It was a Thursday when Michael turned in his two weeks notice. Making the decision to leave his employer of eight years was not an easy one. For weeks he had prayed about the decision and sought counsel from friends and family. There was such a sense of relief for both of us when a decision was finally made. And there was also the realization that there would be a week between the end of the old job and the start of the new job. We decided that a week of unemployment was a great time to take a trip.
There wasn’t much time to plan, so after some TripAdvisor research and a quick check of our skymile balance, we purchased two plane tickets to Belize. And a week later we were getting our passports stamped in Central America. We spent five days on Ambergris Caye, the largest island in Belize. It’s a top destination for travelers wanting to dive and snorkel because the world’s second largest barrier reef is just a mile off the coast. While the highlights of the trip were definitely our snorkel tours, the time spent at the resort pool wasn’t too bad either.
San Pedro is the only town on Ambergris Caye. The roads are narrow and the buildings are bright. Locals and visitors get around either by bicycle or golf cart. From almost any point in town, you can catch a glimpse of the turquoise waters on either side of the mile-wide island.
This is one of my favorite photographs from our trip. I’m so proud of this man for the hard work that he does and the intentional way he lives his life. Looking forward to seeing more of this big beautiful world with you.
Slowly but surely the wedding plans are coming together. A church has been reserved, a dress has been purchased, and a cake has been ordered.
Leah and Mark wanted to send a save-the-date card to their guests, so we had a photo shoot. I had three subjects for these pictures – a girl, a boy, and a wooden sign.
The countdown to November 22 is on.
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. -Psalms 127:3
It was August when Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the gulf coast. In the hours that followed, entire cities were crushed by the storm. Lives were lost, families were displaced, and homes were destroyed. Nine years later, Katrina’s presence is still felt on the coast. Her footprint is everywhere.
In Bay St. Louis, along the Jordan River, sits a once grandiose home. Built on a Coca Cola fortune, the acreage includes two homes, a boathouse, and what appears to have been grazing land for buffalo. The scene now is eerily reminiscent of Gone With The Wind. Approaching the house, I felt like Scarlett returning to a war-torn Tara. The exterior walls survived the hurricane, but the interior was ravaged by the storm. And for nine years, it has sat untouched. My friends and I scooted past the “private property” sign and made our way down the winding driveway to get a peek at the ghost mansion.
Mat Kearney is one of my all time favorite artists. I’ve heard him say that his inspiration for the song “All I Need” were friends who had to flee their home during Katrina, leaving behind all that they owned. These lyrics took on a new meaning for me as I tip-toed my way through the broken glass and sagging hallways.
“The walls are shaking, I hear them sound the alarm
Glass is breaking so don’t let go of my arm
Grab your bags and a picture of where we met
All that we’ll leave behind and all that’s left”
In the fall of 2002, I began my freshman year of college. I was in a small town in a new state and feeling very far from home. Living on the same floor of a gigantic freshman dorm were four girls who would turn out to be the most beloved part of my college career. I would not have made it through those four years without these friends. Now, over ten years later, we live in five different states and these days, opportunities to be together are few and far between. We worked hard to find a weekend to reconnect this summer and it was well worth it. By plane and by car, we all made our way to the coastal city of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi for a long weekend together. Being with these women is easy and fun and they make me laugh like nobody else can.
This is for you my ninth floor ladies!
It was a weekend of good food and southern beer. It was spent reminiscing about our college days and sharing about our lives now. There was music and laughter and lots of sunscreen.
The weekend also included a surprise announcement from my friend Leslie.
“Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.” – Aristotle