“Connecting with those we love is like soul food. It’s not that we don’t have tasks to do, but rather we don’t fill up with tasks at the risk of starving our relationships. Relationships nourish us in ways nothing else can. It’s the relationships that help unrush us.” -Lysa Terkeurst

Today, I share with you What a morning at the garden looks like.  This is one of our favorite places to spend time together as a family. I am always grateful that we have this unrushed time together daily to learn, grow, and love together.

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Please follow our blog circle to see what talented Roxanne Bryant has shared this month.  Her work always leaves me in awe.

  • Jennifer - Ginger, I love this set of images…each photo for a different reason. :) I was wondering if you could tell me if you used the same lens for all the images? (I’m especially interested in the first and last images…as I never seem to be able to create such a magical feel with any of my lenses this far away from my subject).

    Thanks for taking us to the garden with you. :)
    JenniferReplyCancel

    • Ginger Unzueta - Thank you for such kind words Jennifer. I used my 24mm and 50mm for those two images. I interchanged them that day. I most often shoot with my 50mm or 35mm but love to bring my 24 outside. I really appreciate you taking the time to share with me.ReplyCancel

Every year we spend a week at the Gulf with my parents, my siblings, and all of the cousins. The children and adults alike countdown to this memorable week. I love the memories that are made sharing space and unrushed time together for seven days.  There really is something special when you spend days and nights living among one another and having time to just linger. With almost ten grandchildren this year, it was also filled with a bit of chaos, but in a good way.

Today, I share with you What a Week at the Gulf Looks Like .  I don’t think I could ever accurately share our week together, so I have picked some of my favorites. There really is something magical about the Gulf.

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Head on over to see what talented Ashley Jennet | The Stork and the Beanstalk has shared this month.

 

  • What a Family Camping Trip Looks Like | Tucson Family Photographer « Tucson Family, Baby, Senior Photographer – Stephanie Moore Studios - […] head to the talented lifestyle photographer, Ginger Unzueta’s post to see her monthly […]ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - These trips are a much anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed family tradition! Thank you for capturing these sweet memories! :) ReplyCancel

  • Cara - How wonderful, Ginger! The rich colors of the beach shots are to die for. :) ReplyCancel

  • Staci - Magical Ginger, just magical. Beautiful colors and expressions throughout. Those surfboard shots- beyond sweet ;) ReplyCancel

  • Janet Crouch - Gosh, I hated to see these end! What a wonderful time to remember<3ReplyCancel

  • sarah - These couldn’t be any more perfect! Love the joy in your images.ReplyCancel

  • Roxanne - ginger, your children glow. their smiles say so much to me – such joy & contentment. family all around. AND THAT WATER. i mean, its insane. the bokeh, the glow. every pic makes me miss FL so much. thank you for sharing all its beauty the way you do. xoReplyCancel

  • Summer - Ginger, vacation at the beach with family is sort of like nothing other to me. That water the light the smiles? Lucky kids. Lucky you. Beautiful beautiful images.ReplyCancel

  • rebecca - your compositions and color palettes are always spot on. not mention that every image is a full of life and love with your littles. beautiful images! ♥ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Moore - Ginger, everything you do my friend is just magical. Your storytelling abilities are amazing, I just love each and every picture here. Looks like a fabulous time!ReplyCancel

  • Breanna - the warmth and excitement and sweet smells of summer come alive in these images. beautiful ginger.ReplyCancel

  • Alise - Wow! Those skies and the water….swoon!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa (Tout Petit Pixel) - I love them all, but these images in the water make me incredibly happy. Like #3 and #5… This is pure bliss! Fabulous work, Ginger! <3ReplyCancel

  • Beira - Gorgeous! I love the dreamy feel of your images in the water.ReplyCancel

This time of year often includes a full calendar with back to school, fall sports, and holidays. But, we cannot forget how important it is to have unscheduled time in our lives. When we have this space during our days, we have time for relationships, time to listen and time to invest in things that nurture us and others. This is vital to thrive individually and as a family. We were not designed to rush through our lives.

I have been reading The Best Yes, by Lysa Terkeurst. Her stories are so relatable and filled with thought provoking reminders. I loved her words on allowing space in our lives. I couldn’t agree more with this need to have time to connect with those we love the most.

“This beautiful messy band of people I call my own needs time together. Space to connect and process. Conversational threads are what make up the fabric of relationships. We must take time. Make time. To be together. To connect. To talk.”

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Over the last year, I have been documenting the life of my father n law with Alzheimer’s Disease in a project called Life with Pito.

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On Friday, Pito underwent surgery. He had gangrene on his big toe that progressed to a deep bone infection. The doctors tried intravenous antibiotics for several weeks, while cleaning the wound on multiple occasions. They decided that they would amputate the toe in order to prevent the infection from spreading further to his foot and leg. Initially, the doctors thought they’d have to take several toes, but they were able to get all of the infection by only amputating one. Pito’s age of almost 81 and Alzheimer’s were both added concerns as he underwent surgery on Friday. We are all grateful that the surgery went so well. Pito is now home and healing with Mita (his wife) by his side.

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Trials in life, such as these, are never easy to walk through. I cannot even begin to really understand the daily journey my mother n law travels with Pito. Her example of love and never ending grace and devotion will stay with me forever. Her faith in Jesus and His plan and His provision continues to guide me on my own walk with Christ. Friday, at the hospital, I was reminded again of what an incredible wife and mother she is. I was filled with so much emotion as I watched her nurse and love him with such care and detail.

I don’t know if I could continue to be as strong as she is. I know her heart aches as she has watches Pito’s health decline and his memory fade, yet, she continues to find ways to praise God for the blessings of each day. She continues to care for him at home and gives him the utmost attention and love. It really is extraordinary.

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I am grateful that our children could come with us to the hospital to show love and support to their grandparents.  In addition, I am thankful that they could witness the beautiful example of family commitment. Family and friends (that are like family) stopped by all day to pray, to encourage, and to show their love and support. We spent hours reminiscing on special memories. What a gift it was for our children to hear these stories and to see this display of love.

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Family is a gift that I never want our children to take for granted. These people we love, and who also love us, are an integral part of our lives. Friday, was such a reminder of this for me.  I am grateful our children could see the example of servant hood and love in such a real way.

Many emotions were felt and realized throughout the day. There was sadness and worry of what the future would hold; but ultimately, there was joy in knowing God was with each of us and with Pito. His faithfulness was demonstrated in many ways.

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Often we talk to our children about putting their faith in Christ, but for them to see this example lived before them, is something that is far greater than our words. After Pito’s surgery, we met him back in his hospital room. A smile immediately came upon his face as the children walked to his bedside. He reached out for their hands and kissed them with such tenderness. Later that afternoon, I was talking to Mita about how special this was. She looked at me and reminded me of the prayers we had said earlier in the day and that so many people had also said. And then she told me to be sure that I went home and thanked Jesus for the blessings of this day. She gave Him all the glory, confidently trusting in His plan.

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Alzheimer’s may steal so much from our family, but there are still these brief smiles, connections and moments of love. These are the memories I want to hold on to. These are the moments that I believe keep Mita strong. I pray that these will be the memories that our children remember from their Life with Pito.

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Pito’s life with Alzheimer’s has shown me that even when I don’t understand why, I can always trust that Jesus is with us. 

Light in my darkness. Peace for my soul. You are my rescue. You’ve never let go.
All my hope is in You. All my strength is in You. With every breath, my soul will rest in You.
Here in my weakness. Always the same. Your love is my shelter. Your life is my way.
-”All My Hope” Hillsong United

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect through weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

  • a day at the hospital | Ginger Unzueta Photography - […] (More of our day with Pito at the hospital can be found here.) […]ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay - I just stumbled upon your blog (by trying to figure out the color of your daughters’ room from a Pinterest post). What a BEAUTIFUL, touching and emotional post. May The Lord be with your Father in Law and your family at all times. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

Technically, summer is not over.  And in all reality, summer never really ends completely in Florida. Right?!  It seems like just yesterday we were closing our books for  a few months to enjoy summer break. Yet, here we are starting a new school year. How does it always happen so fast? I savor and linger and the days still fly by with lightening speed.

This year our children will be in 5th grade, 2nd grade, and pre-K. It is our fourth year homeschooling. I’ve learned so much from the past three years and made some changes for the year ahead. I feel like there is an ongoing learning process of trial and error as we teach our children.

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One thing I seem to forget each year as I am planning our first day back to homeschooling, is that the kids aren’t really thrilled to be back to the school routine. And honestly, I can’t blame them. We’ve all had so much fun staying up late,  sleeping in,  swimming, playing, visiting, and doing fun non-routine activities. I think it is really hard for our children (and me) to say goodbye to the carefree days of summer break. After a few days back to homeschooling, we all realize that it is good for us to add some discipline back in our schedule; and there is still plenty of time for playing. This way of life allows much flexibility to our days (like starting at 9:00 or later) and there can be some positive aspects to routine.

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Our morning started with a big breakfast, followed by devotional time, and cleaning up the kitchen. When finished, we headed into the school room. This year on our first day we started with a fun activity. Each child answered some questions about themselves and then they shared with each other. We have one child who wants to be a soccer player, another who dreams of map making, and a third who would love to be an animal doctor.  They each shared one thing they were good at and one thing they needed to work on. I loved when our 4 year old said she was good at painting, but needed to work on “attitudes.” I love her sweet spirit. Our school day ended with tie dye, which we have done annually since our first year homeschooling. The kids look forward to this every year. We finished just in time to head out the door to soccer practice. All three children are playing soccer this Fall, so we spend a lot of time at the fields.

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To be completely real, our first day wasn’t as smooth or joyful as I would have hoped. As I mentioned before, everyone wasn’t excited to be saying goodbye to summer, and there was some complaining and irritability. There were times during the day that I felt a bit defeated. Before school that morning, I wrote let your light shine on our chalk board. These four words were ones that I wanted to define our new school year. As the day progressed, I didn’t see the light; instead, I felt frustrated and impatient.

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I have had time to reflect this week. I realized that every year, the first day “back to homeschooling” has been challenging.  Day two is always much easier and we begin to have a much better rhythm and flow. Once again, I was reminded of my need for grace for myself and our children. I need to let go of expectations that I sometimes create for all of us. I need to remember that transition can be hard for adults and kids alike.

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As I look back on the day through the images I captured, I see the day with fresh eyes. I see the relationships between our children, I can hear the conversations we shared during the day, and remember memories we made.  I see the light. I see the light of Jesus throughout our home. Sometimes, His light is so subtle, yet it is so beautiful when we really take the time to see it. My prayer for our children is that they will not only let His light shine through them, but that they will take time to see His light every day.

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A thousand times I’ve failed. Still your mercy remains. And should I stumble again. Still I’m caught in your grace
Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades. Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame. -“Inside Out” Hillsong United

 

 

  • Back to homeschool | Ginger Unzueta Photography - […] (You can see more from our first day of school here) […]ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea - Ginger–Your work never ceases to amaze me. These pictures are beyond stunning. I don’t even know you and your family personally, but seeing these photos of your children almost made me tear up. You have captured their childhood and emotions so well! And the fact that you give God all the credit–well, let’s just say, you’re by far my favorite photographer! I enjoy your work so much.ReplyCancel

  • Whitney Bilodeau - These are beautiful images…so real and in the moment. We are in our 4th week of this year’s homeschooling and already I question how I am going to make it through all the weeks that lay ahead. Your post it such a beautiful reminder that His light is there with us, everyday and it’s such a blessing even on the most trying of days. Thank you for inspiring a moment of pause and reflection.ReplyCancel

  • Cara - Oh Ginger, best of luck to you and your kiddos this year! May you all grow in knowledge, grace, and love.ReplyCancel

  • sarah - I read this last night and loved everything about it.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah Mayo - I just love your thoughts here Ginger. You are an inspiration to me as a new homeschooler. And as always, your images are just gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • Staci - Oh those are wonderful Ginger, just beautiful. The baby and the dog on the floor! Gaa! The peeking into the room with that amazing chalkboard! So so good.ReplyCancel

I am excited to be joining an amazing group of photographers and friends in a beautiful  project called What         Looks Like.

In mid-July, we headed to Georgia to spend some time in the mountains. It was just the five of us, plus our almost 15 year old lab, Buster. It is hard for me to put into words how much this trip meant to me. We had long meals on the porch, hikes in the woods and hours exploring on the river.We laughed and loved and just lived in ways that we all needed. I didn’t realize how much we needed time for just us.

Today, I share with you What Time in the Mountains Looks Like. These memories will be in my heart forever.

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Head on over to see what Jules Trandem‘s month looks like. She always amazes me with the beauty she captures in her everyday world.

“Motherhood is hard work.  It is repetitive and often times menial.  Accept it.  Rejoice in it.  This is your toil.  Right here.  Those are their faces.  Enjoy them.  The days of your life are supposed to be full of things like this.  But joy is not giddy.  It is not an emotional rush–it is what happens when you accept your lot and rejoice in your toil.  So rejoice in your children.  Look them in the eyes and give thanks.” -Rachel Jankovik

These words are a wonderful reminder on the days we feel challenged, tired, inadequate, or frustrated. Motherhood is not easy. We all face moments in our days where we feel deep in the valley of motherhood, but then I look at my children and my home that is filled with evidence of their little lives. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for each day we share together. I am overwhelmed with a crazy love that no words can explain.

My youngest sister, Katie, will be having their third child next month. Her two girls are 4 and 2 and are excited to welcome a baby brother into their world. Katie has been getting a lot of crazy comments when people see her pregnant with number three. We have been laughing about these a lot lately. One of the most common things she hears is that “your hands are full.”  I love author Rachel Jankovik’s reply to this statement, “yes, they are-full of good things!”  God’s plan for each of us  is so unique and written especially for each of us.  I love to see how He works in all of us and I am so excited to see Him work in this next chapter of my sister’s family.

This week I got to spend some time at home with Katie and her girls. Some days are certainly a bit chaotic, but I know she wouldn’t change a thing. I fondly look back on the time when I had a 5 and almost 3 year old who were welcoming their baby sister. It was such an exciting time for all of us. The days flew by  like a blur of light. Somehow as I look back, I forget the hard, late nights with a newborn. I only remember the sweet smell, the soft touches, and the new faces. I remember the way my children bonded with one another during those early days, that quickly turned into years. Our baby girl will soon turn five. Yes, this time is fleeting.

I am so grateful I could capture Katie with her girls before the new baby arrives. These images remind me of life with little ones. It’s a crazy love; one that is really extraordinary.

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  • Jessica - What a special time, and you’ve captured it so beautifully. <3 I just adore the 4th image! And the black and whites of the older girl curled up with mom's belly. Children are such a blessing – it's funny how time makes us forget all the hard parts and only remember the wonderful things :) ReplyCancel

  • KatieW - The sweet girls, the belly and the gorgeous light, these are amazing!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Amy K - I adore these sweet moments you’ve captured (and in such gorgeous light too)!ReplyCancel

  • Beira - What an awesome gift for your sister to have such beautiful images like these with her girls.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa (Tout Petit Pixel) - As usual, your use of light is stunning, and the emotion captured is just fabulous! You rock, Ginger :) ReplyCancel

When I began studying photography, Stacey was one of the first photographers I started to follow. Her work always had something special about it that I admired. Over the years we began talking online through email and social media.

Last week, we finally met in person when she brought her three awesome kids over to hang out with us for the day. It is such a blessing to see how God really had a hand in our friendship. It is amazing to realize all we have in common, the more we get to know one another. We are such kindred spirits.  Stacey was one of those people I felt like I’ve known forever immediately. We talked and laughed for hours with such ease.

I feel so grateful that we got to spend this time together and look forward to another play-date soon.

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You can see some of Stacey’s favorite images from our day together here. I love the words she shares and couldn’t agree more. I have found that this phase of life is often very busy as a mama, but having true friendships is such a God given gift. Life was not made to travel alone. I loved that in this one day we were able to share our current joys and difficulties with one another and see how God was working in both of our lives through it all. I was reminded to take time for days like this. We all need to sit on the porch more and open our hearts. It really is good for the soul.

  • anticipated playdate | Ginger Unzueta Photography - […] (You can see more images from our fun play date here) […]ReplyCancel

  • Mickisha - I love this! True friendships are truly a gift and often hard to find and develop in this busy mama phase of life!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - Oh my goodness Ginger! That first image – insanity!!! So so great! Your home looks so FUN! That’s it – you have got to let me come shoot an in home session for you! I can’t believe this is your backyard!ReplyCancel

She is four and creates art with a passion that overflows from her soul. She lives her life with this same passion. She sings and dances and performs. I am learning so much about life through watching our youngest daughter. She creates art with her life. She doesn’t let self doubt or fear stop her. She simply lives. We are all created by God to be artists. Our art is as unique as our lives. Creating art is more than mastering the technical aspects of a trade or craft. Art is something much more than technique. It is what unfolds when we live our lives with passion. It is something that is felt and seen but not measured.

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I have been reading A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman over the last year. Reading and re-reading. Yes, this book has spoken to me in many ways.  I’ve realized that art isn’t merely what we create with our talents and passions but how we live our life. “Art is what happens when you dare to be who you really are. You have the power to influence, to move, to make, to become. You have the capacity to perform the human act of making art, of doing work that comes from deep within you and touches something deep within me.” Emily continues, “We make art with our lives. When a mother who thought she had no voice begins to realize her voice matters, a student who believed he was biding his time to live life for real begins to discover life in today, and a writer begins to tell her story, a servant opens his hands, and a believer finally believes–art comes out.”

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As my daughter paints, life abounds from her. She doesn’t know it yet, but she is in tune with what makes her alive. I remember when I had our first child, I felt alive in ways that I had never experienced. Mothering and now teaching our children, are ways I create art. I feel alive and I want to glorify God through these passions. You know without doubt when you see someone alive in what they are doing. It could be your child’s teacher at school. Or a friend who shows hospitality to everyone who enters her home. A wife who loves her husband the best she can, showing grace and mercy through years spent together. Art is not just what someone creates with a brush or an instrument. It is a way of living your life.  Our Maker created us all to live this way, but somewhere along the way we start to forget what makes us feel alive. We can get into our daily routine; sometimes accepting mediocrity, and never take the time to embrace life in the way God intended for us.

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For many, you know your passion. You know what you would love to do IF you had time and IF you were good enough. Something is stopping you from showing up. There will always be something trying to stop us from showing up.

Fear of failure and rejection stands in the forefront. This can be especially true for those perfectionists (such as myself) that want to do it right or not at all.

As my daughter creates art she has NO fear of rejection or failure. I have purposely let her create without limitations, so that she can explore and do what makes her feel alive. I have not taught her technique or skills, but given her a brush and freedom.

I need to give myself this same brush of freedom. To live and try and fail. To not worry if I will mess up and say the wrong thing or say it the wrong way. I need to give myself the freedom to embrace failure so that I can fully sink into Him.

In a world filled with social media, the artist in all of us can freeze. We see the best of what everyone decides to share. Their best work, their best house, their best vacations, their best parenting. We can let this take over and never move, or we can embrace our uniqueness in God and move forward. We are His. I loved these words from Emily. “You are the beloved. So be loved. Receive your belovedness and then hand it out, receive grace and be gracious to others, remember your image-bearing identity and move into the world with a job to do. Show up as you are with what you’ve been given. And don’t allow the voice of doubt and discouragement to hold you back. ”  God does not want fear to stop us. He wants us to head straight into that fear and realize we cannot do life without Him. Not one of us can. Let yourself fail and know you gave it your heart. My hope is that we would all create our art and hang it with confidence, just as my daughter did with her creation.

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Many of us never move forward because someone else can do it better. In her book, Emily shares that often we fear that “someone else can write better, love better, lead better, speak better, teach better, design better, parent better or pray better.” And the truth is simple. They can. I think many of us need to read and re-read these words that Emily shared from her  friend and counselor Steve Lynam,  “There is no new truth, dear. All truth belongs to God. Sometimes you simply need to hear someone else say it.”  Emily went on to say, “You may not be the first to say it, write it, create it, or believe it-but you saying it may be the first time someone finally hears. Yes, someone else can say it better, but that doesn’t mean you can’t say it too. Throw out your inhibitions and spin around in this crazy world of recycled ideas. There is nothing new to say. Say it anyway.”  

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When I read that I just might have shouted Amen. I needed to read that and I believe many of you do as well. I have a passion to use my camera to capture the beauty I see in my family. I could spend my days stifled because someone has already done this and done it better. Amazing photography can be seen daily online or in publications. But, I am not picking up my camera to be better than anyone. I am not picking up my camera for the world. I am using my my God given gifts to create from my heart and ultimately to Glorify Him. This is why I was made to create and I cannot forget this.

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What does living your life as art look like for you, right now? Not as a child, not ten years ago, but today? Every season will bring with it a new canvas. Open your heart and your life and ask God to show you His purpose for your life. In the final chapter of A Million Little Ways, Emily reminds us that ” You are an image bearer and that is not about you becoming famous or important or promoted but about you becoming more fully yourself for the glory of God. And when you are fully yourself, everyone benefits.”

I challenge myself and I challenge you to really think about these words and to seek Him through it all.  Let’s create art with our lives.

“God is the Artist and he made us. We are his poem and we will make art.”

The quotes and excerpts I shared in this post all come from A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman. If these thoughts resonate with you, I encourage you to buy her book and read it. And then re-read it.

“Uncover the art you were made to live.”

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  • renee @ savoring life through the lens - oh, i LOVE every bit of this!! it’s actually something i believe deep within me and have a huge passion for…that art is life!! whenever i give my daughter paints and a brush, i always just let her play…no rules…no certain outcomes, just play…because it’s when she does this, she taps into her right brain…gets into the present moment and starts to confidently blossom more of WHO she is!! i talk about this a lot on my blog. your daughter is doing the same! there’s SO much power in mindless, creativity…the kind that we do before we get our heads filled with the rules…amazing, amazing stuff!! love this post to pieces!! :):) art is life! :):)ReplyCancel

  • JennAynn - Thank you for sharing this. I just ordered Emily’s book and am looking forward to reading it. Your daughter’s art is beautiful and so is the art you made capturing it. So many awesome images.ReplyCancel

  • Allyson - This was really special. Spoke straight to my heart. Thank you so much. Now off to buy that book…..;)ReplyCancel

  • Dawn Shiree - I’ve been thumbing through Emily’s book and have it right beside me, but I haven’t taken time to read it cover to cover yet and this just reminded me I should read it ASAP! Even though I haven’t made my way through it yet, it’s already caused me to think about all the little ways that life can be lived out as art and I love that! I’m so glad you shared this with everyone in the photography community and as always your words resonated with me too. Thanks, Ginger. xxReplyCancel

  • Liz - beautiful post ginger- I’m off to buy this book!ReplyCancel

  • Kristin Dokoza - Thank you! I love the words you shared from Emily’s book – I’m off to the bookstore.ReplyCancel

  • passion | Ginger Unzueta Photography - […] over here to read about creating art with your […]ReplyCancel

  • Megan Dill - Beautiful words and photographs, Ginger! I need to check out that book :) ReplyCancel

  • KatieW - Such a beautiful series of a beautiful young lady!ReplyCancel

  • Beira - Loved the images in this post, but I think I loved the words even more. Gosh, I needed that!ReplyCancel

  • Whitney Bilodeau - “I need to give myself this same brush of freedom.”

    Such beautiful words!

    I am so thankful to have come across this post, via the Creative Mama. I too am creeping close to 40 and I know I have been holding back for fear of failure and fear that I am just too old to succeed at this point in my life. This post is so inspiring and when I so desperately needed inspiration. I will purchase Emily’s book immediately. Thank you for sharing this.ReplyCancel

  • Mindy - How beautiful – the words and photos. I love how she is just naturally creative and the way you are nurturing it. Oh, that we could all have the same encouragement. Visiting from Chatting at the Sky today.ReplyCancel

  • Stacey Kaufman - We should all create art with our lives….I needed this reminder, this so beautifully illustrated nudge.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - Beautiful post and amazing pictures. Thanks for encouraging us by expounding on the truths in Emily’s book. I needed the reminders. It’s all been said…say it anyway. Terrific!ReplyCancel

  • TJ - After your post, I can’t wait to read A million little ways. It is actually on sale right now at Amazon for the kindle at 1.99. Thanks for sharing your art with us.ReplyCancel

  • Kailey - Oh this is just beautiful! I needed to hear this. I’m staring at a brand new blank canvas in life and I’m so terrified to pick up the brush. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

My fourth class of Everyday Beauty finished last month.  Each opportunity I get  to work with these students is always so unique and such a gift. During our time together I am always excited to see my students grow and continue to be inspired by their daily lives. Below is a collection of work and words from some of the ladies from my May class. Thank you each for taking part in our three weeks together. I hope you will continue to seek the beautiful moments and details in your everyday life.

(You can continue to follow the students from my past classes at the Cherish this Day blog.  It is a project filled with inspiration.

Tiffany Dahle

website | instagram | facebook | pinterest

Taking Ginger’s workshop has completely changed how I approach photographing my girls. It gave me the time to take a breath and step back from the action. I learned to document what was happening before me without manipulating the scene too much. I have finally learned how to capture childhood without posing it.

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Lara Gowder

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I had this workshop on my to do list for a while, and I am so glad I was able to get in this time! I love Ginger’s work, the way she captures her daily family activities so beautifully, is something I have wanted to do with my boys. Ginger shares so much with her students, from her tips on what to capture, how to look for the perfect light, and so much more. Her own images of her family are so full of love and fun.

I needed a push because I was in a creative rut, and this class pushed me in so many ways. From exploring new rooms in my own home, to finding light throughout my home, to view our everyday in different ways. I truly believe I have grown and my photography has grown, just from this workshop. The lessons are very well laid out, and Ginger is so giving with her feedback.

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Jill Marzion

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If you are considering this course….take it!  you will not be disappointed one bit!  Ginger is by far one of the best instructors I have experienced.  She is extremely organized, the class is set up in a way that you keep building on what you have learned, the feedback is very helpful and Ginger is so easy to contact and beyond willing to answer anything. In fact, she continually encourages me, this course was a great reminder to photograph all the little moments and details.  I walked away from the course feeling refreshed and full of new ideas for documenting my four kids!

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Emmy Treganza

I’m not a professional photographer.  I’m simply  a mom who takes a lot of photos of her kid.  And taking Ginger’s Everyday Beauty workshop was pure inspiration.  I adore her style and jumped at the chance to learn from someone whom I admire.  I believe her philosophy and approach to capturing everyday beauty is one of the main reasons why I admire her work so much.  She has definitely helped shape my thinking and approach to taking pictures.  I can’t give away the specifics.  All I can say is take her workshop!  Do it!  You’ll be happy you did.  I know I am.

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Kristin Wahls

Ginger’s workshop truly opened up my eyes. Prior to the Everyday Beauty workshop, I was in a creative rut where I thought my life just wasn’t photogenic enough and that capturing my busy 10-month old day to day was far too great a challenge. Ginger helped me to be unafraid of any lighting condition and encouraged us all to look at our everyday world in a new way. Suddenly, the way the light hit my son’s hair became truly beautiful and worth capturing. The way his eyes lit up while playing with his dad became much more noticeable…or how his wrinkly little hands clung to bath toys in the tub. Little details that went unnoticed before suddenly became moments worth photographing and now pieces of art I will absolutely cherish forever. Ginger and her encouraging words as well as the supportive women in the workshop with me helped me climb out of my rut and celebrate my day-to-day life, however perfectly unperfect it may be.

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Emma Morgan

I love Gingers work, it drew me to this wonderful workshop. I have enjoyed every part and have come away with more insight on how to observe, be part of and capture the moments of unspoilt everyday beauty. Really inspiring, I’m feeling so much more connected with my photographs.

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Andrea Skidmore

instagram | google +

I’m not very good with truly expressing myself through words, but wanted to take the time to say how thankful I am to Ginger and for the opportunity I had to take her Everyday Beauty class. From the very first time I saw Ginger’s work I knew I wanted to learn from her. Through her images it is easy to see her passion for her family, photography and the beauty of every life…I wanted the same thing for myself.

When I signed up I was in a slump photography wise; and had been for the past few years. I was stuck and exhausted after retiring from the business of photography. Pictures of my family were only quick snapshots without much thought given. I wanted more for my family and myself. Ginger’s class has given me the kick I needed. She was so attentive; always answering questions and giving great feedback. It was so nice to take the 3 weeks to slow down, pay attention, and really see the beauty of my family life. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from Ginger. I know this class will be something I look back on for inspiration time and time again.

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Christy Balogh

The Everyday Beauty workshop was such an inspiration for me. I have been taking pictures for many years and have really felt burnt out lately. This workshop inspired me and taught me how to capture beauty in our everyday world! Ginger was such an encouragement and was open to teaching, helping, and relating anything she knew to us. Thank you Ginger for being an inspiration to me and the other photographers in the workshop! Worth every penny!

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Mikki Skinner

website | facebook

I was in need of some inspiration and perhaps a reconnection as to why I love to take photos so much. Signed up for Ginger’s class and am so incredibly thankful I took the plunge! So much of Ginger’s heart is weaved into her class, everything from the materials, the videos, the critique, the encouragement, the love. I have learned to let it go, and just let your heart direct. Take photos to remember the place, the story, the details, the memory. Thank you Ginger for a beautiful handful of weeks!

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Gina Baggs

After discovering and viewing Ginger’s images online, I knew I had to take her class!! Her images are just beautiful, filled with so much emotion, story and soul. I learned so much from her; from sparking my passion of learning photography, seeing the everyday beauty of everything around me in all different perspectives, and becoming a better mother/wife and to embrace and enjoy every minute with my family.
Ginger and her workshop is a blessing and inspiring!  Thank you for sharing your amazing talent and abundance of knowledge with us!
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Janielle Granstaff

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When I signed up for Ginger Unzueta’s Everyday Beauty workshop as a silent student, I wondered how much I would be able to take away from it if I wasn’t having that one on one interaction with her. But I also knew this was not something I wanted to pass on yet again. And boy was I glad I didn’t. The class was so organized, so well presented, and so interestingIt definitely kept me on my toes the entire 3 weeks, always looking forward to more knowledge, more tips. And she delivered those every time. She was able to not only open my eyes to the things that surround me, but to keep them open and to SEE them in a new perspective. Ginger has a magical way to show you the world around you and this is a lesson I will forever keep with me.

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Melissa Rowley

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I can’t thank Ginger enough for all her encouragement during her amazing Everyday Beauty workshop.  The first time I saw her images, I fell in love with the simple but powerful way she was documenting the life of her family through her photography.  I signed up thinking that I was going to learn technical skills that would magically translate into emotion and connection, but it was through her lessons in honing in on the details I wanted to remember about my children, the memories I wanted to preserve, and the thoughtful stories that I wanted to share with others that I learned to be patient with my journey and process, and that’s what created emotion and connection in my images.  I especially appreciated her gentle way of giving critique and the confidence she instilled in all of the participants.  I truly believe she gave her all to support us during the workshop as an instructor and will continue to support us after as a mentor and friend.  This workshop is one of those life changing experiences – I will be forever grateful for all that she taught me.

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Angie Schueren

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The Everyday Beauty workshop with Ginger Unzueta was beyond perfection. Ginger was a true inspiration and taught us how to think outside the box to capture the moments of our every day.  Besides teaching us composition, lighting, framing and all of the technical photography information, she taught us how to be present within the moments of our children’s life, how to capture the emotion and not take any moments for granted.  She was phenomenal at answering all of the questions that were submitted, no matter what the content.  Ginger was truly devoted to all of the students, and she cared about each and every student’s outcome of the course.  She pushed everyone to see their true talent, and was so encouraging.

Thank you Ginger for being my inspiration and to help me see the everyday beauty within my chaos called life.

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Staci Schonbrun

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Hi Ginger- I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed taking your course. I specifically did not want to take a class that told me how to do this technique or set up lights a certain way, but rather wanted a class that would focus much more on the everyday. You fit the bill with a beautiful class that not only encourages, but celebrates and highlights the beauty of everyday life. This class really encouraged me to improve my way of looking at the normal chaotic scene of life and seeing small parts of it that elevate a snapshot into a beautiful piece of art. You patiently answered the many questions asked of you and always left encouraging feedback that made the next assignment even better. I am  sad to see the class end, but thank you for the wonderful opportunities and insight that you shared. I hope to continue and build on the inspiration you filled me with. Sincerely, Staci Schonbrun

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Amy Bernard

think perhaps the most meaningful ‘takeaway’ for me – in learning from Ginger – has been in how it impacted the very way I function in my everyday.  With my camera, and without.  Somewhere in the course of motherhood I’d lost perspective and got stuck in an ‘on to the next’ rut.  And while I’d long looked to my photographs to kind of pause and appreciate or truly ‘see’… it was during Ginger’s class that I rediscovered and owned a bit of more of the moment.  Being present.  I mean, sure – there have been other influences (hello life) but it’s all about the timing and these lessons just could not have come at a more giving time.  When I look at Ginger’s Joy Project what I have envied most – and am drawn in most by – is the feeling that she is there and that framed the way I took in what she offered.  Some of my own recent / favorite images came about from letting the lessons sink in, and what I found most especially helpful was the examples she provided of her own images and the background story of light or composition, the perspective and just the ‘why’ this moment.  It allowed me to process the technical information on a practical level while also prompting me to focus more fully on capturing my children and our days as I see them.  I intend to keep going back and re-learning from the materials and truly loved having this window in to Ginger’s approach and workflow.

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Registration for Ginger’s September class is open NOW. This will be her last class for 2014. There are a few active seats left at this time. You can register here.

  • Diane - Hello Ginger,
    I’m considering taking your everyday beauty workshop, but I have one concern. Your own children, as well as those featured in this blog post and on the bloom website are young. I have three kids, an 18 year old son (soon to be leaving for college), a 15 year old son and a 10 year old daughter. They all give me a hard time when I take out the camera. I very much want to document this time in their lives, but I also want to be respectful of their feelings. Will your course address ways to capture everyday life, no matter the stage/age of the family?
    Thank you!
    DianeReplyCancel

I am thrilled to have one of my favorite images in the July/August 2014 edition of Click Magazine. Seeing my work in print is something pretty special and I am so grateful to be included.  This publication is by far one of my favorites to get in the mail. Every issue is filled with gorgeous inspiration and thoughtful articles.

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I am so excited to be able to give away THREE 1-year subscriptions to Click. The giveaway will end Friday, July 11, 2014 at 11:59 pm.  The winner will be announced on Saturday, July 12, 2014.

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  • Kimberly - I would love to win because I forgot to renew my subscription when it expired! :) ReplyCancel

  • Kim Kelly - I love Click magazine! It would be nice to win to extend my subscription.ReplyCancel

  • Heather Pearson - I LOOOOVE Click and would love to win this year-long subscription!!! There is so much inspiration and advice for newer photographers (like me), as well as the established photographer…never stop learning or being inspired by the amazing work of others!!!ReplyCancel

  • Laurie Joetzki - I love any magazines that deal with photography. I get a lot of ideas by looking at the beautiful photos. If I see something that I really like, I strive to figure out how it is done. While I can never quite achieve the same gorgeous photos that are on the pages of magazines such as Click, I do surprise myself with something beautiful that I never thought that I could do. I strive to always learn something new with my camera!!ReplyCancel

  • Mickisha - Congratulations Ginger! I love Click! There’s something about holding printed images in your hand theta brings them to life so much more. It’s such a great magazine and I would love to win a subscription!ReplyCancel

  • Christa McCann - Love this blog post & would love a subscription to this magazine!!ReplyCancel

  • Bethany Giannini - I love this magazine and already have a subscription- and I would love to continue to receive it! :D ReplyCancel

  • Angela Hatch - I would love it because seeing all of those different photographers and their styles and their inspiration, truly inspires me.ReplyCancel

  • Christine b - Such a great magazine, love every issue would love to win it to gift it to my cousin who loves photography as much as me.ReplyCancel

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When Mozi Magazine contacted me to write for their Family and Child issue, I was beyond excited.  It means so much to me to be a part of this amazing issue. I am grateful to be able to share a passion that I love so much .  Capturing my family and finding the beauty in the everyday is how I create art. My family is the reason I pick up my camera. Realizing that I can be an artist, without being in business, was one of the most freeing moments for me on my journey as a photographer.

God has given me these talents and this passion and I pray that I will use them for His glory. He has given me the eyes to see that each day is so far from ordinary and that each moment should be cherished and celebrated.  My daughter and I share a love for the song Write Your Story, by Fancesca Battistelli.  I never want to forget that my life is His to use.

                    I’m an empty page. I’m an open book.Write Your story on my heart. Come on and make Your mark.
                    Author of my hope. Maker of the stars. Let me be Your work of art. Won’t You write Your story on my heart.

                    My Life. I know it’s never really been mine. So do with it whatever You like.I don’t know what Your plan is. But I know it’s good.

 

I am giving  away one free digital copy of this gorgeous magazine. You will love the imagery in this magazine from cover to back. It includes so many amazing photographers. 

Thank you again to everyone at Mozi Magazine for including me in this fabulous issue. And if you can’t wait to see if you win a copy, you can purchase a digital or print copy here.

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  • nikki matthews - How exciting Ginger! If I haven’t told you lately, you are a constant source of inspiration for me. I am eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in your class. Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Liesel - Such amazing images Ginger! Reading your feature in Mozi would be wonderful! A big fan xoReplyCancel

  • April Nowotny - Love your site. Would also love to win a copy of the Mozi magazine.ReplyCancel

  • April Nowotny - I would love to win a copy of the magazine because I am inspired by your work. It would be great to have my own copy of the issue with your work in it.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Green - I would love to win because just as you mentioned, in trying to realize I can be a photographer, an artist, without a business and I can get back to enjoying photography by being in the moment with my kids and photographing these moments that are going by way to quickly!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda B - Amazing work; congrats!ReplyCancel

  • Dawn - I absolutely love your work, Ginger. Your are an inspiration and one of my favorite photographers to follow.ReplyCancel

  • susie - I would love to win because I am always wanting to learn more about family and child photography as that is my primary focus as a photographer.ReplyCancel

  • Aleksandra K - I would like to win because I simply need more tips to take photos of my two naughty boys:)ReplyCancel

  • elise - I would love to win this! I adore your work!ReplyCancel

  • Hope D - Would love to receive a copy!ReplyCancel

  • Kirsty - This looks wonderful – Congratulations GingerReplyCancel

  • maibritt olsen - Ooooh I have always wanted to try out this magazine. Hope I win the free copy :) ReplyCancel

  • Cindy Cavanagh - Congratulations Ginger! So well deserved.ReplyCancel

  • Christine b - I would love to read to article of course! You know I love you and I am so proud of you!! If I don’t win a copy I will buy one for sure.ReplyCancel

  • Angel - Congrats, you are amazingReplyCancel

  • Mandalyn - Congrats, Ginger! Love that you credit the Creator for your gift! :) ReplyCancel

  • Trisha Murphy - I have four children that I capture every day moments for! Would love to win this!ReplyCancel

It is rare to find any of our children or myself up before sunrise.  This week we were up early every day so we could get to Vacation Bible School. One morning we had some extra time before we had to leave. Our middle child and only son loves to fish, so we shared some time together just the two of us. I love when I get time with any of our children one on one. The water and the light were beautiful, but our talks by the lake were the real highlight of this morning.

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Being still, being quiet, listening, and waiting. None of these things come naturally for me. My mind seems wired to think ahead, to plan, to talk. But the older I get the more I realize how much I need to take time for all of these things. I need them to hear, to know, and to feel God’s presence around me.

Please visit the Cherish this Day blog to see a collaboration of work from photographers across the world. Each of these ladies were a part of my Everyday Beauty workshop and I am so grateful to know each of them. We are all inspired to capture the beauty in our lives daily.

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You all finished a great week of Vacation Bible School today with Splash day. You love VBS each year and were sad to see it come to an end.  I am so grateful that we have a church filled with such amazing people who share the love of Jesus.  Daddy arrived home from his work trip shortly after we got home from church. You were all super thrilled to have Daddy home again.  You are so blessed to have a father who truly gives his all to our family.

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Today we attended Hollywood Studios’ Star Wars Weekend.  The highlight of the day was when you were invited to be a part of the parade: the  Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade.  You were given light sabers and Jedi robes to wear. It was such an awesome time and one I think we will all remember.

(all images taken and edited with iPhone)

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Most often on my  blog I share my heart on motherhood. For quite a few months, my heart has been stirring about another topic. Marriage.

I believe it was Valentine’s day when I first started feeling this desire to share on marriage.  I kept seeing advertisements and social media posts about love and relationships and it got me thinking about love.  What love really is and what is isn’t.

I read these words on a Valentine’s Day post by Ann Voskamp:

“None of us ever know whom we marry. And falling in love never made anyone angels… it’s only made it clear how far we’ve fallen. Who we say ‘I do’ to —  is not who we roll over to touch twenty years later. The challenge for the vows is to fall in love with the stranger to whom you find yourself married.

The vows are a vow to make the stranger you marry —  come to intimately know love everyday.

This is the only way we become married to the right people.” 

My husband and I will be married for 15 years in September.  The time has flown by.  Many of us have ideas of marriage that begin at a young age. I grew up in a home with two very loving and committed parents.  My husband did the same. We are  blessed to each have parents that have been married over 40 years. There are many commonalities between our two families: both mother’s stayed home full time with the children, both homes had 4 children, both of us were raised in the church.  When we got married I thought that all these things in common would mean the picture perfect life for the two of us.  There were many things I didn’t realize and perhaps, didn’t even think about.  I had this strange idea when we got married that strong, loving couples would never argue and they would never hurt one another.

Our marriage has not been picture perfect. And to be honest, I don’t think there is such thing as a perfect marriage. I believe our marriage is one that will last forever through the good and the bad, filled with an unconditional love and commitment, but it isn’t a story of “happily ever after”.  Over the last five to ten years we have seen many of our friends get divorced. Marriage is not easy to begin with, but the military life  brings its own set of challenges.  It seems that many people are in love with the idea of the perfect life, including the perfect marriage. No matter how hard you try or plan, it will never be that way. We get married and then experience the reality of living life together. We begin to experience the realities of life’s hardships and then we see each other through a different lens. For many, it is easier to walk away when life gets hard. A long lasting marriage takes work, commitment and sacrifice.  Some people never realize that “the grass isn’t always greener”.  Perhaps, they don’t see that other couples have normal arguments and problems to work out.  I remember when we first got married, thinking we were the only couple that ever struggled. Our society in general has this idea of EASY.  Easy is not the answer to a life of joy, and easy is not the road to a forever marriage.

Our marriage would not have survived the past 15 years without Christ at the center of it.  Our life together has been through so many highs and valleys.  We have endured moves, new life, miscarriage, loss, sickness, war, and more.  Life has not been easy. It has been full of blessings, but not without heartache as well.  I know that there are circumstances that marriages simply cannot survive. Circumstances that are too much.  I understand that and my heart aches for so many that have been through this. But I feel that sometimes we get lost in this idea of what love is and should look like, and when it isn’t this way, we feel we have failed.

My husband will be the first to share that sometimes his delivery of words is not the most graceful or kind.  His expectations for our home, meals, and other daily routines are some times different than my own. Many times I have felt that I wasn’t appreciated or doing enough in his eyes. Many tears have been shed under our roof.  There were times I got in my car and drove off, without any destination, crying out to God and asking Him why? Through the years,  I’ve seen my husband grow more patient, more appreciative, and more loving, through really giving his life and pursuits to God.

I have my own shortcomings as well. God has shown me areas I also need to continually work on.  I want to exhibit servant hood as Christ did, not only to my children, but to my husband.  I want to live selflessly. I want to show him love that never fails and never gives up. I want to encourage him.  To show him I desire him and love him for the man he is.  I mess up and fail as a wife many times.

But love — true love, is all of this. It is all of the scars and battle wounds of living together for years. Love isn’t a romantic dinner alone. Love isn’t a dozen red roses. Love is enduring these valleys of life. Love is getting to know someone for who they really are and loving them just the same.  I’ve sat in the store reading the cards for Valentine’s day and thought to myself, that’s not how our love looks. That’s not how our life looks together. That’s not how I feel. It’s okay to let go of that idea of love and romance. Its okay to embrace the messy, the less than ideal, the loud, the behind closed doors.  Its okay, because all of the hard is what has made our love become something more than an attraction to one another. That is what has defined our love.

We were studying relationships in our life group class at church and listened to part of a sermon series by Andy Stanley, an Atlanta based pastor. He said,  “Do everything in your power to become the person who the person you’re looking for is looking for. That’s your best chance for success relationally.”  These words can be applied to couples already dating or married.  Are you being the type of person you want to spend forever with? Are you treating your spouse the way you want to be treated? I have not always been this person.  Not by a long shot.

On our wedding day one of the readers read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.  These words mean so much more to me now, almost 15 years later.   I want to live out these words.

I share this with you today because I want others to know that a love built on growing, living, and being challenged together, can be so much better than “the white picket fence”.  I will often share how much I love my husband and how grateful I am for his love and the sacrifices he makes for our family, but I want everyone to also know, this doesn’t come without work.  I once read that falling in love comes easy, but staying in love is the challenge. I thank God for His plan, for bringing my husband and I together to create the family we share and I pray we will share a lifetime more of memories together.

I will leave you with these last words from as sermon my husband recently shared with me.

The goal of a Christian marriage should be a model to the world of God’s love for us.

This really is a beautiful way to think of marriage. It isn’t easy to live this way daily, but the wonderful things in life are definitely worth working for.

  • Annie Morris - Thank you! I may have to bookmark this!ReplyCancel

  • Sharlet - Really great post and reminders! I’m only 2 years in but already see that Christ must be the centre for any of this love to work. XoReplyCancel

  • Amy Z - I feel like I should print this and include it in my card for weddings I attend. Thank you Ginger, it’s all so true.ReplyCancel

This week we were so excited that our cousins’ new ducklings were old enough for us to visit. We spent one afternoon playing, chasing, and watching these sweet girls. The kids keep asking when we are going to get our own. Right now, we are going to live vicariously through our cousins but I am very tempted to make the purchase. They were so sweet and cute..and seeing the kids with them was precious.

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  • the ducklings | Ginger Unzueta Photography - […] (you can see more of these sweet girls over here) […]ReplyCancel

  • Janet Crouch - Oh my goodness, how adorable!! The duckling on your niece’s head is too funny! Such softness in these images! I love this post, as I do all of your work! <3ReplyCancel

  • Catherine - A thousand hugs to you for capturing and sharing my precious grand daughters and grandchildren in law so beautifully!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie Wibowo - What a perfect way to spend an afternoon…Love all the pics, especially Miss E laying down on the grass with those ducklings.ReplyCancel