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True North: Trip 1: Les Anglais Medical Clinic

The clinic we served in a few weeks ago was the same clinic we were in days after Hurricane Matthew.

When I walked into the clinic this time, I immediately remembered what it was like back in October; I remembered where the hospital beds were lining the hallways, the faces of the people, & the weary doctors & staff.

I looked into each of the rooms & reflected on who was in those rooms & beds in October:

  • the babies with cholera & those literal life-giving IV bags.
  • the mamas & daddies standing over the beds holding their little ones’ hands praying the medicines would work.
  • the strength of each person as they had their wounds cleaned & bandaged.

This time, that very same clinic was vastly different. There is still a great need in the community, but there was order in the chaos. There were scars instead of wounds. There was a calm healing on faces of the clinic staff instead of a chaotic uncertainty of what to do.

I rounded one hallway where I vividly remember a beautiful little girl lying on a bed with an IV in her tiny arm, pumping life into her frail body. This time, there was no bed, but a waiting room full of parents & their little ones waiting to be seen by the Haitian malnutrition specialist to try to get their babes strong & healthy. What a gift!

This little girl marked me. We locked eyes, she pretended to be timid for about 2 seconds, & then she busted out giggling. I greeted her with a kiss on each cheek, which she returned again & again & again – giggling each time. A nurse next to me picked up my camera & snapped a few photos. I cherish these. This very same clinic hallway is where I was weary at the brokenness of this world & the hell that people go through, is the same hallway where I saw a tangible redemption & grace of God.

Redemption is evident. The Lord is making things new. It’s a promise & He’s faithful. And often, He gives us tangible glimpses of this holy work that He’s up to & that He’s invited us into. That week was a glimpse for me. He’s good & He’s doing good, always.

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Broken Bowl.

Well, I’m a sucker for handmade bowls at farmers markets sold by precious older friends. This one was supposed to be thrown out because of a crack, but Jim (the maker) filled it in with turquoise instead. I find it simply perfect.
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There’s a lot of metaphor in there.

Senior: Cayla • Austin, Tx.

There’s something special about photographing high school seniors; they are full of personality, dreams, vision, wit, & fashion. Cayla’s senior session was one of my very favorites because it included sun flare, bluebonnets, & lots of laughter – all of which captured her vibrant personality! Cayla, you’re too fun! Keep shining bright.

Hurricane Matthew: October 2016

For several months, I’ve sat down at my computer to try & write about Hurricane Matthew hitting Haiti this past Fall. Each time I sat down, I was met with a blank computer screen & a flood of images, memories, & emotions. Today, I went back through the photos I posted on Instagram throughout those heavy weeks in October.

I value the space on this blog to share life experiences, update supporters & prayer partners about what God is doing in Haiti, & to have a digital scrapbook. Below is an overview of photos & captions from those weeks because I do not want to forget what those days were like & the weight of those moments.

Dates & captions are below each photo.

1_haitian-flagOctober 2, 2016 – “Would y’all be praying as Hurricane Matthew approaches the Caribbean islands? Would you specifically pray for families living in tents/temporary homes & that the Lord would redirect & calm this storm? I am unbelievably proud of & grateful for our @mohhaiti team on the ground – they are well prepared & have already began mobilizing relief efforts to parts of the island expected to get hit the hardest.”1_prepOctober 3, 2016 – “Today was a day of prayer & strategizing relief efforts in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew hitting Haiti today & into tomorrow. Many of you have personally reached out to me asking what you or your church can do. The most efficient & effective way to provide crisis relief in a time like this is to financially partner with organizations on the ground that you trust. Friends, I know Mission of Hope. I trust & SEE that each dollar given is stewarded with excellent integrity. I know the relief plan drafted up is strategic & well thought out. And I’m amazed at the network of partnerships God has graciously provided & believe it is the best way to effectively reach those in immediate need for essential relief. I’m asking that you partner alongside us financially as we have prepared to provide emergency relief with water, food, medical care, clean up & additional needs throughout the country. Today has been a beautiful reminder of how deeply grateful I am for the team here at MOH & amazed to see how God has united His people from all across the world to pray, serve, & sacrifice for others. Please continue to pray for Haiti as the storm continues to hit.”2_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-4840October 8, 2016 – “I landed in Haiti 2 days ago & the only word I can find for this photo is “sobering”. This is a photo I personally took Thursday in the south of Haiti that was recently hit by Hurricane Matthew. The devastation is real & the immediate need for relief & aid is great.
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For years, I have personally seen the work that Mission of Hope does to serve our brothers & sisters across Haiti. Through HaitiOne, over 400 organizations across Haiti are working together. This morning, a 55 ton barge was sent out with food & water & is being deployed to the south. Drivers are headed north with loaded down trucks. I watched our warehouse be emptied in full faith of its refill to continue – this is what God means when he commands us to to walk in faith & to consider others as greater than ourselves. I believe God has equipped His church for such a time as this. God has invited us AND equipped us to join Him in the work of redemption.
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Today, my heart aches because of the loss of many lives, homes, & communities from this devastating storm.
Today, I am also reminded that darkness will never overcome the light. That’s a promise & God is faithful to fulfill his promises.
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Many of you have asked how you can help. The next few weeks are crucial in continuing to get aid out to areas like this. The link to our @mohhaiti relief page is in my profile, I’d be honored if you would come alongside us.”

3_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-5897October 10th – “R E S I L I E N T.
When people ask me about the Haitian people, that’s the first word that comes to my mind. It’s truly beautiful to see their resilience & strength. Would you please continue to pray for these people & support relief going to those who have endured so much suffering? The relief efforts are only just beginning. There is so much devastation to overcome. As we walked through this village at sunrise, these joyful little beauties were yet another reminder that the darkness WILL NOT drive out the light.”4_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-5920October 11th – “Hope is never a situation. Hope is never a location. Hope is never an ideology. Hope is a person, & his name is Jesus Christ.” – Paul Tripp.

I’m convinced that the sky here in Haiti has never looked so beautiful as it has the past several days. The sun gleaming over the mountains in the morning, & the display of brilliant color as it sets in the evening is a reminder that God is good & does good.

Hope is here because Jesus is who He says He is. He calls us to join Him in the restoration of this broken world; to proclaim Christ in this brokenness, & to care for the broken & hurting – it’s what Jesus did & it’s what He’s equipped us to do.”5_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-6039October 12th – “R E A L I T Y.
When Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti last week, many villages across southwest & northern Haiti were wiped out. However, the devastation continues to increase after the storm, as cholera & threat of starvation take lives. Mission of Hope is diligently working alongside multiple organizations as we exhaust resources to get to these people in these villages by boat, plane, & truck. Please continue to pray for these people, their health, & for the Lord to continue to work through His church by healing the sick, caring for them, & proclaiming His love for them. He is faithful.”6_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-6262October 12th – “The anthem over the past week: “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord” Psalm 27:13.
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I am confident that the Lord’s goodness is evident & He is working through His church in ways that can only be described as miraculous. Please continue to pray for these people, as there is still so much to be done.”7_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-5881October 13th – “Please join the Mission of Hope family in praying Psalm 20 this morning. Thousands have been helped, but thousands are still waiting. We need doors opened. We need favor. Let’s pray & trust He will provide.”8_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-5893October 13th – “P S A L M • 2 0.
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May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion! May he remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices!
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Selah
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May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans! May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!
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Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.
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O Lord, save the king! May he answer us when we call.”
9_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-5887October 14th – “There have been multiple moments over the past week that will forever be etched into my heart & mind.
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One conversation from this morning was when I walked into Mr. Lookens’ office & stood talking with him & Mr. Wantously, both Haitian leaders here at MOH who I’ve grown to know & love the past 3 years.
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Mr. Lookens said, “When I go to sleep at night, I see Jeremie (southern town wiped out by Hurricane Matthew) in my mind. When I think if it was my wife or son that couldn’t find clean water to drink or food to eat, that hurts me. We have to do everything we can to help these people.”
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Sometimes I do not know how to explain to my friends or family what Haiti is like, but the conversation this morning paints a beautiful picture of unity & fighting for one another. They hurt when their neighbors hurt. They fight for them, pray alongside them, & labor on behalf of them.
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It’s a beautiful thing.”10_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-5458October 19th “This photo was taken right before the first barge docked for relief delivery in Jeremie — one of the villages significantly affected by Hurricane Matthew here in Haiti.
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The sun glaring through the ruins reminded me that true Hope is found in Christ & Christ alone. Anything else can be gone in an instant.
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This truth of Jesus being our HOPE has carried our team the past 2 weeks & will continue to carry us as we strive to reach the broken & hurting.”11_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-5863October 20th – “The reality of the Lord’s presence in the midst of destruction & affliction has forever marked me.
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Affliction & disasters are not new. The reality of a broken world is heavily felt, but the Truth of a risen, reigning, & reconciling King is felt all the more. He is good & is doing good; He calls His church to act & what a privilege that is.
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Last night we gathered together as a MOH family & shared glimpses of what we’ve seen God doing through His church across the globe. Nothing short of amazing.
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1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 — We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”12_Haiti Hurricane Matthew HQ-5837.jpgOctober 22nd – “This is Marvens, a soft spoken little guy from Anse d’Hainault, standing in the midst of his decimated village.
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I’m headed back to Austin after spending a couple weeks helping with relief efforts after Hurricane Matthew swept through Haiti.
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The days have gone by in a blur, but when I look back on the past 16 days in Haiti, the words that come to mind are: devastation, unity, desperation, resilience, survival, strength, & HOPE.
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As the rebuilding continues, my anthem for the Haitian people is Romans 12:12 – Rejoice in Hope. Be patient in tribulation. Be constant in Prayer.
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What the enemy means for evil, God will use for good. I’ve firsthand seen the beginnings of this & know that He is faithful.”13_Haiti Hurricane Matthew HQ-5063.jpgNovember 29th – “For Giving Tuesday, I can’t help but think of these incredible drivers at Mission of Hope who went above & beyond to load & deliver supplies after Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti. All smiles & ready to serve their neighbors.
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We would be honored if you’d choose Mission of Hope to invest in. Lives are impacted daily & it’s an honor to serve with these incredible people.”


It’s almost February of 2017. Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on October 4, 2016. So now what? We’ve seen a network of organizations & people unite & work together to serve the communities we work in through HaitiOne. We’ve seen unity like never before. We’ve seen resilience, growth, & restoration. The amount of work to be done is great and God is using His church from all corners of the world to participate.

I now live full time in Austin, Texas and I continue to work at Mission of Hope: Haiti. I am working at the stateside MOH office & I travel to Haiti regularly. I have the privilege of working with our partner organizations in the rebuilding & restoration of homes throughout the Southern region of Haiti.

In December, I had the opportunity to travel back to the South & serve alongside one of our construction teams roofing homes in the village of BonBon. We partner with Haiti Bible Mission, a wonderful organization in Jeremie who is living the difference in their community. We were able to see the rebuilding in the community of BonBon first hand. I’ll post a separate entry with more photos from that trip, but below is a glimpse at the restoration that God graciously allowed us to witness. day 2 HBM construction 12.2016 HQ-0673.jpgday 3 HBM construction 12.2016 HQ-1459.jpgThe below three photos are of Madame Odette’s home during the re-roofing process. Photo two, where she stands beaming in front of her home as her roof was being constructed, is a photo that summarizes the community of BonBon as the rebuilding takes place. Strong. Beautiful. Joyful. Unshakeable. Radiant.day-1-madame-odette-houseday 2 HBM construction 12.2016 HQ-0879.jpgday 3 HBM construction 12.2016 HQ-1491.jpg


Friends, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for creating space, praying, processing, & listening through this season. Fall of 2016 brought things none of us expected & that none of us would have asked for, but I choose to remain confident that God is good & doing good.

Summer 2016.

Summer 2016 was my 4th summer in Haiti & it was filled with moments I’ll cherish forever.

Captions & dates are above the photos.

Gig ’em, Ags. 👍🏽 Great day at the Olympic Training Center with the Texas A&M Aggies! 5.14.16

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well okay, that view will do. 5.16.16

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Sometimes, the best thing is a sunset & a sugary soda. 5.20.16

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Orientation with new friendly faces! 5.22.165-22-16

Onward, friends. 5.29.16

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breathtakingly beautiful: both the sky & the promise. 6.2.16

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AYITI 🇭🇹 adventuring through the streets of Port Au Prince. 6.3.16

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I donut (<–😂) know how to make donuts for #nationaldonutday so instead, pretzels. #lifeinhaiti 6.3.16

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my Friday night:
🎨 watercolors
🎧 Bethel Music
🙌🏽 truth the Lord has been teaching me ever so slowly but surely. 6.4.16

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I personally think every country should have pretty plants for sale on the side of the road – it certainly makes traffic more beautiful. 6.5.16

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Sidewalk games on the walk up from the office. 6.6.16

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The best airport crew around. 6.8.16

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A+, Lord. 6.10.16

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Patio lights reflecting in rain puddles on the front porch. Oftentimes, the simplest things are the prettiest. 6.10.16

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S U N D A Y || C E L E B R A T I O N. 6.12.16

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My home church – @gfcfamily– in Haiti & I’m clearly ecstatic!! 6.16.16

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman! 6.17.16

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Rachel Durban: baby whisperer. 6.17.16

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I loved spending time with the GFC team that served in Haiti for a week. Home churches are the best. Beach days are nice too. 6.21.16

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Praise the Lord for sweet roommates who bring home pineapples! Caribbean living at its finest. 6.22.16

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From Haiti 2012 to Haiti 2016! Goodness I love these friends! 6.23.16

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The cutest dinner date. 6.25.16

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4 years of friendship with Tiff consisting of floor-length skirts & covered shoulders. Haiti friendships are gold (& you always share bad tan lines!). 6.26.16

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bffs. 6.28.166-28-16

h a n g i n. 7.1.16

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Tap-tap that. Love these friends, a weekend off, & their willingness to indulge in the silliest of photos. 7.2.16

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Watching a breathtaking sunset while my toes are in the ocean is like medicine to my soul. 7.2.16

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Love these friends. 7.2.16

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Salt in my hair & sand between my toes make for a great weekend. 7.3.16

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The 4th of July was full of fireworks, the most hilarious lip sync battle, a freaking hilarious dance party, fresh cut French fries & grilled burgers, & so much laughter with my Haiti family. The 4th of July party in Haiti has easily become one of my favorite traditions. So very thankful for freedom! 7.4.16

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Going to sleep tonight really grateful for the thoughtful, kind, intentional, selfless, & FUN group of family & friends the Lord has graciously given me from all over the world. I’m excited & expectant for year 25 & have loved celebrating today with my Haiti family! Thank you all for the birthday wishes & kind words! 7.6.16

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Love this little guy & some snuggles. 7.7.167-6-16-b

Just some mid-twenties friends twinning from head to toe. 👯 love this friend dearly! 7.7.16

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Jesus – be near. 7.8.16

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I sure love these people. Our Haiti family celebrating Katie & the gift she’s been to this place & this family. Katie, you will be deeply missed here! Friendship is a sweet, sweet gift. 7.15.16

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7.16.16 While there are many photos I could post with Katie, I choose this one because it makes me laugh through the tearful “bye for now” that happened at 5am. Katie, you’re a joy & I am forever grateful for your friendship & living this Haiti life together for many years. Keep shining bright, beautiful friend! Can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for you next.

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“Mom, cancel my 3 o’clock appointment & pencil in a nap.” – 👶🏼💭 7.21.16

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Port Au Prince grocery errands are way more fun with these friends & the new Need to Breathe album. #belekippart2 7.22.16

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1. I’m labeling myself an honorary Donnelly sister, so there’s that.
2. I love that these 2 are in Haiti & that we got stuck in Leveque in the middle of a pouring rainstorm & that we laughed our way through it all. 7.24.16

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🐐👶🏼🐐. When there are 1-day-old baby goats on campus, you catch them & go take a picture with baby J. 7.26.16

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💪🏼 thankful for early morning workouts & the people who join them each week. Sometimes it’s a small group, other times it’s a large group – every time it’s worth it. 8.3.16

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👶🏾👶🏼 What a fun afternoon seeing these ti-best zanmis meet! And also, Amanda – you’re the most beautiful & radiant mama! 8.7.16

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#notallbabiesarescary – I mean, lots still are but J isn’t. 😉 8.9.16

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I’m continually reminded that God is in the business of redemption. And what a gift that he calls us into that work with him! This was is a day in Minoterie I’ll never forget. 8.10.16

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bffs in Leveque (the next 3 photos). 8.12.16

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🍌 plantain lessons. after 3 years of #lifeinhaiti, I have finally learned the art of plantain making. 🙌🏽 8.14.16

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some of the coolest people. loved 3 months with this intern class & all the memories. 8.18.16

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checkers & coffee: my kind of Thursday morning. ☕️ 8.19.16

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Friday afternoon bath time. 8.19.16

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Matthew is onto something genius: one shoe to match the shirt, one shoe to match the shorts. 👌🏽 8.21.16

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What a summer!