Tuesday, January 31, 2012

our 2011

i'm a pretty open book & try to be real, & not just on the good days.
my close friends know ( probably all too well ) my personal struggles
& my failures as a parent.
while some are silly,  some mistakes i've made seem quite profound to me.
there are many things that if i could get a do over with my girls, i certainly would.
for example, i'd give more grace.
i run a tight a ship & expect much.
i'd also try to spend more intentional one on one time with them.
i honestly think that's even more important the older they get.

as all parents, i think when we look back
we hope in our heart of hearts that our children know we did the best we could.

this is one of the posts that if i could block & keep private
just for them 
i would.
the goal of highlighting some of their 2011 is not to come accross all braggy
but to point out & remind them of some of their accomplishments.
our kids are constantly told they aren't enough.
they aren't pretty enough
thin enough
smart enough
fast enough
whatever enough.

i think you know from reading my blog
i'm crazy proud of each of my girls
& celebrate the individuality and uniqueness of each one!

1. graduated top 5% , class 2012
2. accepted to UGA, honors program
3. pledged her first choice, Alpha Chi Omega
4. attends Passion
5. strengthen relationships with new friends & old

1. sweet 16 driving her dream car
2. captain JV varsity football/competition squad
3. straight A's
4. broken nose
5. hired for her first job

1. takes 3 week mission trip to Peru
2. broken foot
3. friend to many during freshman year in highschool
4. learners license
5. JV football/competition cheerleader

1. 5th grade student council
2. first time to go away to camp
3. begins ballet , tap & jazz. continues tumbling
4. cell phone owner
5. sweet new group of friends

dan & paige
1. ridiculously in love for 12 years
2. hoping for at least 50 more
3. & trying each day to both personally and in teaching our girls
to do justly, love mercy
& walk humbly with our God.

1. mom's constant companion
2. helped train for half marathons
3. stealer of brocoli
4. lover of kisses, tummy rubs & snuggles
5.  sweetest dog award winner

Monday, January 30, 2012

modern day world changers

 {wynne elder, krista box, jessica honegger & me)

i'm not a fan of long wordy posts myself
so i apologize for this one...maybe i won't post for 5 days to redeem myself!

this weekend i had the last minute opportunity to 
head over to the Created for Care conference
that was being held outside of Atlanta
& meet some amazing women.

jessica, the founder of noonday was going to be there
& since she lives in texas
& since i think she's amazing
& since she said..."hey why don't drive up so we can meet"
i decided to clear my schedule
& take advantage of this opportunity.

the day was incredible for me.

while it was more like a glorified blind date,
the connections i made were priceless.
the opportunity to meet some women that i've admired from a distance
to see them
hug them
hear their stories
was overwhelming for me.

jessica started noonday sorta on a fluke by raising funds for her own
adoption of jack from Rwanda.
( her story is here)
her desire to create a pathway for people in poverty
her heart for the world
& her spunky personality 
make her so easy to love
and want to get on board with whatever she's doing.

also at the conference was trevor's mom, susan.
(trevor is savannah's sweetheart)
ok, susan is amazing ( & i honestly try not to overuse that word)
let me share this little bio with you~

"Dr. Hillis has been a believer for 38 years, married to a godly servant for 35, a mother for 26, a US government federal official for 20, and a university professor for 10 years. She is the mother of 11 children, 8 of whom were adopted from Russia after the tragic death of her first-born son on the day before his tenth birthday. It is her deep joy and privilege to have received untold personal blessings from the living God. She has worked and ministered in countries in South America, Africa, and Eastern Europe. She participates widely as an invited speaker at scientific and Christian conferences. She has published more than 80 articles in scientific medical journals and is considered one of the leading infectious diseases experts on the HIV risk among vulnerable youth around the world. Dr. Hillis is a recent recipient of the Outstanding Service Medal as a Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service.

During her married life she has worn many hats, including stay-at-home mom, graduate student, missionary, government official, nurse, scientist, and university professor. She has experienced infertility, caring for a son with a fatal heart condition, loss of her son through a fatal biking accident, and 8 international adoptions of older children from Russian orphanages. She, her husband, and their 10 children recently lost their home in the 2009 Atlanta floods, which were declared a presidential disaster.
Her experience suggests that God’s goodness is bigger than all the storms of life."

seriously. i love that woman & have immense respect for who she is,not only on paper
but who she is in her every day.

i had only sat down with jessica for a couple minutes
when susan walks up with a friend
she wants to introduce me to.
the friend was emily vogeltanz.
the Do Something Now Initiative from Passion
was the brain child of emily & her hubby.

ok stop right there & let me tell you...
besides being blown away because
i'm now in the presence of not one, not two, but three women
who truly are world changers 
the timing of this was such a sweet gift from the Lord.

i shared about how logistically the volunteer gig for those several days turned out 
to be something i couldn't quite pull off.
how defeated i felt because i couldn't be there
how disappointed i was 
that i was missing out on something big?

as i sat glued to my computer for many hours during the passion conference
i was blown away not only by the event itself
but by the passion of this generation of college kids
who truly do want to stop human trafficking & end slavery on their watch.
i asked the lord to show me how to do something in my own little world,
a way to connect and a way to touch others.
during that time is when i began to look at the Noonday site
and began to pray about coming on board with them.

when susan walked up with emily
the one who planned much of the campaign with passion
during the exact time i was meeting jessica
the founder of the company i had since joined,
it was one of those moments
where i felt the Lord saying
see...you're right where i wanted you all along.
it was like the two moments 
the two biggies in my heart
occurring at the same time.
ya'll it was all i could do to hold it together...

all day i just kept smiling & thinking
thank you jesus for being the giver of all good things
& for bringing this all together.
the timing was just a super sweet gift.

the other super cool part about that connection
is savannah would love to intern with passion
& so many cool connections are already in the works
but this was an awesome one.

 i was also able to meet gwen
gwen is one of the founders of 147 million orphans.
have you heard about katie?
well, that's the group 147 million orphans.

the first time i stumbled upon them i sat and read all their blogs
& fell in love with them
& was so inspired by them.

gwen & suzanne were at the conference this weekend
& i loved meeting gwen.
you must read their stories ya'll.
you must.

when i started my photography busines
i decided to support either in donation or purchase of product from companies 
like 147 & Noonday.
to meet both of the women from those companies
was such a gift for me!
full circle if you will.

these are all real women
real women
changing the world we live in,
called by the lord to make a difference in so many lives.
while i probably have them all on a pedestal in my heart
i know we're sisters in the lord.
i can pray with & for each of these women,
the lives they touch & the ministries they represent. 
what an honor.
gwen , jessica, wynne, krista, susan & emily...what an honor!!

cowboy boots or TOMS
jeans & funky jewelry
pearls & trousers
gentle spirits & loud and spunky
blond or ginger
Tennessee accents or Texas drawl
each an adoptive mom
each with a huge territory of influence
each with a contagious passion
for the things that bring glory to Him
making a difference.
what a privilege to call each one, friend

"i see a generation
rising up to take their place
with selfless faith.
i see a near revival
stirring as we pray and seek.
we're on our knees"

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Noonday collection ambassador!!

 {jessica, the founder of noonday & her little fella Jack
recently brought into their family this fall}

i'm beside myself excited to share with you what i believe is not only an honor
but truly a gift to me from the lord.
when i was in my 20's the lord gave me a desire to work as a nurse
& primarily care for children with cancer.
i went to school with that purpose in mind, my eyes were fixed on that goal.
i loved my job. loved that job.

i loved working with families and getting to know them as they would
frequently return to the hospital for their childs chemo and treatment.
while that was truly a heart wrenching job
and i saw many sweet children pass on
i knew i was exactly where He wanted me to be.

after gregg passed away and i had several little ones of my own
i found that working in that particular job , in a high acuity situation
was too hard for just a single mom who could only work one day a week.
plus those children need the continuity of full or part time nurses.

i sadly left that field & began what would become a ten year job in telephone triage.
while that was a good paycheck & i was technically still in nursing
i truly missed the connection and contact in oncology.

several months ago the scheduling matrix began to change at the hospital
and i was beginning to get requests to photograph many friends.
i didn't want to leave the security of a regular paycheck
but knew it was time to move on.

i started my photography business last fall & am thrilled to be doing what i love
& what i'm passionate about!
i decided that a portion of each session
would be given back either in donation or purchasing a product from a couple companies
that i had chosen.
one of the companies i wanted to invest in was

& began to wear them to photo shoots.
i loved it when someone would comment on the jewelry i was wearing.
this gave me a great oppportunity to share ...
each piece purchased through noonday provides a pathway out of poverty for the artisan.
handmade, fair trade beautiful pieces.

i loved telling my client that a portion of their fees that they had paid me
were actually supporting a widow or an HIV infected beautiful person
often times in countries i couldn't even locate on a map....
but i'm working on it!!

while my photography business is a wonderful creative outlet for me
& i will most definitely continue that, 
i knew i'd need to persue another way to supplement our income
over the holiday i began to read & pray about starting my own
business with noonday.

i had my phone interview with the founder, Jessica
(pictured above) and was immediately smitten with her.
her enthusiasm and passion was contagious.
her story can be found here.
i called dan immediately & knew in my heart this was absolutely what i wanted to do. 

dan & i prayed about making the financial investment
& all the other thoughts and concerns that come with starting not one
but now two businesses for me in less than 4 months.

i have wanted to do something intentional,
something purposeful.
i've wanted to find a way to somehow touch another person
like i was able to do when working in oncology.
while i may never meet these women
(although i'm praying for the opportunity this fall!!)
the position of being an ambassador,
someone who represents another,
for them & their craft is a huge honor and privilege.
supplementing our income is icing on the cake!

i could talk about noonday
the artisans
their stories
the stories of adoptions
the cool ways this fell into place
in an effort to keep this from an epic post
i'll wrap it up here.
(for today anyway.wink)

for those that have asked,
you may most certainly order from my website.
for my local friends,
i will schedule my launch party in the next few days!
for those that prayed for me while i interviewed
& made this leap, thank you thank you!

pinch me!!

(at the bottom of my home page is my noonday button,
feel free to use if you so desire. i would be so honored!)


"no other name
is mighty to save...
i will carry your name
jesus, your name....
chirsty nockels

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

{mother & son}

jill & i met via blogging.
jill was the very first client that scheduled a session with me
when i began my photography adventure.

i have to be honest & tell you how intimidating it was for me
to go from photographing my own children
to photographing a new contact...whether we've been talking on line
& emails or not, it's still a brave move to make.
while my client may like my style
or like my previous work,
as in any art form
things are a little different when that client is now paying me
& i have yet to create the art of that particular person.

being a people pleaser
combined with the desire to have my clients be pleased with the results
of their session,
can make for a nervous rookie photographer.
all those fluttering butterflies in my stomach disappeared with jill.
besides being rock star gorgeous
she was so warm & gracious
kind & encouraging.
between her old gringos and her fabulous free people wardrobe
i knew we'd have a great session.
her little man has the most charming personality.
love that little guy!
& a modeling agency surely needs to snatch him up!
the interaction between them was priceless.
the expressions he made with her
& the way his little eyes lit up looking into her face...
he clearly loves his mama!
i loved it!

thank you so much jill!!
you are an amazing mom & it was an honor
to photograph you with your precious son!

"you're the lord of all creation
& still you know my heart"
christy nockels

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

oops!!! forgot to tell you about the $25

i totally forgot to tell you yesterday
or open an account
via the link above or the link on yesterday's post
you will receive $25 off your order!

one of my readers ordered two journals
plus shipipng and minus the $25 
her entire order came to less than $15

ok...you may now return to your regular scheduled programming

my fashion inspiration
will be taken from the above image.
the elementary age child...
that says a lot about me, i realize this.
of course
with ponytail
& crown barette

Monday, January 23, 2012

Minted journal love

 while these images are sorta crummy,
i wanted to share one of my favorite gifts i gave the girls at Christmas.
minted carries the cutest journals ya'll, 
the cutest!

you can personalize the cover
the interior
& choose lined or blank pages.
all for $16.
they're a no brainer.
they recently listed several cute ones for valentines too.

{i can't believe i forgot to mention...
if you order now through my link,
you'll receive $25 off your order!!}

i had a great time picking out the perfect one for each them.
on the inside page you can add another image
or a little book plate design.

i ordered one for me too...forgot to photograph that one. shoot.
was out christmas shopping & they even called to make sure one of the words/phrases was correct.
excellent customer service too!

i also 
wanted to share how i presented them to the girlies on christms eve.
they each had a little silver box with a piece of jewelry to open
& one of the journals beside their place setting.
the journals are delivered in a little white sleeve.
i simply added one of the glittered letters i've had for years
from wendy addison
& the little angel wings were from pottery barn.

we ordered our Christmas cards & my business cards
from minted & will most definitely return!

you can access Minted here