Senior Photos: Evangeline Wismer

It was such a treat to spend several hours with Evangeline recently. I thoroughly enjoyed this senior’s laughter and struggle to keep a serious face. Not only is she a natural beauty, she’s smart and is a lot of fun. Thanks for letting me photograph you, Evangeline!

With further ado, more images from Evangeline’s senior photo shoot.






















Top Five Favorite Local Meals


1. Moroccan Tomato Soup & Cheese Scones from Freakbeat Vegetarian

Words fail me when it comes to this meal—it’s that good. I suspect they add magic into this tomato soup (even though ingredients are listed right there on the counter and it doesn’t explicitly say magic) because the flavor is fantastic. It’s a hair too spicy for me, but that doesn’t come close to curbing my desire for it. And the cheese scones? Perfection.

2. Pad Thai and Panang Curry from Blue Orchid

I have loved Blue Orchid from the get-go. Even now that the owners have a great restaurant on my end of town (Issara), I still prefer Blue Orchid. Pad Thai with chicken has long been my standby—it is always very good. But something extra special is the Panang Curry. The flavor of that dish is incredible. The only problem is that I’m a spice weenie apparently and it sets my mouth on fire (even without jalepenos). Still, sometimes it’s worth wading through fire to get to that curry though!

3. Safed Maas, Goa Fish and Paneer Makhani from The Oven

Jeremy took me to the Oven on our first date and it’s had a permanent spot in my heart since then. Once I tasted those Indian spices I couldn’t understand why the rest of the world didn’t cook with this much flavor, too. Oh Oven, you had me at hello. My tastes have morphed some over the years… Safed Maas (when Jose is cooking in the Haymarket) can’t be beat. Goa Fish has become a favorite, too, and finally, Paneer Makhani is my latest pick after a friend in San Francisco made us a paneer dish. I love the textures and flavors of the paneer mixed with the spicy tomato sauce.

4. Brussel Sprouts and Sangria from Sebastian’s Table

Sebastian’s Table is one of my favorite dining experiences anywhere. I love the way people come together over tapas and drinks. I’m completely happy trying out everything on the menu and sharing it with the table while we enjoy good conversations. The absolute must-have’s at Sebastian’s Table are the hazelnut brussel sprouts and the red sangria. I’ve eaten their leftover brussel sprouts days later, cold even, and they are still out of this world. The red sangria might just be the key to my heart. It’s happiness in a glass.

5. Roasted Red Pepper soup at The Green Gateau

There is a lot to like at The Green Gateau, but there is one dish I think about regularly; and honestly, this is the only dish that has tempted me—an extrovert—to eat alone at a fine dining establishment: the roasted red pepper soup. Maybe they put magic in here, too, because it’s unlike any other roasted red pepper soup I’ve tried elsewhere. I like to pair it with their amazing Gateau Spring Salad. And heck, if I’m here for any length of time I am more than likely to order dessert. Delicious.


I don’t think I’ve ever written about food before, but man, I feel passionately about it! I like eating local because I like unique dining experiences and I really like supporting the creative talents of hardworking chefs and restaurant owners in my community. I’m a girl who is sometimes driven by my tastebuds, which are fairly easily appeased. I don’t mind a fast food burger and I’m pretty happy with a fried chicken salad from a chain restaurant. But if I had a choice, I’d choose an awesome local restaurant with lovely ambiance and good friends by my side every night of the week if I could.


Final note: where do YOU like to eat? I’m always up for recommendations.

Autumn in Lincoln, Nebraska

I woke up yesterday to a backyard maple that turned orange overnight. Oh fall, I’ve long resisted your charms since you’re a harbinger of winter, but I can’t resist your colors. Every year I think God outdid himself by creating this season. Trees that turn the colors of flames? Fantastic.







Morning, Noon & Night at Holmes






I found myself at Holmes Lake three times within 48 hours last week, with only an iPhone in my purse. I’m glad for that little camera! You can certainly capture a scene with it.

Senior Photos featuring Evangeline Wismer

My relationship with the Wismer family began many years ago when I was a young babysitter watching my even younger charges. While those adorable baby girls grew up and are now leading lives of their own in another state, their youngest sister is wrapping up her high school career. What a joy it was to spend time with the lovely Evangeline on a perfect fall evening last weekend! More photos coming soon…




Roses, Yellow & Red


Teddy Bradley is One!

Last year I witnessed the remarkable birth of Brian & Maralee Bradley‘s 6th child, and this year I captured him at age 1. Little Theodore is a gift from the Lord. It’s a privilege to watch him grow!










The Topeka Zoo

These shots were taken, oh, four months ago. Yes, I am just now getting around to posting them. I present to you: a bunch of Lawtons at the Topeka Zoo. Also, lorikeets.











Being Exposed, Finding Mercy


I had this trajectory in mind for my life, one where I’d gradually get wiser and more mature and more self-sufficient over time. I assumed that I’d age and develop all these great traits and that I’d need people less. Because, you know, I would have so much to offer people—and somehow that seemed to go hand-in-hand with being a pillar of self-sufficiency.

What I’ve discovered is that, yes, it’s true that maturity can come with more life experiences. And if one pays attention to those life experiences, there certainly can be wisdom gained. But it is absolutely not true that wisdom and maturity go hand in hand with independence. In fact, the opposite is true. In the Christian life, age and maturity leads to greater humility and dependence—first on Christ and second on people.

I first noticed my incredible need for others when we stepped into the world of foster care. We were thrust so far outside our comfort zones that I knew the only way we’d survive would be with the help of those around us. More than the hand-me-down clothing and more than the toys dropped on our front doorstep, we needed prayer. The spiritual truth of our fostering reality was that we were incredibly weak as we served children. In fact, I don’t know that we’ve ever felt weaker. Suddenly juggling the needs of foster children—and the many unknowns—we were also managing all the normal job, household and parenting duties as before. The need for others to pray, asking God for sustenance, felt huge to me. Somehow I knew deep down that I would need to ask for a lot, and thus I immediately set up a support circle who would pray when I asked them to.

A remarkable thing happens when people pray, and I can’t really explain it entirely because it still seems so mysterious to me. God listens. He engages, he dialogues, he answers. And in turn I’m drawn to see his hand of mercy in a new way. But when a need for prayer is opened up to an entire group of people, guess who else sees God’s gracious care? All those people. Together we’re drawn closer due to our communal neediness.

It feels really vulnerable to be the one asking for prayer. Sometimes I feel like a big burden when I ask those closest to me to pray for me. When everyone prayed for our foster kids, it felt easier on my pride because it wasn’t for me! How nice, right? If you know anything about my physical woes, then you know that I’ve had to ask for prayer time and time and time again. And if a large season of time goes by where I’m not asking, it’s because I’m not telling you something. That’s how many physical needs I’ve got going on—I need a lot of prayer. Each time I email a group of friends, it takes a huge dose of humility to press the send button. Deep breath in of need, deep breath out of pride. And in that need, God shows up. He shows up in the words of friends preaching the gospel to me yet again. He shows up in the acts of mercy shown to me by loved ones. He shows up in ways of healing that I’d never choose or imagine.

The trajectory of life isn’t one where I am full of so much strength and goodness that I never have needs. Rather, the trajectory includes my humility, which forces my knee to bow to God’s greatness and requires me to acknowledge the great depth of need I have in all realms. In this I get to see that God is good, all the time; all the time, God is good. And what a beautiful thing it is to see that goodness! I am sustained by his mercy.

Morning Sunlight on Roses