Right on top of the mountain lived the perfect apple orchard where all your dreams of apple slushies, apple donuts, apple butter and apple cider could come alive. A couple weekends ago, some friends and I made our way to Flat Rock, NC and spent the afternoon picking our favorite apples and giving our sweet tooth something to talk about. It was also the perfect afternoon to use my new Canon 60D camera (upgrade!). Nothing like picking apples with the mountains surrounding you and friends right by your side.
We even had an impromptu photo shoot of Tommy + Laura here.
Sometimes living in the mountains has its perks like living close to the perfect apple orchard. In between yummy apple cider donuts, apple picking and apple slushies, I just had to take advantage of photographing these little love birds. They let me use them as models while I tried my new camera (yay!) before my big wedding gig. Thank you Laura + Tommy for being the most naturally photogenic couple! You both are so beautiful inside and out.
The mountains - the beautiful backdrop for a beautiful kind of love.
Joseph and Katie met and fell in love with these mountains as their backdrop. It was only appropriate to take some photographs of them in celebration of their engagement. One sunny morning they dressed up, slipped their Chacos on and we took off to Pretty Place and Lake Sudie of Camp Greenville. Aren't they a beautiful couple?
The mountains are a beautiful place and it is wonderful watching love grow from them. Here's to Joseph and Katie, my wonderful camp friends. I love that even with their fancy button ups, dresses, dressy shirts and one heck of an engagement ring, they are still rockin' the Chacos. Yeah, definitely camp folk :)
This past week I turned twenty-three and I felt the heavy weight of what felt like a quarter life crisis. After my dramatic reaction to misplacing my keys and cancelling my trip to Atlanta, I realized the root of the panic was my reality of turning 23. Each year I find it more difficult to "find my place" and find confirmation that I am headed in the right direction. From the first day of Kindergarten to graduating college, society had left some what of a skeleton plan for each individual. You go to school for x amount of years, you pick from x amount of majors and then you pick graduate school or a full-time position afterwards. Fortunately, my life stopped following that formula a year ago.
Instead of looking at 23 as one heck of a brick wall in terms of choosing the next direction, I see it as a hunk of opportunity. Twenty-two opened my eyes to new possibilities and 23 will open up my heart. I spent most of 22 feeling pressured, lost and unqualified. I picked from paths others tried to lead me in and second guessed any plan I had of my own. I am blessed to be where 22 has lead me, but I owe it to myself to be open to my 23-year-old soul and listen to its ideas, as ridiculous or expensive as they are.
Thank you 22 for being so patient, adaptive, critical and open to positions you never thought you'd be in. I have grown this past year more deeply and passionately than previous years. I have found more things to love and appreciate. I have learned to trust and be proud of the work I have created. I have fallen to the pressure only to be picked up by new possibilities. I have traveled and experienced some of the most beautiful places. I surprised myself. I allowed my heart to grow. I have simplified life in order to focus on the important things. I have seen life cruelties reminding myself to always be kind and put people first. I will always do what I love and love what I do and never again fall short to a standard.
A rock star once reminded me to actively participate rather than continuously anticipate, to accept what challenges you and defy gravity. This year I will do just that.
I know I have been absent from this blog for quite some time, but it has led me to some much needed clarity, on and off the blog. It allowed me to completely focus on the moment and think about the next step. I needed to unplug and get lost in my 25th hour for awhile. Hope you understand :)
The best things in life come unexpected. Also known as, the next three months of my life.
This week marks week threeof my new camp lifestyle and position. What a ride it has been! Within weeks, my camp experience has been filled with new faces, strangers turned into friends, Chaco tans, facing fears, personal + work challenges, overcoming mountains...literally and figuratively, exploration, long working hours and simple living. I never thought I would be living at a camp as a Digital Media Specialist, but now I wouldn't want it any other way. For all the moments of pure exhaustion, physically, creatively and emotionally, there are more moments of accomplishment, adventure and pure fun.
Our theme at camp this summer is "Defy Gravity"... meaning to overcome the weight of everything that brings us down. Whether that be our circumstances, other individuals, our personal flaws and challenges, we can lighten that load through understanding, acceptance, forgiveness and a little faith. Our hearts may break and trust may be severed, but the true test is how we handle each situation and overcome them. One thing I have quickly learned from arriving at camp was trulydealing with the extra weight in my little heart that I have carried with me. It may have hindered some healing and made facing some personal or professional fears and challenges more difficult. As fast-paced as camp life can be, it actually has slowed down my mind enough to recognize the areas I have neglected in past years and give me some moments of clarity.
This summer I plan to:
explore new territory
give work my best effort
not just meet, but connect with new friends
live a healthier lifestyle - spirit, mind and body
go beyond the surface
be the best version of myself
get an awesome Chaco tan
get a stronger mind and body
drink more tea and less coffee
put smiles on kid's faces
lend a helping hand
open my heart
keep my mind open
do what I love and love what I do
eat more apples
have more adventures
get rid of the extra weight (figuratively and probably literally, too)
and defy gravity.
I have had a rough time understanding and accepting some challenges I was faced with earlier in the year, but it has lead me to here. Right now. This moment. For that, I am thankful and each day my trust gets stronger for what the universe has in store for me.
Although I have internet access and (some) cell service in my office, my communication with the "outside" world is quite limited. Please be patient as I answer emails, catch up on blog life and find balance in it all. Don't be offended is my response is delayed!
Also, if you want to write to be at camp this summer, email me and I can send you the mailing address.