How do you fill a hand roll with love, sunshine and laughter?

How do you fill a hand roll with love, sunshine and laughter?

Her voice could be heard from the direction of the kitchen and I didn’t know if she was talking to us or not but I turned around just the same.

“…yes, now you are all going to get in the pot and this is the secret of your flavor.” she says as I catch a glimpse of her hand waving magically over the pot that she is stirring.

The holy trinity of ginger, green onion, and garlic are releasing their aroma and the sizzling compounded by the savory and herbaceous aroma immediately triggers my stomach to growl. Meanwhile, she is smiling and in her element and I am struggling not to jump in and help because I can see that not only is she feeding us she is feeding her soul and I realize that the best thing for me to do in this moment is to enjoy being nurtured and loved. Besides, she is talking to the ingredients in the pot right now, Ha, ha. Never mess with a woman who is coaxing flavor from her muses, that would just be asinine. Especially someone as capable as Anna. Anna has a wonderfully calming presence and I am sure this is one of many qualities that will make her practice wildly successful by being extraordinarily helpful to the well being of others. She can be as silly and whimsical as she is wise and caring. I believe that her ability to embrace with positivity her life and others is inherent and that she was born to fulfill this dream of hers. She has an innate ability for making you feel welcome and there is a gentleness in her eyes and her smile. However, if you look closely you will also see a badass who rocks the shit out of the opportunities before her. She’s sassy, will invoke you to dance your ass off while also making sure that you stay hydrated =)

like this moment in the kitchen with Anna, there will always be snapshots that leave lasting impressions on me as I travel and document lives. I am drawn to the kind spirits who often do not realize the impact that they have on others. With Dennis, he revealed himself to me very early in our interactions. Dennis is the epitome of the southern gentleman. He speaks softly, choosing his words carefully. He is polite and rarely stops performing acts of service. He holds open doors for everyone – often racing ahead of you just so he can do so. One would think that he is shy but I think that he is just observant and chooses with whom to share his vulnerability. When Dennis laughs it is effervescent, his laughter bubbles up and just makes you happy to hear it. Anna will tell you that their relationship is joyful and filled with things they love and that Dennis makes her laugh and while Dennis will agree that their life is full and filled with a culture they love he will tell you that the life he shares with Anna is the inspiration for all of this joy.

Their love for the other is the type of renewable resource that is worth investing a lifetime into.

We planned our sessions with a “Date Weekend” theme of loving mindfully. Anna and Dennis both subscribe to the philosophy of embracing life and their love of each other and what better way than date weekend in the city that they love falling in love in, Dallas, Texas. Busy schedules and life happens and we are not always afforded the luxury of connecting with those that we love as frequently and as intensely as on a full weekend date so it was quite exciting to see Dallas through their love colored glasses and for them to take a breathe away from building the next chapter in their life by celebrating each other in this current chapter. Whether strolling the Bishop Arts District or chasing light through city streets and empty rooftop garages, they embraced and even faced some fears while we chatted about their lives. (a huge thank you to Mary for driving the getaway car and careening around the city on rails while we chased opportunities)

The birds danced for us as we waited for the light to change and we all took a moment to look at the setting sun and enjoy the view before grabbing a few twilight images before calling it a night and switching gears to day 2 of date weekend.

An immersive session allowed us to really get to know each other and for me to gain insight on both of them and the connection that they share. We shared our meals, conversation and community. It was during one of these conversations that we got really deep about the perceptions of personality, whether conventional or not, and who we choose to share those beautiful or not so beautiful parts of ourselves with.

“We each have hundreds of voices in our heads but only one of them speaks – usually the one attached to the face you are currently wearing.”

~ Chingi Z

… I said to Anna while Dennis cleaned up the remnants of the dinner we made. We all really do have so many things that we refrain from saying or doing because we may want to save “face”, or based on the company that you are keeping. This can be a great filter for those that really have no filter or it can be a mask to protect those emotions or details that we want to suppress. Thank you both for not muting your voices around me. Thank you both for allowing that beautiful inner beauty to come out and shout from the rooftops. Thank you both for your kindness and for dare I say it, you beat me at my own love bug game. Thank you both for letting me show you the sparkle that I see simply by being yourselves and loving so openly. I Can’t wait till April my spicy lil love bugs, cannot freakin wait!

xoxo – until then I am wrapping you tightly in love, sunshine and laughter and making my own lil Anna and Dennis hand roll.

Together, you really are the perfect bite, the best bite, the last bite. Nomnomnom yum!

#loveismyjawn #theimportanceofbeingdocumented #ibuildtimemachines