Heather Meyers Photography bio picture
  • Shalom!

    Hi I'm Heather. I'm the photographer.

  • 3 Parts Indiana Jones Adventurer
  • 2 Parts Artsy Visionary
  • + Dash of Earthy, Hippie Chic
  • Yep, thats me.

    I'm based in South-Central Pennsylvania, but I travel a lot, so I specialize in contemporary portraits wherever you are!

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{BLESSING BOOK} Week 44-48 | A Vineyard Thanksgiving, Nursing on a Camel, and Pickaxes for Toddlers

I’ve had this post open on my computer for many days now, plugging at it one-handed whenever I can. But I’m determined to finish out the first year of the {BLESSING BOOK} project! Only a few more weeks to showcase before I can put together the hard copy for print!

So here are November’s weekly blessings and a glimpse into our everyday life….

Week 44 October 30-November 5th

{The Grape Harvest Coming to an End}

Harvesting the Israeli vineyards in Judea and Samaria is one of the most amazing things a person can be a part of in my opinion, and we’ve learned and experienced so much working with HAYOVEL . And as the vines began to drop their crimson leaves and the huge dolevs full of grapes were filled for the final time, we can reflect on what impact this has on our family, our communities back home, and the world. Since we Believe in the God of Abraham Isaac, and Jacob, these prophetic hills in the land of eternal covenants is a precious place, worthy of our time and investment.

{“I Meeese Daddy”}

I think in today’s world, a father’s role in his children’s lives is something that is often sacrificed. Which is why I admire all the more how Jacob loves his little boys and is increasingly ‘around’ more with the changes we’ve made in our lives. So it was one morning when Jacob was gone that I found Asher in tears, and when asked what was wrong he said in a such a sorrowful little voice  “I meeese Daddy”. I told him not to worry, but he would be back in a few hours. It amazes me that a child as independent and headstrong as Asher still has sensitive heart-ties with his family that can’t be compromised.

{An Epic Struggle in Tight Spaces}

We have lived in some tight living arrangements in the past handful of months, so here’s some proof that our ‘glamorous’ adventuresome lifestyle doesn’t find us at the Ritz. It’s a fun challenge to see how to pack all of our belongings into a functionable room, which is often like a big jigsaw puzzle.

Now it was over a couple of days that I was trying to keep the boys sequestered in our room with our essential oil diffuser diffusing Thieves at full blast because the rest of our house-mates were inflicted with a nasty stomach bug. So I was tickled how Asher occupied his time. He was in his own little world, engaged in some type of epic struggle that had him dramatically scaling the stack of tippy suitcases, only to throw himself heroically into one of the cribs. He would emerge dramatically from the pile of covers gasping ‘help help’ to his fictitious buddies, only to scale the maze again, jumping from crib to suitcases, to crib to bed. Over and over. It was hysterical to watch.

{When You Don’t Have Toys, You Go Fishing}

Being that we travel very light, we don’t have much in the way of toys. But that means we just have to be creative with what we have around us. This particular day I tore some bamboo rods out of an old smashed mat I found, and gathered various bits of string and old rubber. I then proceeded to make Asher a fun playhouse (ie bamboo teepee) and a fishing rod (bamboo rod with rubber stripping). He fished off the porch most of the day.

{Getting to Experience an Israeli “Autumn”}

Autumn is my favorite time of year back home in Pennsylvania, as it begs for cozy sweatshirts and hot apple cider. I have missed fall for the past 4 years because we are usually leave the States in the summer (hot) to go to Israel (hot). Several months later we then leave Israel (still hot) to go home to find winter (cold/wet/snow). However this year we have been in Israel longer and it also was unseasonably chilly in the later harvest. I got to see leaves change color. I got to sit around blazing campfires. I got to bundle up in cozy sweatshirts and wrap my babies in big blankets so we could eat our steaming dinner. I got to experience an Israeli, vineyard-worker type of Autumn. I’m happy.

{Asher’s Charm Making Him the King of Free Stuff}

On our traveling adventure to PETRA, Asher showed us how one can become “King” of getting free stuff from generous and hospitable Jordanians. We hadn’t even technically crossed the border yet as our passports were being checked, and Asher wandered into a little souvenir shop. He was greeted by a sweet young man who began to try and befriend him and shower him with gifts. Asher remained in his cool, unexcited, ‘I’m busy looking, I’m trying to ignore you’ mode as the young man began giving him candy and keychains. He sat Asher on the counter, who was thoroughly engrossed in one of the lollipops, and dressed him up like a camel driver. The guys waved excited good-byes as we left, as Asher stumbled out of there with his pockets full of lollipops and trinkets, a necklace around his neck and a headdress on his head. All free. Being a cute curly-headed blonde has it’s obvious perks.

{Best Nursing Pit Stop Yet}

Considering I’ve been nursing solid through the past 3 years (get one-baby weaned and it’s time for the next, seems like it’s becomin a cycle) and we’ve traveling like gypsies, I’ve had to nurse in a variety of very interesting places. But this tops them all I think. You see, I’ve been a huge Indiana Jones fan ever since I was little. I wanted to travel the world and unearth dangerous, hidden treasure, and have adventures that one would gasp at.

Well, I am actually living a version of that life and when we had the door open to go to PETRA (which is a big part of the final Indiana Jones movie “THE LAST CRUSADE“), I was more than elated. So there is something strangely fulfilling about sitting down to tend to my babies  at the base of the MONUMENTAL TREASURY, a familiar icon of my childhood dreams. I’m pretty sure this checks something off of some list I have somewhere.
{Horseback-Riding with our Whole Family in the Jordanian Desert}

Can a 8 month old and 2 Year Old ride horses through the rough desert terrain? Um, duh, yeah. While in Petra we had some guys who were more than anxious to take us on an hour exploration of the rocky Jordanian desert surrounding the tourist-filled Petra. Now with Jacob and I playing a convincing round of a good barterer/bad barterer routine (kinda like good cop/bad cop), we struck a deal after they came down to a fraction of the original price (plus we got them to just throw our friend Taylor into the deal for nothing).

So I strapped Zevi on my back, popped in a new camera card, and we had amazing time. I was a bit alarmed more than once at the terrain we were traversing. This was no leisurely hiking trail. As my horse’s hooves were frantically pawing at the slick rockface we were climbing, I was running bailing scenarios through my head if the horse fell (“K, well I guess I have fig out how to grab Zev, which means I have to throw my camera. Fiddlesticks. Maybe I could cushion both and just brake my arms??….”)

At the end my legs felt like jelly and I could barely grasp anything with my one arm/hand (I was holding onto the horse the whole time by my knees so I could shoot one-handed with my very heavy Canon 5d MII and 24-70mm 2.8 L), but I would definitely do that again!

{Zevi: Master Taster of Foreign Soils}

I think Zev is developing quite the palette for varying desert sands and dirt of different nations.

{Having Tea}

When beckoned to a small little trinket tent on one of the snake-paths through Petra, I stepped into visit and drink some tea with some very hospitable ladies. As was becoming custom, Asher and Zev were bedecked with more free trinkets and necklaces. The tea was exceptionally good and I ended up purchasing a little bracelet as thanks for them putting up with my big camera.

{Getting to Show my Boys the World}

Traveling with your children is the most amazing and exhausting adventure you could ever have. But as long as I can survive (current plight is how to get enough sleep and how to keep some meat on my bones) then I think it’s a grand endeavor to pursue!

{The Lost Art of Walking Like a Camel}

I turned around to find out where Asher had scurried off to next and saw this. Man, I love this kid. Instead of cowboys and Indians, my boys are gonna play camels and desert-adventurers. O yeah.

{When Your Nursing Cover is on the OTHER Camel}

Yes, that’s right. I was on top of a standing camel when Zev started freaking out on my back in the middle of our ride. So I managed to unstrap him from my Ergo and bring him front without dropping him 10 feet to the ground. I considered trying to nurse him up there, but realized that my nursing cover was on the OTHER camel (don’t ya just hate that!) plus staying seated myself and gripping my heavy camera was a harder enough feat on it’s own on a walking camel. I’ll leave that for another adventure.

{Asher Becoming a Tourist Attraction}

This goes to show if you are in Petra long enough, you will become part of the attraction. After a long, exhausting day for un-napped Asher, the narrow SIQ leading out of Petra provided him many places to climb, jump, and collapse when exhausted. Here he was taking a bit of a breather, which apparently amused some passing tourists.

———

Week 45 November 6th-12th

for zions sake

{Inspiring Young Men with A Purpose}

We couldn’t endorse these guys enough. At the end of working the harvest this year in Israel with HAYOVEL, a band of young strong men is going on the road to share what they’ve experienced in this land, and to show you how to be a part. They are FOR ZION’S SAKE, and you must go to their WEBSITE and find out how you can MAKE A STAND for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We did a very impromptu photo shoot so we could design their promotional materials and throw up their website. If you haven’t watched the compelling music video I BELIEVE, then please WATCH IT NOW and share with all you know.

{Experiencing the Real Judea and Samaria}

You often here things in the news recounting all the injustices and problems and dangers of the the “West Bank”, most of which are wildly distorted if not completely fictitious. This area is more accurately called Judea and Samaria, and is where 80% of your Bible happened. We have spent a lot of time living and working and serving in this ‘crazy dangerous’ place, and would challenge everyone to come and experience the Heartland of Israel for yourself. You will see with your own eyes the reality of life here, of the exemplary characters you will meet like the man above who have devoted everything to prospering the land and preserving the things of God for their children and grandchildren. It is inspiring and convicting all at the same time.

{How a 2 Year Old Can Dance with the Best of Them}

My Asher is amazing. If you didn’t already know that. He has whole dances memorized and isn’t intimidated to jump right on in with an high-energy dancing crowd. I want to have a dozen boys so we can have entire dance troupe that can dance with passion and excitement and prove that boys/men CAN dance and be cool!

{My Little Archaeologist}

We had the privilege of working in the archeological dig on the ancient Tel of Shilo, where the Tabernacle stood for nearly 400 years, 3500 years ago. It was amazing to unearth pottery and bones and artifacts that haven’t been seen in many hundreds, if not thousands of years. I kept Asher from throwing a rather large and thick pottery handle back into one of the buckets. We found out later it was from before the time of King David. Good call on my part. But being there with an abundance of dirt and tiny pick axes and mazes of string, it might have been considered “Asher-Heaven” (which translates to “Sphere of Major-Stressed-Outed-Ness-for-Mama”)

{Adopted Family}

It doesn’t take long when you live in close-quarters with other people, to bond and become like family in many ways. One of these people is Mr. Kenny who became an extra grampa of sorts to Asher, who calls him “Ash” and buddies with him just like his actual Sabba.

——

Week 46 November 13th-19th

{Redeeming Tragedy for JOY}

As I look at this photo, my heart simply swells with the warm memory of this amazing evening. But one must first present the horrible tragedy that came before this joy. Earlier this year, a heinous SCENARIO OF UNSPEAKABLE EVIL struck the thriving family-oriented community of Itamar in Samaria, Israel. Two Palestinian youth broke into one of the homes in the middle of the night and brutally butchered an entire family, to include the parents, their 2 sons (4 and 11 yo), and returned to the house to silence the 3 month old baby girl they heard crying. The only ones spared were the ones they did not find, to include 2 boys, 8 and 2 years old, and the eldest 12 yo daughter who returned home to find the scene of the massacre. They did eventually catch THE MURDERERS, (18 and 19 yo) who gave a prideful and “shocking, cold, remorseless“ account of their crime, not hesitating to say they’d do it all again.

But what was left for the community to do. The Jewish response has generally been characterized by rebuilding and commemorating, proving that standing stronger is to heal. Retaliation serves no purpose. There was an American Jew Jack Ross who resonated with this purpose as well, and had a Torah Scroll that was rescued from the Holocaust restored and donated it in the memory of the Fogel family.

So I was there to COVER THIS EVENT, where they whole community gathered to partake in writing the final letters of the scroll, to rejoice as they carried it to it’s new home – a new small synagogue built on a quaint little hill. With their children on their shoulders, and throngs of young men dancing and joyfully singing, the crowd walked the same long path that the murderers took, redeeming acts of evil for the Lord’s enduring goodness. Redeeming tragedy for joy. It was an amazing thing to witness and experience.

{{{{Edited to add>>>this story, like so many in the Jewish existence, runs full circle back into the realm of tragedy. Several weeks after this event, the government brought in Arab workers to DEMOLISH THE SYNAGOGUE and it’s surrounding community, and the Torah scroll confiscated.}}}}

{My Photos Making the Front Page of Israel National News}

I have been thoroughly excited to see my photos MAKE THE FRONT PAGE of ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS on several occasions. The most recent of which was the Torah dedication in Itamar.

{Zev Walkin: Aka Chair-Pushing}

Now even though Asher was walking by this age (8.5 months), there is no hurrying Zevi. He sticks to crawling, although he does enjoy a good chair-scooting every now and then.

{Best Baby-Food Feeder}

Mr Kenny also has not only won points with being Asher’s buddy but he is also a top-notch baby-feeder. It was this night when Jacob and I were feverishly working on getting the FOR ZION”S SAKE WEBSITE off the ground, that he stepped in and offered to take care of Zevi, even though he already has 2 other grandbabies to vy for his attention!

{Our Little Room}

A few books and a bowel of oranges makes our new little room in Jerusalem not so small as I try and work on projects in my ‘office’ (ie laptop atop camera case on bed).

{Chair Tunnel Mazes}

During Bible Study on Shabbat, I bent down to see the world through Zev’s eyes, through the maze of chairs in the packed room.

{Park Pizza Break}

One day our plans got horribly screwed up because of a miscommunication, costing us many hours of productivity  (and sanity) time. But rather than get upset or count the day as a complete loss, we stopped off at one of our old haunts to get some olive pizza and let the boys play at one of the parks which abound in child-filled Israel. It helped in making it all ‘all-right’ with some time to focus and regroup.

—–

Week 47 November 20th-26th

{Fabulous Dancing Duo In-The-Making}

Nightly worship-time with our household is always looked forward to by Asher as he and Yael waste no time in filling the room with their joyful dancing.

{To See the Everlasting Nature of Torah First-Hand}

As I looked at this beautiful Torah scroll in the heart of Hevron, Israel, I was struck with a thought. Parchment and ink may fade, but the WORDS written on this Torah scroll are as everlasting and timely and beautiful as ever. In this scroll is written these words spoken to Jacob at Beit El:

Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will
BRING YOU BACK TO THIS LAND;
for I will NOT LEAVE YOU until I have done what I have spoken to you.
HOW AWESOME IS THIS PLACE!
This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” (Gen 28:15+17)

We are seeing the take place right in front of our eyes, here in the Land of Israel. What a privilege it is to the everlasting nature of Torah FIRST HAND.

{Wandering Through an Ancient Olive Tree Grove}

I wish I could have spent hours here, just traipsing and taking pictures of these awesome trees in Hebron, Israel. Considering olive trees can live several thousand years and Hevron was the first city of Israel (land bought by Abraham 4000 years ago), I can imagine some of these more ancient trees (and the ones they came from) have seen some amazing things.

{Thanksgiving in the Israeli Vineyard}

We’ve never been out of the country for Thanksgiving, but we didn’t have to miss out completely on the experience as we were able to gather with friends in a vineyard in Israel to celebrate it. After some very hard and long months of eating a lot of humus and vegetables and pita, I nearly dropped over at the sight of the massive food table. The feast was made complete with custom-ordered turkeys (the size of ostriches), green been casserole (with french-fried onions!) and cranberry sauce (both the onions and cranberries were brought from the States)! It was meal that truly warmed the soul on a chilly fall day in Israel.

—-

Week 48 November 27th-December 3rd

{An Aunt to Read Books With}

Asher was a bit taken back one morning when he awoke to find his Aunt Jesalynn sitting at the breakfast table. She was here to spend a couple weeks with us and it didn’t take long for him to warm up  and be found cuddled up on the couch with his aunt reading books like old times.

{A Hardy Next-Generation}

For a little while we were living with 2 other young families like ourselves, and one day we realized that all our babies, aged from 2 months to 2 years, were all pretty evenly spanned 6-8 months apart. So in a rare moment, I corralled all of them to take a quick picture. This is quite a hardly little band of vineyard babies let me tell you. These little guys and gals’ resiliency had to transcend their living arrangements, as they proceeded to pass whooping cough around to each other. But after they can all conquer this lingering sickness they will be all the more a hardy, indestructible band of little people.

{The Most Amazing Man in the World}

No. Seriously. I’ve searched the whole world over and he is the most amazing. Who’s not only a splendiferous daddy and a insanely amazing husband, but is also a business manager for a handfull of businesses, accountant, video editor, media director, intense Hebrew student, strong and steady leader, the perpetual mediator and cool-keeper, communications manager for several organizations, funnest friend, and best Israel navigator ever. and HE’S ALL MINE. **happy sigh**

{Raising a Perpetual Optimist}

This photo is inspiring and hysterical all at the same time. We were leaving the ruins of Cesarea when Asher found his ‘boat’ (ie bathtub) in the trunk of the car where it still sat from our housing move the day before. He promptly took it out with exclamations of  “My Boat! My Boat!”, set it down and climbed in, and remained there like he was waiting for something to happen. When we chuckled and laughed at him, he rethought his situation and climbed out reasoning “Anee Wahwer”. So he grabbed his boat and began dragging it in the direction that he knew the Mediterranean Sea was.

So it reminded me to not be intimidated by my seemingly hopeless surroundings sometimes. Not to get depressed at the ‘lack of provision’, of our boat sitting in a sea of sand. I must rest in the Lord’s very capable hands to provide, and carrying us through no matter what the situation. And sometimes we can’t just sit there in our boat waiting for something to happen. If He says to get up and drag that boat, then drag it we will. Some may laugh at us, but each of those steps will be a part of the needed journey to learn what we need to carry on. So being a perpetual optimist, is, really, just having perfect faith in the Lord’s will… but with a lot of chutzpah and perseverance to back it up!

{Intense Tour Day with Jesalynn}

We had such amazing plans to take Jacob’s sister Jesalynn all around Israel on her 2 week visit, but much of those plans were laid to the wayside as we dealt with our extremely sick little boys. But wanting to put in a rallying last try, we planned an impromptu whirlwind day tour of Israel. The tour began at 4am to see the sunrise over Elon Moreh, and ended watching the sunset over the Mediterranean. In the in-between, we highlighting Israel’s heartland, Judea and Samaria, where 80% of the Bible happened, all while I doctored the boys in the backseat. But it was a beautiful day, touring this land of eternal covenants and its undying beauty and diversity.

{The Ability to Keep Moving Forward}

We’ve gone through a lot of ‘chapters’ in this past year, to include living in and traveling through many different places and towns and countries. And sometimes we have to weigh the toll it takes when living this kind of life with a toddler and an infant, and figure out how to make the balance a little better. And we do. We’ll keep living and learning and tackling the tasks that are laid before us.

It’s during some of the really strained times of the past couple of months (especially in dealing with my sick babies) that I’ve told the Lord, “Okay. I get it. Perseverance is a great thing. Got it”. Only to repeat the same exclamation weeks later. “Okay. No Really. Perseverance. I GOT it. Really. I promise.”. Perhaps I have to be clubbed over the head harder than others to have things really take root, but I’ve realized that when I think I can’t go any further, I CAN. It’s been proven to me over and over. We won’t realize the extent of our capabilities or our hardiness or our resiliency until it’s tried, and cultivated, and tested some more.

So, yes, I’m tired. But really, I know one thing that has proved very comforting. The Lord is very capable to give you the ability to KEEP MOVING FORWARD.

——–

some bonus pictures below!

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Melanie - December 28, 2011 - 11:58 pm

What a deliciously long post, Heather! “I Meeese Daddy” is a classic! That should be published for the world to see somewhere. And “Intense Tour Day with Jesalynn” is beautiful with the flying birds and serene, content feel!
Thanks for sharing. Sent with a blessing of shalom and healing for you all!