We wish you all a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year! God bless 🙂 Kevin & Sydney Ling
On September 22nd, the Ling family surprised Dad for his 60th birthday with a getaway to the Hunter Valley, a beautiful wine region about 2 hours north of Sydney. It was absolutely amazing in every way and here are a few of my favorite captures from the weekend!
We stayed at a gorgeous, Tuscan-style mansion with a vineyard in the front yard and nooks overflowing with vibrant foliage at every turn. We naturally jumped at the chance for a photo shoot. Here are Kev’s Auntie Olga & cousin Angelica striking a pose:
And, of course, Kev being his #asianhusbandofdreams self (Check the hashtag on instagram to see what it’s all about… my husband is the best) 🙂
Back in February, I took a trip with my dear friend Esther Havens to Malawi in southeastern Africa. Before leaving for the trip, I wrote about how the trip came about. (If you don’t know already, I encourage you to take a moment and read that post.) Please excuse the low resolution of most of the photos, as they were taken with my phone. I felt it best to keep my SLR packed away so the villagers wouldn’t feel like they were being “paparazzi’d.” Many months have passed and I’m excited to finally share with you a few photos and stories from the trip!
Today, May 4th, is my mom’s birthday and I just wanted to take this opportunity to love and honor her for the amazing mother and woman that she is.
Mom, you are the most beautiful, courageous, generous, and selfless person I know. I am so thankful that God placed me into your family and under your care. From eating pancakes at midnight in Louisiana to random hangouts with our bus driver’s family in New Zealand to backpacking Europe to hanging with our Watoto kids in Uganda to the day you gave me away, there’s never been a dull moment. You inspire me with your strength and positive outlook on life, despite the challenges it inevitably brings. Thank you for laughing at my jokes (even when they’re not funny) and for chatting with me at any hour about the things that really matter in life. Thank you for believing in me every step of the way. You are the best mom any daughter can ask for.
I love you so much. Always your baby,
Syd the Kyd 🙂
And oh yeah… did I mention she plays bass? Badass.
Syd and I have been married now for 15 months! It’s pretty incredible and we’re back here again in Gulf Shores, Alabama, celebrating Easter with Sydney’s family.
Before the trip, I saw Mom Berry putting together a list of all the great-grandchildren. Every year, she prints t-shirts for ALL the kids at Easter. It’s so inclusive. She makes sure not to miss anyone and double checks so that all of them get a shirt. It reminded me about the list of people we had invited to our wedding day.
(Above: Kev and me at the airport in Sydney before I headed off for my 3-week trip to NYC/Malawi)
Quick update on my journey so far: My amazing friend and travel buddy Esther Havens pointed out that I hit 4 continents (Australia, North America, Europe, Africa) in 4 days… I hadn’t even realized it! Pretty crazy. And kinda cool.
Yesterday (Saturday, February 11 — also my wonderful husband’s birthday <Happy Birthday, Babe!>), we had about a 6 hour layover in London. Kevin had suggested I get in touch with our friend Amanda to see if she was free to come to the airport so we could hang out and catch up. It worked out to be perfect timing!
She picked me and Esther up and we headed to her dad’s house for coffee and a yummy egg/bacon brunch. It was glorious. Plus, we saw snow (I couldn’t even remember the last time for me), and sat inside by a cozy fire in the living room. We also Skyped with Kev… so fantastic 🙂
I’m so thankful for little blessings like that. Amanda, we miss you so much! Thank you for taking the time out to make our day. LOVE YOU! Check out some photos below.
This February will take me on yet another crazy adventure… this time to the Bronx in NYC & Malawi, a small, scenic country in southeastern Africa.
Let me take a moment to tell you how this trip came about. In mid-June last year, my dear friend and talented humanitarian photographer, Esther Havens, emailed me asking if I’d be interested in partnering with her on a storytelling campaign, requested by buildOn. I had the privilege of working with Esther a couple years ago on a campaign and photo exhibit for Watoto. To work with her again would be incredible… so, naturally, I said “YES!” 🙂
After discussing a bit more about the project, Esther and I sent through a proposal to Carrie Pena, buildOn’s National Communications Director. I met up with Carrie at the Ace Hotel in Manhattan last year, all the while learning that we shared a common love for Austin, Texas. The meeting went smoothly and things continued to move forward.
I can’t give away too much about the campaign itself, but I can tell you that it’s going to be AMAZING. I can’t wait to share the stories of the people we encounter on this journey. Many of them will be students and alumni whose lives have been transformed thanks to buildOn’s investment in their lives. buildOn has a 2-pronged approach to breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy & low expectations: building into the lives of American students and then sponsoring them to build schools in communities that don’t have one. Have a look at the video below to learn more:
Stay posted for updates here and on my Twitter account @sydneyberryling. Cheers!
Frontline Renaissance is just ONE WEEK away!
We are beyond excited for these 2 days that will be filled with a fresh word from God, a renewed passion and purpose, and an exploration of what this year has in store. Judah Smith, among many other incredible speakers and experts, will be sharing an inspiring message with the 25-35 community of Hillsong Church (but ALL are welcome!) and encouraging us in our faith and personal walk with Jesus. If you’re in Sydney and haven’t registered yet, please don’t hesitate. REGISTER NOW! You will not regret it!
Come for both days, or if you can just make it for one, that’s an option as well. Check out myhillsong.com/frontline for the details. Also, have a look through the newsletter I put together for the conference (below). We had a lot of fun playing up the 50s theme, with plenty of spoofs and good old fashioned fun. 🙂
Can’t wait to see you there! K+S
If you’re in Austin or know people in Austin, check out the Halfsies Info Session coming up this Friday, December 16th at Austin City Hall. The session will be a great opportunity to learn more about the issues Halfsies addresses, meet the Halfsies team, ask questions, and learn how you can get involved in making Halfsies a real choice for restaurant-goers in Austin. RSVP now! Thank you in advance for your interest in this exciting movement to promote healthy eating, reduce food waste & fight hunger, both locally and globally.
November was a FULL month, to say the least. As you saw on my last post, I headed down to Melbourne for the first ‘Together for Adoption Australia’ conference over the Nov 18-20 weekend. The conference was an incredible 2 days packed with engaging speakers and conversations about how we can better care for orphans and at-risk children, both globally and right here in Australia. I met several people who have such a heart and passion for these children who have been abandoned and left behind, unwanted and unloved.
Here are just a few highlights from my time in Melbourne:
A portion of the Watoto Table in the Exhibit Hall of the conference