Ben & Ashley: Magical Winter Wedding

We all know how crazy this weather has been. Spring days, then winter days, then back to spring and summer-like temperatures, and then back to snow the next day. It's all over the place! I had the AC on in the car just two days ago and now I look out my window to see snowflakes falling... in March. So to honor this one last winter surge, I have a beautiful, magical winter wedding to share with you! 

I had the privilege of second shooting for Dani White Photography back in 2015. #throwback But this wedding has always been a favorite. It was definitely cold that day, but I think that added to the magic. Ashley had a stunning vision for her and Ben's winter wedding day: lovely hues of navy, touches of cinnamon, a cozy fur shawl, a hot cocoa bar, gold and silver accents. It was truly a day to remember!

Enjoy some of my favorites, including a shot of Dani with Ashley and Ben! To see the full wedding and list of vendors, visit her blog!

Life Update: Our 2017 so far

One of my goals for 2017 is to write more "life update" posts on my blog. Our move to Kentucky has made many of our friendships long-distance, and it's times like this I am thankful to live in a time with social media. I'm able to follow and communicate with dear friends all over from my computer/phone, and for that I am SO grateful. That's a two-way street though and that's where my life update posts will hopefully fill in some gaps!

On my blog, I do try to use a little bit of a filter. I don't want to use it as an outlet to complain or bad mouth or encourage negativity in any way. But I do try to be honest and truthful. So here's a sincere and honest look at 2017 for us [more me, haha].

2017 hasn't been easy. Sometimes I feel like I've been on a rollercoaster of emotions. We stepped out in faith moving to Louisville and have to continue trusting in the Lord to provide.

On the business front, that's been so hard. I'm slowly growing some roots here and have met a few incredible creatives who I am loving getting to know. But most days and weeks are slow. I have 2 official 2017 KY/IN weddings. YAY for those 2 awesome couples (Sonya & Justin and Corinn & Trey <3)!! One 2018 couple (YAY Sammy & Jessica!) and a few other promising leads. So growth is happening, it's just slower than I'd like, which really isn't that slow since we've only been here for a few months. I just have to recognize that my business here won't be the same as it was in Virginia, or at least not yet! 

On the personal front, the emotional side has definitely been the hardest. The Lord provided us a new, wonderful church family. We are so excited to be members of Bethany Baptist Church and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know our new church family. But I still deeply miss our dear friends and church family back in Virginia. I miss being able to just drop in and visit different friends - having multiple friends who I could meet up with for lunch or to go shopping - those friends who know you and can speak truth into your life just minutes away. Sigh. That's the hard part. But I know these things take time and that the Lord has so much in store for us here. I also miss being just 3-4 hours away from family. Making "weekend trips" isn't quite as easy and making that adjustment has been hard too. 

Other than finding a church, other personal highlights have been Michele's visit in January. I loved seeing her and getting to explore Louisville together. Finding out a dear friend from college is pregnant and due in August! Yay! Joining the quilting club at church - the 50-year-old woman inside me is super excited about this. And just finding more balance and structure in the daily life of 2 introverts who work from home. 

Overall, things are SO good. The Lord has blessed us so much and really has made this transition smooth and easy for us. My heart just doesn't always see things that way (Israelites in the desert, anyone?). 

So that's our 2017 life update so far. There will be more to come! But I just wanted to say thanks for reading and "listening" to my heart. <3

Paul & Ali: Willett Distillery Styled Engagements

Nestled in the outskirts of Bardstown, KY, surrounded by rolling hills is the Willett Distillery. It's a quaint bourbon distillery with decades of history. I had no idea the legacy and tradition of Kentucky bourbon before I became a resident. But, the Willett family and family friends Paul & Ali enjoy and appreciate good bourbon. And when choosing where they wanted to do their engagement photos, Willett was at the top of their list! 

Paul & Ali live in Louisville and love adventures. And adventure around the Willett property, we did! The Willett staff was SO accommodating and friendly as they showed us the rickhouse and distillery; I learned so much! Haha. 

Not only was it just a fun place, but Paul & Ali are two of the kindest, coolest people. I loved getting to know them and chatting about friendships, travels, and their absolutely adorable pup Penny! If we're being honest, she kind of stole the show, though Ali in her amazing navy lace sheath dress and incredibly camp set-up were a close second. :) 

This session is definitely one of my favorites to date. It's full of beautiful scenery, a lively dog, lovely props, and a crazy-in-love couple. I told Paul & Ali at their session that it's seeing couples like them that keep me motivated and inspired. I love watching people in love and there is no doubt in my mind that these two weren't made for each other.

So, instead of me rambling on and on being all sappy and gushy, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves! I loved too many, so this is a longer post.... sorrynotsorry. ;)

My 27th Birthday

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Yesterday, I turned 27. Twenty-seven.

In 6 months, I'll be closer to 30 than to 25... yikes! Age blows my mind on the regular because I cannot wrap my mind around how quickly time passes. But I feel blessed to be given 27 years.

I've been told that as you grow older not only does time pass more quickly, but becomes more rewarding and sweet. And even at just 27, I can definitely echo these sentiments. Time passes by SO quickly and each year - though with its own challenges - is sweeter. I have such incredible childhood memories, favorites from high school and college, sweet newlywed stories, but I love being where I am and seeing how completely sovereign and good the Lord is. And I'm just 27!

In our Sunday school classes yesterday, an older gentleman spoke about how the Lord had worked in his life. And how at his age - 69 - and looking back there was no way he could deny and not see the mighty and incredible hand of God holding it all in place. Providing, protecting, loving, caring, designing, and ordaining everything perfectly. And to hear his stories and to see his emotion of gratitude for our Lord as only someone with many years could was so impactful. 

When I fear getting older, the progression of time, the passing of loved ones, I remember how faithful the Lord is and always has been. I don't always see it, but the thought of seeing a grander, larger picture of my life, years down the road, and seeing how the Lord worked and moved excites me. So I guess all-in-all, getting older isn't all that bad. I look forward to what the Lord has in store for my life and how He'll use me!

Here's to 27 and all that 2017 has in store. :)

Top 5: Favorite Valentine's Memories

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! If you remember my top 5 post about February, you'll know that I love Valentine's Day. Matt and I don't really do anything over-the-top or exciting. But, it's an excuse to eat yummy food, give little gifts, and create special memories. 

I will be 27 soon, so I've had 26 years of Valentine's Days. And while I don't remember all of them. A few (5 to be exact, haha) stick out as my favorites. :)

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5. 2011: 

Back in the day, I was an avid scrapbooker, so I would use those supplies to make him cards. I made cards for our anniversaries, birthdays, and Valentine's Day! 2011 was my favorite card because I used drill from marching band to make the cover. It's fitting because that's how we met. I love it and the memories of crafting each of these cards, and then finding out later that Matt kept them all. I knew he was a keeper.

4. 2015:

Matt and I made a trip to Blacksburg for an engagement session I had scheduled, but we made a whole day of it. Despite the cold, we walked around parts of campus - including by the Squires Loading Dock where we met. It even started snowing a bit, which brought back some great memories. And we ate at our favorite local Blacksburg eatery Greens. It was just a fun day to be together in a special place.

3. 2012:

Senior year of college was the best. I was only taking 9 credits, 3 credits were pass-fail, and so I had a lot of free time to spend with Matt and our friends. So, my roommates and I decided to go all-out for Valentines Day. We did crafts together, made Red Velvet cake balls, and had fresh flowers around because we were also celebrating birthdays! It was a really fun time! It also turned out to be my last unmarried Valentine's Day - I just didn't know it yet!

2. 2005:

Back in 2005, I was a freshman in high school! Crazy. I don't know if this was the same in other schools, but at my high school Valentine's Day was like THE DAY to have someone send you flowers, candy, or balloons. And at the end of the day, a mass group of people would get called down to the auditorium to pick up their gifts. I never expected to be called down to auditorium, but that year my name was called! Totally clueless as to why my name was read over the intercom, I walked to pick up my gift. And lo and behold it was flowers from my daddy. <3 My family celebrates more with food and special meals than by giving actual gifts, but this one gift was always a favorite because of the memory it created. :)

1. 2010:

This was the first Valentine's Day Matt and I spent together. I don't know what it was about Matt and our relationship, but I knew early on that we would stick. And so, our first Valentine's Day just felt normal. Haha. It was a Sunday and it was our tradition to watch the race, and with it being the yearly opener of the Daytona 500, we HAD to watch it. But it didn't end until it was so late that everything was closed, even the dining halls! Haha. The only place open was Wendys... drivethru. So, we went through the drivethru and ate in Matt's car. Hahahaha. SO romantic. <3 We also exchanged gifts in which we gave each other the same gift: Motion City Soundtrack's A Dinosaur Life. Oh what great memories. :)