Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hi friends!

So I'm a TERRIBLE blogger!! I dont really know what to talk about and as much as I LOVE "stalking" all my friends and keeping up with your families and travels and other things.... I just dont know what to include in mine!!  I'm actually starting a photography blog to go along with my new website and am trying to work on getting images posted, etc from my work so maybe that will be more exciting!!

ON that note- I have a new PHotog website: www.tiffanydawnphotos.com that you should check out and SHARE!  :) I have more stuff to add to it (like family galleries of some of my favorite clients/shoots) but for now - its pretty simple and functional!

ALSO, I'm looking forward to a really busy and fun fall in the way of Photography!!  Currently, I'm booking Family Sessions for the next few weekends!  I thought I'd try something new and decide ahead of time certain venues and dates and see how that works for my clients!  So if you're looking to get a photo for your christmas card this year, let me know!

*Obviously I have times avail outside of these as well as other locations if you like.  I'm not totally booked up on these dates yet so I'm flexible!

Ok I'm not going to end with a promise to blog... because really- looking at my track history, its not likely! :) 
But thanks for reading! (LEave me a comment! They make me feel like someone is actually reading and might want to see more! ha!)


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Photo Session Giveaway

Hey Friends!!

I'm doing a giveaway on my Facebook Photo Page because I reached 150 fans and thought I'd extend it to my blogger friends!

I know some of you dont have Facebook- but you can enter without it.  Just check out the Rafflecopter giveaway helper below to enter!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

His Bounty

Leap of Faith

Things have been pretty tight financially since quitting my job.. (actually who am I kidding... they were tight before quitting my job!) and this month they were the tightest they've been.  I wasnt' sure how Rent was going to get paid, but somehow things always work out... So, I wrote my roommate a check and told her she couldn't cash it. It was a long weekend as I prayed and tried to figure out what I could do to make up the money. Monday came around and my circumstances hadn't changed. Actually- I'd had 2 photoshoots cancel over the weekend where I would have gotten pd.  I was super discouraged.  Well luckily on Monday, I had some stuff come in from previous work and was pd in advance for a couple other things I'm working on - so Rent got pd in the nick of time and I had $3 left in my bank account after the check was cashed - but I felt RICH! I was thankful! Relieved. I didn't' know how other bills/gas/food was going to work out- but I paid my roommate and God provided.


However, through this process the last few weeks, I started to really question God's love for me. And Sunday was my breaking point. I've always been a person full of hope and faith, but on Sunday I was just telling Him I'd had it and he was not being faithful to His promises to provide for me, or the word he gave me in 2007 of having "financial Abundance in order to not just meet my own need, but to bless others."  Its been hard since I took the scary leap of faith that I felt He called me to (quitting job) but never as hard as it was this month... at Christmas.. .when I have a 6 yr old who I want to provide for. 

 So at church Sunday during ministry time, they were singing "How He Loves Us" and I was just sobbing- not bc I didnt' have money bc I knew that would work out some how... (it kinda always does in my world thankfully) but bc I felt like he didn't really love me.  I started to believe that song wasn't about me.  I was the exception. He had forgotten me. My family struggled financially as I grew up and now I was following in their footsteps.  I started to believe that he called me out onto a tree branch to just saw it off behind me and I was sad and more than that, deeply, deeply, hurt. I sobbed more than I've cried in a year. And it wasn't about the rent.  It was just about feeling forgotten and unloved.  

I cried most of the day on and off.  Couldn't stop. Was just so hurt and sad. 


So Nate was around and knew I wasn't ok, but just kinda played, etc.  Well, towards the end of the day, I had been doing ok but then a friend called to check on me from earlier and I started crying again.  Nate got in my lap and just stared intently at my face.... every time a tear would roll down my cheek, he would wipe it off. So sweet.  So when I hung up, he told me everything was goign to be ok.  And then he prayed for me.  It was simple - "God, please bring my mommy a husband so she doesn't have to be alone. And God help her to not be sad because she thinks you dont love her - because it isn't true, you do love her. And Jesus Name amen."

And then he told me some knock knock jokes to make me laugh.  So so sweet.

Then he got in bed and asked me to come in and pray w him. 
He prayed: "God, thank you that we have this house and thank you that we aren't poor like the people that don't have a house. And thank you that we have food.  And God please help them to not be poor anymore so they have a place to live and food to eat.  In Jesus Name, Amen." I started crying again... I love that kid. He is so empathetic and he truly has wisdom beyond his years.

I think that was the turning point for me.  He put things in perspective.  We have a warm home, we have clothes, we have a fridge full of food, we have transportation, and we are truly RICH.  My heart started to soften then. I started to relax and His peace overwhelmed me.  I was still in Need, but it just didn't seem so big anymore. 

DAY OF LOVE:: WEdnesday

So during the day yesterday, a girl I used to disciple called and said she wanted to take me to shop for Nate for Christmas. I was thrilled $and so thankful and had a blast getting him stuff that I prob wouldn't have this yr (like a super cute robe and adorable jammies from Children's Place!) I was blown away and just felt like God was showing me He was going to provide for Nate even when I had JUST told my roommate that I wasn't sure I would be buying Nate presents - but that he'd just have to be ok w stuff from extended fam, grand parents, etc (which honestly would be plenty!). But God met a need that I didn't even ask for. He went over and above and He blessed my sweet little boy through this friend. 

Then last night, we had a great lg at my house.  I was supposed to lead worship and though I didnt' feel like I had much to give after all of the crying, etc this week, Holy Spirit showed up and guided our worship and it was a sweet sweet time singing about spending time with him and His love for us.  

So then, a close friend showed up at the end of LG to supposedly talk... but after a few minutes, one by one more and more of my single friends showed up at my house and came in. I was pretty surprised to see everyone and not sure what they were doing here, but then when everyone got situated standing in a big circle alll smiling and staring at me, they just said something like "We just wanted to let you know that God does love you. And we do too. So we all got together in the last 2 days and raised some money for you" And then they pull out this huge posterboard check in the amount of $2090.00. 

I was just in shock! 30 single people 12 days before Christmas all gave enough money to get me 2 THOUSAND 90 dollars! And you have to understand, the demographic of these sweet friends is quite varied - from ages 22-31 with all different types of jobs & responsibilities... from Students to Businessmen.  And THEY gave to ME abundantly, unselfishly, extravagantly.  I couldn't laugh or cry or even talk - (sorry friends for the anticlimactic response!). I was just so surprised! And SERIOUSLY SPEECHLESS - which as most of you know RARELY happens for me.  I was just so thankful - but soooo overwhelmed and truly blown away by community. It just couldnt' sink in. 


Acts 2:42-47 which is our vision for life groups, talks about how the church in Acts all came together and gave to one another as they had need. If this isn't an example of that - I'm not sure what is!!

Its also finally setting in today that God does truly love me and he isn't ignoring me and I'm not forgotten and I'm definitely not alone. And i know that HE WILL provide for me and not just measly scraps or leftovers- but LAVISH gifts fit for a daughter of a King. 
I read in Jeremiah this morning as I was worshiping and trying to process the depths of this, I was led to Jer 31.  The end of Verse 13 -14 says:"I will turn their morning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. I will satisfy the priests with abundance, and my people will be filled with my bounty," declares the Lord.

So what stuck out to me in that verse was the word BOUNTY.   I looked up the word to see what exactly it meant and I found: 
Definition of BOUNTY1: something that is given generously
2: liberality in giving : generosity
So that fits - huh? My community filled me with His BOUNTY.  They were the fulfillment of this Promise from the Lord to me. 

My roommate in all her wisdom last night said that she thought I would continue to process and unpack this and that it would sink in slowly all that this gift means to me and Nate.  But more importantly probably is that the revelation is sinking in that I'm not the red-headed step child - the one that may not actually starve but only gets His leftovers. I'm not destined to be barely getting by like my family when I was growing up.  No, that is a lie.  I am a daughter of the King.  I am a Princess with Keys to the Kingdom. I have a seat at His banquet table.  I have access to His riches...  and finally my Daddy loves me and He will goto EXTRAVAGANT links to make SURE that I dont ever doubt that for too long!

I. Am. Loved.  Its still sinking in. But I know today without a doubt that its true. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My 6Yr Old!!

So it was  6 yrs ago today that I was in the hospital waiting for my little guy to make his appearance... he actually wasn't born till 2:39am on the 27th, but it was at this point 6 yrs ago that I was about to become a mom!  I still remember thinking about what he would look like, what his personality would be, and thinking about all the unknowns of motherhood.

Now, 6 short years later, here I am, the proud mom of a Kindergartener!

I have learned so much in this short time and I can't imagine my life without my favorite little man in it.  I'm feeling nostalgic, but I only have a little bit before I have to go pick him up from school... his last day as a 5 yr old!

So here are some random thoughts (in no order) that I have as I think about the last 6 yrs:

  • I'm so lucky to have been blessed w such a sweet natured baby.  He has always been so good natured and people compliment me on him wherever we go. 
  • Nate is an independent little kiddo.  If he wants water - he goes to the kitchen, gets his cup out of the (low) drawer and fills it up!  He's super resourceful too!  If he wants something on the top shelf, he WILL figure out how to get to it!
  • He has the BEST laugh!  Another thing folks have always commented on.  When he gets going, everyone around has a smile because of my little guys' laugh.
  • He's very mechanical - he LOVES building and creating.  I love watching his little mind work - esp when it comes to elaborate creations involving train tracks, or legos, or Trio blocks.
  • He is creative! He loves to dress up! He loves to color and make cards for people and is super meticulous. 
  • He is super smart - loves to learn!  He is one of the top 3 readers in his class and the teacher is impressed he reads and writes really well (usually if kids read well, they need help writing, etc)
  • He may not love dogs, but he pays attention to babies - he loves interacting with kids that are smaller than him! I love watching him with 1 yr olds!
  • He is highly relational.  Love that he loves our neighbors and is happy playing from the minute we get home till its dark!  
  • He loves Jesus! I love that he has already asked Jesus into his heart (last yr) and loves to jump up and do our devotional in the morning.  I love that when he sees people at church worship, he wants to imitate them - whether it be by lifting his hands or kneeling on the ground.  So sweet. I love that he has faith that God will heal when I tell him I have a headache and that he'll pray for me (and others) in such a sweet way. 
  • He loves music! He would be happy if his playlist on the ipod was on ALL DAY LONG!  He also loves to listen to cd's and I'm pretty sure he would have one on all the time if he could!  He also always comes home from church singing the new songs he's heard.. one time and he has them memorized! So sweet!
Ok Thats about all I can think of at the moment about my kiddo... he's pretty spectacular!!  I'm so blessed God chose me to be his mommy! He is truly my little GIFT!! (which is what his name means in Hebrews)

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!!

Love you!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why Use a Travel Agent? -- Part 3

Again -I DID NOT WRITE THIS - but thought it was good.  Find the original article here.
Why Use a Travel Professional? 

Let's finish with a little story...
No different than most of the rest of us, Bill wanted a fantastic vacation at a fantastically low price. Bill is pretty web savvy, and he had spent hours searching for the vacation he wanted. Our agent went to work and coordinated the entire trip: Airfare, rental car, the resort, and all the excursions. When all was said and done, Bill was presented with anincredible value.

However, Bill was convinced that he could get a better price. So he went back out to the web in search of a better deal. And indeed he found it-airfare that was $20 per seat lower than what our agent had found for him. So he booked it.

Problems:On the way there...
•  Bill's flight arrived at the airport in the middle of the night (after several delays and connections)
•  By the time he landed, the car rental company was closed for the night
•  Bill's bags didn't make it to his destination

On the way home...
•  His flight left very early in the morning
•  Due to the distance from the airport, he had to leave the resort at 3:00 am
•  The car rental company was not open yet

Physical Results:•  Bill had to spend the first night near the airport
•  Bill had to spend the last night near the airport
•  Bill had to rent his car from a more expensive company
•  The web site that Bill booked his travel through didn't offer travel insurance to pay for replacing his missing items
•  Bill's 7-night stay at the resort was now a 5-night stay

Monetary Results:Bill saved $40 on the airfare by booking it himself
Bill spent an additional $300 on:
•  The two nights near the airport
•  The rental car
•  Replacing clothes and other personal items that never made it to his destination

Net Result:
•  Bill's vacation was $260 more than it would have been if he had just booked the package that our agent had coordinated.

Travel agents know what it takes to coordinate a great vacation that is the best value for you. We live by the motto "you get what you pay for" so, do you want to spend a little more for a great trip or waste a couple thousand on the cheapest option?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Why Use a Travel Agent? -- Part 2

This is a continuation.  If you missed Part 1, click HERE.

I found this on another agent's website (here)- but thought it'd be good to share w my friends:

Why Use a Travel Professional?

3. Show me the Money (I saved)
Saving money is not just about price. It is more about value. If the hotel was not the right location, if the cruise line was not the right cruise line, if the golf course was not the right golf course.it does not matter how much you saved. One can save a ton of money and be miserable or spend a little more to be in heaven. A travel agent can recommend relevant offerings and also provide cost saving strategies. Moving a date, changing the location of a room/cabin, being open to flight options, etc., all can save money. Nobody wants to pay more than necessary so an agent will help you find the best value without the sacrifices of a cheap trip.

4. I already have a Job! 

If you have an agent that you trust, then you don't need to spend what little free time you have, scouring the web, trying to piece everything together-- flights, cars, rooms, etc. In addition, your agent might be working with transfer and car rental companies that you simply don't have access to, and in many cases, even hotels and airlines that you don't have access to. An agent is someone who has taken the time and made the commitment to be the best so you don't have to make planning your vacation a second job!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Why Use a Travel Agent? -- Part 1

I found this on another agent's website (here)- but thought it'd be good to share w my friends:

Why Use a Travel Professional?
In the technology age of find it quick and easy on-line, you may be thinking, why should I use a travel agent? So to help you answer that question here are our favorite reasons:

1. Who Ya Gonna Call?
What would you do if the hotel has lost your reservation? What would you do if the car rental agency has run out of cars? Specifically, who are you going to call? Who's going to help you? The hotel? The car rental company? They don't care. You're just one person. Losing you as a guest or a customer is no big deal. Basically, you're on your own. About all you can do is hit the streets and hope that something comes up...
If you book through a travel agent, all you have to do is make one simple phone call. And everything will be taken care of. Will the hotel assist your agent? Will the car rental company assist your agent? Of course they will, because now they're dealing with someone who has the potential to send either hundreds of guests, or no guests at all. From a purely business perspective, a travel agency can send thousands of dollars (or even tens of thousands of dollars), or no dollars at all...

2. It is not just about price 
You look to travel agents to provide the best overall solution to your individual travel needs.  By asking tons of questions up front, an agent can provide a relevant needs assessment. This can include dates, quality or location of accommodation or stateroom, cancellation policy, recreational amenities, the ease of doing business, etc.  No two customers are alike. What works for one may not work for another.