Tuesday Confessions: I love Being an Aunt!

IMG_7360Today on the blog you will find some super sweet faces and deep kisses but they wont be between a couple deeply in love with each other, rather they will be of the sweetest little ham I know. World, today I am introducing you to my super sweet, and super fat nephew Brayden! This boy was born in June while I was in Central Asia so I first met him over a FaceTime with my sister. This boy stole my heart from day one! I remember crying those few tears when I first saw him through my phone and immediately lost it. I relized that for real I was an aunt. I was going to be able to kill him with auntie kisses and tickle him until he throws up (please excuse the visual). I knew that I was going to love it all, and man I totally have.

I remember the first second I saw him. I picked him up and would not put him down. I couldn’t stop saying how beautiful he was and playing with him. Because he’s seriously so handsome and just the sweetest boy ever! So last weekend when i got to see him for just a short while I had to capture as many pictures as possible! So I took him to the front yard with my siblings and grandma and got a few shots of him before I left to do my first engagement session. So I don’t have any fun quirks or antics to tell you about why I love being an aunt, because honesty, I just do. So please enjoy his cheeks and rolls and be sucked into the cuteness!IMG_7377 IMG_7366 IMG_7363 IMG_7374 IMG_7371Look at those stinkin cheeks!? I keep making the joke that I don’t know how he holds the face up cause his cheeks are so big!IMG_7369I love the way he looks at my sister! I’ve also never seen her love another person like she loves this boy. I’m so happy I got to capture a few images of them together. So beautiful!IMG_7368 IMG_7386 IMG_7391It’s disgusting how attractive my siblings are!

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My Life Monday

Well yes, I did go an entire week without blogging… Did I probably loose a few followers? Maybe. Was it a time of much needed rest? ABSOLUTELY! Hello friends, despite my sass I am deeply sorry for my absence last week, but man was it needed. I remember sitting at my house in my bed last Monday night and all I could think was, “Shoooottttttt! I forgot to blog!” Whoops! And then I realized I had no idea what to blog about for Tuesday Confessions and it just continued on from there. But no worries I am back and in full swing. The last two weeks have filled my heart with so much needed encouragement and grace! I got the chance to borrow some equipment from the one and only Kaitlyn Phipps and man, it was life changing. I realized that in a lot of ways I still have a ton of stuff to learn but I’ve also learned a lot about photography and the beauty that it is. It lets me know that all the blog stalking, question asking, and random shooting I’ve done is paying off! How exciting is that? So with all that I had an amazing couples session and also one engagement session! Both were amazing and man we were so blessed to have the most incredible light ever! I can’t wait to share those with you this week, well at least one of them. I’ll probably make you wait for the other one till next week, ha!

But besides all that I got to spend a little bit of time with some of my family and it was fun. My nephew and his cute fat self will also be coming to the blog this week. That boy is stealing my heart with every breath he takes. To top it off he’s such a ham! Love him! I also escaped this past weekend to knock off another item on the bucketlist. My best friend and I ventured to the Mile 1 marker of Interstate 81 and it was so much fun! Can’t wait to share that with you next week. Overall I’ve done a lot and it will all be on the blog very soon!

So now for the quirks!

-No matter how much I plan, spontaneity always creeps in and enhances any trip I could ever make. This weekend as I ventured to Tennessee I had made all these plans for Carlie and I to do on our little adventure. Little did we know the town of Dandridge was exploding with life this past Saturday. There was a Scottish music festival happening, along with massive little book sales, and so much more. It definitely ended up being better than anything I expected!

-I have found the beauty of SnapChat stories. Carlie and I documented our entire trip via snap’s story option. It was a blast!

-You know I love my friends and want them to have the most perfect time with their photos when I’m willing to get knee deep in water so that I can capture the image to my best ability. I did this last weekend and had to completely remove my tights, and boots and hold my dress up while taking these pictures. It was crazy, but so good.

-I love it when my friends show me new music! Seriously!! My friends love this band State Champs, and recently they released a new acoustic album. You must give it a listen. Personal favorite is definitely Elevated!

-On the topic of music if I could just listen to my Ben Rector Pandora station all day I’d be very happy. The perfect mix off all my favorites, Ben Rector, NEEDTOBREATHE, Ron Pope, Ray Lamountagne, and so many more! It’s simply perfect!

-I am almost halfway through season 8 of One Tree Hill. For you fellow fans you know that means I only about 30 episodes left. All I can say is, let the tears begin!

-Crying is always a good thing! I mean SERIOUSLY! Always a good thing! If you need to just do it.

Well that’s it for now friends but here are some previews of what are to come this week on the blog! First is my sweet nephew, Brayden! He’ll be here tomorrow. So be on the lookout for his cute self.IMG_7364Next is the sweetness of Freddy and Emily, check out their amazing shoot on Wednesday!IMG_7290Lastly the original Brooke Carroll Photography couple, Maddie and Nathan!! Check out their awesome Maryland Engagement session on Wednesday!IMG_7754

The Fan Fab Four!

IMG_9373I haven’t done one of these post where I tell you about some of my favorite people, I also realized last week that I never posted about my time in Central Asia, and that’s just a giant fail on my part! But no worries friends it’ll be here tomorrow, but until then I wanted to bring you some awesome women from that trip! Meet some incredible ladies that I had the privilege of living with, growing with, and loving. These women are all so vastly different, but together they were so perfect and taught me so much about life and what it means to walk in the light of truth and grace. It’s beautiful and they’re even more beautiful than the words I could ever write in this blog post, so instead just have fun with it and enjoy meeting the ladies of the fan fab four!

IMG_4652These women are seriously the best, and I can’t give enough thanks for them. World, meet Annie, Soumya, and Laura! These are just three of my six roommates. These women challenged me in incredible ways and really showed me what it means to live a life with purpose. Each of them are crazy amazing, and helped me to grow a lot this summer.IMG_4616First off we have Laura! This girl a ball of joy and I love her so much. Laura was my roommate and I can’t think of many nights that we didn’t lay in bed talking for hours. Laura is a naturally hysterical person. I would laugh for hours at the things she did, and would nearly pee myself on a handful of occasions. But aside from this beautiful women’s wit is her gentle and kind heart. Laura knows how to dish out the truth and call things like they are but she’s also so knowledgeable and loving. Throughout the course of the summer there were some hard things that happened and I knew I could count on Laura not to judge me but instead to love me through the hard things. This girl loved me so much to even love me and see me through some dark days and I’m so thankful for her.

Laura, you’re a rare gem that I’m so thankful that I’ve found in my life. Your passion for life is impeccable and infectious and so so so beautiful. You are so full of life and you breathe it onto others. Continue to be you and never apologize for it. You are the literal best and I love your England, baby!

IMG_4505This is Annie, and we’re basically the same person. I always knew that if a situation came up Annie and I were basically thinking the exact same things. But aside from that we both have a huge passion for loving others and allowing them to be their true selves around us. This girl and I have a lot of similarities in our struggles and through that together we were able to confide in one another and love each other through the ruble. Annie has such a heart for others and it’s beautiful. She saw beauty in the brokenness of Central Asia and she loved the people there so well. It made my heart so happy to be able to walk beside her in the crazy season of our lives!

Annie, you are amazing and your sassy, spitfire, take no prisoner attitude is something I love about you. You’re always saying what everyone else is thinking and I love it. You’re incredibly beautiful and I cannot wait to see you again and reconnect on life. You’re the best!

IMG_4963Lastly we have the sweet Soums! Soumya is a beautiful gem that popped her way into my life a little over a year ago and I’ve thought she was pretty cool ever since. Soumya has a calm spirit that I truly admire and something I aspire to have. She understands grace and walks in it daily, and it’s probably one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I learned a lot this summer from this girl and I’m so excited that I get to have her as a fun sized bonus in my life!

Hey Soums, thanks for every conversation and moment of clarity that we shared together. It’s beautiful to know that I’m not gonna loose you in my life. You’re such a wonderful sister and I love you. Keep being you and remember that even when it’s hard to trust, and love. Cause even if not He is still good!

IMG_9378I learned more this summer from these three women then what I could ever write out in this simple blog post. But my hope is that in my words you can see the beauty of these ladies. They are three of the most genuine human beings I’ve ever met and I’m forever changed and a better person because I know them. I look at them and I see eternity. I see joy through trials and I see four incredibly broken women who are being redeemed daily because of a love that is so much greater than all of us. I see the love that I’ve always longed for from a sister fulfilled in these three women. My hope for you readers is that if you know these women personally you would only get a more beautiful view of their hearts, and if you don’t know them personally my hope is you would find a friend like them like I have.

IMG_9514These ladies inspire me to love others well, and to remember that the love I have received is the love I’m called to give. I have seen and experienced grace first hand and it’s one of the most beautiful things I think a person could ever experience. In part I have these women to thank for that. So to each of them I say thank you, thank you for putting up with my crazy life, my volume problems, and my bluntness and loving me through it! Y’all are some of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen and I can’t express my thanks enough for y’all. So continue to strive for redemption and love others well! I love each of you more than I could ever express and I hope you’ll stay in my life for a very long time.

IMG_4659IMG_9377IMG_8399IMG_8243IMG_8580IMG_9574IMG_7625IMG_4606Y’all are the literal best, heres to the fan fab four!

My Life Monday

This week will mark a month since school has started and I feel like I just got back, and am still learning how to get into the groove of life, but hey, it’s still great. Friends, my hope for you is that this week you find joy in the small things, cause that’s definitely what I’ve had to do, ha! This week brought on a ton of nostalgia. With getting to talk to a lot of old friends, and even sending some off to their new adventures in their life, it was so great. Once again I got to travel to Pennsylvania this weekend and it was wonderful. I got to talk about my favorite subject for a whole weekend and that of course is traveling! Learning about how I can inspire college students to take all that they’ve learned here in the states overseas and teach English is something I’m so intensely passionate about that even after driving for almost 8 hours I was so energized that I couldn’t contain myself. The world is my passion and I like to make it my business to learn as much as I can about it so I can just love it more and more.

This coming week will definitely be a busy one, but what week in my life isn’t busy? I have a lot of school work starting this week and I’m actually really excited about it. Two of my classes specifically are so near and dear to my heart that I’m basically foaming at the mouth waiting to begin discussing them and doing assignments for them. Like I said before I’m a proud nerd! Then finally on Saturday I’ll be shooting my first real Engagement session!!!! EEK!!! It’s gonna be so great, and tears will be had! I can’t wait to share it with you, but for now you’ll just have to wait cause I’m keeping this a secret!

No onto the shenanigans…

-I believe that the best way to start a Road Trip is by blaring the best song you can think of and jamming out in a snapchat to it. I did this, this past weekend with my friend Aya and our song of choice was “Acadia” by Marianas Trench! So upbeat and awesome, and I’m sure my friends in West Chester would agree that it was quite enjoyable!

-The nations of the world are my passion and the recent global conference I attended was nothing short of amazing. We learned about the importance of being anchored to the truth while also setting sail for the nations! It was so beautiful, and so intense. I can’t count the number of times that I was nearly moved to tears because I saw so much of who I am at this conference. Let alone that fact that last year when I went to this conference I was the only student from Radford that went, and this year I was one of FIVE! Yes, five! Can you believe it? These students are getting it, and man is it a blessing to see them breaking for the Nations!

-Sheets is amazing! I don’t care what anyone says! Mac and Cheese bites, a chicken tender sub with all the fixins, and a nice drink is the way to go!

-This last week has taught me a lot what it means to allow yourself to be truthfully analyzed by others. By allowing others to come into your life and help you figure out how to fix your junk is so healthy and freeing. I had this happen a few times this week and man was it hard, but at the same time I feel myself turning a new leaf, and growing through the ruble of it all. It’s the hardest, but the best!

-My Mariah Carey pandora station is so perfect!!! Seriously I love just belting every song by that girl when cooking or doing the dishes it’s the best!

-This coming week I’m renting some fun new equipment and I’m so excited about it! Seriously I’m gonna be like a kid in a candy store. Such pretty images will be produced this week and the blog is gonna be extra gorgeous next week. So be sure to check it out.

IMG_4866This coming Wednesday I’m gonna be introducing you to some fabulous women in my life! They’re wonderful and perfect and I love them! How could you not check them out!

Golden Hour: Austin and Audrey

IMG_9926I’m obviously not married, but from looking at other Photographers blogs and seeing how they do work I see the importance in anniversary shoots. These type of shoots help to remind people why they fell in love, and why they CHOOSE to fight for one another. For that reason I love seeing these type of shoots and seeing eyes light up and they look at the person who they’ve pledged forever to. It’s so insanely beautiful that I just squeal at the beauty of it all. Well today friends I’ll be showing you a couple that I got to see first hand experience this. This couple is beautiful and they love each other with relentless passion. This couple is the definition of grace, redemption, and forgiveness and it just oozes from their pores. It’s so incredible!

World, meet Austin and Audrey! These two are insanely fun and quirky, and they’re just plain awesome. I met Audrey a little over a year ago and I have seriously loved her ever since. She has grown to be a woman who impacts the very ground I walk on with her words of truth and wisdom and how she pours them into my life. This past summer she mentored me during our time in Central Asia and through our relationship I got to learn a lot about Austin. These two met during their time at Ohio University and through their relationship true love was found, eternity was changed, and life became better because they were together. As Audrey told me before their shoot these two walk the fine line between classy and casual, but seriously, forget about walking that line. These two rocked this shoot! Seriously!!! When Austin would look at Audrey I saw the two of them light up and the beauty of one another. These two are going to conquer the world with every step they take. I’m so excited that even if its from a distance I get to watch it and be even a minor part of it all!

Austin and Audrey I could write about y’all and your amazing love for days. Thank you for laughing with me and being apart of my life and most importantly for pouring into my life like you do. You two are beautiful and I can’t thank you enough for running around West Chester with me and exploring Pennsylvania’s Golden Hour!

IMG_9843 IMG_9845 IMG_9859IMG_9857IMG_9860IMG_9872IMG_9882Seriously, do you see the way they look at each other!? Stop it, y’all are the best!IMG_9885 IMG_9890 IMG_9898Most of the shoot was done on the campus of West Chester University. I seriously fell in love with this little place. It’s no Radford, but it is awesome!IMG_9900 IMG_9901 IMG_9910 IMG_9916 IMG_9922 IMG_9927IMG_9943 IMG_9930 IMG_9933 IMG_9940 IMG_9950 IMG_9953Oh gosh I’m in love with this one above here! So natural and beautiful!IMG_9944 IMG_9960IMG_9972Can you believe that I took these ring shots with my 50!? Good job little buddy! Also isn’t Audrey’s ring gorgeous! So simple and elegant, great find Austin!IMG_9975
IMG_9990 IMG_9987Aren’t they beautiful!? Austin and Audrey, y’all are the best. I hope you’ve enjoyed these last few years of marriage. You guys make it look insanely fun and I love it. Love you guys, and thanks for being such incredible models!

Tuesday Confessions: I’m a Words Person

IMG_9481This should in no way come as a shock to any of you out there that know me. I love words! I think they’re incredible and without them I wouldn’t be able to do this, cause I mean literally there’d be no point. But most specifically this comes in the area of my friends. One thing I love to do is write notes to my friends and hide them somewhere in their belongings so that at the right moment they’ll find the note and they’ll be encouraged and feel loved by me. I personally love it when this happens to me. One thing I really struggle with is understanding that I matter. Not just in life but to people. I constantly hear the lie that if I weren’t here everyone’s lives would be so much easier, and the world as a whole would be an all around better place. Now, like I said THIS IS A LIE! It is something I have no business believing, but it does impact me in areas of my life. But when I get these notes, or just in general a friend reminds me that I matter to them I could probably fall to the floor because it’s so refreshing to hear that and be reaffirmed in the truth of my existence.

So that brings me to the topic of words. These things are powerful beyond belief! They can be used for evil and glory and I’ve definitely been caught on both ends of that spectrum. I’m bold and most important I’m blunt. Honestly I’m probably the worst at watching my mouth when it comes to a lot of things, I just call it like it is, and I definitely need to get better and filtering what I say and when I say it. But that there is exactly what I mean! Words are something that I would argue is the most powerful thing we have. They can cut deeper than any knife, and they can also build someone up taller than skyscraper.

One thing that my wonderful team in Central Asia did this summer was wrote notes to every person on our team. All 17 of us wrote notes to the other 16 people on the team. Do this day I keep those notes in my purse and when I need a pick me up or even just to read them I pull one out of my purse and read it and smile. I see the beauty in words in a new and exciting way through these notes. They remind me that it’s not just in what people think of me, but ultimately what I think of myself! My own words to myself will impact me. So I encourage all of you to remember who you are and whose you are! You matter to this world, and your worth is found in nothing more or less than the one who created you and who loves you with such a perfect love that it cast out all fear and iniquity! So smile pretty today, and know that YOU ARE LOVED!IMG_9487 IMG_9485

My Life Monday

Hey guys, Speedy Gonzalez here, well not really, but with the way I’ve been running around just in the last three hours I’d say I’m pretty much a psycho! Goodness, it’s been a good life friends. I’ve found new music, decided to reread my favorite book, played with babies, and illegally explored the New River with two of my fabulous roommates on a late night adventure! It’s been so great just to chill with such wonderful people and experience life. This last week left me in awe of the beauty of grace and of having true community to help aid you in your desperate times of need. It’s been so wonderful to feel that kind of love, especially in this weird season of life.

But gosh, these next two weeks are gonna be so awesome and I’m real pumped about it. This coming weekend I’m headed to Pennsylvania to a conference for fellow World Travelers and difference Makers like myself to discuss how we can bring meaning to our passions and ultimately change the world because of it. Then, next weekend I’m doing a real, legit, and true Engagement session!!! Ahhhh Cross that sucker off the bucketlist! It’s going to be for two of my sweetest and most perfect friends. I already know there will be tears at this shoot, so i can’t even imagine what I’ll be like on the big day. Goodness gracious!

But enough of my ranting, here’s so shenanigans of my life…

-I GOT INTERNET AT MY HOUSE AND I’VE GOTTEN MY ONE TREE HILL FIX! Seriously this show is so good. I love Brooke Davis so much. I think I could honestly write a blog post about her, but at the same time I think everyone would think I was a psycho so I’ll just have to think about it before I jump on that. Side note, James Lucas Scott is the cutest child ever!

-On the topic of children, yesterday for about two hours I got to hangout with nine of the coolest toddlers in the world, and it brought me so much life. Seriously children are my element. I love getting to play with them and just hangout with them. Even when they’re screaming I’m able to remain completely calm and handle it. Yesterday I had two of these precious babes screaming in my arms, but I was so alive in the moment that it didn’t even effect me. So wonderful! Can I just be a babysitter when I graduate?

-Two weeks ago I bought a travel coffee mug and it causes me to drink so much more tea and coffee, it’s not even funny! But man it is sooooo delicious. I’ve been told that by the time I’m done with it coffee is no longer coffee it’s just creamer but I have no shame in my game!

-I’ve said it and I’ll say it again, I LOVE RIVERSIDE! Once again something I could write a whole blog post on. This house has so much character and holds so much love that I just want to have everyone move in with me! Sitting on our porch listening to music and talking about everything we think of brings me a lot of joy and is truly a dream come true. I’ve seriously dreamed of having a house like this and it’s something that even (fingers crossed) when I’m older and have a family of my own I get to have. I want my kid’s friends to come over and just have an open house all the time.

-Having a planner (& actually using it) has changed my life. I love writing everything out and then highlighting through it once it’s been completed. It really helps me to stay organized and also to feel like a real adult! Ha, but really.

-I’ve come to the complete realization that I have a pretty good grasp on what I’ll be doing post-grad, but ultimately I have no idea(I know that sounds weird but it’s so true). But through that I can also say that I feel so free in the not knowing. I’ve become a pretty go with the flow person in recent years. It’s just so much easier, having an outline is nice, and knowing what;s expected of me is a must, but all in all I love just going with the flow and seeing where the road takes me. It’s the best!

Welp, that’s it for now folks! I hope you guys have a happy Monday, but before I leave please enjoy this super awesome preview of what’s coming to the blog this week! IMG_9990