Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sammy {Bridals}

Today's post is dedicated to this friend. She's the definition of a strong, beautiful woman and her quirky sense of humor made this shoot a ton of fun. This was one of my first bridal sessions and I'm so glad that we got to go galavanting around Woodward park taking pictures!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Madisen {Bridals}

I enjoy photoshoots even more when I get to capture images of people near and dear to my heart. Facebook told me that it was one year ago today that I got to share these beautiful bridals. This sweet friend has known me through some utterly embarrassing junior high and high school years, countless road trips to dance competitions, and hundreds of late night slumber parties. I can't believe that she's been married for an entire year now. She was not only a breathtaking bride, but is a beautiful person inside and out.

What I'm Reading - November Edition

During the last few years, one thing I've challenged myself to do is read more. I'll be the first to say that I'm not as well-read as I would like to be, partially due to my lack of focus (after all, there are places to go and people to see!). But there are some books that I've been reading that have really knocked it out of the park. And I think you should read them too.

First is Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.
I often highlight as I read, and with this book, my copy is one bright yellow page after another! I expected some good career advice, but this book was so much more than I expected. It spoke straight to the heart of everything I've felt as a driven woman in a society that clings, sometimes so ardently, to traditional gender roles. And often demonizes women who don't. Sandberg eloquently explores the historical establishment of gender roles, breaks down the barriers that hold women back in the workplace, and gives outstanding advice on how to be both a wonderful mom and have a fulfilling career. But the thing I love most about this book is that it doesn't shame. Until recently I didn't even know that woman-shaming (or mom-shaming) was a thing. But apparently there's a plethora of people out there that take great joy in telling women how to live and how to parent. And how they're doing it wrong if they're doing it differently. If you know anything about Sheryl Sandberg, she is a working mother (the COO of Facebook no less!). But she doesn't shame mothers who make the choice to stay at home. Nor does she champion working moms as the only way or the best way. In fact, she does quite the opposite and urges society to see being a stay-at-home mom as a real job that takes time and dedication just like being a working mom does. Sandberg explores the choice to pursue a career in a way that empowers all women to challenge societal norms and be confident in their decisions regarding motherhood.
Whether you're a woman or you're married to one, this is a must-read! 

Second is Harebrained, written by a very dear friend, mentor, and professor of mine.
I probably laugh more than most people while reading this collection of essays (mostly because I can hear Meg narrating them in my head). She paints a hilarious and heartfelt picture of life and her journey through mothering strong-willed girls and teaching strong-willed students (yes, I may or may not be one of those). If you're looking for a great read that's full of laughs, add this book to your list. It's the perfect read for those moments when you sit down at the end of the day with a glass of wine and are ready for a book that will remind you of how sweet life is.
And be sure to leave her a review on Amazon! Authors love that.

Happy December and happy reading!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Beth Ann {Senior}

In honor of this girl spreading her wings this week and leaving the nest, I had to post some of my favorite senior pictures. I can't believe how grown up and beautiful this girl is! I still remember her first days in the youth group and it seems like just yesterday. She has grown into an incredible and beautiful young woman who is on her way to do big things. I can't wait to see what the future hold for you, Beth Ann!


Caleb & Amy {Wedding}

I can't believe it's been almost a whole year since this couple tied the knot. The weather and venue were perfect and the wedding was a beautiful gathering of family and friends. Happy one year to this beautiful couple!


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sonja {Bridals}

This session was full of laughter with a dear friend. Not only were we friends through our awesome (read: awkward) junior high/high school phases of life, but her mom was also a youth worker at our childhood church. Talk about having some blackmail on me! The setting and the weather could not have cooperated any better for this shoot and Sonja was absolutely stunning. Thanks for letting me capture these moments!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Farmhouse Dreams

I may love living "in town" as we used to call it, but I'm a country girl at heart. I love the city and suburban life, but I also crave those wide-open spaces and rustic farmhouses. So instead of packing up and moving into the boonies, I took the more practical approach of bringing the farmhouse feeling to our little home.

It only takes half a minute on Pinterest to know that farmhouse tables are in. And I mean really in. My husband and I both have big families, so we wanted a table that seats at least 8 for those crazy holiday gatherings. The farmhouse table was the perfect solution. But being on a beans and rice budget means that we were not about to drop two grand on a table (seriously, look up how much these tables cost at Pottery Barn!). That meant another DIY project was in the works.

Thankfully, there are lovely people on the internet who have already done this project so we didn't have to invent the wheel. In fact, Ana White has a detailed, wonderful farmhouse table plan that we used. Aside from changing dimensions to fit our dining room better, we used her plan as our project blueprint. And we completed the whole thing for probably less than $200 (way better than $2k!).

Although our dining room is still due for a makeover (more to come on that soon!), it can now comfortable seat either of our families.

Table Legs: check! 

Frame: check!

Table top: check!

Stain, round one. We used Antique Walnut first. It turned out beautifully, but a bit lighter than we were hoping for. 

So we added another layer of Dark Walnut stain (one of my personal favorites!)

This gave it the darker, richer wood color we were looking for. 

After two coats of satin polyurethane, the table was ready for use and has been a great addition to the dining room!