StoryTime WorkShop Re-Cap | Part 1

S T O R Y T I M E    W O R K S H O P    R E - C A P 

Right off the bat, I hoped that the StoryTime WorkShop would be more of a retreat, a vision re-setter, a time to be thrown into someone else's story, a getaway.   There is much I could say, but what I'd most want to tell you about our weekend was the people I met.  Five delightful lives.  I spent a lot of time watching them work, talk and interact.  I love them.  And I love how we all connected.  It's a little risky to say "Hey!  Five strangers!  Come stay in my basement apartment, while my family of nine lives upstairs, and I share the space with you... and my husband!"  If it didn't work, it would have been awfully uncomfortable.  But the magic was there and it was as lively, relaxed and comfortable as I was hoping.  And without further ado, I want you to meet (or re-meet) these savory women:

“Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. 

Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon.  

Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves.  

Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. 

Write like you have a message for the king!  Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.” 

S T E P H   M A T T H E W S  // taylor clark photography
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There's a ring on her hand, and a song in her heart.  I couldn't quite find the perfect word to describe her - she's systematic and thorough and professional and wonderfully clumsy and goofy and fake-gangster.  "My fiance says I'm 'corky.'" Yes! That's it corky.  Cute and dorky ;)  She can barely talk about anything she cares about without crying, and she doesn't know what "half-in" means.  She's irresistible and feisty.  She drips food on herself and laughs heartily while finding a rag to clean up.  She accidentally bumps people when she's talking because the stories sometimes get grander than herself and who can pay attention to arms and hands when you're in the middle of something great?  She's a playful little girl in a statuesque, head-turning body.  She's a strong woman, in a bouncy world.   
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H A I L E Y   H U G G I N S // photos by hailey
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She's Georgia.  Sunny, dimpled, and demure.  We never called her Hailey.  Georgia Huggins, it's perfect.  Especially with that "coquettish, southern girl smile, the kind you could pour over waffles."  She's - to be sickeningly cliche - all peaches n' cream, but let me be square:  she is no fruitcake.  Tough and fierce.  Confidently kind.  Helpfully stubborn.  She's matter-of-fact, business minded, and doesn't take herself too seriously.  I mentioned to her that I love how most of her profile pictures are her making "stupid" (not duck) faces.  "Seriously though, do girls know they don't have to look good ALL THE TIME?  It's okay to look dumb sometimes!"  Her lack of "trying" is one of her most endearing qualities.  Especially when who she is is so light-hearted and nice.  Stubborn, of course.  But sincerely happy and wanting those around her to be happy, too.  She's hard to not be drawn to immediately, and to want to be your sister forever.
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M E G A N  L U C K E R O T H // megan luckeroth blog
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Megan was our brilliant iceberg.   She notices, processes, thinks through, and understands far more than she "hands out."  She doesn't blab or rant.   It's like you can nearly feel the poetry when she is around.  She is one of the most fascinating presence's I've ever met, with an intensely beautiful mind - shaded and shadowed and colorful and vibrant - and eyes that take it in, and lips that speak about it slowly.  You get the feeling that she sees things no one else does.  That she appreciates or is moved by or tickled to laughing-tears by a details that most our world would miss.  But somehow she's not an "iceberg" in the sense that she's impossible to crack or difficult to interact with.  She's so warm and delicate and grace-filled - a calming breeze.  She makes me want to ask her questions and hear your perspective.   
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H A N N A H  M A R T I N // hannah nicole blog
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God decided to describe her with adjectives by making her look like what she is like.   Wide-eyed, specifically.  A short ballerina of a lady, with eyes that are fairy-like nearly confusing and hair that is unruly and carefree.  She asks some of the most heartfelt questions and recites the words of authors easily.  She's chatty and silly and is searching, always.  She is decisive and confident, and sincerely pleasant and inspiring.  It doesn't take long to guess that she is the oldest daughter in a big family - she has that unmistakeable air.  Nurturing, sincere, older-than-her-age, talented, responsible, calm.  You miss her when she leaves.  And learn from her when she's near.
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K H L O E   W I L L I A M S // khloe paige blog
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After she left, I kept calling her "the firefly."  Khloe is a bright young spark, on the cusp of major life decisions right and left.   She was the quickest to laugh, to tell a story, to open up, to talk.  Her heart strings are tied in many places, and she is a family-girl to.the.bone.  She has whimsy in her eyes, and Elizabeth Bennett in her heart beats.  She could weave in and out of nonsense chatter, plunging questions and ideas, and practical steps seamlessly.  She's not afraid - at all.   Timidity is not in her deck of cards.  I sometimes wished I could scoop up a handful of that trait, and eat it like (clean) snow.  I lost that ability somewhere of the years, and she's a dazzling reminder of the beauty there is in fearlessness.
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Ladies and friends, thank you for making my month.  For effecting my life.  Deaths, break-ups, moves, self-realizations, "God moments," childhoods, concerns, wishes - the deepest, realest, honestest ones -, photographs, and stories.  You came open and eager, and I hope you left refreshed and with visions dancing in your head, like sugar plum fairies.  I wish you could come back, now, so I could enjoy in person some more.  But I also love waiting and watching... seeing stories start to pop up on your blogs. I love looking forward to learning more, as you tell it yourself.  You are all dear to my heart <3 p="">


  1. Ah, I love this! Makes me miss everyone. Thank you so much for that awesome weekend, momma Kristen! :)

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  3. I think I'll be going back and reading through this post for days and days. OH. I love this, Kristen. :) Thank you so much for the rich (& restful!) beautiful and fun (& deep!) and heartfelt and just all around wonderful time that it was. :) Miss and love you all SOMUCH.
    ps. also, thank you for the delicious food. we enjoyed the yummy breakfasts, dinners, desserts, and snacks, veryvery much. ;)

  4. Ahhh!! Love this! You have a gift for observing & describing personalities. I could never do this so well. But you... you should write a novel someday. :)

  5. "If you’re writing, you’re a writer." much love in this statement. everyone has their own story, and i love how it is displayed in this post!

  6. Gah. All those gorgeous women! :) sounds like you guys had lots of fun!!!!

  7. these photos are wonderful. and I'll forever be in awe of your ability to describe people so beautifully.

  8. Love this...all the pictures are beautiful, and Kristen, you are an incredible writer!


  9. this is truly precious. i feel like i would never be able to fit in with a group of these wonderful girls, they're all so talented and spectacular and i would be the tony stark of the group. i would consistently mess up, laugh it off, and then mess up again. but i have a feeling y'all would be okay with that, and make something beautiful out of it. brilliant storytelling, kristen. :)

  10. these words and photos are wonderful Kristen and bring tears to my eyes <3

  11. Such gorgeous photographs...what beautiful friends you have! :)

  12. These portraits are lovely :D. And you described Hannah perfectly :).

  13. Can I just point out they all have perfect hair? WHAT, and they're all SO gorgeous!

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  16. This is so beautiful!

  17. wow wow wow, kristen. I have never seen someone describe people the way you do. it is so so beautiful and wonderful and genuine. I absolutely love it and I could truly read it all day. plus, your pictures are just gorgeous! so really, this post made me smile. a lot.

  18. Anonymous12.5.13

    I just love this. stories, stories told with words that we can really relate to. thanks for writing this.

  19. Stories are my favorite, and, dear, you are so gifted in storytelling. Loved getting a little glimpse at who these girls are!

  20. this was so wonderful to read, it warmed my heart through and through


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