Wednesday, November 30, 2011

light for the world


light and the world
Advent (Day 4) 



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{Please join me each day until Christmas at There is a River with my sister, Christie Purifoy, as she shares beautiful thoughts, poetry, and prayers for Advent against a backdrop of the images you will see here. You are also invited to contribute your own photos to the Advent Flickr group. If you are not a photographer, we hope you will still join both of us there to watch as the season quietly unfolds in pictures.}

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

lights and little hands

that sneaky little hand


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{Please join me each day until Christmas at There is a River with my sister, Christie Purifoy, as she shares beautiful thoughts, poetry, and prayers for Advent against a backdrop of the images you will see here. You are also invited to contribute your own photos to the Advent Flickr group. If you are not a photographer, we hope you will still join both of us there to watch as the season quietly unfolds in pictures.}

Monday, November 28, 2011

mona lavender

glow
mona lavender ~ still glowing in the cold moonlight


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{Please join me each day until Christmas at There is a River with my sister, Christie Purifoy, as she shares beautiful thoughts, poetry, and prayers for Advent against a backdrop of the images you will see here. You are also invited to contribute your own photos to the Advent Flickr group. If you are not a photographer, we hope you will still join both of us there to watch as the season quietly unfolds in pictures.}

Sunday, November 27, 2011

advent begins

It is the first Sunday of Advent. What does that mean? What does that look like? Why? These are the questions I ask myself over and over. These are the questions I pray. These are the questions that silence me and cause me to wait, and watch, and listen... for I know the Answer is coming. Today we light the candle of Hope. DSC_6091_1v In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. John 1:1, 4-5
Advent (Day 1)




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
{Please join me each day until Christmas at There is a River with my sister, Christie Purifoy, as she shares beautiful thoughts, poetry, and prayers for Advent against a backdrop of the images you will see here. You are also invited to contribute your own photos to the Advent Flickr group. If you are not a photographer, we hope you will still join both of us there to watch as the season quietly unfolds in pictures.}

Saturday, November 26, 2011

advent: two sister's thoughts

{Kelli's Thoughts}
Advent. What does it mean? I began asking that question after my sister shared the seed of an idea with me several weeks ago. So I started to read, and read, and read. Beautiful books and essays, poems selected by Christie, scripture that is unchanging yet new every day. It was this newness, this fresh-eyes look into something that was, for me, only foggy memories of my five year old self at the kitchen table wishing it was my turn to blow out the purple candles, that stirred my heart.
And I have been astounded.
As the message of advent became clearer in my mind, the pictures of advent began forming themselves all around me. Photographers seek light, and light is no passive thing waiting to be found. Light is life. Light shines into darkness. Light is coming, to you and to me, always coming. It is we who are watching and waiting for light, and that is the heart of Advent.
"We shall be celebrating no beautiful myth, no lovely piece of traditional folklore, but a solemn fact. God has been here once historically, but, as millions will testify, he will come again with the same silence and the same devastating humility into any human heart ready to receive him." (J.B. Phillips, "The Dangers of Advent", Watch for the Light.)
It is my hope and prayer that something new will stir in your heart this year. That some part of this gift will take root and grow and astound you too.
Come! It is Advent! Wait with us...

a gift  
{Christie's Thoughts}
What does Advent look like? It's a strange question for me to be asking. I am not a visual artist; words are my medium. Yet, when I try to define Advent it is usually images, rather than words, that come to mind. Candlelight. Evergreens. A full moon on a very dark night.
I think that I turn to images rather than words because Advent, itself, is a question rather than an answer. I'm afraid that my words will pin it down in a way that defies its very nature. The writer Shauna Niequist puts it well: "Advent is the question, the pleading, and Christmas is the answer to that question, the response to the howl."

There are a few words that seem right, to me; words like waiting and longing. Anticipation and expectation. However, I think that the right words for Advent will remain few. Images, on the other hand... can you imagine a beautiful stack of them, growing and growing? I can. Picture after picture reminding us that the Light will return. Our Light will return.
Will you add your picture? Will you look, with us, for the return of Light?
At the heart of Advent is a belief that light will return, no matter how long or dark the night. What does this belief look like to you?


{Read more of Christie's thoughts and her beautiful introduction to this Advent season on her website, and be sure to "like" her on facebook or sign up for daily emails so you can keep up with the posts in the coming month. If you are a photographer, please join me in the Flickr group here to contribute your own images of Advent. If you are not a photographer, we hope you will still join us to watch as the season quietly unfolds in pictures.}

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

just a taste

the calm before... Today I am thankful for coffee and books. For a safe drive across four states in the rain. For the giggles I heard upon pulling into a driveway where Pappy and Grams stood waiting, waving. For a family tree that branches out all over the country into so many hearts. Pies are baking in a cozy kitchen where I sit, inhaling, listening to music and children playing, staring at slats of sunlight on antique wood. I catch words in a song, "there's beauty here and I miss there", and I'm thankful that this place, this peace, this joy, this beauty is but a taste. It is Thanksgiving, and blessings are magnified, and He is magnified.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

overflowing with thankfulness

breakfast table
it is a cozy fall morning. we sit around the table eating oatmeal pancakes, sticky with maple syrup, drinking juice and coffee. we've never known hunger.
still in pajamas, we march outside, around the house through the yard, in search of sticks and leaves. the little one trips and falls, cries dramatic dry tears. we've never known true suffering. we cut out paper leaves and tie ribbons. we write our gratitude, say thank you for our many blessings. we could go on all day.
breakfast and thanksgiving
the kids all want to write the name of their far-off brother, their Mosa. i watch how they love this little boy they know only through a single picture. it is all they need -a name, a picture, a childlike love for a child like themselves. they write his name, thankful for him, for the blessings that allow them to bless.
leaves of thanks
and i can't stop thinking about the others. so many others. i think of the beggars on the medians, under the overpasses. we drive past them warm in our car, stomachs full of pancakes. we are on our way to church when we pass them by.
i think of the stories of Jonathan and of Lidia- children who have known hunger and suffering. children not so different from my own.
i read their stories and weep for them, for a world that forgets them, for my own sin of ignoring them.
our thankful tree
we are giving thanks, saying thanks, writing thanks. are we living thanks?
we have so much- so very much more than we need. we have hearts full of a love that is unending, overflowing, compelling us to give and give and give and find that we will never run out of love to give. this truth we have and believe. are we living it?
kate's thankful leaves
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6-7

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

changing

autumn roses
There is nothing that is more dangerous to your own salvation, more unworthy of God and more harmful to your own happiness than that you should be content to remain as you are.
-François Fénelon, seventeenth-century French bishop and author

Monday, November 14, 2011

jump! shots

The other day we thought it would be fun to get a family jump shot on the beach. I set my camera ( between the fast moving jumps and the evening light, manual settings are a must for this) and Mike humored us and took the shots with me in them. We found out it's really hard to get everyone off the ground at the same time...
floating dad
Hilarious, yes! Just not what we were going for. So Shawn tried holding the girls and the result is kind of super-dad. Reminded me a lot of this shot of him HERE...
jump!
A couple of days later, we were at the beach with my sister's family and I just had to try for some more. I love this one...
mom & daughter jump
That is the kind of photo you just know Lily will have in a frame thirty years from now. I wish I had a jump shot of me and my mom when I was eight. (I must say though, my dad did a great job with his old Pentax and we have a lot of fun childhood photos. Just no beach jumps.)
still jumping!
My kids were really getting into the jumping and wanted to review every shot to make sure I was catching them in the air. I love the wacky, silly, fun, kids-being-kids result. You'll never get a cheesy, fake smile if you just tell them to jump!
jumping cousins

Sunday, November 13, 2011

golden hour at the beach

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It's when the sun us low, the shadows long
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when the two year old sits content with pail and shovel
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or chases seagulls in the ethereal glow
kenna
it's when the photographer doesn't have to ask for smiles, they just are
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because everyone is happy to be there and nowhere else
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it's when you stand staring, willing it to imprint on your soul
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because in that magical hour as creation sings
sunset and dunes
you can't help but join in.

Friday, November 11, 2011

on staycation...be back soon

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We've been on a staycation of sorts here in the Campbell household. With GG, GranD and Mike visiting from Texas, we have enjoyed stepping away from the school books in favor of trips to the museum, Fort Pickens, and the beach. (Also that fancy schmancy date night of ours was courtesy of our three gracious sitters!)
After a fun time relaxing and catching up, they headed home Wednesday, and on Thursday night my sister and her family arrived. We just got back from the beach where we played in the sand, watched the jellyfish bobbing along in the calmest seas I've ever seen, and ate giant slices of key lime pie at Flounders.
All this fun means lots and lots of pictures will be coming your way in the next week. Stay tuned. For now, the staycation continues.

(p.s. that word -staycation- always kind of annoyed me. still does. why is that?)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

our night in the museum

night at the museum
Saturday night we attended the Marine Corps Birthday Ball, held at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. Not a bad place for a party. (And the pre-ball cocktails and dinner in historic downtown was surprisingly classy. I was kicking myself for leaving my camera in the car for that one. I know.) The guest of honor for the evening was the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Amos. Kind of a big deal.
us
We've been to eight USMC Balls now in Shawn's ten years of service and two of them have been at this museum. I wore a maternity dress the last time and Shawn wore those same dress blues (minus most of the medals, bars and wings.) My how long ago that seems. Shawn will have to purchase a new dress uniform befitting his (soon-to-be) new rank in the coming year so I'm glad to have these photos. From his A&M graduation, his commissioning, his winging, to all those birthday balls, the sight of him in these blues has never failed to make my heart flutter with love and pride.
the band
Early in the night we spent a good bit of time visiting with a retired couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Fifty years ago they got married and then let the Marine Corps throw them a reception (complete with dancing and cake!) Meeting them, hearing their story, was a special kind of blessing I didn't expect that night. Later as we wandered around the darkened museum among World War II aircraft, four-star Generals, and flight students arm-in-arm with wide-eyed fiancés, I felt very much in the middle. Not so young, not yet old, just very much in the middle of so many years of history.
And if you ask me, the middle is a good place to be.
us plus three

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

autumn in florida

vintage camellia
Oh, hello, November! You surprised me -how did you do that?
vintage camellia
I almost didn't see you, entering so quietly. It was the chill that gave you away. So unexpected.
vintage autumn
I'm very glad you're here. I was beginning to think you might not come and I missed you so.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

the girls and boy

costumed crew
a snowflake fairy, a jengo fett, and a rumpled cowgirl fairy...or princess or butterfly or something.
whatever they are, it's cute, and these three are sweeter than a thousand mini-chocolate bars
(and so much better for me.)
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