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Friday, January 29, 2016

My awesome week!

1. Obviously finding out Erin and Jared are welcoming a baby BOY was the highlight of my month...but MEETING him will be the highlight of our year :) we can't wait to be an Aunt and Uncle!

2. My random sweet tea stop yesterday that I needed on my lunch break to the park. Yes, needed.

3. A random review from a recent bride. She's freaking amazing - even though she spelled Caleb's name wrong ;) we're so lucky to meet so many amazing couples through this adventure! 

4. THIS DINNER. Here is the recipe, and yes, you need to make this asap. It's DEEEELICIOUS!

I'm really looking forward to a fun weekend! Caleb and I have no plans for tonight, and tomorrow morning we're heading to Columbus for the day to spend it with some friends! Megan and Andy are so sweet, and we don't get to see them very often, so we're really looking forward to it! and MAYBE a visit to Jeni's is in order?!? ;)

Hope you all have a fun weekend planned!! See ya next week!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I'm getting a NEPHEW!

Erin and Jared came over on Monday night to give us some VERY exciting news they had been keeping to themselves all day! I could hardly focus at work, but knew that by evening, we'd know whether or not we'd be meeting our first niece or nephew later this year!

I was somehow convinced it was a girl - but that should've told us all something - cause I'm never right! Although, it was only a 50/50 shot ;) regardless, I cannot wait to be an Aunt, to the cutest little NEPHEW!! I've always heard people talk about it and now its finally happening. My random stroll around Target yesterday nearly turned dangerous when I saw "BOGO" deals on all baby clothes - yikes!

In all seriousness, Caleb and I are over the MOON about becoming an Aunt and Uncle. I know its going to be such a fun "title" to own. I just know Caleb is going to make the greatest Uncle. He's amazing with kids... they seriously love him!

More importantly though? I know Erin and Jared are going to be the greatest parents. The love they already have for this lil peanut (I guess I can stop calling him that, since now we know he's a HIM), is infectious and I know God is going to bless them richly with this little babe!

We can't wait to watch our best friends become a family of three!

Have a great day, friends!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Latest obsessions

1. Free photography conferences. I've basically signed up for them all, spent hours investing in the knowledge from some of the worlds best...and stalked Amy & Jordan's website for hours last night. They are freakin' adorable, and SO talented.

2. Making A Murder. O-M-G. Can we talk about how awesome Netflix is? I convinced Caleb to start watching this with me on Friday and basically every moment since we've been watching. Since Friday night - we're officially on episode 7. I know, its sick, but we really can't help it. I promise we don't normally veg out in front of the TV, but this show is too good!

3. Cooking. I've really gotten in a groove and I'm pumped about it. I'm trying things I wouldn't normally do. Like, I'm the girl who is usually intimidated about actually cooking chicken in a skillet,  and not just baking it in the oven, but I've promised myself to cook a few meals a week that are scary for me. Last night I made a delicious balsamic chicken w/ veggies. OMG.

4. Small tattoos. I can't say or not if I'll ever get one, but I'm loving the simple ones! Like these mountains!

5. Finding out what Erin and Jared are having last night. I cried, I squealed...lots of emotions were thrown around. I'm seriously ECSTATIC! They brought over the cutest little onsesie to reveal it to us! As much as I want to shout it from the rooftops (or through the inter webs), this is THEIR news! SO, check out her blog today and find out if I'll be meeting a baby niece or nephew this summer!!!
I hope everyone has a great Tuesday! Make it awesome!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Feeling recharged!

This weekend I had the privilege of photographing the wedding of one of my middle school besties! Katie was seriously one of the most beautiful brides I've ever seen! She never stopped smiling, the whole day. She made sure - all day long - that Caleb and I were good to go, that we were fed, etc.! It's also always great when you are referred to by your own name (even by friends/family) and not just "the photographer".

Their day was seriously beautiful...and it really just sparked so much happiness in me. The day was running on schedule, their vows were poetic (Kurt seriously could be a poet...), and their reception was wild. Katie grabbed the mic from the DJ and rapped an entire old school rap song. She hasn't changed a bit. Oh, and did I mention she's STUNNING?!

Here are just a few of my favorite shots from their day...

Although it was a long day, it absolutely recharged me; which I understand seems like an oxymoron. We had so much fun, but this wedding also made me realize how far Caleb and I have come in this business. We are far more confident than ever before in our skills and abilities - and that makes me a better photographer. It's so great to also see Caleb take charge with his own ideas and ways to make our couples smile. He's the best. I'm thankful for the nearly 50 something bride and grooms who have trusted us with their big days...they've absolutely made it all worth it!

Saturday's wedding was our last one for a couple months, and although I'll miss photographing for a bit, we're absolutely in need of this break. Shooting 3 January weddings isn't something we normally do, as this is most photographers "off season" - so I'm ready to enjoy it!

Sunday, we heard a great (football related) message at church, enjoyed a little lunch date, grocery shopping, and a whole LOT of netflix binging (no regrets). I hope you all had an awesome, stress free weekend!!

PS - I also can't wait to get back home because TONIGHT I find out if I'll be getting a baby niece or nephew this summer!!!! I can hardly focus right now ;)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Life this week

Apparently a snow storm is coming - and I'm crossing my fingers that I'll get to leave work early. Although that's very unlikely, cause that almost never happens. Regardless, this Anchorman meme made me laugh yesterday. Little fact: I've never seen Anchorman.

We've had a pretty great week of spending time together. Unfortunately, my Grandpa's little brother passed away over the weekend, so we went to his visitation last night. It was honestly moving to see how many people came to the funeral home. The lot was full, and people were having to park across the street! It was great seeing so much of my extended family, but under unfortunate circumstances. Just makes me realize we need to spend more time together!

On a more positive note, we had a great week.
...the stir fry I made on Wednesday was DELISH.

...I was told I look a lot like my Nanny at church on Sunday. She's one of my favorite people in the world and she is SO beautiful, inside and out,  so that alone made my week!

I've been working on our wedding book (yes...we've been married over 2.5 years, I know), and its making me quite sentimental. I'm so thankful for this goofball. This picture was taken the night before our wedding day. I'll never forget how funny it was when we finally saw each other at our rehearsal and he had a nose more red than Rudolph. I honestly didn't care, though...this was about to be the best weekend ever! Fortunately though, he was sunburn free come morning.

I plan to get home (hopefully safely) tonight and pop in a bunch of Disney movies with my man. Someone at work this week told me they just weren't a big "Disney fan"... excuse me??!!? HOW?!

We've got our 3rd wedding of the year tomorrow, and I'm hoping we get a bunch of PRETTY snow. You know the soft, fluffy kind...before it turns to brown, wet slosh. Wish us luck! Have a great weekend, friends!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Getting a grip on meal planning.

last nights stir fry with homemade sauce!!
I don't know what it was about meal planning that intimidated me. I've posted about it multiple times, asking for advice, getting suggestions on how you all do your shopping, how often, what you make, etc.! It was all almost overwhelming that I'd end up just going to the store with no real plan but a list full of crap that would hardly last 2 weeks, and spend way too much.

Don't get me wrong, its not like I've gone the last 2.5 years of marriage without ever cooking. It's just been sporadic, unplanned, and somehow a lot of pizza delivery men show up at our door... ?!?! Pretty much everything we made wasn't by following a recipe!

So one day last week at work, I decided to use my lunch break to give it another whirl. I sat down for a full hour, dusted off the digital cobwebs on my Pinterest boards and went to town. I even had my colored sharpies out, you guys! I decided I'd start small and instead of giving myself restrictions based on cost or nutrition, etc., I decided to have no limits and just make it delicious and somewhat easy! This is what I ended up with for next week:

MondaySlow Cooker Cheesy Enchilada Bake...because holy yum.

Tuesday: Lemon Garlic Dump Chicken (probably the easiest looking "recipe" in the world) + glazed carrots for our side.

WednesdayChicken Enchilada Soup OR some new form of stuffed peppers again - because I may want a break from all the chicken I accidentally incorporated ;)

ThursdayOne Pan Balsamic Chicken + Veggies -- I don't know about you but if it only includes ONE PAN? I'm in!!

Friday (and weekend leftovers): Quinoa Chicken Chili - Erin posted about this recipe earlier this week and I immediately knew I needed the recipe. 1) I love quinoa. 2) sounded like there would be lots of leftovers...and with this cold weather lately, its the perfect comfort food to have on hand so we can eat it for weekend lunches!

So now I'm curious to know - what is your FAVORITE meal to cook for yourself/your family?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Recapping my weekend on a Wednesday

It's funny, as I sit down to write this I started thinking about my blogging 'niche', and you know what? I don't think I have one. But I think that's okay! I love talking about anything and everything that comes to mind. I love that this is MY space and I can talk about whatever I feel like.

Last Friday, I mentioned how excited I was to have some me time! It was great. After I finally left work, I stopped by Chipotle for dinner (and added chips + guac, because duh) and got a big surprise! I tried handing my money to the cashier when I was finally done ordering and he told me "not to worry about it" ?!??!? ummm, don't WORRY about it!? "What do you mean???" he told me, "the dude with the beard said to cover your meal, enjoy your evening!" 

A free meal!? OKAYYY! My night couldn't get better - then I went to Kroger and they had my favorite flavor of B&J's in the world - and it did.

Turns out Chipotle managers get to fill a quota of free meals everyday to make up for the recent food poisoning scares.... #worthit. I fell asleep after watching about a million episodes of Flea Market Flip and had myself a great time.

Saturday, we had our 2nd wedding of the year and it was awesome. So many gorgeous details at such a unique venue! For you local gals, it was at Leapin Lizard Gallery in Covington!

Sunday was a day full of good sandwiches, a great church service and quality time with family! Youth group got cancelled that evening so Caleb and I made the most of it by having a movie night in! We finally watched The Martian, and WOW! I really loved it! I forgot how much I liked Matt Damon, and now I'm wanting to rewatch all of the Bourne movies!!

I know its Wednesday, but I hope everyone else had a great weekend!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday, you're here!

This has been a very random, not so normal week around these parts! My boss put in her notice at work, my blog ideas are next to none, and I didn't eat as healthy as I wanted.
Caleb has a crazy awesome opportunity coming up, I still love showing up here to write, and I did work out a decent amount this week. So there are a few things to celebrate.

These stuffed bell peppers I made on Tuesday were amazing...

We have our second 2016 wedding tomorrow and this stud muffin is probably pumped to be my test subject again ;)

I've figured out the program on the elliptical that I like. It's scary hard but its making my thighs BURN and that's exactly what I want!

We watched a scary movie last night and while the ending was kind dumb...we both jumped our fair share of times ;) so I'd say mission accomplished!

Caleb just informed me last night he was having a "guys night" tonight, so looks like I'll be having some quality ME time. Hello movies, blankets and popcorn....or my favorite ice cream in the world.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week...and if not? Hey, chin up buttercup. There's always tomorrow! :) happy weekend!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A small list of wants with my man.

He's always sleepy after dark. Me? Wide awake!
Because I'm bored and need a distraction from editing all these photos, here's a small list of things that Caleb and I want to do together in our little lifetime:

Go to Disney World
Visit the West Coast and stick our toes in the Pacific
Buy our first home
...and decorate it like Joanna Gaines would...
Get out of debt (which will be happening this year - woo!!)

Have babies (no, not yet!)
Read a book together and actually discuss it.
Get a couples massage.
Own a small property at our favorite spot in the world (HHI)

Visit Australia
Get a real Christmas tree one year!
Bless strangers for no reason
Get a dog (that doesn't shed)

Hike in Hawaii
Visit Italy and eat as much as we want
See the Bengals win a Superbowl (or at least go)!! #whodeyforever

...I also wouldn't have minded if we had won this huge power ball lotto ;) we had a little date night last night and discussed over dinner what we'd do with all that cash flow. It's a crazy thing to imagine, scary almost! We came to the conclusion we'd keep it a secret, keep a little more than enough for us, our friends and family to live VERY comfortably, build a new church for our community, have lots of fun with, and give away the rest. I can't imagine having that kind of cash!

Anyway - have a great Thursday friends. It's almost the weekend!!! Woo!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

January: Simplified Challenge

Like most bloggers, I follow a lot of other bloggers/women who inspire me on a daily basis. Some of them are friends I've known for years, others are near-celebrities I've never met. One of these gals I follow on instagram is Emily Ley. I'm SURE you've heard of her by now, but if not go check her out!!

This month she started something called the Simplicity Challenge - 2016! As if I needed another reason to stalk her page... now I'm checking in daily with her to see what that day's challenge is! As someone who always claims she wants life to be less stressful, etc., I don't make a lot of effort day in and day out to make this happen. Enter: The Simplicity Challenge.

Every morning I check in and see what that day holds...and try my best to make it happen, and if I can't, I write it down and give myself until the end of that week. I can successfully say its already made my life feel less stressful. It can be something as simple as cleaning out your car/home/etc., but I'm a firm believer that lack of physical clutter means lack of emotional clutter... and I'm ALL for that.

While we do have 3 weddings this month, we'll have a good break after that! I'm going to try my hardest not to let life get CRAZY like it did last year. Last year? I experienced a real anxiety attack, cried myself to sleep several times, and didn't make a ton of time to just BE. Don't get me wrong, it was an amazing year of personal and professional growth, but it was definitely challenging at times. So this year, I want to be more intentional on keeping my stress levels low. It can be easy to get overwhelmed, but I'm hoping small tasks like this will be a step in the right direction.

Happy hump day, friends!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Life goes on..

Heartbroken. Emotional. Confused. Those are three little words that described me on Saturday night, and nearly all of yesterday. My Bengals were defeated in the playoff game against the Steelers at home, but I'm sure you already knew that, unless you aren't into sports or have been living under a rock.

The emotional roller coaster that was the second half of that game was just crazy. I cried real tears of joy and sadness all within ten minutes.  Its games like that that make it hard to be such an invested fan of any team. The truth is - the game just didn't end the way we wanted it. I could go on for a while about it, but I won't! We sulked and complained all the way home, and a little bit of yesterday, but I'm quickly reminded that although the loss hurt (bad), life still goes on...

...and I still have the same adorable, football loving husband, and we made a lot of fun memories together at the stadium Saturday night...

Other than going to the game, we cleaned our entire place this weekend - and finally put away all the christmas decorations! Our living room seems so much more open without that tree! I'm also happy to report I've now worked out 3 days in a row. I'm truly trying to make this new year a healthier one. I officially took my "before" photos, and I believe doing that was a pretty big motivator for me!

It also snowed last night, and my windshield wiper SNAPPED off my car from being so frozen, so we skipped youth group and made a trip to Walmart so I can safely drive to work this week! ;)  Although its freezing, the first snowfall was beautiful!

I hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A little wish!

This is sweet Nora. She turns FIVE today. I can't believe it! Nora has been part of our life since she was only a couple of months old. Caleb and I have been so blessed by this little gal. We've been lucky to be around for her first few crawls, first steps, when she began speaking, etc.! She's such a little ray of sunshine to us and so many friends!

I'm so thankful for her presence in our life. I'm also thankful she's able to enjoy her birthday at home! Sweet little Nora has been in the ICU at Children's Hospital all week after a possible seizure she had last week. She ended up getting pneumonia and was put on oxygen for days. Her lungs were filled with gunk, and she had a pretty rough time.  Josh and Marie kept us posted all week with various pictures/smiles from the hospital bed all week long...and somehow, this little girl kept her awesome, peppy spirit and made all the employees smile, too! I'm happy to report she's all better!

Today I'm simply thankful for good health, amazing hospitals, and this sweet little girl. Happy Thursday, friends!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Bring it on, 2016.

I didn't make real resolutions this year...I kind of like how I did things last year with my "six loose goals". I like keeping things low pressure. Of course, I still have some goals in mind for the new year! You might roll your eyes at them...
Read more
Make my health a bigger priority
Finish paying off our debt
Be the best version of myself I can be

....yadda yadda yadda, right? ;) wrong. I don't believe new years resolutions can be tacky and cliche... I think its awesome to see so many people get a fresh, clean slate and want to better themselves! The only problem with that is usually consistency! So this year, I want to make sure to simply wake up more to exercise, make more time for things I love (friends, manicures, crafts, sleep, reading, etc.), spend less money, and just try to be a better person overall.

We rang in the new year with our best friends doing nothing other than catching up, playing funny board games and watching the ball drop. We were all beat and fell asleep promptly after midnight, but it was the perfect way to spend the new year. We don't need a fancy party to have fun, just some good company!

On New Years Day we decided to use some money we had set aside on a bike/elliptical! We spent pretty much all day out picking those up, putting them together, doing a big trip of healthy groceries and being productive so we didn't have time to work the first thing on Saturday's agenda was a difficult workout!

Saturday was also our first wedding of 2016!!! I can't believe it. We had so much fun, this couple was hilarious and clearly love each other to pieces!

When I got home, I was beat from my sore muscles, so we crashed after watching Star Wars... and you know I'm loving these new comfy slippers my girl Lyndsie got me!

Sunday was full of volunteering at church, another Bengals win (WHODEY!!!???!!), and youth group with the teens that evening. I hope you all had a great time ringing in the New Year! Lets do this, 2016!!!

Do you have any goals this New Year?