Friday, April 20, 2012

God Works In Mysterious Ways

Most people who know me, know that I am loath to brag. My cheeks flush at the mere hint of a complement. At a very young age it was instilled in me that being braggadocios was very unseemly. That being said, God has seen fit to bless me with somewhat of an eye for photography and a desire to develop and improve on my skill (There... that's as close to bragging as I'm gonna get!). In an effort to further develop my portfolio I volunteered my services as a door prize for my MOMs group at church. What started out as an opportunity to practice my picture taking abilities turned in to a reflection on, and appreciation of, just how much my MOMs group has done for me.

Moms that make the choice to leave their careers rejoice in many things... The lack of stress caused by calling your boss to tell him/her you won't be in due to a sick child, the absence of a horrendous commute in bumper to bumper traffic, the opportunity to devote 100% of your time to your family... just to name a few. 

But then there are the things you don't hear about that aren't so, well... celebratory. The total abolition of "alone time", the absence of a paycheck (Put those new shoes back on the shelf, girl!), the sniggers among the working moms as you step inside the grocery store at 5pm in your sweatpants (and unwashed hair), and yes, the expectation that you will now devote 100% of your time to your family.

Sometimes we moms just need a break from being a mom. A place where we can go to gather with other moms that understand. But not just that... As a S.A.H.M., I find one of the other things I miss about working outside the home were the opportunities for growth that just, kind-of fell into my lap as an employee. I'm not really the best at seeking out enrichment for myself, but I enjoy learning. I also, despite my somewhat recluse nature, enjoy congregating with other like-minded, soul-searching individuals from time to time. I crave quiet time almost as much as a piece of Dulce de Leche cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory (Can I get an Amen??). I have found all of these things in the MOMs group at Chase Oaks Church. I can't imagine my time as a SAHM without it... The support, the opportunity to grow, a span of two hours where I can just be me... Not Mom, not the maid or the cook or the grand master of all things household... Just Stacey.

This set of photos isn't about just developing a portfolio. It's about giving back to a group that has made a tremendous imprint on my spirit. Please enjoy these pictures of the beautiful Marshall and Sparks families and know that the opportunity to take their portraits was truly an honor.

Texas Bluebonnets

As the warm breezes start to blow across the Lone Star State, moms and dads alike start scrambling for the chance to plunk their children down in the middle of a bluebonnet field for pictures. When I first moved to Texas 12 years ago I remember my first sight of one such occurrence on my way to work. I couldn't imagine what these people were thinking, pulling over on a busy freeway and allowing their children to run amok so close to the road. Fast forward 10 years and I found myself on a steep hillside right along Spring Creek Parkway in Plano making goofy faces at my girls while my photographer friend (Whitney Pacheco) snapped away pictures one after another. 

This year, I was fortunate enough to receive a tip on a much safer and absolutely stunning field of bluebonnets (Thanks, Jodi!). In front of JC Penny Headquarters off of Legacy Drive in Plano is the most breathtaking display of these tiny marvels that I have ever seen. The scent of them "en masse" is a mixture of citrus, lilac and grape, and was truly intoxicating. 

I made three trips out to this field this spring and found myself giddy with anticipation each time. You see... It's quite difficult to be unhappy doing something you love while surrounded by such splendor.  Enjoy!