christmas, brought to you straight from my iPhone

yes, it's true. i slacked off this year...brought my camera and didn't even take it out of the trunk. ya ya...bad photographer, you don't have to tell me :) i do however own an iPhone 5 now, so the quality of pictures will be drastically improved from past posts. and my app editing skills far surpass the beginning days of instagram filters. but just you wait, one of these days i'll turn mega-blogger on you and whip out my fancy pictures when you least expect it.

who am i kidding? that won't happen *wink

so, if you don't follow me on instagram this post will be way more interesting to you...and if you do, just hang tight..maybe i'll fit in more than 150 characters for my pic descriptions and surprise you with my charm and wit, or is it whit? no that's a name. it's definitely wit.

we started out the morning at my nana and grandpa's house with all my extended family. we've had pretty much the same traditions since we were little, when we celebrate Christmas morning at nana's. as  littles we were especially antsy to run upstairs and see what lay under nana and grandpa's tree as soon as we arrived to nana's. we usually showed up between 10 and 11, said our hello's and merry christmas's, then darted up the white stairs into the living room with the view you see below. where we would then frenzy into an "every man for himself" Christmas present opening event.

my grandparents have literally the coolest house i've ever been in. and i never fully appreciated their house until i started dating jeff. i mean honestly, who sees this view every single holiday for 24 years and doesn't appreciate it until the last 5 years? i guess you just take things for granted when you're young. i feel truly privileged to spend my holidays, birthdays and family parties at this house. i have so many wonderful childhood memories here, and just as many in my adult life. i can't get enough of my fun family these days.

me and my and my little cousin while we were opening presents 

the BEST Christmas breakfast we've ever had. that would be bacon quiche with bacon chunks on top. my belly is still content from this meal 24 hours later.

cousins doing dishes...don't mind the vampire eyes. i'm still convincing my mom that she doesn't need to use her flash indoors ;)

It was the perfect Christmas with family and fires in the fireplace :)

+ + +

and a couple pictures from Christmas Eve with Jeff's family, of the kids opening our presents to them. love how excited they were!

merry christmas!

Sharing a bit of Christmas around our home, wishing you a very blessed, and Merry Christmas with your loved ones!

I've thoroughly enjoyed all things jolly and bright this year. I've soaked up all the Christmas decor in my house, drank in the beautiful sight of Christmas lights with each house I pass, and thanked my Savior for coming here to this earth in a wee little manger for me.

It's a time to be thankful and celebrate with family and I plan to do just that over these next two days. Not everyone has that luxury this time of year though. To the soldiers serving overseas and on duty away from their cozy homes, to those serving on our law enforcement, to the UPS drivers, to the firemen, to the Starbucks barista's who are working this Christmas Eve, and day...thank you. Thank you for protecting us, thank you for serving us, thank you for driving around to give us presents that we ordered too late, thank you for keeping us caffeinated. I know you'd rather be home with your families, sipping on hot cocoa and watching your littles run around...or maybe playing a game of scrabble, possibly Christmas caroling..whatever your traditions are this holiday season. I wish you could be doing those things. Thank you though, thank you for the sacrifices you're making to bring us a safe and happy Christmas.

To the families of those serving, to the family of the UPS driver, to the family of the barista, to the family of the walmart worker, to the family of law enforcement..I'm sorry your loved one is working today. I wish they could be with you, sitting by the fire enjoying this holiday. Thank you for your service, thank you for raising a dedicated worker. Thank you for your sacrifices this holiday season.

Our hearts have been heavy the last couple of weeks and I can't begin to fathom the ache in the hearts of all those affected by the tragedy in Newtown. I can only hope and pray they feel the vast amount of prayers flooding their way, especially over these next two days.

Thinking of the precious angels Heaven gained a little over a week ago. You will continue to be in our prayers, Newtown families.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays wherever it is, whatever you celebrate!

christmas randoms | traditions | updates


I'm sure I've mentioned in past posts that our best friends live right down the street. It's been so much fun and over the last few months I feel like I've become even closer to those boys and John's girlfriend, Nicole. I'm so blessed and thankful to have such great friends in my life. But I'm not one for sappy things so let's move on ;)

John and Nicole cut down trees a couple weeks back and later that night all the boys put the tree up together. I asked them if we could play Christmas music and drink hot chocolate while they figured out the tree. But apparently that's not what boys like to do? With beers in hand, they strung lights and screwed the base into the tree. 

I played Christmas pandora anyway and I think they secretly liked it. 

Jeff's unit had a Christmas was run by men, in a cold hangar. You can imagine how that went.

I came home from work one night, surprised to find Christmas lights hung on our house. Sometimes those husbands do surprise you. I'm a lucky lady.

And last but not least, our mother-daughter Christmas baking day. We successfully burnt a round of peanut blossoms, added too much butter to our lacy oatmeals, cooked in an uncalibrated oven and burnt ourselves twice. Oh, and neither of us really like to bake. But it's tradition, and it's fun so we do it :) Love you momma.

There it is. My Christmas updates rushed into one post at the end of the year, miserable fail...but it's here none the less :)

little bitty photographer

a little bit of happy to start your week off with a bang :)
this makes my photographer heart happy on SO many levels.

oh, and more to come on events that happened this weekend.... some awesome and some not so awesome...but update worthy none the less. Jesus has come through in some amazing ways this weekend and I can't help but share it all.

so much to blog about i can hardly handle the excitement... just a quick preview, we almost got in an awful car accident, i've had photography related sessions every day since Thursday, we were surrounded by all things Christmas, and my car got towed. YIKES.

that was a lot. come back for more later? I promise it's good. and if I let you down with my stories, at least I'll have pretty pictures for you to look at.

art that i want in my home

I don't know what it is about this picture, but I absolutely adore it. The uneven lines, the colors. Oh the colors are just perfect. They're so calming. Makes me want to pull out my old paint brushes and watercolors. I think I might!

Nothing more profound today, just pretty art.

[I found it on Pinterest and there was no link back to the artist, otherwise I'd note that here. But if I found this picture in print would be hanging on my wall] 


tis the season

to be jolly...

So naturally that means there will be a lot of Christmas music playing, hot chocolate consuming, Christmas movie watching, Egg-nog steamer drinking, pretty picture taking, and church Christmas program going. 

I've slowly added more Christmas to our house each day, searching tutorials on Pinterest and creating with items I've found in my craft boxes. This is just a sneak peek of the transformation our little home has seen so far. Once everything is set in place and I decide whether or not I want to a red ornament, red and green ornament, or randomized ornament tree...we'll have some pictures up. The dilemmas I face as a home makin lady, man oh man. 

The days over here are spent playing with my new iPhone 5, [and by playing I mean taking and editing hundreds of pictures] because this camera is AMAZING. Mingled in there are editing real life pictures that aren't just instagram squares, working like 25 hours a week...give or take, and lots of family and friend hang outs. It's pure joy. The holidays are in full force and I'm ready to embrace it all. Last year around this time I was cramming for finals and working more than my holiday thumping heart could handle, so this year I'm soaking in all things jolly and bright.

Oh and one more thing...who else thinks it's the coolest thing ever that among Jingle Bells and Rudolph songs, like 95% of people are also subconsciously singing songs about baby Jesus every day this time of year? I like that.

Here's to lots more Christmas music and glitter-ized everything.... :)

Apple Hill

Earlier last month my family took a day trip to Apple Hill, famous for clusters of apple orchards scattered through winding roads, freshly squeezed apple cider, and all sorts of apple goodies. I loved going there as a little girl because it was always significant in my mind as the official start of Fall. The same was true for me and my twenty-something self.

Most of the orchards are accompanied by a sort of craft fair where they sell home made treats and crafts. I should have taken more pictures of all the fun little trinkets...but I was soaking in all things that "my little-girl-at-heart" associated with the official start of Fall so I forgot to grab the camera for some of my favorite spots :)

and that's all I have to say about the election

                                       I voted ^^                                                         We suffered defeat but life goes on ^^ ;)

I'm not a very political person, but I do stand by the great country our family sacrificed so much for. So I voted. Not because I understood every proposition on the ballot, and not because I thought Mitt Romney was the bees-knees, but because I care who is the commander in chief, directing our husband. I care about morality and upholding Biblical truths as best we can in government. I value my voice being heard, though it's somewhat muted in the liberal land of California...I value it none the less and will continue to offer my vote.

With that being said I wouldn't be totally honest if I said I was excited about America's choice in leadership for the coming four years. I can't give you any rich arguments on foreign policy or any long term economic policy plans that send me to a fit of rage. But I do fear that our nation is walking a fine line on issues of morality. I'm not Mormon, but I do know a decent amount about the church and their stance on morality. So, I would have been happy to have someone who upheld moral standards taught in their office, if my only other choice was Obama. I thought Mitt would be our guy, steering us toward the not so popular moral standards we once upheld. Could I be wrong? Sure, but it was worth giving it a try. Obamacare makes me nervous too. Like really nervous.

But among the political arguments, party bashing, and relentless ad campaigns..I am reminded that Jesus is still King over all and that puts my heart and mind at ease.

A sweet friend of mine posted a collaboration of encouraging status updates on facebook and I was especially encouraged by her words and by the words of other believers she chose to include

"No matter who leads the country, there is only One who will lead me.
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, declares the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come..."

"tonight was disappointing, yes. but seeing posts like the ones below have reminded me of so much. that God has not changed. that Jesus is still King. that the world is still beautiful. that He is still making all things new."

"on a night like this, I would rather be in Aslan's country. the best part, though? one day, i will be. and it will be eternity with the Lion of Judah in command. oh praise Him."


I am so blessed to have people like her in my life. Simple posts like those bring things back into perspective. Our Lord is sovereign over all and no political candidate can take that away. 

I may not be happy with the outcome, but I have peace tonight because I know God's plan is bigger and SO much better than any bubble I filled in on a paper ballot. 

this rowdy rooster

playtime and bath time :) he really loves being soaked in water... as if that wasn't obvious.

it's really ridiculous how much i love this little knucklehead. he's literally the most perfect dog, i don't know where he came from. but i'm happy to report he's thoroughly loved and spoiled..and will continue to receive said loves and spoils for stinkin ever.

insta life

So I'm way behind on updating about regular...uhh life? Yea. Life. I've been photographing a lot of sessions lately, and I've updated a few of them here. That's been awesome, amazing, and all things wonderful. The not so wonderful part of photography = business photography. Holy moly, understanding how to run a business has been less than glamorous. But in the end I'm so grateful to be pursuing such a rewarding career. 

In other news I've become slightly obsessed with potting. I have like 10 potted plans...give or take. I love it, the greenery, the challenge to keep them alive (only killed one in 2 weeks, and successfully returned it to home depot), and the freshness it brings to our home. I'm also starting a plate wall in our kitchen. I haven't really figured out whether it's going to be a certain kind of plate or a hoge podge of plates. I'm leaning toward the latter. I don't want it to match, I want it to be an eclectic collection of an assortment of plate styles. I think it will be fun. 

More life updates...ummm...If you don't remember, I transferred to a new Starbucks when we moved, and it was a hard transition at first because I struggle with change. But now I'm thoroughly enjoying my new store and all the people in it. The regulars are pretty cool's strange and cool all at once how you can become friends with the people who come in. 

Here's to a happy mid-October weekend...and lots of pumpkin spice lattes!

welcome, october!

please bring Fall with you soon. summer weather is so overrated this time of year and I'm ready for all your red leaves.

oh, and I DO have more in my house than this TV stand. promise I'll share more soon

i can now call myself a wedding photographer

and that's pretty darn cool.

pictures from this weekend's wedding. my first OFFICIAL wedding. let's take a moment to let that sink in.

God has blessed me and my photography business beyond what I could have imagined. I'm still floored that this all happened yesterday.

thank you Jesus, over and over again.

day in the city | blogger date

Last weekend I met up with one of my favorite designers/bloggers, Michaela, in the city! We had been trying to get together for almost a year now and our schedules never matched up until just recently. She is such a stylish, fun girl and I'm so thankful we've been able to form a friendship through blogging. How cool is that? It was so great to finally hang out and spend the day together!

We started out at the Flower Mart where we pieced together a beautiful bouquet. You can find all the details to that DIY here on Michaela's blog! It was the coolest place..literally a warehouse full of gorgeous buckets of flowers. It's pretty much a farmer's market for just flowers. You can't go wrong with that!

Then we went a little picture crazy to make sure we captured the prettiness of our bouquet :D

yes i'm fully aware the right side of my hair is having a friz crisis...let's just move past it and blame the bay area weather :) 

AND can I just say I would LOVE to come back to the Flower Mart for a full-on photo shoot. Please, someone take me up on this offer? I promise your pictures will be colorful, and pretty :) 

After the Flower Mart we spent some time shopping around the city and just chatting. It was a great day and I can't wait til we can meet up again! Don't forget to go say hello to her and check out her DIY bouquet post HERE