Sunday, February 12, 2012

in your heart

sometimes life graces you with the presence of a remarkable human being with such kindness in their heart and such peace in their smile because they have loved. so much. and they ARE loved. so much more than they can ever imagine.

"family is what life is all about, " she softly whispered to me with a light in her eyes, a happiness in her heart, and a natural smile filled with love. she is brave beyond life. beautiful, loving, strong. she is someone's family. someone who will ALways be in your heart. and this is for her.

we cannot always explain everything, we don't always know the reasons why,
we only know the love we feel makes our souls sing with life.

every moment we have shared together, every breath we have smiled,
you were there with me, you were the one who made it worth while.

so no matter where this journey of life takes us, if our paths separate from time to time,
warmth will always fill my heart, I will carry you with me, you will always be my shining star.

you are someone's mother.

you are someone's grandmother.

you are the one and only glamorous gigi.

you are our family. you ARE love.
so save a place for me, save a space for me. in your heart.

as you are ALways in my heart. always. no matter where you are. you are my shining star.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

becoming whole

sometimes, something is missing. you just don't know what it is. until you have it and you can hold it in your hands and your heart can smile that it is yours and you never have to let it go.

even when you are completely exhausted, overwhelmed, emotional, full of you think you might burst. that is when you feel it the most. you feel whole. and you cannot imagine how you lived your life without it before.

it doesn't matter *how* you came to be. you did. and you are whole. and you are a family. and you have love. and you have fears. and you have little fingers grasping tightly to never let *you* go. you never felt so needed before. and you were never before needed so much. you are someone's mom. you are someone's dad. you are someone's son. you are someone's daughter. you are someone's *family.* and you are whole.

how could you love someone you never met before so.very.much. you would give your life for that little being, you would take their sicknesses, their pain, their heartbreaks, and go through it all for them?

because you just could. and you do. and you always will. you are *whole.* and the best part? you don't ever have to let go.

and it all began with the two most beautiful faces you ever did see....

meet kyrie.

and kingston.

the loves of your life.

and you just happen to be the loves of *their* lives as well. did you know that? even when you feel like NOthing you do is right. even when you have had a major fail of a day. even when you didn't even get a chance to shower. for three days in a row. you are still loved. you are still whole. and you can live off coffee if you want to. cause you are loved. and you are perfect to someone. no matter WHAT you do.

this is what happiness looks like. this is your family. this is your life.

and you wouldn't have it any.other.way.

cause these two perfect faces?

just as much as they made YOU whole? you made their

no matter how you came to be. you just did. and you are whole. and you are a family.

and family is the most beautiful word you have ever known.

welcome "whole"me, stefanich family!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

a few of my favorite things.....1,000 fan giveaway!!

it is SO HERE!! all of your wonderful support and kind words and just.plain.awesomeness has brought the mL photography fanpage to over 1,000 super rad people gathered together to celebrate good times, come ON! I kind of super love sharing such inspiring moments and such beautiful love a family has for one another and I am oh so happy you all are there to view it and soak it up and smile with it. and I so hope you do.

sooooo.....a few little somethings from a few of my favorite shops are definitely in order. these lovely ladies not only are super crafty and rather incredible at what they do but they are so.very.supportive of me, too. I love them all. and here is your chance to fall in love with them, too.

the 1,000 fan giveaway which shall begin wednesday, february 1 and ends wednesday, february 8 at midnight.
to enter to win one of the fabulous credits towards any of the shops below, you simply need to "like" ALL of their fanpages on facebook. then leave a comment under this post saying that you did and tell me one of your favorite things from ANY of the pages you visited.

here are the wonderful goodies you can win...

prize #1:

the cool crazysocks crochet shop

****winner- angela (****
please contact danyel through her fanpage to claim your prize by monday, february 13

you can "like" her fanpage here:

crazysocks crochet shop fanpage

and check out some more goodies on the website here:

crazysocks crochet shop

prize #2:

the amazing ameliacalvin shop

****winner-Rachelle S.****
please contact danyel through her fanpage to claim your prize by monday, february 13

you can "like" her fanpage here:

ameliacalvin fanpage

and check out some more goodies on the website here:

ameliacalvin shop

prize #3:

a $20 credit towards a custom order for the stellar sara b. jewelry & metalsmithing shop.

****winner- Erin K.****
please contact sara through her fanpage to claim your prize by monday, february 13

you can "like" her fanpage here:

sara b. jewelry & metalsmithing fanpage

and check out more goodies in the etsy shop here:

sara b. jewelry etsy shop

prize #4:

a $20 credit towards the lovely lakeshore creations shop.

****winner- McMasters Family****
please contact melissa through her fanpage to claim your prize by monday, february 13

you can "like" her fanpage here:

lakeshore creations fanpage

and check out more goodies in the etsy shop here:

lakeshore creations etsy shop

prize #5:

a credit towards ANY pair of earrings in stock at the ravishing randl design shop.

****winner- Sara K.****
please contact rebekah through her fanpage to claim your prize by monday, february 13

you can "like" her fanpage here:

r and l design fanpage

and check out more goodies in the etsy shop here:

r and l design etsy shop

prize #6:

a credit towards a flower ring from the (particularly pretty) pretty little things shop.

****winner- tropAcool/Laura****
please contact dory through her fanpage to claim your prize by monday, february 13****

you can "like" her fanpage here:

pretty little things fanpage

prize #7 and prize #8:

one of TWO $10 credits towards a custom order for the heavenly hairbow-tique shop.

****winners- Katie Sluiter and Samantha W.****
please contact connie through her fanpage to claim your prize by monday, february 13

you can "like" her fanpage here:

hairbow-tique fanpage

and check out more goodies in the etsy shop here:

hairbow-tique etsy shop

prize # 9:

a $10 credit towards the marvelous myjoy designs shop.

****winner- Ruth Borgman****
please contact megan through her fanpage to claim your prize by monday, february 13

you can "like" her fanpage here:

myjoy designs fanpage

prize #10:

a gift certificate for a mini cheesecake from the sensational say cheesecake by sara shop.

****winner- Meyers Family****
please contact sara through her fanpage to claim your prize by monday, february 13

you can "like" her fanpage here:

say cheesecake by sara fanpage

prize #11:

a valentine's day gift basket from the brilliant bluejeancountry shop.

****winner- Missy****
please contact melissa through her fanpage to claim your prize by monday, february 13

you can "like" her fanpage here:

bluejeancountry fanpage

and check out more goodies in the etsy shop here:

bluejeancountry etsy shop

prize #12:

a gift certificate for a spring mini session with mL photography.

****winner- Connie P.****
please contact me! (missy) through my fanpage to claim your prize by monday, february 13

and I would love for you to "like" my fanpage here:

mL photography fanpage

and check out my website here:

mL photography website

and there you have it! remember, all you have to do is "like" all of these fabulous fanpages and share ONE item from ANY of the shops that you just super loved the moment you saw it and you just have to share! 12 random winners will be drawn. and remember you have until wednesday, february 8 to enter. so get to it! you will be oh so happy you did.

and again, this giveaway is all because of YOU. and the unbelievable support of the shops that are participating. so go check out a few of my favorite things and smile. because your heart would love you to.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

never let me go.

even if only in the wee hours of the night when only jack johnson could truly comprehend my desire to change the world, to make a difference, to be *heard*, with one captured image, one spoken word. an inspiration that spreads like wildfire across my soul.

I miss sharing the amazing and beautiful people I am blessed to meet. their stories. their hearts. their laughter.them. unedited. pure. perfect.
I miss my thoughts on a whirlwind flow underneath constellations in the darkness of the night when only you were there to contain them. understand them. help me make some sort of sense of them. with images that would surround them.
I miss the encouraging and kind comments others bestowed upon us, even if they were few and far in between...they were enough. they were inspiring. they were ours.

but what I miss the most is this.

the little forgotten moments in between the great big universe that sometimes makes us forget how beautiful and perfect life is. and the kindness of others that makes our souls sing.

the moments when your heart is peaceful and all you can hear is your breath against the backdrop of the earth and you remember, life is a miracle. and you are so thankful for it.

so all of this and more, I want to find my way back to once again. a place for all things left unsaid. and a place to smile and be kind to one another. cause it exists. and it is in the hearts of *all* of us. we just have to be willing and ready to find it.

and what better way to seek out such an incredible journey of passion and hope than sharing the kindness of others. therefore with much adieu (because it only took me ages to announce the winners because I just needed to let their words soak into me like a sunny day warming me to the bone).....

so there is a top three of day 25 mega pay it forward giveaway nominations of *thee* kindest person you know.

the person who does so much in this world with the expectation of nothing in return. generosity at it's finest. there were so.very.many fabulous nominations. so but of course just one winner would not be enough and, therefore, the top they be. (with permission from all entrants to share their beautiful words)

the runners up:

"I would also like to nominate my mom, Robin for the day 25 giveaway. She is truly the greatest. She raised 4 kids on her own and we have grown to see how much she does for everyone else, and expects nothing. One of her children died right before her eyes, yet she still works in a hospital with children who are on the verge of death. I can see somedays it gets to her, and she remembers her own son. She also battled breast cancer and had to get a mastectomy, but she had a smile through it all. It was never about her, it was about us kids and giving us everything she could. She gives meals to everyone who is sick when she barely has the money to make them. She deserves everything, but she is always in the shadows. I want her to see that everyone really does appreciate and love the wonderful person she is. :)"

- nominated by sam

runner up deux:

"I would like to nominate my amazing mom for this. In your "qualifications" for the nominee you wanted someone who had amazing acts of kindness every day, made a huge difference in the lives of people, rarely recognized for it, and expects nothing in return for it. I knew immediately my mom was the one for me to nominate.

Amazing acts of kindness every day: For as long as I can remember my mom has been the definition of a mom. She was a stay at home mom that has devoted her whole life to my brother and I. Any mom can do that right? Well when my brother was 2 years old he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. It was life changing for my mom, but she woke up the next day and continued her unselfish ways of caring for my brother and I. I became pregnant at 16. Of course that was another life changing event in our lives which could have easily made my mom give up. But instead my mom volunteered to help me every step of the way of my teenage pregnancy and further. She quit her job, social life, and regular sleep schedule to help me raise a baby at 16. And it didn't stop there. She still is helping me 5 years later.

Huge difference in peoples lives: My mom hasn't helped hundreds of people directly, not even close. But she has effected my family in ways that many people combined couldn't. But because my mom has helped me beat the odds of being a teenage mom and helping me graduate from college as a nurse I feel she is helping every single of my patients. Because my mom has helped my brother have a normal life well facing the every day struggles of CP she has given hope to other families out there dealing with the same thing.

Recognition: I simply thank my mom all the time, but sometimes I feel like that just isn't enough. No way would I even be able to describe half of the reasons why my mom deserves this. Does she deserve to win a million dollars? Yup. Does she deserve a spankin' new sports car? You bet ya! A one hour massage? Of course. But what my mom deserves is to see that I appreciate her and wouldn't be able to let her know. And because of what she has done for me I'm able to "pay it forward" to others. "

- nominated by amanda

these amazing human beings will be gifted with a $25 mL photography gift certificate. I am so overjoyed to know that people like this *do* exist. and there are so many of you out there doing good deeds especially when you think no one is looking. but someone is always looking (And not in a creepy horror film kind of way, though it tis my favorite genre)... but rather people that you have inspired, now paying it forward because they just witnessed an act of kindness that touched their hearts. and that's what it's all about people. so pass it ON.

now, THEE grand prize winner of the mega pay it forward nominations....

"I would like nominate my mom, Vickie, for this last giveaway! My mom has been my rock throughout my life, and has always been a strong, beautiful, faithful woman!
Unfortunately, about 6 months ago, she started having weird things
happen in her body. She was experiencing dizziness, tremors, extreme
fatigue, and some numbness as well. To make a long story short, after
many doctor's visits she went to the U of M (GO BLUE!) and was diagnosed
with transverse myletitis which is a neurological disease that causes
inflammation around her C-spine. Since April, she has been dealing with
this and has not seen any improvement yet. She ended up loosing her
full-time job in HR at Trendway as a result. As a daughter, it is so
hard to see your mom, your rock, the woman you always have seen as the
strongest person in the world all of your life, fall apart. She tries
hard to stay strong and faithful through all of this, but there are many
times she has broken down into tears. My mom is the most giving woman in
the world and would never ask a soul for anything. Her and my dad give
to me and my family all the time without wanting a thing in return. They
have blessed so many people's lives and it's hard to understand why my
mom has to go through something like this. But, like she says, it could
be worse. I would love to bless her and my dad with this generous gift!
I would love to see a picture of her showing strength that I know she
still has somewhere deep down inside of her."

- nominated by heidi

winner of a complimentary family session with mL photography, including a cd of all images from our shoot together AND a certificate for 50% off your print order, too.

this last nomination just really got under my skin. the really good kind. that infects you and you cannot stop thinking about how you, too, could possibly change the world with your own two hands. because you can. and you already are. and it is people like all of YOU that inspire me to be a better person.

thank you so much for the inspiration you all have given me throughout the mega pay it forward giveaway and from the beginning. and also? for the start me up (rolling stones style) that I needed to get this blog revival going. your words made it happen. and in your images? I hope to return the favor.

bring it 2012. I have never been more ready to take on this world. one laugh. one smile. one embrace. one breath. one moment at a time.