Sunday, July 22, 2007

Freedom, Commitment, and Harry Potter

It's been a whirlwind few days! On Thursday after work, I hit the road for "home." Funny, I haven't lived in Greenville for 8 months and yet, I still consider it home. I spent the better part of the last 14 years there. I miss it. But it's my friends that I miss the most, including Alex and Kelly. It was a short visit but I got a few shots of their baby, already 6 months old!

Who can resist little baby feet?
Sweet Baby Josh

Friday, I made my way to the Lawyers office...that's right, my friends. The house is SOLD. I remember sitting in that same office a little over 3 years ago and feeling like I was signing my life away. This time, I can't tell you the freedom I felt as I let it go. I loved that house. But as Alex so lovingly reminded me, "the memories, you take with you." There are countless memories I will take from 725 Main St.

I was truly made alive in Greenville. Not just in a spiritual way. I learned so many things there; what it means to be a friend, who I am and who I am becoming, the freedom that is found in Christ and the joy that can be found in home. And even though my heart broke all over again as I pulled out of the driveway for the last time, I felt alive and free.

On Friday afternoon, I shot a wedding in Bath. Beth and Chris are beautiful people and I was amazed, once again, of the wonder it is when God brings people together and allows them to love and commit to serve one another in this life. I am truly blessed that I actually get paid to witness such an event.

My favorite images from the wedding...

The flower girl, Lydia, was the entertainment for the evening!

That kid can dance!

Congratulations Chris and Beth Norman

After the wedding Friday night, I headed back to Greenville and stood in line with my obsessive friends for the long awaited release of the new Harry Potter book. It was interesting, to say the least! I got a little education on the series and my interest was peaked enough to start reading them.

Well at least I will have something to read while in hotels. Oh yes, I'm on another hotel stint. I am writing from South Florida at the moment! I'll return home on Wednesday for a few days then fly to Atlantic City. Oh the joy of having a job.

We have so many things to be thankful for, my friends. For freedom, commitment and of course, Harry Potter.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Elvis, Free Beer, Penguins, and a Moonbounce Jumpy Thing

So I got back from vacation last week. I had an amazing time. Started out on Saturday the 30th and drove the 9 long hours to the home of Al Green, the Blues, Elvis and some good dang bar-b-que...Memphis, Tennessee. I met a friend there, Michael, who turned out to be quite a knowledgable and entertaining tour guide! For two days, he drove me around and showed me Memphis' choice spots, with my favorite being...

Sun Studio!

My Native-Memphian tour guide, Michael

National Civil Rights Museum

I was singing Marc Cohn lyrics for days

"...walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale..."

On Sunday night, I made my way westward to St. Louis, the Gateway to the West. I went to visit Jared and Lyra and the boys. It was amazingly relaxing and fun at the same time.

The Lee Family

On Tuesday, Lyra and I had a girl's night with Emily, Nikki and April. It was quite eventful. The rundown is as follows...hit downtown, searched for a parking space for God knows how long, checked out the Piano Bar, went to get food, tried to no avail to get back into the Piano Bar, went back to our treasured parking space, drove the wrong way down a one-way street through the semi-ghetto and finally arrived at Bar Louie where we spent the remainder of our evening drinking sexy cocktails and talking about such wondrous things as lipgloss, hormones and sex. We also talked a bit with a Chris Farley look-alike named Andy, even though Lyra almost dissuaded him :)

On Wednesday we went to a nearby park and enjoyed the Independence Day festivities with the Lloyds and the Sawyers. The girls got busy discussing great and lowly things, Sean smoked a Gandolph pipe, I lit sparklers for the kids, some dude in a red sequined jacket sang cover songs and the fireworks burst in the background.

Gage-celebrating his freedom

On Friday, the Lees and I made another trip to the St. Louis Art Museum. The exterior is as beautiful as the artwork and as Nikki pointed out, the park is what you imagine Pemberly to look like, as in "Pride and Prejudice."

We checked out the Napoleonic art special exhibit then made the short walk to the St. Louis Zoo. I must say, I am a huge fan of zoos in general. The St. Louis Zoo is exceptionally smelly, but then again, it is July and on top of that, it is FREE. The penguin house was my favorite. It's a chilly 58 degrees.

I love penguins. They are so fly yet so formal.

On Saturday, we went to the Sawyers house for Joseph's Birthday. Happy #3! There was a Moonbounce Jumpy Thing, chocolate cake, adorable children and tasty beverages. It was the best birthday I could imagine. In fact, I hope to have a party just like that in a couple of months!

The Birthday Boy!

Jump Around...Jump Around...

Sunday, we went to church at Heritage, where Sean is the pastor. It was amazingly refreshing and made me long to move there. I met some awesome folks and as a bonus, the church is simply adorable!

After church, we made a run to White Castle, all Harold and Kumar style, and went to Grant's Farm. There were a ton of really fun animals (including the Clydesdales) and the best funnel cake I've had in a while.

Read the Sign

Pygmy Goats...sooo cute, but quite annoying. One bit Gage.

This horse was strangely beautiful.

One of the joyous things about St. Louis is that so much is FREE! Anheuser-Busch owns a ton of stuff, including Grant's Farm...so guess what? That's right, my friends. Free Beer.

Shea, looking right "German"

The boys played while we enjoyed our free beer

The drive home gave me 12 hours to think about family and acceptance and love and friendship. I feel all of those things when I'm there. And I'll be counting down the days til I make the trip again. (51)