#NoFilter

I am the rare breed (or like to think I am) who has not yet joined Instagram. But even I notice the lovely little hashtags flitting around those ever-shared Instagram photos. My favorite is #NoFilter.

Really? Are our photos so artificial now that we must point out when they’re not?

Or…does it say, “Look. This is beautiful. Without even adding a filter to it.”

I wonder about this in life. We often display the filtered, photo-shopped version of ourselves more than the real, nitty-gritty parts. Is it really so shocking to be a “natural,” non-filtered YOU?

The #NoFilter tag tells me that we honor real beauty. It stands out to us. We think, “This is so lovely, with such color, all on its own,” and we stamp it with #NoFilter.

#NoFilter says: This is rich. This is genuine. This is real.

This trend offers us a glimpse of what people search for. We want the deep colors that aren’t faked. We want a touch of awe, without the artificial touch. We look for #NoFilter, because that means it’s REAL.

Something to consider: perhaps this is what we want from each other, too.

How can you live your life with #NoFilter?

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Meet Scott

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I would like to officially introduce you, my blog readers, to my boyfriend Scott.

We have been “officially” dating for about a month, although we met over a year and a half ago online. He added me on MySpace because of a mutual friend, and then I got to know him a little better through an online prayer ministry. We messaged each other off and on until we became friends on Facebook where we started chatting online. In June he came to visit me for the first time, and we began texting daily and visiting for two months until we decided to make things official mid-August.

He is…well, pretty much amazing. 🙂 He is thoughtful and sweet. He is a man of great character, and I have a lot of respect for him.  He treats me well, and it’s important to him to also honor my parents in our relationship. He seeks to constantly grow spiritually and as a person.  And did I mention I also think he’s really cute? *giggles* (To me that’s not nearly the best thing about him, but it is a nice little bonus!)

I could go on forever with all the little details I love about him, but I won’t bore you (or make you feel like throwing up).  For now just wanted to introduce him to you, and I’m sure you’ll hear more about him in my blogs posts to come.

Our first picture together

Our first picture together

Precious relationships, past to present

I got the joy of enjoying several relationships that are precious to me over the weekend. First, I got to see one of my very best friends from college get married to a wonderful guy. Then Saturday and Sunday, I spent time with family members. Both of these things made me feel very blessed and reminded me of the importance of relationships.

Christina was one of my best friends from college. There was a group of six or seven of us who were all really tight throughout the 4 years of college, and we all hung out a lot together. Three of these girls have all been married, the earliest wedding being in 2005 and the latest being last December. This was “our” fourth wedding, and I was honored to get to be a part of it as the videographer/bridal attendant. It was so fun being in with Christina as she got ready for the wedding, to watch her walk down the aisle, to video the ceremony, to see the wedding party’s excitement as they gathered in the bridal suite right after the ceremony finished, to celebrate with them during the reception, and finally to see them off on their honeymoon. And as an extra special ending to the evening, I was so excited to get to catch Christina’s bouquet! 🙂 Making it even more special was getting to see, visit, and catch up with the other girls I hadn’t seen in a while: Kirstin (Christina’s matron of honor), Kelsey, Rachael, and Melissa. Of course other friends were there, like LaShay and Matt, so it was a wonderful evening overall.

Me and Christina at her wedding

Me and Christina at her wedding

Saturday and Sunday I got to spend time with family. I was there visiting with my parents and sister, of course; also in visiting that week was my aunt Eloise (visiting back in Texas from Massachusetts) and my uncle Stan and his family (who were visiting America for a month or two from Asia). My cousin Jenny was in town as well from where she practices law in San Antonio.  We got to have meals together and times just talking and laughing. It was good to be with family, quirks and all. I’m blessed with all the memories I have of my family. For example, I spent a lot of time with my younger cousins when they were all babies, toddlers, etc. I have changed their diapers (which I’m sure they appreciate me reminding them of), and now every single one of them is a teenager and taller than I am!

My sister and me with our younger cousins.

My sister and me with our younger cousins.

The weekend basically reminded me of the importance of relationships. There are some people in your life, both friends and family, who have irreplaceable places in your heart. Months or even years may go by, yet sometimes you can pick up with them again just like you’d seen them yesterday. There is a closeness that never loses its impact between people. When you have been an important part of someone’s life, that influence can never be erased. Somehow, you always have a bond. I’m blessed to be bonded to some pretty incredible people, both friends and family. So, to all of those special people in my life, I just want you to know I am thankful for you. Thanks for being a part of my life up to this point, for contributing to who I am; and know that I’ll always love you.