Jackie and Mike – Simply Beautiful

Jackie and Mike got married on a weekend in November. Just the two of them in their back yard with the sky offering clouds as their beautiful backdrop. It was simple, yet one of the most beautiful weddings to take place.

Jackie had what she needed for the perfect ceremony.

A dress and bouquet.

Sparkling shoes.

Roses in white, pure and elegant.

She was stunning.

They opted for a “first look” so they could see each other before the ceremony. I was there to capture Mike’s expression as he turned to look at his beautiful bride for the very first time.

The ceremony was lovely. The sound of the wind was their music. Their breaths and laughs filled the air. The words of their officiant floated in the breeze. Moments later, the rings were exchanged, vows were spoken, and a kiss was exchanged.

We headed out shortly after for some pictures to document their marriage.

I love the colors of November and the way Jackie and Mike stand out so perfectly in them!

Thank you so much for inviting me to share your intimate day. It was beautiful and you both were so much fun to work with. Please find the rest of your pictures here.

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Giving Thanks

Last year on Thanksgiving I found myself celebrating alone with my kids. As someone who is used to family get-togethers of around 30 people, it was strange to think it would be un-special. So, I asked my boys what they were thankful for. We made a list. Then, we gave those things back to others who did not have them.

Apparently, our “Giving Thanks” day made a huge impression on them. This year, when we were talking about our plans with family to have a traditional dinner, the boys spoke up and demanded we do “Giving Thanks” again.

So, we did. And we were joined by another sweetie to help with the giving.

Here’s how it went down:

We are thankful for our animals and that we can give them a happy home. But, there are so many out there who do not have a warm, safe place to curl up. So, we visited the local SPCA where dogs and kitties live in hopes of someday finding people to love.

We brought the fuzzy critters some goodies.

It brought a wag to some tails for sure. (I believe this beauty is looking for a person to love, by the way…)

Next, we were thankful for our families. There are lots of sweet people who were not able to share the day with their families. We found some of these people at a senior citizen assisted living complex.

We brought them some large print word puzzles and they were extremely happy to get the gifts and so beyond excited to talk to children.

Our kiddos were very touched by them. One sweetheart lady was once a young, vivacious actress in China. So many amazing stories there for sure.

Next, we were thankful for our health. There are many pure, yet fragile little souls in the world. So, we headed off to find them in the hospital.

We left them a huge stack of coloring books and crayons.

Of course, we are also very thankful for our homes. There are lots of people who do not have a safe, warm home — and a lot of them have children just like our children. So, off to the homeless shelter we headed with teddy bears and stuffed critters galore.

Strangely enough, we had exactly the same amount of stuffed animals as there were kids there. One for each. Our children handed them out themselves. One little girl asked, just to be sure, if that teddy bear was really for her to keep.

What I can say about our morning is this:

1. I feel a little guilty about our Giving Thanks day because I am actually getting more out of it than I feel like I am really giving.

2. After taking a few hours to see with my own eyes how many out there have so very little, I feel very thankful for what I do have. It is a self-reflection of my life under a very powerful microscope for sure.

3. The conversations we all had with our kids after were breathtaking. I listened to my children tell their grandparents about what we did today. The exuberance they used in the retelling, mixed with their sense of pride that they could help people (even if just a little) was a gift.

4. At bedtime tonight, my boys told me they wanted to do it again next year. And so, they have given me a gift and I believe I have given one to them as well.

Somehow, I have accidentally started a new tradition. This year, we doubled in size by adding another family. I feel overwhelmed with thankfulness as I get ready for bed tonight.

Big

I recently had the pleasure of capturing this little one’s pictures.

As you can probably tell, she is super big. She’s one, after all.

She is learning things.

Her brother, also big, wanted to get in on the action too. He even had a pose and a great smile to share.

And, most important of all, she is mobile. That means, she keeps moving…

and moving.

She is an extraordinarily adorable one-year-old. Her big world is full of love from a wonderful family.

She has a group of siblings who watch over her affectionately.

The big in her heart fits her.

Thanks for letting me follow your sweetie around for a while. Please find the rest of your session here.

Jamie and Jon

When I looked through the pictures of the wedding of Jamie and Jon, the one thing I saw time and time again was Jamie laughing. She was laughing in a lot of pictures and when I told her that made me smile, she said it’s because Jon always makes her laugh. And that made me smile even bigger.

So, to start the story of their wedding day, we had the usual: Rings and flowers

shoes in a color that popped

and a dress hanging in wait.

There were special garters (something blue with a little red mixed in).

Two special sisters – Also laughing constantly.

We had a beautiful to the core bride, Jamie.

And a handsome groom, Jon.

Together, they are an amazing couple!

The wedding party was so fun to work with and, yes, they were laughing.

I love the church. It is small on the outside but seats a lot of people.

The ceremony was flawless.

After the ceremony, we headed out to the reception.

We stopped along the way for some pictures…

…and to share a few more laughs. Jamie looks beautiful when laughing and it is obviously coming from her soul.

Jon’s new sisters were almost never posing in any of the pictures – they looked great doing what they do. Although here, it appears Jon is being stabbed lovingly with flowers.

As we were sitting here, we noticed a very dramatic skyline over the lake.

So, we headed off to the beach for a very quick minute.

Finally, we made it to the reception for great food, dancing and family fun.

Jamie and Jon, it was a pleasure working with you and your wonderful families. Thank you for having me along to share in your special day. Please find the rest of your online album here.

Teresa and Jacob on a Fall Afternoon

I have had the pleasure of getting to know Teresa and Jacob a little.

What I know about them (and their family I have so far met), I like–a lot.

They are getting married in the near future and wanted some fall color in their engagement pictures.

It sounds easy enough. But when you mix in three busy people, the fact that they are from out-of-town, and a rainy day on the one day we all can get together, it becomes a little more complex.

Luckily, we were able to squeeze in some time between raindrops.

I am very excited about Teresa and Jacob’s wedding and their plans and meeting some more of their people.

Teresa and Jacob, thank you so much for your flexibility and happiness and for sharing your limited time with me. Please find the rest of your engagement session here.