January 30, 2014

baby blessings: emma jane // lifestyle newborn photography

this is my sweet little niece and by far the cutest babe ever to be born. i'm so thankful Travis and i were able to take a quick trip up north to meet her, cuddle her, and ooh & ahh all over this adorable muffin for a weekend. i'm having major withdrawals already...while we were visiting, we had a quick newborn session at home to document emma's first week on planet earth. i just wish she'd stay this tiny and perfect forever! and fingers crossed, this will prompt many more trips home in the coming months! 

January 28, 2014

instalife: january thoughts

there always comes a point where things just can't get much worse. that's how the end of 2013 felt. like the bottom, the end of the rope. we didn't know how much more we could handle, and we had no idea when things would start to turn around. and when life feels lowest, there's nothing left to do but surrender. as hard as you might try to keep control, no matter how many lists you write, how well you organize your time, or how hard you try to keep that smile on your face, eventually it's clearly time to let go. and miraculously, without fail, God steps in, and He starts moving. 

january has looked like a lot of praying, praising, brainstorming, and occasionally butting heads. we've spent several evenings around our giant chalkboard writing down everything in our hearts, all of our worries, all of our dreams. and after we'd identified those dreams, it was time to start taking baby steps toward those goals. 

i'm excited about my business, excited about Travis' future as he pursues his career, excited to finish my credential, excited about the changes we know are coming. there are still deep desires that ache within us - the desire for community, for rich and deep friendships, the desire to eventually move and live in a place we love. we're taking baby steps toward those, too. right now, we're in the here & now. everyone  who knows me knows that i'm a planner; i'm always counting down to the next big thing. but i'm learning how to live today, because i'm not exactly sure what next week, next month, next year will look like. and i'm learning to be ok with that, to find joy in it. 

it's been the little things this month, too. renewing my library card and checking out stacks of books. a red-eye drive up the i-5 to snuggle with our new niece and spend time at home. homemade and husband-made sweet treats. a date night or two. the longer evenings. a love note here and there. dinner with new friends. an evening of cooking & baking family recipes. a quiet morning with a new book. i'm learning to savor life. drink in the fresh air, feel the breeze as it drifts through our home, pause and admire the sunset. every day is showered with gifts. drink it all in today, friends. 

let's connect on instagram!

January 27, 2014

our wedding story: part six // the grand finale!

let's be real, behind your screens you probably all look like these ladies with your hands up in the air, because i've finally reached the END of our wedding story! (hopefully not, but i just love this photo of my best friend's mom and mine - aren't they the most precious thing?) 

let's back up. if we're being honest, the reception is probably the part of the day that you invest the most planning & money into. hopefully, you've also invested seriously into your marriage, which then finally takes root during the ceremony. but the reception is all about the food, the fun, the music, and the love. we are so glad so many friends & family could celebrate and dance the night away with us...it was truly THE BEST. 

rachel & my sisters gave the sweetest speeches i've ever heard. i was so blessed by their words of encouragement and affirmation! 

i'm also so glad that we had the time to walk around and hug our guests! though we weren't able to make it to every table, it was a wonderful way to thank them and personally connect despite all the flurry and excitement of the day. these people have all been influential in our relationship, in some big or small way, and we would not be where we are or who we are without them. 

BAHAHA see that fat cold sore on my lip?! again, proof that not everything about our wedding was perfect. i remember waking up with that monster just a few days before the wedding, and all i could do was laugh. those dang things always show up at the worst moments (like my senior yearbook photo, the first day of school...you know, little things). i usually take them as a warning sign: stop stressing, deb. like, now. and then smear toothpaste all over it praying it'll disappear. but i was a bride with a cold sore (windex anyone?!) and it wasn't the end of the world. laugh life in the face sometimes, put a little lipstick on, and party on, friends. 

THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THE WORLD / THE SWEETEST PEOPLE / FRIENDS I WISH LIVED CLOSER SO WE COULD ACTUALLY GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER EVEN BETTER! i adore Jillian and James and still love telling the story of how our paths crossed. they made the most important part of our wedding day (the photographs) a reality, and i will never forget their generosity, kindness, and overall awesomeness. 

cheers to a wonderful weekend, friends!

January 23, 2014

our wedding story: part five // a bride & her groom

the best thing about this photo (besides how dreamy it is), is that it was taken literally seconds after the ceremony and we didn't even know it was happening - it was just a moment of hugging and celebrating and embracing, and it all felt as magical as it looks. and that's how the rest of the evening felt. 

grab a cup of coffee and kick back, because there are lots of photos in this post, but they're some of my favorite, mostly for the moments they capture: the adoration and love on my groom's face (for which I will always be grateful), the laughter and joy between our best friends, the pure delight these two newlyweds found, and still find, in each other. i'll let Jillian Zamora's gorgeous work do all the story-telling today. 

tomorrow is the GRAND FINALE (i promise!) and we'll end this all dancing & partying the night away...xo.