Sunday, November 22, 2009

thankful? then do something.

I love Thanksgiving. I mean, who doesn't? Turkey, family, football, pumpkin spice lattes.... it's pretty much a holiday WIN. I love to just stuff myself silly with food and then spend way too long on the couch, watching tv, napping, chatting, or all of the above. It's like a little slice of heaven...

Every year on Thanksgiving day, I've made a habit of taking a few quiet moments to myself and reflecting upon my blessings. With each passing year there are so many more things to be thankful for, and mentally noting those things is quite cathartic for me, as I'm sure it is for many of you. Nearly every pumpkin spice latte I've indulged in has reminded me that Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and as a result, my thoughts have turned to thankfulness and what it really means to be thankful.

While recognizing your blessings is a huge step toward true thankfulness, it's only one piece of the equation. It seems to me that action is required in most cases. I mean, if you're truly thankful for something, shouldn't your actions show it? Take the Thanksgiving Day cook, for instance. I love me some good food, and you know I always have my fill on Thanksgiving day. When I take my moment of thanksgiving and think about how thankful I am for the good food, perhaps that will motivate me to verbalize my thanks. Or better yet, I may show my thanks by doing the dishes and letting the cook take a rest. If I only think about how thankful I am for the food, maybe I haven't really become thankful. Maybe I'm just a little lazy.

I've been thinking about that a lot lately. I mean, I keep saying that I'm thankful for things, but many times you wouldn't know it by my actions. In fact, sometimes my actions and attitudes seem to indicate a root of ungratefulness for the very things for which I say I am thankful. You know what I mean? Have you every felt that way?

So this year, I'm making a conscious effort to do things a little differently. Sure, I will still have my quiet time of deep reflection on my blessings and hopefully I'll verbalize where verbalization is appropriate. But instead of letting it end there, I want to have a true heart of gratefulness that motivates me to action. So instead of just telling my husband Jon that I'm grateful for him, maybe I'll make sure he changes a few less dirty diapers and has a few more moments of relaxation... not because it's my job to change diapers, but because I'm truly thankful he always helps with those diapers and I want him to know how much I appreciate him. And maybe instead of just thinking about how nice a person she is, maybe I'll send an old fashioned letter to the amazingly talented photographer who once took me to lunch and inspired me more than she could ever know by just chatting with me about photography. The more I think about it, the more things I want to do to show so many people in my life how grateful I am for them.

One of the things that I'm so thankful for this year is you. Yes, you. And I want to show it. I feel so honored that you take the time to read what I've written, comment on my notes, or even chat with me in person about what you've read. It means the world to me, without a doubt. Your encouragement has oftentimes kept me going when I lack the strength to do so. So, as a small token of my appreciation, I'm holding a little contest (I used to do these all the time in the beginning and I'm not sure why I stopped!). All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post and fill in the blanks to this statement:
I am truly thankful for ___________ and I'm going to show it by ______________.
I'll choose a winner at random (not based on content... I hardly think I could be non-biased if I chose based on content since I know so many of you personally:) who will receive a $50 iTunes gift card. The contest will end at midnight on Thanksgiving Day and the winner will be announced on the following Friday.

I truly wish you the most wonderful of Thanksgivings. Enjoy your loved ones (and your dinner) to the fullest. Bless and be blessed. Experience true thanksgiving.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Peggy and McGraw :: Engaged

Here are just a few reasons why I love my job:

1. I get to work in my pajamas (unless I'm meeting with a client.... in which case, pajamas would be entirely inappropriate)
2. I feel alive when I'm behind the camera.
3. I have the chance to work with people like Peggy and McGraw.

When I met Peggy and McGraw for coffee to talk about their wedding, they made me smile. Sure, I smile a lot... I'm a happy girl. But I smiled a big, contented, genuinely joyful smile. It wasn't just the witty banter between the two of them, or the fact that McGraw tried a venti pumpkin spice latte for the first time on Peggy's referral, or even the vision they had for their wedding day. They told me they had complete trust in my artistic ability and wanted to give me free reign to be as creative as I wanted to be with their photos. And they really meant it. I was the artist they wanted to hire and they wanted to let me do what I do best. And that, my friends, was music to my ears :).

Peggy, you look incredible.

Love this.

Love them here. McGraw suggested this location and it was perfection.

It happens every time I meet a couple about to get married... it starts off innocently enough like this

...And ends up like this.

Peggy's ring is ah-mazing with a capital AH.

From what I hear, this is a pretty common pose:)

I'm so looking forward to your wedding, Peggy and McGraw. I've already got a couple of ideas buzzing around my head that I can't wait to show you.

Even more on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Amber and Keith :: Married!

So you got a little sneak peak at part of the awesomeness that was Amber and Keith's wedding when I posted a few of their photobooth pics from a few weeks ago. And now, it's time to show you a few more images from their wedding day. You may want to grab some popcorn and cup of hot coco.... I had such a hard time narrowing down, so I may have gotten a bit photo happy. But can you blame me???

The fabulous Philip Johnson Salon and Spa.

Keith's mom was so adorable.... when she saw him in his tux, she couldn't hold back the emotion.

I think it goes without saying, but Amber is pretty fabulous. Wouldn't you agree?

A supercute ring bearer who successfully made it down the aisle in record time :)

The both used their candles from their first communion to light their unity candle, which I thought was pretty special. My Jon grabbed this shot. He's so great :).


Amber and Keith's wedding took place in mid-October on one of the only non-rainy days the entire month. Other than being a smidge chilly, it was pretty much the perfect day.

Need I say more?

And then, Amber busted out the hula hoops. That's right... hula hoops. I dig it.

This photo of Keith makes me smile. Totally him :). These guys were such good sports and if I would have asked them to do cartwheels across the pond, I think they would have done it. I heart an easy-going wedding party.

As I was culling through all of their wedding photos, I came across this one and just fell in love. I was chatting with my album designer and I told her "I just can't wait to send you this wedding... you're going to LOVE it!"

Oh yeah, if I could do my wedding all over again, one of the things I'd definitely do is wear this veil. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

The bling

I heart them.

When Amber asked me if we'd have time to take some photos of them at home, I thought that was a fantastic idea.

At the reception, something really wonderful happened. I mean really truly life-changingly wonderful. After all the speeches and toasts had been given, the microphone was passed to Amber and she stood up. She had asked Keith what he wanted for his birthday, which fell during the week they were on their honeymoon... and he, without hesitation said ice cream. So, Amber hired Coldstone to bring out a marble slab, ice cream, and an amazing array of toppings. His reaction was priceless. He jumped right up, hugged her, kissed her, smiled like his face was about to explode, and ran right over to the ice cream.

Keith was unbelievably excited... and that may be putting it lightly. As he walked over to the ice cream station, he just kept on saying, "this is the best day of my life!"

Yes, that's Keith making his own Birthday Cake Re-mix. A dream come true.

Amber's ring was so sparkly it was blinding. check it out....
Ok, so maybe this deserves a little explanation....Jon grabbed this shot just in the nick of time. Amber was showing off her ring when one of the guests was taking a photo. My genius husband clicked the shutter at just the same time and viola...

I love seeing past and future clients at weddings! The lovely Lindsay (of Lindsay and Patrick, who were married earlier this year). Lindsay coordinated things just perfectly that day.

And Peggy and McGraw, who's wedding I'm so looking forward to shooting in 2010.

Even more photos from this fab wedding on facebook.

Amber and Keith, thank you so much for making us feel like part of the family during your wedding. We're so lucky to have been able to witness your wedding day, and better yet, to call you friends.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A day in the life of the cutest ring bearer in the world

Earlier this fall, my brother-in-law married his sweetheart and I was thrilled to be able to document their wedding day. It's always so meaningful to have a part in the wedding of family. I wasn't the only one to be a part of the wedding, though. Jon performed the ceremony, and Kaden was one of the ring bearers. It was so great to be able to not only be shooting a beautiful wedding, but also photographing my very favorite two guys along the way :). Kaden was a trooper and played the cutie card all day long... and I've got the pictures to prove it :).

Kaden chilled with grandpa Hessel to start off the night at the rehearsal.

Then it was time to practice walking down the aisle. Well, walking may be stretching it a little. A cute little wagon wheeled Kaden and his cousin Tegan down the aisle.

Then it was time for the big day! God bless Stacie, who is an absolute saint, for hanging out with Kaden before, during and after the ceremony... having her there sure did make things less stressful because I never had to wonder where Kaden was or if he was hungry or anything. Stacie is just the best. Don't ask me for her number. I won't give it to you :)

While I waited for the bride to arrive, I got the chance to snap some shots of him.... such a nice change of pace on a wedding day to get to photo the cutest boy in the world :).

Then on to the church. stacie put the finishing touches on Kaders hair...

Yeah, that's one good lookin ring bearer with a faux hawk

Checking himself out one last time before going down the aisle

no tears. both little guys did a great job :)

Already thinking about the wedding cake. Must take after his mother.

After a few hours of socializing with out of town friends and family, it was time to hit the reception

But he didn't make it very far before he crashed.

But he did manage to wake up for a dance with the photographer.

Full wedding recap coming soon!