First of all, the book comes out today. Yay yay yay!
Here is the link :: http://tinyurl.com/anniesbook[By the way, that’s the link that I implore you to share with your social media world. Thanks.]
Thanks again to Westbow Press. I could not have done this without them. Literally.
Let’s talk about Seattle.
It was marvelous. It started out Wednesday night with my emotional gas tank on totes empty- which is quite inconvenient when you are meeting tons of new people early Thursday and are supposed to be super helpful to your boss, Jeremy Cowart.
Which. By the way. Jeremy taught photography classes for 2 full days at creativeLIVE and he. nailed. it. I mean, I’m telling y’all, I’ve never been more proud to be his friend / employee / adopted family member / nanny / catch-all.
But I was exhausted- more than I have ever been. I prayed to God, saying “please help me. Really. I think I’m in big trouble here.”
Then I slept for 12 hours. So that was nice. A true answer to prayer. And it made Friday and Saturday way more awesome.
Help Portrait was also a super super great time. The only embarrassing moment, I now present to you. Let’s call it “When Annie Didn’t Know She Was Talking To A Famous Girl”.
Sheesh. Right? Sheesh.
And you won’t be surprised to know these things:
1. I cried. Twice. First when I was talking with our coordinator from Florida and the second time at the very end of the day, when I had just a minute to look in the camera and tell the crew in the booth, the producer, and the cameraman that I think they are some of the most wonderful humans I know. [More on that in a minute.] I mean, I had an in-ear monitor where they talked to me all day- talk in my ear for nine hours and I’m gonna be loyal to you for the rest of my days.
2. I loved every.minute.of.it. The skyping with Help Portrait peeps that I already knew via email, working with the creativeLIVE team, talking into a camera all the livelong day. I had the best seat in the Help Portrait house for sure. Anybody wanna give me a TV hosting job? Cause I might love it.
It was a great time.
The weather in Seattle was perfect- actually warmer there than in Nashville!
But the real win, the over-the-moon part, was for sure the people. Chase Jarvis, the photographer who runs this creativeLIVE thang, is a great guy and I loved spending time with him, his wife, and his team. I can’t start naming them, I would leave someone out and feel just awful. But from the top guys, to the crew, to the producer, to the chat hosts, I was blown away by the kindness and friendship that bloomed in such a short amount of time.
Seriously. Here’s what. Seattle was a total last minute thing [as in, decided Monday night, ticket purchased Tuesday morning, flight Wednesday afternoon]. I went because Jeremy needed help. I didn’t go to make new friends. I didn’t go expecting to enjoy the company or feel inspired as an artist. I just went.
And it ended up being beautiful.
I can’t adequately express what Seattle meant. For some reason, it hit every key on my emotional keyboard. And maybe I still don’t get it.
But I know that I was lucky to be there.
That’s not disrespectful to the baby Jesus.
I just have some links for you, and thinking you might enjoy a little play on words, I went for it.
Forgive me if you are offended.
First of all, today is my day to post over at (in)courage. And, because I tackle the deep and moving topics, I’m talking about footy-pajamas. [photos included, you are welcome] I hope my cousin is still speaking to me after he sees this.
Also, yesterday, I had the privilege [a word that I CAN NOT SPELL correctly for the life of me] of making a video for Christmas Change.
Here is a link to the post I wrote.
And here’s the video. But do check out the post so you have some sort of mental scaffolding to work with.
And because, seriously, this may be as famous as I ever get, I have to link you to our CBS station here in Nashville.
I. WAS. ON. TELEVISION.
Was it my lifelong dream to have my own cooking show?
And by “almost,” I mean “not at all.”
Regardless, read the article and watch the video clip to the right- it’s all about Help-Portrait.
And did I mention that I was on TV? Because I was. At 6pm and 10pm, but who’s counting.
Of course, Jeremy was on CNN, but whatevs.
When I moved to Nashville, I had no plans. No idea with what to do with my days.
Except to cry and beg God to let me go home to Atlanta.[That went well.]
But now I sit here, a writer. A nanny. An employee. A friend. And it’s crazy.
Most recent new title: Help Portrait Events Coordinator.
I know, I went all fancy on you. [Oh, and by the way, I made up that title. I mean, it really is my title, but I just created it and made everyone else deal. with. it.]
Anyways, here’s where things get surreal.
So please go with me to that moment.
I’m walking down the streets of Chicago. [I’ve never been there before 2009.]
In a serious snowstorm. [I grew up in Georgia. This is foreign to me.]
Walking with 2 of my dearest friends. [That I have met within the last 2 years.]
Doing an interview for Help Portrait. [That Jeremy just invented in his mind and I get to play along.]
With Relevant. [A magazine I HIGHLY esteem.]
And at one point, as my black jacket turned white with flakes, and I huffed and puffed down the streets of Chicago telling Chris about this amazing project, I just had to stop.
Because while I would have never planned for my life to look like this, God has again overshot my expectations.
By about 100,000 snowflakes.
And HE WILL DO THE SAME FOR YOU. Just ask. That’s all I did- I asked for God to run my life and I asked Him to show me His love. And what He did for me, He will do for you.
I’m sure of it.
Can you believe that dorky macaroni-lovin’ AnnieBlogs got published on the ONE Campaign blog?!?[I know. I died again. In a good way.]
Confession: I love having my picture taken.
As ridiculous as this statistic is, I’m going to give it to you anyways: I am currently tagged in 512 pictures on facebook. FIVE HUNDRED AND TWELVE. That’s a lot of “say cheese.”
Including this picture- I’m the second from the left in the blue dress. With eight of my beautiful friends.
Seriously. How cute are these girls?
There’s a lot more to this story, over at my bloggy vacation home….. check it out!
This is gonna be easy for you today.
Just two places to click.
Cause see, I don’t believe in making you work hard on Fridays. So.
First of all, check out HELP-PORTRAIT’s new website. It is really amazing. I mean, wowsa kind of amazing. If you are looking for a good way to give back this holiday season, even if you aren’t a photographer, I bet Help-Portrait is happening in your town.
Remember when we did a practice Help-Portrait event here in Nashville? My friend Barry made a cool video [severe understatement] from that day that I think you are going to love [minus the part at the end where I need to stop crying and brush my hair].[Hey you crazy subscribers- there’s a video here. Click over if you can’t see it in your reader.]
I know, right? So amazing. You know, someday soon, I’m going to write an entire blog post about the fact that giving within your gifting is deeply beautiful. Until then, just think on that.
Secondly [and I think you are going to like this] I have free music for you.
And by “I”, I mean “my friend Matt.”
Because Matt has just launched a KILLA new website as well and part of the excitement is that he is giving away a live album. FULL. LENGTH. ALBUM.
I know. It’s crazy talk. But it’s true. A full live album for zero American dollars. I personally think he’s lost his mind, but who am I to judge? I go to parties for dogs.
Either way, for a limited time, you can have it for free. [If you’re reading this in 2012, I bet it’s not free anymore. Just guessing.] So if it’s 2009, go get that album.
Also, gotta give a shout out to my bud Jason and his web design company Otterball– they did both sites and I’m tellin’ y’all, they. are. good.
Amen. You’re welcome. Have a great weekend.