5 Things Tuesday

Hello friends. Happy Tuesday. 

To say I had a FULL WEEKEND is an absolute understatement. It was filled to the brim with awesomeness. It’s probably the reason why I’m so exhausted today (and the fact that I missed my Monday Music Share yesterday - my bad).

But anyways. Here goes it. 5 Things: 

1  HELP PORTRAIT - So last year I had mentioned that I wanted to but completely forgot about doing Help Portrait. Half the battle was being in Seattle and not exactly having a team to turn to, but this year things were different. For one, I had someone who knew “people in need” so I talked to her about it.  And so for the last six months we’ve been planning and praying about this event. 

With the help of Reality LA and our entire community group we were able to bless over 40 families with the full treatment: toy & clothing drive, child care while you got your hair & makeup done, and a professional portrait session done. And in a week or so each family will receive a free framed 8x10 and a disc of all their top images. 

Even though we worked a full, full day we were there together serving in our strengths. And in that, God totally blessed us along with blessing all those families. One mother told me that this was her very first family portrait ever.  Another mother said that she’s never felt so pampered in her life - that it was like a dream and that she didn’t want to wake up. 

You guys - this was by far one of the best weekends I’ve experienced both as a photographer and just being part of the Church body. We’re meant to serve and love others and work in the giftings that He gave us. And that day, we saw it all firsthand. 

Best team ever. 


One of my regrets of living in Orlando was not going to Disneyworld enough. I literally lived like a half hour away and only went once. So I promised myself I’d get an annual pass so I can go more often. 

I wasn’t sure how great it’d be (I went to Disneyworld a couple summers ago and it was sort of lame - I’m more of a rides/adrenaline junkie girl). But dude. This trip was OFF THE HOOK. We went to both parks and having a friend in a wheelchair helped! No wait lines for us!

The best parts include the Hollywood Tower of Terror, the California Scream roller coaster ride, beating Matt Cox at the Toy Story Game, random dance parties, and WORLD OF COLOR. Having a bunch of grown adults singing along to 30 minutes of Disney songs to projected cartoons on colorful lit up water - PRICELESS.

Best day ever. Can’t wait to go again. Because we can. 200-some days of the year.

3  WEST COAST ROAD TRIP - In the midst of massive amounts of Instagramming that was happening that day, a conversation started up among friends. West Coast Road Trip - RELEVANT Edition is happening sometime next year.

A little bit of Los Angeles. A little bit of San Fran to see the Duty’s. Then back up home to Seattle where we can see Jesse Penico and Heather C. Yes. This is happening.

4  NEXT ON DECK - Since Help Portrait is mostly done (still have to do the prints and framing, but almost there!), I finally have a bit of breathing space for the next couple projects. 

This is what’s in the hopper:

  • 2 new commercial gigs - what what
  • Seattle/Tacoma portrait sessions to plan
  • a West Coast road trip to plan
  • a Reality Westside camping trip to plan
  • setting up a photo booth for a wedding (hopefully one that prints)

5  STAR TREK / HOBBIT - Projects aside. It’s almost movie time! This Thursday I’m watching the midnight showing of “The Hobbit.” I’m kind of behind my game since I haven’t watched the LOTR Trilogy recently (for obvious reasons) but I’m still excited about it.  And not only that, we’re going to get an 8-minute preview of “Star Trek.”



You guys. I kind of failed on my I’m going to do more blog series biz throughout the year. I mean, I had a good run of my “for the love of” posts and one little blip of “the handsome series” but I kind of dropped the ball. 

My bad.

Anyways, I cannot help saying “OMG he is so handsome” every time I see Gunnar on ABC’s “Nashville.” And so I thought it was proper to revive this series now with him. So without further ado, here he is, the actor who plays the lovestruck Gunnar Scott, Sam Palladio.

If you haven’t been watching “Nashville”, I highly recommend you do. Because it’s so good. The music is amazing and the acting is great of course. There’s the mega country stars (played by favorites Connie Britton of FNL fame and Hayden Panettiere, girl indestructable), but then there’s these underdogs that you root for - Scarlett and Gunnar. And lemme just say, they are absolutely heavenly together when they sing.

It’s got this Civil Wars (<– RIP) feel to it with the folksy Silver Fleece sound. OMG. So good.

And he plays the guitar. And has a southern accent. And wears flannel shirts. It sort of makes me weak in the knees. 

But what gets even more crazy, is the fact that these actors aren’t from Nashville - Claire Bowen is Australian and Sam Palladio is from the UK. How in the world are they nailing that accent?? So crazy. 

Anyways - here’s a video of the duet they did in the pilot. It cuts through other scenes in the show, so sorry about Hayden’s character being a hoe bag.  Hahahaha.  She gets better.  You know, character development over time. 

MONDAY MUSIC SHARE: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Goodness. I don’t even know how to describe this video. First off, I love NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts.  Just a few songs with a small audience. So intimate but amazing. I really like it.  

But this set right here, I was kind of drawn in by so many different factors. The keyboard intro. The white boy rapping. The bolo tie and the bowtie. Seriously. 

And that first line. The entire first song. The message. Seriously, I’m kind of just amazed and moved. I kind of want to go out and hug my gay friends, the outcast, those who are hurting and tell them that they’re all loved. And the people the Lord has bringing into my life, it’s just so timely to hear a song like this. 

Sometimes I don’t have a straightforward answer - but the final lines get it right. “Love is patient, love is kind.”

The video’s description is true, “Tears and laughter in the span of about 15 minutes” because that’s exactly what I’m doing. But yeah, be aware - explicit language (but sometimes that makes the art even better). White boy rapper got it going on. And the production of it all - these tracks are legit.

Last shout-out - dude’s from Seattle. What what.

Happy Rainy Friday.

I’m sitting here in my “home office” of sorts with my roommate. We’re both working hard / hardly working. In some sporadic moments, I’ll work on some photography stuff. In between other pockets of time we talk about ideas of starting a design/craft company. Other times we just sit, type away, and listen to worship music.

Sounds like a good Friday to me. 

Anyways. I can’t believe it’s December tomorrow. Plans to make an advent calendar of sorts and decorate the apartment - yeah that hasn’t happened yet. Maybe inspiration will hit later. For now I’m just enjoying the quiet. 

I should probably look more into that design company idea. Her wedding invites were the bomb. And I like event planning stuff. This could work. Idea that has always been on the back burner - time to rethink things again.

In other news, I made my new site live last night.  

It’s still a work in progress. But at least it’s up and running.  More updating soon to come. I have a lot of photos to post. Things to work on this weekend. 

Hope you all have a great weekend!

5 Things Tuesday

Hi y’all. 

It’s still Tuesday here on the west coast, so I’m going to milk it for all I can! Technically I’ve been traveling most of today and I’m sort of out of it. But yep. Back in LA. Oklahoma was great, but it’s nice to be back. I really missed my bed. 

Anyways. Here’s the Tulsa 5TT recap:

1  THANKSGIVING TRADITIONS - Last year I kicked off with a new Jo tradition of just bouncing around for Thanksgiving. After over a decade of mediocre/bad Thanksgivings, I’ve decided to go visit people instead.

Last year I went to Houston and spent it with my good friends, Bill and Christina. It was awesome. And this year I went to back to my college town of Tulsa and spent it with my other really good friends, Vince & Leighanna.

It was great to be back. Very much still the same old Oklahoma. Green Country. Simple and wide open. I also greatly appreciated the fact that things were so cheap there ($7 movies and $2.98 gas). I sort of wanted to stock up on Walmart stuff and take it back with me! 

Next time I’m totally bringing an extra suitcase just for that. 

(photo of the pies courtesy of Leighanna’s Instagram)

2  COFFEE CONVERSATIONS - Being back gave me the opportunity to reconnect with some of my old friends who were still in the area. I just love great conversations with friends over coffee or meals. Those are the best!

I got to hang out with a few favorites. Elle. Some Armor/Imago people. Even do a few photo shoots of friends and Mimi’s coworkers. But one of my favorite meetings there was having dinner with two couples that I know from my time in Florida. How strange is that?! Two people in my small group in Orlando both now are married and living in Tulsa, OK. So we all met up at Texas Roadhouse and did some catching up.

Those Texas Roadhouse rolls are the best.

3  TONS OF PHOTO SHOOTS - So I totally get to write this trip off as a business expense because I was able to fit in 4 shoots. And that’s awesome. I can’t wait for y’all to see them! I’ve been working overtime on a new site that should launch pretty soon - so I’ll let you know when.

But let me just say … doing a shoot with a handful of kids. Hard core. Almost chaotic. I don’t know how parents do it everyday. But wow. I may have to rethink these family shoots!

4  PLANNING OUT DECEMBER - We’re nearing the end of November here and I’m gearing up to make one last batch of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies for tomorrow. But as soon as December hits, I’m totally switching gears for holiday cookies!

Oh pizzelles. And snowballs. And I’m thinking of making a makeshift Advent Calendar for the apartment. Something fun and festive, filled with chocolate or something. And I need to plan out the Christmas cookie packages. Let me know if you want one! 

5  GIRL MEETS WORLD - Did y’all hear about this? A spinoff to Boy Meets World is officially in the works. The show is going to follow the daughter of Corey & Topanga Matthews. 

I hope they can pull it off! That show is part of my childhood. Don’t mess unless you can do it right!

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