Author Archives: Chixie
Well.. there He goes again. God. Smacking me upside the head. Apparently I need it. God is funny and He has quite the sense of humor. There’s a saying that goes something like this…
“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”
Last March, I went on a whirlwind missions trip with my church to Haiti. That trip changed my life and changed my outlook on so many different things. I came back heartbroken and healed, all at once. I yearned to go back and try to make more of a difference. Well, as we all know… Life gets in the way. It just does. Things happen, things change, and life goes on.
When I returned from a week in Haiti I was overflowing. With love..for the human race and for myself. That is the first time I experienced love for myself..ever. Strange, huh? I see a counselor from time to time who owns a missions organization in Haiti (ironic) and she told me once: ”You were exactly who God meant you to be, while you were in Haiti. You were stripped of all of your daily responsibilities and all of the “junk” that you deal with (that we all deal with) on a day to day basis. You had the chance to just be YOU.” She was exactly right. I was just me. I wasn’t Mom, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Cook, Chauffer, Maid, Friend…I was just Tara. It was so exhilarating and freeing to see who I am and who I am meant to be. For the first time ever, I loved myself. Being me…was enough. I know that some will understand that, and some won’t, and that’s ok. I’ve battled pretty extreme self esteem issues all of my life so this was pretty monumental for me.
The night before I came home I was on the phone with my husband Justin, trying to convey to him the overflow that I was feeling in my heart. I didn’t feel much interest from him, and he told me in no uncertain terms, that he had no interest in ever going to Haiti. It crushed me, as I so wanted to share this with him. I felt that it would strengthen us as a unit and give him a different outlook on some things as well. I felt some struggles when I returned home and immersed myself back into our daily lives, as I didn’t know how to share with him how I was feeling inside…especially since I felt like he was so disinterested.
Life eventually returned back to “normal”.
Fast forward to a week ago.
Without delving into too much, I was talking to a pastor at church about my Haiti experience and how I feel like I *need* that again. He said to me “You and Justin are going on the next Haiti trip, you don’t have a choice.” Wait…both of us? Really? When? Oh..in MARCH? Like…5 weeks away, March? Yes. There just happened to be enough space for the two of us to go, with the same leader who took me last year.
Justin readily agreed. Isn’t it ironic how things can change? God sure does have a sense of humor!
So now we are in the process of quickly getting a passport for Justin, along with immunizations, which cost a considerable amount of money. We do have half of the trip covered, but right now we are praying that we can somehow scrape up the remaining half, about $1500. This trip really isn’t an option for us, it’s a necessity, for so many reasons. I am excited and anxious and a little apprehensive.
Now I’m going to ask you, my readers and my friends, for your help. If you can find it in your heart to contribute to our trip, we would be eternally grateful. If you can’t contribute monetarily, I ask for your prayers.
I encourage you to go through my blogging about my last trip in March, you can start here and follow the links to the days after:
If you would like to contribute towards our trip, please click the Donate button below. Thank you so much <3
Today I’m going to share something a little personal with you. I have mixed feelings on posting personal affects on my business blog…but we are all human. We all experience life, with it’s many ups and downs. Highs, lows, sadness and joy. I am no different. I want to share with you my story.
Today is October 12, 2012. This makes it 366 days since I last saw my aunt. 1 year and 1 day since she went to heaven.
A year has gone by.
This past year has been incredibly difficult for our family. We all deal with grief differently…we all mourn in our own ways. For me, there is something in my brain that refuses to accept death. I’m racked with fresh grief almost everytime I think of this time last year…and the days leading up to her passing. I’m hoping now that we are into our second year, I will be more at peace.
My mother’s sister and I were quite close. She was the boss in the family; a bit of a matriarch. She was never afraid of telling you how you should be doing things or what you need to be doing.
After I got out of the military I moved to Toledo where my aunt was living and moved in with her for a couple of months. She helped me get to know the city, helped me start over again. When I got engaged and was planning my wedding, she was the one that helped me plan it. She went dress shopping with me, she did all of the flower work for the church and reception…she just took over when I needed it the most. She was there during my first pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, and there with me through most of my pregnancy with Ava. She was like a second mother to me. Right before I gave birth to Ava, she moved to Florida where a new job awaited her.
I only saw her a few times, every couple of years, when she would come back home to visit. We talked on the phone and sent emails back and forth as often as possible. I missed her and felt that some part of my life was missing.
A little over 2 years ago we got the news that she was diagnosed with Small Cell Lung Cancer.
It completely rocked our little family. My grandparents picked up everything and went to Florida and my grandmother stepped into the Mama role again and took care of my aunt. She was so sick from her chemo and radiation. My grandma is so strong and shouldered that responsibility and didn’t want anybody else to step in and help.
After fighting for nearly a year, my aunt decided to come home to see her family. We had a small gathering with many extended family members (cousins, second cousins, etc) and she looked beautiful. You would never have known she was sick. About a week later she got very sick and was admitted to the hospital.
This went on a few times and she never returned to Florida.
But…she was right where she needed to be. I truly believe it was all meant to be.
Hospice came into my grandparents home. On October 7, 2011, my little family and I drove up north to see her and the rest of my family. We got a call on the way up there that she was not doing well and to hurry.
I ended up staying at my grandparents house and helping my cousin, her son, care for my aunt. Justin and the kids went home on Sunday and I stayed behind, feeling that I was needed more doing what I could do. This was the first time the entire family was together in years. It was just what Auntie would have wanted.
On Monday night, after the house settled down and it got quiet, I heard her cough. This went on for awhile and then my cousin and I decided to stay with her. We knew time was running out.
We lit a candle, held her hand, talked to her and prayed while we knelt on each side of her bed. It was an excruciatingly long night and she gave it her best fight. She passed away early the next morning on October 11, 2011, with most of her family in her room telling her goodbye. I will always remember her last breath.
I miss her so, and her absence has left a hole in our family where she should be. I am so saddened for my grandmother..no parent should ever lose a child, no matter their age. My cousins who lost their only parent.
Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of her passing. I wore purple, which was her favorite color, to remember her by. We sent up some balloons to heaven, to say hello and let her know how much she is loved and missed.
We love you Aunt Jackie. I hope that sometime soon we can say your name and think of you with more smiles than tears. You are missed.
We have recently hit 2,000 fans on facebook and wanted to celebrate by hosting an awesome giveaway with some fabulous vendors. There are a total of 13 prizes, and each one will be awarded individually!
How cool is that? So…you have 13 chances to WIN!
Are you ready to see what the prizes are?
All of the photos pictured are copyrighted, please do not copy, print or distribute. Many thanks to all of the vendors for contributing their gorgeous products…I’m so jealous ‘cuz I for sure want them too!
The Whimsy Collection Lightroom Presets….a collection of 20 gorgeous Lightroom presets from Chixie and Honey..
A couple examples…
Scalloped Bonnet hat from Birdy Bird Boutique
A $100 GC to On The Spot Studio (store)!
Children’s Custom Fork and Spoon set from Oh Zilly Me!
Boy’s newborn tie from JenC Designs
Headband of choice from Ginger Locks
Canvatote from Holding Art
Chevron Blog Template from Night Owl Custom Designs
Knot Top beanie from Sweet and Simple Knits
“Once Upon a Pastime” newborn wrap headband from Blessedmama Designs
Cloche Beanie Hat from Prop Me Up Prop Shop
HOW TO ENTER:
You MUST “like” each vendors page on Facebook (sign up if you don’t have an account….it’s easy AND fun …you are missing out on news, specials and product features!
Then you must post a comment ON THIS BLOG POST saying that you liked all 12 vendors (and for fun…tell us which product you’d most want to win!)
Once you do those steps, you’ll be entered! Only one entry per person. Giveaway will go on for 7 days, then we will do a drawing of 13 names for 13 prizes! Sound like fun?
Have at it and enjoy!
CLICK THIS LINK and follow the directions!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I haven’t seen little Ava since her newborn session…and now she is 6 months old! I so love seeing our baby plan babies grow up the first year!
Just one for now.
Processed with Chixie and Honey’s “Clearwater” preset from the upcoming “Whimsy Collection” for Lightroom. Have you become a fan on facebook? No? Make sure to get your FREE preset download from the “Whimsy Collection” only for a limited time! Just click on the Exlusive Download button below and “Like” our fanpage to get the free download! Let me know how you like it!
I am so excited to show these to you! I have been working so hard on this project of mine…testing, tweaking and creating to have an awesome set of Lightroom 3 (and below) presets for you! All of these presets are “tweakable”…which means once you click the button…you may need to lower the exposure, change the temperature, etc. Many times they are perfect AS IS! Thank you to Shannon Atchely of Atchely Photography for providing this beautiful photo as an example of the presets of the “Whimsy Collection” by Chixie and Honey Artistic Imagery.
Be on the lookout in the next few days for release to get these for yourself! So exciting!
Newborn Presets. All for different lighting and whitebalances.
I met up with Danielle and her fiance a week or so ago at the beach. What a gorgeous night it was! Clear skies, perfect temperature and a beautiful sunset. We had a great time with lots of laughs and giggles. Danielle is PERFECT in front of the camera, she is so beautiful and serene… I’m so in love with her photos.
She is due with a baby BOY very very soon….good luck Danielle! Can’t wait to meet Gunner
Make sure you leave a comment for this beautiful Mama!
Welcome to my life story for August. If you aren’t familiar with the life story series, it is a personal project that myself and several other photographers are participating in. It’s a monthly (bi monthly…etc) reminder to photograph the little moments in our own lives – the moments that tell our *own* stories.
Last weekend my family and I took a 4 day camping trip to Holland Michigan. The weather was outstanding, the water was beautiful. We had such a great time just spending time together and concentrating on US. I took my camera to the beach and had so much fun just capturing the joy…I’m so glad I had it. It’s the little things in life that are easily swept away when big things occupy our minds and hearts. I even handed the camera over to the husband so I am in a few as well! Enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed our days at the beach!
Please take a moment to continue the circle and enjoy Jessica’s beautiful work from Jessica Deane Photography
It’s been quiet over here on the blog. I know, I’m so bad. Life just gets crazy and the blog always gets put on the back burner. BUT! I’m always updating over on the Chixie and Honey FACEBOOK PAGE!
For example you can see photos like all of this…
See you over there!