Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Magic Lost

I love Christmas. It's my favorite time of the year. Holiday decorations everywhere you go, cold wintery weather inviting comfy sweaters and hot chocolate, and buying gifts for loved ones all make the season special. Christmas magic seems to float in the air.

But since the accident so many things are not the same, especially Christmas. The first Christmas without my boys I couldn't handle it. The thought of waking up to an empty house on Christmas morning was unbearable. So I ran away. As far away from Christmas as I could get. Hawaii with it's tropical warm weather and crowds felt nothing like the Christmas season. It was the perfect escape. (If you want to see my photo's from my trip click herehere, here, or here).

The second year without my boys I couldn't afford to run away again, at least not that far. So instead, I talked my family into running away with me. My parents rented a house in the mountains. We woke up Christmas morning to snow falling and it didn't stop until around 4pm. To this day I believe God sent us snow as a gift. That snow fall made our Christmas perfect.

This year is different. I don't feel the need to run away like I have the last 2 years. Yet I don't really feel the Christmas magic either. I feel like an outside observer. I see Christmas decorations and they surprise me. "Oh ya, it's Christmas", I think to myself. I buy Christmas gifts, admire the lights on houses, and go to Christmas parties, it's just not the same. The magic is gone.

Someday I expect the magic and wonder of the Christmas season will return. But without my boys it will always be different.

I love this photo from their last Christmas. Dawson had been asking Santa for a Lego Mindstorm for at least 2 years, he'd even been saving his own money for just as long. On his last Christmas he opened up his last gift to find a Lego Mindstorm. He was so happy he cried. But my favorite part of this photo is seeing the look on Devin's face. He was just as excited for his brother. That is Christmas Magic.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Rare Opportunity

Back in April I received a phone call asking if I would like to go flying. I absoutely love flying! So I jumped at the chance. I grabbed my camera and rushed out the door. I arrived at the airport to find Gary getting his plane ready. I was so excited the giant "Experimental" written behind the seats in cab didn't phase me.
 The stripe down the side of the airplane is pink in honor of the beautiful sunsets Gary loves so much. "I will rise up on wings like the eagles and will soar with His spirit" is written on the side of the plane.
 In case the "Experimental" written on the cab doesn't get your attention, this small plaque on the instrument panel might.
                                          My chauffeur to the clouds.
 There is something magical about flying over the earth. No borders, no boundaries, just soaring.
 We decided to fly over and see the mountains. A trip that would take at least 2 hours by car took only a few minutes in the air. With the cloud cover I was worried we would not be able to see the mountains. Mt. Hood decided to peak out above the clouds.
 It doesn't seem to matter how many times I fly, I love watching the way the light catches in the clouds. Seeing the tops of the clouds is so much more fun than the bottom of them.
 Once we cleared the clouds, the mountains were easy to see. Mt. Jefferson and the Three Sisters glow in the light of the setting sun. I love the way the back side of the mountain slopes down, it's like a long train on a wedding dress.
 After we had our fun photographing Mt. Jefferson, we turned toward Mt. Hood. I love the long dark cloud pointing the way.
 I squealed when I took this shot. I'm pretty sure Gary thought I was crazy. But sometimes when you know you've captured something stunning, you just have to squeal. This is one of my favorite photos. Mt. Hood stands tall and proud above the clouds. Mt. Adams reflects the light of the setting sun in the background.
                  I love this photo of Gary silhouetted against the sunset.
The suns last brilliant light just before it dips below the horizon. I think it's pretty cool that I caught the propellor of plane in motion.
 We flew so close to Mt. Hood, I was sure I could reach out and touch the snow. I like the drama the B&W treatment adds to this photo.
 After the sun went down we headed back and flew over Portland. Gary let me fly the plane for a while. It's amazing how little pressure is needed on the stick to get the plane to respond.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fort Casey

Dale and I spent the day on Whidbey Island with our last stop being at Fort Casey. The fort defended the entrance to the Puget Sound. Built in 1890, the fort was at its height from 1901 - 1919. As technology advanced the fixed guns of places like Fort Casey became obsolete. During WWI and WWII Fort Casey served as a military training site. In 1950 the Coastal Artillery Corps was disbanded and Fort Casey became a Washington State Park in 1956.

I love old places like this with their history. The old buildings make me wonder about the men who trained, lived and worked here. 
 I love lighthouses. They are so interesting. Some day I'd like to drive the Oregon Coast and photograph all the lighthouses.
 We were able to go up into the tower of the lighthouse. I snapped these two photos from behind the tower where the light used to be. It was really hot up there so we didn't stay long.
 Two different views of the gun battlements. It's amazing how big everything is.

 This photo above is one reason I will never believe in global warming. If grass can grow through several feet thick concrete, well it just shows how strong nature really is.
                                            Umm . . . . Dale . . . .

 I found these rings all over the fort. I'm not sure what they were used for, but they were sure big and most likely very strong.

 This just cracked me up. That pillar right in the middle of the 3 stair staircase.

                         Even dandelions can be interesting sometimes.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Whidbey Island

Last September (I'm behind on my editing) I went to Whidbey Island with a friend. We left at an unreasonable hour (it was still dark) so we could watch the sunrise from Deception Pass Bridge.
                          It was definitely worth getting up super early.
                                               Deception Pass Bridge
                           After the sun came up the fog rolled in fast.
              I found these carnations left on the end of the bridge charming.
 After we crossed the bridge we found a park to wander around in. I love the reflections on the still, fog covered water.
                                        These crooked trees are fun.

 The park brought us around below Deception Pass Bridge. The sun was still coming up and gave the area a beautiful golden glow.
 My friend Dale as we wander around different places on Whidbey Island

 One of our stops bordered this hay field. Dale and I had fun shooting the large round bales.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted ~ Matthew 5:4

I never understood this verse. How can you call someone who is mourning blessed? I think someone mourning would think they were anything but blessed.

Then I found out what it really means to mourn. I know what it feels like to be so deep in grief you forget to breath. I know what its like to feel the crushing weight of grief so heavy that you can't breath. I certianly didn't feel blessed. And I still didn't really understand this verse.

Yet, it was in some of those moments of grief, that I felt God's presence and heard his voice. It's hard to describe what it felt like one day to have this overwhelming peace spread through me. To know that it was from God and to hear him tell me he had everything under control. It was a "peace that passes all understanding"(Philippians 4:7) that only God can give.

But I still didn't understand. I'd lost everything that mattered.

Then the other night I was thinking about all the times God came along beside me in my grief, all the people he sent to pray for me and support me and then it dawned on me . . . . I'm not blessed because I mourn, I'm blessed because in my grief God made his presence known and comforted me.

It's in the word "comforted" the blessing lies, not in the mourning. It is an amazing blessing to feel God's presence, especially when he's all you have left. 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Thank You . . .

Its weird the directions one's life can take. When people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I had a ready answer for them. But my life has not gone the way I had planned. When everything you know about your life is ripped away, you find yourself on a new path. One you never even imagined.

Sometime last year I started kicking around the idea of going back to school. I was thinking about becoming a counselor so I could help others whose lives had been turned upside down. Yet I didn't think it was something I could . . . or even should do. It seemed like such a crazy idea, yet I was interested in it. Of course I had all kinds of reasons why it was the wrong direction for me. Yet the idea wouldn't leave me alone.

 As it happened one evening in September I was visiting with my college psych professor and his wife. I wanted to talk to him about this idea of becoming a counselor, but felt silly bringing the idea up. Because as I already said, I thought it was a crazy idea.

However, my professor validated my idea so quickly I almost suspect he'd already had the idea himself.  We spent the rest of the evening talking about this crazy idea of mine. By the time I got home it wasn't such a crazy idea anymore and I started looking into applying to graduate school. You can read about that adventure here. I am now about to finish my first semester and am excited about what my future holds.

So I'd like to thank Doc and Anita Bailey for giving me permission to pursue a new direction for my life. It's hard to explain what that one conversation did for me and my willingness to follow what I think  was God's tugging at my heart.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Online Store

As my previous post mentioned I have gone back to school. Turns out books are really really expensive!! I have never understood why text books have to be so expensive. :)  To help offset my school costs, I've decided to open an online store to sell my photos. So if you'd like to help support my school endeavors or just need a pretty picture for your wall, be sure to check out my new store by clicking on the link below.

Thank you

Teresa Hunt Photography - Store

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wow, It's been a while

I knew it had been a while since I posted on my blog, but I had no idea it had been over 2 months. I'll give you a quick update on where I've been. About a week after my last post I found an apartment. I knew it was time to take a step toward a new life and moving seemed to be the easiest way. So I started apartment hunting. It was a very depressing venture. Most of the apartments in my price range were in places I would not live. However one afternoon an apartment within my price range in an area I would live appeared. But the trick was I had to take it right away. So I did. The month of February was spent packing, moving, unpacking and cleaning the old apartment. It was quite the adventure. 

If moving wasn't enough to keep me busy I decided to go back to school. This was a few months in the making as I had to research schools, go through the application process and get accepted. During my very frantic move I found out I was accepted into Multnomah University's Master of Counseling program. Exciting and frightening all at the same time. I spent the month of March settling into my new home and recovering from the shock of having to do homework again. 

Now that my new apartment is mostly unpacked, I hope to settle into a study schedule soon. An assignment for my first class was to create a study schedule that allowed for some balance in life. So I made sure to schedule time for my photography since I think that may be one of the few things that will keep me sane through this intensive 2 year program. Lets just hope the homework doesn't overwhelm me and take control. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2 Years

2 years ago my life stopped. I've gone 2 years without hearing my son's voices, 2 years without hugging them or telling them I love them, 2 years without reading a bedtime story, 2 years without breaking up a fight, 2 years without their craziness and laughter, 2 years without being called Mom.

It's a heartbreaking thing to have to start your life over with out the people who are most important to you. I've gone through a roller coaster of emotions. My first year I created a book, to help me deal with what I was going through.

This past year I did another project.

My project for year 2