Category Archives: friends

Making it our own

Atlanta Artist Melissa Payne BakerI posted last week a piece of art work that my friend Lindsey gave me [the winner for that was chosen btw, thank you for all those who entered]. My love for art is nothing new but I will admit. I feel spoiled knowing such awesome artist personally.

I thought id share another piece in our home.

This one is by Melissa Payne Baker. She was named Atlantas top artist a few years in a row recently by a very popular magazine. She is very talented. I met her our 1st year here after she hired me to photograph her maternity portraits/birth of her son/newborn portraits and since then birthday parties and so forth. I feel honored to be her photographer and you cant help but fall in love with her family.

She painted this particular piece from inspiration of our journey over the years and my childhood memories of a creek growing up.

Her work is abstract and so beautiful. Her use of colors is perfect. I have 3 of her pieces now and love every single one. Each one special in its own way.

So thank you Melissa for this beautiful piece. I LOVE IT.

I do hope when we move and really settle in some place, that I can display it even better.


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and for those curious how we are liking our Casper Bed. WE LOVE IT still! I look forward to sharing my thoughts more on this great bed soon. I wanted to give it a few weeks before doing my complete write up. If you missed our unboxing video you can see that HERE. :)

Lindsey P. Emery Art Giveaway

Lindsey P. Emery Art Giveaway

It is no secret that I love art.

Prior to becoming a photographer I was very much into sketch art… and even at one point went to college for graphic design. I loved using my hands to create and have always had a real appreciation for artist.

I have a few artist friends in the Atlanta area I have made.

Melissa Payne Baker was my first artist friend I made after moving here. An amazing lady, mom and artist who I adore. I have 3 of her paintings in my home and each of them is very special to me.

I was super exciting when Melissa agreed to mentor my friend Lindsey. Who has wanted to start an art business for some time… but it got put on hold due to moves, cancer and, well… life.

Super excited for Lindsey to finally have her business off the ground and moving right along.

She gave me a beautiful piece for Christmas and I just had to share it.

Art on Mantel

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Art on Mantel



Lindsey wanted to

give away a 6×6 mini canvas away on my blog!

Its a cute bird nest canvas and would make a great addition to a mantel, book shelf, collage wall, etc. You can view Lindsey’s website at Lindsey P. Emery Designs.

To enter this giveaway you have to live in the USA. Just fill out the Raffle Copter below to enter.

Thanks everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Behind the Scene Boba

Behind the Scene Boba

A few weeks ago right before Christmas I did some more photos for Boba. :) Love working for them and all the amazing moms/dads/babies. Really, a lot of fun. My dear friend Charlene assisted me the two days I shot for Boba. Helping to carry boba carriers, paper work, help with client’s kids, etc… could not have done it without her. She even snagged some behind the scene photos! So I thought for fun, Id share a few snippets she got. You will be able to see my photos taken soon over on the Boba website :) – as well as other photos I have done for them already up.

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Can I add it was like 34F out during the 1st day of shooting. It was so cold!! Thankful for fingerless gloves, ugg boots and coats :) – big props to the moms who nursed in this cold for the sake of boba photos hehe. Brave moms.

Dwelled Friendship

Dwelled Friendship

ED9A7250Many months ago. I would say around 8 months ago…. Travis was put onto a new shift at his work. Prior to the switch in hours, he would work from around 1pm-midnight every 5 days and then off two days. The huge difference in his schedule vs. other normal jobs, was not only the hours but also the off days. His job switched off days every 3 weeks…. and then rotated days. He rarely had weekends off…. and having him away at night for me, was very difficult.

You all who have read my blog know that :)

He thankfully got put onto day watch… which means he is at work from like 6am-4pm most days….This was huge for me and helped me A LOT… I felt a lot less secluded from the “norm” of routine as a home schooling mom… I felt the hours he was given helped me to function better and relate more with those around me… since he was gone when all the other peoples husbands were gone. I can’t even begin to tell you how ALONE I felt when he worked nights…

No one EVER wanted to do anything with me or my boys in the evenings… any time ladies planned “nights out” I couldn’t go, because I had no husband there to watch my kids… and Travis very rarely had weekends off or fridays off… so any time there was a church get together for couples in the evenings, I would have to go alone. It was not fun… I found myself very depressed over it.

Travis’ new schedule as amazing as it was for me over all, the one con was that he had to work Sunday Mornings now… He only gets Sunday Mornings off like every 6 mo… so for example this year he had part of sept/oct off on sundays, but wont have Sundays off again until almost summer!

The church we attend here… that you all know has been unreal amazing for our family. Who took us in when we had no place to go…. sadly does not have evening worship any more… I use to be a bit anti-Sunday night service when I was a Pastors wife. I never really appreciated that service until we were out of the ministry and placed into different situation. I now have a new perspective and am a huge supporter of churches that offer Evening worship still :) – while it may seem outdated to many, and pointless… it can and very much helps those families out who don’t have the normal schedule or routine as most. Also those with really young kids… I am sure can relate to not wanting to get up super early on a sunday… and would rather go in the evening. Amen? :)

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So when Travis started his Day Watch schedule… we began the search for a church in the area that offered evening worship. We tried A LOT. I think we tried at least 5 churches… Some were just not our style… others were really cool, up to date but seemed to lack in the area of depth in the sermons…. It was a struggle to find a church we felt a connection with and I know that a big part of that was because First Baptist is and forever will be a home to us… so having to look elsewhere to worship, when we love our church so much and Pastor Johnny, for both Travis and I was hard.

I am so thankful though that we kept looking… and God provided a small new church plant for us to discover. The church is called Sojourn. Their Pastor Trent is similar in age to Travis… and his wife Emily was very sweet. We enjoyed the worship and laid back style… and even better was the fact this church did not meet in the morning only at night. So their evening service was full… and they had a great children’s program set up… and snacks for the kids upon arrival. Was very homey and engaging. Our boys LOVE it. They always ask us now “Are we going to the small church?” :) – haha – which isnt an insult. Those who know what First Baptist looks like here, will get that. Any church compared to it, is small. :)

ED9A7272So we have been going there for a few months now. One sunday while there, the Pastor encouraged the ladies to attend a new bible study they would be starting for the women. His wife would be the one leading.

Initially when I saw the invite to this, my first thought was.

Why Bother.”

I knew our time here in this area was limited. I just felt it… and I just wondered if it was worth it. Why get involved with anything else? Why get to know new people in a close way, when I would have to leave again?

During this same time I really began to struggle in the area of friendship over all.

With all the job hour changes…

The inability to feel or be connected to many of the groups we were previous a part of… I really began to feel that sense of hopelessness in the area of strong friendship…

Satan really fed me a lot of lies during this struggle… at times Id just tell myself over and over, no one really cares about us, otherwise they’d come see us… Why am I always the one to make the plans….

Yet, as I looked at my cell phone I had 8 txt messages from a friend Candra…. or 2 missed calls from my best friends Shannon back in NC.

I dwelled in self pity a lot and I know that my dwelling there and growing in my insecurity and bitterness made me push people away.

I know too that my dread of another move… yet knowing we had to move, also caused me to not try… trying felt to hard. Even though we have not gotten a confirmation on the upcoming move, I felt little by little, that parts of me no longer were here. As if I was mentally preparing myself again, for another change… and a new life. Which can be exciting but if im honest, its hard too. Even though I know God is moving right now in this process….

For me though, with friendship. I often wondered. Would they care if I moved?

Many didn’t when we moved other times.

I would constantly replay over and over in my mind friendships in my past, that I poured so much into, yet after another move, that was it. An email here, a random facebook comment there… and that was about all that became of things. Could have been my doing. Could have been theres. Whatever the case, it wasn’t easy… and I truly mourned friendships that were broken for a long time… and still do at times.

So, when I saw that bible study invite and I didn’t want to go.

In fact I told my friend Shannon about it…. and she encouraged me to go and said “Had you not gone to the home school field trip many years ago, we would have never met.” A field trip group which btw, I never attended again after that one trip. I went to that single field trip and met the most amazing friend and to this day we talk daily. Id consider her a sister we are that close. Id adopt her kids if something ever happened to her. That close.

I would think back on the time I put myself out there as a photographer in NC… and went to a “photographers christmas party” where I knew NO ONE… and ended up meeting so many amazing photographers, some of whom I grew closer with than others… and one in particular that is still very much a part of my life today… that friendship would have never been, had I not stepped out and put forth a little effort….

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God I firmly believe uses friendships in a way to refine us… and while some friendships may be short…

Some may be deeper than others.

Some may be hurtful and cause bitterness at times….

I have learned over these last few months that its worth putting forth effort…. and while I am far from perfect in that effort… and I do find that I can only pour so much if it is not poured back…

ED9A7291I am thankful despite my doubts… hesitation. My negative dwelling.

That I went.

God was able to use that small bible study group to teach me a lot… and while I may not be best friends with these ladies… I am very thankful to have met many of them and gotten to know them. They were each able to touch me in a way and for that I am thankful.

It was a great reminder to me, to always be genuine… to be transparent…. and to be open for God to do a work.

So to the ladies at Sojourn. Thanks for letting me get to know you :)

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To the many others I have become friends with over the years…. and for whatever reason we don’t talk. If you happen to read my blog. Know I love you. I have very few friends to this date that I dont still love dearly, even if we haven’t spoken in years.

Thankful for the ladies of City of Refuge… ladies who taught me how to open up more… That group too was used in a way I needed so much. God used a bunch of broken, curse word flying, jacked up Pastors wives (I included lol), to minister to me in a way that I cannot even fully express.

God is amazing… and Good… and there is just so much to be thankful to Him for… I could write page after page about things I feel so blessed to have, all because of a loving Lord who cares for me.

Halloween is not the devil.

Halloween is not the devil.

Those who follow me on social media have seen most of these photos :) – btw you should follow me @dreawood on instagram & facebook for all that sorta stuff. Im a huge fan of instagram especially.

Before I get into the photos for this post. What most come here to see, more so than my ramblings… I want to chat a bit about Halloween.

Growing up I never really went trick or treating. My mom grew up catholic and was a new believer when I was around 3? Went to a Presbyterian church at one point, then a non denominational, then baptist, and so forth. Haha, lets just say, we did some church hopping. Although at one point, I believe around age 12 I stopped going to church all together and totally rebelled against anything church. Not a high point in my life, Lord brought me back thankfully. I have nothing bad to say about that though or her choices at all. She like any mom did what she felt was best at the time and no one can fault a mom for that. Im thankful for my mom and she taught me a lot growing up.

Once I became a mom myself though, I had lots of questions each time Halloween would roll around.

I remember my childhood and not being able to trick or treat much… but I do also remember my mom letting us hand out candy and watch scary movies. I remember fun fall festivals and so forth as well. It wasn’t something we were totally apart from, but we weren’t really that into it either.

Once my kids became old enough TO trick or treat, I was not really keen on it. I had this whole idea in my mind that if we participated, it would be as if we are worshipping satan or some sort of satanic cult… and that it would not let people see Christ in us… because we “didn’t look different” than those around us who were not in church and trick or treated.

My thinking was very immature…

Now that I am older and my kids are older.. and we live in a neighborhood… and among lots of people… with different stories… different life styles… but all with children, who my kids become friends with and get to know… and each passing year I realize more and more, how we are called to “be different” and “set apart” – but I do not believe shutting our doors on a day like halloween is a great way to do that… I read THIS POST a week or so before Halloween and it summed up my thoughts perfectly.

Do read it.

Cause right now, I am not sure I am making much sense :)

So yes we are believers.

Yes my husband is a former Baptist Pastor, hopefully a Pastor again in the future :)

Yes we live and believe the Bible to be true and infallible…

We are to love our neighbors… and open our homes… be the church to the community and those around us. Locking our doors and turning off the porch light, because we think “halloween is some sort of evil-ness”, IMO is just going to rub people wrong and will never lead anyone to Christ.

ED9A4104Instead, put on some praise music and sit outside handing the cute kids and teens candy. Have some apple cider going welcoming your neighbors to have a sip and introduce yourselves. Let your children build relationships and community with the kids they see passing by… which in turn could very well open up a relationship between you and the parents, that could very well lead to their salvation down the road.

Don’t shut the doors.

Halloween for me, is fun now. While I am not a huge fan of all the “scary” costumes… and I swore years back my kid would never be “one of the scary ones” (hah. yea right, I have dudes…. its just bound to happen, they dont want to be cute cowboys forever). I don’t like haunted houses or creepy sounds and blood… but what I do love, is the look on my boys faces once I finish painting their face… or buy them a $1.99 thrifted transformer costume. Their smile and excitement is priceless. I love seeing each of my boys wear the same silly dragon costume from Old Navy, year after year… and the adorableness of a 2 year old hobbling up to a persons house attempting to say “trick or treat” in the most adorable babble/toddler talk.

Halloween is not the devil :)

I will end with this quote from the article I linked to above….

“Halloween gives you a great opportunity to show how Christians celebrate the day that death was defeated, and you can give them Gospel tracts and tell the story of how every ghost, goblin, witch and demon was trounced the day Jesus rose from the grave.”

and… of course, some photos :)


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Taite below (you can’t even tell its him, so funny)

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Caleb and I were vampires.

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Reed found a bee he liked :)

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Reed also found Cider he liked :)

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Strollers were a must for sure in our hilly subdivision :)

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