Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hot chocolate, apple pie and friends.

Today is my Friday, and I couldn't be happier for that. It feels good to not have to work (a wedding) over a Holiday weekend, and we're pumped to spend lots of time with each other, our family, and our friends!

Today, and every day, I'm thankful for this guy who's always by my side.
I promise he's thrilled...
I'm thankful for Shutterfly for sending the best coupons in the world.

I'm thankful for my health care. After some of our family being in the hospital lately, I'm really not taking that (or my health) for granted.

I'm thankful for my friends, both near and far. They always send the best texts/emails right when I need them, and I know they are all just a call away. My friends give the best hugs, and are the best supporters I could ask for. HASHTAG BLESSED.

I'm thankful for the ability to pick up a sweet tea whenever the heck I want.

I'm thankful for $3 Christmas banners that will make my home more cozy this Winter - thanks to Target ;)

I'm thankful for worship. It's my favorite way to connect with the Lord. It shifts our attention from our problems, to the problem solver; to the Creator of the universe!

I'm really thankful for my camera(s). Lately I'm feeling extra sentimental about my ability to capture the coolest moments in others lives. I had a family shoot on Sunday and this photo just stuck out. To be able to capture that adorable smile, those bouncy curls? I just love it.

I'm thankful for apple pie with extra sugar. I'm thankful for the family members who will cook this Thanksgiving, so I don't have to ;) but more important? I'm thankful I have a table to eat from, with family I love, in the warmth of a home. Those are such small things to some of us, that so many others don't have in this world.

I'm thankful for puppy kisses, hot chocolate, random surprises and movie nights.
I'm thankful for comfy pajamas, hot water, yummy candles and thick sweaters.
Don't forget to hug your loved ones extra tight this Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for each and every one of you who keep coming back to this little space of mine! It truly means so much!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Nerdiest of them all.

Friday night, my sister in law successfully surprised her man with a "Nerdy Thirty" party! He thought we were having a nerd themed double date to a local arcade center called Scene 75!

Instead, a small group of his closest friends were waiting in a party room to scream SURPRISE!!! The whole evening was such a blast. The food was delicious, the arcade games were a blast, and I've never had so much fun playing mini golf. It was honestly hilarious how many people stared at us throughout the night, but is just reaffirmed my belief that I have the coolest friends in the world - who aren't afraid to be what we truly are...big kids at heart!

We slept like rocks that night, and woke up feeling pretty rested for our second to last wedding of 2015. Brittany and Matt got married at one of the prettiest venues around town - Cincinnati Music Hall.

This couple was just amazing. Their love story is heart warming, and it was actually Matt's BIRTHDAY! How selfless? To give up the one day you have to be "all about you", to now be about your best friend? I love it. They even had Holtman donuts at their reception - 18 dozen to be exact. SO they win at life. ;)

We actually got home at a decent time, and Caleb and I had a small date night in. Those are the best! Sunday I squeezed in an awesome morning at church, a couple quick photo shoots, and even a bonfire (and watching  the Bengals game that I don't want to talk about...)

This time of year is so easy to see all the blessings around me, and I'm not taking them for granted! Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Little Caesars it is...

So this Sunday, Caleb and I planned a whole birthday get together for my whole family to celebrate both my Uncle and Brother's birthdays! We had plans to make lunch, hang decorations around our home, and guys! I even ordered a double-decker COOKIE CAKE! Well, I get a text from my brother around 4:00pm yesterday saying he got scheduled to work at his new job Sunday, ALL DAY! So we got everyone together and made it happen last night instead. I had nothing prepared so I cancelled the cookie cake and bought a bunch of cupcakes, the biggest balloon I could find and picked up an insane amount of Little Caesars. To be completely honest? It was just as special, if not more, than what I could've planned for Sunday. Spontaneous get-togethers with family are the best...and I realize just how lucky I am to have them all within a few miles of me, for the most part.

This weekend we'll be photographing our 28th wedding of the year, and we're so excited. We've never had a chance to shoot at this venue so it should be fun! I still can't believe when I look back that we've been such a big part of SO many wedding days now! We're blessed by this second job, and I'm reminded time and time again why I continue to do it :)

Also I want to take a second to wish my Father-in-law a HAPPY BIRTHDAY (yes, there are a lot of birthdays in our families this month)!!!! This is a quick picture I snapped during our other family bday celebration last weekend, and I love it! Candids are the best.

In other news, Adeles new album is out and I can't wait to hear more!

I hope everyone has a ton of fun planned for this weekend. Ours will be jam packed, but luckily things are slowing down for the most part, so I don't mind! Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A small list.

Life has a way of throwing you curveballs. Everything is great, and when you least expect it... bam! Something crazy happens. Yesterday I got news that my Grandpa went back to the hospital for chest pain. Thankfully, it wasn't a heart attack, but he's on some medication and they will be monitoring him over the next few weeks. This happened a couple times last month as well, and they put a stent in. Thankfully, our prayer worked and he was able to head home. In the grand scheme of things, he's all good (thank you Jesus), but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried about him.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I wanted to highlight a few people in particular this time of year I'm thankful for, starting with my Grandpa I just spoke about (or as I've called him my whole life; Buddy)...
My grandparents win at life. Cuties.
My adorable husband, who surprised me recently with italian cheesy bread and pretended there was "traffic" on his way home from work because I mentioned how badly I wanted some earlier that day. #thelittlethings ... and I found this while editing last night and couldn't help but stare. Hehe!

I'm thankful for strangers who become friends through the internet and somehow stay connected even though they live halfway across America, and the random texts they send to make others smile. Hiiii Reese + Renee!

I'm thankful for a recent bride, Karen. Sadly, a few weeks after we photographed her wedding, her mother passed away unexpectedly. It really put into perspective the importance of my job. How incredible that I had the honor of photographing one of the last big events in her life?! God definitely uses these tragic things to teach us lessons. I truly believe that. If you think about it, please keep sweet Karen in your prayers this week.

I'm thankful for random co workers who bring me Starbucks when the office is near empty and I'm extra thankful for random texts from my girl, Lyndsie. I haven't seen her in way too long and I'm CRAZY excited for a girls sleepover we've got planned for next weekend!
throwback to darker hair and chillier days.
and last but definitely not least! I'm really thankful for my awesome bro (in law), Jared! It's the big 3-0 for him today!!! Jared is one of the silliest, most awesome guys I know! Caleb and I are so thankful to have he and Erin in our lives, they make us better in every way possible. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JARED! We love ya!

Find something to be thankful for today friends, even when its hard! Happy almost-Friday!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Suck and sweet.

(Stealing this post idea from the adorable Shelley, cause she rocks!)

 Suck: This morning, I wake up with the reminder that my Bengals had a sad loss last night (can't wait to see how many "fans" quit repping their jerseys over 1 loss 10 weeks into the season)
Sweet: the memories I made last night with my husband were some of my favorite as of late. Regardless of our teams loss, being a diehard next to him is pretty fun!

Suck: the insanely annoying headaches I keep getting
Sweet: the mountain dew I treated myeslf to cause I "just needed the caffeine to help my headache" ;)

Suck: the horrible evil that's going on in today's world
Sweet: watching countries stand side by side in support. They brought both flags out at the game last night, and I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a tear in my eye.

Suck:  not knowing what to buy your husband for Christmas
Sweet: being blessed by this "problem".

Suck: not having a Christmas photo yet for cards
Sweet: which caused me to look back at past Christmas photos that never hit social media - would it be awful of me to recycle a photo from 3 years ago!? ;)

Suck: getting a very minimal amount of comments on a post near to my heart
Sweet: but getting a ton (for me) on a post I whipped out in 7 minutes. Blogging is weird ;)

Suck: When your gel manicure starts to peel and your nails are left more janky than they were pre-manicure!
Sweet: now I can just schedule a new appointment... right? ;)

Suck: Being overwhelmed with work at the office
Sweet: ... but the days seem to be flying by!

I hope everyone has a fun, random, happy Tuesday! ALWAYS remember, no matter how much negativity is going on around us, YOU can be the light!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Welcome to adulthood

Today, my (baby) brother turns 18.

He's officially an "adult", which kind of blows my mind. I remember when he was born, and I was SO EXCITED to finally have a brother. I was 7 years old, so I was kinda lonely with no siblings up until that point. I just knew we would be best friends, and I'm really thankful that I was right.

I'm really thankful to have a brother who is so loving, so goofy, so caring, and so fun to hang out with. He's wise beyond his years - he and I have been through a lot together; a lot of pain, a lot of love, and a ton of laughter. I'm so grateful he actually enjoys hanging out with his older sister ;) we've made so many memories in our short life together, that I couldn't count them all if I tried.

I'm especially grateful for the man my husband is, for loving Brandon like a true brother. When they are together, things get crazy, weird, and hilarious. I love them both to pieces and am so thankful for the true friendship they've formed. I didn't even suggest that Brandon be a groomsmen in our wedding (since those positions were up to him to fill), and Caleb genuinely wanted him to be part of the party. That meant the world to me!
throwback to 2009 ;) crazy how much can change in a few years! 
Brandon, I know you're going to do amazing things with your life. I'm proud of the man you've become and I can't wait to watch your future unfold. Keep being selfless, keep being awesome, and keep working hard. Thanks for being the brother and friend I've always needed. I love you! Enjoy your birthday, you deserve it!!

Happy Monday, friends!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Dear groceries...

...I'm thankful you're finally done. It's really nice having free time. Is it weird that sometimes I thoroughly enjoy alone time at the grocery store?! Our Kroger has this new scan-as-you-go system, and I was so intimidated I didn't give it a whirl last night. In my defense, I think you have to bring your own bags, but maybe next time I'll get the courage to try ;) #newthingsscareme

Dear Tuesday night... you freaking rocked. I watched a 2.5 hr free webinar with a favorite photographer of mine. At one point I had actual tears welling up, and thought "I CAN do this!". Katelyn motivated me, inspired me, and most of all made me realize that my hard work will pay off one day. My favorite line was "don't create a successful business to lose your personal life" - she talked a lot about time management and her editing process. It honestly resonated with me so much!

Dear little brother, your first day of work was yesterday! Can't wait to hear how it went!

Dear Jenna & Eric, your engagement session is seriously making me proud. I'm thankful I've gotten to know them, and that adorable little nose crinkle she gets when he makes her laugh!

Dear visa gift card I kind of forgot about... you made me a very happy girl last night :)

Dear Punta Cana... I'd really like to come visit you again!!! I miss your sandy white beaches, and yeah, even the awkward sunburn you gave me.

but... Dear Hilton Head... T minus 8 months until I see you again. Not that I'm counting down the days or anything....

Dear laser tag... you were SO fun this week! We had a youth-group outing with the teens and although I nearly came in last place, it was a blast!!! I had never done it before, so it was a little confusing at first BUT I can't wait to try again sometime! #nerdalert

Dear co worker who shall remain nameless... please stay far away today. You've tested my patience this week, and I'm not loving that ;)

Dear red cups... this whole "controversy" is ludicrous, I'm sorry that some people hate you this year. I still think you're pretty. More specifically, I like you a latte' (see what I did there) when you're free.

Dear weekend... I'm really excited for you. A little time with friends, and a lot of time with family.