Monday, October 27, 2008

Love is... | october

While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young girl, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.
He came closer still and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young girl paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”
The old man smiled, and said, “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”
To this, the young girl replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, “But, young girl, do you not realise that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”
The young girl listened politely. Then she bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.”

This month's Love is...focuses on an individual embarking on a year long journey to bring palliative care to individuals dying of AIDS in Africa. It may seem like an insurmountable feat, but even if she spends a year impacting only one life she will have labeled her journey a success.

<< Rewind 15 years ago (think Junior High age)... I read a book about a floating hospital that brought free care to the remote countries of the world and decided then, that that was my life become a nurse and serve on a Mercy Ship. Nursing remained my occupational goal for years simply so I could be apart of something that brings life-changing results to people of the world. In a nutshell, it was in the late 70's that a young couple set out with a passion to impact lives and their cause was so well received that a full fledged ocean liner was essentially given to them for FREE. This was the beginning of an organization called Mercy Ships and, IS... responsible for touching lives all around the world by bringing the opportunity for basic life saving surgeries to be conducted for free. (Think Operation Smile and Doctors without borders rolled into one)
Here is one photojournalists view of the adventure on Mercy Ships

now >> fast forward 10 years to college. I went to a small christian college where I was surrounded by young adults venturing off and dedicating their lives to helping the less fortunate around the world. Delving deeper and deeper into my passion for photography at the time, I decided I would take pictures as a 'hobby' and use any earnings to fund the trips my friends were embarking on.

And stop at the present.... October 2008. We all know I am not a nurse... and photography has kinda grown into more than a 'hobby' but the underlying passions of the past 15 years have remained a constant thread weaving together the patterns of my life. Dreams and paths may have changed or been altered by life but the foundations/passions on which they were built have not.
Today, at this very moment I have the opportunity to merge both past desires into one action and this brings me to this month's Love is....

Since moving to New England I have become dear friends with a nurse who works up at Boston Children's Hospital. She will be leaving in January to join theMercy Ships team in Benin, Africa for one year. Originally placed as a PACU nurse on the ship, she was recently contacted about the opportunity to go into the villages and provide palliative to those dying of AIDS and are facing the last days of life. I commend her, I admire her, and I want to support her...
Each individual who volunteers on the ship must raise their own support. For Suzanne, that is 11 months of finances she must conjure up. She leaves in January so the next two months will be dedicated to helping her fulfill HER dreams of reaching the world by bringing care and light and love to those who bodies and souls are ravaged by this awful disease.

So my friends, meet Suzanne... we had the opportunity to grab a few fun photos of her a few weeks ago so it is only fitting to share here :)

Africa's newest ray of sunshine...

If anyone would like more information on supporting Suzanne or subscribing to her monthly newsletter, simply shoot me an email ( and I will connect you to her and her blog.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Eileen + Chris | martha's vineyard

You wouldn't know it from recent weather trends, but a few weeks ago, Mother Nature dealt us New Englanders some rough weather... torrential sideways rain even.
Being my first trip to the Vineyard, however, I was too excited to let that minor detail deter my excitement. I brought along a few girlfriends and we decided to make a long weekend out of it. You can read about that here and here

Eileen and Chris's wedding was one of those days you want every wedding to be like. It was all about the love and family and just HAPPENED to be in a beautiful, calm, serene location.
Eileen's 9 nieces and 20,000 nephews were all a part of the wedding and the entire day revolved around them and family. Practically perfect in every way.
Rain ushered in the day but held off all through the wedding and reception...It wasn't until we decided to trekk down towards the lighthouse that we were pelted with a snap-of-the-finger-downpour. Luckily I brought along a few umbrellas!
Additionally, I had the joyous Miss Annemarie out from Texas to shoot with me so she added an extra element of fun to the day. Her and Suzanne made the weekend even more amazing! (Remind me to do a post on all these amazing people in my life... they make me who I am and I'm so honored to have each and every one as friends)

Eileen's veil is a family heirloom... it was her mother's grandmother's manteca that evolved into a veil worn by all the women in the family. Being the youngest of six, and last to marry, it was only fitting to continue the tradition. I seriously think this was my favorite bride veil Ive ever seen. so old, antique...stunning and FULL of family history and legacy. :)

All the gentlemen were wearing Vineyard Vines Ties... Apparently it is a huge Martha's Vineyard Tradition. I loved it!

The downpour sprint. I was running backwards as we were Jackie Joyner-ing it to the car and there was water all over my lens creating the crazy blur and flares. so fun though.

Did I mention I had only brought along two umbrellas? haha.

AND... yes, there is even a slideshow! ***CLICK HERE***

Thursday, October 9, 2008


After my wedding this weekend I went up to Vermont to take in the beautiful fall foliage. What was supposed to be a day trip turned into an overnight trip complete"interesting" hotel. I said something along the lines of "Nothing says 'seedy motel' like a dented padded headboard" haha
anyway... everything here in the Northeast is breathtaking this time of year and two straight days of exploring never once got old.
I'm in the midst of major editing but I thought I'd share a few photos from my adventures....

Day two was full of apple picking and pie making! yummy. I've made plenty of apple pies before but never actually ATE any of my own pies...haha. So I remedied that ;) We also mulled apple cider and roasted pumpkin seeds...YUM! I never thought I could consume so many apple related products in one wine, apples, carmel apples, apple cider, apple pie...WHEW!

Happy Fall Everyone!
Go play in the leaf piles and hike the beautiful mountains... make sure to enjoy some hot mulled cider too!

(ps) Given the years Ive worked with kids, I know ALL the crazy songs... this song was in my head all weekend. haha. Probablly because of the line "Ive never been to Boston in the fall"

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