Saturday, December 29, 2012


Twenty twelve is coming to a close, and honestly I can't say I'm sad.  I almost am eager to leave it behind, forget it forever.  But I know I can't do that.  Twenty twelve will be branded in my mind forever.  It will always be part of who I am.  But now it is time to let a new year change me.  Looking back at the year, I have come up with some aspirations for the new year, especially dealing with my photography and writing.  
Lately my photography has been so posed, so generic, composed mostly of self-portraits.  I don't see anything wrong with self-portraits; I mean, after all, the photographer of the family is hardly in photos anyways, but I realized that those pictures don't matter.  They look cool, and they get a lot of likes on Instagram (oh, my level of success. fail.) but in ten years they aren't going to matter.  This year I want to capture life.  I want to have pictures that capture a person's personality, a memory, or have a meaning to me.  Without that, I feel as if I am failing myself as a photographer.  This year I want to practice lifestyle photography in my own home, go out on photoshoots with my friends, and just capture my life as it comes.
When it comes to my writing, I've been doing a lot of poetic writing, much like the writing you would find here.  This year I'm going to be using a lot more of my writing here along with my pictures.  I might enter a writing contest, but who knows.  I just know that I don't ever want to stop writing again.  It's my safe place, and it helps me think.  It is how I cope with life sometimes, and other times it's how I rejoice in it.  I never want to lose that gift.
This year I am going to pursue what I love doing.  I'm going to serve with a new purpose.  I am going to write as I think of things and capture as the moment comes.  I'm going to capture life in a new way, and I'm not going to waste a second.  I have wasted far too much already.  This is what I want my twenty thirteen to look like.  This is my aspiration.
Here is a sample of the photography and writing I want for twenty thirteen.
My culture is obsessed with love stories.  We read about and watch them everyday, trying to ascertain our own story.  The want to love and be loved is programmed into us.  We can't escape it.  But it doesn't matter how hard we look for it if we aren't looking in the right place.  There's only one love story that truly matters, and it's not the one on the television.
november 2012

You're beautiful darling, lovely darling, always darling.
I watch you try so hard
make up
laughing when you're supposed to.
Try to fit in 
Make people like the fake you.
But what about the real you
Suffocating in the corner while the fake takes center stage?
What will it take to save that girl? 
What is the air she breathes?
What do I need to do to bring her back,
Revive her again?
August/September 2012

Suddenly I am struck with overwhelming wanderlust.  Faraway places call my name, beckoning me to explore their culture.  They invite me to capture them and the people in them with my lens.  How can I give into this wanderlust when I am stuck in this small town?
November 2012

We all doubt our purpose and question our faith, but only those with the courage to seek the truth will dispel their fears.
November 2012
Words fill my head like music fills the street of New Orleans, clamoring to be set free, to touch the world with their whisper.  I am unsure as I begin what will conspire, for words flow out from me, and I do not control them.  I need only pen and paper and the words I loosely hold will harden into shapes scrawled across the wrinkled pages I love.
November 2012


On Christmas Eve, we have almost always gone to the theater to see a movie.  This year we went to see The Hobbit.  I liked it but was kind of disappointed that they left out certain things and exaggerated others.  But we still had fun.  And when we got home, it was picture time; and since Kenzie and Jett had already thrown out the reindeer food, I opted for glitter photos instead.
Kenzie and I laughed at her blowing face and got glitter everywhere while Ross just stood there and said, "I don't like glitter.  I don't like glitter."
We went to bed late and Kenzie reminded me to wake her up early many times over.  I never did get to do that since she woke up at 2:30 a.m. ready to go and was made to be quiet until 7.  Our Christmas always starts out with one of us reading Luke 2:  the Christmas story. 
 This is Jett's second Christmas and he was so excited.  I've never seen Kenzie so excited and Jett followed suit and proceeded to bang on his tool set in enthusiasm.  He is such a cute kid.
 Stocking stuffers.
 Ryan came for Christmas too.
 This year I was taught about Christmas cheer and finding joy in everything, even when it's hard.  Christmas has come and gone, just as it does every year, but the smiles and tears will be remembered.  How was your Christmas?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

cookies, a photo essay

As a kid I remember making cookies at Christmas time.  I remember making them at my aunt's house and having the power go out.  I remember making them with Ross and Nate in the kitchen and making a gigantic mess.  Christmas is one of the only times we make cookies, or anything sweet for that matter, besides for birthdays.  Because we only make them at Christmas, it's something we remember.  It's something I remember.  We'll decorate them tomorrow and we'll eat them for the next week, and then there will be few cookies in our house until Christmas comes around again.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Time

Christmas is lights and bokeh
staying up late and making Christmas presents at the last minute
figuring out Christmas songs on the piano
hanging lights everywhere for no reason other than the fact that they make me happy
sweaters, pretty magazines, and letters from friends
And most of all, Christmas is giving.  It's giving like Christ gave to us.  It's giving love, time, and attention to those you love and to those who you may not even know.  Christmas is a reminder to not forget others.  Christmas is now, tomorrow, and always.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

oh, my suitcase heart

Oh, my suitcase heart
I could pack it up
And move far away
Far away where no one knows my name.
Oh, my suitcase heart
It's searching for a purpose
Searching for a meaning
Searching for an adventure.
Dusty dirt roads and foreign words
Call my heart to come explore.
Faces of people I don't know
Beckon with a smile.
Oh, my suitcase heart
Longs to be lost in city streets
And wander in forgotten trees.
Oh, my suitcase heart 
Overcomes my logic's mind.
I'm a slave to its wanderlust.
a poem by tessa brooke
december 2012


It's amazing how the allure of unknown places can lay hold on you, almost consuming you at times.  The idea of being anonymous in a place unknown to me is intriguing.  I want to wander and explore.  I want to take pictures of all the people I meet and freeze all the memories I make with a press of my finger.  I want to stand in awe as I look over mountains my feet have never explored.  I want to go on a journey.  I want to rediscover myself and understand why God put me here.  I want to give into my suitcase heart and it's wanderlust.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

the tree story

My family bought a cabin on the Virginia Creeper Trail and for Black Friday we headed up there to ride the trail.  Afterwards we found a place that was selling trees for ten bucks and since this Christmas will definitely not be normal we decided to do something different.  

 we searched the hillside for the perfect tree and the kids ran up and down the hillside.

Even Jett got involved!

 when we found the perfect tree, Travis cut it down and Maggie and I held it in place and totally screamed as it fell down.
 And then the comedy act of dragging it down the mountain ensued.
 And that's the story of how we got ourselves some Christmas trees.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Remember Autumn

Autumn comes, ushering in an array of colors, all falling from the sky.  A warmth lingers in the air as a chill tries to drive it away but it is not yet its time.  The crunch of leaves and laughter fills the urban silence as two girls moves swiftly though the yard, pausing for the older to shoot with her camera.   The younger moves and poses as inclined, smiling and laughing with her friend.
 Their laughter erupts as they attempt to synchronize their jumps and leaves fall all around them.
 No one lingers long enough to smile at the two, who were oblivious to all but the timer on the camera and each other.
 Sunshine smiled down on them, caressing their cheeks. 
 They lifted their face to the sun and laughed away their worries they tended to dwell on too often.
 For a time they did not care how ridiculous they looked or even who might see them.  They didn't worry about whether people liked them, but focused fully on the camera in the older's hand and the kinship they felt.
 Yes, it was a good day they knew.  It was full of confidence, laughter, and music.  Their voices blended with each other, creating a melody the family gathered around to hear.
 This is what they will remember Autumn by.
 The sun smiled as they turned their backs and went back to their homes, knowing they would be back again.

This is one of my best friends, Hope.  She's a beautiful girl and God has great plans for her.  I count it a great joy to be her friend.  And let me say, she makes a great model!