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Monday, November 30, 2015

A much needed break!

I don't know about you, but I really needed those few days off. Thanksgiving was awesome, as usual. We ate too much, laughed too hard, and tossed too much football. JK that's not possible ;)
I'm so thankful for the time I got to spend with family that I don't see enough, and the weather was incredible, so that helped!

It was pretty funny when Caleb and my brother showed up in the same OSU shirt, too!

We did our usual Black Friday/Christmas shopping and had a blast. Friday we did a whole lot of relaxing and then I met up with Lyndsie for dinner. I'm glad she decided to hang even though she was really sick, we had a great time, as usual!

Saturday, we enjoyed watching OSU win their game, and then we decorated our home! It's honestly one of my favorite things to do with Caleb! Deciding where to put the tree, placing all of our awesome ornaments, hanging all of our decorations, etc.! Of course, we had the "Pop Christmas" station on and I sang a little too loud when N'Sync came on ;)

We didn't do anything fancy the remainder of the weekend, just grabbed dinner at our local favorite Mexican place, and spent a lot of time cuddling on the couch watching a lot of football. It was my favorite, and it really has me itching for our stay-cation week mid-December!

Also...WHO DEY!!??!?!! 9-2 feels SO good! We celebrated the win by tossing football outside for well over an hour. I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving and got to spend it with all of your favorite people!

I started this morning with this youtube workout video that rocked my world - although the trainer was a little silly, her voice kept me going. She kept reassuring me my glutes would look great after ;) I really need to make some changes in my daily lifestyle, both big and small, and this was a great start on this Monday morning. Here's to a new week!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hot chocolate, apple pie and friends.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Nerdiest of them all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 20, 2015

Little Caesars it is...

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A small list.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Suck and sweet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 16, 2015

Welcome to adulthood

Today, my (baby) brother turns 18.

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

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

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

Happy Monday, friends!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Dear groceries...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Rambles from a thankful heart.

Phew. This has been a week! It started out pretty crummy with a terrible migraine, and then work yesterday afternoon turned out to be really frustrating! But I'm thankful for this cutie, who surprises me with Nutter Butters and long hugs...who lets me vent my face off until I have nothing more to say. Who tells me how amazing I am even when I don't feel like it...and who poses with the cutest little yellow penguin there ever was, because he knows I'd laugh about it (and would turn into one of my favorite photos - hehe)!!

Caleb and I have worked pretty dang hard this year, and although I'm excited for these last couple weddings this year (only two more!!!) its about time for a break! I'm so excited that after work now I can come straight home and just BE! If I want to relax, I totally can! If I want to be productive, I can do that too!! It's something I'm definitely NOT going to take for granted.

Before this free time hit, I had been doing quite a few sessions with my church family! My love for family photography is rekindling. There's just something SO special about family portraits. Getting to freeze a moment of a cute kid with the most adorable belly laugh? There's nothing like it. It's pretty cool when I think that these are photos these families will have for the rest of time. I have to remind myself of that when I have a long, crazy day. No matter WHAT it is I'm photographing, that I'm helping document someone's story. That's pretty killer.

I'm also feeling extra thankful this week after last weekends wedding. Leah was so sweet and messaged me ON HER HONEYMOON to tell me how much our presence on their big day meant to them. I mean!?!? I seriously do feel so lucky to get to be a part of so many amazing moments!!

*non obvious transition in post topics*

Can we all just take a second and talk about how scary fear is?!? It's been on my mind a LOT lately. About our future, our jobs, our lives...where do we see ourselves in 5 years?! It's crazy how much life can change in just a matter of months, and its scary when you have no idea what your exact "plan" is, and if you have one - whether or not it will work. I'm struggling a LOT with giving it all up to God, but I know that's what has to happen for me to be at peace. I need to believe in myself more, and KNOW that God has bigger things in store for Caleb and I than we can even imagine right now.

This post was insanely random, BUT that's just the kind of week I'm having. Thanks for sticking through the rambles :) happy almost-Friday!!