In different words and through his actions my dad always taught me that it’s all in the details. I never appreciated it growing up, feeling like it was more about perfection than doing my best.
My dad’s model of excellence is in my head when I want to do something poorly. I hear him nudging my conscience and I feel compelled to take the time to do it properly, even when no one is looking. When my cousins and I were in middle school we got souvenir pennies pressed at Sea World. Being the DIY-ourselfers we were, we decided why not press our own pennies? So we went out on the driveway to hammer our hard-earned lemonade stand money. Well, my dad caught us and told us tampering with money was against the law. We thought for sure the police were going to show up and arrest us for that.
That attention to detail, the small things that make up the bigger picture has trickled into my art. I stalk those details, those lovely imperfect bits that illustrate a more full story and that take you back to that certain feeling.
This LOVE Week I brought the boys back to the first Elevation Outreach event we ever participated in. West Cabarrus YMCA has a Farm that harvests crops for people in need, such as Operation Bread Basket. The boys have had the chance to pick green beans, dig up potatoes and onions, and help wash and package vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers. This is the real food God intended for us all and that all people need to nourish their bodies.
I Will Take Orange Over Pink Every Day of the Week
While a cancer diagnosis will always be more or less a slap in the face, my parents have taken on my dad’s liver cancer with full force. ChrisBeatCancer.com began the difficult but encouraging quest into the hidden world of information on natural healing. Years and years ago I listened to Chris Wark of Chris Beat Cancer talk on a podcast about his experience healing his cancer through food and lifestyle changes. I remember taking a mental note of this incredible guy’s story, thinking of I am ever diagnosed with cancer, this was the information I wanted to begin with. I also remember watching a movie called The Gerson Miracle long before this which opened my eyes. It angered me to know that there are essentially cures for cancer that are ignored by the conventional medical cancer community. Knowing there is a cure made me angry, but I still was not closely affected. So I stopped running Susan G. Komen Runs for the Cure who raise thousands and thousands of dollars to “find the cure.” Where is this money going? My family has since learned the powerful healing properties of carrots and this has been the start of my parents’ new norm—tons of carrot juice. We have so much more to learn and we are unlocking so many insanely incredible stories of healing cancer with methods such as The Gerson Therapy, Apricot Seeds, Cannabis Oil, and Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers to name a few. This reminds me of my Home Birth Stories with Braxton & Royce—We can spread the word and make a difference by prioritizing education on our own bodies, trusting the way God’s creation can help our health, and sharing our experiences.
“Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” // Genesis 1:29 NIV
I cook for my family for many reasons including the artistic creation it allows me on a regular basis. Still, there are most definitely days and budgeted weeks of grocery-buying and menu-planning that feel less than enjoyable. I have learned simplicity is most sustainable and traditional is most satisfying. It made me think of a dish I used to make with my mom who probably used to make with her mom.
A traditional middle eastern dish, these beef and rice stuffed grape leaves (or dolmas) are meant to be made together–gathered around a table with other family and friends. These times together can be fleeting or ever-changing through generations. Documentary family photography is the perfect way to preserve these memories. What a great session idea to get a camera in the kitchen, often the heart of the home.
What family traditions do you gather for in the kitchen that should be preserved?
Hi. I'm Suzanna.
I like running outside, eating real food and crafting beautiful images. I am captivated by documenting everyday life–revealing what authentic, adventurous and lovers of life we all are.