Growing up we were like peas and carrots. Peeeeeaaas and carrots.
Every morning she'd pull up in her red and blue Corsica with the dent in the door (which we got, hand to God, one day when a black bear ran into us. Not the other way around! Patti & Randy, if you're reading this, to this day I still don't know how you got us both raised up without pulling all your hair out!!) She'd blast the heater...and the radio...and we'd slip and slide our way down the mountain to Richwood High School (home of the Lumberjacks...Go Jacks!!), rockin out the whole way.
Neeeeear, farrrrr, wher-EHHHHH-ver you are.
All day, we'd suffer through Calculus and greasy tater tots together (ok, who am I kidding? We LOVED those greasy tater tots!!) and then we'd head off to cheerleading practice where, as would only be appropriate, I was her back spotter. The last line of defense between her head and the gym's hardwood floor. Double arabesques into a rotating Liberty? Not a problem...because see, I always had her back.
Fast forward...ahem....a few years and my BFF Erica is now a mom. A MOM!! To not just one, but TWO kiddos!
Meet: Miss Aubrey & Miss Kate
And now they are just like peas and carrots. Peeeeaas and carrots.
And someday it will be them having run-ins with kamikaze wildlife. And Matt & Erica will be the ones pulling their hair out. But just know this my friend, if you ever need me for anything, anything at all....like straightening out teenage twins....you just say the word and I'm there.
Because no matter where we go in this life....Neaaaar, farrrr, wher-EVVV-er you are....I will always have your back.
Love you guys!! All four of you!
Uhhhh....yeaaaa...can we just TALK about the fact that this girl had TWINS only about two months ago?! I know!
So apparently, according to their parents, Kate is the really mellow one and Aubrey is the drama-queen. Can you guess which one is which?? :)
"We-heeer number one!!" :) Justin said this one must've been taken after the Auburn game.
I am a face of change. A PHace of change. I am part of a worldwide mission for hope. Hope. I know that nobody can prevent me from choosing to be exceptional. From choosing to make a difference. And at the end of the day the only question there remaining then becomes....the only question will be: What kind of difference did I make?
What kind of difference did *I* make?
Are YOU a PHace of Change?
Last month at WPPI, 30 of the biggest names (but so much more importantly the biggest HEARTS) in the photography industry gathered to film the Portrait House video in Las Vegas, Nevada. And it's because of people like them that I am so proud and honored to be a part of this industry. They stood huddled in the hallway outside of our room, waiting patiently for their turn. They laughed together and cried together. And TOGETHER... they made a difference.
When the last person had gone and the last line had been recorded, I looked at them and I burst into tears. For four hours I had held it in. The disbelief that this was even possible. That a year's worth of planning and hoping and praying that we could put this together, was all taking shape before our very eyes. And these guys did that for us.
It was one of the best moments of my life so far.
And it turns out that four hours is pretty much my maximum for holding something like that in. So I looked at them- especially the AMAZING Ron & Tasra who I LOVE, who had given so much of their time and themselves to film this for us...to make this dream a reality- I looked at them, and I cried.
Big fat, swollen tears.
Big fat, swollen tears that were sent free basing off the edge of my cheeks to land on their waiting shoulders below... staining their PH shirts an even deeper shade of blue.
Because they are the PHaces of change. The PHaces of Hope. And it is because of the faces you see below...and because of YOUR faces...
that there is no limit to what we can do. Together.
Announcing The Portrait House Holiday Card PHundraising PHestival of Lights!!!!! (ok,ok....so there aren't actually any lights. But you know how I love me some alliteration!!)
So you know how you're going to send out cards anyway, right? The laws of the universe and holiday etiquette practically require it. Santa himself would be heartbroken if you didn't. You're going to send them to aunts and uncles and third cousins twice removed who haven't seen you since you were in diapers because y'know... it's just what you do. It's what we ALL do. So how about THIS year, you give the card that gives....more.
What if you could give a card that would build a house for a family in need? A card that would build hope for a world in need?
Well, this year you can.
Portrait House (PH) is offering two different designs of 5x5 holiday cards and 100% of the profit will go toward building a house with Habitat for Humanity. This year, it's THE ONLY card to give. We're selling them in packs of 25 for $75. I know that's a big commitment this time of year, but together I know we can do so much good.
"PHa la la la la la la la la"
"PHor all mankind"
But wait...It gets SO much better than that!! We're also SUPER excited to announce that the first ten people in each state to buy TWO packs of PHundraising cards will become official PHounders for the Portrait House and receive your own FREE PHounder tee. But c'mon...it's about SO much more than the shirt (although I gotta say, they are pretty snazzy!!). You first ten will become our grassroots base, leading the way for PH in your home state as this mission of ours spreads across the country and the world. We'll be calling on you to help make Portrait House a reality that far exceeds any dream we might have had.
If you want to get on board, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to place your order. We also encourage ALL of you to post about this on your own blogs to help spread the word about the only card you need to buy this year! We know there are such amazing hearts out there and we can't wait to see how far this goes. So thank you all so much in advance for that.
***The deadline for orders is December 12th, so make sure you jump on this!!
**** So some of you may be asking yourselves, "Wow, this sounds pretty great....but what the heck is Portrait House?" Great question! The Portrait House is an organization for photographers that Justin & I started in 2007 that is now on a worldwide fundraising mission for....Hope. Because we know that we're better together, we're stronger together, and there's nothing that we can't do...Together. We're calling on photographers across the country to join forces for a common goal....to leave a mark on this world that is far above and beyond anything that we could do by ourselves. Step by step, project by project we can accomplish so much more, so much faster...Together. That's why we've created an ongoing project list. The first is to build a house with Habitat for Humanity. The next to grant a wish for a Make a Wish child. Beyond that, there is no end to what we can do... what we must do... Together.
"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything that you gave me." -Erma Bombeck