A Way to Better

Do you remember in school when they would ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up? What did you say? 

I think I said a singer at one point, which anyone who knows me would laugh at that thought. Though I have to say Kirsten and I do a pretty mean rendition of “This I Promise You” at karaoke. 

I switched from singer to painter, to interior designer, maybe a teacher?  

Christmas 1990 something,

I got my first camera, a Kodak STAR 110.

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Meaghan (who will probably not be thrilled with me for posting this; so sorry sis) and I did our own photo shoots and we got very creative. See for yourself….

(I made them very small as to limit the amount of embarrassment that this is one brings.) 

And so began my love of photography.

I never thought of turning this into my career though, until a friend saw the picture below and asked me to take her senior photos. The rest is as they say history.

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In Sunday school

I remember being asked that question too. “What do you want to be when you grow up” as I got older the question got more real.

The message in Sunday school was different though. They weren’t asking just to inspire us to think about our future. They were asking what talents we were given, what passions we were gifted and how we could use those passions, those gifts in our every day lives someday.  

And still the older I get the more just loving photography and loving my job isn’t all I wanted out of a career in it. Something was missing. I sit in church and volunteered at vacation bible schools and consistently would hear the same message being taught. “Use your daily lives to Glorify God.”

Side tracking a bit…. 

I LOVE coffee – shocking I know  

So I heard about this company called Generous Coffee and I was curious.

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This company supports an organization called Humanity and Hope. Humanity and Hope is a non-for-profit organization that brings well…humanity and hope to families, communities and people in Honduras. They are doing some amazing work to bring work to people who don’t have the choice of what they want to be when they grow up and yet are so grateful to have even just one day of work. This in return brings clean water to villages, education to children and so much humanity and hope to the communities.

I bought some of this life changing coffee and duh loved it….its coffee....but I was also inspired. 

This is where this extensive blog post comes together.

I feel so moved that God used my love of coffee, my love for photography and my incessant need to watch reality TV (ooopse - did I forget to mention Ben Higgins - the bachelor is part of this amazing company?) and put a desire in my heart to use it all to help other people.

I connected with Maddie on the Generous Movement Team (fun fact – she is from a town that is just 20 min from where I went to High School! If that’s not meant to be….)

She let me know how I can make an impact doing what I love.

So….

Starting now,

With every session that is booked, a portion of all proceeds will be given to Humanity and Hope to support their efforts.

That means every time you want to see that smile of your loved one on your wall you will also be putting a smile on the face of a child, a mother, a community.

This is all leading up to something big in 2020, so stay tuned for that!

In the mean time be part of something that is changing lives, read more about Humanity and Hope here - https://www.humanityandhope.org/

Drink life-changing coffee - https://generousmovement.com/

And share that beautiful smile you’ll love forever with someone who needs a little smile of hope.– melissasphoto.com

 

Here for the "Boos" - Just Trying To"Creep" It Real

Shockingly- to no one- I am a day late on posting this blog! Also sorry for the “corny” puns I just really “fall” for a good one and there’s so many for fall. Oh my “gourd”! Sorry, I’ll stop. :)

Well…

October is a love-hate relationship for me. Anyone else?

I LOVE fall…but I mean who doesn’t?

Really, I love the beginning of any season. It’s something different, it feels like a fresh season of adventures.

October though is something different. You get the pumpkin patches, the leaves changing, and the fun fall activities and you get…Halloween. I’ve always dressed up, enjoyed a good Halloween party, fun with friends. But, I don’t love scary movies, haunted houses and pretty much all the things people love about Halloween.  

Fun fact though, I’m engaged to a Halloween fanatic. He does a count down to Halloween by watching a different scary movie every night.

As someone who left in the last 5 minutes of War of the Worlds (yes that really happened) I struggle to get through it, and those who’ve known me long enough find this to be hilariously the pinnacle of “opposites attract”.

The first year of dating I was a good sport. I was still trying to impress him. Second year I was so head over heels in love that I got through it. Now though I think we’re at that good stage. The comfortable stage. Still head over heels in love but we the kind of love where we both just accept that I will enjoy his presence from the other room while I re-watch Gilmore Girls for the third time, because again….fall ❥.

So to indulge in the fun of Halloween and October with him but also keep my sanity I am starting a photo challenge. I’ve done these before and they are always so fun! Every day features something fall or Halloween related and memes don’t count (for me at least). It’s fun to try to get all original content or throwback to falls past.

Join me! It’ll be fun to indulge in the spirit of the season together, whether you ARE a Halloween fanatic or a simple lover of fall. 

I want to see what you come up with too. Show me the fun you are having with fall October, and Halloween! using the #MSPLoversOfFall

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Stuck With Me - The Best Is Yet To Be

First…a WARNING. This post is sarcastic, very personal, and a lota cheesey.

THIS SUMMER HAS BEEN INSANE

Strike that. These last 2 .5 years have been insane.

They have literally been the best years so far.

I’ve been given a pretty amazing life. I have this family that I would do anything for. Friends that I’d do the same. I have a well of memories and moments that I will never be able to forget.

There have been some really difficult times but they have nothing on the best times.

But these two years I feel like God has really pulled everything together.

LET’S GO BACK TO JANUARY 2016

I went on this snow tubing extravaganza with two of my best friends and their friend. It was supposed to be a big group and ended up just being the four of us. I was TERIFFIED that it would be perceived that I was planning this to get a date with this guy (the friend). I wasn’t mad about how it ended up but did NOT want it to be awkward.

God forbid anything I do be awkward. ß sarcasm

It turned out to be pretty great. The friend even remembered me from the first time we met which I thought was pretty cool.

The friend and I are now getting married – October 2019!

Meet Brandon, my fiancé, best friend and comparable weirdo.

HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED

Buckle in….it’s a long one. 

We met at a party almost 3 years ago where our friend Mae put us in a room; me having lost my voice and was (am) just perpetually awkward anyway and he also…uhm…not a talker.  I believe her words were “Brandon also does photography” and then she left. He said “yup” I mouthed the words “that’s cool” and then he grabbed a piece of pizza and said “nice to meet you”. We both departed from the kitchen.

That was the end of our meet-cute

After that and a light bit of social media stalking I was so unconvinced that Mae knew me at all; by his feed of horror movie references and metal band call outs vs my complete lack of interest…no no complete terror of both of those things.

FAST FORWARD AGAIN TO JANUARY 2019

I remembered Brandon from that party and remember thinking how cute he was. Very James Franco meets Kevin Love.

I was happy about the coincidence of it turning into a non double date. I even got a little excitedly nervous - (the little bit of whiskey before they arrived helped a little).

The night was great. We all chatted I got to know him and got to look at his face. Those dimples, his laugh, his genuine conversation, passion for his interests and his giant bear hug arms got me.

I was officially into him.

You might think – oh they must’ve went on a date after that and the rest is history.

NOPE.

Our first date-aversary isn’t until May of that year.

GOD KNEW 

The day after that trip it was unusually hot for January so I went out for a walk and I don’t know why but it began my own personal mission of getting my life where I wanted it to be.  

I unknowingly got in the best shape of my life and I spent those next few months completely taking time to be in a relationship with God. I did devotions every morning, I had talks with God. I was in a place where I had always wanted to be but the selfishness of my early twenties and college life didn’t allow.

I had never felt better.

I prayed a LOT.

I prayed that the desires of my heart would become His and I prayed for my future husband.

I prayed that both our hearts be ready for each other when we met and that we both put God in the middle of our love for each other. 

I prayed that I would know when I met him…

What I didn’t know is that I already had.

What God knew was that our hearts weren’t ready for each other then.

But by May they were.

MAY 2016

Guess who, I was hanging out with when the idea sparked to have Brandon be a second shooter for me at a wedding? 

Mae, may have suggested that she knew a guy who could help me out. I wont say the thought hadn’t crossed my mind but I thought that short book had closed….it had been 4 months since the last time I saw him and we maybe had one social media interaction since then.

But I did I asked him. I don’t know why, other than that I was still curious about him and I really did need a second shooter.

He agreed. That morning he drove to Columbus and as I realized he was on the way it hadn’t occurred to me until then that we would be in the car together for 3HOURS… 3 there and also 3 back.

It was a perfect scenario to see an awkward being in their natural habitat.

But I have to say…I think I was pretty cool (Brandon will probably tell you I was not – but he fell for me anyway so HA) 

We talked the ENTIRE time. I was so taken aback when I thought about it the next day. The wedding was for a friend so we even stayed after the photos were all taken to have a beer together and TALKED MORE. Knowing full well we had an entire 3 hour drive back to Columbus to fill time with conversation.

But that was it. a few flirty texts and an unofficial invite to have some left over graduation chicken (that he never got) later and we had our first date.

AND THEN….

 It didn’t take long for us to decide that the hour and a half drive was worth it a few times a week to hang out. We met each other’s families and friends, we went to a lot of new places and we had a lot of pizza.

It wasn’t all easy. The love was never questioned, the compatibility was. But I never felt that from him. I was so blessed to have someone who had no doubts, no concerns, and just loved me.

I knew God had chosen him for me. I knew that he waited until the exact right time for our hearts to be ready and I know that he paved a path for our lives to align.

A FEW MOMENTS I REMEMBER SO CLEARLY

First was when I knew I wanted to tell him I loved him. We were dancing in the kitchen at his house and he was just being goofy and terribly dipped me and kissed me. I knew. I don’t know what about that moment made me realize but I knew. 

I didn’t have the courage to tell him though for another few weeks.

Another was when I knew I wanted to marry him.

I had a feeling  pretty much since week one but there was one moment when he asked if I wanted to pray before a meal. Simple. Something we had done before something I wished I was better at being consistent with but wasn’t. But when he asked I knew then (*shoulder shrug*) that was it. 

Then I played the waiting game….

But not patiently I should add lol.

Luckily he was patient enough for the both of us. Until…..

JULY 2018 

2018 has been a crazy one.

Little did I know that Brandon’s year was crazier than mine. We traveled a lot for us. And he knew the whole time that we would be leaving Florida with a new title.  

Our first day of vacation I reluctantly got up at 5:30AM

My fiancé asked me on the beach to be his wife…WIFE (that term gives me all the feels)

I think I blacked out. But cried and said yes all in one breath. 

We still have so many adventures ahead.

But this year has been a great one.

WHAT IF IT ALL STARTED BACK THEN?

We’ve been asked more than once where we think we’d be if we had just started dating after that first party. Honestly I don’t know, maybe we would have been married already, maybe we have broken up.

I can tell you I was two completely different people from that day to the day we went snow tubing. And yet another whole person when we went on our first date.

God knew.

THE POINT OF SHARING?

It was fun to share! In a world of DMs and tinder we got really lucky. However you meet your love is beautiful of course, but for me personally that world seems stressful and God knew that. God had our backs. I love how we met. I love whom I met. I love that I can so clearly see that God had his hand in it all.

The point is that for those of you struggling with when you’ll find your perfect someone, everyone has been there.

I remember many a-nights wondering if I would ever find someone that fit my heart. 

Know that it isn’t perfect, it doesn’t happen the way you think it will. It can’t be forced. You have to get right with yourself and with God first. He knows when you’re ready. You never will until it’s happening.

Inspiration from Real People and Clichés

I have these moments of complete and unreal enthusiasm. Moments where everything I’ve worried about the week prior seem silly and I become mindlessly invincible. Moments of unapologetic enthusiasm.

I rarely follow through on all of them or at least fully. Probably due to my easily distractible brain or the bluntness of reality and most likely my incessant need to re-watch all 9 seasons of The Office before I begin my day. Regardless, they are my favorite moments. They are moments I feel like my hopes and dreams aren’t crazy or far-fetched. And I wonder what it’d be like if I full on James Franco these moments: just went for it and saw what happened, a “one for them five for me” or more accurately “one for reality and sensibility, and five for zeal."

It’s partly why I started this blog, to get my aspirations, inspirations, and ambition out there somewhere. Maybe it’ll help me act on them or at least it’ll make me remember them tomorrow.

Just in case you wondered where these little nuggets of random thought come from, this one is brought to you by a podcast called “Off Camera With Same Jones." Specifically an episode where John Krasinski said “It’s crazy we get to do what we do” speaking of course about the film industry, but more broadly about doing what he is so incredibly passionate about and doing it for a living. More than once through the chat he started a thought by saying, “again this is going to sound [cliché, pretentious, insert adjacent hipster adjective here]”, and then went on to explain how emotionally involved he is in each project he was describing. All of this in the tone of a 5 year old who can’t get into words how awesome his first trip to Disney was. It was perfect. And it is exactly what I mean by unapologetic enthusiasm! We all want to feel like this about something, about anything! Or just about life in general.

It’s insane, however, to think that our lives would be a continuous string of moive-esk moments, where all these moments are realized and everything is wrapped up in a pretty little bow at the end. It’s not insane, though, to live in these moments of enthusiasm. To not look so relentlessly for this unattainable, continuous state of pure bliss and happiness, but instead to live in joy in the moments that happen and finding peace in the in-between. To be foolishly optimistic and speak in clichés because what great inspirations would we miss out on with out them.

“When you believe a thing believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.” -Walt Disney

If you haven't already go listen to Off Camera with Sam Jones. I cannot tell you enough how inspiring it is to listen to real people talk about real things. To hear where they came from and the way they realized their aspirations or how they continue to find new ones. Seriously it's wonderful.

Over Explaining: An Introduction

First I should tell you I am not a writer. The purpose of this blog is not to debut my hidden brilliance of writing. I went to school on a very technical level. I want to love communicate emotion and thoughts visually. That being said, I think there’s always been this lust for writing in my heart that I just never seemed to be able to realize logically. I’ve put off writing this blog because I didn’t want to add another facet to my website that hits hard on my love for photographs. People get it. I love photography, I get super cheesy when I talk about photography. Ohhhkay if you talk to anyone who knows me they will tell you I’m cheesy about everything, but so it goes. So that’s not the purpose for starting it then. I guess the purpose of my venture into writing is simply to add a three-dimensionality to the photographer posting her favorite images. Complete honesty, I noticed lately I’ve had realizations about the randomness of human interaction and how everyone’s thoughts and thought processes are so different and it intrigues me. So there ya go this blog is about nothing in everything.

Some of my posts will be a sentence.

Others you’ll have the Ross Geller “FRONT AND BACK!?” moment.

It will be based on a thought, a bible verse, a song lyric, a quote from a person I admire.

None of it will be cohesive.

I’ll include photos (because duh.) and to try and break up some of my run on sentences that I tend to write because as I said I’m not a writer and just have so many scatterbrained thoughts I’ll try to get out and it’ll all come out in one big paragraph with no punctuation and lots of ands.

I will likely try to be funny and inevitably fail.

I’ll hope you agree with some of my thoughts, but I undoubtedly know you mostly wont. I hope you share it with me respectfully.

I am 24, so no I do not have years of wisdom to share with you, but I have a lot of thoughts I want to talk with you about.

This is what it is. Welcome to my blog

 Because I wish this is where I was writing this from. Also because I referenced F-R-I-E-N-D-S

Because I wish this is where I was writing this from. Also because I referenced F-R-I-E-N-D-S