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At the Moment | August 2017

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I saw Emily post something like this on her blog (Jones Design Company) in the spring as a timestamp of sorts for what she’s up to and how things are going.  And since I haven’t blogged very regularly since Isa arrived in February, I thought I would do a post similar to hers so you guys would know that I’m still here, still breathing, still working and still loving life!

Also, these photos are from our recent trip to Isle of Palms and Charleston with some friends.  It’s the first time we’ve taken a trip with both girls and while it had its challenges (like it being the first time Catherine didn’t sleep in a crib or pack-n-play), it was a lot of fun and it was so good to spend some real time with Chris and Kadie!

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LOVING – watching our girls interact and “play” together!  Isa is almost 7 months and still not mobile, but she lights up when she sees her big sister and Catherine adores playing with her and laughing with her.

READING (well, listening to) – Orange is the New Black on Audible.  I haven’t watched it on Netflix, but the book is fascinating!

WATCHING – Moana.  Almost always it’s Moana!

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SHOPPING FOR – some boots. I love sandals but when it gets cold I cave and wear real shoes.  But I don’t want boots with a heel and tall boots are hard for me to wear because my calves are so big (I blame it on dancing for so many years).  But I just saw these from TOMS and am super curious about how they fit and feel!

EXCITED ABOUT – football season!!  Clemson’s kickoff is this Saturday and I can’t wait!  Go Tigers!

TRYING TO – get work done during naps while also trying to go to bed at a decent hour.  So far, I’m not doing so great on either of those fronts.

WORKING ON – timelines with my fall brides, updating my website (check it out if you have some time!) and dreaming of a future venture with Ben :-)

ENJOYING – the cooler weather even though it’s still August.  It gets me excited about all things fall!

USING – Toggl Timer on my phone. It keeps track of my time (when I remember to switch what I’m doing), which helps me see where I’m spending my time.  It’s especially helpful at the end of the year when Ben and I review the past year and plan for the coming year.

Isa’s expression in this photo KILLS me!!

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WEARING – mom clothes. I’m in shorts and t-shirts, sometimes yoga pants, rarely anything nicer.  But I bought some dresses and linen pants and a new shirt for my trip to Paris back in July and have LOVED having fresh and in-style clothes!  I’m just not a shopper and when I don’t need nicer things to wear to the office every day, I usually don’t realize I need new clothes until something comes up.

PLANNING – a styled shoot!  It’s something I’ve been dreaming of for over 3 years and it’s finally going to happen in the next month!

SINGING – Moana.  Almost always it’s Moana! Ben and I will sometimes text each other with the song that is currently stuck in our heads.

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NEEDING – to get Moana OUT of my head!

LEARNING – what it’s like to trust the Lord when my efforts aren’t cutting it (which seems to essentially be a life-long lesson!)

LISTENING TO – Again, Moana.  That’s right… if we aren’t watching it, then we’re listening to it.  Constantly.

WISHING – the Clemson Tigers would have another incredible season :-)

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DOING – finally hanging things in Isa’s room. Decorating isn’t my thing so it’s intimidating to me!  Which also means it takes me forever to decorate a space and put things up on the walls.  Catherine was a year old before her nursery was “finished” and I’m afraid it’s looking like Isa’s will be the same way.

DREAMING OF – going back to France.  Have passport (and camera) and will travel!

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If we can do anything to help with the styled shoot…let me know!!

Monday Musings | Moana and The Solar Eclipse

Please tell me that we are not the only household that has watched and listened to the soundtrack of Disney’s “Moana” at least 6 million times already.  I now understand what my parents went through as I watched and then proceeded to memorize all the songs from The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Aladdin and Beauty & the Beast when they came out… sorry, mom :-)

We were in Isle of Palms last weekend and I caught this photo of Catherine looking out at the water.  It was amazing because she stood still for more than 30 seconds, which is a feat for any 2 year old! I’d like to think she was just in awe of God’s creation, while the win whipped through her hair… but I’m pretty sure she was looking out at the ocean with a song from Moana going through her head.

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Since getting back from the coast, there’s been 1 thing we’ve heard about over and over… In case you’ve been under a rock for a while (which, after having a baby, I can completely understand how this can sometimes happen!), there is going to be a total solar eclipse today.  For about 2+ minutes, the sun will be fully hidden behind the moon and because of where we live in South Carolina, we’re going to have a perfect view.

A few reasons I’m not thrilled about this:

  • I’m going to play the lottery and push nap time back by an hour or more and hope my 2 year old will just sleep through the whole thing (because really, a 2 year old keeping eclipse glasses on for any amount of time is slip to none).
  • Pushing nap time back is really risky because she may end up not sleeping at all (please, Lord, let her sleep!)
  • The whole ordeal with the counterfeit eclipse glasses is just mean.  I understand needing to make money, but why do it for something that’s supposed to be fun and exciting for everyone?
  • There are apparently going to be an extra 1 million people in our state because of this.  1 MILLION!  I just can’t even comprehend this.

A few reasons I’m excited about the eclipse:

  • I won some “eclipse cupcakes” from Holly’s Cakes that I get to pick up this morning!  They look delicious and I love any excuse to eat cake of any kind :-)
  • I’ve never seen an eclipse (lunar or solar) and any chance to see something unique that display’s God’s creation is just incredible.
  • As silly as some of it is, the hype around this is kind of fun! I’ll be staying home (#naptime #dontwanttodealwithtraffic), but should be able to see it ok from our driveway and will be checking in with the news and NASA (I went to Space Camp and really wanted to be an astronaut!).
  • Eclipse cupcakes, eclipse cookies, eclipse donuts, t-shirts, memes, parties, etc. are everywhere… and I love it!

So, be safe out there today.  And because I trust NASA over most any other resource, here’s a link to their Solar Eclipse Safety website.

Fabulous Friday | New Head Shots

I’ve intentionally had head shots taken of me 3 different times in my 9 years as a photographer.  And this time it was long overdue since the last time I had head shots done I was 19 weeks pregnant with Catherine!  But, I think I’ve been waiting on these specifically since I would be in Paris and my sweet friend Abby would be the one taking them.  Y’all know how much I love Paris and well, Abby loves it too.  So it was perfect timing.

Head shots are a funny thing because they’re completely necessary (especially as a photographer!) but I’ll be the first to admit that it’s more difficult being in front of the camera by yourself than when you’re with someone else.  This is also the first time I haven’t had my camera in my hand for all of these shots so the aged old question of “what do I do with my hands?!?” kept creeping into my head.

But Abby was so calming and encouraging and pulled out ALL the quotes from Mean Girls at just the right times, which brought out that perfect “laugh like I just said something super funny” laugh because she did actually just say something super funny!

So I’m only going to share a few of these because 1) I feel odd posting a lot of photos of myself that aren’t bridal portraits or with my family and 2) you’ll see them on and around social media soon enough!

Thank you again for these, Abby.  It’s been so long since I’ve seen myself in film and those few are some of my favorites.

This first one is on film, as is the black & white one below.

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Our Niece’s Quinceañera

My husband was born and raised as a missionary kid in Paraguay, South America.  And one of my favorite stories is how his friend Arnaldo told 11 year old Ben that he liked his sister, Shellie.  Arnaldo wasn’t much older than Ben at the time and I’m pretty sure Ben’s response was simply, “Cool!”

They actually have a really sweet story, but this post is about their oldest daughter, Mikeila, who just turned 15 this past Friday and celebrated her quinceañera!  Since Arnaldo is Paraguayan and Shellie was raised there as well, it made perfect sense for Mikeila to celebrate this milestone birthday… beautiful ruffled dress and all!

Mikeila, you have grown into such a thoughtful, genuine, kind, loving, godly young woman… all of which makes you even more beautiful on the inside than you are on the outside.  I’m so thankful our daughters have such incredible cousins to look up to as they grown up!  Thank you for letting us celebrate with you this past Friday and for letting me take your portraits a couple weeks ago.  It was so hard for me to choose my favorites for your blog post!

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This is the one (below) that they chose for her portrait to have on display at the party!
I just love it!

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Doesn’t she look like a fairy tale princess?!?

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Happy 15th birthday again, Mikeila!!  We love you!

Mommy - August 16, 2017 - 8:03 am

Yes she does look like a fairy tale princess. We were so thankful that Arnaldo livestreamed the service Friday. Your pictures are so good. Thank you for being there for her on this very special day.

Lana Minnick - August 16, 2017 - 12:28 pm

Beautiful young lady and love the dress

Rache - August 16, 2017 - 9:04 pm

You’re so gorgeous Mikeila!! We’re so thankful for you and how God had grown you these past few years!!

Paris Film Update

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Some friends have applauded my will power.  Ben respects that I want to just soak it all in.  But now that my scans are in and sitting ON MY COMPUTER, I’m waiting until I have the proofs from the lab before I look at them.  And part of me thinks I’m absolutely crazy.

However, Paris is meant to be enjoyed at a slow pace, not rushed through hopping from one monument to the next.  And since I’m always in a state of wanting to stop and soak in the sights, the sounds and the feeling I get when I’m in Paris, I’m waiting to see what I captured on film until I can tangibly hold those photos in my hands.

Which means I probably have another two weeks at the minimum before I’ll be holding those prints in my hands.  But I never want a trip to Paris to end, so this is just one way I can continue to prolong this most recent adventure!

Workshop: The Signature Atelier by Abby Grace & Katherine Bignon

Dress: Katherine Bignon