Today, we've been dating for two years. When I was younger I couldn't imagine how people could date for two+ years. It just seemed like such a long time to me. I've always know I wanted to be married, but for some reason dating someone for more than a year seemed like a lifetime. My silly high school self. And now? I think, "There is NO WAY we've been dating for two years. I just met this guy!" It feels totally natural and right. A few weeks ago we were out to dinner reminiscing about everything we've been through together and thinking of all the things that are ahead of us.We remembered our first date (seeing midnight in paris followed by a long conversation on the beach in case you were wondering). We remembered first meeting each other's families. We remembered the times that we fought confusion and doubt. We remembered the four months we spent in different countries. We remembered camping trips, weddings, and running marathons.I love our love story. It's not extravagant or laiden with struggle. It's not overly romantic or filled with proclamations of love. Our love story is actually quite cliche- two Christian college kids who started dating freshman year and have been together since. We are that cliche, but I wouldn't want to have it any other way. Our love story is unique to us. It's already filled with memories that make me cry, laugh, and fall in love even more. I just know that the coming years and the things ahead of us will bring different memories all their own. I am the luckiest girl. I can't imagine how God could bless me even more than He has already by bringing this man into my life. He makes me want to be a better woman, not just for him but all around. He came along when I least expected it, and my life is better because of it. He's my best friend and partner in crime. The one I laugh with and can be fully myself around. The one that will watch kids movies with me. He's the one that will suggest we go to TJ Maxx. The one that teaches me more about myself everyday. The one that shows me Jesus. The one that tells me how beautiful I am. The one.I love you.And now a few photos celebrating two years: See a few more photos here.And ladies? If this post just makes you ache for a boyfriend... wait. There is absolutely someone planned for you, and trust me when I say you want to wait for that person. When he finds you, it will be the most perfect fit. Wait for your best friend, I waited for mine and he found me. :) Photos via Anchored Photography
Wednesday, May 8
Tuesday, May 7
image viaI leave for Greece in 5 days, and it's becoming more real that I'm actually doin' this thang. My travel anxieties are starting to set in and I'm finding myself worrying about every little thing (mostly the flight, jetlag, and the first few days there). While this is the trip of a lifetime, I really quite a homebody. As much as I love the idea of travel, it really does terrify me. 90% of the time in my daily life, I don't feel my best or have some sort of stomach ache, headache, fatigue, or some combination of it all. This trip is going to require me to be at my best mentally and physically and I've been praying fervently for good health in order to enjoy the trip and soak up every moment.I really am excited and ready to immerse myself in the Greek culture. I've been praying that God would help me overcome myself, my fear, and my worry for this exact reason. I'm hoping this experience changes me in a ways I don't expect and I'm hoping that God's presence becomes ever present. Here we go!Have you traveled far away or do you travel often? What are some ways you cope with travel anxiety?
Monday, May 6
Thursday, May 2
I have a real treat for you today friends. This week I shared that I'm headed to Greece in 12 days! Obviously when I'm there I want to document my experience through photos. I don't want your typical 'tourist' photos though (here's what not to do), but unique photos that really capture the life, culture, and beauty of Greece.
I have been following Birgitte's blog for quite some time and am always impressed by her ability to capture her city and the places she visits in such a beautiful way. Because these are the kind of photos I want to capture of Greece, I asked Birgitte to share a few tips on travel photography.
Take it away Birgitte:
To start with I want to thank you, Margaret, for inviting me to write this guest post. I am really honored and happy to be able to share something from my world (of photography) with you and your readers.
I started to take photographs almost six years ago, and I have been practicing and studying every day since then. When it comes to photography there is always something new to learn and you can only get better and better.
First of all I want to remind you, that travel photography doesn't necessarily requires a travel. To me travel photography simply means photography of places, mainly cities, but also landscapes and seascapes. This is good news, because it means you can start practicing right away in the city where you live!
So here are my five most important tips to great and atypical travel photography:
1. FOCUS ON THE DETAILS
In my photography I almost always concentrate on the little things, the details. If you take a simple up front photograph of a beautiful building and look at it afterwards, you will most likely simply be looking at the same thing which you saw with your own eyes, when you stood in front of it. That will work, if all you want, is to bring back a memory of that building.
But if you want to create art and maybe communicate something with your photo, it is much more powerful to focus on just one little detail of that building. It may be a window or a damaged part of the facade, which creates a pattern of colors, or maybe the house numbers are written particularly beautifully. You need to open your eyes and search for those little details, frame them in your head and try to find out, what will make a great final result. Here are two details from Rome, Italy:
2. ELIMINATE ALL SUPERFLUOUS CONTENT IN THE PHOTO
This tip is actually a general tip which goes for all kinds of photography. It was the very first thing, I learned about taking photos, and I think it remains one of the most important things, I have ever learned. So many photos are ruined, because they haven't been properly framed (or cropped in the post editing process).
When you photograph something, you need to only and exclusively catch that one thing, you want in your picture. The best way is of course to only photograph your subject and already leave out disturbing elements, at the moment you push the shutter. However, with the editing tools we have today, you can easily crop or eliminate disturbing elements from your picture afterwards. It takes some practice to find them, sometimes it can be very clear, maybe you accidentally got a little piece of a parked car in a photo of an otherwise completely empty street, but sometimes it may be less clear, like a little black spot on a wall. When I look at a photo, I want it to be 100% pleasant to look at. I can immediately spot, if something is "disturbing" my eyes, and I will either fix the problem or delete the photo, if it can't be fixed.
3. TRY NEW ANGLES AND PERSPECTIVES
Another favorite of mine: Angles and perspectives. When you take more traditional photos, try to make them special by choosing a new angle. If you are standing in front of the sea or a view over a landscape, you will typically tend to hold your camera horizontally and simply take a photo of what's in front of you. This will give you the above mentioned documentary result. The sea or the sunset may be beautiful, but remember that taking photos of beautiful things isn't an art in itself. The art is to make a photo beautiful, no matter what the motive.
Therefore I suggest you start by turning the camera around. Start by taking a few shots of the landscape or the sea vertically. Then try something new. Instead of placing your motive in the center of the photo, try to place it at the bottom, leaving 3/4 of the top empty. This will create a great effect. Take a look at these four photos which all contain very normal motives which have become special, because of the angle.
Finding new angles is especially important (and fun!) when you are photographing modern architecture. Below are some examples of how I have captured a modern church in Rome by focusing on details, geometry and angles.
Sunday, April 28
Friends, I've shared little snippets that I'll be spending part of the summer in Greece. Yes, Greece. I can hardly believe it myself. I feel like Greece is one of those places that you dream of going to but it doesn't really exist. I have to see it with my very own eyes.
I'm going as part of a cross cultural study program that is required by school. This program is designed to immerse us into another culture. We are being told that it is not a vacation, but a chance to learn about the Greek culture in a very real and deep way. Just from reading the itinerary, I can tell it's going to be a whirlwind of a trip. For three weeks we will be touring, studying the culture, and learning biblical history. We are stationed at a Christian camp in Athens for part of the time, and then will be moving to the north and staying at a hotel on the beach. Not too shabby, eh?
In addition to the three weeks, I have an amazing opportunity to continue my traveling and stay an extra two weeks. My mom will be flying out to meet me and we will be visiting some of the Greek islands. That part of the trip will be a vacation, and I can hardly wait to share that experience with my mom. On the way home from Greece, we will be flying through London to visit my Aunt and spend a week with her.
All this to say that the blog might be a little quiet in the coming months. I truly want to blog my trip and experiences for myself if nothing else, but with the amount of traveling we will be doing I can't say how much time I will have to blog. I will be keeping daily journal entries as part of my schoolwork, and can't wait to share some of those with you when the trip is over.
I will most definitely be taking pictures (and maybe even a little video, like these). I hope to pop in from time to time to at least share a few photos. And of course you can always follow my travels on instagram, I even made my own little hashtag: #mgoesgreek
So how about a trade? You send prayers and I'll provide you with photos! Good? Done.
Friday, April 26
Because I'm feeling nice today and I want to share some tips I wish I knew freshman year and I want to save you a few headaches, so here's #1:
Rent your books. No, you will not go back and read it. Trust me, after 18 weeks of pouring over your book, you are not going to want to read more of it at a later date. Now, I'm a notetaker and highligher and was always worried that if I didn't purchase my books I wouldn't be able to write in them. Wrong. There are so many companies out there that are now letting you highlight material. Notetakers unite!
Textbooks just irk me. They are literally so dang expensive and by the end of the semester you want to get rid of your books so fast you'll sell them to anyone who will give you cash in hand in five minutes. Please tell me I'm not the only one...
Maybe even more importantly; in the event that you do buy your books, instead of selling them. RENT THEM BACK. I discovered this awesome company called Campus Book Rentals (where you can rent textbooks too) and they have a Rent Back program allows you to list your book, rent it to other students, and make money off of it. I listed a few books this week that have already been rented out to students, and honestly I've received double what I paid for those books. It's getting to be the end of the semester around here and I am most certainly planning on renting the rest of my books back. The best part about it is Rent Back takes care of all the logistical stuff for you. I'm almost mad I didn't discover this freshman year, instead of selling books back I could have been renting them out for years!