Wednesday, September 22, 2010

To every thing there is a season. . .

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that
which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;"

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

Roland always edges around the headstones every time we come to visit. It is one small thing that
he can do for those he loves so dearly.

Laurie's grave lies just next to this tree. 
When we left Washington, 8 years ago, it was just planted. 
Now it gives shade for me to sit under when I come and visit. 
It is a nice addition to the area and offers an added tranquility that I appreciate.

"I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from the sorrow."
Jeremiah 31:13
It is never an easy thing to do--to visit the gravesite of one's child, mother, nephew, loved one. But it is something that must be done. I never come to this place that I do not leave with a tear-stained face and an increased feeling of peace. It is always a spiritual experience and God never fails to give me hope, perspective, strength. I find my heart filled with His love and His grace with each visit. How can I stay away? I cannot.

This day, as Roland and I tended to the headstone of our daughter and gave what little earthly service we could render, my heart broke as I considered that this is all we can do for her while here in this mortal life. I do not get to hug her after she has had a hard day at school, or help her with her homework, or pick her up after she has fallen. I do not get to help her pick out her new school supplies, or drive her to school when she has missed the bus. I do not get to do any of the many daily, mundane tasks that I am privileged to do for my other children. I can only come to her grave once a year and clean off her headstone.

But then the Spirit whispered to me, "Everything you do is for her. Every righteous choice. Every scripture studied. Every prayer offered. Every time I do something "right" . . . it is for her as well as for every one of my children."

How grateful I am for the Plan of Salvation. To know that this life is not all there is. That this life is designed to prepare me for something so beautiful and fabulous, I cannot even begin to comprehend it. I am grateful for the seasons that I have had in my life and continue to have. I am grateful for the experiences that have been for my good and have taught me how very much Heavenly Father loves me. Though I could never choose to have such trials, I am grateful for them and for the perspective that I have gained because of them.

With all my heart, I love and miss my sweet, sweet Laurie Ann. And with all my heart, I know I will hold her in my arms again.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Today's Senior Session

I wanted to put up some images from today's Senior session. I think it's funny how last year I spent $1000+ on marketing and got very few sessions. This year, I spent $0 on marketing and am so busy I don't know what to do with myself! I have senior sessions everyday next week! Crazy! But, as usual, I'm having a blast!

Here's a few from today's session, Ryan. A very easy-to-photograph guy.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

I Can't Help It. . .I'm Addicted!

Here are some images from a recent Pre-Wedding shoot that I did. The wedding is on the 24th. We had such a fun shoot. Such a fun couple and so beautifully perfect together.

I really love this one. They are so in love! It's so fun to take pictures of two people who are so totally in love. You never have to be silly to get them to smile. They just have a constant smile on their face and a special glow that only two people in love can have!
This is my favorite of the bride by herself. It is so perfect and she is just so beautiful. Her sweet fiance couldn't stop smiling as he watched his perfect bride standing there looking so incredible!
Our goal was to get some nice sunset pictures. I think we succeeded. I feel like these are the perfect "Colorado Wedding" pictures!
THANK YOU, Jaci and David, for picking me to take these pictures for you. It was so fun and such a privilege to capture these moments. I cannot wait for your wedding day. I'm sure, however, I am not as excited as you two!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Chapter From My Book in Progress. . .

Love Will Pretty Much Overcome All

I have pretty much come to believe that love is what makes all things bearable. The love of our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, is essentially why we are here. They love us and want us to have all that they have. There is a plan in place that gives us every opportunity to make it back to be with them and all our loved ones for eternity.
I have had a lot of little experiences in my life that has embedded this thought into my life--that love can overcome pretty much anything. Whenever we find ourselves not liking the situation that we’re in, we should stop focusing on the bad for a minute and think about how much we love our family, our friends, the Savior, etc. It will help to get the right perspective on the situation and then allow us to move forward with a renewed strength. 
I remember once while on my mission in Japan, my companion and I were riding the bus back home after a long, unsuccessful day of knocking on doors. I looked around at all these Japanese people living in their own little world not caring about what I could share with them. Not wanting to listen and learn of the one thing that would bring them eternal joy; and I felt a little bit angry about it. Then a Children’s hymn came to my mind. As I sang it in my mind, my heart softened. "I am a child of God, and He has sent me here." Then I changed the words a little bit. "She is a child of God, and He has sent her here. . ." The anger left, my heart was suddenly filled with an overwhelming love for these beautiful people and I knew that God loved them. That He would take care of their needs. The spirit bore witness to my heart that not only does He love them but that He loves me, too. And that He will also take care of my needs. My desire to share the Gospel was renewed and I felt energized to do the Savior’s work.
Many years later I had another lesson in how love will help us overcome. I had a daughter going through her teenage years. Need I really say more?! She was in High School and struggling trying to figure out who she wanted to be. My husband and I were struggling trying to figure out how to make her be who we wanted her to be! One day she called me in the middle of the day--when she should've been in school. She had walked out of class angry and wasn't going back. Could I come get her. I dropped everything and went to get her. It was close to lunchtime so I asked her if she wanted to go to lunch. I had said a prayer on the way to get her. I asked for help because I didn't know what to say or do. The Spirit whispered to me, as it had done countless times before regarding how to deal with my children, "Just love her." We went to lunch and visited. We talked about what had happened at school. I just listened. After a bit she commented how grateful she was that I didn't get mad at her and didn't try to deliver a discourse on obedience. I leaned over the table, touched her hand and said to her that I knew she knew right from wrong. Her dad and I had taught her about choice and accountability. I knew that my time to teach her right from wrong was over. I told her the only thing I needed her to know right now is that I love her and that there is nothing she can ever do to change that. She can break my heart with the choices she makes but I will always love her. It is my belief that right then and there our relationship was forever changed. She could trust me to always love her and she knew it. 
President Hinckley once said that the only time that there is no hope for our wayward children is when the parents lose hope. I would never lose hope. I knew that she had been taught and that sooner or later she would be just fine.
My Heavenly Father's unconditional love for me was what helped me to know that I could love her unconditionally also. I didn't have to tolerate her rebelliousness but I could continue to love her. There is a distinct difference. He does not tolerate my rebelliousness, for no unclean thing can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. But I know that He loves me and is always ready to help me, strengthen me, guide me and insure that I succeed.
            It is never easy to show forth an increase of love when what we really think needs to be given is a swift round of discipline. But we also must remember that the root word of discipline means to teach. And when we can teach with love, the message can be carried straight to the heart of the receiver. And resting there it can sink in deep and do its work. When we teach with the Spirit, the result is "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.” (See Galatians 5:22).
            The basis of the whole Plan of Salvation is love. Because Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us, they provided a plan to help us do something we cannot do for ourselves. Jesus Christ made a great sacrifice for us. He paid for our sins. He overcame death. He gave this great gift with love. He set the perfect example of how to love everyone. He also commanded that we love one another (see John 15:17). He continually demonstrated His love by giving His sinless life as “a ransom for all,” making it possible for us to overcome our sins and return to Heaven. It is impossible to learn of Him, to study His parables, to be His disciple, without also knowing love.
            Love came to earth and overcame death and sin. Love can emanate from us and overcome any other obstacle that may be placed before us!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Changes in Life. . .

It has been so long since I last got onto this blog that I actually had to Google myself to find the blog! There is just something very wrong about that! Did you know that I am not the only "Patti's Ponderings" blog there is?! That kind of surprised me!

I thought about this blog this morning for no particular reason. But thinking about it gave me a desire to write something. I don't have a lot of followers, but that's ok. I guess I don't do a lot to "get" followers.

So what should I write that could make it worth the time that you, my humble, few "followers", are spending reading this!

I recently have undergone a pretty intense change in my life. I've been VERY slow to acknowledge it because I have been viewing it as a negative change. But today. . .just this very morning. . .I was enlightened. Maybe because I've been reading my scriptures more. Maybe because I've been praying more. Maybe because God just decided it was time to give me freedom from my own wrong-thinking. I don't know why, but I am coming to be able to accept these changes.

So what the "intense change" that I'm referring to? Well, you may already know (you just didn't know how hard it has been for me to accept). Last summer, I stopped doing my own photography business full-time and went to work for The Picture People. The Picture People is a portrait studio found in malls across the United States. I worked for them several years ago before I worked for Mikel-Gamber, Karen Rubin and myself. Last Spring/Summer, my phone stopped ringing for sessions and I got scared. I got hired back on with The Picture People as a Sr. Assistant Manager and just last month was promoted to be the Studio Manager. With that promotion came a raise. It is a good thing.

I know there are some in my circle of friends who would criticize me "as a photographer" for working for a chain company. Some would say that I've stooped to a new low. I want to say that they are wrong. It is different, yes, than what I did on my own, but I am still developing myself and I am still involved with something that I am very passionate about. This morning as I thought about it, I thought of something that I know about myself. And that is that I have been blessed with many talents. As I thought of that, I realized that it is important to utilize and develop those many talents. As a manager, I now have the opportunity to develop my talent of working with and developing others. To help them grow and be better. Yes, I have stepped away from the photography piece. Just like years ago, I stepped away from the violin piece. While I still play the violin, I don't teach. I will always be a violinist. But not on the same level that I once was. I will always be a photographer. But not on the same level that I once was. This is a good change and one that I am happy about. I truly feel that Heavenly Father has led me here and is so very kind to allow me the opportunity to develop yet another talent that He has given me.

Working for myself, I spent every waking minute building my business and managing my business. I didn't learn to balance my time very well. Perhaps I didn't stick with it long enough to get to where I could have a better balance. I am grateful for the time that I did have. I learned so much and had so much fun. Now, however, I can spend more time being a Mom, and friend, a wife, and so many other things that I also want to do. I have started to make more crafts that I've been wanting to do. I have started to write a book that I've wanted to write for years. I am able to sit and watch a television program with my husband and children and just relax.

Change is always bitter-sweet. This has been no different. But change in our life is inevitable. The sooner we accept it, the easier we make it on ourselves!

Neal A. Maxwell once said something about having faith in God means that we also have faith in His timing.

I believe that when we live our lives in such a fashion as to be able to receive His divine guidance then we can have faith and assurance that He is going to help us have experiences that will strengthen us, develop us and prepare us to return to Him.

I am so grateful for the changes that have occurred in my life. I am so grateful that He has helped me to understand and accept these changes.

Here's a few pictures I took this morning (just to prove to myself that I still take pictures)!

Monday, March 8, 2010

New Phone. . . New Problems

So recently I got a new phone. My old phone, a Palm Treo, was getting quite old. But I really liked it. It was just having too many problems and the OS was becoming obsolete. So I upgraded to an iPhone. Which is actually what I'm using to post this. I have been really happy with it for the while 2 weeks that I've had it. Today though it started having wierd problems. So I feel like I've traded one set of problems for another set. Grrrrr.

It reminds me of how my mother-in-law would say getting a divorce to marry someone else is like trading in a used car for a different used car. It's just a whole new set of problems!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Has it REALLY been like 4 months since I last posted anything?!!! A sure sign that I have been too busy. I feel like time has just skipped ahead. I can't bring myself to admit that 4 months have passed by without me accounting for any of it. Sheesh!

I have definitely had some crazy things going on and some very wonderfully fun experiences too. Number 2 daughter decided to transfer colleges and on the first of January her Dad and I took her to her new school. . . .

She is having entirely too much fun while there and I wonder if she is getting any studying done at all. But I know that she's in a better place than where she was before. She is forming some wonderful friendships and NEVER complains about the weather!!

We also got to visit with one of Roland's good friends from his mission. Well, from "our" mission. They were never companions, but they were in the same apartment a couple of different times. It's nice to have a "local" to show you around.

One of my favorite things was going to a local Farmer's Market. We got to sample a lot of really yummy local food. Most of the vendors spoke Japanese. I felt a wierd nostalgia as we walked around, eating Japanese food, talking Japanese. I think I could live in Hawaii and be totally at home. I would, however, really miss being able to jump in the car and drive to the next state. . .or through 4 or 5 states to go see my loved ones in Washington! And I wouldn't like being stuck on an island with the Tsunami-warning sirens blaring with nowhere to really go to! (Sure grateful that everything worked out for Hawaii. Sending prayers out to the people of Chili).

I thoroughly enjoyed the week we spent in Hawaii. We saw turtles swimming in the water, we watched sunsets and sunrises, ate some of the best food, relaxed and soaked up all the sun we could to help us make it through the rest of the winter. Our family and friends in Colorado were dealing with subzero temperatures and we were hanging out on the beach making memories!

Digging for crabs.....Caught one!

Right before we went over there was a big surfing contest where the waves were 50+ feet high. Incredible. Up on the North Shore a lot of the beaches were closed due to high waves. It was awesome to me to stand there and watch these huge waves. The power of God. . .amazing. I felt very small and insignificant. Yet, in my heart I know that I am not insignificant at all. I stood there recognizing His power and feeling His love fill my heart. It was cool

I think my favorite images that I was able to get are of the sunrises and sunsets that we saw. The following sunrise pictures were taken from Hau'ula. It was one of the most peaceful mornings I've had for a long time. Beautiful. Such an artist, our Heavenly Father!

There are so many more pictures that I wish I could share. We had such a wonderful experience. Although this isn't the first time we've been to Hawaii, I feel like I saw it through new eyes. Last time we went, I was pregnant with Kyle. I wasn't so into the whole "I'm a photographer" thing and I missed so much of the beauty because I hadn't learned to see it yet. I'm so grateful for all the experiences I have had in the past 10 years that have helped me to be more sensitive to God's beauty and love and whisperings. My testimony of Him was increased as I spent time admiring His work and felt keenly of His love for me as an individual and for all of His children. It is a marvelous thing to behold!

Thanks for reading and looking and indulging my ego.

If, by chance, you would like to see more pictures just let me know. Also, know that any of my scenic pictures can be made in to fine art prints, bookmarks, greeting cards and other things like that. Just let me know if you're interested.

Smiles and hugs to you. . . . Patti