Welcome to my Blog!

I'm so glad that you stopped by to check out my blog. Here you will find updates about my life as a wife, mama, worship leader, and photographer. I specialize in children and family photography as well as weddings, but I love to capture all special moments and the beauty of all creation! I am so blessed and it is my prayer to honor our Creator through all that I do!

Contact me by email: laurenvia@gmail.com!

Friday, May 30, 2008

God's Grace is Speaking... Loud and Clear

*This is a very personal post... but I feel that God wants us to share our experiences (struggles/joys) so that others can be encouraged... so if you read, I pray the Spirit will speak to you as well.*

Okay... so, my wonderful friend Lisette sent me this video yesterday. I wasn't sure what I was watching at first... but as it went on I began sobbing uncontrollably... I realized that the Holy Spirit was convicting me of some pretty big things in my life. I have been struggling lately with feeling passionate about our ministry. I'm sure all ministers have their downtimes... and I think we have had our fair share. I'd begun to think things I'm not proud of... could God have forgotten all about us? But over the past few weeks, God has continued to remind me over, and over again that HE IS HERE... and HE LOVES ME... and HE WILL TAKE CARE OF US! Through our pastor's sermons on the book of Job, to financial blessings from family and friends, to videos on the internet, I have been reminded of God's great love and his great grace. I have been feeling so unworthy to serve in HIS kingdom, but this video reminded me that none of us are... but HIS grace is sufficient. I am resolved to OBEY... despite my struggles, despite my questions... I know God will honor it... in his way... in HIS timing! As I was browsing the net tonight, I came across this same video again on a fellow photographer's blog. Twice in a row... I think God might want me to share this... so please watch... and know that you are loved!

ps... please pray for baby Maddy (other photog's newborn neice)... she had a successful surgery today, she's just a couple days old... but needs prayer for her and her family during recovery time!
Thanks Again!

52 weeks-week 16... plus totally random food photos!

After what seemed like a rough start to the day, we managed to have a nice evening as a family tonight. We played outside with Declan, ate a delicious meal, had a fun bathtime... etc, etc! So, here's a photo I managed to get right before dinner time. Sorry its so grainy (lots of noise)... but I'm praying for God to make a way for me to get a new professional grade camera (mine isn't even an SLR). Please pray with me... not because I want to have something nice and expensive, but because God is laying on Jimmy's and my hearts that photography would be an awesome way to earn some extra income for our family! Thanks for your prayers... and enjoy the photos from our fun dinnertime!


these next photos are total randomness... but our dinner was so yummy and pretty that i thought i should share it with everyone! haha :O)


my plate: Jerk Chicken... rice w/caribbean black beans and salsa! YUM!

Jimmy's Plate: same as mine... but he won't eat beans... so he has grilled pineapple with his rice! still yummy!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sunday afternoon fun/ 52 weeks-week 15

This weekend we visited my family in Wise, Va... and had lots of fun things to celebrate. My brother's birthday was on Thurs., his graduation was on Fri., my grandmother's birthday was on Sat., and Memorial Day was on Monday (my grandad is a WWII vet.). We had tons of fun and honestly, had a difficult time leaving! In fact, the day we planned to leave, we discovered a flat tire, so we stayed one more wonderful day! Here are some photos I took on Sunday afternoon... we played outside after church, ate a wonderful meal off the grill, played board games... and even played Rook with my grandparents until 2am!!! The last photo is my 52 weeks submission for LAST week. I hope to get this week's photo up soon!

Cara and Tim's dog, Foster!

the "grill-master"... (love the socks)!

peek-a-boo with Pops!

he even sets the table... isn't my brother great!

the YUMMY spread!

... and last but not least... last week's 52 weeks photo... i look really tired (because I am!)

Its official... Casey is a high-school grad!!!

This past weekend, just one day after his 18th birthday, my wonderful brother graduated from high-school. I cannot tell you how proud I am of him... and of the amazing young man he has become. God has great plans for him... and I can't wait to watch as he continues to follow the call! He will be attending Carson Newman this fall! I, on the other hand, in the rush of getting everyone's stuff packed and out the door, managed to forget my camera!!! So, I borrowed all of these photos from my Dad! He got some great photos... I'm glad to have them!

...ever so multi-talented, Casey and his girlfriend Rachel were chosen to sing for graduation...
they did a beautiful job singing Nickel Creek's "When You Come Back Down"... and yes, I cried!
After their solo, the choir sang a beautiful Irish blessing!

Proud Sisters! (me... and my gorgeous sister, Cara)

Little D... trying to pass the time... and making a fashion statement with Nana's glasses!

Getting the Diploma... "the money shot!"

Silly String Celebration!

Casey and Rachel... aren't they cute! ... and I have to mention that she was Valedictorian! Yay!

My beautiful Mom... the proud Mama... and Nana!

Declan: "this is my pouty face... you should see my "zoolander"."

Declan thought he was way too cool for this posing for pictures stuff!

My parent's other son... our friend, Cameron! ... and Salutatorian might I add! Congrats!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Messing around in photoshop...

Here are a few photos I took a couple weekends ago... we were down in a basement so the quality (again) is not that great... but I took the opportunity to play around in photoshop and tried to help them out a little bit....

so, here ya' go....

And... as for this week's 52 weeks photo, I may have to upload it on Monday because we'll be out of town from this afternoon until Monday. Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tagged By Lisette... so, here's my Joy List!

My wonderful friend Lisette has tagged me to make my "Joy List." You can check out her blog if you want more info... or would like to see her list. We've been close friends since we were in high school, so our lists might be quite similar... I love her for the things we have in common... and for our differences!

So, here are as many of the things that bring me joy as I could think of... and not necessarily in order of importance... but in the order they entered my mind...

1. the Saving Grace of Christ
2. a daily walk and relationship with my Savior
3. worshiping through music
4. singing... especially with my husband
5. my husband, Jimmy
6. my little baby D
7. Jimmy's soul-full voice
8. Declan's big blue eyes and goofy personality
9. Big... sloppy baby kisses
10. cooking an amazing meal... especially if I don't have to do dishes
11. eating an amazing meal
12. watching someone enjoying something I've cooked
13. having ANYONE over for coffee on a weekday
14. sleeping in
15. fashionable baby clothes
16. onesies
17. newborn baby smell
18. new car smell
19. old book/library smell
20. new shoe/shoe store smell
21. Target
22. my parent's home... my original home
23. my mother's gentle guidance
24. my father's love and pride in his children
25. eating sushi with my sister... one of the most beautiful people you'll ever see
26. watching my brother perform in a play or lead worship with his band
27. my Granddad... and EVERYTHING about him
28. my Grandmother's love
29. my Poppie's hugs
30. every memory of my Mammaw
31. hanging out with my sister-in-law/brother-in-law
32. childhood memories... so many great ones
33. roller coasters
34. the beach... especially the gulf coast
35. watching my honeymoon videos... driving around Vieques, PR in a jeep exploring beaches!
36. looking at old photos, wedding photos, photos of Declan
37. seeing those I love succeed at what they love
38. being there for friends and family
39. getting a letter or card... in the actual mailbox
40. fresh flowers
41. fresh coffee
42. fresh produce
43. pretty nail polish
44. funky jewelry
45. shoes!
46. taking photos... capturing moments/memories
47. making people happy
48. hanging out with college students... in their environment
49. welcoming people into my home
50. Laura Cook's desserts
51. breakfast with lovely ladies who teach me so much
52. learning new things
53. many diverse styles of music
54. Worshiping with Christy Knockel's voice/music
55. Blacksburg... and all things Virginia Tech
56. Fall in the New River Valley
57. Late summer evenings... and sunset after 9pm
58. hiking/camping... smell of campfire... crispy burnt hot dogs/marshmallows
59. being crafty or creative
60. doing something unexpected for someone I love
61. traveling... all over the world
62. learning about other cultures
63. staying in a hotel... even just one night
64. taking a ride in an airplane
65. driving through backroads on a sunny day...windows down...music loud... hubby at the wheel
66. a new haircut
67. a clean house
68. a truly fine glass of wine/champagne
69. coconut/curry
70. fresh salsa/chips
71. watching movies with my hubby
72. watching LOST and Gilmore Girls
73. long afternoon naps near a warm, sunny window
74. fresh laundry smell
75. when Jimmy does the dishes
76. my true friends
77. making new friends
.... and because I can't end on an odd number
78. even numbers.... I know, I'm weird!

Okay... so here are some of the things that bring me joy... WOW... this really puts things into perspective. Today, I've really been thinking about those around the world who are suffering... in Myanmar, China... and so many other places. I am ashamed at how ungrateful I can be... and am so thankful to Lisette for tagging me, not only so I can share this fun joy list with you guys... but mostly so I could be reminded of just how truly blessed I am... even after going through a recent difficult time! Thank you God for your goodness! So, please send me your joy list... as a comment or through email... I'll post it... and we can encourage others to focus on the things that bring us joy!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

No Week 13... But we do have 52 Weeks- Week 14

Sorry that I missed my first 52 weeks photo last week... but life was CRAZY! And this week has been crazy as well... but I managed to get Jimmy to snap a quick shot of Declan and I this evening before bedtime! Hopefully I'll be able to make more time for photos in the next few weeks... but I can't make any promises! Thanks for your patience!

Congrats Cara and Tim!!!

This month has been full of great celebrations. We had graduation for our Radford students the first weekend of May. Then, last weekend we welcomed Cara and Tim into the family of Hokie Alumni!!! I'm so very proud of them and really enjoyed celebrating with them. We also celebrated Mother's Day with my Mom and Grandmother on Sunday! It was a great, but very busy weekend!!! I was able to get a few photos from graduation, but they are all very poor quality due to low lighting conditions and lack of time to set up any shots! However, in honor of Cara and Tim, here are a few photos from their graduation! I love you guys... and I can't wait to do that engagement session!

President Steger at the Friday night Ceremony

Hota Kotb giving the best graduation speech EVER!

...it may be hard to tell, but this is a photo of hundreds of Hokies jumping to "Enter Sandman," being played from Hota Kotb's iPod headphones during her graduation speech... so cool!!!

after the Friday night ceremony... aka... the LONGEST graduation ceremony EVER!

Cara... patiently listening during her departmental ceremony on Saturday.

Declan decided that he needed to flash his tummy over and over to every proud attendee of the graduation ceremony! *notice my brother in the background... he looks so enthralled by the speaker... haha!*

...a HORRIBLY blurry shot of my sister receiving her diploma! Sorry Cara... its the best I could do!

... and a pretty blurry shot of Tim receiving his diploma... Sorry!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

All's Quiet on the Blogging Front...

Sorry I have been unable to post anything for a little while. Last week I missed my first 52 weeks photo since I started the challenge. This week isn't looking much better, but I hope to get caught up before the weekend ends. The past few weeks have been extremely crazy for us... lots of great things... and a few little illness things as well... but hopefully life will slow down a bit for us and I can return to posting regularly. Until then... hold tight... and thanks for your patience!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Slideshow of Favorites

Here's a slideshow of some of my favorite photos since I started this blog. Enjoy.

52 weeks-week 12

Today has been a very busy day and the start of a marathon weekend. Tonight we headed over to campus and then went to visit with one of our graduating seniors and her family. Declan was a huge "HAM" and of course was the center of attention all night. We shot this quick photo when we arrived on campus.