Flowers

Bluebonnets in Texas

One of my favorite things about Texas is the state flower: the bluebonnet. 

Somewhere in Texas :) | 2013

Somewhere in Texas :) | 2013

In the springtime, wild bluebonnets will begin to pop up everywhere on the sides of roads, especially along highways. You will see people parking on the sides of roads, wrangling their kids to capture family photos with the bluebonnets. They're beautiful and just pop when you photograph them! 

I captured this one above on a road trip in 2013 before we moved overseas. I just couldn't resist myself and had to get my husband to pull over the car. :) Sometimes you gotta do, what you gotta do! 

For you more techy people out there who are curious, I shot this on my Canon 5D Mark II, likely with my Tamron 28-75 f/2.8. This was the lens I used almost exclusively for a while before I switched to Primes. It's a great lens and would totally buy one again! 

Hope you're weekend is awesome!

-Ashley

When Disappointment Comes

Have you had those moments where you were really hoping for something to happen and it didn't? Perhaps you were expecting a promotion and it fell through. Maybe you were expecting to be pregnant by now, and you're not. Or possibly you were expecting to be further along in life right now than where you're at....and it's just disappointing.

Today I was listening to this song for the first time and the lyrics were this:

I know that all things are working for my good. He’s Intentional. Never failing.
— Travis Green, "Intentional"

It was really impacting to me. Mostly because I realized that everything that God does in our lives is intentional. Nothing is left up to coincidence. That gave me so much hope! 

Hope that God is not far and distant, but is right beside me, walking with me through everything in my life. He is weaving everything together and it's a perfect plan, even though it doesn't seem so perfect at times. God is intentional with every detail. How amazing.

Even these lovely flowers above were intentionally created by Him for me (and you) to look at in awe of. God is truly wonderful.

I hope that brings some encouragement to you today like it did me! 

-Ashley

Lovely Flowers

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/3.2, 1/1000 sec, ISO-250  |  Somewhere in Texas :)

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/3.2, 1/1000 sec, ISO-250  |  Somewhere in Texas :)

Spring is here! These flowers were popping up everywhere. I could probably spend a lot of time taking pictures of flowers. They're colorful, pretty and all look so different. God is so creative!

I took this picture from this past weekend. We were in the country somewhere in Texas (close to Centerville, I think) with some friends of ours. It was fun to get away from the city and to slow down. However...I've learned pretty quickly that I am not a country gal. I just love the city too much! 

Hope your Tuesday is going well!

-Ashley

Hello 2016

Isn't it weird saying that? 2016. I can't believe 2015 is over.

So many good things happened in 2015, such as:

  1. Taught my first photography class at a university.
  2. Completed 2 years living abroad.
  3. Celebrated 8 years of marriage.
  4. Completed our contract at the university we were working at.
  5. Traveled A LOT and had some fun times!
  6. Joined a company in our city to begin new programs. 
  7. Was able to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with family.

I could keep going, but I'll stop there! 2015 was a good year and I know 2016 will be the same way and I'm looking forward to it. What are you looking forward to this year?

As I've thought about what projects I am going to do this year and received your opinions, I've decided on the projects (at least I think I have!). :) Drumroll please....

I am going to do a photo a day still, however, I will be posting weekly portraits, sharing their stories. I will do at least one a week, sometimes more. We'll see how it goes!  I will be posting more about the vision I have for my weekly portraits in the coming posts.

So, to start off this new year, here is my photo of the day. 

Hope that your Christmas and New Years Day was blessed. I look forward to all the new things that God is going to bring us this year. 

-Ashley

It's been a while....

Well hello. It's been a while. If you are friends with me on facebook, then you know I have had quite the month.

We flew from Asia to Texas on October 23rd and four days later I was in the hospital in Houston with high fevers and no appetite. I was diagnosed with salmonella-typhoid and was in the hospital for 15 days! When I think about it, I honestly can't remember what happened from the time we arrived in the state's to about 10 days into my hospital stay. The beginning is just a blur. Just now I am feeling completely normal and am living normally (thank God!). So now you know the reason for no blogposts for a month! 

So I'm feeling a little hesitant to begin my photo a day project again for various reasons, but I want to complete it for this year. It's obviously lacking days, but I am one to finish what I start.

This was taken in Houston, actually at a park. I was on a photo walk with my mom and sister. I feel like it's the stereotypical picture of the purple flower surrounded by lily pads in the pond that shows up on our windows desktop screens. :) Nonetheless, it's a nice photo. 

It's nice to be back posting photos! I have much more to share. :) Be on the lookout.

-Ashley

Consider the Flowers

The last few days have been intense for us. It would take many blogposts to explain, but mainly we have been trying to get everything sorted for us to remain in our city. We've been working on this process since we arrived in the beginning of September, but it has proven to take longer than two months. Albeit this has been challenging, we are finally at a good spot. We have all the documents, memberships, sign-off's and so on. The only thing that isn't good is that our current visa expires on the 21st (this upcoming Wednesday).

As I've reflected today, what I find interesting is that I haven't found this whole process too worrisome. The constant trips to different offices repetitively (we've found that the lucky number is somewhere around 4-5 times) hasn't been too burdensome. Finding out, after you think you know the process, that you need another letter wasn't too bad. Yes, it would have been nice to know that before, but it's doable. Even people saying no hasn't been tragic (they've all said yes in the end, so it's worked out). 

What is stressful and burdensome is the constant anticipation for an outcome.

The last couple of days, I have wondered why both Joshua and I are so irritable. I was so perplexed by this because generally we get along great. It suddenly dawned on me today that the stress of waiting and anticipating, and a deadline fast approaching can definitely wear on people. It kind of goes back to my previous blogpost about waiting for the perfect wave. We are anticipating, hoping, etc. without any conclusive answers yet. For this situation to resolve would be so nice right about now!

So with all this in mind, as I was posting my photo of the day it reminded me that this doesn't have to pan out for me to have contentment wherever I'm at. We have been living in a state of unknown, but it doesn't matter.

It doesn't change who God is.

In Matthew 6 (in the Bible), Jesus talks about how we shouldn't be anxious about our lives because God knows and will take care of us. He talks about the birds, how they don't store away in barns, but God provides for them. He creates beautiful flowers that don't 'toil or spin'. He created the grass, which is here today and gone tomorrow. But us...we are much more of value than those things. How much more will he care for us? (This is my paraphrase, read the verses here)

It is true. God greatly cares for you and me and is much bigger than our situations. So although I want things to resolve, I will just have to keep living in "unknown land". At least one thing is for sure--even though I'm in "unknown land", God is with me. I'm not doing this alone. I'm so thankful!

Whether you're in a good place today or are anticipating an outcome, I pray you know God is with you. 

-Ashley

The Beauty of Flowers

I really love sun flowers. These aren't quite sunflowers--I did a little research and the closest I can find is an "Ox-Eyed Sunflower"--regardless, I think they're beautiful. 

My mom, sister and I went on a photo walk in downtown Houston and we came across these beautiful flower beds. Needless to say, we ended up staying in this area for some time. I will venture to say that you will see quite a few more from this photo walk! 

Day 2 down! :) Let's see if day 3 happens! 

-Ashley

Goodbye, for now!

So this will be my last post before leaving and might be for a few days until I get over the first onset of jet lag. We'll see how motivated I am to turn on my computer!

This was taken at a historic mosque near where I live. Probably one of my favorite places I've seen here! I love the colors, the flowers, the old wood, etc. 

Unfortunately, not much time for a blogpost today--so have a great Thursday! I will be back to report how the 20+ hour flight is and any other traveling woes we encounter on our way back to Texas! :) 

See you in the State's! :)

-Ashley