The Best of Friends

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Some years ago, they started off as friends. This past week, my in-laws celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.

As the years have gone by, they have raised kids together, worked as a writer/editor team of a book together, navigated careers together, made decisions about politics, spirituality and health together, painted giant  murals together, and everything in between. Together.

Happy Anniversary to the Original Best Friends. We love you.

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A Child’s Prayer

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This past week, a city in the South that I love and blog about and photograph has been thrust into the national news spotlight over the police shooting of an unarmed African American man. It called to mind for me this picture I took several years ago, which for me represented the horrific and sordid past of this magical and enchanted city.

Recently, as I was tucking in my five year-old son for bed and saying our nightly prayers, he said “I am praying tonight that all of the people with brown skin and all of the people with white skin can know that they are not different and get along”. Please join me this week in offering a prayer to end hatred and violence all over the world.

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“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”

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With Every Broken Bone

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When  you have active, imaginative, and passionate children (who doesn’t right?), skinned knees, trips to the Emergency room, and bumps and bruises are a rite of passage. And with each of those little souls, there are countless opportunities in a day to ask them to quiet down, calm down, remember their manners, and just in general, “behave”. As a Mom, I constantly butt up against wanting my kids to be raised with respectful manners, good coping skills, and a maintaining a general sense of calm throughout the house. But this truly requires a balancing act that even the most amazing high wire trapeze artist may aspire to.

Recently I was thinking about what I wanted for my kids in their life. I have always said that, of course, I want them to do well and find success. But that most importantly, I wanted them to be healthy, have meaningful relationships and family, a life purpose, and be happy. The other day as I listened to a song on the radio, though I realized that I actually want even more for them. I want them to feel like they lived their life on the edge of their passion. That they experienced great moments of sheer bliss. That they felt the overwhelming presence of God and the Universe in their lives. And in order for them to do this, I need to be mindful of that fine line. For kids naturally are inclined to do this. The trick is for them not to lose that ability as they get older.

And so, in the lyrics of the amazing song “I Lived”, I gained quite a bit of clarity about parenting and what life is truly about.

“Hope when you take that jump
You don’t fear the fall
Hope when the water rises
You build a wall
Hope when the crowd screams out
They’re screaming your name
Hope if everybody runs
You choose to stayHope that you fall in love
And it hurts so bad
The only way you can know
Is give it all you haveAnd I hope that you don’t suffer
But take the pain
Hope when the moment comes
You’ll say…

I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second
That this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
Yeah, with every broken bone
I swear I lived

Hope that you spend your days
But they all add up
And when that sun goes down
Hope you raise your cup

I wish that I could witness
All your joy and all your pain
But until my moment comes
I’ll say…

I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second
That this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
Yeah, with every broken bone
I swear I lived” – One Republic

 

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Through the Lens

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Charleston, SC. Without a doubt, my favorite city in the Continental U.S. There are so many reasons. So many memories.

 

It is a city that I began to photograph in 1995. Over the years, this city has enchanted me and inspired my photography in so many ways. As familiar as I am with this place, seeing it through my lens never gets old.

 

For more of what inspires me, check out my personal projects on my website at ginamichelleimages.com Click on the menu “Through My Lens”.

 

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend,

G

 

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Growing

springmacroyellow315wm“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance,

the wise grows it under his feet” -James Oppenheim

How will  you grow this spring?

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Me and My Cactus

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Turns out I have a lot more in common with my cactus that I thought.

Earlier in the year, I had moved this little guy to an interior room table. I am not one to know much about plants, in fact, I have managed to kill this hardy species before. After awhile, I noticed he looked a little sad, which prompted me to water him more. Needless to say, it didn’t seem to help, probably due to the fact that you can easily over-water a cactus.

One day it dawned on me to move him back to his old spot. On a little side table in front of a big window. And today as I came in through the front door I noticed he looked brighter, better, after just a few days in the light.

For those of us in parts of the country who are starting to come out of a cold, dark winter, we can relate. Being someone who notices every nuance of light in the day (photographer’s habit), I am keenly aware of how different I feel when the sun is out. I am more energized, inspired. And so for many of us out there with sun and spring on the way, we can now sit back and know that the longest days of winter are for now, behind us, with nothing but glorious sun ahead.

For those of you traveling this month for the well-deserved ritual of Spring Break, I wish you safe and happy travels.

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A letter to Winter

dandadfeb2-214wm danadafeb7-214wm danadafeb6-215wm danadafeb5-215wm danadafeb4-214wm danadafeb3-214wmDear Old Man Winter,

 

Thank you for the endless hours of fun playing in the snow, and the brisk, crisp air.

Thank you for the days where we curled up on the couch in front of a fire with some books.

Thank you for the encouragement to make home-made soup.

Thank you for a chance for some down time, a respite from those summer days that go on and on and on.

Thank you for your cleansing, soothing palette of white, pastel, and the sculptured beauty that is each unique bare tree.

Thank you for those times with gathered friends and neighbors that were made all that much more special because we hadn’t bumped into them in the neighborhood.

And finally, thank you for a chance at rebirth.

I’m ready for you to go now. And I know it will be a gradual parting of ways. But I know that you will return when the time is right.

See you next year.

G

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Interiors

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Famed Interior Designer Nate Berkus is a man I have admired for years for so many reasons. One of his signature quotes is that ” A  House Should Rise Up To Greet You”. I couldn’t agree more.

Last summer we did some updates in our home with a friend of mine, who is a designer. As a result of those changes, my home feels calmer, more welcoming and cozy, and has opened me up to wanting to have so many more gatherings at my house.

So when this dear friend of mine asked me to do some photos of her interiors and help her create a portfolio, I jumped at the chance. I have always known how mad, crazy talented this woman is, but when I walked into some of these homes my jaw literally hit the floor.

How amazing is this?!?!?

 

If you are looking to do updates in your home, whether a renovation, or just small changes that will make a big impact, I couldn’t think of anyone I recommend  more. For more information, go to jennifermurraydesigns.com

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Inspiration

signofthetimes115wmA lot of people will say that this is a time of year that has them feeling pretty uninspired. It typically is the same for me.

This year I am making a conscious effort to stay in touch with anything that lifts me up a little in the inspiration department. For me, it can be looking at a photography magazine, or any magazine for that matter. It can be a walk outside. Looking at a great coffee table book.

Whenever I make the time to do this, I notice such a huge payoff. I am calmer, feel more joyful, and am more fully able to stay connected to the present moment.

 

I hope that while winter is dragging on you too, find time to stay in touch with your inspiration. Try a new recipe, pick up a new book. Enjoy!

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