What Word Other Than Thankful?

Thankfulness has especially been on my mind lately. In October I had an opportunity to go back to my alma mater in the beautiful Lynchburg Virginia. I was completely shocked by the overwhelming emotions that came with the visit. I found myself back at the start of an absolutely life changing time.

I stumbled on Liberty out of nowhere and only God could orchestrate the timing of everything. I remember the first time I visited Liberty. Me and my Mom were so excited. We thought the Liberty Monogram was the coolest thing, well we thought everything was cool (it doesn’t take much for us). I knew quickly that was where I was suppose to be. Fast forward a year later and my first day moving in there was a beautiful rainbow. I am not weird about signs but I thought it was so beautiful and appropriate. It was one of the first times I could somewhat comprehend what God was doing with my life. I know I can’t even begin to understand all that He is but it is amazing when you catch a glimpse of what He is piecing together. Without going into detail He had taken me out of a terrible home situation.

Fast forward even more to this October. I was driving to Liberty and I look over and I see the most beautiful double rainbow. It’s just funny some times how God works. It brought me back to the first day I moved in and saw a rainbow. When I arrived I was able to see some of my wonderful friends and see all the changes that have happened on campus. Before I went home I did an impromptu hike to the monogram. Mind you I was wearing skinny jeans, a leather jacket, and shoes that are not the best for hiking. I am glad I still went. Once I got to the top I couldn’t help but think about all that happened within my time there. All I had escaped from, healed from, and learned from. I also thought about how I had no clue that after college I would withstand even more heartache than before I first arrived. I wondered what kind of person I would be if I had not gone through those trials. I would never want to relieve them but I would not take them back. I would not be as strong if it was not for all I have been through.

Am I rambling again? Probably. What I gather from all of this is that I am unshakably thankful for the constant love, grace, and mercy of God. I am thankful that although I do not deserve Him, He still wants me. And even further He wants all of me, not just the best version of me. He gladly excepts the good and bad equally. He is good whether I am in the most broken place or the happiest. I am thankful He cares enough to orchestrate my life. I am definitely too private about my faith but I promise you if you know me, anything good in me if truly from the Lord. It is from what He has carried me though. I know no other words than endlessly thankful. Below are some quick snaps I took on my hike. Get excited, if you have never seen photos of foliage you are about to.

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“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks.” -Colossians 3:17

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Ending Strong: Michelle & Shawn

Last month I finished my final wedding for the year. I truly could not have asked for a better family to end with. Do you ever meet people and there is just an instant familiarity with them? That is how Michelle and Shawn were. I jumped right into their day with them and they were just the most beautiful, fun souls.

The beach weddings I shoot are very casual and I actually only shoot for as little as 1 hour to 4 hours tops. This was actually my first wedding that I was able to spend time with the bride, her family, and friends before the ceremony. It was hardly work because they were such a good time!

Some highlights of the day include Michelle and her stellar bridesmaids and Mom in general (simply so beautiful and easy to shoot), Shawn not being able to look at Michelle when she walked toward him (seriously heart melting) and also when Shawn leaned in for a kiss mid ceremony. Please enjoy some snippets of their day. Also when I say snippets I mean a ton. I need to be realistic with myself and just post entire albums. I can’t choose between moments! Congratulations Michelle and Shawn!

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All the dresses were to die for!

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In honor of Michelle’s Father ❤

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This was the scene all day, so much joy

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*In British Accent “James bring around the car.” I asked who James was and she said I don’t know. 

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Michelle gave me one of these as a favor and said “did you read the sign” haha

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The guests enjoying the view

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The first looks

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Shawn had to look away

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Look at how he looks at her!!!

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Look at how she looks at him!!!

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Shawn was just staring at Michelle and you could tell he wanted to kiss her. He eventually gave in.
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Michelle declined haha

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Post ceremony celebration!!
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Seriously look how stunning Michelle is!!

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BABES. Total BABES

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Don’t they just look like trouble?
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Momma and daughters!!

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They are just the cutest!!

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I was about to pack up and then these 3 generations were having a moment together. Of course I had to bring my camera back out
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These moments are just the best.

 

Crystal & Erik. Sunglasses, fireball, and an all around good time.

I have to brag on Crystal and Erik for being super laid back. They were on a mission to have a good time. It was clear their friends and family had the same agenda. Everyone was so excited to be together celebrating Crystal and Erik. One of my favorite moments was when they danced into their reception and pulled out secret fireball shots for their intro as a newly married couple. Oh, and also when Erik dramatically took off Crystal’s eyeglasses to prepare for the cake cutting. It felt like it was drawn out for 15 minutes (in the best way). Crystal got to him first though and made a mess of Erik’s face…. it was awesome.

As usual I am sharing too many pictures. So many that I didn’t even include reception photos. I can’t help it. These people are great, you would do the same. Please enjoy a few of my favorites and congratulations Crystal and Erik!!

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She was such a sweetheart!

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They wrote their own vows, so sweet!

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Pretty sure he is cooler than I will ever be
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I would catch Erik downing his flask between posed pictures 
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I asked Stephen to give me a “what, who me?” look.  I would say he nailed it.

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Apparently they were not just showing off their muscles. They told me they are into wrestling.
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Again with the flask

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Erik grabbed Crystal’s butt real quick when they thought I wasn’t shooting and she looked a little unsure what to do…. I said, “ok and one more time for the camera”. They obliged.

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Crystal is also in on the wrestling 

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This little guy was asking how my flash worked. This is the photo I took of him to show/explain it
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Last but not least their was a stuffed and leashed dinosaur at the wedding. I didn’t ask questions, just shot it. 

 

 

Jamie & Chris

Yet again so behind on blogging. At least it is for good reason. I have been completely immersed in photography this year and in love with the weddings I have shot. I have met incredible families and been a part of some amazing experiences. Jamie and Chris are no exception. They were so easy to get along with and really enjoyed their day. They cherished their time together and simply rolled with the punches. Congratulations to Jamie and Chris! Please enjoy a sneak peek into their day!

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One of the little guys playing before the ceremony
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Jamie’s boys walking her down the aisle (insert heart eye emoji)

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They kissed for like 5 minutes straight, it was awesome
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How cute are they?

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This little guy took his button down off immediately, pretty sure the other little guy was shirtless by this point

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Walking over to the reception

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Ready To Meet The Coolest Parents Ever?

I knew that I would not be the greatest, most life changing blogger when I made the decision to start a blog. I read so many tips and tricks to succeed as a blogger and decided to throw them out the window and do what felt right to me. While I have several weddings I still cannot wait to blog about I am going to go very out of order and fast forward to a shoot I did last month.

Lauren and John are truly two of the most wonderful people I know. Have you ever met really awesome people and then magic happens and they become even more amazing TOGETHER? That is Lauren and John in a nutshell. Both incredible but when you put them together they get even more awesome, if that is even possible. So my mind is blown by the fact that they are creating a life. Can anymore awesome fit into this world?

Their sweet baby boy will be very blessed to have such amazing parents. I am so so honored to share a few moments of this hilarious, loving couples journey to parenthood. Congratulations again Lauren and John you will be amazing!!

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Seriously always laughing at each other. They are the best!

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This is Baby Farrow’s first pair of shoes. How sweet are they?

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This is Baby Farrow’s first teddy bear too! Lauren and John are diehard Disney fans and got this for him at Disney world.
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Can’t wait!!

I have been dormant but Holy Matrimony is still in full swing, of course.

I am not a consistent and frequent blogger but it feels so good to sit here and get back into the swing of things. My last post was written in the small corn field town of Parsonsburg and now I write from Crofton, right outside of Annapolis. No corn but still a small town. While my life takes a bit of a change something I remind myself of almost daily is that life is still going on no matter where I am. Weddings are still happening. Babies have been born, loved ones have passed, but life doesn’t stop for either extreme. Maybe that sounds strange and a little morbid for a Monday…. but I need to keep a bigger and broader perspective on life as I make this transition. I spoke on that a bit in my last blog. Something cool I have found is that my bride and grooms have continued to remind me of the fact that life is bigger than my time transitioning from a relocation.

This is how: One of the beautiful things about marriage is that it marks a new moment in life. Two lives becoming one. Selflessness and consideration merge (hopefully). Seeing my brides and grooms display that kind of love and perspective, to say I put something, rather someone’s needs above mine, is really a great reminder. That kind of love is what I want at the forefront of my life and each wedding reminds me of that. Love transcends boyfriends/girlfriends/spouses. It’s loving your neighbor, that stranger that may be having a hard day, and that less than lovable person in your life.

I am thankful for my clients who have allowed me to document their love. They continue to teach me more than they will ever know! Please enjoy some photos from one of my latest weddings. Tammy and Joe were such a fun and loving couple. Here is a peek into their special day.Tammy_Joe_6_18_16_Unedited-7Tammy_Joe_6_18_16_Unedited-13Tammy_Joe_6_18_16_Unedited-11Tammy_Joe_6_18_16_Unedited-4Tammy_Joe_6_18_16_Unedited-131Tammy_Joe_6_18_16_Unedited-174Tammy_Joe_6_18_16_Unedited-182

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Tammy and her bridesmaids had the prettiest crochet foot chains and really good toes to match… just saying
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Tammy’s flower’s were to die for. They are so perfect I had to check if they were real!

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Sweet Mama
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We don’t all love weddings but hey I am not mad at him
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I creeped on this sweet couple that were taking a stroll around the water

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I took this once the arbor was dissembled. The last bit of sunset was peeking through and I thought it was so lovely.

I’m Moving! Change is a funny thing.

I have not given an official announcment so here it is, I am moving. While running out of things to do to help the movers I thought “what an appropriate time to blog while I kill time”. The movers are literally boxing up my things while I sit here typing. I can hear the sound of crumpled paper as they wrap my belonging in the living room. I also here the footsteps upstairs packing up my bedroom. Life has been a bit of a blur this summer. I take every day one day at a time, sometimes hour by hour. Don’t get me wrong I do not want anyone feeling sorry for me, there are much larger matters in this life than moving but this change has not come without it’s trials.

The company I work for, South Moon Under, is relocating their corporate office to Annapolis MD. We are currently located in Berlin MD. It’s only a 2 hour hop across the bay bridge. The move is not drastic and I think the change is exciting. However, this has been a bit of a scary plunge. This change comes with risk. But you know what? Staying here comfortably has it’s risks too.

There has been what seems to be a very concentrated amount of tragedy going on in our world lately. That has kept my perspective grounded when I want to pout about a sudden move. Yes I have to uproot quickly and it has been physically, mentally, and financially trying but at the end of the day what is the worst outcome? That I do not like Annapolis? That I do not like my job anymore? Some things in life are not fixable, fortunately for me this move at worst is still easily fixable.

When I start feeling sorry for myself I try to remember to pray about it. To give my cares to God and then I see just how small my concerns are. Don’t get me wrong I am so far from perfect at it. Sometimes my pride gets in the way and I decide I want to stew in a bad attitude instead. But when my mind is in the right place I often think of these verses “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.” Matthew 6:26-28. Those words hit my like a ton of bricks sometimes. God is good, He cares for me. I stand reassured in His promises and His love for me.

I will put an end to this rambling but I wanted to share my thoughts and what is going on in my life currently. If you have a moment when you just feel out of control of your life know that it is because you are not in control. But rest assured in the fact that God will care for you if you allow Him to.