Friday, July 31, 2015

Pack it up, July!

T.G.I.F!!!! How is it the last day of the month?!? I know, I say it every month! This has absolutely been the fastest year EVER. I can officially say that with confidence. I've also had 3 elderly people this month tell me "it only gets faster as you get older, just wait", verbatim. So there's that.

I've been wondering... does anyone do any kind of month-end link up anymore?? If you know of one, please let me know! I'd love to participate. I'm definitely excited about THIS football link up my SIL is doing soon, though! I miss those. I feel like they are such a great way to "meet" new friends and find new favorite blogs!

July was a great month. I didn't make a list of specific goals since I knew this month would be pretty crazy, but some really fun things happened and I figured what better way to remember them than by rehashing them all on my little corner of cyber space.

We started the month off by photographing back to back weddings over the holiday weekend.

We saw the cutest, fattest bulldog alive and then got to babysit one of our favorite little girls!!

My sister in love (who I'm lucky to call one of my best friends) and I got to have a much needed ladies night, while making some yummy food and laughing our faces off.

We spent the most incredible, emotional, insanely fun, life changing week with our teens in Tennessee for camp!

I finally got back in the gym... its been sporadic but I think I'm finally back in my groove!

We witnessed some of the most amazing sunsets, read our bibles every day, and edited our little fingers off...

...oh, and I took a mirror selfie (so 2012, I know) because I actually felt pretty good at work. I have NEVER curled my hair in the morning for work and I felt pretty darn professional yesterday!

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for August to begin. It's always been one of my favorite months for many, many reasons. I've got a lot planned next month but I honestly can't wait for it to begin!! Happy Friday, friends!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Insta-update!

Hiiii my name is Kayla and I blog here. Remember me? I've been kinda sporadic lately with my posts. Life has just been so busy lately with youth outings, photography consults, shoots, and you know, spending time with my husband! :) and while I'm not going to apologize for it, I do realize how much I miss blogging when I don't make the time for it. SO I thought I'd update you on my life this week, via the little squares I keep in my iPhone album;

1. I took the plunge last night and went back to shorter, blonder hair! I'm not cut out for long hair, and I'm finally learning that its okay. Some girls can pull off the long locks and they rock it, but that's just not me. Caleb told me to copy my girl crush (Jen Aniston) and get a shoulder length cut. Cracks me up, but I love it! Making time for me last night felt great. I always forget how good it feels to get a few inches chopped and get your hair washed. Ha!

2. After said hair appointment, I was able to get dinner with two of my best friends and sweet baby Norah!!! It was so spontaneous and I'm so glad it worked out. I miss my friends!

3. This amazing sunset last night. This photo doesn't do it justice, at all...and I even tried to take one with my DSLR but it was so humid my camera fogged up almost like we were in the south. Sometimes, Caleb and I knock on our tiny apartment, but I know we have one of the best views for sunsets...and that makes it all worth it

4. Guys, I'm kinda crazy about this man. He recently picked back up playing the guitar and has taken initiative to play every single night and teach himself new songs. We've been playing and singing EVERY night the past week...add that in with the sunset and I'd say we're having some amazing evenings together!

I have a couple meetings tonight with brides but after that I am hoping to get some blog posts together of some recent weddings we've shot! I love sharing our work and I hope to do it more :) hope you all have a great Thursday!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Florence y'all!

Took a couple days off from blogging since work has been crazy lately (both my day job as well as photography), but in all honesty I'm kind of loving how quickly my days at work are flying. So, excuse the fact that I'm recapping my weekend on a Wednesday...but here we go!

We had a lot of outdoors time this weekend. Caleb had the amazing idea to take me to the drive in on Friday and we saw Pixels + Minions. Both were good, but I personally liked Pixels more! I have to say, we witnessed something really awesome at the drive in. No one had their phones out, kids were playing frisbee and running all over the playground , there was laughter everywhere, the older family next to us was even playing Uno! It was SO refreshing to see!! We sat outside on our lawn chairs, ate flaming' hot cheetos and took ONE whole selfie the whole night :) it was awesome.


Saturday was spent free of plans and spending time in the gym, at a local pizza joint and relaxing like crazy. Sunday came and went and we found ourselves at the Florence Freedom game that evening with the youth group. It's been a blast to be so active with them this summer. They are teaching me a lot more than I teach them, most days. I love the crap out of them. For you local bloggers, head to a Freedom game ASAP. It was so cheap, and the entertainment was amazing!




All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. We needed a carefree weekend like this. I've been very overwhelmed lately (in a good way!!), and needed a little break! 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Someone worth celebrating!!

Nearly 12 years ago I sat next to a complete stranger during middle school lunch hour. She always ate the same thing, a nachos lunchable with a koolaid pouch. Every. Dang. Day. She joined our "friend group" and before we knew it we were having sleepovers, discovering our mutual love for singing, dancing and marshmallow fluff. By the time 7th grade was over we were the best of friends.

I'm so lucky to have this gal as a friend and I'm excited today to wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!!!

She's probably the only other girl on Earth who loves this stupid movie as much as I do...

...who went through the awkward teenage years with me..

...who took me on nearly every family vacation...


...and who will always be there for me whenever I need her! I'm so thankful for our many years of friendship and truly don't know what I'd do without my silly, amazing, gorgeous Lyndsie!!!

So here's to you, Lynds, and your golden birthday. LOVE YOU!

Other than today being that awesome...I had a pretty great week. Finally got back in the gym, changed a lot of eating habits, and have been diving deeper in my Bible. I'm loving it! Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. While we aren't able to be in Nashville with Lyndsie to celebrate, we do plan on making the most of being home with each other. Happy Friday, friends!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A recent string of thoughts.


The other day I saw a quote while looking through a friends instagram feed. It stopped me in my tracks and seriously made me think about how I spend my time. The quote read;

"Ralph waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. no one would sleep that night, of course. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television" - Paul Hawkins.

Now, any of you who know me know how much I seriously love binge watching netflix seasons, etc...but Caleb and I have really been trying to limit our time in front of the tube and focus more on each other, our bibles, etc... I sometimes think about what the world would be like if we didn't have things like smart phones, TV's, and this insane amount of technology to distract us. We'd probably be outside all the time, hiking, riding bikes, dive into a new book every night, run around like children, and stay up too late staring at the stars.

I want to live that kind of life. Sure, there's always going to be those nights where we curl up under a blanket and watch a favorite movie while we eat take-out... but I don't want that to be ALL we do. We've made it a point this summer to get outside more. Whether that's for a post-dinner walk, to lay out under the sun, read on the back porch, etc. We just want to savor this time together. Being married without kids won't last forever, and while we don't plan on having babies anytime soon, we want to spend our time TOGETHER. In community. Challenging each other with truth, laughing too hard and staying up way past our "bedtimes". That's how I want to remember our twenties.

So I challenge you to do the same. Do something fun tonight! Whether that's as simple as drawing chalk on the sidewalk, or as crazy as taking a spontaneous next-town trip with a loved one... just make time for those insanely fun moments in life. Time is flying right past us, whether we like it or not, so we may as well make the most out of it.

ALSO!

For those couples out there who want to grow closer together and feel insanely inspired, I ask you to pick up this book. It is SO much fun and I've learned things about Caleb and our relationship I probably would've never known. It asks tons of questions about childhood, funny quirks you didn't know about, and most of the book is full of silly challenges, but it will do nothing but bring you closer tougher. Plus, you get to spend time together while doing the things! :) one of the challenges is that we have to make each other a mix
tape soon. I'm pumped.
Happy hump day, friends! ;)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Caleb went overboard! Literally!

Thursday, at CIY, we had our morning session and then our small group to discuss what we learned...and then we got ready for WHITE WATER RAFTING!! Unfortunately while we were off campus the other leaders and I got a text from the university saying the campus we were staying at for the week (Lee University) was on lockdown due to the shooting in Chattanooga. Which was pretty scary, since we were out and about only 25 minutes from there. We obviously let the parents know asap, but luckily a few moments later we got a message saying the shooter was captured and we would be safe. SO we were able to enjoy rafting to the fullest with no worries at all. Between all of us we had a total of 3 boats!

We did what was called "the superman", where two of us hung off the side of the boat, and one in the middle during one of the hardest rapids. We rafted on the Ocoee River and the rapids were level 4 (out of a possible 5). That's me in the purple shorts holding on for dear life. I had to hold my nose because right before this picture I ATE a ton of water, and I'm pretty sure it got in my brain. SO as annoyed as I am that I'm holding my nose in almost every photo...I just had to! ;)




Right after this we passed a giant rock in the middle of the river and I see MY HUSBAND holding onto it! I literally freaked out. He accidentally fell out of the boat during a rough spot and another boat had to pick him up. Luckily he listened to the instructions of the guide just in case anyone DID fall out so he handled it like a champ and walked away with only a couple small bruises. Still, it was both hilarious and terrifying. Glad he's strong!! ;)

My brother wore a GoPro on his helmet (he's the one in green) and got some SWEET video footage, too!

& I love this shot of Caleb (he's in the front) on the boat!


We were on the river for over an hour. Our guide intentionally flipped the boat a few times, threw us out, backflipped off the back of the boat, etc... its one of my new favorite memories ever! I'm so glad Caleb and I got to experience it together, even if we were on separate boats. There was a rapid called "Broken Nose" that our guide made us sit in for about 5 minutes while the water just poured over the whole boat. It was amazing, ha!

BEFORE rafting though, we had a little time to play around in the river.

We stopped for a quick dinner on the road then cleaned up for that evenings session, which was amazing, as usual.

Then we went back and finished off the pizza rolls. SO many pizza rolls.

I can't explain what these kids taught me this week. Funny that I'm one of the "leaders", yet they taught ME so much. I laughed, I cried, and worshipped my heart out. God is doing some amazing things with this younger generation, and I can't wait to see what their futures hold!!

All in all? The week was incredible and I pray that we can make it back next year. I think Caleb and I realized just HOW important youth ministry is to us during this trip. Caleb has always felt lead to teach high school age kids, whether that's in a public school or church setting. It's so fun watching him lead them, it makes me a really proud wife.

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Monday, July 20, 2015

We're alive!!

I'M ALIVE! I had fully intended on posting regularly last week, despite being out of state...but life happened. I know that that happens sometimes, so I just decided to not get bummed about my lack of blogging prep and instead just unplug for the week...& let me tell you, it rocked.

For those of you who didn't know, Caleb and I were able to volunteer for a CIY (Christ in Youth) camp last week in Cleveland, TN at Lee University. To say it was amazing, inspiring, and unbelievable would be an understatement. We had the BEST time getting to know these kids on a deeper level, being challenged spiritually, and laughing more and more every day. The way the week was structured was perfect. Breakfast around 8AM, morning worship/sermon after, discussion after that, lunch, free time, dinner & then the night worship/sermon, then we'd finish out the night with small group and breaking down the nights message and what the kids took from it. Then we spent most nights telling hilarious stories, making up new games, and just enjoying time together.

We left for TN on Monday, after a group picture, of course!!
Ignore the fact that I'm shorter than most of these kids.

We got there with a little time before dinner, then had our first session and stayed up entirely too late. I taught the girls how to do the worm, and we sang karaoke for hours.

Tuesday during free time the boys entered a basketball tournament and a few of us went to cheer them on!


The rest of the afternoon was spent doing each others hair... and taking more silly pictures.


That evening rocked. We were able to sit near the front row so we had amazing seats during worship. My brother and I had a really cool moment during it that I'll forever treasure. There is something so amazing and freeing about holding someone while they go through something, both literally and figuratively. I'm so thankful for him!

Wednesday was probably my favorite day (other than Thursday, okay so all the days were great). I got to lead small group discussions and it had a lot to do with encouragement. As a group we encouraged each and every person in the room and it was just incredible. We all walked home with a letter about ourselves, each and every person wrote something sweet about everyone. It was so neat!

A few of us decided to dress up a little nicer for this night -- and that was fun. Most of the week is spent in comfy sports clothes  so it was fun to get a little dolled up!

BUT! My favorite "God moment" of the week took place on this evening. During the message there were a few "invitations" and the worship that evening was extremely emotional. I discovered a few things about the group of kids I work with and while some of the stories broke my heart, it made me realize what a difference I could have in their lives. THAT is worth every stressful moment of ministry. Every doubt I had ever had thinking "am I even making a difference?" faded away within an instant. I'm literally almost in tears just remembering the moments as I prayed with these kids, holding them while they experienced God's presence. It was overwhelming, and SO amazing! Our God is so good!!!

I'll be back tomorrow with how we spent our free time on Thursday and spoiler alert - it was awesome. Can anyone say white water rafting!?!!? ;)