Releasing Hope — Balloons For a Princess / Mesa, AZ Photographer

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When I had dinner with photographers, Jen Schell and Cynthia Dawson this past summer, I had no idea that my heart would be so touched. It was my first time meeting Cynthia and halfway into our conversation, I learned that her precious 5 year old daughter, Ava, was struggling with DIPG, a rare and very serious form of brain cancer.

My heart is especially sensitive and compassionate towards children with cancer and Ava’s story captured my heart. I followed Cynthia’s Facebook and blog posts { } a lot and learned more about bravery and courage in just a few short months than I ever have as Ava’s story unfolded. Cynthia is as brave as Ava for bearing her heart to the world and sharing her experience with all of us. Kids Ava’s age, adults many years her senior–all of us fell in love with this precious little girl who would bring laughter with her funny ways and silly booger song. She was indeed a princess and taught us all about what courage looks like when you’re facing a dragon bigger than you are.

When Ava took her last breath, she fell asleep and woke up in the arms of Jesus and I know that this special baby girl is free from suffering and pain. ❤ ❤ ❤

Ava’s funeral was a little over a week ago and because her family lives now in a different state, we who were not able to attend were asked to release pink balloons in her honor and memory. I got hit with the flu and was not able to. This made me extremely sad and I vowed that as soon as I got better, that I would in order to honor the life of this little one…and today, I finally got my chance! : )

I purchased 4 balloons and wrote “A-V-A” on 3 of them and then wrote a note on the last one.

On one side, I wrote:

“Sweet Ava, your life was shorter than any of us could have imagined, but your heart and the legacy you leave behind is bigger than the world can hold.”

And on the other side, I wrote:

“Love you little Ava! We will see you again someday. Until we do, rest in the arms of Jesus.”

Releasing them was releasing hope…because although Ava is no longer with us here, I believe that she lives on and her family will see her again….and as she let go of her life here, she released hope to us all, that we can be brave in the face of scary things.

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A Beautiful Way To Start the Day / Phoenix, AZ Photographer

As a photographer, I find that it’s important to spend a little quiet time each day, away from the hustle and bustle of daily living. Before the phone starts ringing or the beeping of horns in traffic fill my mind, I love getting up before the sun to remember what I’m thankful for and to focus before the start of the busy day ahead. For me, because I am a Christian, I love to read my Bible and pray every morning while I eat breakfast–stealing away to spend some quiet time with my favorite person in the entire world.

What do you do to take a few minutes away from busy during your day?

Before the sun comes up in the sky, there is often a greyish blue painting everything and it reminds me of “cold,” even here in AZ where it’s usually 90 degrees in the summer by 7am. As the sun come up, it melts the cold blue of the morning air and turns it into a golden warmth that always finds a way of permeating the kitchen and casts long golden rays on the walls. It is my favorite time of the day and gives me hope for the fresh new day ahead.

Last night, AZ experienced quite a fierce thunderstorm. It was loud enough to wake me up and keep me awake for an hour while the hungry sky growled overhead and lightning lit up the sky and air in front of me. Torrential rains came down so strongly that you could not see beyond the backyard across the street!

This morning, some of the storms leftovers graced the windows and sparkled in that golden morning light. It looked so beautiful this morning that I wanted to share it with you all. A storm’s fury can tear through the night, but the sun always comes in the morning…..just like trials in life can tear through our lives in the darkest hours, but joy and hope will always come in the morning.


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Yeah, Let’s Do This Thing! — 1st Speaking Engagement { Eek! } / Phoenix, AZ Photographer

I have always dreamed about speaking to groups of women and it’s finally happening….! : ) I got invited to come speak at a Christian Women’s Business Conference in Tempe in September. I have to remind myself to breathe sometimes because I’m holding my breath in excitement! I really hope that this opens more doors of opportunities to speak to groups of girls and teenagers and women! I have a huge heart for seeing girls and women live their God-given potential and I want to motivate and inspire people to become all they were meant to be! We are all so special and unique and I want to bring this message to people and help them to find what fingerprint they were designed to bring and leave on the world. Mmmm!!! I cannot wait, I can hardly stand it!

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