Thursday, September 29, 2011

Overcoming Fear with the Help of the Lord

I tend to mention my Type-A tendencies and my perfectionism a lot around here, I’ve noticed.  These two connected personality traits dominate much of my life and have done both wonders and horrors for me throughout my 22 years.  They have helped me become a varsity dance captain and help lead the team to state my senior year of high school, after joining the team quickly my sophomore year.  Because of these traits, I am an incredibly dependable person who rarely is late or forgetful, since I have a page-a-day planner to map out every part of my life.  I can rely on these traits to get my homework done days before it’s due and still stupidly think I’m procrastinating because I would have liked to get everything done even earlier.  I would never bash these traits because they are very useful to me in so many parts of my life.

However, these traits have also done a lot of damage in my life.  I remember staying at my grandparents for a week the summer before my sophomore year of high school.  I felt lonely being away from home, and could not get the image of me going off to college out of my mind.  As a fifteen year old girl, I was bawling my eyes out thinking about going to college which wasn’t going to happen for another three years!  My perfectionism and Type-A-ness lead me to become crippled at the thought of losing control.  Although I am going to school to be an English teacher, the though of public speaking has tormented me for years because when speaking in public, I cannot plan exactly how everything will go, so I panic.

This fear of the unknown and of losing control has dominated my thinking for many years.  I hate phone calls that I cannot predict, so many friends will not get called.  Often, I will go out of my way to avoid any kind of awkward situation, so making friends was not something I was known for in college, but thankfully the ones I did make are high-quality and essential to my life.

What I am getting at is that I am an incredibly fearful person.  I don’t think many people know that about me because it’s not something I share due to being embarrassed about it, but I have a reason to share it now. 


Earlier this week, I posted my first engagement session photos with me as photographer.  Trust me, taking these photos made me incredibly scared.  Thoughts were running through my mind all week.  What if they suck?  What if they hate them?  What if I realize I will never be able to become a photographer?  My dream for a couple years has been to become a photographer, but I’ve been too busy with school and full of fear to ever put any thought into it.  Secretly, I somehow knew the dream would never be realized because I’d always be too scared to give it a shot.

However, God knows very well that I struggle with fear daily.  I’m sure he can tell just by listening to my thoughts, but it’s also been something I’ve prayed about constantly.  I’ve gotten better over time by calming myself down, and making visual reminders such as one I posted a few weeks ago to help me focus on what’s really important in life, but it’s still not where I want it.  I know fear is going against God because I know He will never let anything I can’t handle happen to me.  The strength of the Lord has held my hand as he has slowly brought me out of my fearful shell and pushed me toward him, toward a life of purpose.

When my friend, Christine, called me asking me to take her photos, I knew God was saying “DO IT!  DO IT!”  I felt it so strongly that I had to say yes.  Then, as I looked at the photos on my camera, God was telling me, “These are pretty good.”  My fear was telling me they would look way worse on my computer.

I’m sure you follow the trend.  When I pulled them up on the computer, I could’ve cried with happiness.  God was saying, “I gave you passion for this, do something good with it.”

So I did and I am.

God has been pushing me for months to do something risky, out of my comfort zone, something I am TERRIFIED of.  So, after getting tremendous responses from the engagement photos on facebook and even getting asked already to shoot two weddings (I still can’t believe it), I decided to take the biggest risk of my life and create a photography business.

And you know what?  I can’t wait!  Sure, I have a ton to learn still, but if people like what I'm doing and I'm proud of my work, then I have confidence I can make this work.  Sure, I’ll have to talk to people I don’t know, market myself, work very hard, and get knocked down a few times.  But, what’s keeping me from becoming scared is that God is here.

He is always here.

He wants me to succeed.

He wants me to live a life where I can lead others to him, and seriously, a good photo always leads me to God because He is beauty and truth.

I’m ready to look fear in he eye with the Lord holding my hand, and I’m ready for Him to eventually let go and make me a stronger person.

I am blessed.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pseudo-Copycat Candy Corn Wreath

I suppose now that it is officially fall, I can finally start doing a little fall decorating, although I will admit that I am very apprehensive to switch from being summer-minded to being fall-minded.  In Minnesota, there is a fine line between summer and winter that is completely unpredictable.  That fine line is autumn, and as much as I love it, I cannot love it too much because snow is just around the corner.  Snow does not seem to care if we are only a week into fall.

That being said, I figure I should stay ahead of the game by doing some decorating for the season in case it can act as a preudo-rain/weather dance to keep the snow away until December first.  Wouldn’t that be nice?
Yeah, I am a fool, I know.  Why even think like that in this state where winter lasts six months?

Anyway, what I am trying to say is that I made a wreath!  I’m sure you guessed that by my rambling, right?  I hope you are proud, Mom, because I am now taking after you with your crafty wreath-making skills (she used to make lots of wreaths and other floral arrangements and sell them at craft fairs and stores).

I am sad to admit that this wreath is not a completely original idea.  I thought it was, but after doing a little google-searching, I found out that I am not a genius in the wreath world.  I wanted something Halloween and fall-inspired, but I didn’t want it to be overly muted oranges since I love bright colors and I didn’t want it to be too serious.  I thought I would make a wreath out of some sort of candy since Halloween is prime candy time.  After a little thinking, I decided candy corn would be perfect!  Man, did I feel proud as I bought a couple bags of the sweet striped treat, until, that is, I saw that Woman’s Day had already created such a wreath.  Bummer!

So, I did what any other wreath-idea-stealing-crafter would do: I put my own spin on it!

The Woman’s Day version tells you to cover your styrofoam wreath with black tape.  Well, I am not a big fan of black and wanted the wreath to be light and bright, so I just glued the candy corn directly to the already white and bright styrofoam wreath.  Talk about a rebellious wreath-idea-thief!

Then I added some leaves and a fake black bird and I was done, you know because I had to make it my own.





For the sake of keeping it real, I will admit that leaving the wreath to sit around our home while I decided where to hang it was not a good idea.  We may or may not have candy corn sugar-glued to a file cabinet . . . And I may or may not have no good place to hang this little cutie, but I suppose it still counts as decorating even if it is leaning up against a wall in our living room floor, sugar-gluing itself to the carpet.  How’s that for keeping it real?

What fall decorating have you been working on?

Linking up: Tatortots and Jello

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Engaging Myself Through Photography

This weekend I had the most amazing experience to photograph two of my friends, Lynden and Christine, who are engaged to be married next summer!  I got the call from her last Monday, and my first thought was, “No way, I’m nowhere near good enough.”  Thankfully I was in class when she called and could not answer, because I probably would have told her no without even giving it any thought.  Like I’ve mentioned many times, I’m a perfectionist, so I tend to stay away from doing things I’m not good at or have little experience doing.  However, one of my dreams that I rarely share with anyone is to be a photographer.  I wouldn’t really care if it was a full time job or just a side job I did because I absolutely love photography and do it anyway regardless of whether I get paid or not.

So, with that in mind, I called her back and told her I would be honored to take her photos.  I also added in a sidenote that they may turn out horribly just to save myself and Christine from any disappointment.  I later called for details, thinking that I would have a month or so to practice before the session since I honestly have never done a portrait shoot ever before.  Not ever, so you can imagine why this was scary for me.  Christine suggested we do it this weekend, so I gave in and said yes while I started to freak myself out.

We headed over to Centennial Lakes in Edina since it is not too far from my apartment and it had a lot of spots to take photos.  My worst nightmare happened when there was a HUGE wedding going on taking up one whole side along the lake, but it all worked out in the end.

Here are my favorites:
















I had such a blast trying things out, giving pointers, and watching these two love on each other.  I couldn’t think of a better couple to do this with for the first time.  I’m not sure if it was their modeling skills or my photography skills that made these photos turn out, but either way I’m ready to practice some more!

I am off to scope out some unsuspecting photo subjects coughMr.ConverseSneakerscough so I can add to my portfolio!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Our Wedding: Part 3–The Bridal Party

I must admit, as much as I love Mr. Converse Sneakers, I definitely without a doubt love my friends and family who were involved in the wedding.  It wouldn’t have been such an amazing day without them.  The bridesmaids were some of my closest friends (I decided not to include all of my closest friends because we didn’t want a huge bridal party which I wish I would’ve done differently looking back): Megan (maid of honor), Courtney (matron of honor), Cindy, Tiffany, and Julie.  The groomsmen were almost all family: Richard (best man – friend), Phate (Mr. CS’s uncle), Leth (Mr. CS’s uncle), Robert (Mr. CS’s uncle), and Mike (my brother).  I am so happy we chose the people we did because they helped the day run smoothly and they were extremely supportive leading up to the day.

I’ll let Leah’s amazing photos do the talking of how much we all love one another!

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I love when each bridesmaid gets to help choose her look for the day, so I had them all pick out a dress from the same designer in the same color and pick their own hair, jewelry, and shoes.

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If you are interested in where we got all the clothing from the wedding, you can read about it here.

The next couple weeks worth of wedding posts (since I post just once a week about the wedding so that I don’t completely bore my two readers – Hi Mom and Dad!) will get to the nitty gritty of the ceremony, reception, inspiration, and so on.  I can’t wait to share more of the details!

I would love if you would come by tomorrow because this weekend I was able to take my first ever engagement session photos for my two friends, Lynden and Christine, who are getting married next year.  I am completely new to this but am very happy with the results and am eager for some feedback!  If you could stop by tomorrow and take a look, I would really appreciate it!

Happy Monday!


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