Three Years Later: Same Clothes. Better People.

So, I decided to go out on a limb this year for our wedding anniversary this weekend. We did a photoshoot in our wedding clothes.

I’m serious.

Most of us can’t even wear the blouse from this time last time last year. I can’t.  ( But kudos to everyone that kept there new years resolutions of weight loss .)   Miraculously my idea panned out.

This year the “newlwed” cloud landed in a rough season for my husband and I and I clearly had a vision for how to commemorate and treasure a year of loss and joy and triumph.  Reminding each other of the eternal promises we made “for better or worse… in sickness and in health.”

Life is a growing process.

Life takes it time.

Time heals all things.

Not just fortune cookie wisdom.

This photoshoot meant so much more than just reminiscing from “I do” three years ago,  this still is an emotional renewal of the faith and promise of loving deeper; especially when it doesn’t always feel loving.

I was super fortunate to cross paths with amazing knit queen and local photographer Lea Thompson of Velvet Paper Photography who just happened to be working with me on a future IG giveaway (shhh… more about that later) and offered an open photo session that we miraculously fit into.

And thus this idea of SAME CLOTHES. BETTER PEOPLE was born.

Because… its true.
I’m better because he loves me when I’m physically at my worst.
He’s better because I love him at his darkest and lowest moments.
We’re better because we keep running back to God in the midst of pain and sorrow and confusion.
We’re better because God keeps loving us to love each other deeper, especially when the answer is no.

Our wedding day symbolized all that and more. What better way to remember eternal promise than with the love of your life?

This whole experience was surreal. In seeing the photos, seeing the joy and the love that endures past the pain of optimistic failure, low self esteem, multiple miscarriages and a crazy amount of personal soul searching. The greatest of these is love. We stuck to it. And we’re better for it.

So I began my FB post:

In our nearly 7 years of life together this year was really a rough patch.

“For better or for worse…In sickness and in health…. and the greatest of these is love.” These words have such deeper meaning now than the first time we said it to each other.

This season has given us deeper purpose. It’s taken us through winding narrow paths. Roads less traveled.

It’s easier to scoot it under the rug and not wield the bad times as times of promise. But it was a promise. A promise from our Maker. A promise to a man filled with the characteristics of God. A promise to myself.

Inch by inch in weaving Gods love into the fabric of our lives, we’re certainly not the same ‘Danielle + Kevin” from three years ago. We’re better.

We see it in lives present. We feel it in lives lost.

In our clothes
In our skin
Between souls

We still ‘do’.

“Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good…” – Genesis 1:31

#InTheBeginning #MSfamily #WeddingAnniversary

 


Location: Jacobson Park
Photography: @velvetpaperphoto

 

Photography: @velvetpaperphoto

 

Photography: @velvetpaperphoto

 

Photography: @velvetpaperphoto

 

Photography: @velvetpaperphoto

 

Photography: @velvetpaperphoto

Franzetti Photography: Turning 40 with class…and cake!

I can say this session was a first for me and Misty! This firecracker had her birthday coming up and she wanted to CELEBRATE! We connected through a mutual friend and when we spoke on the phone about her session, she told me she wanted lots of color and CAKE. I think we nailed it;)

Misty is basically a badass in all the ways.

We had a great time shooting, but the rain got in our way a little bit. Then the photographer nightmare occurred… we lost the light. It got too dark too quickly for me to really shoot my usual style and I freaked a little bit inside my head. But, then I remembered that we captured GREAT photos already. Everything else was going to be..well…icing on the cake!

So we rolled with it and ended up with photos that are so different from what I typically shoot. Misty is basically down for anything so after we got through with the cute, flirty, fun pictures, she was more than game for a little depravity!

 

READ THE FULLY STORY: Turning 40 with class…and cake! 

Making friendships after 30

Take it or leave it; this is who I am.

I started my day with prayer & soaking up a new podcast by Jen Hatmaker FOR THE LOVE and the series was on girlfriends.

It was a hard listen even though all the good tidbits and wisdom was invaluable. Lately I struggle with friendships and confrontation. I don’t have a lot of close friends. I can talk to anyone, I can tell strangers my life story but I don’t let people “in” much, at all.

Since I was a young girl I always wanted friends but never had them. In high school I attempted to throw a luau themed party for myself that turned into my younger sisters ‘swole’ summer field party. People didn’t want to friend me. I didn’t want to friend myself. I was emotionally lone a lot.

Fast-forward 20 years … different ocean, same boat.

I can only think of 2-3 real girlfriends in entire adult life —  two who ironically dislike each other. Over the years I just stopped trying to ‘play god’ in uniting them so I felt better about it. It’s become a good thing but still separate.

When I listen to Jen’s podcast I note some big truths about myself:

  • Friendships scare the hell out of me because it involves investing more than I want to
  • Personal failure is more devastating then professional failure
  • I still crave real life friends

I feel a Spider-Man quote coming along… “with great power come great responsibility.”

Her guest was the eloquent author Shauna Niequist.  These girls / published authors speak about how there friendship of 10 years had such deep impressions and altered there lives because of the investment in there friendship. Investment = time.

As I’m listening I’m thinking to myself: “Yeah I don’t have that; time. Or do I?”

If I spent the extra hour that I spend crafting for instagram photoshoots and creating marketing e-blasts for more wedding clients … would I have more friends? In my lack of friendships, its made me only focus harder on polishing my craft. And I love that about myself.

How are these women making intentional time to be at each other’s doorsteps? How are women making space for friendship to be a “shelter”. Honestly, if I had a shelter I would never leave for home. (But I also have to understand that I in turn would be a shelter for them too. Maybe I’ve done that without thinking it.)

My favorite part in this amazing podcast was the advice to “only connect”. I don’t have to leave this amazing impression with people. Just be present. If I’m not in a good place then be ok not in the good place. Just like Shauna that shared this tidbit I tend to hide from humility or sore spots. Who doesn’t?

But I know humility is one of the most humbling gifts God offers. So I smirk try not to hide so much, take it as another notch in my belt and press on. Knowing He will use it for His good … somewhere. At least I nailed that one.

In my daydreams I think about hosting this quaint high end dinner party— just a buffet with friends families over some HGTV style lavish space I created. People come and laugh and share and connect and leave deeper friends.

Stop. Who are these people?

And It’s still a dream because I don’t feel comfy doing this anywhere but home. You won’t find me downtown hanging out drinking martinis and skinny drinks. I barely make it to The Fig for coffee / lemonade unless it’s work related. How can I desire the result of something more than the actual work of doing it?

So I’m left with investing time & energy (which can be gratifying) and the fear of being judged and disappointing out of my own insecurities.

This is my impasse. So I want to hear from the world.

I’m about to turn mid thirties and I have little ambling about having lasting friendships beyond my marriage (that took three tries before I got it right even). What am I missing here? Is it better for me to notably wave / nod at the idea of real friendships? Or is friends (the good , the bad & the WAY ugly) in this day & age overrated?

My Prayer: God. I’m struggling being with your people. I’m struggling defining relationships that are meaningful and rich beyond my professional career. I’m praying that your Holy Spirit breathe the right words in me and grow my confidence to build things that matter in the people you love. Help me to see past my perfect flaws for the greater good of your desire to connect each other on earth. Help me radiate your fire for connection.  Amen. 

LISTEN to the full podcast. I’d love your comments.

Franzetti Photography: Three Under Five

Warning: looking at photos of this beautiful family may result in baby fever.

I am falling in love with newborn sessions. The first time I was asked to do a newborn session, I excitedly said yes, but in my head I was completely freaking out. I have not had a baby so obviously I believe babies are the most breakable little peanuts on the planet. Oh… I refer to babies as peanuts a lot 🙂 Flash forward multiple newborn sessions and I am completely loving the special moments that happen during these sessions. I am invited in to this totally precious time in a family’s life and it is the best.

This family in these photos is obviously beyond beautiful. Mamma Erin is undoubtedly a wonder woman. These three sweet girls are all under the age of five and her house is dreamy. On top of all that, she spends every day motivating women to love themselves and live healthy lifestyles. She is a coach through Beachbody and is one of the best I have seen. She does so much for women regardless of if they want to purchase any product. She gives away rockin’ recipes and is always there to give you a pep talk. I loved getting to spend time with them and Erin even made me a delicious healthy shake for the road!

Every photographer is different. During a session, I like to focus on the family connection. Instead of props, I like to fill photos with smiles and tiny toes. It is so sweet to see parents and siblings interact with a new babe! I love doing sessions in the family’s home because we can try to capture them as they really are during this chapter of their life. Extra bonus: new mama does not have to worry about packing anything up!

READ THE FULL POST: Three Under Five

 

On The Last Day: You Were There

To the parents of students receiving school awards but were not present — you were there.

Let’s face it… with elementary aged kids the last day of school is EPIC, right? Most of the last week of school is filled with end of the year accolades to further boost their esteem for summer break.

Today I got dressed extra early just to get to school two hours after I dropped my kids off to watch them receive special recognition at the end-of-the-year school awards.

I got there 20 minutes early to grab a decent seat. This year the award ceremony seemed faster than before. I watched each student receive an award and receive applause from peers and the gathered assembly.

There were smile’s and cheers. There were kids that were told to stand still for pictures with their teachers.

But there were also students that received their award and quietly sat back down in the gym.  Whether by accident or design they there was no extra picture taking or parental hugs or pats on the back. No matter what direction they looked.

And that is OK too.

It’s OK for kids to understand the importance of work ethic. It is important for children to see their mothers put in hours so that they can value higher achievement and future opportunities.

As mothers we can’t be everywhere all the time. But we can celebrate the milestones in our own way.

So whether or not you were present at the school assembly is irrelevant. Because you were there along the way helping them to success.

You were there for homework time banging your head against the table for them to finish the worksheets. You were there when you got the discouraging teacher phone call from school about your child’s class behavior. You were there when they brought home the A+ spelling test.

You were present when they ask you questions about life. You responded when they acted out of pain and anger. You comforted them on their darker days. You help them to prioritize things that matter.

All of these things are greater achievements than sitting in a chair for 30 minutes. In this self bubbling world it is our obligation to keep our children planted in the things that matter. Do not succumb to the customs and behaviors of this world. (Romans 12:2)

To the parents of students receiving school awards but were not present — you were there right there with them, dancing/smiling /fist pumping in the place that matters most— their hearts.

Go get’em 🙂

Franzetti Photography: Marry the person who doesn’t keep score

The 2017 Franzetti Photography wedding season has begun! It feels like a huge understatement to say I have a lot riding on this chapter in my life. In my mind, this wedding season seems like it will be the make or break moment for my photography business. I am pretty hell bent on making it! One reason I feel like I can even try making this wild dream come true is because of brides like Brandi. I have known Brandi since she was a kiddo because I went to high school with her older sister. She and her sister and different in a lot of ways, but they are both SO full of life, laughter, and are two of the most genuine gals you could hope to meet. It was so nice to walk in to my first wedding of the season and have several friendly faces around me.

 

READ THE FULL STORY: Marry the person who doesn’t keep score

Mamas: You Are Enough

Mother’s Day is always a little harder for me.  Not because I’ve lost people that were mother figures for me but mainly because the idea of being tied down to something other than myself gave me a negative connotation about motherhood.

In college I was a fiery young liberal who never wanted to have kids because I spent so much of  my youth surrounded by my pool of cousins that I became “responsible” for, for summers on end.

I look back at my own childhood and constantly thought of how much my own mother ‘toted” us from one community event to another …  never really knowing what was happening just tagging along in a never-ending cycle of “one more thing” that I had to smile / sing / stand / sit / be quiet for. It didn’t matter how noble the cause… I didn’t feel a part of it.

I swore with my first child that I would not do what my mom did to me. Three kids later I’ve softened my approach but still, its a goal. Each child has taught me something different about myself and about the world around me.

When I look back on Mother’s Day a lot of times I see the short falls, the disappointment and even past relationship resentment before I can even begin to see the smiles of birthdays, Christmas baking or the deep unconditional hugs in our random lazy weekend chats.

The week leading up to Mother’s Day this year was rougher then usual. Kids bickering, demands of my career and all the household shuffle in between. But that’s what we do right? As ‘wonderwomen’ we put on this mask that we can truly do it all without hesitation. Every. Day.

Let me be the first to admit: I’m human.  And in being human in this self prophesying world we tend to drink our own kool-aid. At times we feel we need to out perform even ourselves to justify doing more for our children. To justify our legacy in this temporary world. We feel less than even when the bible tells us differently.

Because of my family’s foundation of faith I always use the quick spiritual guides, inspirational words and faithful thoughts of the day to help root my day in the spirit to which gifted me this opportunity of the blended family life.

I just went from me, to Him in one sentence y’all.

And in that shift I constantly have to reinforce my own insecurities of being enough. I am enough. It’s hard just typing it here.

I’m still learning.

In being a birth mom and a adopted mother I have learned to parent in ways that I thought was not possible for me. I believe it was the Holy Spirit disciplining me just as much as I was disciplining them. Teaching me patience and compassion. Molding my anger and frustrations into peace.

In this instantaneous culture I’ve come to find the mysterious rooted ebb & flow of peace throughout parenting my beautiful children along side my amazing ‘ford tough’ husband. And it brings me to share this post about being enough. Because we are.

We don’t have to be everything for everyone… we just have to carry on what God sees in us. And that alone allows God to carry the ones we love.

That’s all my mom was trying to do. And I’m grateful that I get to pass that on to my children.

To all the moms / aunts / grandmas /  caregivers / neighbors / foster moms / etc in the whole world… you are enough. ❤️

Bask in it today! #happymothersday

Franzetti Photography: 17 Must-Reads for Dreamers & Hustlers

17 Must-Reads for Dreamers & Hustlers

Goals are a really amazing thing because they mean HOPE. When everyone makes their goals for new years, it means that even if just for a few weeks, they believe something can be better about themselves or something around them in the new year. Sure, sure… I know most people fall off the wagon pretty quickly, but to me it would be far worse to not even try at all.

READ: 17 Must-Reads for Dreamers & Hustlers

Easter Therapy: It. Is. Finished.

Finally…The finished product. For days I attempted to put something in this blank canvas. I asked for prayer and then it just flowed out of me as we approached Easter. It was meant as a social media giveway for Easter. As I read and reflected on the Torah during Lent the word ‘Panim’ kept replaying in my mind as I stared into the blank leafy canvas. What does it mean you ask? Panim is a Hebrew term meaning “to face” or to stand in presence of (referring to God).

The leaves transported me to the beauty of The Garden of Eden. Calm and serene. Lush and bountiful. I could feel His presence there. The more I studied Panim the more I was beginning to understand that this painting/ artwork /therapy  wasn’t meant for me to giveaway… it was meant for me treasure. What a beautiful reminder of the presence of God all around me. Inside me. Inside my children. Inside my Husband. Inside anyone.

Over the past months I felt a little lost. I had a miscarriage. I was pushing to lose weight (not knowing I was pregnant– yikes). I felt career pressure. My older kids were acting out …. and up. A lot of times I felt like retreating but didn’t really know where else to retreat. I talk to God and my husband daily but it felt like, at times, neither of them could really handle ‘one more thing’ from me. I assumed wrong.

I believe this was a spiritual reminder that all I need do, is seek Panim.

Wherever you are in process of Gods presence in your life, know that His presence is all around you. He overcame DEATH for you. His love runs deeper then the temporary fixes of today and tomorrow. Your burdens, are His too.

My hubby and I refer to our children as our ‘greatest adventures’. Deep down no matter what “short change moment” we feel we endure we know that Our Father’s greatest adventure, is always us.

For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?
-1 Thessalonians 2:19

#MSfamily #HappyEaster #Panim