April 30, 2014


last night, i was scrolling through my instagram feed and told travis that i love instagram because it's like a little journal of my life. those little squares reflect life's little in-betweens, the things i usually wouldn't slow down to notice but have now become essential to my every day. this month has been a blur, and i can hardly believe may is just around the corner! while things have been insanely busy as the semester winds down, i'm happy to announce that the end is in sight, and summer is almost here. praise the Lamb. 

our april has looked a lot like adding some finishing touches to our home, taking motorcycle rides together (LOVE!)...

...getting back into the habit of establishing a regular quiet time in my day (it's always the first thing to go, and i want to make it a habit in my life)...

...a quick visit home, including some FABULOUS photoshoots and a celebration of my dad's life on the tenth anniversary of his passing...

...our family visiting for a few days over their spring break and a trip to disneyland together (WOOHOO!)...

...and more learning about each other, making the most of our time together when we have it, my first Pedro's Taco experience (THE BOMB), a baby shower, dreaming about where we're headed in the next year or so, and evaluating how and where we're investing our time and love into. i feel like we're in a constant season of growth and refining, and there are days where i'd really like to be done with all of that. but, God never promised us a comfortable routine and security. He has only promised that He's already ahead of us and that He holds our life in His loving and faithful hands. and that's all we need. 

i hope you all had a wonderful month - cheers to may! 

follow along with daily bits of life on instagram: @debbie_gilley

April 24, 2014


this year has seen a lot of great things happen, and my friendship with this girl has been one of the best. at the end of last year, i was praying hard for girlfriends i could connect with on an authentic level. i was, and still am, a newlywed wife, and i desperately desired relationship with other young women who could relate to the lessons i was learning and the changes travis and i were experiencing. i prayed for women who would be encouraging and truthful, honest and real. since the beginning of the year, Brooke, our sweet friend Sawyer (whose blog you can find here), and I have been meeting weekly, and it's been the biggest blessing. 

this beautiful girl is graduating next month, so we walked around her neighborhood and documented this exciting season of her life. it was low-key and simple, and i just love the results - who needs anything fancy when your face looks this good, amiright?! 

p.s. the man behind all of Brooke's big beautiful smiles also joined us, and i can't wait to share images of my two favorite lovebirds! stay tuned! 

happy almost graduation, brooke! i am already praying over the exciting things God has in store for you + Greg (and i'm secretly praying He keeps you two around!). you are a gift to me, and i'm so lucky to walk through this season of life with a friend like you! 

April 23, 2014


happy birthday, dad! today you'd be 49 years old, or as i like to think of you, 49 years young. i'll always remember you just as you were - not sick, not older, but young, full of laughs and pranks and a love for adventure. and you know what? you'll forever stay that way in our memories. when we see you again, i'm sure you'll still be hiking all over heaven, or using your hands for another project, strumming your guitar, or enjoying a conversation with someone you met along the way. but until then, there's still a lot going on down here. it's been an incredible year. 

did you hear you're a grandpa now? your little granddaughter is the sweetest thing, and we are all so smitten with her. mom loves being a grandma (she likes to be called 'nana') and simon is an amazing dad (i think he learned a lot of that from you). we are all wrapped around little emma jane's finger, and she has brought so much joy to us all! 

did you also know you have a son-in-law now? travis and i were married last august, and it has been the most amazing adventure since. i know you would love him - he fits right in with the family, and we all think you would be two peas in a pod. he shares your goofy sense of humor, your love for others, and your sense of adventure and spontaneity. he is so good for me, and i'm thankful for him every day. 

i also graduated from college last year and am now almost finished with the teaching credential program. by next year, i'll hopefully have a class of my own! i'm so ready to be done with school, but am also proud of everything i've been able to accomplish so far. 

sometimes, i desperately wish you could come back for a day and just see where we're all at. it'd be like old times, just for a little while. in each of us, there's a piece of you, and together we keep you alive in our hearts. i think you'd be proud of all of us - our quirks, our mistakes, our accomplishments, and our growth. we're still so proud to have you as our dad. here's to another year of adventures, inevitable change, and endless joy. thanks for leaving a legacy of tremendous love. it's the best gift you could have ever given me. 

April 21, 2014


happy monday, sweet friends! i hope you all enjoyed a wonderful easter weekend with those you love. what an amazing and powerful moment we celebrate on easter sunday - i am so thankful for the life and hope i have in my redeemer! 

today, i'm so excited to share these sweet images of my itty bitty niece (who's growing up WAY too quickly!). after we wrapped up jody's session, emma bear came and visited, so of course i had to capture a few frames of her adorable little self. she has the best smiles, and is now in the cooing and giggling stage and it kills me. i can't wait to visit and cuddle with this little muffin again! 

April 18, 2014


for a while now i've been itching to do something different, to create something beautiful. while i adore my clients and am so grateful for every session that comes my way, it's a nice change to style a shoot, to have a vision and then capture it. as i looked forward to a quick weekend at home with my family, i  starting dreaming up something romantic, wild, and whimsical. i touched down in sacramento, picked up some flowers, and trekked out into a little field with my sister - and then i couldn't stop shooting. it was THE BEST. also, sorry for the excess of photos in this post! i just couldn't choose favorites, so here they are.