Paris Engagement Photography | W & K

W & K and I were meant to be.  I met them at my friend's holiday party last Christmas and instantly clicked with W.  She was everything I love about my friends... down-to-earth, genuine, hilarious... not to mention gorgeous.  I hate to admit that I'm pretty jealous of how good looking she and K are together.  How are we not all that lucky?  While chatting it up at the party I discovered that K was actually Parisian! So while asking him for suggestions for my upcoming (December 2012) trip, they told me that they were actually going to be in Paris and the same time as me!  I convinced them to do a portrait session out there and we ended up with some great pictures and a fabulous time.

K's son came to be a part of the pictures and I loved the ones I captured of the two of them.

answer for life

The other day I had a moment. Maybe it was frustration or helplessness or sadness but it was a definitely a cry for an answer. Eyes sobbing and anxiety building I did the only thing I thought I could... I prayed out to God. I prayed for His help. His strength. His comfort. I prayed for more faith and more trust. And in those prayers I knew God would give me an answer the next day at church. And He did.

I woke up the morning of church feeling resolve. Almost as if sleep had given me a clean slate. (It hadn't.) Almost as if I fixed my problem myself. (I hadn't.) So when I arrived at church I had nearly forgotten that cry for an answer the night before.  Then my pastor spoke about the impossible. My heart sunk right there and then. I felt exactly what I desired was impossible, that to obtain it would truly be a miracle. So I perked up ears while my pastor continued to talk about Abraham and Sarah and their desire for a baby. God planned to give them a child all along and all they had to do was wait. Wait.

Wait. It's so simple but so extremely difficult. Like Abraham and Sarah I've schemed and manipulated to "fulfill God's plans". But how wrong am I to believe that. Does God really need my help? Of course not. He loves me so much he wants me to just sit back and relax... and wait. My pastor pointed out that impossible is right where we want to be. To believe that our desires are impossible is to believe that God, and only God, can make it happen. And in that feeling of helplessness that our search ends at God.

As Monday progresses I am reassured that I have my answer to my prayer. Since that cry to God I've been reminded over and over to just wait. I was even reminded by a blog post. To say that my God is a true and living God is an understatement somehow. How do you describe someone so real, so attainable, so dynamically involved in my life? Never has my God failed me. And always have I seen Him follow through on his promises to me. Everyday I am more and more convinced that God exists and continues to care for me. So it's a no brainer that as I continue to live my life that God's answer to my prayer to wait is exactly what I need to do.


Paris | the Palace of Versailles

"Excess generally causes reaction, and produces a change in the opposite direction,whether it be in the seasons, or in individuals, or in governments." -Plato

The Palace of Versailles is just right outside of Paris. It's a short train ride out. Like the Louvre and the other tourist attractions in Paris, the Palace of Versailles was quite crowded.  Within the palace there's actually very little room for tourists to wander.  The parts of the palace accessible to the general public could be described as what cattle feel like when they're herded into a very small room to get butchered.  We were sardines.  At times the other tourists and I were smashed up against each other and not even moving.  It was quite frustrating and scary and uncomfortable and odd... odd because most invariably we would be stuck because of some tour group or inconsiderate person in front of everyone just standing there blocking the walkways and exits.

Sidenote: I really would not suggest visiting Paris in December.  Supposedly it's the "off-season", but what they don't tell you is everyone in France is visiting Paris at that time in addition to all the random Americans on holiday.  The lines to get into places were hours long.

Anyway I was really excited to explore the Palace of Versailles.  The actually building and artifacts weren't the most impressive compared to other places in Europe that I've visited, but the sure volume and history of it was fascinating.  It's amazing to me that this palace has stayed mostly in tact through the French Revolution and both World Wars.  The fact nobody plundered this palace despite hating Marie Antoinette for life of extravagance is beyond me.

As I walked around I wondered what it'd be like to live during that day.  The only things I remember was that King Louis XIV was the first to live here, and that one of the King Louis' was so stinky (he didn't like to bathe and supposed refused to let anyone else) that they used perfume to curb the stench.  So I wondered if it was very smelly at Versailles.

The gardens were magnificent.  I was actually more in awe of these than the actual palace.

Paris | the louvre

The Louvre is definitely a place worth visiting... but only in the morning.

The last time I went to the Louvre, I only saw the outside and only in the morning.  Paris was one of the last cities on that first european trip, and after four weeks of seeing museums we were sick of seeing artwork and wandering museums.  On this trip with my cousin, Sam, she and I went to see the Louvre twice.  First to see it at night and then the following morning to actually explore the museum.

We arrived at the Louvre early in the morning and ate breakfast in line.  The line was quite short so we only waited maybe ten minutes to get in.  When we actually started going through the museum, most of it was considerably empty.  We took our time and looked at all the artwork.  Our first stop was the statues.  Paintings are kind of interesting, but I'm really amazed by these carvings.  How is it that people can make stone look so organic?  It's incredible.  I like that area the best.  By the time we reach the other parts of the museum, it was considerably crowded.  Being scared of crowds, I was not the happiest camper.  At one point a grown man pushed me and tried to knock me out of the way.  He pushed me so hard I would have fallen if not for the crowd of people behind me.  At that point I was done, so Sam and I took a break.

And then we extended our break.  I drank a bottle of Orangina and then a bottle of water. I was thirsty.  And it was extremely crowded in the museum.  Imagine going to sporting event and trying to exit from a single exit.  That's what it was like everywhere in the museum.  I kept on imagining getting trampled on if there was a fire.

There were a handful of pieces of art that were of some significance.  I saw the Mona Lisa, but I wasn't that awed.  To me, the statues in my pictures, like the Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Venus de Milo, were much more interesting.

So there's a lesson to be learned.  Go visit the Louvre... it is worth it.  But go when it opens to truly appreciate it.

paris | exploring the city

“Not all those who wander are lost.”― J.R.R. Tolkien

One of my favorite ways to see a city is to wander and explore.  Thanks to getting lost (whoops) I saw a lot of paris.  When I first visited Paris it was fall, so I enjoyed seeing Paris in this wintery weather.  I hoped it would snow, but it didn't.  Nuts!  Jonas, who we stayed with, told us that the sun never comes in Paris, but the following day the sun was out for the remainder of our trip.  In fact it rained the first day there but as our trip progressed the weather improved.

Something I never really noticed the first time was the beautiful architecture of the "ordinary" buildings.  I love how beautiful and simply decorated these apartment buildings are.  Most of the buildings I saw were beautiful like these.  Our neighborhood was covered in these beautifully charming buildings.

And Paris was alive with wintery decorations.  It almost felt like I was spending Christmas in Paris.  I loved the holiday feel of Paris.