30 April 2010

Blessing After Blessing After Blessing

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I've been waiting.  And it hasn't been easy.  I don't know how long I'll be waiting either, especially considering we're all always waiting on something.  So, while I'm waiting, I'm going to keep living... instead of curling up in a ball under the covers in my oh-so-comfy bed.  And since I've decided to keep living, the blessings I've seen have been coming, one after another.  I don't say this to brag, I say it only point out how faithful God is.  He wants to love us, He wants to bless us, He wants to give us the desires of our hearts!

So while I'm waiting on some things, He's giving me so much of Himself through His Word, through friends, and through community.  Just this morning a close friend who lives out of town gave me a gift that will help with some home improvements.  Just, out of no where!  And that's after receiving an unexpected gift card yesterday that will go towards the same thing!

The not-so tangible gifts came in the form of friends last weekend.  One of the girls in my Clemsongang is expecting her first baby at the beginning of June so all of us (husbands too!) got together for a cookout and a baby shower.  I was a little late because I was attending the Extraordinary Women's Conference at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville.  Lucky for me though, I got to the shower just in time for cake (Score!) and presents.  And as we were sitting there after all of that, just talking, watching the NFL draft, and hanging out, it hit me... I love these girls.  No, it's not a new revelation because I've loved them since our freshman Bible study in the basement of Lever at Clemson.  But the past 12 years have deepened that love because of the life we've lived together.  There's just no way to describe it.  And now that husbands have joined the mix and kids are coming, it just makes me smile and realize how BLESSED I am to have each of them (kids and husbands too!) in my life.  It genuinely does my soul good to be with them.

One of the added blessings was that Allison had asked me the week before her shower if I would mind doing some maternity pictures for her and Wes.  Um... I would love to!  It was raining by the time we could steal away for pictures so we made do with the screened in porch and fun play room at the Patterson's.  None of us can wait to meet Baby Hoft come June... until then, enjoy the pictures from their (and my!) first maternity session.

SO beautiful.

I wasn't kidding when I said y'all could be models.

Congrats (for the millionth time!) you guys.  Love you tons and can't wait to meet the little one soon!

25 April 2010

At Long Last

So, do you remember how I had the first ever Photographs by Sabrina contest last summer?  And after 104 votes, The Parks family won with this picture of Kade?  Well, they won a free photo session and we FINALLY just had it last weekend!  It was a little crazy because the summer was packed, Derek (and I) were traveling a good bit for Upward, then it was winter and when I mentioned having a bundled up photo shoot, Ginger reminded me that she married a Miami boy and that it would be in the best interest of everyone to wait until it got warmer.  After laughing out loud, I told her I completely understood!  So.  We waited.  And I'm really glad we did.

We ventured out to Milliken in Spartanburg and played in the green grass and under the huge trees that provided lots of shade.  I worked with Derek at Upward for five and a half years and when we did the shoot I'd only been gone for a couple of weeks.  He gave me a hug when they got there, said they missed me at the office and I immediately burst into tears.  Oh good grief.  But, when you don't get to see part of your family every day like you're used to, it's a little hard!  But, I sucked it up and we had fun... and got some pretty good shots in the process.

Derek & Ginger, I'm so thankful for that morning!  You guys are wonderful as are your kids.  Still blows my mind to think of the journey you guys went on before and after the boys were born, but to see them run and jump and play and laugh just reminds me how great our God is.

Much love,

I love this one where Kendall turned. So you may be seeing it a lot...

Were you guys models in a previous life?  Because this is fierce.

Future football stars...

We were trying to get them to laugh real laughs so Derek told them to imagine a bird flying over that was about to poop on my head.  Thanks, D.  Hey, at least they laughed!
You'll have to click here to see the slideshow and how we ended the morning of shooting...!

24 April 2010

Fabulous Friday: Bucket List

Yes, I realize it's Saturday.  But, it's still a couple of hours before midnight and while it's technically closer to Sunday, Saturday is still next to Friday.  Therefore, I'm still justified in posting a Fabulous Friday post :-)

There are many different opinions out there about guns and how to use them and if they should be used at all.  But that's not what this post is about.  This post is about me.  Yep, that's right!  I said it.  Sometimes blog posts are selfish and this is one of those times.  My "bucket list" really isn't that long, mainly because I've been able to knock a handful of things off of it in the past 30 years (I may have just choked a little as I wrote "the past 30 years").  I've gone skydiving, I've been to Hawaii, I've lived in Europe, and I've flown a plane (well, as a co-pilot, but it counts!).  There are other things on the list such as visiting the six non-frozen continents (I have two left!), visiting the middle east, going to Greece, getting married, having children and landing on the moon.  Yes, I realize some of those are totally crazy but c'mon.  The way technology is going, I could totally pay $200k to be shuttled into space for 3.4 seconds!  Not that I have that kind of cash... and I don't think Dave Ramsey would approve of putting that on my credit card.

But since I won't be visiting the moon anytime soon, I'll work on the other end of my bucket list by learning to shoot a gun and hitting the bulls eye.  I had these huge dreams of going in and being one of those phenom marksmen that has a natural talent for hitting dead center.  ha!  The first few rounds I was lucky to not fall on my tail.  And while I was kind of disappointed with my first target practice, the instructor said I was doing well, so I kept trying.

Overall I didn't do too bad.  The holes on this target were made my a 9mm (I think) but the next go around we used revolvers.  Talk about a smoking gun... they really do smoke after you fire them!  I was totally amused by that and felt like I was hot stuff.  No really, it was getting a little warm at that point as it got closer to noon.  But I digress.  After working on my stance and aim, I started to get the hang of it and with the revolver I actually got rid of the little red dot.  Yep, that's right.  Don't be jealous... I'll be giving lessons next weekend.  KIDDING.  Do you see all the other holes AROUND the target??

Anyway, the last gun I fired was a 45 that one of the guys had brought with him.  He was giving me instructions on the safety and telling me that this one would have stronger recoil and all of that.  It looked like a sawed off revolver.  And I was a little intimidated.  I got in the ready position, aimed and fired the gun and all I heard was Wow.  I'm thinking I was way off or didn't hit the board at all because the gun kicked me back and my hands were practically above my head.  But no, the wow was because I'd hit the bullseye.  Dead center.  No lie.  So, I took a picture to prove it.

You see that hole in the center of the red dot?  That would be because of me.  No lie! 

I won't be getting my Concealed Weapons Permit or anything anytime soon but it was fun.  And now I can scratch "fire a gun" off of my bucket list.

I wonder what will be next...?

18 April 2010


This may come as a shock but, I'm a girl.  And with that comes things like emotions, craving chocolate almost every day, crying whether I'm happy or sad, and wanting to take control of things in my life... and maybe the lives of others too ;-)  The control thing comes from the desire of wanting to help.  I love taking care of others and assisting with anything from lifting a box to contacting everyone I know to ask for money because my brother's apartment had been broken into.  But, it's not my place to have control.  That's Someone else's job.

Back in January I hit a road block.  At the end of last year I thought I had found something that was going to be a super awesome bonus to my already wonderful and amazing life.  No, my life isn't perfect, but I love it.   God has given me far more than I could ever have asked for or imagined.  But on that night in January I got some news that not only was I not expecting but it was news I did not want to hear.  At that very moment I felt like I needed to just wait.  "Wait it out.  Hang in there."  But I didn't know whether that was me or if God was telling me to wait.

That was 3 months ago.  And I'm still waiting.  And this morning I still wasn't sure whether it was me or God... and this afternoon I realized that it was God asking me to wait.  But He was asking me to wait on HIM.

I don't like waiting :-)  Who does??  I'm waiting on time for my photography business to develop.  I'm waiting to see whether I'll be able to go with the high school students on one of their mission trips this summer.  I'm waiting with friends for babies to be born.  I'm waiting on my new job to feel like it fits and I'm not fumbling to figure things out.  And of course, I'm waiting to meet my husband.  But the times in my past when He's had me wait, it's been worth it.  So if He's going to ask me to wait on Him, there's no way I can deny that.  My relationship with Him is on His terms.  So I'm going to listen, praise Him... and wait.

And while we're waiting, here's a sneak peak of the photo session from yesterday.  Can't wait to show you more!

05 April 2010

Sour Dough and Sidney's Baptism

Sara was my best friend in high school. We were almost always together and I may have been at her house more than my own... One thing that stands out in my mind from Sara's house though was the sour dough bread her mom would make. Oh. My. Word. Seriously, that stuff was SO good. Especially when it was just out of the oven. Yum. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I loved pulling up to Sara's house and walking in to that kitchen with the smell of that bread.

You may think I'm exaggerating all of this but for my 18th birthday, Sara's mom gave me a bag with all the ingredients for the bread, including the starter. YES!! It was the best birthday gift I'd ever received up to that point in my life. And my mom has been making the bread ever since. haha! I've made it a handful of times but mom has the starter and she keeps on making it. And I keep enjoying it each time I go see her!

Well, it's many years later and Sara's mom actually doesn't make the bread anymore. But, I did get to go into that kitchen a few weeks ago to enjoy a super delicious meal. Sara had emailed me in February because she and Pete would be bringing Sidney home to be baptised at the church where Sara and Pete were married. She not only wanted me there but asked if I could take some pictures too. Um, yes, I think I can manage that :-)

It was a good day to celebrate faith, love and this beautiful little girl. Enjoy!
Four beautiful generations.
Sidney is the fifth one in her family to wear this gown at their baptism. In other words it's really old! And still really pretty!
Would you look at that sweet face.

The kids were on their way to children's church but still stopped to admire Sidney before they went!
Oh my goodness, that smile! And that light!

She just looks like a porcelain doll. Gorgeous.
I adore the look on her face in this one.
ah! Those blue eyes!
So precious. Seriously.
She was tired of pictures. But she did so well all day!

04 April 2010

First Day Jitters

It feels like tomorrow is my first day of school; maybe high school. I know where I'm going, I've been there for stuff before, I know what route I'm going to drive and I know at least a couple of the teachers. But... what am I going to wear?? What's my schedule going to be? Where will I sit? WHO AM I GOING TO EAT LUNCH WITH?!?! Do you remember that day? Venturing into something new and a little intimidating? You were so excited yet nervous all at once?

You've left the comfort of your junior high school where you knew the teachers, you knew your way around, and you had your routine down to an art. But you knew you couldn't stay there forever. You felt a change coming, you knew that something new was on the horizon and finally, it shows up. With school, it was a date on the calendar. But with this, it was a little different.

I left a good job with an amazing ministry and tomorrow will start a new job at my amazing church. While it was tough to leave Upward after being there for five years and seven months, I knew it was time to go. God has some things in store for me that He needs to accomplish through other means. Not sure what that entirely looks like, but that's part of the adventure! My last day - shoot, the last week! - at Upward was really hard. I cried more than any person should. But that's what I do... I cry. Sometimes it's super frustrating because when I want to be mad and angry and yell what I'm really feeling I can't! Because I'm crying and can't talk! Ugh. But these tears were a reflection of realizing just how much I was loved at this place that I
worked and served. The fine line between business and ministry only blurred the lines of relationships that were built. I didn't just have co-workers, I had friends and family that I got to see every day. And it's not easy to leave friends and family. Ever. The good news is that I'm just working in a different place, one city over. So it's not like I'm leaving the country... and I really will go back and visit. I promise!! You guys can't get rid of me quite that easily :-)

Over a year ago I felt that God was getting ready to do something. Only I didn't know what that "something" was. I was even bold enough to go into my boss's office to tell him that while I had no idea what it meant, where I was going or what I would do, I felt that 2009 was going to be my last year at Upward. You may think that this was one of the dumbest things to do, but that's how my boss and I rolled. We had that kind of relationship. Which makes me love his response even more, "Well good, I have a year to convince you not to go." If one thing was for sure, I always knew that I was valued in my position. And I never took that for granted.

Last summer, God opened some doors and I was able to buy a house (ahh!). Obviously that's a huge decision and I did not take it lightly. It happened very quickly but God and I spent a lot of time talking about it and I knew He wanted me to do it. And after that it seemed like He had me right where He wanted me. My job was awesome, I loved where I lived and now I had this great house to call home! But soon after that the feeling came back... that I wasn't going to be at Upward forever.

But the year kept getting closer to the end and the only thing I even had in my head was photography. And there was no way (especially with a for-real, grown-up thing like a mortgage) I could afford to just quit and start a photography business. So I kept praying and seeking and one day, He brought it to me. I was at church to drop something off and through some conversations, our Community Groups pastor said he had some photography questions for me and asked if I had a few minutes to talk. Sure! Why not? I had the time and I always enjoy talking photography!

Well, he did talk photography some but it led into a job description. One that really sounded interesting and right up my alley. I had been approached before about interviewing for some positions but it wasn't ever the right fit or the right time... until now. And here I am, getting ready to begin this new job. Tomorrow. And I wasn't nervous! Until about 2 hours ago when it hit that my life is about to change.

Obviously it's a good change but this was a huge decision!! I prayed and sought advice and prayed and asked opinions and prayed and prayed some more. And while part of me was scared out of my mind, I knew it's what God had in store for me. So I accepted the position. And cried. Because that's what I do, remember? Ugh. **Note: I am not a cry baby. Crying is simply how I express emotion!**

So tomorrow is my first day. And I'm so excited!!! I'm really excited about what I'll be doing, who I'll be working with and what God is going to do with all of this. But, to be honest, it's a step of faith. I'm going from a ministry/business to work at my church. I'm going from 40 hours a week and travel around the world to 32 hours a week and travel around Greenville. ha! We get Fridays off and hopefully with my travel concentrated in Greenville I'll be able to work on this photography thing some more. But with both the new job and photography, growth will have to happen before I'm settled into this new routine. And of course that will just take some time.

Oh, the other thing that's going to require some faith? My car is acting up. And not just a small, I need a thingamajig replaced that will be a few hundred dollars. The mechanics are talking engine replacement, which is more like a few thousand. Awesome.

God, I'm SO glad You know what You're doing. I'm thankful that you absorbed my sin on the cross, conquered death and that You are ALIVE today. There is no way I could get out of bed each day if it weren't for You, Jesus.

So, dear friends in cyber space and in real life, thanks for your support in this change!! I'm already looking forward to updating you on what the next couple of weeks bring.

And if you've made it this far through my ramblings, you deserve a picture. Plus, posts are just better with pictures. I took it this morning, Easter Sunday, after the baptism (which was awesome and I will share pictures of later).

03 April 2010

One More Day

I met Jennifer about 3 years ago when she took my spot in Partner Support at Upward. I was moving to Global and she was just graduating from college. Between training her for the job, running around Atlanta in our version of the Amazing Race and sitting next to her for the past year there is one thing I know for sure about this girl... I'm going to miss her SO much since I'm starting a new job this week.

But I got one more day with her a couple of Saturdays ago... along with her husband and precious little boy. Jason and Will were such troupers too!

Jennifer, Jason and Will, I had a lot of fun hanging out with you guys. Thanks for letting me capture this point in your lives. I hope you enjoy the pictures and I hope to see you again soon!
Are they not such a beautiful family??
LOVE it. And I didn't even pose him that way!
Had to get some of the two of them.
Y'all are gorgeous. For real.
I'm a Greenville, SC based wedding and portrait destination photographer who loves to be behind the lens. I look forward to hearing what you think about the posts and images as I work with amazing people to capture life and give them images they love.
Check out the website! http://photographsbysabrina.com