Thursday, June 30, 2011

pretty girls.

I'm at my sister's house, where there is an abundance of adorable tiny nieces, iced tea, and nutella.

I'm staying here for almost two weeks while the rest of my family is in Poland, on a church mission trip. Bethany is writing about it, and Peter and Miwaza are updating with their beautiful photography. Please pray for health, safety, and productivity as they are over there!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

a crazy mad wonderful week

I'm back. It was glorious. It was rainy, it was sunny, it was cold enough to remain encased in hoodies, and it was hot enough to get sunburnt. It was overflowing with friends and laughter and food.

It's hard to explain Family Camp. I can't imagine not knowing about it. Basically, every year, most of the families in our church, plus some newcomers, spend a week in June at the beach, at a camp. It's not camp, as in bugs, tents, and campfire food, and it's not camp as in twelve teenagers per cabin and counselors and altar calls.

It's camp as in, buildings for eating and a staff for feeding us and cabins for families to sleep in and a chapel for singing and teaching twice a day and a gym for basketball and a lake for boating and trees for dripping and, right across the street, the breathtaking Pacific Ocean for kicking and rolling and screaming and laughing in.

I have gone every single year of my life, even when I was 8 days old. It is the kickoff of my summer, the highlight of my year, the hot spot for dramatic occurrences, and I always come out of it with a different perspective on life.

This year lived up to all the breathless expectations. It was amazing. And, true to form, I took thousands of pictures, thanks to my beautiful camera  (which I did not have last year) and especially my brand-new lens.

Despite taking a ridiculous amount of photos, there were so many moments that I didn't capture. Crazy-beautiful sunsets on the beach which I never happened to have my camera on hand for, late-night beach fires, hanging my legs off the side of the kayak in warmish murky lake water, racing down the beach, glorious eat-fests in the dark in front of our cabin, and talking 'til one in the morning under the super-bright moon and stars.

On the first day, Rebekah (my future sister-in-law!) exercised her mad skills as a makeup artist on several of us, since she needed before/after pictures for her portfolio. Then we dashed to the beach and I took pictures of beautiful girls with makeup melting in the rain.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Beka. is. stunning.

As far as good photo-ness goes, this picture is failure, but I love it for some reason.

Hadley was just wiping off smeared makeup/fixing her hair, but it looks like she's posing all fancy or something, and she looks amazing.

 The makeup artist. : )


I love these people a whole, whole lot.

Yes, I was at Family Camp. Proof courtesy of Hadley. : )

Beka and I, running like maniacs into the ocean. Because that's what we do best.

It is absolutely awesome to have just hordes of familiar, attractive/adorable people all over the place to take pictures of for a week straight.

Much volleyball was played by many, but no volleyball was played by me. : )

I was so, so happy to have my zoom lens, because candid action portraits are my favorite, and it was so much fun getting them during sports.

These people are so awesome.

And this picture makes my soul so happy.

Andy has crazy gymnastic skills, and I wanted to get epic flip pictures on the beach, so he just let loose this insane series of super-awesome flips. Me: (screaming from behind the camera as it's on rapid-fire) "Oh my word, Andy! Oh my word!"

I just wish I had gotten a video, too. I totally think he could get rich doing stand up comedy/gymnastics/feats of strength.

Daniel, Andy, Sam, and Will. Matching shorts. ; )

 As much as it looks like Sam was stroking Will's head, he was actually stealing his hat. Just to clear that up.

Converse. : )

Blue sky! Which prompted shrieks of joy. Family Camp is characterized by drippy, drizzly, cold weather. We had several sunshiney days this year, which was such a blessing.

Hadley, me, and Kerilynn. Gah, self-portraits with a big camera are hard.

Hadley took this one of me... see her in the reflection? These are my favoritest-ever sunglasses. I get comments like "wow, you look like a bug", but whatever. I love them.

And then I passed around the sunglasses.

 Gorgeous Kerilynn and her amazing hair.

And red shoes. : )

The basketball tournament is always a long, intense affair...

...with lots of intense and loyal spectators. : )

This was the epic battle between the adult, Canadian, well-over-six-feet team and our homeboys. I screamed so, so loud. The under-seventeen-year-olds totally won.

And later, there was the aggressive and hilarious dodgeball.

I spent so much time on the beach. The last day was one of the most beautiful beach days ever. My flaming red shins testified to the gloriously bright sun.

My sister and neice...

and brother-in-law.

Such a good, good week. God is awesome.

I've been home for several days, but I've taken forever to get this post up. I've been busy picking strawberries, getting sunburnt again (on the first day of summer!), eating cupcakes, getting a cold, cleaning up the wreckage of our house, clothes shopping (?), washing mounds and mounds of laundry, making food, getting emotional while looking through Family Camp photos, and listening to this song over and over, which makes me want to cry for very unknown reasons.

Now I'm going to step away from the animal cookies and fruit loops and make some strawberry jam.

p.s. I hit 1000 followers! I LOVE YOU ALL. Stay tuned for celebratory giveaway-ish-ness. : )