Mackenzi’s beYOUtiful statement was a favorite for many people: “I am beautiful because I snort when I laugh.” Jessi and I are bummed that we didn’t get a shot of Mackenzi holding her statement at her shoot. With my “foot catastrophe” (I just nicknamed it that. Do you like it?) going on and not being able to make it to the recent photo shoots, Jessi has been on her own. And I have all the supplies for the beYOUtiful statements here at my house and so yeah … that little detail somehow managed to fall through the cracks. So … BUMMER! DANGIT! SHOOT A MILE!! (My high school English teacher used to say that. Isn’t it fantastic? Shout out to Mrs. Ainsley right there. Shoot a mile!) It would have been so fun to get a picture of Kenzi holding her super fun “snort when I laugh” poster. But … can you just imagine it? Come on, you guys. I know you’re creative!
Jessi said that Mackenzi was someone that was really easy to get along with and that she felt “comfy around her from the start.” Kenzi’s best friend Stacey came along with her and Jessi asked Stacey if she wanted to say a few words about Mackenzi. Here’s what Stacey said:
“Kenzi is my lifesaver. She’s my laughing, crying, giggle-snorting bestie. I feel like she’s been around forever, even though it’s only been a handful of years. We take care of each other. We keep each other sane. I hope she knows how amazingly beautiful and amazing she is, inside and out. I love her dearly, and would be lost without her there. I hope she knows that. Love you, Kenzie!!”
I actually really wish that I could have BEEN at the shoot to actually HEAR Mackenzi’s laugh and to hear the aforementioned snort. Doesn’t she look like she has a FANTASTIC laugh?! I can just picture her laughing … and snorting. (And I have a secret, Mackenzi. I snort when I laugh, too. Just don’t tell anyone, okay?!)
Krista and I have known each other for almost ten years. We met on the day we were both attending a workshop put on by a girl (that I had never heard of at the time) named Jenny Phillips on “How to break into the LDS Music Industry.” Jenny had just started a small choir not long before (with about 10 members) that traveled around, putting on different performances each month. I don’t know if, in that moment, on that day, any of us knew how much our lives would change in 10 years. Now Jenny Phillips is one of the top-selling and most-requested LDS singer/songwriter/performers of all time, having put on thousands of firesides in over 30 states and more than 20 countries. And her choir has grown to 140 rotating members. Me (Cristi) and my husband are still singing with Jenny. It has been a tremendous blessing in our life.
Krista, my dear friend, has gone on to be one of the most amazing and incredible women that I have ever met. Ever. She is a writer, a publicist and a photographer (kristamaurer.com). She’s a true modern day renaissance woman. You know how you hear stories of “people who can do a few things SORTA well, but not one thing REALLY well?” That’s not Krista. Krista is the kind of person who can do A LOT OF THINGS. WELL. SUPER well. Sometimes I look at her and think, “My gosh, woman! How is it possible for one human being to have so many talents packed into a single body?!” She must have been in the front of the “talent” line in Heaven. (I think I was somewhere in the middle of that line, KIND of towards the back, while others were pushing me out of the way, stepping on my feet…) But I think what’s even greater is that she has MAGNIFIED those talents in this life. She doesn’t just let them go to waste. And that is a quality that we can ALL emulate – whether we are chalk full of talents like my beautiful friend Krista here or we feel like our only talent in life is … giving hugs. If that is where your talent lies (or is it lays – obviously one of MY talents is not grammar), you MAGNIFY that hugging ability, sister! Hug away! You never know who you are going to bless by utilizing YOUR specific gifts.
On a personal note, I’ve been doing a lot of internal reflecting the past few days. I have been very blessed in my life through the people that I have met. I fully believe with all of my heart that God puts people in our life – specific people – whom He knows we will need for one reason or another – at specific times. We cannot go through this life alone. We NEED each other! One of my favorite quotes is from Marjorie Hinckley. She says:
“We are all in this together. We need each other. Oh, how we need each other. Those of us who are old need you who are young, and hopefully, you who are young need some of us who are old…We need deep and satisfying and loyal friendships with each other. These friendships are a necessary source of sustenance. We need to renew our faith every day. We need to lock arms and help build the kingdom so that it will roll forth and fill the whole earth.”
I am thankful for the people who have been placed in my life. How I have needed every one of them! How I have LEARNED from them!
This photo shoot with Krista was just the perfect reminder of that. Plus, isn’t she GORGEOUS? She has probably the most stunningly beautiful eyes that Jessi and I have ever had the privilege of photographing. Lucky us!