Friday, June 27, 2014

Amateur Wedding Photographers

So one time a couple in our small group got married and we were their wedding photographers...

Yep, you read that correctly. They made a sweet and beautiful wedding happen on a limited budget and when they asked us to take pictures of them we just couldn't say no,  well actually we did say no at first but ultimately decided to do it. We were far from qualified, they understood that and were patient with us. Overall we had a good time, learned a lot and I think came out with a few good shots for them. 

I've always had a huge amount of respect for wedding photographers but man it's grown even more. Basically I learned that I like take still shots best and the wedding ceremony is just outright stressful, as is all the "big" events of the day (first dance, cake cutting, etc). I'd much rather take pictures of all the pretty details.

But anyway, to the most kind, patient and fun loving couple, your wedding was precious and we are so honored you chose to share it with us! I don't know about you, but I've not been to a lot of weddings where the bride and bridesmaids play in the rain during the reception...I'd post all of those pictures if I could. Their wedding was just like them fun, sweet and easy going. It was lovely.

Oh and I should mention about 95% of these pictures were taken by Kevin who's actually been reading books on how to use our camera...unlike me.

 You may remember this adorable couple as they let us take their engagement pictures as well. 

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dear Samantha

Dear Samantha,

My sweet friend, how can I put into words what our vacation together was like? Certainly none of them will do it justice. You are one amazing friend and our time together was just incredible. I don't I think could ever have anticipated how much fun and how easy our time together would be. From the moment I walked out those automatic doors from baggage claim to embrace in a hug to our final picture together right before you drove away... I loved every moment. I had the most amazing time with you! Thank you for planning out an awesome itinerary and for sharing your home with Kevin and I. It was an absolute blast!

Our husbands so surprised me. It's pretty wonderful that they both agreed to this whole idea of ours. Not only agreed but said 'sure I'll hang out with you and this girl you're online friends with and whom I've never spoken to. What good sports they are. And oh my goodness how they became good friends too! What a treasure. I know my heart just smiled when at the end of day one Kevin told me that he was glad we came and that Tim was a pretty cool guy and he was looking forward to our week together. They quickly bonded over sports, of course, while we sat on your bed and chatted the night away. I'm so happy that our men are best buds now too.

Every moment with you was so sweet. You are even more kind and beautiful in real life. Your husband is hilarious. Artie is adorable. Your family is precious. I love that someone said we had the same laugh. I loved that we ended up dressing similarly every day, almost.  I loved that we ordered the same thing almost always at restaurants. I love how we could hang out and chat on your bed together while the men watched sports together on the sofa. I loved seeing where you lived. I loved exploring new places with with you. I loved it all. It all makes me smile as I look back on it.

Meeting you, in person finally, has changed my life! I can't even wait for our future vacations together for I am certain that this trip was just the beginning of many more to come.

Love ya pretty lady!

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Forever Changed

Friday my heart was so full. I woke up and posted about my crazy awesome news, which I still really haven't been able to soak in yet, then my office had our annual potluck and then Kevin and I helped a couple in our small group move into their first home along with the entire group. 

Helping one of the couples in our group move was so sweet. I'm not sure I can put into words how it all felt at the time. My heat was so full watching every one in our group selflessly give up their Friday evening and work tirelessly to get this couple into their home. I couldn't help but play photographer during the process in between moving boxes. It was just such a sweet moment in time. We brought every box, piece of furniture, accessory, etc, in and then we helped them unpack a bit. The men worked on assembling some of the furniture like their bed so they could go to sleep that night while the ladies unpacked the kitchen so they wouldn't have to eat out constantly. 

I think about these moments of sharing just normal life together and it brings a huge smile to my face. This is why Kevin and I made the jump to bring this group together. Encouraging each other in the faith is huge and absolutely the main event of the small group but just doing life together is pivotal. Our group has changed, grown and basically just blown us away in the last few months. It's been absolutely incredible to see relationships form and friendships build. Any one would do anything for any one. I know I speak for Kevin and I both when I say, our life is forever changed.

And side note: this couple moved onto the same street as Holly! Oh how this world gets smaller day by day. It was so fun to introduce them. I love having friends so close! 

If you've been tossing around the idea of taking the leap of faith to start a small group then DO IT! Your life will never be the same in the absolute best way.
See my posts on a beginning a small group, here, here, and here.

made this little gift for them:

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Friday, June 20, 2014

BIG Exciting News!!!

"Immeasurable More" Print
source: available for purchase from one amazing blogger that has truly encouraged me, go buy it now!

I think casual half day Fridays might be one of my favorite things about my new job. I mean I love what I actually do there too but come on, jeans and half a day of work? Bring it on! It's been fun to hop onto the laptop and share a bit of something on Friday mornings before I hop into my car and drive to the office.

Today, I get to share super exciting news! News that I was anticipating being able to share for another few weeks. News that I've been praying about since before this year.

If you didn't already see me exploding with surprise on your facebook or instagram feed, the news is
I PASSED THE NCIDQ!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep! I couldn't believe my eyes last night as I walked in the door. I came in and Kevin was standing near the table with our big chalkboard propped up, a vase of flowers and some chocolates, well done sir, but I couldn't read what the board said initially, silly glare. And then I got closer and was dumbfounded. I think I spouted out something like,wait how do you know? Are you sure? Is this real life? I was worried he'd checked online and because I'm rather untrusting of the website reliability (I have good reason to be) but no, the answer had come in the mail. He handed me the letter and there it was in black printed ink, congratulations on passing, you are now NCIDQ certified.


After the test days were over, I began praying almost every morning on my way to work. Lord, I know you have the power to make those scores pass, I pray that is your will. And if the results come back that I pass, it's all to your glory. I knew I couldn't make this exam about my own ability. I knew that if I were going to have peace during the waiting season I was going to have to learn to trust my Jesus. Exam booklets turned in, my control was over, it was thenceforth in HIS hands alone.

This incredibly exciting news is all because of HIM. My sweet Savior gave me the peace, confidence, and talent that resulted in a passing score. To HIM belongs the glory and praise alone. It is not me, but Christ in me. 

So today I'm sharing an incredible praise with you! No more praying, for He has delivered His answer. Now praise and thanks is in order! Thank the incredible God who gives abundantly more than I can ever imagine I am worthy of.

And thank ALL of you for praying on my behalf! Your kind words, encouragement and prayers have meant the world to me and I'm so honored to get to share this news with you. Change my request to a praise in your prayer journals/lists/etc. 


ps: if you're curious about the NCIDQ, why it's important and how I studied, I plan on sharing about that at some point here. Stay tuned.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014


I wish recapping our vacation was as easy as saying, it was super awesome and I want to go back. We did SO much...I mean like my feet ached at the end of every single day. It was one of the most exhausting vacations I've ever had but most definitely one of the coolest as well! We saw, experienced, tasted, walked, rode...just about everything we could! I checked off some new places on my tour of the United States. Truly, I want to pursue going to all 50 nifty states. 

So eventually, I'll post all about our fantastic trip but for now, I'll just share a few of my favorite pictures and tell you that Samantha is basically the most wonderful lady and meeting her was a dream I never knew I would ever have...more on that later (I've started three blog posts on my adorable little mini ipad (thanks husband again for winning that!) so you can be sure there will be more).

A peek of some of the photos from our week, unedited:
and yes I realize I said peek and yet there are like 20 something photos below...but seriously, there are over 1000 to choose from!
and for more of what we actually did, check out Samantha's fuller recap of our time together!

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