Good question, and boy howdy would the full answer to such a question take days on end. But one of the many talents us southerners are born and bred with is the art of telling a story. And if truly gifted, told with a great deal of levity, regardless of circumstances and with the ability to be concise when the need calls for it.
Soooo, let’s see if my momma (from Mississippi… hey, does anyone else spell Mississippi in their head M, I, crooked letter, crooked letter, I, crooked letter, crooked letter, I, hump back, hump back, I, while writing it out? Yep, me too. Oh heck I’ve already squirreled on y’all) raised this gal right.
To do this story justice, I’m gonna need to give you a bit of my personal background…
My parents were, and still are very loving, silly fun, nurturing, faith centered, and some of life’s greatest blessings to me and my siblings. Dad, was a Commander/Pilot for the Navy for all of my younger years, and a Captain/Pilot for FedEX the remainder. Mom, a natural-born leader and sales person…truly this lady can sell cherries to a cherry picker…was a daughter of a preacher man and is a southern lady through and through. God, faith, and prayer were as much a part of our family’s life, as was moving (well at least until dad retired from the Navy.) The foundation of faith, on which my life has been built, is solid and remains so till this day. However do y’all see a pattern…Christian, Militant, Southern home. If you were to say we had rules, high expectations, and standards by which to follow…well then bless your heart, because even our rules had rules. And I am just sayin’, it was not always easy for a sassy, free-spirited, ‘put me in the spot light kind of gal’ like myself to, well…fall in line. However I managed, with their love, encouragement, and a great desire to get myself grown all the way into a responsible adult, and set forth.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago…momma was in town for a month-long visit. Now some may cringe at the mere thought. But fear not, she brought her own home, (one of those big ol’ fancy buses) all kinds of fun treats (like nanas often do), and she, the queen mother (which I affectionately call her, if only to get her goose) cooked for us. ALL month-long!
One evening, we were sitting around after dinner chatin’ when the conversation took a turn to a recent visit I had just had with a friend I’d known for almost thirty years. Momma asked if I had a photo from our visit, as she had not seen this friend for quiet some time and wanted to jog her memory. Being the selfie queens we are of course I had one…okay many. However, the best one housed on my phone was right next to a photo I had taken earlier that same day at the beach. Truth be told, this said photo was taken at a naked beach. And yes folks, I was naked. And said photo was truly not one I wanted to erase cause well… it was good. Dayum good in fact. So I left it, settling the phone onto the photo I wanted momma to see and handing it over. She remembered the friend and commented on how pretty she remains to this day. Folks, it seemed as if all was going to go off without a hitch…. then again…if it had…we wouldn’t be here right now spending this time together. Nope, as I was reaching for the phone momma swiped to the right and got an eye full of her eldest daughter, her prominent breast annnndddd sooooo on. “Breathe child just breathe”. Of course by the next night, we turned that moment into a humorous story on which we were all fully abreast.
Fast forward once again to a few weeks later… I was relaxing…at the beach, when the story and that photo came to mind. Still not wanting to delete, but also not wanting to be ever mindful of what photos people (specifically my daughter) may see if on my phone, I decided to try to recreate the photo. Feeling if I succeeded, I might not be as reluctant to delete the original one. The photo taken second go around, was incredible and all the more gorgeous because I had captured the stunning turquoise waters of the ocean in the back ground. The thought of how uniquely beautiful each and every one of us truly are, surfaced in my mind. And seeing my perfectly imperfect body surrounded by God’s creation…made it all more divinely so.
At that moment a seed was planted…what if I could use my gift of seeing, capturing, and creating beauty through photos and words and allow other women to see just how radiant, lovely, unique, and gorgeous they are? Have watered that “seed” through sharing said photo and story with girlfriends. Each of whom, like me and most others, have struggled in some way or another, to see ALL that we are. We each have flaws, blemishes, and things we struggle with. Yet, when we see ourselves in a gorgeous photo within a beautiful setting, we are able to begin to see past that which has been our struggle. Seeing ourselves as others do, and hopefully also as God does. For, after all, we are created In His Image.
My “seedling” is starting to take shape and will continue to evolve here on “Well butter my butt”. I’ve created this blog to be a nurturing environment in which it will grow. In the weeks to come I will be adding stories and photos of some truly lovely every day women taken while in nature (or where ever they feel most comfortable) with nothing (or next to) but their lovely, perfectly imperfect bodies accompanying them.
For now I hope y’all have enjoyed getting to know me a bit better. Would love to hear from you and get to know you as well. And if you are interested in being a part of the “In His Image” photo project, let’s talk. I promise, it will be one heck of an amazing journey!