I've been in Florida this week visiting family. Tomorrow I'm shooting my cousin's wedding. It's been a great time so far. I've loved looking at old photos with my grandparents, playing card games, and not having to live by the clock. That is, not having to live by the clock in every way but one.

My cousin Cady is getting married tomorrow morning at 11am. We're starting portraits at 8:30am and I'm starting to shoot at 6:30am. Which means I have to get up at 5am.

In Florida.

Which is 2am right now in Arizona.

Add to this challenge the fact that I am not a morning person. I'd much rather stay up till 2am than get up then. But I love Cady. And she's only getting married once. So tomorrow I will be getting up at 2am.

In an attempt to prepare my body for this challenging feat I have been willing myself out of bed every morning this week just a little bit earlier. Today I set my alarm for 6:30am (3:30 AZ time), grabbed my camera and headed out to catch the sunrise.

One of the goals on my 101 in 1001 list is to sit and watch a sunrise somewhere cool. We're staying on the beach near Tampa and that qualifies as somewhere cool. So I thought I'd take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy the sunrise. Something I've done.... er...never. I know I've seen the sun rise before. But I think the few times I have, it's always been in the car or while I'm rushing somewhere. I've never just gotten up early and sat to watch the sun come up.

It would have been cool to watch the sun rise over the ocean but since it rises in the east, I found this cool dock on the lake next to our resort and I hung out there. Every few seconds a fish would jump a foot or two clear out of the water and birds were flying back and forth over the lake. It was serene.

I set my camera on the dock railing and took a few photos to create this stop action to remember my experience:

Sitting and appreciating something as simple yet awe-inspiring as a sunrise, I can't help but give thanks to God. There's not much that's consistent in this world. But two things we can count on. The sun continues to rise every morning. And God, our Creator, loves us deeply and without end.

"...for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness." -Lamentations 3:22-23
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