True Blue Friendship

True Blue Friendship

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Ever since this weekend ended, I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this blog post. It was an amazing Friday and Saturday for us. We hosted our very first photography show for hubby and we had NO idea what we were in for. We began working on the concept several months before, but when we got a month to the date, it became more real to me. It was an open invitation and we really didn’t know how many people would come. There were times that I almost went into a panic wondering if we would be sitting around chomping down on celery waiting for someone to show up! We both had to keep that anxiety bug behind us!  

But, when the week of the event came, my emotions changed to excitement and anticipation. Still, I was not even close to what I would feel as the days progressed. The first thing I felt was awestruck when hubby began to take one print after another out of the boxes. I was stunned at how beautiful they were, I’ve seen the smaller sizes but nothing could prepare me for these large size 20″ x 30″ pieces. He had a blueprint drawn and a vision for how he wanted to set up the room. After the end of Wednesday, the space began to take shape and I could see hubby’s vision. We finished up Friday morning. Our hard work paid off.  

We asked some of our dear, closest friends from church to help us out and they did not disappoint. They were my personal miracles cause there was no way I could put on an event like this by myself. One of my friends did the shopping for me while her husband brought us fresh flowers and ran my raffle table. I asked one of our friends who belongs to our camera club to take the pictures, she was a wedding photographer and I was so glad when she said she would. I can’t wait to see all her pictures (I’ll post them as soon as I get them!) Our other two friends helped me at the sales table and putting back all the furniture after the show was over. My feet were hurtin! But I wasn’t complaining a bit!   

I got to meet so many of hubby’s Facebook friends, some we had not met in person. When they came I watched happily as they gathered around drinking coffee talking, taking selfies, and just soaking up the atmosphere. It was like being in a coffee house, I just had to smile. I loved the music slideshow playing in the background and everyone had nothing but compliments for hubby. I even met a couple of wonderful ladies that are fans of “Growing Up in Grace”!, oh man was that a compliment!” No one just walked in and then out, many even stayed Friday night at the Artist reception for hours before leaving. I was a proud wife.  

Some of our friends drove hours just for the show, others texted me, and even came to tell me that they were specifically praying for us… that’s some kind of friendship in my book! What can I say? Saturday, I was so busy taking orders that my lunch remained on the table all day and I couldn’t hold back my emotions. At times, I literally cried in happiness to see my hubby come from where he was to where he is now to where he’ll become. Someone said to him recently that they were happy for him to be living his dream and another guy told hubby that he (hubby) was one of the best photographers he had seen in this Oregon coast area. WOW! This is and has always been his dream: to be a full time nature photographer. So am I, for you guys don’t know all the tears we’ve cried, all the years of hard work making little to no money, all spent chasing God’s calling for his life.  

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I’m so grateful, and that word just doesn’t quite say it, for every person that played a hand in making this event so successful. It goes far beyond the money we made at the event, the orders we took, it validates my husband that he’s on the right track. What God allows him to see through that lens is captivating our audience enough that they want the prints for their walls or to give away as gifts. I go a lot of times on photo shoots with him and mosttimes I’m patient enough while he takes hundreds of photos in one area but every now and again I’ve asked him, “does it take that many photos?, cmon!“…and then when I see the end result of that print, my mouth drops to the floor and I know never again will I rush hubby to take a picture. He has the eye and creativity that I doubt I could ever have and I know it’s his God-given gift.  

Thank you for sharing this experience with me whether you’re our customer, friend, family, photo colleague, or you just stumbled upon this post and decided to read it. I appreciate you! And, finally to my wonderful hubby, my true blue best friend:

These past three years here in Oregon have been the best of my life to see how far we’ve come. To stand beside you through the rough times and the good and watch how much you’ve grown is the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. Thank you for hearing God’s call and deciding to answer it. I have the utmost respect and admiration for you honey, you’ve made me so proud of you. I think what I admire the most is how you never gave up on your gift. I know there were months and months without so much as a compliment, but you kept advertising your work and you went out everyday photographing. You inspire me to never give up, to keep doing what I’m doing and I hope I can continue to walk with you and watch where God leads us next. This weekend is just the beginning and I look forward to all that’s ahead of us. I love you forever, Kim. 

Kim McDougal

Kim is the founder and creator of Growing Up in Grace. By day, she's the Director of Interactive Communications for the Hispanic chamber located in Jax, FL. Kim also owns "Kim's Studio Art" where she creates and sells Wall Art Printables and "Kim's Handcrafted Cards" on eBay where she creates and sells handmade greeting cards.