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Kristin Shyla » "A pleasure isn't full grown until it is remembered" C.S.Lewis

Ben & Veronique Beloved.

Veronique is a mother of three. Her everyday consists of cloth diapers, meal planning, coupon clipping, kids crying, kids laughing, spills, lunches, reminders, housecleaning, homeschooling and surprise visits from neighbors…until the door opens at 5:45pm and Ben comes home. A  sigh of relief wafts through the house, he is home!

He plays with the kids, she finishes dinner, each debriefing their day in between instructing their kids, answering emails and setting the table. At the end of the evening, the kids are in bed and tired, mom and dad, husband and wife, are able to lay into each other’s arms and breathe in one another. They close their eyes.  The quietness of the night is the lullaby that puts Ben and Veronique to sleep.

7 + years of husband, 7 +years of wife, 5 +years of being daddy and mommy, 1 year of owning their first home.

Deeper they go. Each day choosing grace, loving in the midst of difficulty, through arguments, unmet-expectations, over-scheduled calendars,  unswept floors and crying out to God for his sustaining power to endure.

Deeper they go. Loving and laying their lives down for each other.

Deeper they go. Loving and laying down their lives for their children

Deeper they go. Loving and laying down their lives for their friends and strangers.

Deeper they go. 7 + years, more long conversations, more kisses, more hugs, more laughing, more dinners, more life together.

7+ years. Ben and Veronique. This is Beloved.

SamSeptember 2, 2011 - 12:13 am

Love them and love the pics! Great job!

Nate & Kate. Beloved.

Nate and Kate. They rhyme. They are synced.  Spending time with Kate and Nate, it was obvious that they are constantly saying I love you. These two don’t necessarily have to use the words, although saying I love you and hearing it is melodious, rather you can see it in how they interact, in their story telling, in their hugs, in their laughter and in their kindness towards one another.

Four years together and they would say “all I want is U” .

Kate is a wedding photographer in Asheville NC. She is actually the first photographer I have ever photographed outside of my besties, Angey Price and Casey Chappell. She and I met through a photography workshop called, Branches and Light. We went to different ones, but the wonderful world of facebook connected us! Can I just say that I love photographing photographers.

Kate and Nate loved me well and walked around N.C. State’s campus during the 7 o’clock hour to catch the morning light and a coolness that sometimes accompanies the morning. Although it wasn’t cool weather, I was with two uber cool people.

Nate & Kate Monroe. This is Beloved.

ShannonAugust 20, 2011 - 2:01 am

Beautiful!! Love the Beloveds!!

SamAugust 20, 2011 - 2:00 am

I LOVE these and your last post! SOOOO great! Them kissing in the tunnel and up against the graffiti wall are AMAZING! And the b/w against the brick wall (5th pic) in your last post…love love love it! God has given you such talent and creativity, friend!

Casey ChappellAugust 20, 2011 - 1:24 am

Okay…Them kissing on the bike rack or kissing in the tunnel needs to be a BIG ol’ Canvas hanging in their home!!! It’s AWESOME!!!!! What a great thing for photographers to do that we don’t do nearly as often enough… get our photos taken of us in our life with our loves!!!! You can tell they totally love each other!!! <3 Love this shoot!!

Gray & Aimee. Beloved.

She laughs and smiles like me.  She is tall and I am short. Growing up we used to turn the pages of the Sears catalog and pick out items to decorate our homes (along with picking out toys and hoping that Santa would leave them for us in December). We rode through neighborhoods and looked into peoples windows and both longed for houses with stairs.

She was home when I got home from school and gave me sheets when I went off to college. She gave me her couch when I needed some rest and comforted me when boys came in and when they left. We ate together, then got fat together, then worked out and lost it together.

I was in Raleigh and she was so far into the country that her words became thick with twang. When the days became dark and the seasons long and grim, we became prayer partners and 6am phone chatters.

Time passes so quickly.

She met someone who is amazing and I moved to TX to do something amazing. Our phone chats heightened then tapered off as she became involved with the man that would turn her world upside down and inside out.  My phone rings, she tells me, I am getting married, we found a house and I am scared and the happiest I have ever been.  ”Does it have stairs?” I reply.

This is my sister, Aimee, and her husband Gray and this is Beloved.

This is me and Aimee. She is so beautiful!!

AimeeAugust 21, 2011 - 6:37 pm

You are amazing. The words you wrote to go along with our pictures……made them even more precious to me. I love you.

KIMAugust 19, 2011 - 11:14 pm

TWO of my favorite girls who have grown into beautiful women! Inside and out. Love you as if you were my own (because you are!)

Casey ChappellAugust 19, 2011 - 1:02 pm

amazing!!! love. love. love. What a precious tribute to your sis. :)

Mama WuzAugust 18, 2011 - 11:25 pm

Kristen, I just found your blog through fb. This is an absolutely beautiful post and tribute to your sister. I know she must be so proud of you! The pictures are beautiful – just as you have always been.

An invitation to dine.

I have been back from Raleigh, NC for 2 days and I feel like I am in limbo. Out of place, not sure exactly where I am, where I am going or where I am supposed to be. Do you have that feeling? Kind of wandering. I walked around today  thinking about wanting to feel a sense of belonging, to have roots, be known, to host dinners and have people come.

I thought about this longing that wells up deep within as I poured coffee and asked 100 + people today and every day “How are you?” to which they respond “well” or “good”.  Each face that crosses mine with a glance and a shared smile and an exchange of pleasantries I wonder, what is it that you do when you get home from work?  Dinner, laughing, gym? What is it that I do?


My mind went to two things, food and God. Not in that order, but I did think.. what can I make to eat that will help me to feel as if I have belonging, something that is stable, secure and deep. I immediately thought Lasagna. One, because it is Italian and makes me think of the mafia and large family gatherings but also lasagna is a secure and comforting food that that has layers, makes a ton and is often better the next day. I too think that friendship is excellent at the first taste, but is better with age.  After it has had time to chill and let all of it’s flavors absorb into one.

Lasagna seems like the perfect non-limbo food and more like a settled down food. So I am going to make one and I would love to invite you all to dinner.   You all could come and have a bite of lasagna and begin to taste the comforting layers of friendship that only gets better with age..

I am feeling more attached already.

image taken from:here

@shellyeveSeptember 1, 2011 - 8:46 pm

i will gladly take a slice and i’ll bring a pineapple upsidedown cake with me for dessert 1. because it’s my best dessert :) and 2. because friendships are always a bit better when life seems a bit upsidedown – i love processing life in community(especially with cool unique fruits like pineapple)
love you.

AimeeAugust 9, 2011 - 11:40 am

Do you know I made Lasagna after you left? OH, and chocolate chip cookies. I miss you so much. Taking a sip of coffee from your San Fran mug to make the lump in my throat go away. Luv you sister.

Kristin ShylaAugust 9, 2011 - 1:06 am

You are so kind Lieutenant! I am so so happy to serve you! See you soon!

Christian HarveyAugust 8, 2011 - 4:57 pm

Hi Kristin!! OK, so now I’m KICKING myself for just now going to your sight. Your images are amazing. Honestly, there are a few that kinda choked me up (as I hand over my “man card”), not for any particular reason other than, well, the moment shown was touching.
You have brightened my day in yet another way. Less tangible than coffee…but this one will keep me smiling all day.
Thank you

To whom it may concern.

To whom it may concern-

As I was flying to NC from TX, I was shuffling through all the songs on my ipod while reading a book on “Speaking the Truth in Love”, I came across this song that  Lauren Hill, remade.  Just a warning.. I will sing this to you. It wont sound melodious, but I can rock out on an air-microphone.  It will be full of exaggerated emotion but I mean every word and already do.