photos: ryan & jessie.

I’ve been back in Haiti for 3 weeks now after a whirlwind of a few weeks in the States. My time home was filled with great quality time with my brother & sister-in-law, Ryan & Jessie before they moved to Greece!

Yep. You read that right! They’re in Greece with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) specifically with a focus on college ministry. It’s been deeply encouraging to see the Lord put this on their hearts & to watch their obedience & faithfulness of following Him.


We had #durbansiblingweekend in Austin & adventured through the city & made some time for photos.

Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-6979 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-6995 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7002 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7009 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7019 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7065 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7068 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7097 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7109 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7113 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7153 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7154 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7166 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7169 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7171 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7175 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7199 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7222 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7237 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7247Love these two so much & am grateful to call them family.Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7128 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7130 Ryan Jessie Austin LQ-7143If you’re interested in what Ryan & Jessie are doing in Greece or you want to join their support team, click here for more information!

Austin || Texas.

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Y’all. I can start a sentence with “y’all” because I’m a Texan, right?

Great.

I love Texas. I love the heat [call me crazy], the hill country, DFW, rivers, tea, BBQ, bluebonnets, camping, & the list goes on.

This past time home from Haiti, I spent several days in Austin to work from our Mission of Hope stateside office & connect with the wonderful staff family stateside.

Amanda & Matt were there too, which was so fun! I love getting to be in the states with these friends from Haiti, because we just get each other. We share the desire to sit in a coffee shop for 3 hours because we can. And we understand the joy of being able to simply drive around at night. I know, it sounds a bit weird…but all of my Haiti friends get it.

We had so much fun with the MOH Staff, & had incredible friends that fearlessly led us around Austin.

It’s such a great city!

Below are a few highlights of the trip (captions are above the photos).

“hopdoddy” – great burgers!
Kendra Scott’s flagship store is beside it.

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Famous Amy’s – the dark chocolate flavor was on point.

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this wall is so perfectly “Austin” cliche…& I love it. No shame.
left to right: Cammie, Amanda, myself, & Jess.
Cammie & Jess are 2 of the many amazing staff that work in the Austin office!
(Thanks for taking our picture, Matt. This seems to become a theme this trip…ha.)

IMG_3057After this, we walked 4 miles around downtown…because “oh, the Capitol is just right there!” Ha. We clearly under-exaggerated justttt how far it was. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful night with sweet friends walking around a great city!

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The Capitol.

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I loved exploring this city with these 2 dear friends!

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Below are several hilarious photos that we took on South Congress while exploring all of the wonderful spots. Matt loves being our photographer so much, that he took 37 photos. Isn’t that brick wall perfect??

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Uncommon objects was full of wonderful (hilarious) things!

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“The Science of Facial Expression” – If the title of this book & this photo doesn’t summarize our friendship, then I don’t know what does.

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lovely details at Toms coffee shop.
Have I mentioned that coffee shops are my love language?

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string lights & live music? yes, please.
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My dear dear friend Liz! I LOVED getting to see her & enjoy the best salad of my life at Bouldin Creek Cafe with her & Jess.

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Cammie, Jess, & I went downtown for a run around Lady Bird Lake with my favorite dog, Stanley. It started out bright & sunny…& then a massive storm hit. So…we embraced it & ran in the rain. Stanley wasn’t phased. We finished the night off with a healthy dinner at Juiceland.

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These are the highlights: coffee shops, delicious food, rest, great friends & community. It was a great way to wrap up my time in the states & to be rejuvenated to go back to Haiti. I’m excited to be back in Haiti for the fall, & hope to be blogging a bit more – I’m not going to make any promises though. 🙂

Videos.

Today at work, I looked through old videos and archived and made sure there were back-ups of videos. I found myself stopping and watching several videos that we’ve edited over the years.

Funny videos.

Baptisms.

Life Stories.

Mission Trip Videos.

Camp videos.

And many more. Basically, I sat at my desk with tears in my eyes because I am amazed at the life change that the Lord has allowed me to see while working here. I am amazed at the heart change that Jesus has done in my own life, and the beauty of the Gospel. As one of my beautiful homegroup girls (Lillian) posted on facebook yesterday: “GOD. IS. GOOD. And He can redeem ANY life; no one is beyond the saving power of the cross, and our messy lives are evidence of that.”

Amen, sister.

Enjoy this baptism video!

Relationship/Wedding Week 2012

I had to write and perform/narrate a creative writing piece for one of my Communication classes this week, and so I wrote about my brother and his fiancé’s sweet proposal story. I figured I should share it since I already wrote it all out. 

The busiest week of my life was three weeks ago.

It all started on a Tuesday, driving to College Station.

I was headed there to witness my brother’s (Ryan) proposal to his girlfriend (Jessie).

My view of the proposal was…different than you may imagine.

I was in a tree.

Hiding.

With a camera.

Sounds creepy, I know…but it’s not.

 

See, Ryan had asked me to photograph the moment.

The entire thing was a complete surprise to Jessie.

She had no idea we were even in College Station.

 

There is a reason she didn’t think we would be in College Station.

And this fits into all of the wedding madness of this week.

That Friday my mom was getting married back where we live

Four hours away from College Station.

So, it’s logical that we have to be at my mom’s wedding.

But, back to the proposal.

 

I get to College Station Tuesday night,

Wednesday is “Proposal Day”

My brother and I spend the morning chopping down limbs of a tree.

I needed to get the perfect angle.

He found the perfect place on a nature trail where they go running a lot.

 

The tea-light candles were set up perfectly along the bridge.

We laid out pictures and letters they had written each other on a bench.

It was PERFECT.

And it was about 2:30 in the afternoon.

 

A key part of this story is that Jessie is student teaching, and this was her first week.

So, we knew she would get out of school anywhere from 3-5.

I was hoping more along the lines of 3…

But that’s not what happened.

 

Another important part to know is that my brother’s friend Andy plays violin.

And that Jessie loves the violin.

So, Ryan asked Andy to play the violin while he proposed.

So, my brother goes to wait outside the school to surprise Jessie and “go on a walk”

So she thought.

 

While Ryan is waiting at the school,

Andy and I are waiting in the middle of the woods on this nature trail.

FOR ALMOST 3 HOURS.

But we’ll get to that moment when they get here later.

 

Where is the engagement ring?

Hidden under a leaf.

Weird, right?

It was a great thought, so Ryan could get down on his knee at the predetermined location and

BAM.

the ring would be right there.

 

One problem.

We had been there about 2 hours and things were going fine.

However, we didn’t plan on a runner coming through the woods

WITH A DOG

Who would find the ring box and think it was a chew toy.

I WISH I WAS KIDDING.

But I’m completely serious.

 

I see the dog running around with the white box in his mouth.

I almost passed out.

Thankfully, the dog dropped the box, and no harm was done

Except my rising blood pressure, that is.

 

Fast forward to when Ryan and Jessie finally get there.

He walks up to the bench and she is frozen…she knows something big is about to happen.

 

I’m hiding in the woods like a paparazzi and the violinist is behind me.

I can’t hear anything that is said, but I see the action.

He gets down on his knee.

Her eyes get big.

She opens her mouth and puts her hand on her cheek.

He puts the ring on her finger.

They kiss.

It’s beautiful.

 

Then, we come out of the woods when Ryan calls for us

Jessie was so surprised, and it was perfect.

 

I drove back to Bridgeport after we ate dinner

And I stayed up until 4am editing the pictures and video I shot.

That was the first of “relationship/wedding week 2012”

Thursday evening I had a bachelorette party for my friend Joy.

Friday morning my mom got married.

Friday night I had Joy and Brad’s rehearsal dinner.

Saturday was Joy and Brad’s wedding, which I was a bridesmaid in.

Sunday morning the sermon was on marriage.

Busiest week of my life.

Exhausting, yet lovely.

Gentle Reminder.

I absolutely love spending time with these girls. I had the privilege of watching them last night. We cooked dinner, watched movies, did homework, and my favorite part – we read through their devotionals. (Side note: It still amazes me that I’ve known sweet Alanna and Audrey for like 7 years…where has the time gone?) I was excited to read through their devotionals with them because I knew it would be precious time getting to talk about Jesus. However, I was in for a nice little surprise from the Lord. This “children & teen devotional” was not just for Audrey and Alanna, but He was waiting to share with me something that I needed to be reminded of so desperately.

Audrey’s devotional was talking about the Lord’s feelings…how He loves us SO much, and when we hurt, He hurts because the children He loves are experiencing pain. It was so sweet explaining this concept of Jesus understanding our feelings and emotions to an 8-year-old.

Precious Audrey asked, “So, when I’m sleepy, that means Jesus is sleepy?”

I smiled, and clarified what I meant by “feeling” the same things we do. I couldn’t help but be encouraged by her innocence, and it reminded me about Luke 18: 16-17

But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Childlike faith.

Alanna’s devotional was about anxiety. LET.ME.TELL.YOU…this is something that I have had problems with for years. I find myself not trusting the Lord with all things, and wishing I was in control of all. Um, yea…that’s a terrible idea. The Lord is DEFINITELY better at being in control. But in all seriousness, I have to remind myself daily about Matthew 6: 26-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

God is so sovereign.

So there I sit, in the living room with an 8 year old to my left, a 12 year old to my right, and I am overjoyed at how the Lord revealed a little more of Himself to each of us, in each of the ways that we needed to see and understand Him that night.

Audrey wanted to pray about not worrying about her multiplication tables and trusting Jesus to take away the fear.

Alanna wanted to pray for all things middle school (we all know how anxiety-ridden those years can be, am I right?)

And I wanted to pray for the upcoming semester and that I would seek the Lord instead of get caught up in planning and stressing.

I will forever be thankful for sweet, Jesus-filled moments with these lovelies.

Photography…

So, I’ve been playing around with my camera a lot recently, and I really enjoy taking pictures. I often look at other photographers blogs that I really admire, and I find myself thinking of different ways to shoot things (with a camera of course, silly). Here are a few pictures from a session I shot of the Burnett family around Thanksgiving. (Note: I have a Canon t2i camera body and the 50mm 1.8 lens; also, the 18-55mm stock lens).