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! 

Heritage Park Wedding: Ann + Justin

As the sun glinted through her sister’s kitchen window, and her hair and makeup was being perfected, Ann noted how quickly the day was already going by. “People warned me it would fly by, but no one ever told me how to slow it down!” she laughed. Then she smiled and took a deep breath as she tried to relish every moment of the day she would marry her best friend.

The gravel crunched beneath him as Justin shifted his feet and looked down, a huge smile breaking through his face. “I can’t not smile today, it’s the happiest day of my life!” he complained lightly, after trying unsuccessfully to be serious for a moment. And it was true. Justin couldn’t have stopped smiling if he wanted to. Anytime he looked at Ann, the joy and pride he felt welled up and overflowed like freshly popped bottle of champagne.

Then, as they said their vows amidst their family and loved ones, everyone smiled. It was impossible not to. Because when two people are so right for each other, you can’t help but smile at such a blissful occasion. And truly, Ann and Justin are nothing short of meant to be.

Ann and Justin, thank you very much for giving me to honor of documenting your love! Your wedding was absolutely wonderful, and I so appreciate how kind you and your families were!! I hope that every day married is even better than the day before, and I wish you guys a lifetime of happiness :) XO

Ann’s amazing dress was handmade by the incredible Penelope Perkins! It was seriously breathtaking. 

Ann Elizabeth did a wonderful job on the invitations!

The beautiful bride…

The couple decided to do a First Look, which of course I was thrilled about… Can’t say enough how much I love First Looks! 

Justin seemed quite enthralled with his soon to be wife :)

After their First Look we walked around Heritage Park for more portraits. 

Oh you guys… such an elegant couple! 

Ann, you looked simply divine!! Justin is a lucky man :)

Although you were looking quite handsome yourself, Justin!

I love how they make each other laugh :)

After pictures, it was time to get hitched!!

Married, and quite ecstatic about it if you ask me ;)

Totally loved the floral arrangements, done by Cindy Speters of Element Design and Decor!

Neither Ann or Justin really like cake, so instead of going the traditional route, they chose to have a donut bar with pastries from Banbury Cross. Ummm, GENIUS!!!

Some of you might recognize this lovely lady… I had the privilege of shooting Shelly’s wedding last year, and it was SO fun to see her as Ann’s Matron of Honor :)

LOVE this.

A ribbon send off to escort them to their happily ever after :)

Congratulations again you guys!!! XO

Brooke Harris - December 17, 2012 - 10:53 pm

You have an amazing eye! Very creative pictures! Beautiful wedding!

Annual Alta Moda Sample Sale

Getting married next year and don’t have your dress yet? Alta Moda is holding their annual Sample Sale THIS Saturday, December 15th, from 10am-2pm, and you’re going to want in on the action!! Just think: tons of couture wedding gowns anywhere from 50% all the way up to 90% off. Yep. We’re talking Anne Barge, Augusta Jones, Badgley Mischka, Monique Lhuillier, and more, some starting as low as $500! Seriously, you want in on this.

A few things to know about how the Sample Sale works:

  • Sale hours are from 10am – 2pm, December 15th only
  • There will be no appointments: First come, First served basis (And there will be a wait list)
  • Gowns are sold as is
  • No holds and all sales final – Come ready to buy!
  • Cash and credit card only
  • Most gowns are suited for street sizes 4-12
  • Alta Moda only does this once a year – So, now is the time!
  • Space is limited, so please only bring one or two key decision makers/guests per bride

So plan to dress warm and show up (way) early!! There will be goodies warm drinks inside, although you might want to bring some coffee while you wait, too. But whatever it takes, if you need a dress, get yourself over to this sale. You won’t regret : )

Crate & Barrel vs. The Grinch

Jake and I needed some new decorations for Christmas this year. So we set a date to go shopping, mapped out the best route to hit all the stores we wanted, and then set a budget. Yes. A budget. For Christmas decorations. Because fortunately for me, Jake loves Christmas about as much as I do (which is A LOT), and if we didn’t set a budget for ourselves, we would go crazy. Well, I would go crazy. He’d just happily oblige. (Anyone else get irrationally excited at the thought of sparkly ornaments and festive holiday dishes?!)

Two days and about 8 stores later, I’d say we did a pretty good job, all while staying within the budget! (Ok, I might have pushed the budget just a smidgen.) A few highlights: a gorgeous reindeer candle stand from Tai Pan Trading, a glittery snowman from Pier 1, and Elf on bluray for 8 dollars at Costco. (No, not technically a decoration, but talk about a score!!) Quite possibly my favorite find, though, were these little guys:

There are a couple shelves in our kitchen that are purely for decoration, and I display some pretty pasta plates on them. During the fall, I mixed in some gourds with the plates and it looked pleasantly seasonal, in my humble opinion. But now that winter is here, gourds would no longer do. As soon as we started talking Christmas decor, I knew I wanted nutcrackers. I had a vision in my head, and I would not be stopped until they were found! Or so I thought. Nearing the end of our shopping extravaganza, I had found NOTHING. All the nutcrackers we saw were too big or too crazy or too expensive, not even close to what I had been envisioning. I had all but given up, and become incredibly grinchy. (Grinchy– (adj.) Displaying grinch-like attitude during the holidays due to lack of Christmas spirit.) Not even a White Peppermint Mocha could have cheered me up.

Until we walked into Crate & Barrel. We weren’t even going in to look at decorations, just dishes. And I was certainly not expecting to find nutcrackers. But we passed by a stand of ornaments, and THERE THEY WERE. It was like on TV when the main character has an epiphany and a light shines down from the heavens onto whatever it is they’re looking at. (Except this lighting was just nice pin lighting in the store. I’ve gotta hand it to whoever designs the lighting set up in Crate & Barrel.) Needless to say, I was pretty ecstatic. And so was Jake, because the Grinch had seemed to disappear. Although then I told him I would take the White Peppermint Mocha, thanks so much ;)

So in honor of Crate & Barrel saving Jake from the Grinch, I’ve decided it’s time for another giveaway!!! Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite Christmas decoration is, and I’ll randomly give one commenter $25 to Crate N’ Barrel :) Use it for Christmas mugs, use it for nutcracker ornaments, or even use it for 1/100 of a love seat! (Although I’d definitely use it on the ornaments.) The winner will be announced next Monday. Happy decorating! 

amy lashelle - December 10, 2012 - 1:55 pm

Crate & Barrel may also be a sparkling memory in my head from our Christmas shopping. Only, sadly, decorations were not on our list. I’ll SO use a gift card on those ornaments! I think I have three favorite decorations that currently reside at our house. 3. The Christmas gnome from Denmark that sits high on my pallet shelf. His beard is so freakin adorable. 2. A “jane doll” that the mother of the sweetest little girl that I photographed a few years ago gave me when she passed away. 1. The sparkly gold ornament my hubs gave me for our first Christmas together. :)
I’m with you. I hart all things Christmas.

Celia Lutz - December 10, 2012 - 1:57 pm

My favorite decoration is an angel inside a ceramic eggshell. It was given to me when I was in grade school by our neighbor. Can’t believe it has survived all these years!

Lauren - December 10, 2012 - 2:30 pm

I would say my current fave is hands down our “Black Dog Mistletoe Co. Smooch from a Pooch Guaranteed” painting! :)

Amanda - December 10, 2012 - 4:45 pm

My fav Christmas decoration is the Baylor ornament up on our tree :-) but I also bought a cute fiber optic snowman from Big Lots this year that is a close runner up!

PS I love the nutcrackers! How cute! And they aren’t big or freaky looking :-)

Suzi - December 11, 2012 - 12:13 am

My Grandma and Grandpa, who have passed, had a stained glass studio and made me ornaments every year from when I was born on. My favs are the ones he made the year I was born. I also purchase one every year for Ryan and I to commemorate the year. 3 out of the 5 years we’ve been married, he has been deployed, so we can both be excited when he comes home from deployment to see which ones I’ve chosen that year. I love that man!

mom - December 13, 2012 - 12:28 pm

My favorite Christmas decorations are the paper scrolls hanging on our Christmas tree ~ wonderful writings of our family memories through the years!

Emily - December 13, 2012 - 4:49 pm

my favorite decoration is our christmas tree. We cut it down ourselves every year, and I keep it simple and elegant. It’s always my favorite thing to decorate!!

Colleen - December 13, 2012 - 4:54 pm

My favorite decoration is definitely my ornament collection. I love that they all have stories and meaning behind them. Also, side note, can’t wait to register at Crate & Barrel! :)

Shelly - December 13, 2012 - 5:03 pm

My mom used to hand paint us ball ornaments with scenes and memories of that past year. She painted quite a few for each child every year, commemorating trips, weddings, school achievements, homes bought, etc. I have about 40 on my tree that reflect the 10 years of my life. I love them so much. :)

Renee - December 13, 2012 - 5:12 pm

I’d have to say my favorite decoration is my Willow Tree Nativity set. I love how elegant they look on my faux fireplace mantle, not to mention the fact that they are a beautiful work of craftsmanship. They also take me back to when I was a kid and got upset when a stuffed sheep that was bought for a me at a yard sale and had no face. My aunt, the one who purchased the sheep, told me that that his being faceless made him all that much better because I could use my imagination and believe his face (or facial expression) could be anything I wanted. The same goes for my faceless nativity. I have always thought Mary looked a little too heavenly for having just given birth in a stable… Now I can imagine her looking the way I have always thought, a little worn out and all.

Katie - December 13, 2012 - 5:50 pm

My favorite decorations are now those my kids have made! So cute to see Maddie’s nativity scenes or Andy’s Santa beard!

Ashley R - December 14, 2012 - 12:09 am

My mom has Christmas balls that have a recording of her kids when they were little. They are so adorable to listen to every year!