I'm Jessica, the owner of Under the Sun Photography, most days you can catch me chasing my lil son on our family's homestead and fixing up a meal that'll stick to more than your bones., along with baby goats by my side. I love everything about my rural South Texas, our heritage and way of life makes it one of the best places to live, raise a family, and practice photography. Sit back, grab a cup of coffee and feel free to scroll through my blog. Mi casa es su casa. 

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Faith. Words. Diligence. Moving Forward In Your Pursuit of Happiness: A Tribute to Father Alex


Father Alex is provided us with a tearful homily this past weekend at our little church of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Somerset, TX. In his last message he addressed parishioners to abide by 3 simple words when you feel lost or going through life’s numerous adversities. “Faith, Words, & Diligence.” He said that we have so much to be thankful for in our country, we celebrate our independence and are given the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But God wants so much of us than to just live. He wants us to thrive. He wants each of us to live a life where we are in the constant pursuit of our own happiness, to not just live the day to day going though the notions but to be passionate about our purpose that God intended for us to live. He also further stated that if at anytime you feel lost if you practice to grow stronger in your Faith, place your trust in his Words, and Diligently live by the message he has taught us you will continue to move Forward. FWD.

Through this message Father Alex invites us to pursue what God’s plan is for each of us, even if we don’t even know what that may be. To always know that the paths we are placed on in life may not always be easy, but God is placing us on a path that he intended in order to pursue our happiness.

We are given one life to live, to make it ours and to live it in the best light possible.

The power of his message this past Sunday left us in tears. We will miss him as he is moving to impact the lives of a larger parish. We know that it may not be his choice to leave but it’s God’s will to seek even Father Alex’s larger purpose to not only his life in the pursuit of happiness but possibly 100s more.

We were so thankful for his time with us, for the messages and guidance he had given to our family throughout the past 6 years. He was able to witness marriage and be present for our life chapters as we introduced children into our family.

Thank you Father Alex for all that you do and I know and pray that you will accomplish wonderful purposes for so many other families as you did for ours.

Father Alex in front of our beloved St. Mary’s Church. Build in 1933 and has served as a home to numerous occasions in our family. My father was baptized here, these pews were where he began his first round of prayers and then later brought myself along with my siblings, Kristan and Brad to do the same. We were baptized here and prayed together with our small parish of 100 or so members. Every time I step foot in this small rock house church it feels like home.

Lexi beginning her start in the church. Waiting to be baptized!

Sweet Lexi becoming a member of the Catholic Church, baptized in the Christian faith. I am so honored to have been part of this action for this sweet child.

Father Alex with our sweet Alexis Ray just newly baptized into the Catholic Faith. My sister, Kristan along with her husband & my brother in law, Jonathan.

I was so honored to be Alexis’s God Mother and to help guide her in her faith. Her God Father, Tyler a long time best friend to Jonathan also shares this same role.

Such a beautiful little family!

And those fun uncles!!

My parents, “Popo” & “Nana” along side with Jonathan’s parents Teri & Tommy!

Father Alex we pray that your light continues to shine so much through others as it has brightened our lives. Thank you for your years of service to our small hometown parish. We love you and will pray that God continues to guide you in the pursuit of happiness and bring God’s light to numerous families as you have done for ours.

Mucho Love,




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  1. Kristen says:

    Love this story, feature, ADORABLE baby girl, and BEATIFUL photos! Great work UTS!

  2. Such great photos! (@baymur)

  3. Erika says:

    You are blessed to have father Alex in your life and we are blessed to have your blog in ours. Have a bless day. Instagram name: smiley872

  4. Erika says:

    Your baby is so cute. Looking at these pictures makes me want to baptize my 5-month-old baby soon. @smiley872

    • jrakowitz says:

      I am so happy that this blog post could inspire baptism in your family! It’s a wonderful sacrament and the start of wonderful journey in their faith.

  5. Peggy says:

    What a beautiful testimony to your faith! Loved reading this story about your family’s church that holds such special memories to all of you!

    Peggy @pl_georg

    • jrakowitz says:

      Thank you Peggy! Life wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t have the big man upstairs to thank for each day! I’m so blessed to have others that love this vision as well!

  6. Jeralyn says:

    Such precious photos, especially little Lexi and now big Parker! Love the Jenschke clan! @agcommunicator

  7. Courtney says:

    Such a beautiful post! Can’t wait to baptize our 3 week old baby girl in a church that also has family history 🙌🏼 @court956

    • jrakowitz says:

      How wonderful!! I love to see tradition carry through in families and I know the baptism it going to be an absolutely beautiful day!

  8. Megan Martin says:

    Love this!! Welcome to the Church!

  9. Sarah says:

    Love everything about this! (@sarahbnfranklin)

  10. Mackenzie Turner says:

    These pictures are beautiful. Great way to capture this special moment. And man is Parker getting big! Instagram: mackenzie_t8

  11. Meagan Grubb says:

    Sweet post and sweet family! 💜
    Insta: meagan.grubb