Erin // A River Story™

Here is a letter I wrote to Erin the night of her session while the ends of my hair were still wet. 

 

Beautiful Soul,

Thomas is asleep with Lily and I am sitting here feeling like my head has been cleared of everything and replaced with starlight. 

I truly don't know, sitting here in the dark, if it is possible for you to fully understand just how radiant you are. And it has nothing to do with your past, or anything like that. It's so much deeper, and higher, than any of that. I never understood what people meant when I'd hear them say, "I wish I could bottle up her sunshine," until this very moment. You have a gift, and I am just in awe. 

It's fascinating to me how, if tonight was a movie, it might look more like a comedy than a sacred story, but underneath it all, there was a constant hum of something so powerful and beautiful, and that's kind of how life is for some of us. Things might look hopeless or horrible, or terrifying or hilarious, but just below sea level, all the good stuff glows on, unharmed, unfazed. 

I felt vulnerable tonight. I felt humbled and nervous. And I want to thank you for that. For lighting my creative heart on fire, and trusting that in the end, it would all be ok. Better than ok. 

Here are a few previews, but I assure you, choosing just a few to share with you was close to impossible. These images... I just cannot find words. 

I just want to say, I see you. And I think you are really, really, realllly incredible.

Love,

Michelle



That One Time...

I woke up yesterday feeling a little off, but I assumed it was because it's like ten million degrees here in Texas right now, and I probably didn't drink enough water the day before. 

We did our usual Sunday stuff; washed the car, bought too many paper towels at Costco, went to pottery class and made my first not-a-bowl. I had a baby headache, and still felt weird, but I just kept chugging my water and going through the motions, anxiously waiting for the River Story™ at sundown. 

The drive there was awesome, and I was hopeful that whatever was weird had passed. 

And then, just as I clicked the first shutter, I felt it: a flash of extreme nausea. The kind that makes you want to curl up in the coziest place in the world and just pour freezing water on your face. But I ignored it and kept going, chatting furiously about every little thing in an attempt to not think about how increasingly sick I was feeling. 

At one point, in the middle of it all, I might have dry heaved on the side of the water, and I might have almost fainted twice, too. And maybe if it was anyone else, I wouldn't have been able to carry on, but these two. These. Two. My goodness, their love. 

The session was set up for Lauren, and she mentioned in an email that her fiancee might jump in for a few at the end, but right away I noticed something: When Holt is near, Lauren GLOWS, and the second he lets go of her hand, or walks away, something shifts. It's incredibly subtle, and perhaps not everyone would even notice, but to me, someone who makes a living being deeply in tune with matters of the heart, it was glaringly, and most beautifully, obvious. These two really are complete when together. As if one spirit was mistakingly separated somehow, and it was only by finding one another that everything finally made sense. 

Yup, I threw up the entire way home, and last night was pretty rough (still have no idea what it was, but probably a bug since I'm doing great today!) but there was NO WAY I wasn't going to capture these two. I feel SO incredibly blessed that they were called to fly here to Austin to share these waters with me, and inspire me with some of the purest love I have ever seen. 

I haven't finished editing their full session yet, and I already posted a little preview, but COME ON, when you get to capture a love like this, you kind of owe it to the rest of the world to share freely! 

I cannot stop thinking about last night and how, no matter what you believe in, there is no doubting that these two were brought together by something far more powerful than anything logic can explain. I have been reading a lot of Oscar Wilde lately, and this passage keeps circling in my mind,

If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.

How incredible to witness that their wait is, most beautifully, over. 

She's 6

Today was her Birthday, and in between the present opening, and cupcake eating, and mini piñata swinging, I put my old 50 1.4 lens on my camera and took some pictures. 

And it makes the sting of them growing up so dang fast a little bit more bearable. Because now I know I won't forget her little white eyelashes, and her nose dusted with freckles, and her little braids falling on her shoulders. And I know, years from now, I will be able to say, without hesitation, that I took the time to stop and notice and absolutely adore what makes her, her. 

So grateful for days like today... 

Christie // A River Story™

The women who fly to Austin each week leave me crumbled in a huge pile of humbleness. Like, how am I this lucky? How do I get to introduce the most wonderful souls to the most gorgeous waters, and laugh and play and dance under the giant Texas sky, all with my sweet little family playing nearby in the forest?

I may never logically be able to explain the how, or what, or any of it... but I know, without question, that this is what I was born to do, all of my broken pieces make sense now, and I have no intention of slowing down any time soon.