celebrate kindness

Posts Tagged ‘waterfall

Photo Oct 18, 5 06 25 PM

One of the most exciting times in a young girl’s life is getting dressed up for a formal dance. Oh, to be young again! The dress… the shoes… the hair… each decision carefully made with finite precision.  Such a magical time!

Today I had the privilege of being asked to style my daughter’s hair for her very first homecoming dance.  As a mom, this is an esteemed honor, only bestowed to those who can be trusted to transform one from ordinary to magnificent. While I don’t consider myself worthy of such an honor (surely a licensed hair stylist could do a much better job than I), it was humbling to be asked to take on such an important role in my daughter’s memory-making.

My daughter’s straight hair is much thicker than mine, the width of a ponytail band often straining to be looped a second time.  It also does not hold curl very well.  We both knew this request posed a unique challenge if to last the entire night.

She spent some time perusing Google, to locate a photo that matched her vision of the perfect style, then she passed along a quick video to remind me how to create a waterfall braid.  I gathered my hair essentials (namely sprays, bands, and ceramic curling wand) and made my way to her bedroom.

Sitting in her swiveling desk chair facing the mirror, her right foot absentmindedly turning the seat from right to left, I caught a flash of what it would be like to share such a moment with my daughter on her wedding day. It was a brief moment, one that dissipated almost as quickly as it began, but it was enough to remind me that this moment was special.  Precious.  Priceless.

I pulled the chair away from the mirror, twisting her to the side so the preheated curling wand could reach all angles of her hair.  For the next 20 minutes, I created sections; quarter inch strands of rich chocolate silk woven through my fingers into a small braid with cascading curls.  We chatted and laughed, without a care in the world, both knowing she was being transformed into a princess.

“Um, can you make this part less curly?”  Her request was made with a scrunch of her nose.

“Can you make this part look like that?”

“Yeah, that’s better.  Like that.”

She wanted a braid on only one side; the other to have curls alone. I took my revised orders and recurled, my only hope to achieve acceptance in the next round of review.  My fingers tilted within the strands, gently pulling and separating (but not too much, mind you.) The sparkling gemstone headband was added with another twist of braid, its side hidden beneath the luxurious curls that now bounced from my fingertips. The time had come to leave the makeshift beauty salon to change into the dress, but not before a photo could be snapped for our memory book:

Photo Oct 18, 4 46 01 PM

As the dress and shoes were added to complete the ensemble, we made our way to her friends’ home where I was asked again to create flowing curls for two of her best friends.  And so I did.

Photo Oct 18, 5 45 23 PM

Photo Oct 18, 6 16 14 PM

Photo Oct 18, 6 23 42 PM

The best friends, who often spend their days in ponytails and casual tees, had a night filled with beauty and joy.  Best of all, this Momma had a smile on her heart for completing this random act of kindness times three.

My daughter and I through the flashes of cameras in the afternoon sun.

My daughter and I smile through the bright camera flashes during the photo opp.

The next time you receive a request of help from your child, take a moment and appreciate the opportunity to give back and make a difference in your child’s life. Sure, the request may not be as monumental (or publicly documented) as a Homecoming hairstyle, but it can have the possibility of creating a life-long memory for everyone involved.

Be blessed and treasure the simple moments!

Timing is everything. Last weekend, I decided to take my kids to Maymont Park to enjoy the beautiful weather.  We were in no rush to get ready, nor were we on any sort of timeline to leave the house (or arrive at the park.)  We definitely enjoyed the laziness of the day!  Before heading to the park, we stopped at Target and got caught up in the 70% off clearance sale racks by the entrance of the store.  At this point, I was starting to wonder if we would even MAKE it to Maymont!

But make it we did and it was a gorgeous day for exploring the park.  We took our time strolling through the gardens, climbing the hills, and reminiscing about all the other memories we’ve shared here throughout the years.  One of our favorite places to visit is the Japanese Gardens with their unique landscaping.  The kids love to skip over the stepping stones and cross the wooden bridges.  In warmer weather there is an active waterfall, so we were delighted to see it this day.

As were were crossing a bridge to leave the waterfall area, my thoughts were interuppted by a stranger’s voice.  “Would you mind taking our picture?”  “Of course not!  I would love to!” I replied.  As the man put his arm around the woman beside him, they were all smiles, obviously in love.  “Wait!” I said, “You are so cute together!  Let me take another picture from this side to get the waterfall in the background”  They happily posed for me, even asking if I was a professional photographer which only made me laugh even more.  “No, no, no, but I do love taking pictures!”

I then told them about my 40th Birthday Project and how taking their photo was another random act of kindness I was doing to celebrate my 40th bithday.  I asked for their permission to post photos and tell their story and that’s when the woman told me THE. MOST. EXCITING. NEWS!!!!

“We just got engaged!!!!!!”

WHAT?!?!?!  I was estatic!  I was the very first person to take a photo of this couple, a mere 20 minutes after he proposed to her during a picnic lunch on the very same hill my children and I had climbed to get to this exact location!  I couldn’t believe it!  How exciting!  So I gleefully replied, “Well, show me the RING!!!  I want to see the ring!!”  The ring was gorgeous (as all engagement rings are), and I ended up taking more photos of the couple, even a few of the ring, too.

Timing is everything.  Had we rushed out of the house, or not shopped at Target, or spent even 3 minutes longer climbing that hill, I would have missed capturing this sweet moment for this couple.  Sure, someone else would have come along and probably taken their picture.  But would they have taken half a dozen photos?  Or positioned the couple to show the waterfall… from their ENGAGEMENT DAY?!?  Or captured the sparkle from the delicate diamond ring now gracing the fingers of this very happy lady?  I am still smiling thinking about the moment.  How romantic – a park proposal!  And I got to share in the joy simply from being in the right place at the right time.

Sometimes we are blessed by simply being THERE.  In the moment.  Because timing is everything.  🙂

Congratulations to Amy and Alex on their engagement and a special thanks to them for emailing me the pictures I took with their camera so I could add their story to my blog.

Today’s post is dedicated to my favorite photographers, Lisa Zader (www.capturedbythelens.com) and Stephanie Toll/James Lee (www.88lovestories.com) who understand the beauty in being THERE to capture a memory.

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