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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Because I can be thankful on a Wednesday.

Today is my last day of work for the week and for THAT, I am so so thankful. I seriously am so happy to have a 4-day weekend I don't know what to do with all this excitement!! Tomorrow, Caleb and I will sleep in, (hopefully) hit the gym, and we'll be doing our big meal in the middle of the day at my Dad's. I'm especially excited for the sweet potato casserole, its so good I could eat on it for days! In honor of it being the week of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd show some gratitude for everything in my life today.

I'm thankful...
...when my husband says, "screw the gym, we're ordering pizza".

...for out-of-town friends who come over on a random night and hang out for hours.

...for a sister in law who is so much like me its almost scary.

...for free movie rentals from the library.

...for friends who inspire me to go after my dreams.

...when Caleb's boss lets him borrow an old school Italian cookbook. Hellooo stuffed shells!

...that he loves to dance as much as I do.

...when my brother surprises us at our door for a quick visit after dinner, and we sing worship songs for hours on end in the quiet of our living room.

...for movies that make me feel like a big kid (I'm talking to you, Tangled).

...for The Walking Dead. I know that sounds silly, but we're seriously in love with this show. It's a fun tradition on Sunday nights for us to unplug form the world, and enjoy a gruesome show together.

...for the little people in my life that bring my heart so much joy.

...that we're able to pay off our school debt aggressively. We've paid off a couple thousand bucks these past few months and its felt unreal. It sometimes doesn't 'feel' like anything, because the money isn't our account for long before we make another payment! But I'm loving it.

...for clean water. I easily forget that some parts of the world don't have access to it.

...for our comfy reclining couches.

...when I realized I can take awesome videos with my DSLR, and am so excited to start documenting our life in a new way.

...for my family, friends, job, clothes, home, food, and everything else in my life. God is so good! I hope everyone has a fun, SAFE Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Friendsgiving and family.

Happy Monday! I hope I'm not the only one who has a 3-day work week! Thanksgiving is almost here and I'm pumped. But I have a ton of weekend material to fill you in on first. It was an insanely busy weekend, but I loved every minute. Friday evening we enjoyed ourselves at Caleb's cousin's wedding! Caleb was a groomsmen in it and we had a blast dancing all night! This is probably my new fav photo of Erin and I ;)

Saturday we went to a used book sale at the library and scored big. Caleb and I have a little project involving vintage books and found quite a few neat looking ones. We're so excited!! We even went to have lunch with his Mammaw, and after I made the most amazing pumpkin pull-apart bread thanks to Lisa's blog post (thanks again, girl)!! Erin and Jared hosted a Friendsgiving that evening and we got to spend it with them and other friends enjoying ridiculous games, amazing food, and all the awesomeness that each friendship brings!

Gotta love no shave November...

We got home pretty late so we crashed hard. Sunday morning church happened, and then we got to witness my brother's girlfriend get baptized. It was really special. Veronica has been a part of our lives for a couple years now, and I know she makes my brother very happy! Nothing makes me tear up like watching someone immerse themselves into a new life with Christ.

Since my in-laws were in town they stayed with us over the weekend and we had a small finger-food style Thanksgiving, and celebrated with birthday presents (lots of November b-days in our fan)!! We actually gave them their gifts Saturday morning though...whoops! We gifted my father-in-law the Bengals hoodie, and my mother-in-law a new purse and picture frame with a family photo from our wedding. They loved them!

We enjoyed the day snacking on amazing food, and watching the Bengals win YET ANOTHER game. Woohoo! Can you tell we're enjoying our free weekends?? Hope you all had a great one!

Friday, November 21, 2014

It's Friday!! Happies from my week.

Ah, the weekend is nearly upon us again. Somehow this week went by pretty quickly...and I'm not complaining! Tonight, Caleb is in his cousin's wedding, and I'm showing up after work with my camera to snap some photos. We've got a good mix of free time and fun with friends over the weekend and I'm excited for it! A lot of awesome stuff happened this week. Nothing TOO significant, but a lot of stuff that made me smile, so I thought I'd share!

-When my husband gave me the longest hug after work for no other reason than he missed me.

-Having a massive snowstorm hit Ohio, which completely surprised everyone. Sunday night they called for a few inches and I think we all kind of thought we'll believe it when we see it...well, Monday morning came, and there it all was. It turned into a WINTER WONDERLAND! I wasn't hating it! Look at all that beauty!!

-When a coworker brought me chocolates I paid for weeks ago with his adorable daughter's personal 'thank you' written all over it. Melt my heart!
-Country style ribs in the crock pot. Almost better than that was simply walking into our apartment having it smell like BBQ heaven!
-When I won both my fantasy league match ups last week!
-One of my favorite co workers left me a delicious butterscotch banana cake-cookie for breakfast Wednesday morning. SO tasty!!

-This song and video from Taylor Swift. I'm sorry but girlfriend is awesome. She's obviously poking fun at the media's portrayal of her and her love life and I kind of love it!! Plus? Caleb even likes the song so we blasted it in the car a few times.

-When BHLDN shared my photo on their Facebook, I kind of died. I know a lot of you don't know who they are, but they make gorgeous bridal attire (gowns and jewelry) and having my photo shared on ANY website ever is kind of a pinch-me moment. I was pretty excited!

-This post from my girl, Becky. Seriously...her heart! Just love her, and can't wait until her next visit to Cincy!!

-Coming back to songs sung with Caleb, we had a full out party in the car last night belting Sia's "Chandelier"...guys, he's obsessed with this song. It cracks me up!

Hope you have the BEST weekend ahead of you!! :)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thankful for it all.

In my instagram caption yesterday, I mentioned how thankful Caleb and I were for our recent purchase of our new winter coats that we needed. It got a few comments about what others were thankful for and made me want to write a full post on what I'm most thankful for; both serious and silly.
I'm extremely grateful for my husband...obviously. My life wouldn't be near as fun, interesting, or fulfilling as it is without him. He's my rock, and my best friend. I love that we get to hang out together for the rest of our lives...and play house, that's pretty fun, too.

My friends. Every one of those ladies down there? I have such a unique relationship with each of them and I couldn't be more thankful for all of them. I can be so insanely weird with every last one of them, and I love it!

Our apartment. It keeps us warm, it gives us water, its a place to go after a long day of work, its where Caleb and I started our life matter where life takes us, and even though its not always super clean, I'll always remember this little spot of ours.

My jobs. One of which I don't absolutely love by any means, and another that I do...but both of them are really such a blessing. I may vent from time to time about the stress or craziness of having more than one job, but I'm extremely grateful that I've got not one, but two dependable jobs.

Speaking of jobs...I'm insanely thankful for health insurance. The fact that Caleb and I can just call our doctor and pay them a visit whenever we need too, is so amazing. I think sometimes in America we take advantage of modern medicine, and its really such a fantastic thing. I'm so thankful for insurance that covers us when we need it.

On a lighter note?
I'm thankful for my husbands smile lines. I tell him all the time how he's gonna be the hottest Dad on the block one day.
I'm thankful for Disney movies that make me feel like a kid again.
I'm thankful for my local Chickfila and that sweet nectar that they call tea.
I'm thankful for my favorite pair of socks covered in snowmen.
I'm thankful for emojis, they make texting my grandma so much more entertaining.
I'm thankful for my brother's weird personality that's almost identical to mine. Love you, bro!

Be thankful for everything today, no matter your circumstance. Significant or all matters. There's always something to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hiiii! I'm still alive!

Apparently I decided I needed an unannounced blogging break and it was kind of good for my soul! I caught up on a few blogs but didn't worry about a post for a few days and I didn't mind it one bit. But I'm back and here to tell you all about our last few days.

Last weekend was so great. Friday evening we got home and had no real plans, and we actually stayed awake for a couple movies, which hardly ever happens. Saturday we had practically an entire day before we had to be at the wedding we were photographing...and we had an absolute blast that evening, and Caleb actually knew quite a few people there. I've been to so many weddings in the past year its practically my job to teach the guests how to do the "Wobble" and "Cupid Shuffle"... #holla

Sunday we had some friends over and watched the Bengals tear it up with another WIN! We got to celebrate both Caleb's brother's birthday (which its actually his birthday today, Hiiii Jared! Happy birthday, bro!) and also my little brother's birthday. I really can't believe my "baby" brother turned 17 on Sunday. My grandparents baked a coca-cola cake (um, delish) and we gifted my brother a few OSU apparel gifts (his fav)!!

Oh, and I'm really excited to report Caleb and I finally both got winter coats last night. It was psycho, really, how long it had been since either of us had bought a nice winter coat. So, we decided to hit up our favorite shop, Marshall's, and grab ourselves each one. I have to say, I LOVE mine...then we both had the cashier cut the tags for us so we could wear them out. He, of course, found a nice puffy black coat with the Bengals logo, and I found myself an adorable navy coat that came with a cute belt! "Nice. You'll look professional going to work, now" - Caleb.

So we've had a pretty great last few days... and I'm excited for some fun plans coming up! Caleb and I have a good mix of plans with friends and family and also free time this weekend and we're super excited about it. We only have one official wedding left of the year and we're so proud of what we've accomplished in 2014! Can't wait for some free time coming up and lots of relaxing before next wedding season!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

After 4 weeks of no exercise...

Goodness. Going to the gym Tuesday night was honestly not what I wanted to do right after work. Work was a bit hectic, a consultation got cancelled due to unavailability, and I was just plain worn out. Then to top it off, I realized I left my headphones at home (since they weren't in my gym bag)...I made a choice though, and I was going to suck it up and make myself exercise...and I may or may not have stopped by the local TJ Maxx to buy a cheap pair of headphones to get me through...yes, it was necessary.

My goal was really only a mile or two of running, but I surprised myself by running just over 3 miles with little walking. You see, once I'm at the gym, already running, I'm good...its just getting there that's the hard part. But on that treadmill, I was reminded of a few things...

Pushing myself "just one more minute" is so rewarding. When the timer hit 29 minutes and I knew I only had 1 minute of my run left, I upped it by a minute, then another minute, then another minute. May not work for everyone, but it was like a fun challenge against myself. It totally worked and I was able to go further than usual. Ran for about 35 minutes total!

Running is SO therapeutic. I mean, after a ridiculously long day with a few problems, its nice to run your heart out to a crazy workout jam and feel pumped up. I truly feel so awesome once I'm finished with a hard I could do anything!

I was also reminded of how LONG it had been since I've consistently run... so to say I'm pretty sore today is an understatement, but it was totally worth it. I'm excited to be back in the game. It's about time!!! ;)

Today at work we're doing a service project for our community and I'm really excited about it. Not only are we helping a ton of people out, but we get to wear jeans, AND they asked me to take pictures. Woohoo! Combining both my professions? I could get used to this! Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Trying to decide on travel plans.

Caleb and I have been saying since this past summer that we need to start looking at vacation plans for 2015...that has yet to happen. We always joke we'll just hit up another all inclusive, out of the country resort...however, there's something inside of me yelling BE CRAZY. As busy as Caleb and I are most of the time, you'd think I'd crave a relaxing beach vacation...and while I would love that, I also kind of want some adventure.

If it were up to me we'd probably either do a week at Disney in Florida (and visit some beaches while we were there) or a road trip along the East Coast and see a TON of states in about 7-10 days. The other day, a co-worker said to me "You really want to go to Disney for vacation? But you don't have kids"....uh, really?!? Sorry I'm a grown adult who loves all things Monsters Inc, Toy Story and Frozen!! Actually, no, I'm not sorry ;)

So if that happens, you know I'll be asking for tips/advice from all of you, especially from my SIL who went back-to-back years...she's a pro! Caleb and I have only taken one long vacation together, and that was our honeymoon in Mexico - so I'd like to see a little more of the U.S. together. I would love to rent a car and just hit the road with a very loose agenda. Have a couple hotels booked, but just see where the road takes us, literally! Traveling is so much fun, and yes, while we ARE aggressively paying off our debt (finally), we both agree that vacations are a necessity. In the big picture, we'd only get out of debt a month or two earlier and we're paying for them all in cash - so to us? It's 100% worth it.

Where are some fun vacation spots you've been too on the East Coast? I need some fun ideas to present to Caleb! We're open to West Cost stuff, too! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Containing the fever.

We got to visit with some of our dearest friends last night, and finally meet their sweet new bundle of joy, named Charlotte. She was born on October 29th, and I've literally been holding myself back from not skipping work to cuddle her daily. Luckily, last night was my chance. I think I fell in love. No wait, I definitely did.

Caleb and I are nowhere near ready for children...obviously if it happened, we would be overwhelmed with joy, but like I've said before, we plan to wait a few years...enjoy some time of just 'the two of us' before a little one is in the picture. So that's whats nice about having friends with can snuggle them all you want, and then give them back :)

I really just love to see Caleb with matter the age. He has this way about him, they trust him, he is so easy to get along with, and has absolutely no shame in wearing a princess tiara to make Nora smile. She is such a good big sister, and we wanted to make sure to show her some love as much as she loves having a little sister, I'm sure she's not used to having to share the attention. Most kid aren't. Shoot, when I was THIRTEEN I was jealous of my newborn cousin for all the attention he got. So funny to look back on. So, I played along with Nora's adorable imagination throughout the evening, as usual... just love her little personality!

Then the guys got back with dinner, and after that? It was time to stare at the baby again. I mean really though, how do these two make the most BEAUTIFUL children!!?

...oh yeah, that's how. #gapmodels (this was taken only about one month ago)

The night went way too fast, as usual, and Nora had to go to bed. It was adorable watching her say goodnight to her new sister.

We love hanging out with them. It seems like we always end up laughing our faces off, watching old videos, and talking about our futures. We always leave their home feeling refreshed and inspired...and last night was no exception. Can't wait to see what our future holds...even if babies are a few years away! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Goodness I got lucky!

Friday night was a lonely night for me, and at first I was kinda bummed about that, until I realized I'm ALWAYS wishing I had a little more time to myself. When I got home from work, there was a card on our half wall with my name on it...from the sweetest husband ever and a gift card to Marshalls. I've been talking about needing a new pair of boots for months (and even wrote a couple posts on it), and he told me since I had a free night, to treat myself to a pair of boots and grab my favorite meal on the way home. Goodness, I love that man.

Would you believe that I found the cutest boots ever and had $10 to spare on the card...then found this dress on clearance, for... TEN DOLLARS?! I almost couldn't believe it either...but it happened!!!!

After I got home and scarfed down some Chickfila, I took a nice bubble bath, read some of my book (that I still haven't finished from the summer), edited only a little bit, and even curled my hair. It was so good for my soul to have some time to myself...doing whatever I wanted!

Saturday Caleb and I photographed a wedding for some friends, and it was such a fun, easy day! Although I had a headache (that lingered all through Sunday as well), it was a great day!

We got home at a pretty decent hour and watched the rest of the Bucks game! I've never been to an OSU game and hope that one day we can make that happen.

Sunday we had an amazing morning at church, so many exciting things coming up for our community and I'm excited we get to be a part of it! We spent the day doing laundry, eating pancakes, and relaxing. That evening we had a movie night with the youth group we volunteer for and it was a blast. We are so lucky to have these fun kids in our lives!

How was your weekend!?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Things that suck, and things that don't.

This week has been a little crazy! Some parts sucked, and some parts straight rocked. Like when the Bengals lost, but I got to spend nearly the whole evening making silly faces with my momma. Or like when I got halfway through a dinner recipe this week and realized I was missing not one, but two main ingredients. Then I improvised and it was still amazing. Then there was enough leftover for lunch the next day. #winning

Or like on Monday, it was pretty hectic. I had to make the 30 minute commute home one way AND back on my lunch break to get my camera and gear for an engagement shoot that was at 4:45 that afternoon...but out of that crazy hectic mess came some STUNNING shots! I'm obsessed with this couple.

{Non-awkward transition in conversation} I've really been trying to find my 'voice' with photography lately. As you can probably tell, I'm much more of a lifestyle photographer, and the words "studio photography" would (hopefully) never be used to describe me. Sometimes its really stressful...then I kind of think, why do I need a 'label' at all? Why can't I just enjoy this time of growing, learning, and enjoying shooting all of these weddings as much as I can? Oh wait...I CAN. I just need to remind myself of that sometimes. I've vowed to stay off the photography section of Pinterest and find inspiration elsewhere.

I'm trying to remember that photography is about more than fancy equipment, and pretty venues. It's truly about the subjects in your photos. If I can make two people smile...and remember WHY they love each other? My job has been done. I long for those moments where brides get in fits of uncontrollable laughter, when the snorting begins, and the awkwardness of being in front of a camera fades. Man, this is where my passion is. I can't wait to keep pursuing my dream, every stinking day!

Happy Friday, friends!!! What're you up to this weekend? Caleb is having a guys night tonight so my plans include absolutely nothing... I may try and find something to do with friends, or I'll just embrace my couch with some sweatpants. #gettingwild

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A few goals for this month!

We aren't even going to go into what I did and did not accomplish in the month of October because trust me, as far as REAL goals went? It wasn't pretty. I really did start out strong...and then all the weddings and never ending edits fell into my lap...and running took a sad fall on the back burner.

What's exciting about the fact that its a new month, though? Well, just that! If you're anything like me, I feel like daily lists are a must. I mean, I probably make 17 post-its at work a day...due to all the random things I'm making lists about (that day's to-do list, potential meal ideas, blog post ideas, brides to be booked, presents for the entire family, outfits to wear, groceries to buy, its never ending...really)! So I want to make sure I write down my goals...even if I don't know that they'll all get accomplished!
-Make and order our wedding photo book. Guys, this still hasn't happened. It was part of our WEDDING PACKAGE that we've already paid for... a photo book... and we still haven't picked any photos out for it. Come on!!!! I'd also like to make our honeymoon photo book, but in all honesty? I know that won't get done before 2014 is over.

-Get my NYE dress altered. I'm a bridesmaid in my college roomies wedding on New Years Eve and I couldn't be more excited...although, it would help if the dress wasn't 1 or 2 sizes too big, so time to take that sucker into the alterations experts!!

-Sign up for my second half marathon. Caleb keeps tempting me to sign up for a FULL with him...then I remember, no, I'm not THAT crazy. So we'll both probably stick to the half that we ran last year... I am getting really excited. Last year, I was NOT prepared. Guys, I had only ever run 5 miles at that point. I was nowhere near prepared for 13.1 miles!!! Somehow, I did it... and I almost got there on my hands and knees, but somehow I finished. I plan to CRUSH my time from last year and PR like nobody's business. ;)

Rent a scary movie. I know, this seems silly to have on my "goals" list...but I haven't watched a good thriller in a while, and Halloween JUST happened. Caleb and I always try to stay awake long enough for a movie after each wedding we shoot - its sort of a tradition - so I'm hoping we can squeeze one in over the next couple weekends.

Do a random act of kindness. Of course, this is the season of giving, isn't it?

RUN. I'm not going to set a mile list, but I'd really like to just be consistently running 3 miles/day as much as possible. I need to start training for the half that I still need to sign up for! ;)

I know its not a TON of goals...but I'm hoping to keep it realistic. Anything exciting on your list-of-life this month?!?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A few things I like about myself.

A few months ago, I linked up with some ladies and wrote a post called 10 things I like about myself, and it was so therapeutic. Sometimes, I think we're all a little afraid to say "hey self, you're pretty awesome"...and I've kind of felt some extra stress lately in certain aspects of my life, so I think its time I remind myself what the good things are...

I like...
That I'm loyal. In my marriage, in my faith, and in my friendships. You need me? I will be there, no matter what.

That I'm optimistic. Sure, not every day is good...but I believe there is GOOD in every day. When you have a better attitude about life, its hard to stay negative for long.

My freckles. Sometimes, I can hardly see them, but come summertime, there they are...just like little happy polka dots.

That I wear my heart on my sleeve. Well, sometimes. Sometimes I'm really hard to read. As in, I could be really sad, and not want any pity or questions so I pretend everything is all I bottle it up inside, then freak out at the wrong moment, letting everything build up. That's definitely one thing I'd like to work on. Sharing my feelings more. Caleb is always telling me that its okay to 'not be okay' all the time.

That I'm weird. Like, seriously...but if it wasn't for me being myself, I wouldn't have some of the greatest, most amazing friends in the world who share the same brand of weird.

That I'm going after my dream. Every day isn't easy, and I'm sometimes a little too hard on myself...but I know what I want out of life, and I'll stop at nothing to make my dreams come true.

Speaking of my dream... that I have a passion at all. It makes me sad when I see some people just not have a 'thing' that they love, or want to go after. I'm happy to say I've got a passion, and I love that I get to build relationships with people while pursuing mine.

That I'm strong. I've been through my fair share of 'crap' in life, my teenage years were especially the hardest, but through all the ugly cards that were dealt to me, I learned some seriously valuable life lessons.

That I'm friendly. I truly believe a wave to a stranger, a smile to a co worker, or a simple email can change someone's why not?

That I'm close with my grandparents... I've been blessed with quite a few sets of grandparents. One of which practically raised me. We hardly go a few days without talking, and they feel more like parents to me.

My adventurous side... skydiving? Done. Bungee jumping? Any day. Swim with sharks? Please, say the word!! I don't know what it is, but something about feeling the adrenaline is so neat to me. Life is too short to not do things that scare you at least a little!

My love for life... the days may be slow, but usually the years go fast. I try to write in my real journal a couple times a month to remember the raw moments that I don't want to share on the blog sometimes, and the happy little things like when Caleb packs my lunch for me. Life isn't always the huge milestones, its sometimes the small stuff... like when you find $2 in your pocket, or get gas for under $3 a gallon! Score!

My dimples. Sometimes there's just one...sometimes two. Certain facial expressions of mine show different dimples in my face. I think I got them from my Dad, but I'm not entirely sure.

My middle name, Lynn. It's simple, but I like it. I also got that from my Dad.

You know what? That felt good. On those days when I feel ugly, or my personality doesn't quite fit in,  or I'm being a negative Nancy, I'm going to come back and read these things for the simple reminder that God made me this way...and I'm great the way I am. & SO ARE YOU! Yes, you.... :) you are beautiful.

YOUR TURN. Leave a comment with at least ONE thing you love about yourself.

Linking up with the amazing Shanna!

Monday, November 3, 2014

This town ain't big enough for the both of us...

Our weekend was amazing. It started at Erin and Jared's with a fun celebration for Caleb's birthday. Complete with a poster size card, too much dancing (is there such a thing?!) and pounds of food. They always throw the best little hangouts and we're so thankful for all the hilarious memories we made!

The next morning we watched my brother tear it up at his band competition...oh, did I forget to mention it was SNOWING?!?! Yeah...well, just flurries, but still. I'm thinking this is going to be one cold, long winter ahead of us! After that, we were off to put our costumes together. I got very lucky with this find (and since we waited to buy until Nov 1st, it was on super sale!), and Caleb found himself a Walking Dead costume, and he completed a little DIY at home with spray blood + Meijer bought toy gun.

Meet Jessie, and Sheriff Rick Grimes.

Caleb looks pretty legit in this next photo.

Erin and Jared got pretty crazy with their costumes, too! Meet Zurg and Cruella Deville!

The night was a blast, seeing lots of Caleb's side of the family that we don't get to see very often, eating delicious food and enjoying some hilarious games. Oh, and snuggling an adorable little baby (complete with a mustache)!!

& guess who won "Best Costume" of the night? That's, Rick Grimes!!!!

We had a ton of fun, and were seriously so worn out by about 8:00PM. File that under #whenyouknowyouregettingold.

Sunday was spent alone. Caleb was at the Bengals game downtown all day, while I hibernated on our couch... and by hibernating I mean drowning in beautiful edits all day. How was your Halloween weekend?