i haven't blogged about this?

Have you ever seen a contest on Facebook, or gotten a phone call about a contest, and you just didn't enter because well, who wins those things anyway? I've entered countless contests and have never won a single thing. I swear there's an exclusive group of "contest winners" and they are chuckling in their pile of cameras and home decorating supplies. I kid. Maybe. ;) 

Diana Palmer (known to the photog world as "Yan") is one of the most talented film photographers out there. She has a brilliant mind and sees people in a fresh, and unique way. Her photography motto is "Hip and Honest Lifestyle Photography." She instagrams at @yanpalmer and her use of light has my jaw on the floor constantly. It gets annoying. ;) 

I saw that Let the Kids (another fantastic blog about fun and beautiful family/children photography) was running a contest. HA. Another contest? Scrolling over that one... on to the next post in my feed! But my eyes caught the words "Yan... Get Back... Workshop." Okay maybe I'll check it out. The prize of this contest was a spot in Diana's "Get Back" Workshop... which is dedicated to helping artists get back to why they became artists in the first place. I was itching to go. I had even talked to my friend Hannah about it a few days before. "I would love to go but, whoooeee the price is steep!" 

You had to make a video to enter the contest. I wanted to go to that workshop so bad, so I went up to the bathroom (best. light. in the house) and used my phone and filmed a 1 minute video. It was choppy, messy, and completely me. I uploaded it to Vimeo and WAITED SO PATIENTLY (...) for Friday to roll around when she would announce the winners. I kept saying to myself, "Ellie, you probably won't win. She will be getting tons of entries. Just prepare yourself." But I prayed. And hoped. And dreamed.  (I've included the video here, in case you haven't seen it ;))

Well Friday did come, and I plumb forgot about the contest. I was laying on our couch, scrolling through my Facebook feed when I saw that Rachael had posted this on my wall.

I caught my breath. "Why would my... what day is it? Oh MY GOSH IT IS FRIDAY." I fumbled around to click on the link and open up the post. I scrolled through all of the pictures (sorry Lexia, I went back and looked at your work, phenomenal, really.) and saw it. 

That... that's my name. It felt like I had been punched in the gut, but in a good way. Is that possible? I literally sprung off the couch and started jumping and running all over the house shouting, "I WON, I WON, I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!"My sisters thought I was crazy. And I was... am. But I felt so blessed and so wonderful in that moment. Still can't get over it. 

A few phone calls to Hannah, and my mom (who was out of town) later and I still couldn't stop smiling. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. As I was thinking about everything, I realized something else. I love surprises. Like parties, visits from friends, anything. I. Love. Them. I don't think that it was an accident that I forgot that it was Friday and that Diana was announcing the winners. God knows I love surprises, and I think He wanted to bless me in that way. How cool.  I am so blessed and humbled that I am able to attend her workshop.

And that's the cool story of the month folks.