The gift that keeps on giving~

top of the world~_

When you have your first child you become privy to the most well guarded secret: you have just signed on for the most important and permanent job of your life. It looks so easy. Everyone does it. Our parents did it. Our friends and neighbors seem to do it. And then your child arrives! I used to hold important job after job before having my child, each with a heavy series of responsibilities, but I dove into them armed with the knowing in the back of my mind that I can just quit when I choose to. Then came the parenting job, and I realized that this is one job I can never quit!

I would not exchange this job for any other in the world because it is the gift that keeps on giving.

Day 58 of 365~

Image taken of my 8 year old daughter overlooking the valley of the saints in Lebanon, 2012

The Day my Most Important Life Project was Born

in honor of her

in honor of her

No matter what books you read, what stories you hear, and what preconceptions you may have, nothing ever prepares you for the moment when your child is born.

Everyone has their story from the magical to the confronting and mine was a mixture of both. For years before, I had been chasing and building my career in a very aggressive manner and I looked at jobs as something to conquer and when one did not suit me, to have to the confidence to just drop it and move to the next. With this state of mind I waltzed into my pregnancy thinking it was just another task to win at. And then she was born.

All my preconceived ideas came crumbling in one big heap. I realized that nothing is as I thought. This job will be for life. There are no options for quitting, no turning back, no chance at slacking, and the responsibility of it was just mind-boggling. It was like joining a secret parent cult that no one warns you about.

If there is magic in life, then this is where it lives where I am concerned. Watching a life grow, evolve, develop and become the human it is meant to be.

The honor of being entrusted with the care of another human is the greatest honor of all.

Today, with this post, I begin my third 365 photography and writing project.

Holding on to innocence~

IMG_4588 IMG_5126 IMG_5787 IMG_5885

As my little girl grows up, I watch with quiet desperation how her innocence begins to recede to the background. The old simple jokes that made her laugh again and again are now silly, the complete freedom with which she skipped all over the world and its problems is beginning to allow bits of worry into her magical world. Questions about the state of the world arise causing a frown to form on her previously every radiant and smiling face. Nothing prepares a parent for the inevitable letting go of their child’s innocence. We hold on to it desperately, we pray that the hugs will last longer, that the laughter will ring louder and that worry will keep its fangs away from our babies.

Day11~ December 11th~ Guilin

The grander love of grandparents

The grander love of grandparents

It is so endearing in Asia to see how grandparents create a living womb for their grandchildren and how they care for them tirelessly, carrying them on their old backs, feeding them, singing hymns to them, and carrying them into adulthood on a fluffy cloud of love.

How strengthening it must be for the children and how infusing with confidence.

You are the reason…


You are the reason I love to live more

you are the reason I love to wake up in the morning more

you are the reason I am now more scared of flying

you are the reason I smile so much more

you are the reason I bake so much more

you are the reason I play so much more

you are the reason I feel younger

you are the reason I am not too eager to die early

you are the reason I am filled with hope

you are the reason I am so thankful for life and its gifts

I love you and cannot imagine a life without your joyful and playful energy



First love: It is the one that haunts us till the end.

It is always most powerful the first time. The first time we feel our hearts racing and fluttering, the first time we feel our breath shortening and escaping us, the first time we feel that a look can lift us off the ground and the first time we feel haunted day and night with thoughts of our love and with their presence inside of our skin at all moment of our waking and sleeping. It is powerful, passionate, wonderful, unreasonable and it scars us for life.

Egypt, 1996 is where I fell in love with photography. I had just gotten my first Pentax manual camera while living in New York (that is a whole other story), learned the basics very quickly, went to B&H photo when is still was downtown on 18th street and bought 35 rolls of film and slide film. Off I went to Egypt on the most memorable trip of my life. And like a first love this trip still lives in me and beckons me to go back and revisit it. We have to meet again.

We will…

a boy selling trinkets in Egypt, January 1996

girls baking and selling bread near Luxor, Egypt, 1996