the world needs…love & compassion

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Why do you quilt?

I quilt because it found me.  I quilt because I had never known how to express myself in any other way until I began quilting.  I quilt because it feels like a calling-a blessing in my life given to me from God.  There’s nothing like being able to wrap my children in my own quilts that I have created in fabric of colors, textures and tones of my choosing.  I believe God shines through me when I quilt.

What is unique about you?

Ready for this? I promised myself that I would be totally transparent when Carin asked me to do this.  So here we go…I can hear and see dead people. Yep! It’s true! I do! My mom calls me the “Mormon Medium.” Lol!

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What is your favorite thought to think?

My favorite thought to think is imagining Jon (my husband), myself and our children on holidays to foreign places. Is that silly? Us traveling and seeing the world together.

What is your greatest hope?

My greatest hope has to do with the religion I live.  I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we have temples we can go to that teach us and help us become better people.  My greatest hope is to be in the temple with Jon and I and our 3 daughters all together!

Can you think of someone who inspires you to be a better person? Who? Why?

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

Because when I am with him I feel like that’s what it will feel like to be with the Savior.  Ultimate love and joy. When I feel that from him it makes me want to be like him. I want to be the kind of person that makes other feel joyful and totally loved and accepted.  He embodies that and is my priceless mentor and example. I love him.

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Is there anything you do daily, no matter what?

Yes! Talk to or see my mom.  She’s my best friend in the whole wide world!

What is your favorite failure/mistake?

Well this question needs to be answered with a story.  The failure was being terribly homesick on my mission to the point where I was begging my mission president to send me home.  I had already had one interview with him in which I shared my feelings.  He told me to give it another month and that I could call home on Sundays.

I went the next month still crying everyday, riddled with anxiety.  I went to the next interview and had virtually the same conversation however, near the end of the interview my mission president, E.K Wigglesworth said to me ‘Do you know hwat I see in front of me? I see a little spoiled selfish girl!’ In that moment I decided I didn’t liek that man! At all! Whatsoever!

Afterwards, my compation and I got on our double decker bus, #52 back to Sheffield, England.  It was raining and I was fuming.  When we got to our flat I ran up the narrow staircase into my room.  I slammed the door shut and knelt down and asked God ‘Did you hear what that man said to me?’ I heard a “Yes.”  Then I asked “Well what do you think?’ Then I heard ‘HE’S RIGHT!’ In a clear resounding voice!

It was this failure that taught me how to forget to forget myself and serve others.  This failure taught me how to be totally dependent upon Heavenly Father for everything.  Especially for how I thought and felt.  And ironically, that man, E.K. Wigglesworth is a daddy to me now.  I spend a week with him and his wife Pam in Bournemouth, England each New Year.  He was right! I was a ‘little spoiled selfish girl!’

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What tool could you not live without? Why?

I could not live without prayer.

Because being able to talk to my Heavenly Father, the father of my spirit is everything to me.  I would be lost in this world without prayer.  I need Him and need to talk to him everyday of my life.  I know that He hears and answers my prayers and without prayer, my life would look so different.

Which trait are you most grateful for in yourself?

That I love people.  I love all people, and I even tell them so.

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What is your favorite book?

I should say THE BOOK OF MORMON, which is one of my favorite books. However, my very favorite book is EAST OF EDEN by John Steinbeck.

What is your greatest success?

I would have to say that my family is my greatest success.  I have had many opportunities in my life to be successful in the world around me.  I have a Masters Degree in Mental Health & Counseling.  I am a Licensed Mental Health Therapist. I am busy with my husband’s business, Jersey Mike’s, running all of the fundraisers we do.  Yet, my family, my marriage and my children are my greatest success.

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What does the world need more of?

The world needs more love and acceptance and less judgment.  Could you imagine a world with no judgment? Just love and compassion.  That’s the world I want to live in.

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truly SEE

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top & bottom left: 35mm, f2.2, 1/400, ISO 2000

bottom right: 135mm, f3.5, 1/100, ISO 2000

From one of my favorite photography books, TAO OF PHOTOGRAPHY by Philippe L. Gross & S.I. Shapiro-

“SEEING, in the finest and broadest sense, means using your senses, your intellect, and your emotions.  It means encountering your subject matter with your whole being. It means looking beyond the labels of things and discovering the remarkable world around you.” -Freeman Patterson

A PRACTICE OF SEEING-striving behind a camera lens to see beyond what is just in front of me; to engage all of my senses and truly SEE.

practice daily

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85mm, 1/250, f2.5, ISO 250

Daylight was ending and I hadn’t picked up my camera all day.  I grabbed the cut flowers from the entry table and set out to the back porch.  The pink hues from the setting sun saturated the light.  I was grateful that I had kept the commitment I had made to myself another day.  Practice every single day.

I know what to do

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1/200, f2.2, ISO250, 50mm

The thoughts rolling through my head-

I want them to lift me,

point me to my goals,

feel my successes,

and have a vision greater than today.

Instead, they are-

shielding me,

protecting me,

keeping me safe.

But safe is boring.

Being unseen is diminishing.

I am ready for more.

Ready for…

“I can”

“I know what to do”

“life is amazing”

“I have beautiful things to offer the world.”

I KNOW WHAT TO DO!

every single day

I attended a violin senior recital last Friday.  5 seniors were performing solos of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with an orchestra accompanying them.  Each performer was FANTASTIC! As the 4th senior came to stage and played her first note, I knew something was different.  She was phenomenal.  We were mesmerized, truly blown away.  After arriving home we read her bio in the program.  It stated, among other accomplishments, that she practiced every single day for 7 years.  Remarkable.

I have given the same assignment at the very end of every photography class I have ever taught.  This assignment is more important than fstop selection, shutter speed choice or the ISO level.  It is more valuable than the equipment you own.  Sometimes I am really good at it, and other times; due to fear, apathy and distraction, I run the other way.  When I have given this assignment to my students they have been in an all day workshop, brains overloaded with knowledge.  I ask them to raise their right hand and promise to practice every day for at least 30 days.

But what if it was…

a year…

two years…

ten years…

a lifetime…

I have recently begun a new daily practice.  I am committed to pick up my camera every day and take at least one photo.  I have this image to thank for that recommitment.  I wouldn’t have had my camera with me without my new goal.  I wouldn’t have seen the subtle light settle on the fence after Sunday dinner at my parent’s home.  I wouldn’t have asked my daughter to stand in the light.

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1/640, f2.5, ISO 250, 85mm