Happy weekend my friends. It's going on 3 months in this little corner of the earth called Cambodia. It's been a whirlwind, ups and downs, inside and out and turn around. The experience has me on my knees. After the missing and the kicking and screaming subsided, I came to realize that I can actually enjoy this place. I have an amazing opportunity to give myself in service to others, and the time I am spending here will not go to waste. I promise. I will have stories to tell and pictures to show and new friendships to cherish. There's been lots of reflecting, art making, scribbling on pieces of found paper. Words just pouring out, I am spilling open. I am happy.
WPPI can wait till next year.
It's February already. The days have gone by and yet the hours seem to linger slowly. Torturing me cause I miss you. I'm adapting wonderfully here but it doesn't feel the same without you. Your absence is so missed. I don't hear the sound of your video games or your (very) colorful words when you lose. I don't feel your arms wrap around me when we fall asleep or your breathe upon my cheek in the morning. Is missing you suppose to hurt this badly?
Everyday I note in my head the places I want to take you (Kep), the cafes that you'll absolutely love (The Shop), and the fun things we can enjoy together (fish massage!). You would like it here. Aside from the heat and mosquitoes, the experience has been amazing. I feel expose and vulnerable but also strong and empowered. It's as though the experience has forced me to strip myself completely and I'm slowly rebuilding. Layer by layer. Or perhaps it's more along the lines of the caterpillar turning into a butterfly. I don't know. I really don't have the answers.
What I do know is that love is the only thing that keeps me going. We've already witnessed the power of love in the couples we have met and the weddings we have shot together. Love is such a big deal. It sustains us, it awakens us, it brings us hope. I constantly need this reminder. In December, I went to Siem Reap and shoot a dream wedding, number 52 on my 101 list. It took me six hours on the bus to get there. I pressed my hands and faced against the window the entire way. I was that excited. The woman sitting next to me offered me a taste of fried crickets. I ate one. She ate a bag full. It was interesting. I met Mary and Hugh. They are amazing people, Matty. You'd have loved them. You'd have loved the wedding. We woke up at 4am the day before and watched the sun rise over Angkor Wat. I still don't have words to describe it. It was more than I could imagined. Complete darkness, then this realization that I was at the place that my ancestors built, that Cambodia was once a great empire and then light appearing, and slowly a wash of color. I was too stunned to take a picture. I just wanted to soak in the moment.
But really...you would have loved Mary and Hugh. They have hearts of pure gold. I promise to write to you about their wedding in my next letter. In the meantime stay warm, count your blessings, and know that there's someone on the other side of the world thinking of you.
I love fall weddings in Colorado especially when I have some awesome company for the day. I had the opportunity to second / assist Rj Kern at this beautiful fall wedding at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park! Enjoy a few frames from the day.
This year, one of the most awesome things I've come to realized is that in the pursuit of dreams you find far more than you'd ever expected. Craig and Kelsey met on a life changing mission trip to South Africa. Both went in pursuit of helping rebuild a community. Both did not expect to return to the States love bitten and smitten by one another. It was one of those things that just couldn't be predicted. Kelsey and Craig have an adventurous spirit, and an even deeper love and passion for one another.
Chatti and I were blessed to do a sunrise e-session with them and WOW, was it magical! I am now convinced that shooting in early morning light is the way to go. Congratulations to Kelsey and Craig! See you in June!
Maggie and KC are true followers to the rule of following your heart! Maggie was a young girl following her heart to Montana to pursue a school she loved. When she arrived she found something...or rather...someone even better: KC. Maggie and KC your wedding was gorgeous, and reflected your love perfectly.
A huge thanks to Michelle Wear for filling in for Chatti ( boo the torn rotator cuff) on this wedding!
Liz and Jeremy are absolutely perfect together! There is nothing like finding your perfect match. They are both artistic people with fun personalities and open hearts. Their wedding was so much fun and quirky. Lots of love and lots of fun packed into one day! Congrats again.
So many thoughts streaming through my head. Sometimes, I find myself so overwhelmed that the mere idea of going out and getting the mail is exhausting. But...I do it anyway because I know that life is a roller coaster and the downs has its ups. I am generally not a sad personI have come to writing lists again because...well honestly I LOVE writing lists. I find that whenever I feel lonely or sad writing, even if its just lists, helps. To me, the act of putting pencil on paper is somehow meditative and centering. And in the midst of this beautiful mess, I need to feel centered. So I present a list of things that makes me happy:
1. Laughing like no one is watching (thank you Otto for the above photo...Otto is such a sweetheart).
2. I have regain most of my range of motion in my left shoulder. If you have followed me on twitter, then you know that a few weeks ago I injured my left shoulder...to be exact I tore a tendon. It is a big tear. After many doctors visits I think we finally have a game plan on how to repair the tear. It involves stem cells and it really cool.
3. Crafting. Regaining the use of my arm means I can now sew, and knit, and crochet, cut, paste. You name it I'm gonna do it. Watch out for an etsy shop to help fund Cambodia!
4. Matt 'cause he's my best friend, partner in crime, and the most handsome talented man to hit the face of the universe. I'm so glad he's mine!
5. Cake pops from Rachael.
6. Most of you know that I nanny on the side. I love my three kids and sometimes I refer to them as my babies, my loves. I don't even want to think about leaving them!
7. My friend Elise, the mother of the three kids, surprised me with two tickets to the advanced screening of Harry Potter. It plays on Nov. 17th, one day before I leave for Cambodia! I won't have to see a bootlegged version after all!
8. Cambodia...but really that deserves its own post.
Have a wonderful rest of the week my friends! I feel better already.
I'm a contradiction: I don't like cold weather, but I like rain. I find the pitter patter rhythm on the roof and the way the raindrops drips slowly down the windowpane enchanting. I can sit for hours by the window and wonder to myself what tiny seed is being nurture by the rain. Give me some wine and a fireplace and I'm set.
Angie and Ben opted for a day after session and though the sun came through the day of their wedding, it was opposite the next day. It rained for most of the day. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go outside and venture in the fog. And truth be told, it's was mainly cause I was cold. [Did I tell you yet how much I hate cold weather?!]. But shooting Angie and Ben turned out to be magical. They were so into each other that it didn't matter that they were lying in wet grass, or standing in a cold running creek. I guess when you are in love, you stop sweating the small stuff. Halfway through the session, I realized that I wasn't cold at all. I guess seeing their love for each other warmed me up.
Thank you Angie and Ben for everything! For the generous hospitality, for treating us like old time friends, and for being in love. You made our job that much easier.
And of course, a little slideshow for the couple. : )