Friday, January 22, 2010

Tha mi airson Gàidhlig ionnsachadh.

I'm not really sure what I intended on saying when I sat down, and decided to write a post tonight. And quite honestly, still have no idea what this post will be about. I've been thinking a lot lately about Scotland, partly due to the series of books I am reading of late, Diana Gabaldon's Outlander and the subsequent novels following.
After months of trying to plan a near future where Jeremy goes to graduate school and I work to support us and not getting very far at all in said plans, Jeremy and I have decided that we will try to go to school at the same time, instead of taking turns. We've decided on the University of Edinburgh, which is a different school, but the same city as we were planning before when Jeremy was to be the one attending school. Theology in History shall be Jeremy's course of study, and mine shall be Highland Studies--which is essentially the Scottish version of the Irish Studies degree I was planning on getting in Ireland after Jeremy was finished, complete with learning Scottish Gaelic rather than Irish. Now don't get me wrong, my loyalties and passion have not simply shifted with the wind on the heather, and I plan on still getting a degree in Irish Studies as well perhaps, but I've realized that if I'm Irish, I am very much Scottish as well. To say it more simply, I am Celtic, and I intend on learning exactly what that means. For, as I said in my application essay: While my soul might be emerald green, my heart is tartan-clad.
I am excited about what the future holds in Scotland and in Ireland later on, but I also realize that I must focus on today as well, not just look to far horizons, for how am I to reach said horizon if I cannot see where I am walking just now? As Jeremy and I finish up our applications, and continue preparations for moving, I pray that we do not lose sight of what we are to do here,
in the meantime, before we go gallivanting in the outer rims, before we fulfill our role as Voyagers.

This is a photo I found of Edinburgh. Up on the far hill you can see Edinburgh Castle, the university is below it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

ashley and hans.

The day after Christmas I had an opportunity to photograph another wedding. This wedding was perhaps the most challenging and most stressful wedding I've ever shot. On Christmas Day, Ridgecrest, where the wedding festivities were to be held, lost its electricity due to the heavy ice and cold snap that was weighing heavily on everything up in our part of the mountains. Since the electricity was not going to be able to be back on in time for the wedding, a lot of plans changed. In fact, seven months worth of planning was turned upside down with just one day to attempt to reevaluate. No electricity means no lights and no heat, both of which are key to a smooth wedding in late December. Well, things turned out well, not quite as expected and the Lord knows had I been the bride I would not have been as calm as Ashley was. But Ashley and Hans took what they were dealt, and focused on each other and what they were doing that day, not how comfortable it was or how many people showed up. As Ashley so poignantly put it when I praised her ability to take the events of the day in stride, "I had to--what was important is the covenant." How true that is, and how often do brides get caught up in the formalities and flowers and forget the reason that they're really there. So congratulations to Hans and Ashley Suhs, may you never forget how important that covenant is. Here are a couple photos from your day to appease your appetite until I get them all finished.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

christmas, weddings, and snow.

It is now the new year, and I wish a happy one to all those reading here. My new year was perhaps, no, decidedly the best I have had yet. The fact of which I completely owe to my brother Drew and his new wife (my new sister), Kelsey, and their nuptials on New Year's Eve. So congrats to them again and again. But, I get ahead of myself. There is much to be said, or at least alluded to in this post.
One is that the mountains had one of the biggest snows its seen here in nearly ten years. I almost died in it, and probably would have been sacrificed to the icy snow gods had it not been for my knight in shining armor who came to rescue me in my distress. We made it home safe from the castle to our humble abode, where I prompt let loose all the tears I was holding in as not to distract Jeremy from driving. The next day it was notably happier as I watched Cael frolic and prance in the two feet of snow. Here is a photo of said prancing.
Christmas was a smash, our first real Christmas together, Jeremy and I, or at least the first one where we got a tree and exchanged planned ahead and thought out gifts. It was great, and I made Breakfast Casserole and Strawberry Butter as per the Barker tradition. Oh, and on Christmas Eve I saw Emmanuel Lewis in Biltmore House, you know, Webster, from the 80s TV show? Pretty cool.
Then came New Year's Eve, after a stressful weekend of photographing a wedding without electricity. Jeremy and I arrived in Greensboro on the 30th for the wedding rehearsal and dinner for Drew and Kelsey. I was able to snap a great shot of my big brothers, Stephen and Drew, demonstrating for the bridal party how the bride's maids and groomsmen should walk down the stairs to the stage.
The wedding the next day went swimmingly, Kelsey looked absolutely radiant, and Drew incredibly dapper. Apart from a minor lack of oxygen and water causing a slight blackout on my part onstage--I was able to save it and stay standing--nothing went awry during the ceremony. The reception was wonderful, plenty of drink, dancing, and fun was had by all, and it was so terribly good to have my family all around me again. I don't realize how much I miss Drew, Stephen, Megh, and Jake until I'm around them a remember how much I truly enjoy their company. And of course, it is always ever so good to see my parents--they're wonderful to say the least.
Needless to say, after a full night of partying until close to 4 o'clock in the morning, the next morning we were a little rough for the wear. But, a stop to the local Irish pub for a full breakfast and some hot black tea did the trick to cure us enough to make it home. The Irish know how to do it. And now I'm back still trying to recover from a full holiday season, and looking back with fond memories. I love my family, both new and old, and am so thankful to have one such as them.