Christmas & Hygee by Shannon Heick

I recently read an article about the Danish and their long, hard winters. You can find the article HERE. It's pretty neat. In short, the sun doesn't come up until 9:40 and goes down at 3:30.  Sometimes, it is "a hard slog" as the article suggests. The Danish have a secret though. It's called Hygge. According to MaryGrace Taylor,  Hygge is........."more of a feeling than a word. It’s sort of a full-on embrace of all things toasty, cozy, and restorative. Like that warm wave that washes over you when you ease into a hot bubble bath. Or that feeling that everything is right in the world when you hang out with your favorite people by the fireplace with mugsof hot cider (or bourbon)."

After reading the article, I know I totally love the spirit of Hygge!

Christmas shares some commonalities with Hygge. But still, the spirit of Christmas is different. The spirit of Christmas is not a mindset. It is not a choice. It does not depend on us. We depend on it.

The spirit of Christmas is fully alive.

Our ability to love one another and be in relationship with one another  is a gift born out of the spirit of Christmas. Christmas is the birth of the one thing that bore all things.

Christmas is the bright, joyful light that was given to fill the empty hole in the soul.

Christmas is the gift of The One who gives us the key to heaven, our true and forever home.

Noel, Noel. The story of amazing love. The light of the world. Given for us. Noel.

Rejoice, rejoice. Emmanuel.

Your love has come

Here to dwell.

All they works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect thy rays.

Field and forest call us to rejoice in thee.

What a joy awakening!

Celebrate the Savior.

Hygee is helpful. But, Christmas is the forever joy snuggle we all long for.

Humbly you came.

Light of the word, Here to save.

Christmas is the final hope.

 Christmas is what brought the joy that we experience so deeply together under those twinkly lights.

 

Merry Christmas!

 

Flying to Maui by Shannon Heick

We had to break the news to him gently. We were off to the tropical heaven-like wonder of Maui and he was in fact, not. To ease the blow, I decided to throw him a little Hawaiian luau before we left. img_2804 As you can see, Maverick, our beloved GoldenDoodle was less than impressed with me and my party. Can't win 'em all I guess!

After we celebrated with the less than enthusiastic GoldenDoodle, we dropped him off with our new friend Than, who runs a non-profit called Unseen.  Maverick got to be the office dog for a week! And I hear Maverick's job description included lying around and snoring and stealing old food out of the little desk garbages. Sounds like he was right at home. :)  Are you wondering what Unseen is? Oh, I 'm glad you asked. It's nothing really, they just do your basic stuff.....you know......like fighting HUMAN TRAFFICKING and all. No biggie!!!! I am totally kidding. It might be the most important thing you read about today!  I did say human trafficking. As in modern day slavery. These guys are like super stealthy agents of freedom. This stuff happens all over the world and even in our own backyard here in our great state.  Seriously, go to their website and check them out and make a donation if you can.  The mission and the work the people are amazing! And the t-shirts are the worlds most comfortable.  Derrick and I  wore our matching Unseen shirts on our flights! ;) While I had hoped to get a photo and tag on social media, it didn't pan out.  Apparently taking three kids through multiple airports requires you to be a little more on your parenting game and less on your Instagram game.  So there's that.

So we kissed Maverick goodbye and headed down to the cities to bunk in with my aunt and uncle for the night before our flight. A huge thanks to my Uncle Sid for taking us to the airport at ungodly hours in the morning! The flight was at 7am. Which means, be at the airport at 5am. Which means wake up at 3:45.  We went to bed close to midnight. And this is what Chase looks like with 4 hours of sleep on his very first plane ride. :Dimg_2816

Here we go, flying up over the beautiful state of Minnesota!

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As we walked off our first flight from MSP to Phoenix, I stopped and thanked the Captain for a wonderful and smooth ride. I told him that it was our boys first time flying and they had a blast! He dropped his stuff and said, "Well Mom, let's get them up here for a picture!" I was carrying a Nikon, an iPhone and a GoPro so I had no problem following the captains orders. :)

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The crew was all smiles after talking to this nut for a while.

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We stopped in Phoenix just long enough to trip a few people on the walking escalators, grab some McDonalds and load up once again for the big journey across the great Pacific.

After several hours of snacking and Minecrafting, Chase busted out the old eye pillow and took himself a little nap.

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And what kind of mother would I be if I didn't take selfies of us while he was unconscious? I don't always know what to do when it comes to parenting.....but when I know, I know. img_2873

 

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Here we are doing a little fly by of the Big Island. This sight gets you pretty excited after you have seen nothing but oceans and clouds for hours.

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And then we get a glimpse of those stunning west Maui mountains and we are starting to drool and press our faces against the window a little harder.

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We are almost there!!!

img_2907Coming' in hot.

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Once we touched down and realized that we survived this long day, we headed out to grab our rental car and hit the island in style. Our rental car was a hipster Town and Country Minivan. Silver.  Just like at home. We hopped in and took the boys to the first logical place any hipster parents in a Town and Country minivan would go. Costco of course!  The boys were not impressed with us until they realized that they could try to run around the store making toilet paper forts like their heroes on Youtube do. So, we loaded up the van with all the essentials for a week. You know, mixed veggies, bags of salad, eggs, nuggets and pizza rolls and maui chocolate of course. Basically, we ate the same meals in Maui that we eat at home. And we drove the same van. Because we slay #basic.

img_2937Okay, so after one more quickie stop at Walmart for a booster seat we were officially off on our adventure to our resort. It was so beautiful to wind around the coast and remember all the sights from 10 years ago. The traffic was quite a bit more than we remembered, but there one doesn't even think of complaining when you are surrounded by rainbows and mountains and ocean waves.  The rainbows in this place are just out of control. They just never stop. All over the place.

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We followed this rainbow to its end and wouldn't you know it brought us right to our resort on Kaanapali Shores! :)   The boys were pretty mind blown by the pools and the lights! img_2938

After a quick stop at the beach, we finally headed up to our room and passed out in our comfy beds. I think the kids fell asleep at about 11 maui time. We woke up at 3:45 to them all awake and jumping on their bed! Someone find me a tranquilizer for them!!! Ha!  It was 8am back home so they were ready to roll. I was so delirious at this time that I am pretty sure that I tossed them their kindles (since I was fresh out of child tranquilizers) and went back to bed.  A few hours later, at 5am, I woke up and the only thing on my mind was coffee. So I filled up my mug and headed out to sit on the lanai. Coffee and Maui. <3

Hello, Maui.

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Well, this about covers our first day on Maui. I will be back to share more adventures and photos real soon. Stay tuned. Aloha!

 

Fargo Family Photography | Selstedt | Shannon Heick Photographer by Shannon Heick

Check out this recent fall family shoot! I was so happy when this mom invited me out to their adorable little slice of heaven. I asked her about a few of the things they love to do out at their place. When she told me they had this cute little boat and love to load up the kids and go up and down the river, I knew we had to include this scene in their photos! I love how this turned out! So much fun to spend some time with this adorable little family!  Enjoy!dsc_9115_1  dsc_9268  dsc_9273  dsc_9275  dsc_9289  dsc_9292  dsc_9302  dsc_9306  dsc_9157dsc_9190  dsc_9353  dsc_9369  dsc_9378 dsc_9405  dsc_9419  dsc_9438dsc_9440

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Fargo Family Photography | Hillman | Shannon Heick Photographer by Shannon Heick

Another one of the lovely families who took in the Farm Sessions this year! We had such a blast! The weather was perfect, the hospitality of our farm owners was inspiring, and the ease and fun we had together shooting was just what I long for in my story-telling. dsc_7741  dsc_7743  dsc_7750  dsc_7798  dsc_7847  dsc_7818  dsc_7860  dsc_7781  dsc_7772  dsc_7790  dsc_7970  dsc_7988  dsc_7997  dsc_8001  dsc_8004  dsc_8005  dsc_8015  dsc_8304  dsc_8332  dsc_8416dsc_8436  dsc_8451  dsc_8477  dsc_8487

Fargo Family Photography | Giese | Shannon Heick Photographer by Shannon Heick

So.much.fun doing these recent farm sessions! A huge thanks to J&J for letting us use their beautiful farmstead! I love you guys! Back to the shoot...this family was just so adorable and chill and kind! We had such a laid back and fun time. We even had a few kitties photo bomb our shoot! You know what they say about that right? I've got 99 problems son, but a kitty in my photo shoot ain't one. HAHAAAAAAAAA! Enjoy these sweet photos! Thank you to the Giese family for asking me to photograph your family and tell this wonderful little story! I still have a few openings for September and I may do another set of farm-themed photos if there is interest. Shoot me a message here on the contact page or on FB if you want to chat! dsc_7592 dsc_7627 dsc_7632 dsc_7645 dsc_7636 dsc_7670 dsc_7664 dsc_7695 dsc_7875 dsc_7905 dsc_7902 dsc_7912 dsc_7941 dsc_7956 dsc_8071 dsc_8125 dsc_8251 dsc_8282 dsc_8287 dsc_8354 dsc_8368 dsc_8371 dsc_8385 dsc_8465 dsc_8466 dsc_8469 dsc_8475 dsc_8482

Fargo Family Photography | Jacobson | Shannon Heick Photographer by Shannon Heick

What a lovely little family shoot to share with you on a lovely little Friday afternoon! I hope you are enjoying your day and that you have a wonderful weekend! ****************************************************************************************************************************************************

I'm starting to book up for fall already so please shoot me an email at shannonjoy06 at hotmail.com or find me on FB at ShannonHeickthePhotographer.

 

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Fargo Newborn Photography | Slinde | Shannon Heick Photographer by Shannon Heick

I had such a great time when this little newborn showed up for his first photos! It was really fun to reconnect with his momma, who went to high school and college with my hubby! This guy was all full of smiles and I think that if you are in need of a happy-boost today, you could do yourself a favor and scroll through this blog post and see how many smiles you can find! Go ahead and try not to smile right back at your computer screen or phone! :) Enjoy. All my love, Shannon Joy

 

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Fourth of July Photo Story by Shannon Heick

Hello friends! It's time for a Fourth of July photo story! I love capturing the moments and freezing them in time and space. But, what I love even more, is the entire process of having them go from inside my camera all the way out to my blog and really, to the world. I think what I love most about it, is turning the photos into a story. Making even more meaning out of a photo with words is my favorite. I find this to be the same for my work for my photography clients. While I love meeting you out in our amazing community and spending an hour or so together capturing the moments, I am even more in love with loading your photos.....picking them out and telling the story of you and your family at this one moment in time. The moments we won't get back. But the photos of the moments are forever. I love telling a story with photos! I love telling your story with photos. So, here we go. This our 2016 Fourth of July Photo Story.

On the drive out to the lake, this is Beckett saying....."I didn't eat any powdered sugar doughnuts, Mom.....what are you taking about?"

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Sand toys and lake views plenty.

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It doesn't take the kids too long before they are doing backwards dives into the cool lake water. IMG_8916

On my Instagram, I captioned this photo "what I love about summer is you"

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This seems even better for that caption now that I scroll down. Oh my goodness....puffy heart emoji anyone?

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This kid. All sorts of spunky and sweet.

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Just digging for clam shells and all. DSC_2158

She caught one! DSC_2174  See, auntie Shannon. DSC_2157

So Tim McGraw wrote this super hit this last year called Humble and Kind. And here he is.

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Grandpa Darrel. Always relishing in any moment he can spend with his grandchildren and his very own big kids.

DSC_2179I love this photo.

DSC_2184  Oh, Alice. Yes.  Whatever you want from your auntie,  the answer will always be yes.

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Alice got to jump in the boat and give orders to her captains.

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Here we go.......

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As my dad used to sing, whilst clapping and entering my room to wake me up at 6am each morning...."let's get ready to rumble!"

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Fireworks on the beach isn't so terrible.

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It's fairly epic, really. IMG_9105

Alice is slaying her smoke bombs. IMG_9094

All the kids. All the smiles.

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My bro-in-law is elusive to almost every camera that gets in his vicinity but I snagged this awesome shot! Yay!!!! Love that guy!

IMG_8967 Artistic sparkler photos are a must.  IMG_9300 Chase walks around the beach like he is the boss of the fireworks show. IMG_9150

Awe. I love snapping the In-Between moments. IMG_9129   Like I said about Chase earlier.....he's got this. IMG_9120

One of my favorite photos of the weekend.

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Or this. What a fun beach memory to watch these guys fly over us, waving all the way. IMG_9264

Back home on the actual holiday, Chase is back to running the show. DSC_2437

A storm rolled in. It was pretty cool looking. And scary.

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{After the storm}

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When I see these glorious sunsets, I am always in awe. Right around the time I was contemplating what to write about this photo, I stumbled upon this little gem in the book of Job. It's quite fitting.  [Job 38:15 MSG} “Job, are you listening? Have you noticed all this? Stop in your tracks!  Take in God’s miracle-wonders! Do you have any idea how God does it all, how he makes bright lightning from dark storms, How he piles up the cumulus clouds—all these miracle-wonders of a perfect Mind? Why, you don’t even know how to keep cool on a sweltering hot day, So how could you even dream of making a dent in that hot-tin-roof sky?

"how could you even dream of making a dent in that hot-tin-roof sky?" I love how he calls it a hot-tin-roof-sky!!!! What perfect words. What truth. The bible just slays me so good.

After riding around on my bike with both cameras, capturing sunset and rainbow photos.....we headed over to the neighbors backyard. Did I ever tell you that we have the best neighborhood ever! I swear. The families that live in our little block are just THE NICEST people ever. We are hashtag blessed. LOL.   So, we pulled up a few camping chairs for Nate's backyard spectacle. He really snagged some nice fireworks this year. We had a blast! :)

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The view from the backyard show wasn't bad either. The entire area where we live was just surrounded in awesome fireworks. I have been in town several years for the displays but I have never seen something quite like this year. Something magical was in the air. DSC_2522  DSC_2528  DSC_2548

After the backyard show was done, the guys had to light the sparklers some how. DSC_2553

Derrick was passing them out like a boss. As usual. DSC_2579

More pretty fireworks bokeh.  DSC_2506  DSC_2505 We ended the night back over on our patio and finished up with  a nice long-distance view of the show downtown. Just L and I getting in a little fireworks patio date while the rest of the house passed out from exhaustion. IMG_9526

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What a wonderful weekend and magical 4th of July evening! I hope these photos made you smile. I also hope you are busy soaking up all of God's glory everywhere this summer. Happy Summering, friends!

Of Tea Parties, Dancing and Dandelion Wishes | Shannon Heick Photographer by Shannon Heick

I am a tad bit partial to this little one.  She happens to very blessedly, be my niece. She also happens to be  a professional heart stealer. If you know my bro and sister and law, and you know her, you know what the heck I'm talking about. Her cuteness is beyond compare. And then she opens her mouth and that little voice just works you right over. Basically, everyone does exactly what she says because it she.is.that.cute. We had so much fun last fall heading out to a fun location and documenting her cuteness. And far be it from me to withhold all this smile-inducing joy from you, my lovely clients. Happy Thursday, friends! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

p.s. I am taking a few more sessions for June and July so please get in touch to set up a time for us to meet up and have some fun together capturing all the lovely in your life.

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Who Holds Tomorrow by Shannon Heick

Z I know who holds tomorrow. Do you know who holds tomorrow?

Let me tell you a story about a bunch of slightly scary tomorrows.

This last winter, my momma was diagnosed with 2 types of skin cancer. Thank God, it wasn't melanoma. It was basal and squamous. But still. Pant. Pant. Gasp. Breathe. FREAK.ME.OUT.

Here is my spunky and funny mom with my dad.  This photo was taken a few years back at their 40th wedding anniversary. These two are just too dang cute!

 

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Here is our whole big happy (most of the time)  family! We have only added one more little one to the group since this photo was taken! This means we are due for an update real soon! Not a baby. A picture. :)

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The obligatory "watch your parents kiss" pose is apparently still popular when all the kids become adults!

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Anyway, back to the story. So I call my mom the day of her dermatology appointment to find out what needs to be done.  She says, "Shannon, they removed the two spots in the office and the Dr. thinks she got it all. They will have to send to the lab to confirm that they got it all." So, I say, "Wonderful, they got it all. We are going to just pray and believe that the test results agree with what they think." In my head, I'm thinking let's pray pretty darn hard that the test results confirm this. Just for good measure. 

{Insert a bunch of praying} I know who holds tomorrow.

Fast-foward a week. Mom is expecting the call on a Monday. I call her about 3 times that day before she got the call to see if she got the call. Sometimes when I'm trying to get ahold of her and she doesn't answer, I do this:

IMG_5532Hahahahahaha!!!!!! I love being a her daughter!

So, she didn'tget the call until the end of the day. It turns out, it's not good. They didn't get it all and she has not one but two types of skin cancer. They will need to go in and do a Moh's procedure, removing layer by layer until they get to the a clear skin layer. Hopefully it's not down to the bone and in the bone. Shit. I know who holds tomorrow.

Procedure is in 3 weeks when a specialist flies in. Procedure is usually an all day process. Bring a sack lunch, they tell her.

I am crapping my pants at this point. However, because I am wiser now, instead of revealing that information, I gather my composure and I say, "Okay mother, this is going to be fine. I will assemble my prayer team in Fargo. You will be fine. We will be fine. I will get everyone praying. God moves when we pray. !" I love these words from Mark Batterson's book, "The Circle Maker." We are going for bold here. No cancer.

 

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Isn't that phenomenal?! God wants our biggest, hardest, and most impossible prayers. Anything else is insulting.  Although, let me say that I don't think this is implying that asking for smaller or less important things is somehow less important or insulting to God.  He is a good, good father. He cares about the things we truly and purely care about, big and small. But I think, perhaps it means when we fail to ask for the big, most important things to us because we think we don't deserve them, or we are being too humble and playing small.... that is insulting to God. We serve the God of the impossible. Impossible is right where God likes to start.  And you know what,  we do deserve our biggest dreams and hopes to come to life.  The resources we have in the living God of Jacob are beyond our wildest dreams. We can't even dream dreams that big. And we so often forget or just flat out don't even know that we have the maker of the galaxies awaiting our requests. This is not to say that God is some genie in a bottle. That we need to just click our heels,  rub his belly on a cross necklace and get a new car. This power and this knowing are much more phenomenal than what the tangible world can grasp. We have at our beckoning call things like: grace, mercy, healing, overcoming, strength of heart, will, courage, inspiration, hope, mindset, focus. None of these things are really measurable and tangible.  When you get into agreement with the fullness of the resources you have in God, it suddenly doesn't matter what you have and what you don't have.   It's a bold living, out of God's unlimited resources, that triumphs over the situation itself and becomes the victory no matter what the FINAL score is. That's right. I said that. As in, it doesn't matter whether you win or lose. It's how you play the game. When we play the game of life in God's economy, winning is realize that you already won when you asked Jesus into your heart and got a reserved seat at the right hand of The Father.

{Insert more prayer and believing} I know who holds tomorrow.

So, a few days later I talk to mom and she is not having a good day. The initial procedure they did has left her skin very painful and oozing and red. She thinks it's infected. So I say, "mother, have you put Melaleuca oil on it?". "No", she says.  So, clearly, I chew her out and tell her to get it doused in Melaleuca oil. What the heck? My mother has been telling people about Melaleuca (the company with the amazing safe products, all founded on nature's powerhouse antiseptic, Melaleuca Alternafolia Oil) for 2o some odd years!   We put Melaleuca Oil on everything and I mean EVERY.THING! It is amazing what it does!  Clearly, mother was so stressed, she forgot. Lucky for her, she has me to keep her straightened out! And just in case you need help pronouncing the word, Melaleuca, here is a hilarious video of my oldest son trying to teach my younger son how to say the word with correct pronunciation. And I mean correct. This is from about circa 2011.

 

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Okay, this video puts me on the floor. I am simply not able to deal with how cute these boys are! But, my oldest rule follower on the left, is in fact correct on his pronunciation. "Mel-la-lu-ka" is how it sounds.

So back to mom. I said, "Mom, put Melaleuca oil on the infected skin and the freakin' skin cancer itself. I swear I have read somewhere that it has some pretty powerful properties to deal with those nasty cells. At the very least, we know it's an antibacterial powerhouse. Okay, Mom? Just do what I say, okay?" I usually do pretty well at bossing her around like that.

So, I take off my invisible Dr. jacket and head to  "the google" to do some research. The infected skin and skin cancer got me thinking about  Melaleuca Alternifolia Oil. Could I have really read somewhere that Melaleuca Oil is possibly a skin cancer fighter? Something rings a bell there.

It doesn't take more than one google search and  then I found this article citing a study out of Australia. And this article. And this article under clinical findings.

So I emailed mom the studies and I directed her to put it on 3-4 times per day. Because I'm a pretend Dr. and just why the heck not?

{Insert more prayer} I know who holds tomorrow.

So, some of you skeptics are over there saying,  "Okay Shannon, you are over here talking about prayer and then you are over here talking about Melaleuca Oil....which is it....hmmmm?"

In the book I quoted above, The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson says,

"Work like it depends on you, pray like it depends on God."

I love that concept right there. We can't just lay flat on the floor, pray and then do nothing and expect miracles. Maybe God hears our prayer and then is like, "Okay, thank you for your request....now, open your eyes, rub your belly, click your heels three times and look down. Do you see what's attached to the bottom of your legs? Child, those are your feet that I fashioned to the bottom of your ankles.  Now, go use them." He might even giggle at himself when he says that. I would, if I were him.

The more I prayed and requested prayer, from my people of prayer in our community and nationwide, the more I gained confidence in the outcome. Yes, I am a positive self-help freak. I am a christian-based, solution-focused, positive mindset style counselor for pete's sake! The science tell us our thoughts highly impact our outcomes. The bible also eludes to this.

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This is one of my favorite concepts taught in the bible. Whatever is lovely....think on those things. And I know who holds tomorrow.

I also believe in miraculous healing. I have had such a healing myself. Many moons back. It's found on my old blog, here. Wow, I am glad that is over. But I am also glad that I had that gift of feeling such a deep need that only God could respond to. And oh how he did. What a glory!

 

Back to our story with Mom. This was more than just a positive mindset. I had this deeper confidence. A faith-soaked confidence. The more I read and re-read the studies and the more I prayed the prayers and reminded my people of prayer to keep praying...the stronger it got. I know who holds tomorrow.

I would talk to mom and say, "Mom, I know what is going to happen. You are going to go in there for the procedure. And I know they told you to prepare to be there for the entire day. Because removal of layer after layer of skin takes some time. And the waiting on the lab results and studying of the skin cells takes time. But, you will not be there very long. I don't think they will find one cell of cancer to examine.  Not even in the first mini layer they take off." Bold.

{More praying. More waiting. More believing.} I know who holds tomorrow.

The day of her procedure was pretty nerve wracking. How many layers? What would they find? Also a holy confidence rested deep in my soul. Speaking of layers. I also had a layer of fear, a layer of doubt, a layer of hope, a layer of trust, and a bunch more layers. At the bottom of those layers, as I said, was a good helping of confidence. Someone from the Nehemiah Project calls it "Godfindence". I'm down with that. I like it. I really do. Godfidence!  I think I had me some Godfidence that day.

I called Mom on the way to the clinic. I called Dad once they got into the clinic. Mom was heading back. So I sent her a bunch of motivational, inspirational texts. If you haven't noticed, I like motivation and inspirational anything.  When they wheeled her in, I sent her this text photo. I know who holds tomorrow. IMG_7974

About an hour or so after our communication had ceased, I got a call from Dad from the waiting room. "Shannon, we get to go home. They didn't find anything. There was no cancer even on the first layer! Your mom is getting dressed now. ". Me: Are you serious? Praise the Lord! Wait, what? You mean? No cancer? But the tests......said.....what? No cancer!!! Praise the Lord!

Do you remember what I boldly proclaimed to my mother weeks earlier, over and over again? Let me just repeat it. It bears repeating.

"Mom, I know what is going to happen. You are going to go in there for the procedure. And I know they told you to prepare to be there for the entire day. Because removal of layer after layer of skin takes some time. And the waiting on the lab results and studying of the skin cells takes time. But, you will not be there very long. I don't think they will find one cell of cancer to examine.  Not even in the first mini layer they take off." I know who holds tomorrow.

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I sent then texted my mom this photo above. All she said on text was, "that is awesome, Shannon." After I got the news from Dad, I called her in her surgical suite and later while they were driving home.  She said, the surgeon and the nurses were really surprised. They said that it's pretty rare for this to happen. She is lucky. She told them that she had a little secret to share with them of what may have caused this. She  told them that she had been using Melaleuca oil on the spots and that there is some clinical evidence of it's efficacy on skin cancer. The Dr. had never heard of it. He wrote it down on his little white tablet, having mom help him spell it out, and tucked it away in his little white jacket pocket. The nurses were really intrigued and impressed. Before she told them all that, she told them that she had a huge team of prayer warriors sending up requests to the One who holds it all. I imagine they smiled. I hope the medical team wrote that one down on the tablet of their hearts. I hope they know who holds tomorrow.

THANK YOU, JESUS. For healing. For prayer friends. For believers. For Melaleuca Oil. For hope. For nurses. For surgeons. For Dads who drive Moms to surgery.  For Godfidence. For my Mom. For all her tomorrows. For all the tomorrows.  And mostly, that I know....who holds tomorrow.

 

Fargo Family Photographer | Matthaei | Shannon Heick Photographer by Shannon Heick

Another wonderful session  at the Orchard with a simply awesome family ! These photos are so beautiful to me. What a treasure......to capture these moments together with your family, in God's awesome masterpiece that is nature.   We really had the perfect evening for these photos, and for that I am thankful. My oldest came along to help out and he had a blast as well! I half want to cry that he is getting big enough to help me, and then another part of me is like, FINALLY...I can get some free labor out of this kid. Lol. He really loves it and was beaming after our session. Of course, part of that may be because the little girl asked him if he wanted to hold hands. Hahaha! This family is so fun to be around and so easy going. We really had a blast! Thank you, Crystal and family for asking me to capture your lovely. Happy Summer friends! I hope to see you soon with your little loves to capture all their sweetness!

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Fargo Family Photographer | Nordhaugen | Shannon Heick Photographer by Shannon Heick

We had a gorgeous evening among the once a year blossoms for this little trio! How sweet are these three?! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I'm still scheduling for June and July currently so shoot me a message at shannonjoy06@hotmail.com, find me on Facebook or shoot me a text or call at 701.238.9547 to book a session!

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Fargo Childrens Photography | Olivia + Owen | Shannon Heick Photographer by Shannon Heick

I have been photographing this adorable little family since little Miss Olivia was a baby! How fun it is to see how she and her big brother change with each season. I was so happy when their momma contacted me and wanted to take advantage of my Spring Blossom Sesssions I put out on my FB page!  (If you haven't seen my new FB page, head on over there and like it so you can keep up with upcoming sessions and specials I am offering!  It's called: Shannon Heick {photographer}  ) Back to our session! We were celebrating Miss Olivia turning two and having some family fun together! This turned out to be the most amazing evening to do our session! I'm so glad we were able to make it work between the rain and schedules!!! It was so worth it! Enjoy!

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Sacred by Shannon Heick

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On my work as a counselor. Our lovely and highly fashionable marketing director at Valley Christian Counseling Center recently asked me  "why do you do this work?"

"Wow! That's a deep question," I said.  I just stared at her with a blank stare. I said, "I'm going to have to think about that. Wow." So I got to thinking. And then I got to writing. And I wrote this:

Counseling for me is a sacred job. A recent quote that scrolled through my FB feed was by the amazing Brene Brown. "Don't shrink back. Don't puff up. Just stand your sacred ground." That quote hits me like like a ton of bricks! It resonates with me so much because of the stories you bring to my sacred counseling space. It is sacred simply because of what you bring.  You bring me hard stories, you bring me scary stories, you bring me funny stories, and you bring me overcoming stories. Other days you bring me brutal stories and beautiful stories.  Glennon Doyle Melton calls these stories "brutiful".  And I get to bear witness to it all.  It fills me up really full when I sit in that sacred counseling space with you and we dig in to those stories together. And in those stories, we start to discover things about your brilliance, your gifts and your God-given resources. My goal as a therapist is to help you discover those resources and to really learn how to "stand your sacred ground".

The truth is, we are all on sacred ground. We are on the sacred beautiful earth that our loving and kind creator spoke into being. Get a load of that! He spoke and the mountains obeyed and rose to their glorious place. With his spoken word, the oceans bubbled up and were teaming with colorful, brilliant life. His breath came forth and produced this splendid, magnificent earth. Think of all the best vacation spots on this planet. Where are they set? The teal waters, the pink sunsets, the dark mountains and the green valleys. The famous vacation destinations are God's glory! I think that creation story alone is pretty darn sacred.  But He didn't stop there did He?! He had another creation in mind after that. That creation is you!  How much more sacred are you, who were made in His image?! The scriptures tell us over and over how valuable and glorious you are. We were knit, each of us together, so uniquely and so wonderfully in one of the most sacred spaces in all creation-our mother's womb.   And then out you came. Into the sacred earth, from your mother's sacred safe haven, to walk our own sacred journey. No one is like you.  No one walks your sacred ground. Just you and if you so choose, your wonderful Savior and His unlimited resources.

To sit in my office across from you and to step into that journey, for a brief period or even for the long haul, believe me when I say, it's a honor.  To get to help you discover your God-breathed resources and to "stand your sacred ground" is a gift back to me for sure. What I do in the listening, in the bearing witness to, in the teaching, in the coaching, in the inspiring, in the praying, in the celebrating of your victories, and even in the tears that my clinical skills sometimes can't contain, is a really,really sacred gift.

Why I do this work is truly out of thanks to the the creator of everything sacred. And from that realization, flows a passion for me to see you step into your God-given resources and to "stand your sacred ground".

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You can contact me at Valley Christian Counseling Center to set up an appointment.

Fargo Newborn Photography | Nelson | Shannon Heick Photographer by Shannon Heick

Hello friends! Before we all get ready to put on our Bison gear and watch our beloved champions march toward their 5th national championship.....let me share this little sweet photo session with you all! These images are almost too much for me to handle! I love doing in home lifestyle photo sessions!  These three are just the cutest together! Enjoy and then GO BISON!!!!! DSC_3633 DSC_3645 DSC_3664 DSC_3688 DSC_3735 DSC_3759 DSC_3815 DSC_3819 DSC_3860 DSC_3841 DSC_3848 DSC_3867 DSC_3902 DSC_3938 DSC_4000 DSC_4057 DSC_4041 DSC_4068

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Fargo Family Photography | Meland | Shannon Heick Photographer by Shannon Heick

This session melted my heart. I really love the moody look of these photos.  I hope to be writing stories and happy stuff and helpful stuff on this blog more often when I am not eyeballs deep in editing. I adore the editing process-it's somewhat therapy to me-so please don't feel sorry for me. I just have lots to write about one day and the gangster mom life keeps me busier than that. What I know is I love to find beautiful things everywhere. And I hope that that passion continues to shine through my photography. All my love friends, Shannon

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Fargo Family Photography | Haugen | Shannon Heick Photographer by Shannon Heick

Oh my lanta! I just have to share a bunch of this session with you! I just love these guys. They are such a fun family and Julie and I go way back!  I love that they asked me to take photos of them in the doorway of their new home with their parents who moved next door. That is even cooler!  I was all over that idea! So fun! And look at these big brown eyes! How can you not love this?  At the end, Henry and I did a private photo shoot for his dinosaur pal. His headshot turned out really awesome.  (It was kind of easy because he didn't move-hee hee). Well, take a peek at my work and enjoy! And happy Fall Break to my local friends who have school off the rest of the week. Yahoo! DSC_2416 DSC_2415 DSC_2412 DSC_2430 DSC_2462 DSC_2833 DSC_2753 DSC_2509 DSC_2535 DSC_2783 DSC_2795 DSC_2253 DSC_2297 DSC_2338 DSC_2969 DSC_2982 DSC_3043 DSC_2882 DSC_2928 DSC_3094 DSC_3080