Captivating & Wild at Heart Photo Special!

Where is my Captivating Woman and my Wild at Heart Man?

Do I have a photo shoot special for you! Since those who know me know that I love to read the really loved the books Captivating and Wild at Heart by John and Stasi Eldredge, you won't be surprised that I have come up with this awesome idea!

LADIES: Buy the book Captivating, read it, realize the God-given beauty in YOU, submit your short personal story to me and you could win a photo shoot package from Carole Foret. I will take story submissions through June 1st and declare the "Captivating Woman" within 1 week. That winner can choose her location and be a queen for the day! I am offering beach sessions during the last week of June and into the first week of July--we could do it there! This shoot is to not only document your beauty, but be your chance to express your freedom and beauty. This will be the most awesome shoot a woman could have. It doesn't matter your age, color, church affiliation, --you have beauty and you have the chance to win.

MEN: Buy the book Wild at Heart, read, it, realize the MAN God made YOU, submit your short personal story to me and you could win a photo shoot package from Carole Foret. I will take your story submissions through June 1st and declare the "Wild at Heart Man" within 1 week. That winner can choose his location for the shoot. The beach is an option just as it is for the Captivating Woman. This shoot could be the story of your lifetime!

I really look forward to this project! The biggest message I have in offering this is that each of us should realize the beauty and spirit that God gave each of us to be and feel beautiful and spirited. To participate here are some guidelines:

You must email me and let me know if you are participating.
Your personal story must include some direct relation to some excerpts from the book. I'll know!
Your personal story need not be more than a page but can be longer if you wish.
You must email or mail your story in to me by June 1st, 2007.
Stay tuned to my blog for the announcement by June 8th for the Captivating Woman and Wild at Heart Man!

Books can be purchased locally in Athens at Pablo's On Market or on the web at Amazon.


Well, it's been 11 days since my tonsillectomy. I so appreciate every prayer, phone call, card, visit, smoothie, Ice cream, flowers, favors that everyone has given/done for me. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I can't thank you enough. Friends and family are golden and I love you all!

I am still in bed a good bit recovering, trying to take it easy per doctor's orders and because the pain med I'm still taking makes me sleepy. This surgery is like none other that I've ever had in that you don't just snap back in a matter of 2-3 days and you're off your pain med and truly recuperating. Let me tell you--adult tonsillectomy is a truly awful experience. I have a huge pain tollerance, but this IS the most painful experience I've ever had in my life. And it is that way for most adults who have to endure this surgery. Dr. Light told me that it would be. He was right. I haven't had any nightmare additional issues like some do such as having a bleeding episode from stitches bursting open after a sneeze or a cough. In fact, my surgery didn't use stitches--my tonsil area was cauterized.

Anyway, I'm doing okay--pretty well, actually. I'm eating some! But not alot. I've lost 8 lbs. but I'm sure it will come back. Stamina is fair, but needs to get better so that I can get back into my life shooting photography, painting, playing drums/singing with my band. I look forward to it! Typical recovery time 2 - 3 weeks for adult tonsillectomy. Almost there! Right?
Hope YOU'RE great!


Women's Retreat

Next weekend, March 2nd and 3rd, is the WOW Women's Retreat. WOW (Women of Worth) is the Women's ministry at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Athens. it is guaranteed to be a fabulous time with great food, great decoration, great music (Sister Grace), great speakers, awesome door prizes. Come on women and revive your spirit at this Friday night and most-of-the-day on Saturday event! Don't miss your chance to win a "Captivating Woman" photo shoot--I'll be donating that! Can't wait to see what beautiful woman I will get to shoot. Below is the schedule for the event.

Friday March 2

6pm-Gather-desserts/coffee/book signings
6:45pm-opening prayer -welcoming remarks
7pm-Praise and worship- Sister Grace
7:20 -7:30 break
7:30-8:30 introduction of speaker and first session with speaker
8:30 special music
8:45 closing, book signings

Saturday March 3
9am-coffee/sweet treats/book signings
9:30 Praise and worship
9:45 break
10:00 speaker
11:00 special musci
11:15 "Housekeeping details" break for lunch
12:15 last music session
12:30 closing session with speaker
1:15 closing and book signings


My Mother

Today is my mother's birthday--Happy Birthday, Mom! She is 16 years old in this photo! Boy, have 16 year old "looks" changed over the years. Nevertheless, it sits on my nightstand and is one of my favorite photos of her because it portrays the regard I have for her---of being such a classy, beautiful, elegant woman. She remains to be so today. I love you, Mom!


New Look for Lent

It's almost Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. I am changing the background color and the music on my site for Easter. New colors, new songs. The Easter Season is about newness....This is the current color and I plan to change the color each week or so until Easter. Vote on colors you want me to choose after this Tiffany color! Here are screen shots of what's to come! Don't the colors look like Easter eggs? OK, so what are YOU giving up for Lent?


Fashion Minsitry and Retail Therapy

Did you know that fashion is one of my ministries? Yes. This belt buckle says it all. Believe! What do you believe? What should you believe? This buckle is ministering to me right now. As the pain in my throat worsens, as it will for the next few days, I have to BELIEVE that this is going to pass. I have to believe and have hope. My hope is that the Lord is going to deliver me from this pain and restore in me the energy and fervor for life that I've always had, but haven't for some time because of this infection that's been living in my tonsils. I look forward to feeling like myself, but an even better self after conquering this experience!

This belt came from Dillon Rogers. They make some cool leather branded belts, bracelets, necklaces and other cool artsy fashion items. You've got to check them out! Thanks to my friend Steph for such a great shot of my Believe belt the day we, Sister Grace, recorded vocals in the studio. :)

And last night, I sought out some retail therapy through eBay and a
J. Crew store. There were 2 coats that I've been wanting that came up for auction. I won them both for great deals!! Now that is therapy! It helped me forget my pain for quite some time.


Jesus Painting

My friend Marcia shared this with me today. I would love to go and paint Jesus like this!! How impacting would that be? Anyone want me to do this for your youth group?? Set me up and I'll paint! Take 10 minutes and see Jesus appear in a unique way. Thank you for sharing this, Marcia!


My Most Recent Painting

This was completed last week the night before I went in for my tonsillectomy. My friends, the Carters are the owners of this piece. Anne commissioned it as a gift to her husband, Buddy a few months ago. I shot pictures of his favorite wines and one of their glasses to make it very much a custom piece of art. She gave it to him for Valentine's Day for their gorgeous new home. I hope he liked it!! Haven't heard yet...It's one of my most favorite wine paintings I've done. You'll see more of what else I did the last week before my surgery. Stay tuned!


Mardi Gras is here!

...and I'm celebrating on my site too! Y'all have fun down there in N' Awlins--ok? Laissez les bon temps roulez! (That's "Let the good times roll" for those who don't know...) My Mom is supposed to be bringing me a King Cake, but I haven't seen it yet. I can't eat it right now anyway with liquids being most of my diet at the moment. I could still have fun trying to find the baby in it....


Tonsils and Uvulas

How big is your uvula? That "punching bag" thing hanging in the entrance of our throat. Don't ever take it for granted--the way it protects your "windpipe" from food when you swallow, and how it covers your esophagus when you take a breath. Well, mine is a little different right now. It's gargantuan and causing me trouble.

I had my tonsils out this morning! OUCH! And although the real pain is to not come till day 3 or so, my biggest issue is my uvula. It is so swollen that I can only sleep on my tummy so that gravity will keep it off my trachea so that I can breathe. Oh, this is only the beginning of my 2 to 3 week recovery from this surgery. But I am going to be tough. I have been a strep carrier for quite some time. It even developed into scarlet fever twice the past couple of years. It was time to say goodbye to my tonsils where all that lives--deep down inside of them.

When the time came to choose an ENT surgeon, I didn't have to look far. My friend from Mission Makeover was my definitive choice. Dr. Ben Light is a board certified facial plastic surgeon as well as an ENT. FYI: A few years ago, before deciding to practice in Decatur, AL, Dr. Light was invited to practice at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, but he and his lovely wife Diana chose Decatur to live and raise their 4 children. That always impressed me. With every step along the way to my tonisillectomy today, Dr. Light has been the utmost in dignity and caring. I would so appreciate any prayers for a speedy recovery, and that my voice will not only return, but be even better than it was! I asked for the Celine Dion package-ha! Well, the speedy recovery would be enough. Be blessed!


Surreal Experience Today!

My Christian band Sister Grace got in the studio today to begin work on our first CD! The rhythm tracks were recorded by some of the finest musicians ever! We are so lucky and blessed to be in the same room with them, much more by having them add their genius to our songs...more words about it later. Here is a sneak "listen" to one of our songs, "Love Never Fails" written by our own Tina Swindell...

Our producer: Johnny Sandlin of Duck Tape Studios-from his site-johnnysandlin.com:

Johnny Sandlin found fame on the hard edge of Southern Rock as one of the men most responsible for the sound that came out of Macon, GA in the ‘70s. His music career began in the early sixties playing with other musicians who went on to leave their mark in music history including; Dan Penn, David Briggs, Norbert Putnam, Jerry Carrigan, Roger Hawkins, Eddie Hinton, and fellow “Hour Glass’’ band members, Paul Hornsby, Pete Carr and Gregg and Duane Allman. He has produced 5 platinum records as well as 10 gold. We're thrilled to be working with such an icon in the music industry!


Great Weekend Memories

A huge part of my memories from the great experiences I get to have in my life is music. This weekend was no exception. I had been enjoying my Taylor Hicks CD and knew that my friend Marcia had been as well since we were both fanatic this summer at the American Idol concert in Birmingham.

So, I was mainly sharing it with Claire until we picked Marcia up in Birmingham on the way down to the coast. When Claire arrived from MN, she shared wih me an awesome young lady singer whom I'm really excited about. When Marcia got in the car, she confirmed, Yes! on Taylor's music but said, "You've got to check out Corrine Bailey Rae!" That's the same girl that Claire was buzzing about too! So, yes! These are 2 great CDs that were a part of our weekend on those long rides coming and going. Check 'em out!

We got in from our fabulous Girls Getaway Weekend at Rosemary Beach last night, and man, what a great time. I'm tired, but reeling from all the excitement of having met so many awesome ladies and being with close friends, enriching those relationships. How thankful I am--we are. Claire feels the same way! (She is flying back up to cold Minnesota in few minutes). You can see the videos below of some of our weekend. Claire will be updating her blog soon to include our Saturday night that was so full of great times, great friends, great dancing!!


Atlanta Ladies Photo Shoot at Rosemary Beach!

Talk about Good Times--these ladies were having it!! No sun, but lots of FUN!! They really got down, got funky and got loose! See for yourself! CLICK!


The Workshop!

Claire and I taught our workshop at Rosemary Beach today! This place is utterly beautiful and the ladies in our class were equally so. They were from Birmingham, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Memphis, St. Paul, Minnesota and Anniston...Kim Jameson and Kathy Kemp have done a beautiful job putting together one fabulous weekend, and it's really just getting started. We had a meet and greet tonight in the Town Hall where there were awesome vendors of "women's interests" including our art and our "entertainment painting"--Claire painted a live portrait and I painted my signature subject, a house portrait. That was great meeting new faces from all over the U.S. This is an event I will look forward to for years to come. Tomorrow we will get to relax some--have a shoot on the beach, shop and visit some galleries! Enjoy the video of the workshop!

We Made It!! And...Sa-weet!

Oh my goodness--our 6.5 hour trip to Rosemary Beach turned into about 9 hours! How could that happen. Say "mapquest" and poor directions from a police officer in Opp, Alabama. Geez...Anyway, Claire, Marcia and I had a wonderful time meeting up in Birmingham and piling into one car and talking and laughing all the way down. Maybe that's why we missed some turns...Anyway, WHAT a surprise awaited us when we finally arrived tonight at 10pm! Well, Eileen flew in from Minnesota and beat us to the gorgeous beach house that awaited us. It is truly a work of architectural art! How blessed we are to spend a girls getaway weekend in this most lovely home! See the video tour and hold on to your bottom jaw!