Friday, February 29, 2008


I wasn't sure what to post after my 30 Favorite images of all time. I mean, that's kind of a hard act to follow, you know? So, I decided to share one of my favorite people.

When I met Ryan Keith of Forgotten Voices International, he told me the story of a boy named Peterson. Peterson was born with HIV. When Ryan met him, Peterson was a 7 year-old boy living with his mother and his 4 year-old sister, Prudence in a rural area of Zimbabwe. The very same day Ryan met them, Peterson's mother died from AIDS. Before she died, she asked Ryan to promise to take care of her children - and he did. And that is basically how Forgotten Voices was formed - from a promise. The story continued as Peterson was left to live alone with and take care of Prudence, who was also born with HIV. Prudence had never learned to walk or talk and was basically given up on by her community. But Peterson took care of her - he carried her on his back to school and to physically therapy at the mission hospital nearby. She began walking, and talking, and was even given the job of chasing the monkeys away from the garden. But, one year after their mother died, Prudence died as well. And then Peterson lived alone...

It was after hearing this story that I knew I needed to go to Zimbabwe. And the entire time we prepared to go, I just kept looking forward to the day I would get to meet Peterson too. I didn't know what to expect, but I knew this was a kid I needed to meet.

When we arrived at Peterson's home, he was a bit shy to meet all of us.

We were thrilled to find that Peterson was no longer living on his family's homestead alone. His aunt had moved in to care for him, and had hired a farm-hand to help out and take over the chores that Peterson had done. And in January he was supposed to move to his Grandparents' farm to live with them and the rest of his extended family. What a blessing that his family has been able to step up and take care of him!

We were all surprised and thrilled to watch Peterson running and playing with his friends. He seems to be in great health and having so much help around has freed him up to just be a kid and enjoy life. What an incredible blessing!

He loved Adam's video camera

and turned out to be quite the videographer himself...

As excited as I was to see Peterson happy & healthy, no one was more glad than Ryan. Peterson & Ryan have spent many days in Zimbabwe together and though they don't speak the same language, or live lives that are remotely similar, they are good friends.

Peterson & Ryan showed us to the place on the property where Prudence and their mother was buried. He is such a brave little boy.

I am so blessed to have met Peterson. I hope that I will meet him again someday, and I pray that he would stay healthy and get to keep being a kid for as long as possible!

I'll leave you with the many faces of Peterson...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My 30 Favs

In my mentoring sessions with Davina Fear, which were awesome by the way, we decided that it's time for me to remake my website. Such a pity, since I never was able to get this one finished - but I think it's time! My work and my goals have changed a lot over time, and I think that's why I wasn't able to get down to really making it happen. To help me with this whole process, Davina gave me an overwhelming homework assignment: choose my 30 favorite images of ALL TIME and choose one word to describe each image!! EEEK! I'm a bit indecisive when it comes to picking favorites (I don't have a favorite movie, favorite song, or anything like that). But, I did it! So, I thought I'd share them with you!! And this time, I'm going to let them speak for themselves.

(the photo above was taken as an Associate for Real Life Weddings)

(the photo above was taken as an Associate for Grazier Photography)

What I think is really cool is that of these photos 2 were taken in 2003, 1 in 2004, 3 in 2005, 3 in 2006, and 15 were taken in 2007! I mean, I knew that I'd grown a lot as a photographer in the last year, but that was really cool to see!

So, I won't share my words with you - but I'd love to hear what YOUR favorites are, and what words come to your mind when you look at these photographs! Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think.

And be on the lookout - a new website is in the works.... yay!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Mimi & Papa's Last Visit

Back when my nephew Tristan was sick, my Mom & Dad decided to come out to Boston for a few days to help my sister. By the time they got there, Tristan was feeling much better. They ended up spending most of their time here disinfecting every inch of the house. It was a fun surprise visit for the kids though - and for me too!

This is my Dad with baby Caeden. Caeden's at that SUPER CUTE phase where he likes to make funny faces and watch everyone laugh. Here are 2 of his favorites...

My poor Mom was here less than 2 days before the plague hit her as well. We thought about calling the Center for Disease Control because this crazy bug infected everyone who came in the house (even just last week it got someone new who visited!) - but it was probably just the flu :)

[insert photo of my mom looking sick and miserable - but, um, she won't like that so you'll just have to pretend]

My sister wanted to start making some fun new memories for the kids while my parents were in town, to make up for the sad memories from the hospital. So, first we had a fun bath time blowing bubbles!

That's me blowing bubbles for the babies! (photo courtesy of my wonderful sister, Kyla)

Do you think they liked it???

While Kyla & I were blowing bubbles at bath time, our Dad was making an enormous fort in the kids' bedroom. Here they are, waiting for the big surprise...

The fort was huge, with mattresses on the floor for Tristan, Reilly & my Dad (well, he wasn't about to sleep in the same room with his sick wife!) Dad even set up a little TV & DVD player. They laid on their mattresses, watched Stuart Little 3, and ate Lucky Charms until it was time to go to sleep. It was pretty cute!

Even with Mom getting sick, it was still a fun visit! Poor Dad got sick the day after they returned to Indianapolis. But, everyone's better now - 2 straight weeks of fever & puke-free kids!!