Sunday, December 20, 2009

Its been awhile!

My husband told me a few weeks ago that I hadn't blogged in awhile. I haven't have I? I have been so stinkin' busy with school and work that I haven't had time for anything. Part of that is true and part is poor time management. Either way, I am so glad to be on break! School was great, I learned a lot and I survived my first semester. Next semester should be interesting.

In case you live under a rock and didn't know, ITS CHRISTMAS! My absolute favorite time of year. My birthday and favorite holiday all wrapped into one glorious day. Also, it is a great time to see old friends and family who live in Fort Wayne. I'm excited. I love doing Christmas with the hubs, but man does he have a horrible time holding onto gifts. We are doing our Christmas Tues morning and he has already tried to talk me into doing it early. I said no, mainly because he gave me my birthday present a whopping 2.5 weeks early. I love that we are making our own traditions now, I can't wait to see what that looks like when we have a family.

I also really like this time of year because it is all about giving. I am so thankful that my husband is so giving. I can't wait until we actually have an income and can give more than we do now. Isn't that what everyday should be about, giving away the love that God gave us with whatever resources we have?

I have also been thinking a lot about friendship lately. A little over a year ago in October, a really really good friend and I had a huge blow up. We haven't talked on the phone or in person since. There was a lot that went into that blow up, along with us just growing apart, but lately she has been on my mind a lot. I've been praying for her often. I really hope that someday that friendship will be mended and that I can invite her to my church. I feel like she would meet Jesus in a whole new way. This has also got me thinking about making friends. I have the hardest time with this, I think because, at some point, I decided people needed to befriend me. I forgot that I could befriend others. I read a blog posted by the lead singer of Addison Road here and she talked about making a new friend.

It was an "a-ha" moment for me. God made me capable of making new friends. Now, this all seems kind of silly as I write it, but I have always had a really hard time making new friends. It takes me awhile to be myself around people and feel comfortable, for a lot of different reasons. I also seem to have bad luck, I joke often with Greg that I don't want to say that "so and so" and I could be great friends because usually it turns out the opposite, and I never know why. Anyways, I digress. The point, if you couldn't seem to find it hidden amongst all of the rambling, is that I decided that I can make friends. I will make friends. So, all you friendless people better watch out. I'm a woman on a mission to make some more friends.

Well, its late, and I need to get up and go to church in the am. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Lately, I have been crabby and completely overwhelmed. I have had so much going on with school and work that I have just checked out. I've been completely antisocial, which is unlike me. I feel bad not being more active and social, but right now spending time relaxing with my husband is what is keeping me sane. All of this has gotten to a point where I'm becoming a debbie downer, so I thought I would write a blog about what I'm thankful for.

1. My husband who loves me unconditionally and does his best to keep me from being too overwhelmed.
2. My church and the community within it.
3. Hot tea on a cool, rainy day.
4. The opportunity to even be in school.
5. Pumpkin bread, muffins, and pie.
6. The holidays and all of the family and community that comes along with them.
7. My professors who focus on my strengths rather than my weaknesses.
8. My mom. She worked so hard to raise me and comes down whenever she gets a chance.
9. My grandmother who helped my mom raise me.
10. Having a sense of humor.
11. My friends, who deserve to be closer to the top of this list.
12. Having a house and being provided for.
13. Sushi, and the fact that my husband loves sushi
14. Having time to laugh, joke, and relax with my husband.
15. Love.

I fully expected that list to be a little more lighthearted but that is what I could think of right now. I know there is much more I am grateful for.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"Dont test my politeness"

Hello blog, its been awhile since Ive seen your lovely face.

I guess it has only been three days, but I guess I just felt the need to be creative, in some form, tonight. The quote doesn't really have much to do with the blog, it is a quote from the office tonight, and I just thought it was funny.
Well, I feel the need to be creative, but Im not sure how. I guess I will just start (actually continue) writing random thoughts as they come to me.

Best quote of the week "you are the jelly to my peanut butter, the yin to my yang, the sour to my patch kids" - My husband after realizing he hasn't been speaking my love language lately.
Emotions are tricky, they sneak up on you. Actually when he said this quote I started balling, like sobbing, I just needed to hear it so badly. I also just needed to cry. It was such a good release. Grad school is overwhelming right now and I know Im not managing my time well, so Ive been in a rut lately. Those words were a gift from God at just the right time. I felt so loved.

Biggest disappointment this week: realizing that my annotated bibliographies only needed to be a page long, after I had written almost 3 pages each for 10 of them (aka I was on page 30). I ended at page 40. I can honestly say I have never written a 40 page paper before.

We found a kitten, no one claimed it, a week later we took it to the humane society. The person there was crabby and not very polite. I felt bad leaving kitters (as we called her) there.

This semester is almost over.. I cannot believe it. Next semester I am in the schools one day a week. I will be at a high school... I'm terrified.

Today I thought of where I want to be in 5 years. Here is my answer:
Still married and loving my husband (don't think that will be too much of an issue)
working as a school counselor
Having one kid of my own and as many foster kids as possible. (the number 5 came to mind)
In our own home, with a fenced in yard, trees, and lots of bedrooms for those kids.
still at our church
and making an impact on the lives of the kids in this town whose parent's can't or aren't being parents to them.

Can you tell I really can't wait to be a foster parent :)

I am just really thankful for all that God has given me lately. My friends who make me laugh and challenge me. My friends who point out my flaws and love me anyways. My family, who, whether or not they know Jesus, show His love all of the time. My husband who tries so incredibly hard to provide and be the best husband he can be, and who loves me even in my stubborn and critical moments. The opportunity that I have to go to grad school (I am certain this is where God wants me). I'm thankful for the beauty that was fall. Im thankful for organic apple red tea with honey. I'm thankful that I have started exercising and have been following through with it.

I'm just really happy, and that scares me. Because I have always had this fear that being happy means something bad will happen, you can't just be happy, there is always something to ruin it. But God wants us to be happy. We are his children and he loves us and wants to give us that. I'm thinking I need to trust a little more, and worry a little (lot) less.

Ok this blog is loooong enough.

Proverbs 12:25
An anxious heart weighs a man down. But a kind word cheers him up.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What did I get myself into?

Things I didn't sign up for when I decided to go to grad school:
1. Writing 15 2-3 page papers over the course of one weekend.
2. Not having a life outside of school
3. Annotated Bibliographies
4. A class that requires I write 4 papers each week and read three books and write summaries for this and that.
5. Did I mention not having a life?
6. Attempting to discuss rational emotive therapy and Gestalt techniques with my husband.
7. Using the term comorbidities 5 times within one paragraph.
8. Crying when my husband said I was the jelly to his peanut butter.(because I miss him so much)
9. discussing chi squares, t tests, anovas, and other various statistical terms
10. enjoying running because it gets my mind off of school.
11. Realizing how much of a procrastinator I really am.

This may sound like complaining (I guess it sort of is), but I love grad school and I am completely glad that I am doing this. I just needed to blow off some steam! Back to writing my 15 papers. 8 down, 7 to go!

See ya in 1.5 years!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Getting off my couch...

Anyone who reads this probably knows that I absolutely despise running. I have hated it since gym class in high school. Running (or walking in my case) those miles were the worst days. I never quite understood what was so fun about it. Your perpetually out of breath, you get cramps in your sides, and by the end you may even feel like throwing up. *thats been my experience with running* I just don't see the fun of that.

That's all about to change.

Ive talked for awhile now about getting fit. Ive put it off and put it off. I wanted to swim, but its such a hassle, then I wanted to do yoga (on my wii fit) which I love, but Im never motivated. Then I wanted to do pilates, that never happened. So now I am trying a new workout program.

The Couch to 5k program. Supposedly, this helps you to be able to run a 5k in two months. We will see.

I did the first workout today. I actually enjoyed it. (Maybe because I wasn't killing myself to try and run a mile right away). It was hard, and I had to work at it, but enjoyable enough that I will probably keep doing in. Here's to hoping at least.

I figure if I put it out there, on fb and blog, that I may actually follow through. So if you see me, ask me how its going, bc if I know you will ask, I will try harder to do it!

I will let you all know how it goes.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I did it! Im going to Hengelo and Amsterdam!

There is no turning back now.

Today, I bought my plane ticket to head off to the Netherlands in March. As I write this, my stomach is in knots!

Here are my fears:
1. Being 4000 miles away from my husband for 9 days: Side note, we have not spent this much time apart since he moved away to college when I was still in high school.
2. Flying over the ocean. (Well flying in general)
3. Going to a new country
4. The plane crashing
5. Immersing myself in a new culture
6. Did I mention flying?
7. Being Lonely and homesick

Here's whats exciting!
1. Taking a risk: I am not a risk taker by any means. I avoid anything dangerous at most costs. This being said, going to a different country, without my husband, is the biggest risk I have ever taken.
2. Visiting somewhere completely new and different
3. Pot.. haha just kidding, but really its legal over there..thats craziness to me! (Dont worry I have never, and never plan to do drugs)
4. The possibility of visiting Germany for a day: My heritage is German and I have always wanted to go and visit.
5. Attempting to learn some dutch. (its a very odd language)
6: Meeting my host family: I will be staying with a family for the week and they will kind of be like surrogate parents to me while Im there. I love connecting with new people and can't wait!
7. Traveling outside the country for the first time.
8. Learning about what a school counselor does in the Netherlands.
9. Bringing back fun trinkets for everyone. I love souvenirs.
10. Taking lots and lots of pictures!
11. Enjoying this once in a lifetime experience.

So there ya go. Obviously the pros completely outweigh the cons, I just have to get over my anxiety about it and remember that God has his plan laid out for me. If I were to die in a plane crash, thats because that was his plan and I cannot change that.

Im trying to trust Him more, and worry less.. We will see how that goes! Im so thankful for Him giving me this opportunity and for my husband who is sacrificing so that I can go. He is so much less selfish than I am. He is worried, but he is being so supportive, I just wish there was a way for him to come with me.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Comfortable Christianity

As I sat at dinner, eating my taco, and discussing the day’s events with my husband, I realized something. I will get to that something in a minute. First we need to cover what led to that realization. I spoke with a friend on the phone today and we talked about a book I had just read (actually listened to as an audio book). I was telling her about a book called Forgotten God by Francis Chan. The book discusses how churches (and the Christians residing within the church's walls), have forgotten about the Holy Spirit. Seems like a simple concept, right?

So back to tonight, Greg and I were discussing said conversation, and I just thought: Man, how many people are living as comfortable Christians? First, let me define what I feel like is a comfortable Christian.

A comfortable Christian is one who attends church regularly, maybe even serves, participates in worship, reads their bible, and so on. They live like a Christian does. The problem lies in the fact that they don't rely enough on God to challenge them, push them, or even speak to them. They see God as a distant creator, one who loves them and cares for their needs, but one who is silent. Maybe they pray, maybe they pray a lot. Maybe they have felt the Holy Spirit move, but quickly dismissed it as an emotional reaction. Maybe they have felt challenged by the Holy Spirit, but quickly denied it, thinking it as unreasonable or simply illogical.

Comfortable Christians pray that God will fulfill their needs and bless them, but don't often pray to be challenged or uprooted. They don't often pray to be broken. They ask God to fix things, but lack the willingness to do the hard work that fixing often requires of us. Basically, they expect their life to be comfortable. They go to church, do good deeds, tithe, and go home. They don't expect to be missionaries, or go on church plants. They don't expect to fall to their knees in worship during a Sunday morning service. They don’t expect God to specifically ask them to sell all of their possessions and give to the poor. They don't expect God to ask them to do hard things, things that don't make sense. They don’t expect God to speak directly to them. They like their comfort and they cherish it.

For a long time, I was a comfortable Christian. I enjoyed going to church, read my bible, and I participated. I felt I was one of those people who longed for a close, intimate relationship with her creator, but would get there later. I didn’t think of myself as one who could hear God’s still small voice within the crowd of voices already yearning for my attention. I looked at people who cried in church and didn’t understand, thinking “that’s silly, isn’t this supposed to be happy?”
I realized that’s not what God calls us to be. Jesus asked us to die to ourselves, comfort included, pick up our cross and follow Him. He did not ask us to store up treasure on earth, but in heaven. He did not ask us to stay quiet and just go on with life. He asked us to be a light to a darkened world.

Tell me, how can our light shine if we are living as comfortably as everyone else? How can we die to ourselves, completely and fully, and yet remain complacent? How can we believe in Jesus, in God, and in the Bible, and yet forget about the Holy Spirit? To believe that God is not moving and active today, is to highly undervalue God.

In the book, Chan discusses how Christians are being normalized and tranquilized by the church. If we were to sell all of our possessions to give it to the poor, would we not be labeled as radical? What is wrong with being radical if doing it for the glory of God and the gain of others? People need to stop tranquilizing the ones who are living life as Passionate Christians. Do you want to live your life being comfortable and complacent, never reaching your full potential as a true follower of Jesus. Or do you want to be radical, passionate, and reliant on your Creator? Do you want to be consistently in close relationship with the one who made you? Do you want to hear God, the God of the entire universe, speak to you? Give it up; this life is going to be hard no matter how you slice it. Wouldn’t you rather go down knowing you fought hard? Knowing that you risked it all to follow Jesus, and make life on earth better for others because of it. To know that you completely died to yourself and all of your comforts, so that Jesus could wipe you clean and start new. To know that you did the will of God, because you heard him speaking it to you throughout your life. To know that Jesus made and impact on the world because you allowed him to use you in any way that he wanted.

That is the life I want. I want to risk it all and give it all to Jesus. Allow the Holy Spirit to move in me daily. To challenge me, mold me, and break me. I want to be someone who hears the Holy Spirit so clearly, that I am willing to move on whatever he asks me to do.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

3 weeks late!

So I am only 3 weeks late on posting all of my pictures of the day for recently! haha. I have been sooooooo busy with grad school and everything else I am involved with that I just don't seem to have enough hours in the day! Also, Ive done a wedding and a family shoot recently so that takes up my time as well. Anyways here are some recent pictures of the day!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Picture of the Day...


I had some good shots of the grass, but this one, the one I almost didn't take, feels like the best. Picture of the day will be on hiatus until Sunday! I will be shooting a wedding tomorrow out of town so I won't be able to post again until sunday night!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day 4

I have two pictures today because one was the one I wanted and the other was one I got by accident.

Long Distance Best Friends' Ghosts

Long Distance Best Friends

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 3

9-4-09... Tomatoes! My favorite part of the end of summer and beginning of fall (other than school shopping of course!)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day 2

Here is my picture for the day! Yesterday, I got new glasses for the first time in 2 or 3 years.. Im so happy to have a change of pace!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Picture a day!

I finally decided to start!!! Im sick today and realized that if I don't start this now, I may never do it. The goal is to take one picture a day and post it! I will be attempting to post them here and on facebook. The problem I have is a lack of follow through so hopefully this will last awhile! I wanted to do this because I have realized 2 things. 1. There is beauty and creativity in anything and everything around us. 2. With being in grad school and not having a lot of time for photography, it will be important for me to maintain some creativity.

Here is Picture 1!!!

Sept. 2, 2009: Oh, what to do when you have a cold.

Monday, August 31, 2009

(insert witty title here)

My husband says I need to blog so that he can stalk me.

I will indulge him.

When asked what I should write about, he stated "Grad school since you like it so much." I would have thought he had heard enough about how much I love it and how big of a nerd I have realized I am. But, I guess all of you, or just you, however many people see this silly little blog, don't know how giddy I am over grad school.

I'm sure my feelings will change as time goes one, projects are due, and tests are administered. Right now, here in the quiet of it all, I absolutely love grad school. Mind you, I am only a week in and have had few assignments other than a boat load of readings and some reflection papers. Funny thing is, Im not much of a reader, I managed to get through high school and college barely reading for any assignments. I understand I will not make it through grad school that way, but so far Im enjoying it.

One book I am reading for class is really good. It is called "The Lost Art of Listening" By Michael P. Nichols, PhD. It is for my counseling theory and techniques class. This book is really good, and really hits home. This book has given me a swift kick in the pants and I am only 3 chapters in. I am realizing that I am not as good of a listener as I once thought. I tend to butt in and give my observations rather than just listen and hear what someone is saying to me. Something I will be working on. I would suggest this book to anyone, so far that is.

Also, with grad school, I have made a new friend! Well a couple! Our cohort (1st yr students in school counseling) consists of 7 women and 1 man. Most women are my age, or close, with a few exceptions. Two women actually came to my church today! Lisa (a new friend) really enjoyed it. I can't wait to see what God has in store for the next two years!

Enough about Grad school.

Here are some pics from a recent zoo trip. They are just too cute!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sarah and Cliff

So its been forever since I updated. Here is the recent engagement session I did with one of my best childhood friends. They are such a fun and lively couple!

Monday, July 13, 2009


I am quickly realizing that it is hard to write a blog about deep personal issues with a bouncy song titled smile blasting through my speakers. Thats better, the next song is a bit more subdued, perhaps my new problem will be losing my place due to breaking out in song. If my thoughts become cloudy and seem confused, its probably due to me singing and typing the lyrics.

Anyways, to the title of my blog. Bold. I got prayer yesterday because I have been feeling terribly disconnected in all areas of my life. I have felt lonely, friendless, disparate, and all together lost. I realized quite swiftly upon Cassie's departure that I had not nurtured the amount of friendships that I thought I had. I immediately felt left out and completely alone. Don't misunderstand, I know I have several really close deep friendships. However, they all live in different city's than Lafayette.

I love my church and all of the people in it, yet I still feel lost in the shuffle. I think that this is partly due to my lack of boldness, partly to my constant desire to feel noticed, and partly due to me wanting to do great things and be noticed for them. Please note that the last two surround my struggles with pride. I tend to hope that people will befriend me, come to me. I forget that I am capable of befriending others and taking that first step. I so desire to find other women in the church that I feel like I connect with on a deep level and that I feel I can be myself around. I do see the major flaw in my thinking. I should be able to be myself, however wacky that side of me may be. But I can't. I think far too much of what others think of me to be able to let that side of me be shown to anyone.

This is a recent revelation to me, that I hide a side of myself. I have always thought that because I tend to be so open and so quick to tell my story that I don't have any walls. But I do. I create walls for protection, for safety from the scorn of strangers, so people wont think badly of me. (by the way, the recentness of this revelation is about 30 seconds).

So who is the real me? Im not sure I even know at times. I know that I am sarcastic, highly sensitive, loving, kind, and quite silly when in the right mood. Im competitive, compulsive, lack a filter, quiet, shy, and quite reserved. I like to sing loudly in my car, in my house, or anywhere where people can't hear me really. I dance around and act silly when no one is looking. I want to help others and Im giving (thanks to my family who taught me that no matter how little you have, you still have enough to give to others). I want to be heard, seen, and loved. I am loved by my husband and my family and my friends, but I have a hard time accepting it for what it is. I am creative and artistic beyond what I ever thought was possible of myself. I am a true over achiever and yes-woman. Sometimes, well often, I stretch myself to thin and have to rethink the decisions I have made. I am anxious and worry far too often. I care deeply for others and for the children who have been forgotten or mistreated by their parents. I cry a lot, even now. I want to be a godly woman and I do feel that Im getting there. I love to cook and bake and share my home and my food with friends and family. Lastly, I think Im pretty funny, at least I try to be. I love laughter and joy.

So there you go. Take me or leave me. That is who I am and Im not changing anytime soon. Maybe this boldness that I need to find, is the boldness to just be myself. Or maybe I need to be more willing to approach others and less worried about being approached. So here is my first step of boldness. I need an accountability partner. I don't have one and it seems that every time I try to make one happen it doesn't work out. So Im just gonna throw that one out there.

The song playing now is just simply repeating "all we can do is keep breathing." How fitting. God will take care of all of my needs, including my need to feel included and loved. I think I need to go find some refuge in my creator, figure out what I need to do next, and just keep breathing.

Just keep breathing.

God, thank you for the friends I have, the friends I will make, and the amazing people you have placed in my life. Thank you for revelations and reawakening. Thank you for making me who I am, creating me the way you knew I would be. Thank you for loving broken, breakable, me.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sneak Peak!

So... Yesterday I photographed Betsey and Micah's wedding! It was so much fun! They were such a great couple to work with! Here are a few of my favorites so far.. there will be a few more later as well!

And here are a couple from our weekend at the lake!

all photos copyright Heather Smith