 

yeah. Thanks Florida.

So you will understand that they closed AVERTHANG and I sat in the car for 35 minutes to go 2 miles (two.miles.), I called Shan "Yeah, there's no way I'm gonna be there on time...I'm so sorry!". I memorized the pavement, the lettering on the semi idling next to me, the license plates all around me "Alpha Charlie Utah 483" "Whiskey Bravo Juliet 106" "Mike November Oscar 264" "OH LOOK. GRASS." I even opened up my sunroof and turned off the air and obsessed over how perfectly I was in the middle of my lane because i was so bored. And then this car inched past me, and this teenage guy was dancing hysterically to music that was pulsing from their little car. He was trying to liven everything up, and when I locked eyes with him, I couldn't stop laughing. Pretty sure everyone else thought he was beyond stupid, but I was his biggest fan. 

So then finally they diverted us off the onto US-1, and then there were hundreds of cars under a 55 mph limit! It was just as fun as you can imagine! 

So it took me twice as long to get Shannon as it would have otherwise. But at least everyone was okay, and no one was injured, and they got the fire out, and I stayed and chatted with the Fitzgerald family at the end of the night or else I would have been DIVERTED AGAIN BECAUSE THEY CLOSED IT AGAIN AND DIDN'T OPEN IT UNTIL 10PM. 

Can you sense my relief? So that's a really long story that no one else cares about....moving on. 

I took this babe to Aunt Catfish's for her first time!! She loved the cheese grits. Which was inevitable. 

Then we went exploring, just driving, down to Ponce Inlet, 
and I've always wanted to stop and see this darling little place, so we did. :)
I want to plan a whole wedding around this little hall. I'm so in love with it. 

It sits right on the Intercoastal Canal on the side of Wilbur Bay. There were a few floating docks, and then...

a spectacular view of the bridge and canal, lined beautifully with boathouses and mangroves.

It was so peaceful and quiet...if I lived anywhere near there, I'd be sitting on that deck, reading & writing all the time, haha. 

Or, you know....lying on a railing and taking a selfie while listening to the seagulls call and the water lap soothingly. 

And enjoy watching the sunset streak golden rays of glory across this deck. Ahhh, I love it so much. 

Inside the Wilbur Boathouse. UUGGGH. I'M SO IN LOVE WITH ITTTT.

the liiiiiiiggghhhhttt

Someone please have a tiny wedding reception and hold it here. 

I found a tiny baby green anole. :) 

Then we happily (and rather singing-ly) drove to the Ponce Inlet Jetty.
I hadn't been there since September of 2013 shooting Ben, Emily & Georgia's family pictures when she turned 1! 

The sun was setting, the air was cool & breezy, the sea oats bent gracefully in the salty air, the tourists were emptying out after a long day at the beach....and Shannon and I stood there and sighed in happiness. 

Solitude and Reflection. 

Whitest sand, jetty rocks and greenest of green grasses upon the cliffs. So lovely.  

Selfwe with this super wonderful and darling best friend! 

It was the calmest and most lovely thing to sit on these rocks for a little bit and have absolutely nowhere to go. :) We both needed this rest on a Friday night so very much!! 

Faithful Photographer Friend. 

Yes, the water really WAS that color. Astonishing, I know. 

The lovely and sweetest Shan. 

I will never get tired of views like this. Life on the Coast truly is the best. 

My favorite colors. All in one place. *happy sigh* 

My truly stunning bestie. Look at those eyes!!!

The sandy jetty pier. 

The thing that would come second best to just being there peacefully taking pictures would be fishing. 
Kudos to you, dude, and thanks for not turning around because that would have been awkward. 

It really was the most beautiful of Florida evenings.

The most gorgeous weather we could've asked for (in July!!), perfect light, a gorgeous sunset,
 lovely views and all sounds drowned out by the crashing waves and incoming tide. 

Those glory rays!! I could barely take it!! 

Can you spot the tiny crab? :D 


Selfie to document the evening. ;) I really am my happiest when I'm near the ocean. 

When you look at Shannon's pictures and then back at mine, and go "Um, which is it?!", haha, just know that yes, she edited a little more blue, and I just a little more green, but we both barely touched our photos. Our Nikon d7000's like to remind us they aren't always exactly the same and our editing styles either, but the water WAS incredibly vibrant and blue-green, so just take us at our word. ;) 

It was the most stunning of sunsets that turned the waves and shoreline into spilled pools of gold. 

Shan and I sat on the jetty pier with our feet resting on the jetty rocks, just hanging there in the most peaceful quietude, happy to be together at our happiest place, watching the tide crash in and the salty, shimmering spray of the waves arc into the air.

 While Shan took a little time to be "without", I kept close watch over her phone & camera behind me. ;)

"My soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me."
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~ 

Heartache, happiness, sorrow, joy, prayers, longing, peace, wistfulness, memories, thrilling bliss....
all these seemed to be playing across our faces as we sat and listened to our souls quiet under the Savior's hand,
as we closed our eyes to the worries of the world and dreamed of Forever Days that felt like this. 

 "Jesus, Savior, pilot me, 
Over life's tempestuous sea; 
unknown waves before me roll,
hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass come from Thee; 
Jesus, Savior, pilot me."

"As a mother stills her child, 
Thou canst hush the ocean wild; 
boisterous waves obey Thy will, 
when Thou sayest to them, "Be Still!"
Wondrous Sovereign of the sea,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me."

"When at last I near the shore, 
and the fearful breakers roar,
'twixt me and the peaceful rest,
then, while leaning on Thy breast,
may I hear Thee say to me,
"Fear not, I will pilot thee." 
~ Edward Hopper ~ 

It was the most beautiful and perfect of evenings. As we walked back to the car, fireworks were shooting off to the South, a lightning storm was highlighting the sunset clouds, and we were happily chatting about the amazing photos we'd have. 

We drove slowly home, I didn't want it to end too quickly. Shan played me some of her favorite music, and we sang loudly and dramatically to the radio hits while enjoying the night lights of apartments and A1A along the ocean, and then she treated me to ice cream! Ice cream for two, what could be better? :) 

Shan, thank you so much for wanting to spend the time with me, and just BE. 
I'm me when I'm with you, and I'm so thankful for that. 

I love you so very much!!!! 

Shannon blogged her gorgeouuusss pictures here!! 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~