April 30, 2013

a european happymoon / rauris, austria

welcome to rauris, austria - a tiny picturesque mountain town nestled right in the heart of the Austrian alps. 

 in the winter, life is breathed into rauris as tourists from all over the world, especially europe, flock to the alps for the most scenic and thrilling ski/snowboarding vacations. rauris is also my sister's home. after she graduated high school, she flew to europe and spent the winter working at a local ski resort. there she also met her boyfriend, and rauris is now home to her. after over a year of hearing all about her new life, it was so exciting to finally experience it in person. after a morning of the best snowboarding of our life, Travis, Kim and I bundled up and walked through the little town.  we have never been cold and so enchanted at the same. lucky for you, you get to 'see' austria without getting frostbite - enjoy: 

 -5 degrees celsius, like below zero freezing. i'm surprised our california bodies just didn't shut down altogether!

yes, this is real life. doesn't this look like it's the front of a christmas card? places like this do exist, people! =)

countdown // one hundred and three

ONE HUNDRED AND THREE! that's how many days stand between today and our wedding day, and i just can't wait. the double digits are almost upon us.

a little sneak peek of our engagement photos! you can see more on our wedding website, and i'll be blogging them soon!

last night, we tackled our pre-marital homework - the ever dreaded budget. but it was so good. like so, so good. thank you for making all of life's concerns a joy to tackle together. thank you for being patient when i am impatient, and understanding when i am not understanding. thank you for always listening with an open ear, resolving to make things better, and extending forgiveness to me. i certainly don't deserve any of it, and i am grateful, incredibly grateful for you. 

thank you for bringing home the best gifts from men's retreat. to say i missed you would be an understatement, but i am so glad you had a weekend away, building friendships with other Godly men, sharing your story, and letting God use you. i love how open you are with those around you. you are authentic and real, humble enough to let God use your story to encourage others. i am so glad others got to see the things in you that i am lucky to see every single day. you are an encouragement to everyone around you, especially to me. and thank you for our matching mugs - we seriously have a mug addiction! when we go apartment hunting this weekend, we'll have to have enough cabinet space just for all of our mugs. thank you for thinking of me and bringing home such a thoughtful surprise. 

those three weeks that you're away in China, i am going to miss you unbearably. but like i said yesterday, we need to go into that process completely assured of God's will in our life. if I believe with all my heart that He wants you to be ministering in China, that China needs you and you need it, then the missing will be much easier. and if i know that i can use those few weeks to spend intentional time with my family, serving them and loving them, then that's what i'm going to do. 

i am grateful for all of the obstacles that face us in this journey, grateful because they make us stronger, because we get to know each other better because of them. that negative sign at the bottom of the budget? it doesn't worry me. it's just another opportunity to release control to the Lord and let Him provide - and He will.

thank you for being my rock, especially in these last few months. i love you.

April 27, 2013

chick flicks and refrigerators

tonight i watched a chick flick for the first time in a long time, like a very long time. you just can't go wrong with Nicholas Sparks. T would have rolled his eyes the entire time while he begrudgingly watched with me - ha, no let's be real, a chick flick wouldn't have even been an option - but he's out of town this weekend, so i am seizing my girly opportunity. 

let me tell you, i get very productive when that man of mine is out of town. today i finished my thesis, put together a decent amount of my portfolio, ran errands, ironed the dresses that have been hanging on my closet for weeks, made lunch and dinner, and cozied in for a movie with plenty of time to spare. the apartment is vacuumed and dusted, my car is clean, and i got a perfect 8 hours of sleep last night. i feel good. but i am also missing T very much. above all, he's my best friend, and i miss having someone to share accomplishments with, someone to snuggle up to, to talk with throughout the day, to make plans with. i'm savoring this weekend to check things off the list and catch up on life a little, but i can't wait for him to be home tomorrow evening. 

things have been really crazy lately. this morning, i finally woke up feeling more rested than i have in weeks - the fan was softly blowing, the sun was streaming in, my sheets were all comfy and tangled - and then the worries crept in. no, they didn't creep, they just appeared, suddenly and loudly. 

about a week ago, i learned that i need to move out and find a new place within the next 30 days. add that to the list of school work as i approach graduation, finals, commencement ceremonies, work, my mom visiting from out of town, and wedding planning, i almost had a panic attack when i heard the news. but i accepted it as graciously as calmly as i could and immediately surrendered it to God - a few times. by the time i had to talk to Travis about it, i was at peace, knowing God would provide. but then this morning, worries came out of no where.

what about a bed? does that mean you guys have to go bed shopping within the next month too? are you going to sleep in your big married bed before the wedding? before Travis moves in? so you might sleep on a floor for a while. and what about furniture? a table? pots and pans for the kitchen? silverware? dishes? you have nothing, deb. remember, you sold it all when you moved out of the apartment because you thought the next time you moved, the wedding wouldn't be far away. and if your move out date is at the end of may, but you only start renting on the first of june, what will you do? maybe you can stay an extra day or two. but the day after move-out day is your bridal shower. but that's good, right? hopefully you'll get a few things for the house. and what about money? you guys hardly have any right now, and life just feels like one expense after another at the moment. you won't have money to pay for an extra two month's rent, on top of furnishing the apartment, will you? maybe you could crash at a friend's, like you did last summer for a little while. but then you'd have to move, and then move again, within just a little over a month, and you're tired of moving. absolutely done with it. and what about a refrigerator? hopefully you find a place that already includes one, because that's another expense, and another big item to hunt down and purchase. 

all of that, within five minutes of waking up. and in between the questions and the doubts, i constantly tried to give to to Jesus. i desperately clung to the promise that He provide. and i believe He will, i just have no idea what provision will look like within the next month. but He is good, and He is faithful, and that is Truth. 

next weekend we start apartment hunting - pray we find something affordable, but cozy, in a good location, something that's available within the next month, and maybe a place with a refrigerator! ;] 

April 25, 2013

senior // melanie

melanie was one of my first seniors as Debbie Huber Photography was first starting out. the other day, i was flipping through her session from last year and decided to give these photos a complete re-touch, and i just love the clean and fresh results! everything about this session was a joy - from the location to melanie's hilarious personality. thank you for taking a leap of faith with me, melanie and susie. i truly appreciate it!

thanks for checking in, friends - have a happy thursday! 

April 23, 2013

finish well

homework is consuming my life. completely. i have never spent this much time writing, researching, and reading before. like, ever. while normal people enjoy relaxing and refreshing weekends, mine looked a little like this:


observation hours
4 hours of thesis work
oh, and then i actually had some fun. T and i rented Lincoln, and oh my goodness i loved it. the little history buff in me was just dancing off the walls, while T sat there saying, "i don't really get what's going on right now." that's ok babe, that's what you have me for. and the acting just blew me away - no joke, i think i had a little dead-man crush on Abe by the end of that movie. and yes, i cried, totally, when he died. 


this past weekend was my sweet friend Kelly's bridal shower - i can't believe she's getting married in just a little less than two months! time flies, people. the whole time, i couldn't help thinking about how excited i am for my bridal shower in just over a month (selfish of me, i know). i am so excited to see what Rachel has up her sleeve, and i just can't wait to have the most awesome women in the world all together for an afternoon!

and then the rest of saturday was a whole lot of work, work work, oh and a little game time with our best friends, because we are totally the kind of people who play board games on saturday night, and that people, is how we define fun. 


when T came home from worship practice that evening around 9:30, i was still going strong, and that wonderful fiancé of mine brought a latte with him, because "you deserve it, love." his supportiveness on days where i have hardly a second to spare amazes me. it gets me through, and it challenges me to step outside of my little world and do the same for him. i don't know what i'd do without that guy. thank you, Jesus.


seriously, shoot me
but when i walk across that stage and receive that diploma, it is going to feel so good, and so well-earned. that makes this final push all worth it. because i will officially be a college graduate. i will have MADE IT. 

and for all of you other graduates or hard-workers out there, grab a coffee like i'm about to do and HANG IN THERE. 

April 18, 2013

senior // erin marie

good morning, lovelies! it's an early morning over here today, but there's nothing better than getting a headstart on the day, right? especially when it's almost Friday...except that when you're a senior in college and finals are only 3 weeks away, weekends mean more time to study and finish up major projects...but that's ok! graduation, i see you! 

speaking of graduation, a few weeks ago i met the beautiful Erin for her graduation portrait session. ever since we started e-mailing, i knew this girl was going to be a joy to work with. right off the bat, she had a stunning location in mind and a few little crafts up her sleeve to personalize her session. then she showed up in these fabulous outfits, and i just knew these photos were going to ROCK. and what's even better is that i can call Erin not only a dream client, but now, also a friend. 

Erin, thank you so much for entrusting me to capture these special images of you, for your continuous support, and for making this day SO fun - i appreciate it! =)

 how adorable is this DIY banner? i just loved incorporating all of these fun crafts into Erin's photos!

 the day we can both see 'i'm done!' is going to be the sweetest taste of victory. Erin, i wish you ALL the best in the exciting journey that lies ahead of you! =)

and yes, a jillion photos later, this blog post is done too. 

happy thursday!