Category Archives: Dear Friends

this beautiful community

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One of the sweetest gifts I’ve received through my blog and through my Instagram is the friendships I’ve gained. Over this past year I have come to know some wise, witty, and lovely ladies, who I’m blessed to now call darling friends. Amongst all the superficiality that can reign in social media it is so refreshing to come across all the beautiful souls that are seeking to encourage vulnerability, truth, joy, gratitude, creativity, delights of simplicity, the reality of daily life, and treasuring that reality. I’m so thankful for the multitude of them I have found and for the grace, beauty, and testimonies of God’s goodness they are to, truly, hundreds and thousands of people.

These women, whether they be personal friends of mine or not, have been rich encouragements to me. They have spurred me on in my walk with the Lord and in my roles as wife, mommy, daugher, sister, aunt, and friend. They have reminded me of the gift it is to be open and vulnerable with others, to welcome one another into our lives, and to give of ourselves; we have been given one another to walk this life with, let us be faithful to do it! They have inspired me in creativity, to be bold and brave, to try new things, to love food even more that I already did :), to add to my list of places to travel, to read more, and to savor the beauty found in “ordinary” things. I am so thankful for each one of these ladies and the pieces of their lives that they share.

Several of these women have become personal sweet friends of mine and I treasure that. I have been amazed at the Lord’s kindness in bringing such lovely women into my life to walk with me, even though we live far apart. I was able to meet one of these lovelies, Autumn, over Christmas, and we had one of the sweetest, most encouraging conversations and I left even more grateful to know her. I was a bit nervous wondering how our time would go, but 2 minutes in and every nervous wondering I had melted away and we had easy, authentic, deep conversation for hours. To have gained such a friendship through blogging, social media, and emails —- I just love that. I cannot wait for more coffee dates with her and my other dearies in the coming months and years, for our friendships to deepen, and for hours of conversation to be shared over these outlets and over food and drink in the years to come.

My heart is full. I’m so grateful for this sweet community.

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rosemary beach

We had the loveliest time on our unexpected getaway to Rosemary Beach, Florida. Our Noel friends are the most thoughtful and generous people to have shared their vacation with us. In this heavy season of life it was such a gift to drive out of town and have a break for a few days. Our minds and hearts were refreshed, relaxed, and encouraged. And it was just so fun to experience such a beautiful place together as a family alongside some of our very favorite people. The Lord was gracious in the timing of this getaway and we were thankful for every moment spent there.

What a welcome sight the morning after our arrival.

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And what a beautiful town we got to explore.

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A glorious morning to pick up donuts from the cutest donut truck ever, sip coffee, and soak up the sweetness of our littles.

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The emotion of complete and utter awe I feel at the sight of the ocean will never cease.

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So much of the trips and adventures we take revolves around food, let’s just be honest. And our Noel friends are kindred spirits in that way so it works out well.

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So grateful for the days spent with our dear friends; eating, sipping coffee, walking, talking about life, laughing, dreaming, planning, reading, making memories, and just being thankful for times that this. I never ever want to take them for granted.

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dan and rachel

This past weekend J and I were so thankful to celebrate the wedding of our close friend, Dan, and his beautiful, now wife, Rachel. We had met Rachel over google chat a little over a month before their wedding and it took about .01 seconds for us to say, “she’s wonderful and she’s perfect for Dan.” Now, having been able to spend several days with her in person, we just adore her. Watching the two of them together is so sweet. They just fit. God’s design is perfect.

One of the sweetest memories we walked away with from that weekend was the evening of the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner. Never have I been to a rehearsal dinner that was so rich with love, laughter, joy, and gratitude. It was truly a beautiful evening. After dinner Dan’s dad opened it up for friends and family to have the opportunity to share about Dan and Rachel. Person after person stood up and shared what Dan and Rachel meant to them, as individuals and as a couple. People shared how Dan and Rachel had impacted their lives, what their friendship meant to them, the examples they had been to them over the years, and how Christ was so glorified in their hearts, their relationships, and their lives. There was much laughter and buckets full of tears.

After everyone else shared Dan and Rachel took turns sharing their own hearts, pouring out words of gratitude and humility at how blessed and loved they felt and how overwhelmed they were by God’s gifting them their family, their friends, and one another. And with every word they spoke their genuine, humble, and grateful hearts were seen. They gave gifts to their wedding party and shared sweet, hilarious, and encouraging words and stories about each one of them. Again laughter exploded and tears flowed.

After that Dan’s dad asked Dan and Rachel to come sit in two chairs next to one another and their moms came and sat beside them. Then almost everyone else in the room came and gathered around them, placing their hand them and they spent a time in prayer, praising God for this couple, entrusting their marriage to Him, and asking Him to grow them, strengthen them, and bless them in the days to come.

Being the photographers means that J and I get a little bit of an inside scoop of the goings on of the wedding day, which truly is a privilege. It also means that you get a special type of perspective as you seek to capture the moments of their wedding day, and in this case, the rehearsal dinner as well. And when you get to observe a time like this beautiful prayer time it just makes you grateful.

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To stand back a little ways and watch this precious couple be prayed over, be celebrated, and be cherished caused my heart to be so grateful for the gospel. Grateful that we can have the bonds we do — because of Christ. Grateful that we can lift our gratitude, requests, and hopes to God — because of Christ. Grateful that we have the privilege and calling to reflect God’s relationship with the church in our marriages — because of Christ. Grateful for the joy we can experience in this life because of the hope we have for eternal life — because of Christ. In every part of their weekend Dan and Rachel praised Jesus and gave all glory to God. This couple is genuine, loving, kind, hilarious, stinkin’ adorable, joyful, and a constant testimony of the love of the Lord who made them and brought them together.

Dan and Rachel, we praise Jesus for you both and count it such a joyful privilege to have shared in your weekend. You both blessed our hearts in a meaningful way and we are so thrilled that you are now husband and wife! We love you guys!

some changes

The blog is going to be a bit quiet this week as we spend the majority of our days packing up and loving on some of our dearest friends, the Rolands, who are moving to Texas on Friday. We are rejoicing with them in this new season and in the new opportunities that the Lord has given them. At the same time our hearts are aching as we will no longer have them living up the hill from us, so we want to soak up every bit of time we can with them this week. I’ll surface back here when the goodbyes have been said and the tears have stopped flowing…..well, maybe stopped flowing.

Have a delightful week, friends!

these friends

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these friends. they’re pretty special.

the story goes that several of them, my hubby included, have known each other since middle school. they walked together through high school, argentina, crushes and dating relationships, birthdays, strange waffle house experiences, and every other thing that happens during those significant years of your life. that whole group grew up and eventually started getting married. with each one’s marriage the spouse has become part of “the gang.” now everyone is married and several of us have littles and one of us has tweek, the cat. two of the couples, us included, don’t live in Georgia, but everyone else does. and we are all friends.

these are people that walk through every bit of life with you. that when you get together you feel like you just saw each other yesterday. you are fully yourself around one another. you know each other so well that you know how the others will react whether they are stressed, excited, exhausted, emotional, uncomfortable, or just really happy. you can read each other easily and you know what means a lot to each other. you can talk for hours or just sit and be quiet. you feel the comfort of being able to be completely open and know that you’ll be met with understanding, laughter, encouragement, prayers, or honest truths. you feel totally comfortable being in each other’s homes and helping make dinner or wash the dishes or rummage around for what you need. you fully trust one another to watch your kids, knowing they all love your little almost as much as you do. you text each other whenever you need or want to. you would drop everything if they needed you to come right then. you experience everyone’s most exciting moments in life and most heartbreaking moments in life. you challenge each other, encourage each other, pray for each other, send each other goofy birthday videos, eat a lot of good food together, have dance parties and jam sessions together, have meltdowns together, take trips together, and laugh uncontrollably together. these friends are wonderful, weird, hysterical, thoughtful, non-expectation holding, coffee drinking, deeply loving people. and we love them. a whole heck of a lot.

i am so thankful. so thankful. that one of the thousands of gifts i gained as jas’ wife was the friendship of all these people. i feel like i’ve known them since middle school too. and that’s pretty cool.

Photography Preview // Baby Luke

Our dear friends, the Winklers, welcomed their precious baby boy Luke into the world on January 16th. So thankful for this healthy, handsome addition to their sweet family! A few weeks ago, I did a newborn/family shoot for them. I love taking pictures of these friends and their two little cuties!

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