You are getting two post today because yesterday was too full to do a post (gone from 8 in the morning until 11 in the evening). And the first one today was for fun (see Thankful November 24th: Chocolate for reference.) This post will be much more serious. I’m sure that many people who follow this blog and read my posts are aware that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes known as the Mormon Church). I haven’t tried to make it a secret. I have also tried to not be overbearing about it. I was born and raised in Utah in a family that is very actively involved in this religion. When I was 22 years old, I served as a volunteer missionary to Wisconsin. I married my husband in the beautiful Mount Timpanogos Temple in American Fork, Utah. I have been living my religion as best as I can for almost 53-1/2 years. Having faith has grounded me, given me hope as I see things happening in the world around me, and provided me with a community wherever I have moved. I am a firm believer in Jesus Christ. I have faith in a Heavenly Father, who loves and knows me. I’m grateful for scriptures I can turn to for comfort and guidance during difficult times in my life.
Whatever your religious (or non-religious) life may be, I hope that you find love, happiness, and joy in the Christmas season this year. I love celebrating the birth of my Savior with the entire world.
I know it may seem obvious and a bit silly to say, but I am so thankful for light, and not just as a photographer. The other evening, we had the most glorious sunset. I was driving and couldn’t stop and grab a picture of it. Sometimes it’s nice to just enjoy the beauty and not worry about angles and f-stops and aperture. C.S. Lewis once wrote “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
I know that I’ve already expressed gratitude for the earth and its beauties, but I am also very grateful for the chance I’ve had (and continue to have) to travel many places around the world and also close to home. When my husband and I got married, he hadn’t traveled much. A couple of years after we married, I convinced him that we needed to take a trip to Great Britain to visit a nephew who had been transferred to London for a year, along with his wife and three boys. It was the best thing that could have happened to us. Since then, we have made a few more trips across the pond to the east, across the pond to the west, and headed down south for my first experience in Mexico (besides Tijuana). I’m looking forward to many more adventures around this amazing globe we live on in the near and distant future.
I love flowers. I love smelling flowers. I love looking at flowers. And I especially love photographing flowers. My maternal grandmother had the most amazing flower garden: roses, lilies, snapdragons, daisies. Each summer, her small yard was transformed by colors and scents that transported us to a fairy world.
Today, the United States of America honors its veterans. Many other countries are celebrating Armistice Day and Remembrance Day today. One of my grandfathers served in World War I (yes, I’m old), several of my uncles served during the Korean Conflict, and many more nephews and nieces have served or are currently serving in the armed forces. As a nation, we can never thank them enough. The gratitude of the nation should never be in doubt.
So, thank you to everyone serving to keep our country and our world a better, safer place.
(The images are from the Punch Bowl Cemetery in Honolulu, Hawaii.)
For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies, For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies, Lord of all, to Thee we raise This our hymn of grateful praise. Folliott S. Pierpoint, 1835-1917
I have been lucky enough to do a bit of traveling around this amazing planet on which we live (that sentence structure is a nod to all of my English professors at the University of Utah). I’ve been to Asia, Europe, Mexico, Great Britain, and most of the United States of America. Everywhere I go, I find beautiful things to photograph and wonderful people who fill my heart with happiness.
We were in Hawaii in November taking photos for a friend’s wedding. His nephew asked me to take pictures of him proposing to his girlfriend after a skydiving group activity. (It was the day after the ceremony.) Although they had been talking about getting engaged for a while, she was completely surprised by the timing. I think the tightness of her hug says it all.