Monday, June 30, 2014

The weekend that I got to photograph a special wedding....

I did this 2 weeks ago, but today, the weekend post is overshadowed by a big event that ruled over everything... it was the wedding of one special girl... & I got to be the photographer for the day, getting to share in the amazing day along side her from the beginning to the end...

This wasn't just any wedding.  This was of a young lady that I've watched grow up into an amazing young woman.  I had her in my youth class since she was in middle school, through her high school years & she actually just graduated college a year EARLY ... (hello smarty pants)...

When you work in youth ministry, you love every child that comes in there but there's always just certain kids that connect with you maybe a little differently, a little deeper, a little more personally.   That's why youth ministry needs everyone, people willing to be there - because every kid needs someone to connect with & it's not always going to be the same person....

Brittany is in this group of girls that I just loved & adored with that 'big sister/little sister' connection... I would hurt someone that hurt her... let's just put it that way :)

Good thing she met the most amazing young man who I think was pretty fantastic.  They met in high school & I told her all along, hang onto him.... & she did.  I'm sure its not because I told her to, though I wouldn't mind taking credit for this one... but I know it's nothing to do with anything but how amazing he is, how much they fit together & I love they've made it through the years to get to this point in their life... man & wife...

wow... my mind is blown at that statement... I still see her as a little kid that I want to protect & guide.  I guess I'll always want to do that for her... & all these kids that come up through youth ministry...

I was honored to do their engagement pics last year too

So it was exciting to start the day off with her on Saturday at the hair salon.  I hugged her as soon as I saw her & told her I knew this was going to be one of many of the hugs I gave her throughout the day.  This is why I love doing weddings for people I know.  I get to see how the whole day goes with the people I care about & really try to do whatever I can to make the whole day easier for them...

At the beauty salon... with my phone..

With Brittany & Logan - they are both so laid back that there wasn't anything much I had to do but just snap the day away.

Let me stop & give a shout out to God ... at the beginning of the day, the weather people were saying that it was going to be hot, humid, with chances of torrential down pours - 60% chance!! & Brittany's wedding was an outdoor wedding.  Oh my.  I started praying. Ricky started praying.  I got a hold of some of my prayer warrior friends & they started praying. 

So when I was at the beauty salon in the morning, the rain was coming down.  I was there for 2 hours, left to go to the groom's house to start pictures & yes, the rain was still coming down.  I pull into his driveway & I'm not even joking.  The rain stopped.  I got out of my car, the sun came out.... & the sun was out the REST OF THE DAY!  It didn't even look like it was going to rain one time!  And summer time? Yeah, it was warm, but it wasn't bad.  & during the wedding?  There was the coolest breeze... it was perfectly beautiful & lovely outside.   Tell me God doesn't care about the details.

It was so awesome too that God had worked out the schedule for the Youth Minister that was at our church when Brittany was coming up through the ranks... he was going to be in town at just that right time & he was able to perform the wedding for Brittany.  You talk about a special connection... those two have a father/daughter-like relationship that is so special.  That he was there to be able to perform the wedding... I get teary eyed...
At the rehearsal
... I totally snagged someone's FB picture...

I loved seeing him & his family as well.  So great to catch up on things, to talk about how life has been, it was a blessing to my heart to just hug them & let them know how much I really love them all. 

Side note - their whole family is leaving in 3 weeks to serve for 3 years in a mission in Nicaragua ... how amazing is that...

For me, the best part of the day was when we were back at the house & they had taken a golf cart full of bridesmaids back to the wedding & it was just me, the bride & her mom waiting for the golf cart to come back for the trip of a lifetime.  It was a perfect time to say a prayer over Brittany & just praise God for the direction He has led her & for this young man he created just to be her husband through her life... that moment alone was the best part of the day for me... I was so honored & blessed to be there with her & her mother.

Of course, pictures were uploaded yesterday... it only took about 5 hours to upload 13 cards that were full... its ridiculous how many pictures are taken on a wedding day. & I never want to get rid of any of them.  They are all special on laying out how fun a day is...

I've already finished the hair salon pics & started on the groom pics...

here's a sneak peek of Brittany after her make up was on...

So you'll know where you can find me over the next few weeks... edit edit edit edit edit... & more editing

It was a wonderful, but busy day....I started the day at 10 am & got home at 10:30 pm ... I've said it before... wedding photography ain't no joke...

My feet after the wedding
... just to gross out your Monday...


& another side note... Sunday was pretty neat too because our Grandbuddy Emerson got to make her debut at church for the first time.

So many people excited to see that beautiful face.  I can't blame them...

So how was your weekend?
Get to enjoy a beautiful wedding?
Get to love on a sweet baby?
Get filthy dirty feet doing anything fun?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Finding Beauty Vol. 9

I'm joining up again for a link up with the beautiful & talented Aimee at This Darling Day for another edition of Finding Beauty...

This Darling Day

I literally took my camera & walked around my house for 15 minutes & took pictures.  It's amazing what you find beautiful when you look for it... things you'd otherwise walk past...

Find some beauty in your day today....

Life is short. 
Smile while you still have teeth. ~Mallory Hopkins
(my poor Bruno has lost the majority of his teeth... poor old grumpy man)

If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to be begin with.
~ L. Frank Baum

Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot
about little puppies.
~Gene Hill

A weed is but an unloved flower.
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“If you don't own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.”
Roger A. Caras

Feel free to join in with us on what you found beautiful this week


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Thursday, June 26, 2014


If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.
It will change your life mightily.
~Gerald Good

06.19.14 Light Skies /  Late Evenings
Its the one thing I love most about summer.
Late evenings.
I love when you can be outside at 8:30 or 9:00 & its perfectly light outside.
Nothing better.
06.20.14 Winner!!!
I had 'jokingly' said on Twitter I better win some Bondi Bands because I had entered in every running friends contest that was giving some away.
& I WON!
Not one, but TWO Bondi bands! & even got a bonus set of pink shoelaces.
& now?  I LOVE these things!
There is one on their site that says, "Jesus is my running coach"
OH.MY.GOSH!  I have to order that one ASAP!
06.21.14  Seeing these sweet faces
The session I got to do Saturday was family & I don't get to see these people a lot... which is a shame because I think they are pretty spectacular
... but I love that even though I don't get to see them often, as soon as these girls see me, they still run to me & give me the best hugs!
Nothing better!
06.22.14  Grandbuddy visit
We got to stop by & visit Ryan & Chasity & see this sweet Emerson on Sunday.
She was still a Tron Baby with her jaundice but we were lucky enough to still get to hold her for a little bit before she went back under the lights.
06.23.14  Smiley Text Messages
So if you got this in a text message, wouldn't it make your day too?
06.24.14  Computer Break
I decided not to even turn on my computer when I got home.
I know after my wedding Saturday, this little baby right here will be in my vision most of the day... so for one day, I said Nope - just enjoy a easy, lazy night.
06.25.14  Bullet Journaling
So I am now OBSESSED with Bullet Journaling.
I've been doing it for a week now & it's already saved my butt a few times on things I need to do & things I need to remember.
You can check out the site
& see their video & their thoughts on it.
But know you can make it SOOO individual.
I'm thinking of doing a VLOG to show how I've made mine work for me.
There are tons of videos on YouTube to see how others have done it as well.
What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Here we go... Hodpodge Time

1. What summer activity most takes you back to your own childhood?

Going with my grandmother to my aunt's pool.  It was a beautiful pool & so much fun to swim alone or when my cousins came over & get to swim with them.  The best part?  There was a Moby Dick literally right behind them so we'd walk over & get fried cauliflower & fried mushrooms & sit out on the patio & eat them... & then my grandmother was very adamant on making me wait 30 minutes before getting in the pool. Seriously.

It was also the only time I didn't care what I looked like in a bathing suit.  Oh, those were the days.

2. What's your favorite summer smell?

As much as it grosses me out now that I'm a vegetarian, I do love the smell of people grilling out.  It reminds me of summer fairs...

It doesn't intrigue me enough to ever eat meat again though... believe that...

3. It's beach season in the US of, how do you feel about sand?

Does that say it enough?

I HATEEEEEEEEEEEEEE sand. Its the #1 reason why I always say I don't care for the beach.  That & because I hate getting in water where creatures live.  Especially ones that could remove a limb from my body...

4. Sun tea, SunChips, sunflower seeds, Capri Sun, Sunny Delight, Sun-Maid raisins, sun-dried tomatoes...your favorite food or beverage with sun in its name?

I love my mom's Sun Tea ... it was always so good...

maybe because half the jug was full of sugar? 

5. What's your favorite way to cool off on a hot summer day?

Never taking a step outside the door....

6. Share a favorite song with the word sun or sunshine in it's title.

Pocket of Sunshine by Natasha Bedingfield... mainly because it's one of the best scenes in Easy A :)

7. Tell us about a time when you had an exceedingly good or a truly awful customer service experience. If it was awful, did you report it? Ever go back there again?

Nothing stands out to me that has happened lately...

But I will say, we had excellent service at a restaurant recently & I asked for the manager.  Everyone had a look of fear on their face...

I told the manager that I wanted him to know how amazing out waitress had been & she was fantastic.  He said that was so kind because no one tells them the good things that happen... only the bad.  So maybe people should do that more often....

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I'll just share a picture of my 3 G-boys today... look how big they're all getting!!!!!!
Such handsome little guys...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What did you want to be when you grew up?

We're at the end of the school year for a lot of people & all the pictures of graduations have surfaced all over Instagram, Facebook & Twitter.  Always such an exciting time of year for people heading out into life & figuring out what they want to do with their future. 

I know when I talk to young people, you rarely hear an answer on what they want to be.  Oh yeah, they have an idea, but they usually follow up with, "I think"... or "Maybe" ... I always assure them they are young enough to change their mind.

I was thinking back on things I always wanted to be growing up... or things I would love to be if I could do it again...


I never took one dang dance lesson in my life.  Never.  I was too busy kicking boy's butts in Kung Fu to be dainty & in a pink tutu.  But I just know I would have been a good dancer.  I watch all the dance shows & wonder how life would have been if I went down that path.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I'd probably break an ankle every year or something..... end of that career.


I'd be a GREAT high school teacher

I used to sit my dolls up all the time in front of a chalk board & pretend to be a teacher when I was little.  I always had a thing in my heart of wanting to be an elementary school teacher. I especially think that kicked in when I had the best 1st grade teacher ever... & the best 5th grade teacher as well.  & now, working with Jr High kids & Sr. High kids in youth ministry, I even considered teaching the 'tough age' kids. I really considered going back to school a few years ago to try it - even at my age... but in reality, it would be such a financial loss.  The cost of school & then I'd take a major pay cut to be a teacher... which to me is the saddest thing in our country, what we pay our teachers. (Did I hear an Amen?) ... but man, I would love to have done it right from the beginning & be a teacher.

{ Pharmacist}

I used to work in our grocery stores pharmacy when I was in high school as a pharmacy tech.  The pharmacist there was in my Kung Fu class so she got me in there & trained me & it was awesome.  I loved being on that medical side of it.  Didn't really have to deal with snot & germs... I like that...  That was truly my goal when I graduated high school... but the only college that had a Pharmacy School at the time was UK & I couldn't afford that... & plus, it was an hour & a half away from my parents.  That thought alone made me panic. I wasn't one of those kids that couldn't wait to get away from their parents.  That idea just made me break out into hives... needing a prescription from a pharmacist...
... the way I feel about prescriptions now though, God knew not to let me go into this field. I'd be handing out natural remedies instead when I could.

{ Storm Chaser }

Yes... I'm that person.  My dad used to take me out in the middle of the hardest storms & we'd sit on our back porch & cover up & just laugh at the rain & love when it lightning & thundered.  Yes, we did.  I can remember a tornado warning happening one time & we saw the funnel cloud, standing on the porch in awe, while my mom was screaming, GET IN THIS BASEMENT!!! ... me & dad were like, "In a second"  Even now, I've been sitting outside in a storm & hear Ricky yell the same thing at me.  Storms just intrigue me.  Call me Helen Hunt... which by the way, I could watch Twister every day of my life.

I blame my mom too... she made us watch Wizard of Oz every year & hello?  A twister takes you to a magical place where shoes rule. 

{ Wedding anything }

I always wanted to be a part of weddings, so I do think its cool that I now actually AM a part of weddings as the photographer.  I will say, that's the high end STRESS part of the wedding.  Can't mess that up.  I always wanted to do something with wedding dresses growing up though.  I always used to draw designs of dresses - & in the 80's that usually involved BIG puffy sleeves & HUGE bows across the butt - but I would love to have worked in a bridal dress salon.  Say Yes to the Dress?  Oh mercy, please let me work there...  I'll be Randy's best friend.

{ Disney anything }
 .... let me be Belle... please

But I would love to do anything in Disney really - especially if it involved being a Princess, or singing or dancing.  Working in the park... seeing all the happy faces... being able to go INTO Disney World every day?
It would probably take away the magic though - right?  Nooo!! I'd be PART of the magic. Who wouldn't want that?

What did you want to be growing up?
... if you could do it all over again?

Monday, June 23, 2014

The weekend we saw a Tron baby....

// Bless her heart... I stopped at the Starbucks in the grocery on the way home Friday & there was a young girl that was totally confused when I said "Peach Green Tea Lemonade"... it took her 3 tries to make... & it still wasn't right but I wasn't about to have her make it again.  I didn't realize it was so hard to make.

This was the hardest worked for PGTL ever!!!

// They had out samples of BLACKBERRY Green Tea lemonade... OH WOW people!  We may have a contender!

// How do you just run into the grocery to pick up a few things & end up spending $110?  I don't think I can ever get out of ANY store any more under $75.00 ... its sort of ridiculous.

// Ricky brought home pizza.  Makes me think of our newlywed days.  When we first got married, it was tradition that every Friday, we had pizza & we'd go to Blockbuster & rent a video.  So yeah... that shows how long we've been married. 

//  I am soaking up every bit of sunshine & day light.  With the beginning of summer, I live for June 21st... the longest day of the year.  I honestly start feeling depressed June 22nd because I know the sun is setting one minute earlier every day.  Closer to dark nights.  Blah!!!!!!! So I just wanted to sit outside all night Friday night & Saturday night... Not every day of the year you can see blue in the sky after 9 pm... why can't every day be like that?

This was taken at 9:20pm on Friday
... isn't the sky CRAZY looking?...
The whole sky had a weird shade... I love summer skies

//   Weekend!  Time to sleep in!.... nope....  I didn't mind getting up at 6:30am though because the morning was so beautiful & sun was already shining down.  See? I'm just a solar person.  No question about it.

// Ricky & I went Kinect crazy this weekend.  He has mastered darts, but I still make it close & will eek out a win every now & then.  But we moved onto skiing.  Say hello to the skiing pro.  Thankyouverymuch!  We had to play until he finally beat me... which it finally won after 10 games by a TENTH of a second. Not a full second - a TENTH of a second.  He was OK to stop playing then.

// Believe me, I realize if I actually skied, I would break something & possibly die.  Thank you Xbox Kinect for making me an expert in something I know I could never do.

// Had a photo session with Ricky's cousin & her family... which I know makes her my cousin as well... but I have so many cousins, when I say cousin, my family reading this is like, "Now whose daughter is that?"... so easier to just sort it out :) .... ANYHOO.... we were going to schedule for later, but ended up making it an early session.  Glad we did to. It was hot & humid - but it had been worse the day before & glad we got it done before 12:30 when it REALLY warmed up.  & everyone was such a good sport - especially the kiddos. 

// We actually stayed home all day on Saturday after my photo session!  That was a strange feeling.  Don't think I wasn't busy though.  Between editing pictures & trying to do chores & having to beat Ricky AGAIN at skiing... it was a swamped day.

// You'd think a house would get clean when we're home more... I think we mess up a house more.  I need a maid.

// I made my own tea concoction - brewed up green tea & added it in with this delicious bit of wonderfulness... by the end of the night, my heart was pounding out of my chest.  I forget green tea has caffeine.  I had to remember it was a lot of tea & not panic & feel like I needed to go to the ER.

That Mango Lemonade? ... yummmmy!!!

// It was Graduation Sunday at church.  Another group of kids moving on through.  I looked through my Bible & still have the papers from the past years with the kids pictures... mercy... I've been in youth ministry a LONG time.

// I got to lead just a girls small group... so love talking with the girls... & they laughed when they said the lesson they were going to take away from the day was "Boys are dumb" ... well, there you go. I live to teach wise things.

// I loved the news constantly showing the dogs from the Ugly Dog contest this weekend.  I just loved Peanut...  to hear his story & how he was abused & burned... & someone saw him & said, "He needs me" & adopted him?  My heart aches for stories like that...

I'd take that baby
// This dog is the one that freaks me out... how did this even happen!?!?!?

// Dad was up & moving around pretty darn good with that new hip.  It's sore ... which, duh!  But I'm still super impressed how well he's getting around.  His incision is looking a little infected right now so mom has put on her doctor's hat & we drove & got all new bandages & gauze.  She'll have it looking spic & span before you know it.

// So they gave dad a little contraption that helps you put on your socks when you can't bend over... GENIUS!    I need that for Monday mornings.


// I signed up for the Meal Train for Ryan & Chasity ... especially for a good excuse to go see the baby.  I actually was going to cook too!  & then Ricky & I got into an argument on how not everyone wants a vegetarian dinner & how Ryan is a "growing boy" & needs meat in his diet.  So I gave in & we just went & picked up food from a restaurant.  Ricky felt vindicated when Ryan ordered a double burger.  One loss for vegetarians of the world.

// Ryan can eat all the meat he wants if it means I get to love on this sweet little girl while he does it...

Isn't she just beautiful... such a dainty girl
// Poor little baby has jaundice & has to sleep in the new little jaundice bed they make. It's not like the lights of the past...

This is NOT Emerson... but its the same sort of light bed
// I called Emerson a human Glo Worm in this thing.  Someone else called her a Tron Baby ...

// So staying home all day on Saturday?... I made up for it on Sunday... I left the house at 9:15 am & got home at 9:15 pm... but glad to get home in time to watch the new show "Rising Star".  I'm totally over singing shows, but I really did like the interaction.  I totally downloaded the app & voted along with everyone else.  Like my one vote mattered... but I felt like it did.   I guarantee that there will now be a dozen new shows coming out with this idea... real time interaction. ... I just don't understand how they did it for the west coast.

Yep... had my tablet next to me ready to vote
... this couple was a red arrow... NO!!!

How was your weekend?
Did you watch Rising Star & vote?
Do you love those ugly dogs?
Are Tron babies the wave of the future?