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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2 loans down, 2 to go!

Yesterday I mentioned something very exciting happened on Saturday and that I'd fill you guys in today. A little back story first...

This is the year that Caleb and I got more serious about paying off debt. A few days into the new year we were able to pay off loan #1 (which rocked)! Then we had to pay a LOT in taxes from our first full year of (partial) self employment, and things got a little crazy. It was then time to move onto loan #2 - which was our used car we bought last Fall. We had been putting money away, and putting money away for months, and then paying bills, and paying more bills and finally, we had set aside enough on Saturday to.....
PAY OFF OUR CAR!!!!! Ceellleeebraaate goood timesss, come onnnn!
insert dance party photo!
I can't tell you how good it felt to walk out of that bank with a "paid off" receipt in my hand. It probably won't feel REAL until we see the legit title in our mailbox, but regardless...I'm a happy girl to have two loans finally paid off!

It really hit me this week how much extra income we will have once we're debt free. I know last year I spoke more about becoming debt free but its really hitting me now the kind of future we can set ourselves up for by having NO debt.

I'm also learning more and more that this is kind of a "weird" way to workers look at me like I have 3 heads when I tell them I cant go out to lunch w/ them again because I only have $10 in cash to spend for the week! & you know what? I kind of love that. It's also encouraging that we have SO many people in our lives who have such amazing success stories. Remember Sallie & Perkins?! Then our friends Josh + well as multiple couples from church. They are all living like NO ONE ELSE because they chose to live like NO ONE ELSE for a little while.

This year has been stressful, tiring, and insanely exhausting to say the least, and being in the midst of this pay-off kinda sucks sometimes, but now I'm treating it like a game. How fast can we pay off our bigger loan #3?! I want to impress myself! So now we're buckling down even more so that by next year? We'll be debt free and can have more freedom...& we can't freaking wait. Thanks for all your wisdom, Dave Ramsey!

NOW? On to loan #3!!!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Our entirely free weekend!

Our weekend was the perfect form of recovery from our insanely busy last week! Sports Camp was a huge success...we got to hang out with hundreds of kids, be outside all week, and spread the love of Jesus! I was CRAZY tired all week so I think the little break I took from blogging was exactly what I needed, so thanks for sticking with me!

Friday after Sports Camp we went home and worked our little butts off editing a ton of gorgeous photos..two weeks ago, we ended up buying Caleb an older, used laptop from Craigslist and he's already edited an ENTIRE wedding. Not only has it been fun teaching him more about the details of the software, but it means the world that he's helping out!

Saturday was an amazing day for us. As much fun as we have photographing weddings, it was a much needed weekend off after 7 wedding weekends in a row. Something very exciting happened (more on that tomorrow!), and then the rest of the day was pretty ordinary. However, ordinary was PERFECT. We grabbed Skyline... went grocery shopping... took a long trip to the library... and went home to play video games and watch movies. It was everything I wanted our day off to be!

Sunday we enjoyed a morning full of worship and church, then I got to visit my bestie Lyndsie while she was in town! She brought me back some neat stuff from her recent trip to New Zealand and I freaking loved it. She's wonderful and I'm so thankful I got to see her for even just a quick hour!

After that, Caleb and I took a trip to the pool for a couple hours. It was glorious! We've made it to the pool a ton this year already and its been awesome to spend so much time outside. For some reason last year we stayed cooped up a lot in our living room and I'm glad we're changing our habits!

We finished our evening with breakfast for dinner (always a good idea) and a few episodes of The Office. We have an insanely busy week/weekend ahead of us so I'm just trying to take it one day at a time! I hope you guys had a fantastic weekend, too!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sap happy.

This week marks one of the most insane weeks of our year.  For the last few summers, we've volunteered for our church's annual Sports Camp (think VBS but outdoors/sports)....and while we're extremely exhausted from it (we're talking midnight bed times all week), we wouldn't trade it for the world.

There's nothing I love more than watching my husband be around kids, he's SO great with them. It just comes so natural to him...and I honestly shed a little tear last night watching him dance along side these kids during worship, encouraging a sweet little kid who felt left out, and even trying to teach a lefty how to shoot. I wouldn't trade these little memories for anything. I'm so incredibly thankful for that man I call my husband.

I also had a few great conversations with people in my church I'd never really spoken to. People who told me my photography is making a difference in people's lives, and how much they appreciate seeing them plastered all over FB less than 12 hours later... and that makes all the humidity and sweat  (seriously, so much sweat) worth it. I love being surrounded by people who want to GIVE so much of their time... they have no idea how much they inspire me!

Anyway, I really stopped in today to say I may be taking a quick break this week from blogging. It's been crazy and it's just going to continue that way, so stick with me! & enjoy your hump day! ;)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The craziest weekend of all!

Our weekend was crazy busy, but guess what? We survived. Weeee surviiiveeed!! Two weddings, a trip to the zoo, and the start of Sports Camp for our church! To be honest, it was insanely exhausting, and I was pretty sick the whole time (lots of congestion, feverish, etc.) but I toughed through. I decided to use a day off yesterday to recoup and while I'm not entirely better, I think I needed it!

Since so much happened from Thursday night on... I'll sum it up in a few photos. I do want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you who wished us well and who kept their fingers crossed for good weather during the weddings because we mostly had PERFECT WEATHER! No signs of "tropical storm Bill" whatsoever! There were sprinkles in the morning but they went away and we had beautiful overcast skies for both days. Is this bride not STUNNING?!

Saturdays wedding was a great one, but they got married in the oldest church Downtown...and there happened to be NO air conditioning in the building, so we about died.
super flattering angle, we know.
We spent Sunday afternoon with my Dad at the zoo, and it was awesome. We don't get to spend a ton of time together with both of our crazy schedules so it was great. Caleb and I had never been together and it was so much fun! I love my Dad, and all his funny quirks that make him him. Including his "who's your daddy" star wars shirt... ;)

...then my dreams came true and I got to feed a giraffe!!

Then our church's annual sports camp started... I photograph it every year and its always amazes me to see these kids hear about Jesus, some for the first time! While its insanely hot and I felt gross, it's so worth it.

I hope everyone has a great Tuesday!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Our first "double header" of the year!

In my world, a "double header" has nothing to do with baseball... but has everything to do with shooting TWO full weddings in the same weekend. Today, I took a vacation day from my day-job to shoot Dana and Brandon's wedding! I'm so excited to be able to photograph them again.

I feel like I don't show a lot of my work because I don't think Blogger does a great job with clarity (on high res. files) so I stopped posting them for the most part, but I hated that! Each one of our couples has unique stories, personalities, etc...and I want to showcase that! So here's a few shots from their engagement session I did earlier in the year. It's definitely a favorite to date, and they were just such a fun couple!

We just need all fingers crossed that this weekends weather cooperates. We're prepared for the risidual thunderstorms from "tropical storm Bill" that may come through OH/IN but, we're ready! Just praying for a little sunshine, or even overcast...that's my favorite to shoot in anyway! ;)

We also have some fun photobooth stuff planned for this wedding... wish us luck!

Have a GREAT weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Invest in those you love.

Last night I had the chance to get together with two of my closest friends. It had been way too long since we'd been able to get together. It stinks when life just happens and we just continue to get older and our schedules get busier and sometimes - our friendships seem to get pushed to the back of the line. Sure technology is great, being able to call/text/Skype at a moments notice...but being able to sit across the table from some of your best friends over some yummy pizza and sweet tea? There's just something special about that. True connections. Yes, we've grown up and don't speak daily...but I know these girls would drop everything for me if I ever needed them to.

...and yes, that's precious little Norah in the bottom. She just turned 2 months (or as you mommas would call it, 8 weeks)!! She seriously is the best little baby. Didn't make a peep all evening, just sat there, slept and looked around. She pretty much stole my heart. I can't go another 6 weeks without seeing her!

Anyway, this fun little dinner date with my friends just got me thinking about growing up. Sometimes I wish life could be as easy as it used to be. Isn't it funny how things work out? We spent our entire childhood wishing we could be older...and now that I'm here, some days? I'd give anything to have little to no responsibilities. Of course, I wouldn't trade my life for the world...but you get my point. I'm very blessed to have quite a few amazing friends...and I want to be sure I appreciate them and let them know HOW much they mean to me. That goes for my family, too. I'm happy that I have some girls nights in the works where I can invest in each unique relationship I have with them.

The point of this post? Invest in those you love. Whether that's your husband, your best friend, your sister, your aunt, your mom, etc... just SHOW them what they mean to you. Send a card in the mail (am I the only one who has a dance party when I see a hand written note in my kitchen when I get home?!), send flowers for no reason, buy their lunch, spend an entire weekend together...whatever you do, just make the time to do it! :) happy Wednesday, friends.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A little progress report.

So June is officially more than halfway over... how did that happen!? I honestly don't get how time flies by so quickly but that just makes me more thankful for this little blog of mine! Getting to look back weeks, months, even YEARS has brought me so much joy! ANYWAY! Since we're making our way into the second half of June...I thought I'd update everyone on my June goal progress;
enter random summertime photo because what's a post without a photo.
To use Myfitness Pal again: pretty much a success! There have only been a couple days in the beginning I missed, but I'm making a ton of progress. It's really helping me watch what I eat/drink!

Drink more water: everyday (except wedding days, ironically, which is when I seem to need it most)  I've had at least 80oz of water. I know I can do way better (I used to drink well over 100oz/day), so I'm going to try and crush this goal the next half of the month! HOWEVER! I have only had 4 tiny ounces of pop this entire month. This is crazy for me!! I'm pretty proud about this one.

Get back in the gym: okay, confession. I haven't done very amazing at this one...I've only worked out a couple times. But in my defense? It's because I've had SO MUCH editing to do...but exercise insanely important to me so I'm going to quit with the excuses and hit the gym more these next few weeks. I do have to say though, my eating has SIGNIFICANTLY imroved in just 2 weeks.

Make our wedding album selections... womp womp...not yet. But now that I've checked in, I'm already working with Caleb to see when we can sit down and make our favorite selections! It's about dang time, right? ;)

Finish 2 books: almost there! This is a huge goal for me!!!! I've really made more time for this. Reading is one of my favorite things to do and I'm hoping to make this part of my everyday life again!

Relax more: check. We've made it to the pool FOUR times since its opened and that's double the amount of times we went all summer last year. I'm getting a little tanner and that makes me a happy girl! I feel more like myself when I make time for me... and I think that's awesome.

How are you doing on your June goals? I want to hear!

Monday, June 15, 2015

The weekend to beat!

Friday evening started with a quick trip to Chipotle with my man for our very own little date night, after a quick snap chat to show how excited I was about it! ;)

Sunday we had plenty of time to hit the pool before our 9th wedding of the year, and we got ourselves a little more sun! This was now our 3rd trip up and we plan on making this a habit throughout the summer. It's SO relaxing to sit by the pool with a breeze and a good book in hand!

We headed out for the wedding after lunch and ended up with the sweetest couple. I hadn't seen them since the fall and it was great celebrating their love all day. I tried a few new tactics during photos and it almost had the bride in happy tears when her new husband looked her in the eyes and told her his favorite things about her...which meant I almost cried. Gosh, I love this job.

I tweeted about her dress but oh my gosh, don't even get me started. Blush pink/ivory tulle under a lace top and a blinged-out belt...I was literally drooling. We had a blast with them all day and they also made suer WE had a blast and wow - we really did!!

...especially when BRUTUS of THE OHIO STATE BUCKEYES showed up! We were all so surprised!

We pretty much had the best wedding day ever with these folks and they were just the sweetest. Always making sure we weren't on the dance floor without a glow stick, and asking us if we needed anything. I kept telling them NO, that's why we're here for YOU ;) 

Sunday was pretty standard and we ended with a night full of bowling with the youth group!

You guys, I even got FOUR strikes in a row...and I'm NOT A GOOD BOWLER, so I freaked out, of course! I spent every second of free time editing and cannot believe HOW MANY images we've shot this year. Like roughly 40K photos. Pyscho, huh? #welcometomylife.

I want to hear about your weekend! Hope it was fantasti!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Five on Fridayyy!

1. There' are times that life hits you in the face and makes you realize how awesome it is. Sure, its busy...sure, it can be overwhelming, but the people in my life and the conversations we have just make me realize how great I have it. Last night was a great reminder of that. I got to spend time with some of my favorite people on Earth doing nothing but watching a few guys play a softball game...and it rocked! It's the little things, y'all.

2. Wednesday evening I had an engagement session on one of the warmest days so far... and not to mention, the roads near the park were mostly closed due to some bike race so I walked about a mile...but this couple was worth it. They kept calling themselves "awkward" but that made it all the better. They pretty much are laughing in every photo.

3. I would call this week a success, overall. I told you guys a few days ago that this week marked a new, healthier chapter in my life and I did really well this week. Compared to how I had been eating, I'd call this week mostly a home run ;) sure I had an occasional treat, but it made me motivated to be good 90% of the time so I could look forward to a little somethin'!

4. Jurassic World. Enough said. I'm praying we can make it work to see it this weekend because duh, its Jurassic World!!

5. We have wedding number NINE tomorrow! I still can't believe I'm lucky enough to do what I love so often. Unfortunately, the weather isn't looking super sunny, which I guess I won't mind because overcast skies are my favorite to shoot in...however, I'm keeping my fingers crossed the rain holds off long enough for us to sneak in some shots outdoors!

Hope you all have had a great week, and have an even better weekend coming up!! :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Currently: containers make me excited.

It's been a hot minute since I've posted a "currently" or "lately" series...and its a random Wednesday, so why not? I like these posts because they are just enough when I'm not feeling extremely inspired! So here's a look into a few currents of my life lately;

Reading: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. Yes, it's true that I started this book LAST JULY on vacation with my family, but I didn't finish and since we've returned home from that vacation last year I hadn't made ANY time for reading. Well, I'm so excited that I've changed that. Caleb and I are making more time for things we love now, no more excuses!

Wanting: every maxi dress ever. I have a couple, but I need a fancier, more wedding-appropriate one. Preferably one thats not a "t-shirt" material...BUT! I still need to be able to move around easily in it! Any ideas?

Wishing: my Nanny the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!! She's helped to raise me, taught me some of life's most valuable lessons, and makes me laugh almost every day. I wouldn't be who I am today without her... I love you, Nanny! Thanks for being a wild, amazing, silly grandma!

Loving: stalking my friends Reese & Renee's instagram. They recently moved to Hawaii and I spend a ridiculous amount of time drooling over their adorable images. The love they have for life is infectious!

Drooling over: this lunch I packed for today. Seasoned tilapia, baby carrots (hummus not pictured) and my afternoon snack of cheese (rice cake & fruit) also not pictured.

Looking forward to: the last weekend of the month. We have 3 more weddings until then and while I'm VERY much looking forward to them, a full weekend with no plans sounds pretty appealing right now! :)

Thankful for: that husband of mine. I had a consultation after work last night and he offered to go grocery shopping at the same time. THEN after HE cooked dinner, he suggested that we hit the deck with our books in hand and just enjoy each others company. Pretty sure I fell in love with him all over again. He's a smart one, that man.

Excited about: the new containers my husband surprised me with! I love new, its a problem.

Enjoying: all things photography equipment. Seriously, I spend more time than I'd like to admit dreaming of all the lenses and gear I could buy if money wasn't an issue...anyone feeling generous!? ;)

Proud of: My cousin. She just turned 8 on Monday and we got to celebrate her all evening long. I drew her this tiny little chalk crown and we had way too much fun. Makes me want to buy a chalk set and be a kid again. I love her to pieces...and can't believe how old she's getting! She and her brother are my only first cousins, isn't that nuts? #tinyfamily

I hope you all have a fantastic, hump day...and because no, it never gets old...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

New & improved

Last night was my first day back at the gym... in over 8 weeks. Did you read that correctly? In over EIGHT WEEKS! I've noticed a recent trend lately in my overall personality... I'm always tired, I'm always feeling gross, I'm always eating whatever I want... well, that stops now! It has to stop... as I said last night on my Instagram, I'm just "sick and tired of feeling sick and tired". No more excuses.

It's time to get back in shape. Hardly any of my pants fit comfortably, and that's just not acceptable anymore! I've already been logging my food, cutting out pop and I'm saying no to treats more often because they should be just that, the occasional treat! NOT something I have after nearly every meal just because I feel like it. I've gained quite a few extra pounds since the new year and I don't like that at all. Time to be a better ME!

I'll admit, my little trip to the gym last night was anything but pleasant. Our apartment complex was having a "resident appreciation night" and selling $5 pizzas in the parking lot, my run sucked and I found out halfway through my stay at the gym that someone left the flippin' HEAT running on an 80 degree day! I thought I was going to die...but you know what? I didn't. I completed almost 2 miles and walked uphill for some of it. Like I said, it wasn't the most amazing workout, but I still don't regret it!

Something about getting one part of your life back in order makes you just want to be better in all Caleb and I are calling this a new beginning for us. We want to be the best US we can be... in every part of our lives. That means making more time for reading instead of netflix binging, more time outside and less time on the couch (which we have been pretty good about already, yay), more healthy meals/meal planning rather than sporadic trips to Chipotle/Donatos. We're excited about these small changes and think that they'll make a huge difference in our overall habits.

What are YOU doing to be a better you this month?

Monday, June 8, 2015

A weekend for the books!

I wish weekends were longer. Seriously, I feel like Sunday night comes SO quickly, and I hate feeling like "ugh, Mondays", but I kind of can't help it. I'm trying to be better at feeling thankful no matter WHAT my weekend plans are, no matter HOW quickly they go by...etc. So even though its Monday, I'm crazy thankful for the awesome weekend we had. We packed in a TON!

Friday we started out the evening with some awesome friends at a new local Mexican joint and of course, played hours of Catch Phrase...can't go wrong with that! We had so much fun and stayed up WAY too late! We slept in Saturday and had some down time before our eighth wedding of the year. EIGHTH! I honestly can't believe we've already got that many under our belt or the 2015 season. Like always, we had a blast but this one was particularly entertaining! We got a new favorite photo booth picture together, and loved their backdrop. That was a legit life size N & K marquee and yes, it rocked...and yes, her name was Kayla. So, of course she rocked too ;)

In usual fashion here are a few sneak peeks from this (model) couple's wedding day (again, annoyed with Blogger for not uploading my photos at their full resolution and still haven't found a solution, but get the gist).

Sunday Caleb and I hit up some yard sales and I got a pretty bad sunburn...somehow we forgot it wasn't going to be cloudy and left the sunscreen at home. We scored a couple cool vintage video cameras and a funny action figure for Caleb. Not sure that it was worth the over 35 minute drive, but we got Skyline after it so I was a happy gal, and of course, spending time with my man is always awesome.

Later that afternoon we had a "summer kickoff" for the youth group and I tried to even out my tan lines (unsuccessfully, if you were wondering)! We had a blast with the kids, playing games (for HOURS, I was so out of breath) stuffing our faces with food and just having a great time!
I'm in the black, and that's Caleb in the dark green on the bottom right ;)

My weekend was just awesome... and I hope yours was too!!