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Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween - flashback style!

Happy Halloween!! I so wish I worked in an office that would allow us to get a little crazy on Halloween. I'd so wear a costume, but nope, they are boring! So I'm really looking forward to this entire weekends. Guys, its a FREE WEEKEND! These don't happen often but my 2014 weddings are coming to a close...we have 3 left in the year. So, I plan on really enjoying this costume filled weekend.

Tonight, we're hanging out with our best friends, having ourselves a random dance party, and probably watching a scary movie or two while binging on candy ;) then tomorrow evening we have caleb's cousins annual Halloween bash. It was a sad day last year when we couldn't go, so we're MORE than thrilled that we're able to attend this year...they seriously go ALL OUT. I'm talking, coffins around their house, fog machines, portable heaters, bon fire, insanely creative Halloween themed snacks, etc. It's awesome!We've got a few ideas for our costume and we'll be solidifying them tomorrow afternoon (yeah, we procrastinated).

Since its Halloween, just wanted to throw a few fun photos up from Halloween's past. It's crazy to see how much Caleb and I have changed! You're never too old to dress up for a fun Holiday, am I right!?!

2012: Batman and Robin. 

 See what I mean with the creative (and delicious) snacks?!

2011: Superman and Captain America (yeah, we had a superhero kick, what can we say?! & yes, those are mens briefs.... we won't talk about it)

2010: Pinball and flapper.
Erin and Jared had the best costumes that year!

Goodness, we've changed a lot! I love looking back and seeing how we've grown together. We've had so much fun over the years with his family at Halloween and this year is no exception. Bring it on.

oh, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Any creative costume's for you guys this year?!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Never underestimate the power of family {my mom is home}!

MY MOM IS HOME. Can you even believe it?! If you've been following along with this blog for long, you know the story involving my mom. In this post, I informed you guys she finally made the decision to come home, for good! I wasn't trying to get my hopes up as this has happened before (last October), but sure enough...there she was at CVG Airport Tuesday morning waiting for me to pick her up :)

I can't tell you how long I've prayed for this. We're talking nearly every single day, since February of 2012...and it finally happened. To be truthful? It hasn't entirely sunk in yet that she's here, for good. I don't have to worry about squeezing in time with her all in a few quick days... she is HOME. This is her HOME now.

She's got a long road ahead. She needs a job. She needs her own place. She needs a car. So if you guys can send our family some good vibes, we're all hoping some doors open up for her soon. We know this is one of those "baby step" processes, so we're just happy she made the decision to come home and start over. I'm excited to restore our relationship. Every gal needs her momma.

Last night, we decided to take my family to dinner to have a little "reunion", and it was glorious. Full of hilarious laughter, monkey faces, and too much cheese (is there such a thing?!)!!
I think Caleb wins.
Hopefully in the next few weeks, I'll realize that she IS HERE TO STAY. Goodness, that makes me smile!

No matter what, its good to know that family is always there. Even when we make selfish, silly, ridiculous decisions... they will always be there with open arms, quick to forgive, and slow to anger. I'm thankful for family who would do anything for me. Squeeze your fam a little tighter tonight, friends!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Who gives a hoot?!

A friend and I were talking recently about how we sometimes let our opinions of ourselves be influenced by others, and their opinions on us...or our situation...or our family...etc. To be entirely honest? It's really exhausting.

No two people's situations are alike. You can't please everyone. Sometimes, you will tick people off for no really valid reason. No one is perfect.

It makes me realize how much I love this quote (and these adorable bulldogs);

It's so true, though..right? No matter what stance you take in life on any given subject, there will ALWAYS be someone who doesn't agree. ALWAYS someone who thinks you're nuts. So you know what I say? Support the things that you believe in, without giving a hoot what they think! You absolutely will never be able to please everyone all at once, so you may as well make sure you're happy. Love yourself more!

I'm lucky enough to have quite a few amazing friends... which isn't something a lot of twenty somethings can say at times. I'm talking those kind of friends who would drop anything for you, the friends you can call at 2AM because you just need someone, the type of friends who will not only let you cry in their parking lot over the fact that you suck at cooking, but the kind that will make you laugh cause they can tell you're feeling a little down.

Life is flying by me way too quickly, and I'm choosing to surround myself with as much positivity as I can. Having those certain people in my life to bring me up, sometimes are exactly what keeps me going. Those who support me no matter what, those are the kind of people I want in life. But those who will also be honest with me when they see me struggle. Those are the kind of friendships I desire.

Moral of my post? Get rid of the negativity in your life... cause when its gone? There's SO much room for the positive, and that will absolutely change your life.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Caleb's golden birthday!

When the clock hit 4:30 last Friday I couldn't get out of my cubicle fast enough. Sweet freedom! It was time to start the celebrating. I told Caleb we were due for a classic dinner/movie night out, and since his birthday was that weekend it was the perfect excuse! So, Skyline and a movie it was.
 I had already purchased Calebs real birthday gift (more on that to come in a moment), but I'd picked up quite a few extra photography gigs to cover some extra fun for his I told him we could go to Marshalls and pick him up a few things. You know what he picked out? A stinking reversible drying mat for our dishes, and a new dish brush to wash dishes with. I mean?!!? He loves his "chores" ;) once we got home we watched the new Transformers movie and then headed for bed.

We had a beautiful wedding to shoot Saturday! We had a lot of down time at the reception, and I'm not exaggerating when I say I was sore the next morning when I woke up! WOW! We literally had this old man come up to us and say "you two have too much fun to just be photographers"...we'll take that as a compliment, sir ;)

Sunday morning was just amazing. So I'll spill the beans to you now. Caleb's gift was a pair of tickets to the Bengals much better seats than he's used too! So I woke up, and got ready for "church", and while he was taking a shower, I had his brother and his cousin come over to sneakily surprise him to help him reveal his present from me. Once he got out of the shower, he walked into the living room while he was brushing his teeth and they screamed "SURPRISE" at him and he about swallowed his toothbrush! Haha! It was amazing. I recorded it, but I won't show you...since he WAS in his towel ;) cracked me the heck up. Anyway, I gave him his new Bengals shirt to wear (which he loved) and we were off to tailgate with their friends.

If you're a Bengals fan, or even caught any of the game at was an incredible game to witness. Being a Bengals fan is always emotionally exhausting and we can't help but love it! Seeing the joy on his face all day was SO worth every penny spent. I just love his smile :)

I literally almost threw up the last 4 minutes of the game, but the Win we pulled out was more than worth it!!! He said to me multiple times throughout the day that this was the best birthday he's ever had. Man, I love that guy!

We spent the rest of the evening relaxing, and unplugged. It was just what we needed!! Then we made some of the most delicious red velvet cupcakes was so fun!

We had the best weekend, even with working! So thankful for that man of mine and for fun weekends together. Hope you had a fun one!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

crappy vs happy

Once upon a time my sister in love, Erin, did a post titled "crappy vs happy" (or maybe it was happy vs crappy, either way...), and I stumbled upon it the other day! It made me smile so much I decided to write one of my own.

Crappy: not having enough room in my purse for my camera...
Happy: looking down and seeing that nearly everything inside of it is yellow, including the purse itself.

Crappy: not being able to visit a museum for years.
Happy: getting into one for free because some of your favorite clients got married at one!

Crappy: how many calories a can of mountain dew has
Happy: when you decide not to care and go for it anyway

Crappy: feeling under appreciated at my office job from time to time.
Happy: but finally getting somewhat of the raise I was promised 9 months ago!

Crappy: keeping birthday secrets from my husband...
Happy: looking forward to telling him his surprises!

Crappy: not having much free time due to so many edits that need done so soon!
Happy: still loving every second, and finding beautiful gems like this that I can frame.

Crappy: having to work Fridays while your husband gets them off.
Happy: having an entire free night with him to kick off his b-day weekend celebrations!

Crappy: not making exercise a priority this week.
Happy: realizing its okay...and learning to forgive myself.

Crappy: that daylight savings time will be over soon, so it will be darker earlier!
Happy: that when its brighter in the mornings it'll be easier to wake up and get my workout done with before my day really starts.

Crappy: not getting to see your friends as often as you like.
Happy: but being able to have a random ladies night with some co workers (and cheesecake, duh!)

Anyway, happy friday friends. Caleb and I are shooting a wedding tomorrow, and Sunday is my misters birthday and I can't wait to celebrate all day long! Love that man. Enjoy your weekend!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

When you get emotional...

...just let it happen. That's kind of a new motto I've picked up, Lately, I've been getting choked up over the smallest of things. I've found myself lately stepping back, realizing, wow...I've got an amazing husband, and serve SUCH an amazing God.

Sunday when I was able to put my dress back on for my friends photo shoot...Caleb zipped me up and mentioned how funny it was, its like I was a different bride with my brown hair. Seeing him in a fun little get-up wasn't half bad, either!!

More than just having a blast getting our pictures taken while wearing my wedding dress for an hour or so...I have to talk a little bit about my experience at the photo shoot, and how it inspired me, as a photographer, and as a wife.

There was a shot that Reese (Renee's fiancé) took and he looked at the back of his camera, and said something about how much he could tell Caleb loved me...I hid the not-so-dry eyes I was beginning to get, and went about having a blast letting him twirl me in my dress, being silly with me...etc. Fast forward through an hour of laughter, hilarious calf grabbing (yes, you read that right), and some silly games...and we had nearly reached the end. Renee had one final idea, and she wrapped us up in a blanket in the middle of this gorgeous field as the sun was setting. Then she asked us to close our eyes as we faced each other, and think back to our wedding day, and what our favorite part was. Before she could even finish telling us to think about our wedding day, the tears had already begun.

Our wedding day was so special to me, and at first, I thought the emotion coming back to me in that moment might be a little embarrassing. While I started to apologize for my tears, Renee said "Kayla, don't apologize, it's okay..." so calm, and just let us have a solid minute of silence.  I think it was the fact that I was back in wedding-day mindset, and the fact that I was in the middle of the most gorgeous sunset...but God spoke to me in that moment. I went back to every moment of my wedding, and one of my favorite parts of our day? When Caleb was willing to feel insanely vulnerable in front of EVERYONE who was important to us, and sing to me, playing the cords to one of our favorite songs he'd only learned 3 days before. He told me his favorite moment was when the doors opened and he saw me walking towards him for the last time as only his fiancĂ©. Goodness, I love that man.

I felt so inspired after that photo shoot with them, that I had an engagement shoot scheduled for the next day. Normally, after working all day at the office, my only desire is to go straight home, eat and relax. But this time? I was ready for a full hour of fun with this couple. I started looking at that hour as more than "work", but an experience. It's my job to make these clients happy, have a blast with them, and remind them just HOW in love with each other they truly are. I want them for just a moment, to even forget the camera is in front of them, capturing their every move.

Sure, love isn't always easy...but it shouldn't be too hard either. It should be the kind of thing that comes easy to you. Nothing short of laughing 'til you cry in the kitchen, staying up until 2AM on a Tuesday night just because, and ordering a dang pizza together even when one of you is on a diet.

Happy Wednesday, everybody. Hug your loved ones!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In the midst of our fall list.

Such an amazing weekend. That's all I can say! Friday, I left work early and we got a headstart on our little road trip back to Mount Vernon with enough time to spare, that we even got to play in the leaves and had ourselves a little tripod photo shoot before the rehearsal dinner.

frisbee golf! I actually wasn't half bad.
can you spot the frisbee?

The whole weekend was amazing. Saturday was the wedding, so we went to lunch with the groom (caleb's college roomie!) and I relaxed before the day really began.

The ceremony was quick, and the reception went really was so fun catching up with all of Caleb's friends!!

My sweet man put his jacket around me during the cold walk back to our car at the end of the night. I quite like him ;)

We stayed both nights, and when we woke up Sunday we made the trek back home. I had been looking forward to Sunday FOR A LONG TIME. I got to put my dress back on!!! I know my girl Renee is INSANELY busy and it'll probably be a few months before I even get to see the pictures but we already know how amazing they are going to be! They treated us to the best day ever. Reese (Renee's soon-to-be mister) made ribs for lunch. Freaking ribs. Who does that!??! (He's an amazing host!!) We had a blast stuffing ourselves silly, being photographed, but ultimately realizing they are two of the most amazing people we've probably ever met. I swear, we gabbed on for a while about how awesome they are and we can't wait to hangout again.

I hope you guys had an amazing weekend, and a great Monday!
PS - I know I told Becky like 5 times yesterday, but I HOPE YOU HAD THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER YESTERDAY, GIRL!!!!! ;)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Looking forward to...

Typically Friday's in blog land are to talk about your past week, a few favorite things from your week, etc...but this Friday I want to mix it up a little bit and talk about a few things I'm looking forward to!

Taking a half day and going on a road trip this weekend!
That's right. We're going BACK to Mount Vernon this weekend to celebrate the marriage of one of Caleb's college roommates, and we're so excited for them! We get to stay on campus where we went to college, so THAT will bring back a few memories!! We're also hoping to bring the tripod and snag a few pics on campus near some pretty Fall colors. We'll see!!

Do you guys remember me talking about my amazing friend Renee? All I can say is thank God for the internet for bringing us together. Girlfriend is one of the sweetest souls ever!! Not only that, but she's an AMAZING photographer, getting married in December, and moving to Hawaii next year. Talk about a whirlwind. She's wanting to redo her portfolio so she's asked Caleb and I to be her models and I am dying for Sunday to get here. I get to wear my dress AND yellow shoes again. Oh, and did I mention I get my hair and make up done for free? I could get used to that. I can't wait to take this beauty out of the bag come Sunday!!

I just settled a date with a few of my favorite ladies in my family to bake cookies all day in December. I know "too soon, Kayla!", but it ever too soon to start preparing for the wonderful season of Christmas?!? Besides, cookies are an all-year-round sort of thing ;) I also can't wait for Halloween, and Thanksgiving...just for the record!!

All these edits I have to finish.
As much time as it takes up in my day-to-day life, I find myself smiling right along as I look back at pictures I've snapped. Memories, captured in time...that I GOT to be a part of. So cool!

My mom coming home.
Guys. I pick her up from the airport on the 27th. I mean!!! That is so soon. Can't wait to squeeze her! I'm really excited to see what God has in store for this season in her life. Looking forward to midnight movies, sweet tea and lots of laughter and healing on the way.

Caleb's 26th birthday.
It's next Sunday! Well, the 26th (yep, its his GOLDEN BIRTHDAY...its a thing, look it up)!! I can't wait to spoil that man rotten. I love birthdays, and I love him mix the two, and you've got one excited gal over here.

What are you guys looking forward to?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's no ones fault but my own.

I mentioned yesterday in my random-filled post that I had a silly little meltdown over practically nothing. I think it was just a ton of little things that had piled up in my brain and when Caleb and I started talking about something I didn't want to talk about I just. blew. up. I'm talking, ugly cry, knees-bent, hands-in-face cry right there on the bathroom floor.

If that sounds like I just described a 4 year old, then you'd probably be right...except it was me. Even though I was being extremely ridiculous, Caleb let me cry (because lets be real, sometimes a girl just needs to vent and let it all out for whatever reason). Not only did he let me cry, he held me, gave me the perfect little pep talk (which was exactly what I needed to hear), and completely shifted my perspective on my day-to-day routine. He said "maybe you should change your attitude"... and while my first reaction was to be upset and yell at him for the comment, I thought for a second first, and realized he was right. I needed to shift my perspective. I heard God saying to me... listen Kayla, be thankful for what you have. The busy stuff is a blessing, too, even when you don't feel that way.

The ultimate root of my silly meltdown? I'm almost positive its that I don't give myself enough 'me time' to enjoy things that I love on my own...usually when I get in a night to myself? I'm spending it eating a cheap dinner, and editing photos for 4 hours at a time. Don't get me wrong, I love a quick drive thru meal and editing beautiful photos...but that still includes doing something for someone else, and I need to figure out a better schedule to keep my stress levels lower.

I think as women (or anyone with a family and/or a job that you care about), sometimes we do our best to make sure everything is done for everyone else, making sure your family is happy, your home is clean, and a good dinner was prepared for your husband. While that's all very true to some of us and those are all good things, its good to be a little selfish sometimes and say forget it. The laundry can wait, the editing can wait, and you can order take out for yourself....and sometimes? A bubble bath is in order.

I found myself emailing a few friends about how stressed I've been, will be, etc. I feel like I'm just going through the motions of my day to day life. I keep saying "I can't wait to find time to finish that book", or "maybe tonight I can squeeze in a phone call with my friends?", when I ultimately know none of those things would get done. Then I face the realization that its NO ONE'S FAULT but my OWN for not making time for myself a priority. Sure, I'm extremely busy most of the time...rushing from an office job, to Starbucks to meet with a bride, to back home to edit, workout, and make dinner... but you know what? I think its silly sometimes, rushing around like that. Everyone needs time for themselves. I truly believe that taking time to do things that you love makes you want to be better in every aspect of life.

After my 20 minute bubble bath last night (thanks Er, for the amazing Disney princess version!!), I felt happy. Not that I don't normally feel happy on other evenings, but I think I was proud of myself...for finally MAKING the time.

Oh, and another random thing? I'm sick of the fact that I'm not a morning person...I've always wanted to be that girl who wakes up in PLENTY of time to write a blog post, make hot chocolate, go for a run and maybe even pack her own lunch ALL before her 8am commute. I can't even fathom that kind of morning routine...but I'm determined to get there soon. No one is stopping me, but myself.

So ladies? I dare you to take a bubble bath tonight...finish that book, write in your journal, spend extra time doing something you love, and watch the difference in yourself unfold.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

So much on my mind!

I'm just gonna type. I have no idea where this post is going to go.

I've got a lot on my mind.
I'm hoping Caleb and I can pay off a crapton of debt this month.
I'm obsessing over our budget, making changes, tweaking it all the time.
I'm praying my mom finds a job when she moves home.
I'm feeling thankful that I've got two jobs, but I'm also feeling stressed because I've got two jobs.
I'm the first to admit I had a weird, tear filled meltdown last night.

I'm thrilled Caleb and I finally have a (safe) car.
I'm so thankful I have quite a few amazing friends I know I can depend on.
I'm praying that these piles of laundry will all be done soon.
Wishing I had a little more time so I could finally finish a book or two.
I can't wait to have our debt paid off and start saving for a house (can we fast forward 2 years?!)!!
Who am I kidding, I can hardly decorate our little apartment as it is. Ha! *forehead slap emoji*

Wishing I was good at doing my own nails. They are neglected.
Excited that Caleb and I got to see my grandparents and brother last night.
...oh, and that they made us chili (and gave us leftovers).
Thankful I have a roof over my head.
Caleb and I have been listening to a lot more country than usual, and we love it.
So happy we're getting back into lifting at the gym. Caleb is amazing to have there with me.

^^^ Cracking up at things like that above! ^^^ cutest ring bearer ever?
Wishing we had our pumpkins to carve already. I'm scared that there won't be any left!!
I had one of the worst dreams ever last night that made me wake up covered in sweat. *scary*
Excited for my first Skype photography consultation tonight!
Really beginning to brainstorm Halloween costume ideas! So excited.

I know guys, most random post ever. I just had a lot on my mind with no real agenda for this post at all...per the usual. So that's what you get :) what random things are running through your head today?!

Monday, October 13, 2014

I survived!

1 family shoot, 2 weddings, and 2 more engagement shoots later...we made it! Phew! It was obviously a couple really long days but Caleb and I danced more than usual, ate a lot of pie, and took silly pictures of each other with our down time.

Something awesome happened on Friday, though. Not only did we get to see a ton of old college friends, we had some really sweet words said to us that nearly brought me to tears. It really made me once again realize, how AWESOME this job is. I get to spend time with some of the coolest people, get to be there for their most intimate moments, and deliver the photos that they will literally hold onto forever.

Can we talk about the two STUNNING brides we got to photograph??

I really have nothing else to say about this long weekend. It was amazing, tiring, and fun. Sunday was spent doing a couple shoots, then sitting on my butt the ENTIRE rest of the day. How'd you spend yours??

Friday, October 10, 2014

A change in plans!

After a last minute cancellation last night, I was so excited to go home after work and do nothing. I had big plans of a longer than usual run, a nice bubble bath (which never happens) and finally finishing that darn book I've been reading all year.... except Caleb had better plans.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, we are shooting an out of town wedding today. The plan was to wake up kinda early, work out, and drive 3 hours away same day. So I got home from work, and Caleb didn't look anywhere near ready to leave for his men's small group at church... rather, he's standing at the dinner table with a suitcase near him and told me to look inside.

There was a paper that sad; "PACK YOUR BAGS! WE'RE GOING TO DUBLIN! DATE NIGHT!!!

No, not Dublin Ireland ;) Dublin, OHIO! He booked an out of town hotel since we haven't gotten much time together and the next few weeks will be a little crazy, and decided we needed to finally use that Montgomery Inn gift card. He knows how to make my heart happy *sappy hour*

We headed to Montgomery Inn at the late time of 9:30. They closed at 10:00...yeah, we were those people. But frankly? We didn't care. It was our night. We were literally the only ones in the place and had a front row seat to watch some Thursday Night football! Our waitress was actually super sweet and gave us the largest plate of onion strings for FREE. & we weren't even there too late past 10.

I also wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from the week;

-When we hung out with Josh, Marie, and sweet little Nora (and baby #2 in there!!) on Wednesday. This photo was a miracle. First try on self timer, totally in focus, and everyone is looking! WOO!

-I love them.

-This seriously hot momma!

-This insanely beautiful little girl. I mean... come on!

As for today and tomorrow? Wedding madness! Can't wait to share these beautiful images with you guys! Enjoy your weekends!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Before the whirlwind begins...

Starting tonight, I'm going to be using my camera for 5 days straight. Which means I'll be in front of my computer the next two to three weeks editing my life away. Don't get me wrong, I love doing it, I'm excited... but I'm already a little sleepy thinking about it.

Tonight is Marie's maternity/family shoot, tomorrow's another family shoot, Friday is an out of town wedding, Saturday is a Cincinnati wedding, and Sunday morning is three back to back family-engagement-engagement shoots. PHEW! That's a lot. But I really am excited! I was just thinking about how lucky I am. I prayed for so long to have what I have, and now that I have it? I'm trying not to complain or stress about things or worry about how in the world I'll have time to edit all of the stunning pictures...and just enjoy it. After all, I get to shoot with my cute husband all day.

But I will tell ya, its easy to be negative towards myself. I've often wondered if I'm even cut out to document someone's BIGGEST day of their life... and compare my photos to photographers who've been in the game far longer than I... and then God sends you a little sign to tell you that you're doing far more than you even know.

This was a recent review posted about Caleb and I, and I read it at a moment I desperately needed to hear it.
It was a simple reminder that I'm not only shooting a wedding, or a family, etc...but I'm capturing memories as they happen, for people who will look at these photos for years to come, and for newlyweds who will cover their living room walls with these images. So friends, just send me some good vibes over these next few days and I hope I make it through ;)

Happy Wednesday!!