Tuesday, October 3, 2017


I’m so excited about Holley’s new book that launched today. This book spoke to the deep parts of my heart that I don’t share with many people: dreams, purpose, trust. We were created to be Fiercehearted. Check out her new book and I know you’ll find yourself laughing, crying, and saying YES!!

I was honored to be part of the launch team for Holley's amazing book.  I love that this book is written with short chapters because you can read at least one chapter a day and walk away with an overflowing heart.  It's ok to not have everything figured out, but know we are not alone.  

There are a couple of phrases that really spoke to me.  "To believe in yourself means to believe that God made you and there is no one like you, that you have a unique call to courage, and that you can do the thing that is staring you in the face." - Annie Downs   I've always been told and I believe that I was created for a purpose, but life happens and it is very easy to forget this.  We need these little reminders that we are special and our calling is right where we are along with even more ahead.

"Let's make this our declaration: instead of trying to have it all together, we will dare to do real, messy, imperfect life all together."  It is exhausting to give this fake facade that everything is grand and wonderful.  We need to cling to those who will walk with us through the ups and downs because none of us has it all together.  This quote goes along with the next one: "Let's remember we are all still in the middle of the messy, beautiful work of becoming."  We are all a work in progress!

"Let's never think we are more holy or whole than someone else.  We may have cracks in different places, but we are all still broken...and still beloved."  This a book you need to read.  You'll find yourself referring back to it as it's like curling up with an old friend. 

God's Best-Kept Secret

I really enjoyed how Mark Maulding really opened up my eyes to the scriptures. There were many times that I would just sit and absorb in what I had read. I was challenged in ways that I didn't think were possible and enjoyed the questions and explanations for them. "God's will is woven into our divine design so we can choose his will as he leads us into it."

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Becoming Mom Strong

Heidi St. John has a way of speaking to the hidden corners of your heart.  There have been many days where I struggle with being a mom and how much my life has changed.  Heidi gives practical ways to stand firm in your faith and how to model that for your own children.  I love hearing from someone who is honest about their own cracks and flaws and yet keeps pressing forward!  This is a book I will refer back to and have even bought the audio book for my sister.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

She Is Yours

Jonathan and Wynter Pitts share from their heart on how to lead and raise girls through prayer and example.  I love the prayers at the end of every chapter - every part of their sharing involves laying your heart and daughter before God.  While this book was written for parents of girls, I took many of the prayers and prayed over my son.  I bought this book for my sister and praying that it blesses her life as much as mine.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Is Jesus Worth It?

Stacey's first book in her new series is thought-provoking.  She walks you through Hebrews and answers the question, "Is Jesus Worth It?"  There were moments when I felt like she could read my mind and then hugged me and said it's ok.  Life is hard and our faith is tested in ways that make us want to crumble.  Jesus is right there with us and stretches out his arms, we just have to reach back.  This book helps us to remember to listen and then put out our hand.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Comfort Zone

Sometimes when we don't even realize it life passes at such high speeds and you didn't even realize it happened.  Over the last four years I have been working towards my degree.  Now as I enter the last semester, I feel very out of my comfort zone.  I love learning new things and to have this semester as my student teaching semester, I feel very out of the comfort zone.  But I know that in order to grow and be ready for my own classroom, I have to go through this.  

I encourage everyone to take that leap and find where you will be challenged and grow.  It is exciting, scary, and rewarding. God intended us to be challenged and stretched in ways we didn't expect to happen.  This is not just rewarding for us, but we may have the opportunity to touch someone else and be a blessing to them.  

For more ways to grow, join Holley on her blog!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

One Little Word

One Little Word can have a powerful effect.  It was a few years ago that I heard about a project by Ali Edwards called One Little Word or OLW.  It is where you select a word to journey with throughout the upcoming year.  This word can be one to learn more about, guide you in making changes in your life or just one you want to learn more about.

Some years I have embraced my word and some years it has been in the back of my mind.  It is quite interesting how that one word comes to you over and over again, quietly whispering to your soul.  My words in previous years have been:

  • Be
  • Joy
  • Balance
I feel that my word for last year did not go as well as I would have liked.  I did learn that as much as tried to incorporate balance into my life, I was not successful in any way.  I know that going forward, I need to make some changes.  This discovery led me to my word for 2017.  
I realized that there are many areas of my life that need to transform.  My health, my attitude, my marriage, friendships, my home, my career.  There will be many changes on the horizon this year for me personally and professionally.  I also learned that I have to put God at the center of my life in order to find any true growth and transformation.  I know that at times it is going to be hard and scary, but in order for me to grow, I have to go through it.

The following quotes resonated with me this year.  In order for areas of my heart, mind, and life to transform, I need to surrender MY wants.  There is so much that I want to do in life from jobs, education, and traveling.  But, in order to find true joy, I need to make sure that I am following the wants God has for me.  

I have faith that when I surrender to God and He transforms my life, I will have more of the following listed in the quote.  I want to have more.....

I am trusting that God is going to do a magnificent work in my life and I will be transformed in more ways that I can ever imagine.  I cannot wait to enjoy the journey as I work through my OLW.

You too can join Ali Edwards with your own OLW.  Also, take a look at Holley Gerth's one word.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

3.B.9 Flying

Name: Flying
Description: Action Shot
3.B.9 - Optional
1.  What editing was done to the photo?There wasn’t a whole of editing that I did.  I dialed down the whites a small bit as some of the water around her face was blown out.  I increased the clarity a small amount.

2.  How did the photo meet the requirements?This is an action shot of my daughter swimming the butterfly.

3. What was the value of this assignment to you?I enjoyed using the skills from this class to capture this shot.  I put my camera on continuous shooting and tried to remember space, rule of thirds, and focal point. This course has helped me to remember all the details that go into capturing a great photo!

Friday, August 5, 2016

3.B.8 Tree of Life

Name: Tree of Life
Description: Night photo at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
3.B.8 – Night Time Photo
1.  What editing was done to the photo?I started out by increasing the blacks a small bit to block out the light in the sky.  I also increased the exposure just a small amount.  The clarity was increased a lot more to make it pop.  I also sharpened the photo and reduced the noise reduction.  I looking at the side by side, I feel like the tree pops out from the darkness much better.

2.  How did the photo meet the requirements?This photo was taken at night and I will say this was a harder one to capture.  The colors and animations on the tree moved around a lot and I was handholding the camera which didn’t help.

3. What was the value of this assignment to you?I really love night shots, but most of mine are usually of still items.  So now, I want to get better at subjects that move at night.  This would also benefit me as my children do their sports at night.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

3.B.7 Are You Looking At Me?

Name: Are You Looking At Me?
Description: Safari cruise at Disney's Wild Animal Park
3.B.7 – Animals
1.  What editing was done to the photo?I started by increasing the clarity a bit so that the ostrich stood out a bit more from the ground.  I then changed it to black and white to see if that would help.  I played with the tint and found that added just the right amount of green to the grass.  I finished it off with a vignette so your eye is drawn straight to the bird.

2.  How did the photo meet the requirements?This is a photo of an animal, but I really like how it is almost posing for the camera.  And I feel like there is some personality from the face.

3. What was the value of this assignment to you?I enjoyed the assignment because it helped me step outside of what I normally shoot.