Merry Christmas!!

Today marks round two of Christmas for me. That’s what happens when both your parents and your in-laws live in the same town. You get double the family! Such a blessing. (And double the presents isn’t bad either ;) So I’m off to my second batch of Christmas merriment, but I couldn’t go without giving a shout out to you. Yes, you. For reading my blog. For supporting what I do. Truly, thank you. Because my business wouldn’t be where it is right now if it weren’t for you. And that makes my Christmas quite merry and bright :)

So to everyone who takes a gander at my blog, I hope that this is the best and happiest holiday season for you yet!! Enjoy the time with family, hug a little too tight, laugh a little too hard, and even eat just a little too much ;) Merry merry Christmas!!

Mexico Wedding: Amanda + Victor

She looked in the mirror, searching for the perfect place until the white flowers tucked neatly into the braid in her hair, loose curls laying softly on her shoulder. It was almost time to see him, and she couldn’t help but smile at the thought. Yes, her family and closest friends had traveled to be with her, and the sun was shining down gloriously from the blue sky above. She smiled at those things, too. But mostly she smiled at the thought that, in only a few short hours, the man she loved with all her heart would take her hand in his, promising to be true to her for the rest of their lives. And that is certainly something to smile about.

He looked down at his jacket, then at his shoes, and back at his jacket again, smoothing his coat and making sure that everything was straight, that all the buttons were buttoned. It was time to see her, and he couldn’t help but smile at the thought. Yes, all of the planning was over and the celebration ahead was sure to be a night to remember. He smiled at those things, too. But mostly he smiled at the the thought that, in just a few short moments, the women he loved with his entire being would be standing there in front of him and take his hand in hers, vowing to love him until her very last breath. And yes. That is certainly something to smile about.

Manda and Victor, I can’t tell you how honored I was to be your photographer!! I was blown away by how kindly your families welcomed me and how gracious you guys were as hosts. Thanks for making me feel at home :) Your wedding was such a celebration filled with love… and not just the love you share, but also the love of two families joining together! It was a beautiful thing to be a part of :) I hope that these pictures will never stop reminding you just how much love there was, and how mcuh always will be! XO

From begin to end the wedding was filled with lots of bright colors, including the bridesmaids dresses!

He went to Jared ;)

Amanda started the day getting ready at her house before heading to the church. 

She was positively glowing while she got dressed! :)

Victor and Amanda decided to do a First Look, and yes, I know I say this for every wedding that decides to do one… but I LOVE First Looks!! 

And this would be about the point that I started crying!!

Adorable :)

LOVE this one.

Could you guys be any cuter?! I think not.

Workin’ it!!! 

Manda, you were so, so very lovely…

Love this set!

These next three make me smile :)

And of course I have to share a few of their super fun bridal party!

Soon it was time for the lovely sunset ceremony :)

Officially Mr. and Mrs.!!!

Then it was on to the reception :) I loved the bright pops of color against the white tables!! 

Some sweet and heartfelt toasts for the newlyweds…

First dance as husband and wife :) 

Followed by a dance party!

Thanks again for allowing me to be a part of your wedding Amanda and Victor!!! I’m so so happy for you guys :)

Friday Fun Facts

This year I wanted to be really glamorous and different with my presents. Well, let me restate that. I wanted to be really glamorous with the presentation of them. Because getting a really awesomely wrapped present makes the present itself that much better! (Alright, this isn’t a proven fact, but I’m pretty positive it’s legit.) So when I saw some amazing glitter covered wrapping paper at Michael’s, I knew it had to be mine! A bit of a splurge, maybe, but I excitedly brought it home to show Jake and begin wrapping.

Much to my dismay, the glitter paper was a fail. Of epic proportions. Turns out tape doesn’t stick to glitter when it comes off the paper so easily. (A trail of glitter on the floor was also apparently going to be part of the my Christmas gifts.) After trying to wrap several different gifts using several different kinds of tape, I gave up with a big sigh. What a waste of $7. (Yikes, did I actually just admit that I spent $7 on one roll of wrapping paper?) Fortunately Costco made up for it with some very reasonably priced paper and actually some very cute designs. Plus it came with gridlines on the back. And THAT my friends, is a must have. Which leads us to the December installment of Friday Fun Facts!!

1. Glitter Christmas wrapping paper was a brilliant idea… but a horrible execution.

2. If you’ve never gotten wrapping paper with gridlines on the back, you are missing out. That stuff will change your life. Or at least how well you wrap presents.

3. Coffee just tastes better in a Christmas mug this time of year. Hot chocolate does, too, for that matter.

4. The sound of cars honking should not be allowed during radio commercials. It’s dangerous. (Ok, yes I did spill tea in my lap because a radio commercial horn made me jump… So I’m just saying. Dangerous.)

5. There is NO good time of the day to go to the Post Office during the month of December .

6. I’m not sure what’s more stressful: hosting a holiday party, or figuring out what to wear to a holiday party.

7. Telling a couple they look like they could be brother and sister is not a compliment to them. (Yep, I’ve actually heard this said before, meant as a compliment. But don’t worry, it wasn’t about Jake and I.)

8. The original recipe for chocolate called for chili powder instead of sugar. I don’t really want to know what a Peppermint Mocha would taste like with chili powder…

9. Santa’s going gluten free this year. Those of you who leave out milk and cookies for the big man, take note.

10. Nah I’m totally kidding about Santa. But if you feel like making me some gluten free Christmas cookies, I won’t turn you down!!

Hope everyone has an awesome weekend, and be safe with all the crazy last minute shoppers out there ;) Happy Friday!

2.5 Years

This weekend marked two and a half years of marriage for us. People don’t normally celebrate half year marks, I know. And we didn’t really celebrate it, actually. It was just another Saturday, complete with a little house cleaning and then pancakes before you had to leave for work and I had a photo shoot. But as I looked at the calendar and mused to myself about the date, I remembered how I’d had a blog post planned on our actual anniversary, and why it had never been published… the phone call that my mom had cancer. I winced at the memory, but was quickly overcome again by immense thankfulness for her recovery. Then I began to reminisce over everything that has happened this year, and I was overwhelmed with love and support as I thought back over how steadfast and encouraging you’ve been. Through everything, really. Not just my mom’s cancer, but how you’ve been there through all the stuff that happened, and is still happening this year. Which then brought me back full circle to the blog post that was never published. (Like that train of thought analysis?)

So I’m writing it now. Because it needs to be said.

Jake, I need you to know how much I need you. How much I cherish you. Respect you. Care for you. How, without you, my world would spin right off its axis. Because even though right now it spins a little faster than I’d like at times, you keep it spinning in the right direction, holding me steady when the dizziness tries to knock me over. You are the constant in my life, a blessing from God that I’m not sure I deserve, but one that I will forever be grateful for.  And so I need you to know that I love you, that I have loved you since the day almost nine years ago when you first told me you loved me (yes, even though at the time I denied it), and that I will continue to love you more every day until the moment I leave this earth.

Happy 2.5 years, Roo. Forever and Always.

Special thank you to Heather Nan for taking these photos of us!! While I’m not one for posting a bunch of pictures of myself, this fall was the first time since our wedding that Jake and I have had a real shoot, and I sure love what Heather captured. And, well, this seemed like the right kind of post to share some :)



Music Monday

This morning I woke up, looked at the soft snow falling outside the window, and realized there’s only a week before Christmas. Who has two thumbs and still has a ton of Christmas shopping to do? THIS GIRL. So you’ll have to excuse me this week while I run around town like a disheveled madwoman, argue with sales people about maximizing coupons and discounts (I am my father’s daughter), watch Elf on repeat, and immerse myself in ribbons and bows and wrapping paper, all while consuming outrageous amounts of candy cane hot chocolate. It could get ugly.

It’s ok though, because I have some Matt Wertz to serenade me through the hustle and bustle. He came out with a Christmas album last year, and it is, in a word, delightful. Definitely a perfect soundtrack for the holidays! So if you’re in the market for some good Christmas tunes and you don’t have this in your collection, go ahead and indulge in this CD. You can thank me later. Here’s an original song and one of my favorites on the album, Snow Globe!

And the winner of the Crate&Barrel giftcard is Katie!!! YAY Katie!! Email me with your address and I’ll get that giftcard in the mail to you :) And thanks to everyone who entered! I loved reading all your fun and sweet decoration faves. Happy Monday folks!