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My True Passion

Whether you’ve attempted to put on a pair of pants that no longer fits, or you notice the last time you’ve had a heart-to-heart with a loved one was long enough ago to be embarrased about it, I think we’ve all had a moment where we turn and wonder how we’ve gotten to the point that we have.

That moment came for me as I sat upon a wooden camp bench this past weekend. I took a look at the realities that my daily choices have brought upon my life and to be honest, there’s very little that I recognize. In a generation of self-help books I haven’t been very helpful to myself at all. If anything, I’m my greatest hinderance. Sitting there a song began to play that has spoken to my heart and stirred me to action since.

A thousand times I’ve failed
Still Your mercy remains And should I stumble again
I’m caught in Your grace
Everlasting
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out,
Lord, let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out.

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing You praise
Everlasting

And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out.
-Hillsong

I pray that everytime I look back to see where I’ve been I will know exactly how I’ve gotten to that point in life. It’s solely by the Lord.

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Feelin’ The Love

There have been few moments that I have felt as loved as I do right now. As I write the tears are rolling off my cheeks. For those of you who know me it takes an epic event to get me to cry and though today is Valentines Day, I typically wouldn’t catagorize cupid in a diaper an “epic” event. I used to go all out for this day but in reality after 6 years of a relationship you start to join the Hallmark holiday train as you just begin to run out of ideas! So I guess I just never saw this coming. I awoke to a surprise that touched the depths of my heart. Anticipating a regular work day I sit at my computer to find an open document saying: “Happy Valentines Day! I love you with all of my heart.” It was red and decorated with hearts and made me start my day with a smile. Since I work from home, Bart sometimes leaves me little notes around the house for me to find them when I wake up. It’s adorable and I thought this was such an occasion but to say that would be a huge understatement. As I scrolled down on my techy valentine it said: “Click Me.” In all honesty I didn’t expect anything to happen, it was a text document, just writting that shouldn’t do anything. Well, my tech teacher of a husband made a link from that to a blog-site he had created. Lets just say I read the first couple of words and just lost it. It is a site where many of my friends and family wrote “why they love me.” So here I am, trying to read through my tears and every couple of lines I just have to take a break because I’m so overwhelmed.

I have never prided myself on having the most friends. Rather, the people I have in my life daily warm my soul. Thank you for your love, encouragement, and words that I will carry with me and turn to for the rest of my life. I honestly cannot remember a time where I have felt so blessed. To my wonderful husband- Where to start with you? Six years ago to this day you made it clear that my heart was worth fighting for. From serenades and little notes to movie night and chinese food, each day I have with you is a gift from God. Thank you for showing your love to me on what is now a very special day.

If you want to check out the blog that Bart created go to:

http://iwillloveuforever.blogspot.com/2008/02/why-we-love-melissa.html

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Fitness Barbie

After much huffing on the one flight of stairs that exists in my house I decided to finally join a gym. I was pretty sure the name was Bally’s but upon my first arrival i’m now feeling that tele-porting is not a myth and I have found myself in Globo-Gym from the movie “Dodgeball.” The walls are lined with steroid powders and appetite suppressants, while the floors are covered with people wearing spandex. That actually brings me to my next point. Many of you I’m sure, took that last comment to mean woman wearing spandex but unfortunately I can’t limit that horrific fabric to just that gender. There’s few things that are less attractive than Fabio with purple tights grunting his way to the next weight-class. Eww…So to avoid those potentially scaring memories I veer to the other side of the gym to find something equally awkward. I can only describe it as the typical beach scene of a movie where the girl shakes out her flowing long hair, gracefully skipping to the non-existant music, while wearing a practically non-existant outfit. It’s one of those where at first I felt awkward for looking the way I did but then I realized that I’m the normal one. It’s not normal to apply make-up while walking on a treadmill. Nor is it fathomable to naturally be as tan as these girls are in the middle of February. Believe me…I’m Greek, it’s not possible!

In all honesty, the scene saddens me as we have this fantastic location to get healthy and feel good and yet the majority of people who attend dressed and acting the way they do have such an un-healthy self-esteem (whether it be too low- or obnoxiously high). I’m grateful for the real people in my life that continually accept me for exactly who I am. May you never doubt the way the Lord has created you. You are wonderfully and beautifully made!
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"Fantastic…"

The concept of words is baffling to me. You can say just one, and regret it in an instant. While you can say two, and get made fun of for saying the same word twice. People long a lifetime to hear the right person say the magical three words to them and often times, if you repeat a word much more than that it no longer sounds like a word! Even now, I think I’m adding too many words per sentence and the few that actually read this will probably think I’m incompetent. When really…I just have a tendency to create run-on sentences. Lets just say I wasn’t the best second-grader in the class. (:


An even greater tendency of mine is finding a word (whether I like it or not) and using it for absolutely everything. Take the word “Fantastic for example.” To me, it sounds like a cheesy and insincere word. The kind that a used-car salesmen would say after describing the jalopy out back. Well, to my dismay, and my recent sanity that word has been my adjective of choice. “This food….Is fantastic!” “Sure! coffee sounds fantastic!” (look at my last blog) The people I meet…are “fantastic!” Oh… my word! (Quite literally, it’s become my word.) I’m driving myself crazy! The fact that others have not yet caught onto it makes the cycle of words all the more baffling. May you never cling to a word as I have. (:
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Kiley & Matthew Waite Wedding!

One of the perks of being a photographer is the ability to travel the world, meet some of the most fantastic people, and at the end of the day call it work!

Now I’m not sure if they just don’t have photographers in Iowa but I sure find myself there quite often! It may not be Tahiti but I have found this location to be one of my favorite places to shoot.
The people are real…The landscape is incredible…And each time I board the plane to return I feel a slight sadness that I am leaving people I now consider friends. Matthew & Kiley became just that. From generous hospitality sprinkled with thoughtful notes to a selfless plan to serve others before themselves, I truly respect these two!


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