life & light : my first photography workshop


[originally posted here]

i’ve toyed with the idea — largely due to having received so many requests — of having a workshop that would teach folks how to use their DSLRs the way they were intended to be used. it’s a real need. i mean, more and more of us have taken the plunge and purchased a nice DSLR camera, with high hopes of having better pictures to show for it, and then it somehow disappoints a bit. we realize that a good camera doesn’t automatically lead to great pictures. truth is, we have to learn how a camera works, what exposure is and how you achieve it, how to compose an artful image, how to meter and focus, etc. etc. if we don’t know how to do those things, the “Auto” setting is all that remains available to us, but “Auto” — though smart in certain ways — is not ever going to be a great photographer. because of this, i like the idea of spending a chunk of time equipping people to learn how to use the fantastic camera they’ve invested in, empowering them to take shots of their families and personal lives in a way that they can feel good about.

but there are lots of workshops out there to teach the technicalities, both online and in camera stores, and from other photographers. you don’t have to look far to learn how to use your DSLR.

so if i’m going to do something like this, i want to bring my unique self to the table, offered up as a gift to those who might feel inclined to receive me. and i think my particular gift, my niche, is this: to notice ordinary moments and to capture them in a way that let’s you see their beauty. this is the feedback i get the most often, and it’s also the gift that lays behind my two specialties of family photojournalism and birth photography. it’s how i photograph my own family, too.

that is what i hope to offer to you in this workshop. i want to invite you to sit in my living room around my wood stove on a wintery day. i want to offer you pastries and coffee while we sit down and have a conversation not just about the technicalities of DSLR use, but also about our lives. i want to take time together to practice gratitude and noticing and light.

i want to talk about how to use a DSLR with technical skill for the larger purpose of celebrating the life that’s unfolding around you, in all its glorious ordinariness. 

here’s what i’m envisioning it will look like: the first part of the day will be spent learning the how-tos of DSLRs while we sip our hot beverages, then we’ll move into conversation about telling a story with our photos and “finding beauty.” we’ll have a yummy lunch together while we talk more. then the afternoon will be space to practice what we’ve been learning and discussing, through a few different invitations.

because i want to keep this highly personal and want to give each participant the attention he/she deserves, space is limited to 6. so if this resonates with you, listen to that, get in touch with me, and register now.

i am so stinking excited.




12 hours after putting this workshop “out there” online (facebook, blog, email), it was completely filled up.

i feel like i’m onto something here. like i’ve stumbled onto a path that is right, which utilizes the unique giftings and competencies (photography, hospitality, seeing deeper beauty, encouraging women) Father has given me by His Spirit. i suppose this is because the entire vision and most of the details came flooding into my head space during a community worship session, and i had the distinct feeling it was from the Holy Spirit.

doing this sort of things — as cheesy as it might sound — really makes me feel really alive. if the glory of God is man fully alive, than i hope this brings Him glory.

feeling so blessed today.


the iPhone

is here.

to celebrate, here are two images i’ve already created with my various camera apps (yes, i’m a total dork):


and so, in the interest of maintaining a rather public accountability, and keeping open this valuable conversation about when we use our technology and how, i want to share with you my iPhone rules (Draft #1, subject to revision or amendment i’m sure).

first of all, my over-arching mission with integrating the iPhone into my and my family’s life is that it will be:

  1. used to celebrate and document our family life (e.g., photos and video, note-taking, blogging)
  2. a tool that aids in my household manager roles (e.g., budgeting, cooking, banking, organizing, planning)
  3. a connecting point with the wider world that will then nudge me to pray for and to encourage others
  4. something that will simplify and streamline workflow so that i can be MORE present to my real life rather than less
  5. a method of clearly communicating with my husband (sharing to-do lists, synching calendars, using the same budgeting software)
  6. a gift for enjoying my geeky photographer interests! 🙂

secondly, i have carefully chosen what apps are and are not going on the device.

these are the apps (apart from the built-ins) that i’ve chosen to install:

  • VSCO Cam, Instagram, AfterLight, and Over (yes, 3 camera apps. this is, afterall, the biggest reason i wanted an iPhone!)
  • Gmail  (i’m looking forward to being able to drop friends a quick note when i’m thinking of them)
  • LMCU (our credit union’s app for depositing checks and checking balances and paying bills)
  • You Need A Budget (the budgeting software that is changing our lives)
  • Wunderlist (to-do list organizer because I write a million lists)
  • Calendars 5 (google calender synced with Tim’s)
  • Pinterest (for easy recipe access, mostly)
  • Olive Tree (a Bible app; i’m not sure i’ll ever want to use it as much as a paper bible, but it’ll be there just in case)
  • A Flashlight app (so i can read in bed without disturbing Gus, who still sleeps in our room)

these are the apps i’m choosing NOT to install/use:

  • Facebook (FB is my gateway drug into the never-ending exploration of the corners of the internet. i figured that if i just left it off my iPhone, i’d be about 60% less likely to end up surfing all over everywhere online, thereby becoming disconnected from the life that is actually unfolding in front of me in the physical world.)
  • Safari (I disabled it) or any other internet browser (i’m not as firmly committed to this one. I just wanted to see what it was like to use my phone without it. I suspect that having it disabled will streamline my use of my phone to truly meaningful purposes. during the day when i inevitably think of something i want/need to look up online, i can just make note of it in Wunderlist and then when i’m at my desktop computer at a designated time of day, e.g., during naps, i can pull up the list and use it to direct my browsing.)
  • Games (well, i’m not a gamer anyway, so this isn’t really sacrificial, but i’ve been told games are huge time-suckers)
  • Notifications

third, i’m forming rules for the conditions/places in which i will or will not use it. here’s what i’ve got so far:

  1. meal-times are phone-free times. the phone don’t even come to the table.
  2. there is a docking station for the iphone and it will “live” there rather than in my pocket when we’re at home. the docking station is pretty centrally located so that i can grab it to shoot a photo or video in relatively quick fashion, but it will not be so near that I can reach over to grab it absent-mindedly all throughout the day.
  3. i’m thinking of setting up internet-free time each day with tim so that we can be more likely to connect. but this isn’t established yet.
  4. unplugged sabbath days (exception: only to look up information about or directions to someplace we want to go)?
  5. i will absolutely use it to read an article or email a friend or peruse the instagram feed while i wait for my kid to fall asleep, or during nap times.

and now, the disclaimers: 

you may think, “gee whiz, this lady is seriously over-thinking and over-managing her iPhone use! lighten up!” and i see why you say that, dear reader, i really do. but i know myself and my tendency to get snared into escapism and time-wasting on social media, the internet, and techy gadgets like this, so it feels wise to go in with a plan, and with intentions that can guide me. not to be all legalistic about it, but simply to keep choosing the life that i most deeply desire to live (which is not, it so happens, a plugged-in life).

also, it should just be said, i am in no way suggesting that the above “rules” ought to be universal. each person will have his/her own considerations in thoughtfully engaging the technologies in his/her life, and the conclusions that are reached are not as important as having taken the time to think it through.

and i know that all of what i’ve written above will probably not work out quite as cleanly as i hope, precisely because i drafted it up before i actually acquired and began using the iPhone, and also because i’m sure there are things i haven’t anticipated. so we’ll revise as needed. there’s so much grace for this process. so much.

thanks for going on this journey with me! i think this is an important conversation to have. and i would really really love to hear more from all of you about this subject. comment below!

when you buy a house that’s too big for you


well, it doesn’t feel too big. in fact, it feels spacious and open and rather wonderful.

but the objective reality is that it really is too big. 6 bedrooms for a family of 4 is really a bit too much.

so when you find yourself in possession of such a house, and when your heart belongs to Jesus and He enlarges it in such a way that you have room in it, too… then you start to wonder about how you might be able to fill that house, grow that family.

  • will you have more babies?
  • will you adopt a baby? a child?
  • will you invite a college student to live with you?
  • will you foster a child in the US foster care system?
  • will you foster a refugee child? or one fleeing to the US to seek their parents?

each of these become real possibilities, as you’re pouring over adoption blogs, listening to the stories of folks in your community who’ve been foster parents, and keeping an eye out for a young person who might benefit from a family to live with for a season. and you keep asking God to lead you into the particular way that He has designed for you to fill that home and that heart of yours.

you find that as you move forward with this you don’t feel like an emotional crusader, intent on rescuing “those poor orphans” about whom you feel heavy-laden with anguish and worry. instead, you’re surprised to find that you’re rather matter-of-fact about it: you say, “we can do this, and this matters to God, so why wouldn’t we do it?”

you hope that doesn’t sound flippant or naive; for it is neither.

this comes after knowing about the hard parts, the stories that are really terrible and have not yet seen the fulfillment of the hoped-for redemption. this comes knowing that there will be a million small deaths to die every day, a lot of discomfort, and a lot of exhaustion. this comes knowing you will be changed.

but a lesson a wise woman taught you long ago is this: there is joy on the other side of obedience. and you have seen that truth demonstrated in your life enough times by now that you’re willing to believe it will be true in this case, too.

you also know that God provides everything that His people need to do the things He asks them to do, both emotional and practical. He will provide the bigger car and the extra beds. He will provide the spirit of adoption in your heart.

so you leap…

5 (backyard garden, year two)

i ordered the seeds this week. lots of them.

chard, kale of two kinds, spinach, lettuce, golden tomatoes, zucchini, patty pan squash, watermelon, green beans, yellow beans, carrots, purple carrots, basil, cilantro, marigolds, red cabbage, green cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, garlic, beets, bell peppers, and more.

i don’t know what i’m doing. but this year i’m determined to learn as i go.  i am confident that SOMETHING will grow, and probably quite a bit. last year’s negligence showed me that God is the one who grows things, not me. 🙂

we have 8 8′ x 4′ raised beds in the back yard. i suppose the soil needs some prepping, but then they’ll be ready to receive seeds and seedlings. i have territorial seed’s garden planning software to help me know when to plant each thing indoors or out, and to help me determine spacing. and i have a gardening book about companion planting that’s helping me know what to put together in each of the beds.

we’ll transplant some raspberry bushes from the boiler room yard, and some strawberry plants from another lead. and we’ll get the tomato and pepper plants from a friend of the boiler room who works at a nursery.

and we’ll start composting at last, i hope.

i am looking forward to this. i am looking forward to showing hazel, right from the beginning, how food grows. i picture her chubby little, dirt-smudged hands carrying a fistful of peas or basil. ah. i love it.

on the act of giving birth, and the community that catches our baby

last night tim and i went to see a little documentary on natural childbirth and midwifery called Guerilla Midwife. the film was being screened at a vintage community theatre on wealthy street. we walked in to a crowd of pregnant women and women wearing their babies, childbirth educators, doulas, and midwives. they were a crunchy crowd, and a passionate one. there was literature out about all the natural childbirth and parenting resources available in our community. we found out that following the movie there would be a panel discussion made up of labor and postpartum doulas, home and hospital midwives, a natural health practitioner, and an OB.

Guerilla Midwife follows the story of one particular woman who practices at a small clinic in Bali, offering free or reduced-cost midwifery services to families in poverty. she and her team deliver over 700 babies each year. they do it because they believe that there is a correlation between gentle birth and world peace, just as there is a correlation between violent birth and war. they believe this because we are beginning to learn from science and research that there is a delicate cocktail of birth hormones released through the process of birth and in the hour immediately following that is vital to the bonding of mothers and babies, and that when natural birth is altered or interrupted (e.g., in the case of caesarean deliveries, epidural use, induced labor, and the whisking away of babies from mothers within minutes of their births), that cocktail is disrupted, causing hurdles to mother-child bonding as well as breast-feeding. what, they wonder, are the long-term consequences of this on a society in which 30%+ of babies are being delivered in ways that routinely disrupt that vulnerable period? does it inhibit the ability of humans to love one another as well? we know that in monkeys and other mammals, when their babies are delivered under the use of epidural or via c-section, the mothers will reject their young and refuse to care for them. as humans, our higher brains and our spirits enable us to adapt to such disruptions so that even mothers who have their babies by disconnected or traumatic avenues are still able to love their babies and be wonderful mothers. but are we making it harder on ourselves than we need to?

this is just the beginning of the many issues being explored in certain circles, and by science, regarding child birth practices and birth culture in our society. it provokes me.

i want very much to deliver our baby at home, but we’ve ended up choosing the compromise of using a nurse midwife in the context of the hospital, perhaps with the addition of a doula to our support team. and tim and i are learning about Bradley childbirth methods, which focus on intervention- and drug-free labor and delivery with the husband acting as the primary coach to his wife. we feel good about this course of action. i have a conviction that is deeply important and vastly impactful to my baby and my empowerment as a woman HOW i move through the birthing process. i do not want to be numbed, nor to take shortcuts, to getting our baby out of my womb. i want to actively participate in her birth.

i realize that this sounds silly or like needless suffering to some. i know mine isn’t the only perspective.

but however we each decide to birth our babies, one thing that i think we can all agree upon is the importance of birthing our children in an atmosphere of support, safety, gentleness, and great love. a lot of times that atmosphere is hard to find in a hospital, where there is so much fussing and intervening and worrying and screaming. and for many women they don’t have the supportive village of family and friends who speak the truth over them that they were made to give birth, and that they are adequate to do that work, just as they are adequate to parent their children.

i know that so many women give birth with fear and dread, and alone (either literally or because their family and friends are emotionally absent or abusive). i know there are lots of woman in my westside family who have given birth alone and in fear and covered in hatred or anger. and it impacts families. those beginnings matter.

so as i sat listening to the film and the panel discussion, i was washed over with gratitude for the choices i DO have in how to give birth. i am so grateful to have access to midwives who work with our medicaid status. and i am even MORE grateful to know that our baby is coming into a loving and safe marriage. and not only a healthy marriage and home environment, but also into a community of people who are literally THRILLED that she’s coming. our community considers our as-yet-unborn daughter a person and a soul, and they pray for her regularly, as well as for me and tim and our birth process. they can’t wait to know her name, to hold her, to help us to care for her and to raise her. and these people who will be the welcoming committee for our daughter are loving, Spirit-filled people whom we deeply trust. she has a slew of neighbors already claiming titles of honorary aunt- or uncle-hood. what a joy it will be to share our child with this village, and to let her newness and purity be a testimony of grace to a neighborhood of broken families. knowing that this is the life and landscape that our daughter will come into puts me at ease in so many ways and boosts my confidence in our ability to parent well. and hearing the birth stories of women in my life encourages me that i can do it, too.

moving ahead with my photography

(i also posted this here, but wanted to throw it up on this blog as well)

it’s time to stop and reflect a moment on what’s transpired and what comes next for “brooke collier photo“, because there’s been so much motion in the growing of this little fledgling business of mine, and for those of you who read or care, i’d like to share some of it.

what’s transpired for brooke collier photo?

is a year full of rapid growth and learning. most of it happened because i started networking. i took on assisting gigs with kevin and kelsey, talked shop for hours with patricia, passed on some of my knowledge to kelly, read a multitude of photography blogs, and practiced by taking daily photos.

i feel so pleased that my work is becoming more truly “brooke-ish.” i think that i’m starting to get my own look/style in photographs. i feel more confident in my technical skills than ever before.

and, especially, i feel so grateful for the photography community both locally in madison and across the US. there’s such a spirit of collaboration and support, which is such a nice change of pace from the cut-throat competition that exists is so many other industries.

and, of course, it also feels great to have finally taken the plunge into having a photography business that is actively TRYING to grow and expand, rather than passively waiting for a few friends to notice that i take pretty pictures and hire me to shoot something here and there. marketing and networking are challenging for me, but it feels brave and exciting to go ahead and go for it!

what’s coming next for brooke collier photo?

we’re moving to Grand Rapids, MI, tim and i. we’re moving back to re-join this funky and delicious little prayer community on the west side; a place where i have known jesus most potently and tasted the impact of the kingdom of heaven. we’re so excited to take up residence there, and to undertake some of the work of that community. and, i am looking forward to resuming the work of photo-documenting the life of the neighborhood and ministry, as well as doing something like help portrait there.

i’m looking forward to booking MI weddings for 2011. brides, if you are out there, look me up and we’ll sit down and talk over a delicious beverage and begin to imagine our collaboration for creating a set of lovely images of your wedding. or, if you now brides-to-be, let them know that i exist and point them here.

one thing i hope to do this year is pay it forward by freely sharing some of the little that i know with someone else in the industry who knows a tad less than i do. no need to be competitive or hoard trade secrets, right? share! i have been given so very much this past year by photographers who are a few steps ahead of me, and i want to pass it on.

i’ve discovered this year that i really love doing senior portraits. i’d like to do more of them, and am hoping to find a couple of great seniors in Grand Rapids who will be ambassadors for my senior portrait services in their high schools by first allowing me to photograph them, and then spreading the joy.

“i crave photography,” wrote one photographer on her blog (i wish i could remember where i read that). i resonate with that. making images is something that i crave, something that gives me so much energy and happiness. and i want to have this thing in my life for a very long time. the thought of being able to grow it so that it is more and more my only job is… well, it almost seems too good to be true.

thanks for reading, for being along on this journey with me. i hope to see some of you in front of my lens this year.

(leave a comment and say “hey”)

The House

we found what we believe to be The House. it’s down the street from the Stockbridge Boiler Room, next door to a crack house, and around the corner from the neighborhood liquor store. yes, these are selling points. because, the way we see it, this living in the thick of it is exactly why we’re going to grand rapids. it’s part of the obedience. and so there’s this joy, too, because God’s Spirit in us makes us want (sincerely) what He wants.

today, in just a little while, i’ll complete the mortgage application. we look risky on paper because we are relocating, and therefore cannot show the lender that we have 30 days of solid work history in Grand Rapids. but. we have a co-signer (thank you!) and we are hoping that she will cover the gaps in our application. you can pray alongside us, if you want.

and then there’ll be lots of work. the floors need to be sanded and re-finished, the ceilings need to be re-plastered. we need appliances. we need new windows. we want paint in lots of colors. and other small things. but none of this is impossible, and we have a few amazing people in corner who love stuff like this and are standing ready to aid us in sorting it all out and doing it all on the cheap, but with style.

the yard of this house, you wouldn’t believe. it’s magical.

so. standing here poised to perhaps step into one of my deepest wishes: the ownership of a home. i’m nervous. i feel really vulnerable to ups and downs of this process because it’s so close to my heart’s desire. pray that i’ll have balance, that i’ll cling to jesus and not have fear.

making space

we’re sensing God’s invitation into a quiet and set-aside time for reflection and evaluation. to simplify things around us in order to better hear His voice and to receive from Him. less input from other sources and less output coming from us to the world at large.

and so, tim is on a sabbatical from boiler room leadership, so that God can be allowed to speak into all the questions He’s put on his heart.

and i… i am just creating more space in other ways, mostly, as a Lenten discipline, pushing the pause button on most internet-related hobbies. this means that from now until Easter, you won’t read my words in this space, won’t see my photos here or here, and i won’t be keeping up in that small, daily way with friends on facebook.

i’ll miss these things in a way, but i am excited to give  them as a small personal offering in order that i might gain richer things.

may this season of lent be rich for each of you.

the obligatory new year reflections

it’s not something i habitually do, preferring instead, like a typical Enneagram Type 4, to avoid doing whatever it seems most people do at any given time…

but this year, with so much on the horizon, and many things bubbling up in our collective heart, i couldn’t help spending a little time looking ahead. these are not new year’s resolutions, exactly, but sketches of what might be.

first, i made an inventory of the responsibilities, commitments and obligations we already have. then i looked at the ones we might end up soon adding (indicated below by question marks):

  • Campus America prayer-room planning
  • Transit mentoring
  • Boiler Room leadership (meetings, gatherings, teaching)
  • Big Oak  and REM (our day jobs)
  • Some independent and contract photography work
  • keeping house (laundry, cleaning, organizing, etc)
  • menu planning and cooking
  • blog and photo projects
  • one another’s well-being
  • helping our families with some things
  • pastoring “the little church that could?”
  • buying a house?
  • starting a family?

and i thought, “looks like we might very well get over-committed here, if we’re not careful.” i wondered about what will be the most important things to protect… and in knowing what to guard, we can make decisions about what to take on and what to let go. and this is what i came up with:

1. simplicity – sustainability

to me, this means our life pace is restful, with room to breathe, our physical spaces are uncluttered with things requiring our attention or creating distraction, and we keep our rhythms of sabbath rest and daily prayer. i don’t want to feel like we need to escape into vacations.

2. intimacy – relationship

to me, this means that t’s sphere and mine overlap significantly, that we have a few deep relationships with folks we see at least a couple times per week, that we stop to listen to jesus at every turn, and that ideally we live geographically and relationally near to a few close friends.

and i don’t ever want to get busy doing good things God hasn’t called us to do. (so much spinning of wheels).

when i think about quality of life — what, to me, keeps life glimmering and hopeful — these are the markers of it:

  • reading and writing
  • keeping up with friends
  • taking photographs
  • sit-down, home-cooked meals, often shared with others
  • visits to family in MI
  • adequate sleep each night
  • prayer rhythms with community
  • silly dancing in the kitchen
  • annual pilgrimages
  • practicing hospitality (overnight or just for meals)

in other words, if those things started to slip, or to become rarities rather than regularities, it would tip me off that a little re-evaluation is called for. and, as best as we’re able, we’d adjust. because this is, perhaps, part of what sets us apart from “the world”: that we don’t knock ourselves out, but are people able to be still and know our humanity.

finally, i wrote a 101 in 1001 list. i was inspired by a wedding photographer i follow, who has done similarly in a recent post. the idea is that you write a list of 101 things you’d like to see happen in the next 1001 days. if you’re interested, here is MY 101 in 1001.

expand my territory

He said, “stay; I have something for you here.” so we’re here still, staying, as we’ve been told. and in the staying, He’s changing my heart so that it wants to stay, to nestle in, to put down roots and spread out branches. and He’s been talking a lot about things like building family, and He’s been giving us hunches.

in our tender-shoot Madison Boiler Room, He’s moving us on the grassroots level. we are seeing life over small things like dude church and chick church and evening prayer, and other off-shoot, spontaneous activities. and we’re wondering together, if this is a FAMILY God’s building, what will the family tree of the Boiler Room look like?: maybe like all of us (now well established and raised to maturity in the family of the core team) growing up, getting married, and having babies, so to speak? yet still being brothers and sisters with one Papa, who go to one another’s soccer games and chorale concerts, who help one another with home repair projects, and bail each other out in times of trial. and now that this vision has been settling into my spirit, i can see that He’s already been moving in that direction. it’s not like the revelation of this “Building Family” strategy requires us to abruptly switch course, because He’s already set the course, and maybe now He’s just drawing our attention to what He’s been doing all along.

i never want to resist the river of God.

so that at this point, to buy a house in this neighborhood seems like an act of obedience. it says, “i have heard you, God, here i am. i will make a home here, plant a garden, buy and sell, and seek the peace of this city to which you’ve carried me.” and it just so happens that there’s a house, sitting a few blocks from here, empty and weary and in foreclosure, which means it is in our price range (as nearly no other at-assessment-price house in the city would ever be). we like where it is, and we’ve begun painting pictures of our lives unfolding in it’s rooms. we drive by it almost every day, and ask God please to reserve it for us, until we can creatively come up with cash for closing costs and a wee little down payment. because once we’re in it, it’ll be cheaper per month than our apartment is, and that would be good. and we could make some room there, even more than now, for sheltering folks and having babies.

meanwhile, all within a week following christmas, our dearest little hobo church (aka “the little church that could”) has suffered the loss of it’s pastor and the death of it’s director. all of this within 2 months of our discovery of the little place. for these two months, t and i have simply been showing up there, keeping our mouths shut and our ears open, waiting to see what God might have in store for us there (because we suspected there was something). and it might just be that he wants to give it to us, in part or in full… somewhere between the pastoring of the church services and the taking on of the entire non-profit (!). our new friends there, who don’t really know us from Adam and haven’t seen our credentials seem to think we might be the answer to some of their prayers, and they wonder if we’ll take it on. and i am sitting here in stunned disbelief because i have fantasized about this, but didn’t dare to expect it, nor even to ask for it. there are big ifs and hearts that need softening and legalities that need sorting… and the call to an internal commitment in our own hearts to say yes to this crazy venture, even when there are so very many unknowns. we’re doing research, uncovering historical information, and trying to listen to God’s heart for this little piece of his family. as pastor bill said, during his final sermon, “this isn’t bill’s church and it isn’t ___’s mission; it’s God’s. and God has a way of providing what He needs.”

God help us! how large are these things we’re asking you for! ready our hearts to carry them, if you do indeed intend to entrust them to us. in all things, may you be the One who is recognized as redeemer, provider, and breather of life into a just-born boiler room, an old house of Fifth street, and a weary old Mission.

anell reminded me today that we don’t do any work; we simply join God is what He is already doing. and when that’s the case, things fall into place with surreal ease. the sort of unfolding you witness and then say, “i can’t believe this is happening, but i saw it coming.”