Sister Friends

“True friendship isn’t about being inseparable, it’s about being separated and nothing changes.” ~Unknown

A couple of weeks ago Sarah celebrated her 20th birthday with a dear friend who was home from college. This friendship is one that I thanked God for (and still do!) since they were in high school together. The have the kind of friendship that encourages each other in righteousness and it was so fun to capture that sister friend bond.
“True friendship continues to grow even over long distance.”


“A strong friendship doesn’t need daily conversation, doesn’t always need togetherness, as long as the relationship lives in the heart true friends will never be apart.”
“You can always tell when two people are the best of friends because they are having more fun than it makes sense for them to be having.”


If The Cliche Fits…

I know it sounds overused and almost silly.

But they really do grow up so fast!

Last week I was looking through some old pictures and I came across one that I took a mere 3 1/2 years ago. I was amazed by how much different the kids look now.

For some reason the kids were agreeable to redoing the photo so off to the beach we went.

Here is the original taken in December of 2011. Under it is the one we took the other night.

So much of their baby-ness is gone! And, I would also like to note, that I think my skills have improved 🙂

Here is another redo we did from the same time.

We all got a little tickled about how much harder it was to pose them the same. Legs are a little longer, bodies are a little taller and they don’t fold and tuck in together the way they used to.

Oh, and Claire is actually wearing the same dress that Emily was wearing in the first set of pictures.

Doing this reminded me of one reason I love photography. Being able to watch them grow up again and again. Priceless memories.

All Lives Matter

Do they? Are we sure we mean that when we make that statement?
I think that it is good and right for us to push hard for momentum against Planned (Un)Parenthood. I think every legitimate interview, story and video you come across should be shared as publicly as it could possibly be shared. The shroud behind which they operate must be torn down to expose them for what they are.
I agree with Pastor Toby Sumpter that we should pile it on right now and we fight our enemies with truth and grace and we are relentless as we pursue them.
But let us be clear that it is not enough to just save the babies.

Do all lives matter? We say so. But do our actions bear that out? Do they matter as long as their messy train wreck stays away from our dinner table? As long as they stay in their part of town and out of our nice clean neighborhoods?

Those babies come with mamas and the vast majority of them are in situations where they are overwhelmed or ill prepared to deal with their circumstances. And that mama didn’t get pregnant by herself…there is a father somewhere.
What good is it if we convince them that their baby’s life matters if we aren’t willing to do all that we can to show them that their life matters as well?
James 2:16 should echo in our ears as we press forward against our foe.
“And one of you says to them, “go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?”

Contact your local crisis pregnancy center and ask them how you can help. They need stuff so by all means give them your money…give them all of your money. But also give of your time…of yourself…because what they really need are more people being Christ to the ones they are helping. Because what the babies and mamas and daddies really need is Christ and His gospel.
Because all lives do, indeed, matter.

Flower Power

Last week’s theme for the weekly project I participate in was floral. It’s been a while since I found/picked/bought some flowers for the sole purpose of photographing them so it was really a lot of fun. When I was first getting serious about photography I did a lot of work with flowers…cheap models that I could move easily as I learned about light and shadows and camera settings.

As it usually happens I had several images that I really liked but only one shared with the weekly challenge. These are the “left overs” in no particular order. Enjoy!

Black and white flower portraits are so dramatic, aren’t they?

Flowers…are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I seem to have developed fascination with this window and the light it gives in my bathroom.

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. ~Claude Monet

Test Kitchen #81 ~ A Quick and Easy Cabbage Stir Fry

I don’t know what is more shocking:

A.) I am actually posting a recipe or

B.) It’s a recipe with cabbage as a main ingredient.

Because I think this is delicious I am going to go with A.

Last month while I was visiting my little sister she made this stuff and it was so quick and tasty that it has become a favorite. We actually played around with it and had it a second time the week we were there. And get this…even my beloved and kids like it.

cabbage_stir_fry_beef_John Soules

Cabbage kind of gets a bad rap I think and it is definitely one of those foods that you either love or hate. The key for me to really enjoy it is to not over cook it. I like it with a little crunch to it.

When my sis made it she used a recipe she found on Facebook. (Don’t you wish we could pin from fb? So frustrating that we can’t.) This may not be the exact one she used but it is pretty similar.

Because I got the bright idea to make some major life style dietary changes right before our trip to see her I needed some adjustments made and because she is a fantastic little sister she obliged. I am going to share what I do but you can check out that pin I mentioned if you want the original. Mainly I use water instead of oil and steam rather than saute and use the bags of beef or chicken that are preseasoned and ready to eat. Simple enough to use chicken breast though and just brown them up ahead of time.

What you’ll need:
8 oz bag of either John Soules chicken or beef fajita (I like the fajita one because of the extra flavor.)
8 oz fresh mushrooms
Half a head of green cabbage, chopped
Half a head of purple cabbage, chopped
Soy Sauce

What you’ll do:
Add all the ingredients to a large skillet.
Add enough water, about 2/3 cup, to skillet.
Season with whatever you like. I usually do a little garlic powder or maybe some greek seasoning.
Cover pan with a lid and steam on medium heat until meat is heated through and cabbage is at desired stage of tenderness.
Splash on a little soy sauce and enjoy!

I love it and it’s super healthy. For someone who isn’t being quite as careful with carbs as (ahem) others, it would probably be very good over rice. My family just eats it as is though.


It’s quite a colorful dish, isn’t it?

You could jazz it up with some sweet peppers too.  I think I am going to try it with some shrimp soon too. I’ll let you know how it turns out 🙂

The Scent of Summer

It’s a fragrances that can evoke memories of my childhood with the slightest whiff.

It calls to mind bare feet in the sweet grass, rich earth under my hands, blue skies and sweaty pony tails as we raced around the yard, climbing in and out of the low heavy branches.

It also calls to mind plain cheese sandwiches with a little mayonnaise. I must have eaten one almost everyday under that great big magnolia in our back yard. Funny, but now I wouldn’t touch that sandwich, but magnolias?

Oh, how I love them.

Maybe it’s the way the big waxy petals seem to enclose a secret treasure.

Gradually unfolding to reveal the scarlet dipped treasure at it’s center.

I have always been fascinated by the stamens and the way they’d gather, cupped in the soft white petals like some kind of offering.

It’s a hardy tree that can grow tall with branches from the ground all the way up making it the perfect fort and climbing tree.

With every intake of it’s sweet scent I can hear echoes of my childhood…my sisters…laughter…my Mother calling us in for the night. And if I sit still long enough I can almost see the fireflies that used to dance among it’s leaves late in the evening.