Saturday, June 27, 2009

twins set.

these images are dedicated to Aubrey and Ellie Crawford, my sweet nieces who will forever be set apart in our memories and hearts. it's been a year since they entered our lives and this coming week will be a year since the Lord took them into His trust. and today we continue to trust. thank you to all of you who supported my family this past year through prayer and love. we are blessed.

two lives, too soon
premature faith in this room
we know that we know

but how does faith grow

when feelings of trust keep letting go

and we just need for Him to be

be our sanctuary

the safest place we know to go

be the Prince of our peace

pieces on the floor
sweep us through the narrow door

hold us as You have before

four hands, four feet
tangible truth of defeat

we know that He knows

it's in faith that we grow

trusting Him to not let go

and we just need for Him to be

be our sanctuary

the safest place we know to go

be the Prince of our peace

pieces on the floor
sweep us through the narrow door

hold us as You have before

3 in One
He's not done

building faith in this room
and He knows that we know

that faith is pretty when it grows

His healing in trust--we'll let it show

you will see that He will be

be your sanctuary
the safest place you have to go

He's the Prince of our peace

when we're on the floor

invites us through His narrow door
He holds them now
, and He held before
Faith and trust, the sweetest cure

Aubrey Elizabeth Crawford {June 24th, 2008 - July 7th, 2008}
Ellie Alexandra Crawford {June 24th, 2008 - July 1, 2008}

Saturday, June 13, 2009

mug shot.

I've always loved coffee mugs. I remember being a small child and visiting my grandparents in Oklahoma. Mimi would always let my sister and I pick out our favorite mugs to drink our white grape juice from. We'd wake up early in the morning, race to the cupboard, grab our chosen mug and await the pour. I think we enjoyed the mugs more than the juice.

We've traded the white grape juice in for the coffee, but we still love our coffee mugs. And Kristin....I love you, sister...but I'll race you to the cabinet for this mug any day...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

to stay.

Staycation. This is a word I was unfamiliar with just a few weeks ago. I've now heard two different sets of friends mention it and I'm beginning to enjoy the word...but more the idea. Instead of escaping to foreign towns, you become a visitor to your own. Turn off your computers. Turn off your cell phones. Go out and enjoy the places you live, and the people you are with. Stay there for a time and be blessed.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Today is my Mom's birthday. While wanting to dedicate a nice blog of sweet words to her, I always struggle with writing when it comes to these types of things--anything having to do with parents, family, or the Lord. Probably because I know that words alone just can't properly position certain things that rest in your heart.

And then in one of my daily devotions this week Beth Moore referenced Luke 2:1-20. It spoke of Mary, a woman who witnessed the work of God in ways far beyond what is written. Experiences. Experiences that could never be fully expressed in one good Word. Luke 2:19 says, "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart". Beth went on to say that the word "pondered" is sumballo--which describes taking many things, casting them together and considering them as one. Throughout Mary's life she experienced a number of things. Pain. Joy. Fear. Belief. Each experience making up the whole. What held them together as one? The faithfulness of God--that He was intimately involved in every piece of the puzzle.

I realized this morning that I did not need to ponder any more about what to write to or about my mom on her birthday. She and I have shared so many things in life. Good times. Hard times. Better times. ....Laughter. Crying. Love. ...Faith. A perfect blend of the ugly and the beautiful. And the most beautiful thing of all is that there is faithfulness. An intimate involvement in the pieces of each others' puzzles.

Mom, I treasure every bit of what we have shared, and ponder it in my heart. The experiences we have known make up a
whole that I am very thankful and proud to own. Happy Birthday...your presence in my life is beyond words.

I love you.

ps...while speaking of things shared.....another shares the day. Happy Birthday, Matthew DeLellis! :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

flare (part 2, the unexpected)

Cinco de Mayo, 2:00 pm :: back porch view

:: as the sounds of sirens and helicopters sing me to sleep tonight, I will be saying some prayers for the ones fighting flames for my sweet city on a hill ::

Thursday, April 30, 2009

flare \fler\ -noun, -verb

the use of flare ushers sweet mystery and delight into my photographic world....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Field Day

 as big as her, because there is more to come.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

these are a few of my favorite things...

rainy days

babysitting Amelia on rainy days.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Taking Notes....

The first song I ever wrote ends with the lyrics, "So I'll pack my songs and my favorite ring--'cause it's about dreams and the little things". I had no idea (at that point in my life) that I would actually pack up one day and chase after a dream. It's been 2 years since I made the decision to do just that, and what I have found in this little town of Santa Barbara is nothing little at all. It's something that expands way beyond dreams, words, and guitar strings. I have been blessed with grace, opportunity, and friendships that often leave me in a state of wonder.

And just when my cup seems full, it overflows. I've met so many people since moving here who possess such genuine love and concern, friendship is nothing I've lacked. Wonderful friendship. I think what I love most about the people I've met is that they all make such an effort to spend quality time together. We invest in each other. And when we all get together the conversation, the laughs, the fun, the's endless. Fellowship. That is exactly what it is, and I am so thankful for each and every person that has put forth the effort to make these friendships what they are.

Just yesterday I had the most enjoyable day of friendship. A bunch of us gathered at DJ's house for our weekly viewing of Dancing with the Stars, and it quickly turned into a mini birthday celebration for our friend Jasmine. It's been so great getting to know Jasmine and her husband, JD. They possess character and warmth that is difficult to describe. Friendship just comes naturally to them. I've known them for just a short time, but that time has confirmed everything I've learned about them from ones who have known them long and well. It's the kind of friendship you want to take notes on, so that you do your friendships a little better. And last night was the kind of night you want to take notes on, so that you never forget just how blessed you are.

I like notes--both writing them and receiving them. And I figure if I like them so much then surely everyone else does, right?! So a while back I started personalizing stationary for friend's birthdays. I thought it was a neat gift that could ultimately be used to pass a little something sweet along to somebody else. Well yesterday, after catching a quick glimpse at the Jasmine guitar that first helped me write those words about dreams and things, I realized that while that guitar may not always hold the perfect notes for me--it sure held the perfect notes for a new and beautiful friend. :)

take note...


Friday, April 3, 2009

I Pledge....

....allegiance to this blog. Sorry I've been away! While neglecting the blog, I am happy to report that over the past few weeks I have not neglected my camera, and I'm anxious to update you on the many things that have been consuming my oh so precious time.

Traveling is a great time to forget about healthy eating and exercise. Luckily, in between my many travels, I was reminded about the importance in keeping these two things up. A few weeks ago I was asked to photograph an event called "Kids in the Kitchen", a healthy eating and exercise fair put on by the Junior League of Long Beach. They encouraged children and families to exercise, and also educated them on how to make healthy food decisions. And the children pledged to do so! It was very neat, and I must say that I think it's a
wonderful thing to educate children (and adults) on these matters. They had food stations, exercise stations, cereal limbo (how low in sugar can YOU go?), lettuce bowling, and great entertainment! A few hundred kids passed through and had the thyme of their lives. Hhmmgh, sorry...time of their lives. :)


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Not So Long Ago

Today would have been my Granddaddy's 85th birthday. He passed away at too early an age, at a mere 65 years. Although young when he died, I have vivid memories of my Granddaddy from as far back as I can remember...and each memory confirms the solid and unique character that I've been told existed in every aspect of his being. I remember his love for golf, his warm smile, and the way he loved. The way he loved--each and every person around him. I never heard him speak an ill word about anyone, and the way people magnetized towards him proved that this love I witnessed was received and reciprocated. Genuine. He was a genuine man, and I'm blessed and proud to call him my Granddaddy.

One of the most precious gifts I've ever received was the gift my Mimi gave my family after my Granddaddy passed away. She wrote a short story highlighting special and defining moments during their almost 40 years spent together. It's in letter form, beginning with "Dear Jim" and reminiscing on the time he returned home from war, her spotting him from the choir loft at church. She was then 18, four years older than the 14 year old girl that watched the handsome James May leave for WWII.

"You were in uniform and my heart skipped a beat when you took a seat near the front, looked at me, and smiled."

Their life together, like any, held highs and lows. Times of rejoicing and times of heartache. The one thing I'm certain of is that no matter what season their life was in, their love for each other never wavered. And I know that simply by the way I saw them look at each other, and by the way my Mimi's eyes look when she speaks of him today. I am thankful for the example they set, and I take pleasure in knowing that love can be just that. A memorable journey together, forever to be cherished.

Every now and then I will take out the story which she entitled "Not So Long Ago" and re-read details from their journey. I can't help but tear up every time I read the last chapter of the book....

"Before I finish this, I need to let you know about some of my favorite things, concerning you, and sometimes both of us, and then I will let you rest in peace, until that wonderful day when I see you again......

I loved the fact that you were my best friend, as well as my husband, that we liked each other, as well as loved each other. I truly believe that ours was a match made in Heaven. I loved the fact that you were kind and gentle, but you were firm when you needed to be. I loved the fact that you always set the right example before me and the children. I loved the fact that you were so dependable, no matter what! Like the Rock of Gibraltar. I loved the fact that you were a family man, and so generous. I loved the fact that you read your Bible every day, regardless of what else might be going on. And the way that you always took it with you on trips. And I loved the way you always dated the passage after you read it. I loved your sense of humor, probably most of all, and between us, there was always laughter in our home. I loved your complete loyalty and devotion to the Vols, and to the Yankees! It was so much fun, watching the games together on TV. You taught me first to love baseball, and later, football. I cherish the times our family would rush home from church to "catch" a game. Even to keeping boxscores, keeping up with batting averages, and homeruns . Everyone said your blood would run orange, if you were cut. I loved your devotion to duty. Whatever you did was done well, and you didn't start anything that you didn't finish. I heard a song today entitled "What Will I Do With Me?" and I related to it, because I am asking myself the same question, now that you're gone. And yesterday, I turned on the car radio, and the first song I heard was "Danny Boy" so I had to change stations. Naturally, I thought of you, and everytime I do, this big, huge lump comes in my throat. But I will think of you each time I hear "Ten Thousand Joys" as well as "Let It Snow." And when I think of you, I'll also be thanking you for all the wonderful memories you have left me. But for now, I will just say "Goodnight, My Love" until we meet again. Love you truly, Dorothy."

Happy Birthday, Granddaddy. And thank YOU for gift that I received through your life, and for the blessing of your example....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This Green Eyed Girl..... hoping you are wearing your green!!! Happy St. Patrick's Day! I've always loved this day of the year. Maybe because my favorite color is green, maybe because I've had an ongoing love affair with Ireland ever since my visit there, or maybe because this particular day just seems to bring back numerous memories of comfort and awe.

My mom always downplays her creativity, but for as long as I can remember she has ignited my life with creative acts of love--and my first real memory of St.Patrick's Day is a direct result of that. I remember her helping us make homemade t-shirts to wear to school one St.Patty's Day in elementary (probably to help us avoid any unnecessary pinching that might transpire from lack of properly colored attire). Well, right when I finished adding the final touch of puffy paint to my 4-leaf clover, Taffy (my cat) jumped onto the t-shirt and left a paw mark right in the middle of the clover. We tried our best to fix the mess, but ironically enough there was no luck for THAT clover. So I did what any artist would do....wore it proudly and called it abstract art.

Since then I've had only wonderful memories of St. Patrick's outings in Syracuse, NY with some of my dearest friends....street parades in Dallas filled with friends, laughter, and fine music....annually held office crawfish boils....all of these leaving lasting memories on my heart, which revisit me with every green return.

And then there was Ireland. While my visit did not take place over St.Patrick's Day, the holiday fell shortly after my return. The smells, tastes, and wonders of that country will never leave me. In an effort to share some of that wonder with you, I've dug into my photographic archives and grabbed a few of my favorite images from that trip. Hope they add a bit 'o cheer to your day!!

Happy St.Patrick's my friends here AND across the pond!