When LaMonique and Benaiah announced they were getting married this past New Year’s Eve I cried tears of cotten candy and sunshine! Since they’d been dating, we’ve always played around with the idea of me photographing their special day. With so much creativity in our group of friends I knew I’d play a part somehow!
In addition to being an honorary bridesmaid — I had a blast with my creative partner Rich Griffis capturing this special day. Of all the beachside weddings I’ve had the pleasure of attending, this has to be my favorite so far. After raining literally all week (including the day before and after the wedding) God held out His sunshine for this very special couple!
Enjoy their sneak peek!
Peace & Photos, Joc
Photography & Design: Joc’s Photography and Rich Griffis
Ceremony Decor / Details: Beachside Occasions, Wrightsville Beach, NC
Reception Decor / Details: Essence Events
Ceremony: Pastor Jairod Barnes of Tree Of Life Ministries
This is a beautiful story showing us all what true love looks like. All of us wouldn’t be able to say we’d make it through a love story like this, so just take some time and let the magnitude of this special story sink in.
So the next time you wonder to yourself on the train ride home or during lunch, “What does love look like?” — just think back on this.
The True Identity of Andy’s Mom Makes ‘Toy Story’ Even More Epic
By Jon Negronion February 24th, 2014 at 3:17pm· 375k saw this· 26+ people are talking
Andy’s mom has always been a bit of an enigma. In the first Toy Story, we barely even saw her face. That’s all fine because throughout the movies, the real focus has been on Andy and the love he has for those toys.
But this is Pixar, and it stands to reason that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the Davis family (Andy’s last name).
In order to understand who Ms. Davis really is, we have to start with something seemingly simple: a hat.
In the picture below, you see Andy’s cowboy hat that he plays with throughout his childhood. Study it closely.
Notice anything weird about the hat? It looks nothing like the hat worn by his favorite toy, Woody. Why wouldn’t Andy wear a hat that was brown?
We don’t think about it because most of us are normal human beings with things like jobs and tax exemptions. But I want you to take a quick journey with me: Andy got this hat from his mom.
In Toy Story 2, young Andy Davis left for summer camp, and his mom held a yard sale. “The Chicken Man” found Woody in one of the boxes (he was trying to save a fellow toy) and pleaded with Ms. Davis to sell him because Woody is a collectible from the 1950s.
Ms. Davis refuses, acknowledging that Woody is “an old family toy.” Not that much time has passed between the Toy Story movies, but we know that Andy has had Woody since Kindergarten, according to Mr. Potato Head. Andy’s 6th birthday is in the first Toy Story, which makes him 7 or 8 in this movie. Woody doesn’t seem all that old in comparison.
Further, Woody has no recollection of who he is. Many have suggested that this is because he was owned by Andy’s father, who is never mentioned in the movies. Molly is a baby in the first movie, which means Andy’s father either died or walked out not long before the movies started.
A reasonable assumption is that Andy’s mom gave Woody, his father’s toy, to him on his 5th birthday. After all, she gave him Buzz Lightyear on his next birthday. If Woody had been a new toy when Ms. Davis gave him to Andy, then he would know exactly who he is was, which is unlikely because he is so rare.
Now, back to the hat. I believe Andy received the hat from his mom, as well. There’s another instance in the movies when this hat is shown:
Notice anything familiar? That is the same red hat with a white lace. Why would Andy have a hat that looks exactly like Jessie’s? Because his mom did. Look at this:
See that hat on the bed? Emily, Jessie’s previous owner, wears that hat throughout the “When She Loved Me” sequence in Toy Story 2. The sequence clearly takes place in the 60s and 70s, as evidenced by the decoration and qualities of Emily’s things.
That is about as 1970s as it gets.
That makes Emily the same age as Andy’s mom, who had him in the 80s. They also have the same hat, except the white lace on Andy’s hat is missing, but you can clearly see where it once was. There’s even a faded mark:
That makes this an old hat.
We know that Emily donated Jessie and her other “cowboy” accessories as a teen, so wouldn’t the hat be included? If you watch closely, the hat isn’t in the box. The box isn’t even big enough to hold it.
We do see that Emily has short, auburn hair. It almost looks like…
Albeit her hair in the movies is lighter. Age is funny like that. And yes, Andy’s mom is Emily, Jessie’s previous owner.
Now you may be wondering if Emily/Andy’s mom noticed that Andy suddenly had a toy she once had as a child. Think of it this way: how would you react if you saw that your kid had a toy that looked like one that you had? You probably wouldn’t assume they’re the same, even if you’re in a Pixar movie.
The theory is that in a twist of fate, Emily (Andy’s mom) loved a cowboy toy but gave it away during her adolescence. Her son would grow to love a cowboy toy as well, in a weird way that resembles the strong love she once had. She passed the hat down to him, and as destiny would have it, Andy would one day receive Jessie, as well. This would redeem his mother’s abandoning of her, making Emily’s story come full-circle.
And much like Emily, Andy also grew tired of his toys and moved on. He also gave them away and let them go.
And that, ladies and gentleman, is the true story of Andy’s mom.
Jon is also the author of The Pixar Theory, an award-winning theory about how all of the Pixar movies exist in the same universe and tell one, cohesive story. Yeah, it’s about as ridiculous as it sounds.
HOW WE MADE OUR MIRACLE –post from Melissa Harris-Perry
On Feb. 14, my husband James and I welcomed our daughter into the world. Many people in our lives knew that we were expecting but most viewers of MHP Show were not aware of the impending arrival because I was not visibly pregnant. Now that our baby is born, we believe the time is right to share our extraordinary journey along with the sacrifices and gifts of so many that ushered in this life.
The birth of every child is miraculous. This little girl is no exception.
I had my first daughter, Parker, when I was 28. It was easy. I was pregnant within a month of deciding to try and avoided all of the serious complications and most of the minor annoyances of pregnancy. She was delivered after an entirely natural, unassisted labor. I assumed this would be the first of several pregnancies and that I would add to my family immediately.
Life did not work out that way.
I spent years suffering from the agony of uterine fibroids. Finally, in 2008, after fighting back with an arsenal of homeopathic and medical weapons, I decided to have my uterus removed. I wept for the children I would never have and made peace with the idea that one is enough.
Once again, life did not work out that way.
I had my first date with James a few months after the hysterectomy. When we decided to marry in 2010, I struggled with accepting that we would never have our own children. James loved Parker and suggested that if we truly wanted our own biological children there might be a way to make it happen. I never doubted his parental devotion to Parker, but I was dubious about adding to our family given that I could not carry a pregnancy.
Then I learned a dear friend and his husband were expecting their second child via surrogacy. He is a feminist scholar and a politically progressive intellectual. When I discussed my concerns with the ethics of surrogacy, he understood. He repeatedly talked with James and me, introduced us to a thoughtful attorney, and shared the good and bad of his own surrogacy story. I read everything I could find, consulted everyone I could, and prayed a lot. In 2012, James and I began our journey with enormous faith and more than a little trepidation.
Because I had retained my ovaries, we were able to create our own biological embryos. In Vitro Fertilization was a physically taxing and emotionally brutal process. But for many people, it has changed their lives. A new report, out this week, found that more than one of every 100 babies born in the United States now are conceived with advanced fertility help. Our daughter is now among them. Through IVF, we were blessed with a handful of potential Perrys. One of those embryos led to a moment I will never forget—a text message from our gestational carrier with a picture of her positive pregnancy test and a message:
“Good News Mama!”
My pregnancy with my first daughter was blessedly uneventful; this one, however, was indeed an event. It took two families, three states, four doctors, and five attorneys to get this little girl here. And while our gestational carrier has no genetic tie to our little one, she is now our family. She gave our daughter love, safety, and nourishment for nine months. On Valentine’s Day, she gave her life and placed her in our arms. Her immediate and extended families have supported all of us along the way. They crowded the hospital room this weekend and shared in our joy. We are all bonded for life and our daughter has a bevy of grandparents, aunties, and siblings tied to her by blood and love.
We are sharing this experience, but our gestational carrier and her family do not wish to share it publicly. It is our sincerest hope to protect their privacy as she has protected our daughter.
Now begin the sleepless nights, anxious moments and inexpressible joy of new parenting. We strive to be worthy of the miracle we have received. We are grateful for the support of family and friends that has brought us this far and will see us on through the next chapter of our story.
I am shocked and thrilled to find myself at 40, raising a tween and a tot. I will be taking a bit of time off from hosting MHP Show, but during my maternity leave, you can still join me in a special msnbc Community Challenge called “The Mother of All Politics.” And beginning in May, I will pen a monthly column for Essence magazine chronicling my parenting adventures.