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Be Still.

Such a simple directive, right? Be still. Be still. Be still.

So why is it so crazy hard to do?

Between grocery lists and household tasks and emails to answer and goals to reach, the chatter in my brain is constant and unceasing. It keeps me in never-ending motion as I rush from one thing to the next, updating Facebook in the checkout line, scribbling writing ideas in my journal while I wait for images to upload, saving my phone conversations for multi-tasking car rides.

Be still.

I am a better me when I cultivate stillness. I am more patient, more forgiving, more productive, more focused. I am a better listener, a better wife, a better friend. I am happier and more grateful.

I am more PRESENT.

When I imagine being still, I immediately think of meditation. Of sitting in unmoving silence and focusing on the rhythm of my breath. Which is amazing and which I am unswervingly convinced has enormous merit as I have worked to establish a meditation practice that works for me over the past several months.

But what if stillness doesn’t always look still?

I am never EVER more still than when I look upon a river. From a raft or a kayak or the river bank, the sight and roar of thousands of gallons of water tumbling over rock and riverbed quiets me. My frenetic mind stills to crystal clear focus as the irresistible current sweeps aside worry and stress and the ever-beeping demands of emails and texts and social media. It washes me clean of the “shoulds” and “supposed tos” and “not good enoughs” and “but what ifs.”

It wakes me up and opens my eyes and fills my heart beyond the reach of distraction. It tunes me in to the primeval  pulse of life and death and existence and refuses to let me shy away, to retreat into the mundane.

The call of the mountains, the rustle of the trees, the roar of the river, the thunder on the hills. It’s a different stillness than I find on my meditation cushion, but a stillness nonetheless.

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  • BeccaMay 14, 2014 - 9:16 pm

    Beautiful words and photographs, as always. Those images of the kayakers – holy cow! Amazing!ReplyCancel

It truly is always a privilege to be a part of someone’s wedding day and I am so SO fortunate that so very many of my clients end up being my friends as well! But sometimes things go in the opposite direction- long time friends end up being clients! There is something particularly thrilling about watching someone whose journey I’ve been a part of walk down that aisle and step into the next stage of their life with a partner I couldn’t be more excited about!

Rachel was our neighbor-turned-friend in North Carolina and made the Thanksgiving journey to Williamsburg to be a part of Justin and my wedding all those years ago! To be a part of HER big day was just amazing and I am so excited to see where the life that she and Charlie are building together leads! Their wedding was a wonderful combination of beautiful and laid back, woodsy and girly, intimate and full of laughter! Rachel and Charlie called on their phenomenal support network of family and friends to be a part of their planning and it was incredible to see how much talent and ingenuity came forth! From the ceremony music to the floral arrangements to the addition of potluck-style contributions of food, their deep commitment to the idea of community really shined through every piece of their day!

The festivities took place at The Spruce Pine Lodge in Bahama, NC and despite the need to move the ceremony indoors due to rain (which called off the super-fun lawn games Rachel and Charlie had planned!), the day felt smooth and unencumbered!

 

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Rachel’s dress!

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And with a dress like that, amazing shoes are essential!

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Rachel’s friend, Susan, gifted the couple with art! And not just a piece of finished art, but actually had the talented artist paint the wedding-inspired piece AT their wedding!!!

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The rain cleared up enough for us to sneak outside for a few portraits!! LOVE!!!

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Rachel and Charlie, thank you both so much for allowing me to be a part of your day!!!

 

The talent behind this fantastic day:

Venue: The Spruce Pine Lodge

Event Coordinator: M&J Services

Cakes: made by family with love!

Catering: BBQ by Hillsborough BBQ Company; Appetizers by Foster’s Market; Beer by Mystery Brewing; + variety of food brought potluck-style!

Celebrant: Rev. Barbara Lodge

Ceremony Musician: Dan Smith

Custom Printing: A Better Image

Floral: flowers provided by Bluebird Meadows and arranged by Charlie’s father and stepmother

Gown: by Hitherto via BHLDN

Shoes: Hey Lady at Tiffany’s via BHLDN

Suit: Jos. A. Bank

Rachel’s rings: Melissa Designer Jewelry

Charlie’s ring: Goldworks

Artist: Eleatta Diver

 

 

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  • BeccaMay 14, 2014 - 9:15 pm

    Her dress & shoes!!!!! Love them. Such a sweet, fun wedding beatuifully captured.ReplyCancel

  • RoxyApril 24, 2014 - 10:13 pm

    Thank you, Cindy! You captured our day beautifully. I could feel everything I felt on our wedding day by looking at these pictures. You are such a special person, and I am so happy you were part of our special day too!!!ReplyCancel

I got to know Aisha after we sat next to one another in an estate tax class in law school. Her dry sense of humor and easy laugh made what is arguably a less than entertaining class a lot more fun than it would have been otherwise! So I’m sure that you can imagine how excited I was to find out that she was engaged and even more excited to meet Maqbool and shoot a few engagement images  for them while I was in North Carolina! Maqbool’s awesome sense of humor and obvious affection for Aisha made me like hime right away and we had such a great time playing around at the West Point on the Eno park in Durham!

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  • JenMay 23, 2014 - 2:38 pm

    yay so exciting!ReplyCancel

  • AshleighMay 23, 2014 - 1:48 pm

    I LOVE the pictures! My favorite is the one with him kissing your cheek. You guys look so sweet together. Can’t wait till the wedding!ReplyCancel

  • LaurenMay 15, 2014 - 5:46 pm

    You both look so happy! The pictures are wonderful.ReplyCancel

  • KarenMay 15, 2014 - 5:25 pm

    The pictures are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Phoebe ChesterMay 15, 2014 - 9:11 am

    Beautiful pictures, Excellent location for these.ReplyCancel

  • cassieMay 14, 2014 - 11:23 am

    Beautiful photos!ReplyCancel

  • Marion MerschMay 14, 2014 - 11:21 am

    Beautiful pictures! Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • BeccyMay 13, 2014 - 9:01 am

    Love these photos! So cute, and such great colors!ReplyCancel

  • MollyMay 7, 2014 - 3:39 pm

    Oh my gosh! Those are absolutely precious! Aisha looks gorgeous and you captured their love so beautifully!!! I <3 West Point on the Eno. The lighting is especially lovely.ReplyCancel

  • TKMay 6, 2014 - 6:28 pm

    CongratsReplyCancel

  • ErinMay 6, 2014 - 12:55 pm

    Beautiful Aisha!!!! Love your outfits too, exquisite!!! So happy for you two!!!ReplyCancel

  • Maqbool HussainMay 6, 2014 - 11:41 am

    Cindy, Good Job!ReplyCancel

  • StephanieMay 6, 2014 - 10:33 am

    I love the contrast between the formal attire and casual background. It really makes the colors of Aisha’s dress pop.ReplyCancel

  • JeannieMay 6, 2014 - 10:32 am

    Pictures of Aisha and Mac are lovely. You captured their spirit here. I love how he looks at her and you have gotten that in a number of different poses. Beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • ElizabethMay 6, 2014 - 10:03 am

    Awesome pictures! I love the black and white.ReplyCancel

  • samanthaMay 4, 2014 - 12:44 pm

    i like these!ReplyCancel

  • cocoMay 4, 2014 - 12:43 pm

    prettttttty!!ReplyCancel

  • Bonita OBrienApril 28, 2014 - 12:53 pm

    Aisha I love the pictures, love the one where you are laughing at whatever he whispered in your ear!! Love, BReplyCancel

  • Grace JonesApril 28, 2014 - 12:12 pm

    These are amazing! I love how they have both color and black&white options. Also love the detail photos of them holding hands :) ReplyCancel

  • SarahApril 28, 2014 - 11:56 am

    Beautiful pictures in a gorgeous setting!!!ReplyCancel

  • Diego ConzalezApril 28, 2014 - 11:46 am

    awesome pictures! very happy for you twoReplyCancel

  • aminaApril 28, 2014 - 11:44 am

    awesome! you guys looks so happy! really great photos! congrats & best wishes! loove love love you!ReplyCancel

  • Michael NarutowiczApril 27, 2014 - 8:19 pm

    The park looks awesome, we need to go there and check it out!ReplyCancel

  • Lynn NormanApril 27, 2014 - 8:18 pm

    Aisha, you look beautiful! Can’t wait to see you guys again!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany NarutowiczApril 27, 2014 - 8:16 pm

    I love how happy you guys look!!! You are a beautiful couple and I feel blessed to call you my friends!ReplyCancel

  • Adrian EasleyApril 25, 2014 - 10:36 am

    great setting! now time to focus on planning! :) ReplyCancel

  • jessApril 24, 2014 - 10:08 pm

    These are stunning! Aisha you are simply gorgeous!!!!ReplyCancel

  • WayneApril 24, 2014 - 9:04 pm

    What a happy couple, Congratulations! Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Kellie LegoApril 24, 2014 - 8:58 pm

    GORGEOUS! I love these pictures, Aisha! Congratulations to you both!!!! Can’t wait for the wedding!ReplyCancel

  • PatApril 24, 2014 - 8:52 pm

    Congratulations on your engagement! Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Eddie M.April 24, 2014 - 8:20 pm

    Congratulations you guys! Best wishes for a happy marriage.ReplyCancel

  • Emma crewsApril 23, 2014 - 4:40 pm

    I love love love these!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Wendy LindbergApril 23, 2014 - 3:11 pm

    What great pictures! I’m a little upset you were literally 5 mins from my house!! ;) So happy for you both!!ReplyCancel

  • ArtApril 23, 2014 - 12:49 pm

    Great pics! Y’all look so happy together. My favorites are the ones on the bridge.ReplyCancel

  • MunawarApril 23, 2014 - 12:08 pm

    You look beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Vella PendergrassApril 23, 2014 - 11:56 am

    These pictures are awesome, gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • KellyApril 23, 2014 - 11:06 am

    Wow! Aisha and Mac you are obviously very much in love! I love the mix of black and white and color photos, and the landscape scenery in them. I think that the essence of “you” (and your goofiness) has been really captured in these photos. I particularly love the one of Aisha kissing Mac! Beautifully done!ReplyCancel

  • Clooney SmithApril 23, 2014 - 10:19 am

    What a dashing couple. Wishing them happiness for many moons.ReplyCancel

  • Leo DeMinoApril 23, 2014 - 10:15 am

    Amazing pics! You two look lovely.ReplyCancel

  • Randi P.April 23, 2014 - 10:11 am

    These pictures are gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Owen SchmittApril 23, 2014 - 10:10 am

    Get it girl! Awesome pictures!ReplyCancel

  • RebeccaApril 23, 2014 - 10:10 am

    Beautiful pictures! Love is such a beautiful thing. :) ReplyCancel

  • Kayla DavisApril 23, 2014 - 10:09 am

    Beautiful!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl AmanaApril 23, 2014 - 10:09 am

    What a lovely couple! Wishing them the best. Blue dress is hawt.ReplyCancel

  • AbeerApril 22, 2014 - 10:32 pm

    Awesome pictures. Aisha you look beautiful :) ReplyCancel

  • Heather FlemingApril 22, 2014 - 8:50 pm

    Beautiful pictures of a beautiful couple!ReplyCancel

  • karenApril 22, 2014 - 6:58 pm

    these are really beautiful photos! I like the natural settings.ReplyCancel

  • JuanitaApril 22, 2014 - 5:49 pm

    Awwww, gorgeous pics!! I’m ready for some cake! :) ReplyCancel

  • Emily M.April 22, 2014 - 5:47 pm

    Love these photos! What a beautiful couple and a gorgeous setting, too. Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • chaseApril 22, 2014 - 5:31 pm

    Lovely photos!ReplyCancel

  • Kenia LizamaApril 22, 2014 - 5:24 pm

    Great pics, you two look amazing together. Love it :) ReplyCancel

  • Duong VuApril 22, 2014 - 4:38 pm

    Aisha’s smile is so infectious, how can you not be excited for them?ReplyCancel

  • aishaApril 22, 2014 - 4:30 pm

    thanks for a fun afternoon! :) ReplyCancel

  • AmberApril 18, 2014 - 3:17 pm

    yay! i love itReplyCancel