M4H P52

“Oh how I love this! The lil’ one in the middle…she’s my Sweet Caroline. She’s the unexpected joy that made me a mother. Tomorrow, she’s starting a new chapter in her life, and in two days, we’ll celebrate 9 years with this precious girl. Tonight, as we celebrate with a few close friends, all-girl-plus-a-little-brother, sleep over style, complete with Nerf guns, spa pedicures, cake baking and TONS of giggles, we’re also going back through memories from birth, and baby dedication, to what will happen tomorrow…so here’s her story…or at least part of it. So much is captured in these picture books I started making years ago…and I’m so thankful that she and her friends can look through them with such delight!!!

Back in April 2012, my daughter asked to be baptized; and though we feel she understood the depth of what she was wanting, we waited on it for a couple different reasons (though our hearts swelled with joy). Well, fast forward through about 2 weeks ago, and she asked again, except this time, it was more of a demand. She came to me completely on her own, told me the date she was going to be baptized and why she wanted to be baptized on January 18th. Her reasoning for January 18th is that on January 19th, she’ll be turning 9, and that’s what she wanted for her birthday…to be baptized. And she requested for a sleepover tonight…so that she could invite her friends to attend our church and witness her commitment to our Lord and Savior. What special blessing, both for those witnessing and for our baby. We are so blessed that they and their families are joining us as she ventures into this journey tomorrow.” 

Yeah, this post is a little later than I had hoped to post it! I had waited anxiously while loving both the theme storytelling and the image itself – I haven’t played with a ton of high ISO images in this type of setting, but I LOVE the image. Beyond that, I won’t lie, I was hoping this image (over all others I might ever take!) might be featured as “Eye Candy” on the M4H P52 Facebook Page…I remember an amazing photographer being featured probably two years ago now, who is a friend of mine, and I always wondered what it’d be like to be featured. With ALL the photographers out there and all of the behind the scenes networking and connections, and my total introvertedness (is that a word?!) I didn’t expect to ever be featured. I mean really, have you seen ALL of the gorgeous images out there? Via iPhone, via point and shoot, and then professionals?!! Standing out is TOUGH! But the storytelling…this just got to me. We have a story to tell. We ALL do. And this week, or rather, last week, it just so happens our story revolves around my Sweet Caroline and her public testimony of faith in following in Believer’s Baptism, and sharing that with her closest friends. Well, my image wasn’t considered feature material or “Eye Candy” and despite the raw honesty and true testimony of the story, it too was not as moving as others (to the Eye Candy chooser – who is fantastic, and I could never go through ALL those images and narrow down!)…and after a few days, I think I’ve quit holding hopes for others to “like” my work before sharing. Who cares?!! I LOVE my work. And beyond that, this story, this theme…this week…this image…THIS is what it’s about. FOR ME. FOR MY DAUGHTER’S STORY. And I’m good with that! My little girl was baptized and celebrated her 9th Birthday…and it was one of the MOST AMAZING DAYS OF MY LIFE!!! Of course I’m thrilled to have celebration and baptism pictures (and video!!) but the point is…her story is amazing, and I’ll tell it as often as I can. Through words and pictures. And word of mouth. I pray that Caroline’s story, our story and testimony will touch others. I pray that God has equipped us with the words and whatever else is needed to reach others who may need to hear His voice.

I will remain steadfast in challenges and feature entries. NOT so much for others, but for myself. Because I have a story to tell, via pictures, and in this story of mine, challenging myself to step out of my way and “jump” is the theme. And goodness…this picture just makes me happy!!