Saturday, February 28, 2009

You asked, I answered! [part1]

Meg asked, "What is your favorite band/person to listen to?" Honestly, I do not have a favorite! When i'm in the car I lean more towards country, oldies, or pop...when I run, I have to jam to a faster beat!

Jenny.Lee asked, "What is your favorite vacation spot?" My DREAM vacation is to stay in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora. (ohh so nice!) -- I believe my favorite vacation spot will be where we decide to go on our honeymoon!

Lindsey asked, "What are you most looking forward to about your wedding day?" Honestly, for it to be over! heheh. [justkidding!] I am looking forward to creating the memory, taking pictures to last a lifetime, and endless smiles. I want our day to relvolve around family and friends, and to not get too caught up in the moment but enjoy the time I have with the ones I love.

Abbi asked, "What colors are you using for your wedding colors?" Black, White, Silver, and touches of Red --- and greenery. The bridesmaids are in black, we are having white chaircovers with black sashes, my bouquet is red roes, the bridesmaids' are white roses, and there will be touches of damask pattern around the reception--like the napkins.

Allison asked, "What is the best thing about living in DC? Worst thing? Favorite place to hang out? Advice for somone that is moving there? I have such fond memories about DC. My favorite thing about living in DC was the culture, and the fact that there is so much going on! There were always free activities going on--concerts, movies on the lawn, events. So.Much.Fun. The worst thing was the metro rides to work, sometimes they were PACKED! I come from a small town and was not used to that many people, and sometimes it made me anxious. I didn't visit enough museums while I was there, so I would recommend taking some time and sightseeing. :)

Mrs. Ruby asked, "If you had to be trapped on a desert island forever: Who would you take? What beauty item would you take? What food would you live on forever? Of course I would take David so we could make babies, and have more help around the island! I think I would take sunscreen (that counts as a beauty item right?) cause i'm scared i'd burn. If I couldn't take sunscreen i'd take chapstick! As far as the food.. i'd go with...a chef salad. (yeah that's more than ONE food isn't it..but I could have meat, greens, and veggies in it.)

Katy asked, "If you could quit work and live anywhere, where would you go?" I would stay right where I am, in a suburb of Richmond, VA. our families are close and we have all four seasons- We are close enough to the ocean and can view the wonderful mountains. It's perfect.

Cari asked, "What are your favorite skin care products? What is your favorite food to cook?" My grandmother has always sworn by the importance of a good moisterizer, and my brand is Oil of Olay. I LOVE to cook pierogies. They are ahhhhmazing!

Abby asked, "What is your favorite clothing brand?" I LOVE Ann-Taylor Loft. I am not picky about my brand of clothes, as long as it looks good. I have gotten a lot of great pieces from Goodwill--and I am not ashamed of that at all!

Mariah asked, "What are your thoughts on homeless people owning pets?" I do not like the idea of animals living on the streets at all. Also, if a homeless person is begging for food, they should eat it themselves not give it to an animal. Is that weird? I also think there is enough people in the SPCA and other shelters that people shouldn't pay hundreds of doctors for a "real" dog.

Whew! I will do the others in a post later this week!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Questions.. Who has questions?!

Leave a question for me.
I'll answer them all in the next post.

Easy enough, right?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's coming together!

80 days until the wedding!

The wedding I photographed on Valentine's Day had some AMAZING decorations for the reception. The best part? She bought them--& she's selling them. TO ME!
These were used as her centerpieces, and will also be used as mine. There will be circle mirrors under them with flower petals around the mirrors. I was going to have flower arrangements on each table, but that can get quite pricey. She is selling them to me at an AMAZING price!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Blue Eyes

I am IN LOVE with Richmond, VA.
Visited the "Canal Walk" for a photoshoot this past weekend
& I have a "couple that is almost engaged" photoshoot there this coming weekend.

&& here are favorites:

Hope you all had a GREAT weekend!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Baby Baby

A few favorites from this morning's shoot...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Busy as a bee!

My weekend plans include.....
  • Wedding stuff:
    -Sending out invites
    -Reserve Rehearsal Dinner Site
    -Count Guests/Order Centerpieces

  • Photography:
    -Family Maternity

  • Household:
    -Clean House
    -Plan next weeks meals

  • Other:
    -Send Rob's (David's brother in Iraq) care package
    -Send Heather's (Bride from last weekend) CD of photos
    -Two Tests
    -Eight Discussion Boards
Seriously..what else can I get into this weekend?
I don't think I have enough to do!
:D :D :D :D

What are YOU doing this weekend?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

[Red Envelope Day]

Join us on March 31, 2009 by sending Red Envelopes from all over the nation to the White House.

We ask that you write on the back of the envelope:

"This envelope represents one child who died
because of abortion It is empty because the life that was taken is now unable to be a part of our world"

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Anonymous wrote: Why not let women choose for themselves instead of imposing your beliefs on them? I'm sure the President will respect a woman's right to do as she wishes with her own body.
Read my post again..I'm certainly not tracking down all the people that read this entry and shoving a red envelope in their hands and then forcing them to drop it off at the post office (with a stamp of course or it will not go anywhere). I'm just making it known. Of course it is a woman's decision to have an abortion or not. P.S. You're a coward. I could write an anonymous blog but I put a name & face to what I write. :) Thanks!


A marine's wife wanted to sleep next to him one more night.

To all who serve or have served,
Thank you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Up, Up & Away..

We have had some really great "Spring"-type days here lately..and it's made my mind wander to Cherry Blossom Season in DC. Crowds of people, yes, but so beautiful. I will miss walking from my house to all of the different sites DC has to offer. It truly is the most wonderful place in the world. I have very fond memories of my time spent in DC, but am happy & content where I am now.

My eggo is NOT preggo
:) :) :) :) :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's Wedding <3 <3

A few of my favorite photos from this weekend..

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Giveaway announcements

Here is a WONDERFUL giveaway from a fellow blog friend


Check out this wonderful giveaway--Jeanne is SO crafty!

Special request to the fertility fairies.

I thought it would only take a day or two to get antibiotics out of your system.
Talking to my mother today, you should be "extra careful" until your next cycle.


3 months before the ceremony
my dress is already tight.

The next week & a half will be going by verrrry slowly

[there's been some confusion.
As of now I do not know if I am pregnant.
There's a chance given the whole "oopsie"
on antibiotics.
We'll find out in a little over a week]

7 : Love believes the best

Love believes the best

To be completed...TODAY!

[love] believes all things, hopes all things.
-Corinthians 13:7

In the deep & private corridors of your heart, there is a room. It's called the Appreciation Room. It's where your thoughts go when you encounter positive and encouraging things about your spouse. And every so often, you enjoy visiting this special place. Before you were married, you spent a lot of time visiting this room remembering the things you liked and respected about your loved one. Do you go to that room as often now? Probably not, and that is because there is another competing room nearby.

That other room is Depreciation Room, and unfortunately you visit there as well. On its walls are written the things that bother and irritate you about your spouse. These things were placed there out of frustration, hurt feelings, and the disappointment of unmet expectations.

This room is lined with the weakness and failures of your husband or wife. Their bad habits, hurtful words, and poor decisions are written in large letters that cover the walls from one end to the other. if you stay in this room long enough, you get depressed and start expressing things like, "My wife is so selfish," or "My husband can be such a jerk." Or maybe even, "I think I married the wrong person."

Some people write very hateful things in this room, where tell-off statements are rehearsed for the enxt argument. Emotional injuries fester here, adding more scathing remarks to the walls. It's where ammunition is kept for the next big fight and bitterness is allowed to spread like a disease. People fall out of love in this room.

Spending time in the depreciation room kills marriages. Divorces are plotted in this room and violent plans are schemed. The more time you spend in this place the more your heart devalues your spouse. IT begins the moment you walk in the door, and your care for them lessens with every second that ticks by.

You may say, "But these things are true!" Yes, but so are the things in the Appreciation room. Everyone fails and has areas that need growth. Everyone has unresolved issues, hurts, and personal baggage. This is a sad aspect of being human. We have all sinned. But we have this unfortunate tendency to downplay our own negative attributes while putting our partner's failures under a magnifying glass.

Love knows about the depreciation room and is not in denial that it exists..BUT love chooses not to live there.

You must decide to stop running in this room and lingering there after every frustrating event in your relationship. It does you NO good and drains the joy out of your marriage.

The ONLY reason you should glance into the depreciation room is to know how to pray for your spouse. The only reason you should go in there is to write "COVERED IN LOVE" across the walls.

You must develop the habit of reining in your negative thoughts and focusing on the positive attributes of your mate. This is a crucial step as you learn to lead your heart to truly love your spouse. it's a decision that you make, whether they deserve it or not.

Today's Dare
Get two sheets of paper
On the first one, spend a few minutes writing positive things about your spouse
Do the same on the second sheet, but with negative things
Place both sheets in a secret place for another day
[there is a different purpose later for this]

At some point during the day, pick a positive attribute from the first list and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

For Valentine's Day I made David these..
They're coupons. Includes things like..
  • back massage
  • me doing trash duty for a week
  • donating a set amount $$ towards our savings every paycheck
  • an evening of no computer (Man, did I really put that!?!)
  • Movie of his choice
  • Fixing him breakfast one morning Monday-Friday (This is a big one for me, it means i'll have to get up 3hours earlier than I normally do!)
  • Driving to get his late-night craving if he doesn't want to drive
  • Take Sadie out at night
  • Honeymoon of his choice. (Which he said, NOPE not valid--it will be our choice)
  • & a "freebie" coupon for whatever he wants
There were a few others, I just can't remember what they were. I could get up and look, but i'm comfy. :0) It's cute--I've seen him looking at them a few times after I gave them to him, he said he was trying to figure out when to use them. So, it was a hit.

I also got him a huge variety bag of different candy, gum, and chocolates he likes.

I had to go ahead and give it to him or I would have ruined the surprise of what I got him. I am terrible at waiting until "the day" I am supposed to give a gift to give it.

Love Dare will resume tomorrow

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I don't really want you to check this out!

Whitney is having a fabulous giveaway. Believe me I want to win!! I have walked past the pink "damask-type" plates in Target one too many times!! They look at me too, begging me to get them and take them home.

She pays for giveaway prizes through her Google ads. (See Adsense I'm not advertising for mine!!) I will also be using the money I get from them to have wonderful giveaways.

Day 6

Day 6 is to be completed TODAY!
"He who is slow to anger
is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit,
than he who captures a city.
-Proverbs 16:32

Love is hard to offend and quick to forgive. How easily do you get irritated and offended? Sometimes, when something goes wrong, people will quickly take full advantage of it by expressing how hurt or frustrated they are.

Why do people become irritable?
-Stress: Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Too often we throw caution to the wind and run full steam ahead, doing what feels right at the moment. Soon we are gasping for air, wound up in knots and ready to snap. The increasing pressure can wear away at our patience and our relationship.
-Selfishness: When you're irritable, the heart of the problem is primarily a problem of the heart. "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matthew 12:34 NKJV).

Today's Dare
Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation. Begin by making a list of areas you need to add margin to your schedule. Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Day 5

Day 5 is to be completed..TODAY!
"He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning,
it will be reckoned a curse to him"
-Proverbs 27:14

Nothing irritates others as quickly as being rude. As always, love has something to say about this. When a man is driven by love, he intentionally behaves in a way that's more pleasant for his wife to be around. If she desires to love him, she purposefully avoids things that frustrate him or cause him discomfort.

The bottom line is that genuine love minds its manners!

Test yourself with these questions:
  • How does your spouse feel about the way you speak and act around them?
  • How does your behavior affect your mate's sense of worth and self-esteem?
  • Would your husband or wife say you're a blessing, or that you're condescending and embarrassing?

-If you're thinking that your spouse, not you, is the one that needs work in this area- you're likely suffering from a bad case of ignorance, with a secondary condition of selfishness.

Do you want your spouse to quit doing the things that bother you? Then it's time to stop doing the things that bother them!

Today's Dare
Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you. You must do so without attacking them or justifying your behavior. This is from their perspective only.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

YOU have GOT to see THIS!

I was extremely frustrated because Sadie was shedding SO much. We bathed her with deshedding shampoo, gave her deshedding treats and upgraded her already yummy organic food..when all of a sudden..

Dave was in Petsmart and he found this:
Although it was $50, he bought it because we are DESPERATE! I cannot stand for hair to be laying around, and no matter how many times I vacuum and use the sticky roller on her doggy bed & our couches, there's a whole new "rug" of hair all over the place within an hour.

...I popped that baby open as soon as he handed it to me.

The Results??

Within only about 10 minutes of brushing this is how much hair we had. HOLY COW. I was so giddy that we finally found the solution to our problems. It works, people, it works!

Remember Sadie is only a 15lb dog, and that is a TON of hair for her little body!

CVS sells a knockoff brand, don't get it.
It isn't as good...
we tried that a couple of months ago.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Day 4

How did you do with Day 3? Were you able to purchase a little something? I'll be honest--I FAILED! I haven't left the house except to take Sadie out..the one downfall of working from home, I don't drive somewhere unless I have to get something. Although, I should have made a point to go out and get something, tomorrow I will double up!

Day 4 is to be completed on February 6, 2009

(and it's been my favorite one to share so far!)
How Precious also are Your thoughts to me . . .
How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them,
they would outnumber the sand.
-Psalm 139: 17-18
(I really like that verse!)

When you first fell in love, being thoughtful came quite naturally. You spend hours dreaming of what your loved one looked like, wondering what he or she was doing, rehearsing impressive things to say, then enjoying sweet memories of the time you spent together. You honestly confessed, "I can't stop thinking about you!"

But, for most couples, things begin to change after marriage. The wife finally has her man; the husband has his trophy. The hunt is over and the pursuing done. Sparks of romance slowly burn into grey embers, and the motivation for thoughtfulness cools. You drift into focusing on your job, your friends, your problems, your personal desires, yourself. After a while, you unintentionally begin to ignore the needs of your mate.

If you don't learn to be thoughtful, you end up regretting missed opportunities to demonstrate love. Thoughtless
ness is a silent enemy to a loving relationship.

Let's be honest. Men struggle with thoughfulness more than women. A man can focus like a laser on one thing and forget the rest of the world. Whereas this can benefit him in that one arena, it can make him overlook other things that need his attention.

A woman, on the other hand, is more multi-conscious, able to maintain an amazing awareness of many factors at once. She can talk on the phone, cook, know where the kids are in the house, and wonder why her husband isn't helping.. all simulaneously. Adding to this, a woman also thinks relationally. When she works on something, she is cognizant of all the people who are somehow connected to it.

A woman deeply longs for her husband to be toughful. It is a key to helping her feel loved. When she speaks, a wise man will listen like a detective to discover the unspoken needs and desires her words imply. If, however, she always has to put the pieces together for him, it steals the opportunity for him to demonstrate that he loves her.

This also explains why women will get upset with their husbands without telling them why. In her mind she's thinking, "I shouldn't have to spell it out for him. he should be able to look at the situation and see what's going on here." At the same time, he's grieved because he can't read her mind and wonders why he's being punished for a crime he didn't know he commited.

Love requires thoughfulness--on both sides--the kind that builds bridges though the constructive combination of patience, kindness, and selflessness. Love teaches you how to meet in the middle, to respect and appreciate how your spouse uniquely thinks.

--->Whew, okay that was a long one!!..But it was really good, right?

Day 4 Dare.
Contact your spouse sometime during the business of the day. Have no agenda other than asking how he or she is doing and if there is anything you could do for them.

The next dare will be on Monday
Enjoy your weekend!!

A Big Ole' Belly

[scroll down for the Day 3 Dare!!]

Here are a couple of pictures from a shoot I did on Saturday..Pregnant women are so beautiful! She is having a c-section on Monday and will have me photographing newborn pictures sometime after she comes home! Yippie!!

This one (above) isn't really a "great" picture, but I love it.. I like the sun beams and Jack still has a little bit of tears in his eyes because he just fell down as he is like any other two year old, super active.

As seen on Facebook

[Scroll down for DAY 3 of The Love Dare!]

[posted this on Facebook, thought I would add it here as well!]

1. I can make myself sleep. Sometimes even if I am not tired I will make myself take a nap because I enjoy them that much.

2. I can too easily cut people out of my life.

3. If I could say one thing to the person that hurt me the most it would be, "Thank You" I never would be where I am if it wasn't for the pain they caused me.

4. I could eat Pizza Hut hand tossed extra cheese pizza every. single. day. Or sushi..mmm.

5. I have never had a cavity or broken bone. Growing up I always wanted a broken bone so people could sign my cast.

6. I truly am afraid of freaky voices. The WORST prank ever pulled on me involved a weird voice. I bawled.

7. I worry about dying too young. I want to have babies first, please :0)

8. I don't like many breakfast foods--I have never eaten more than a bite.

9. I failed the "signs" part of the driving test the first time I took it because the red octagon didn't have the word "STOP" on it and I had heard how the DMV tried to trick you, so I put that you just had to yield and look for traffic. The machine went black and I cried.

10. My mom is my best friend. I keep telling her when she passes I will stuff her.

11. I research the economy, and LOVE working from home. And am excited about my photography business, but don't consider that a job!

12. I could stare at the stars for hours.

13. I got my first tattoo when I was 16, without my parents permission. Received my second (which was an addition to the first one) the week of my 18th birthday, and the third in April of this past year. I want just oneeee more.

14. I could eat cheese on any food.

15. It's hard for me to drink iced-water without a straw..but if I have a straw I can't put it down.

16. I can't see without my contacts.

17. I write everything down. I have endless lists laying around.

18. I love my dog more than I thought I would.

19. I am a totally different person when I sleep, especially if you wake me up. I don't realize what I am doing or what I am saying but I can be very, very, very mean.

20. I am on my computer more hours out of the day than not.

21. I think any cop is sexy. I can't decide if it's the uniform, or gun. :0) ..and to think David ALMOST went into the State Police program..ha!

22. I literally have two "different" thumbs. One is longer than the other, the shorter one even has a different sized nail on it. I'll take a picture sometime. My aunt has two of the 'short' ones, and I got blessed with only one.

23. I am glad that I have different sized thumbs than different sized eyes.

24. I LOVE to run.

25. I talk in my sleep. A lot.I'm trying to figure out a way for David to record me without me knowing so I can see what it truly is like to sleep beside a crazy person every night.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Day 3

*Newcomers, there is no reason you cannot pick up and start today. Even if you do not believe in my religion [Christianity] or ANY religion, applying these principles and accepting these dares will change your marriage.

How did you do with Day 2's act of kindness?

Day 3 is to be completed February 4, 2009
"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit,
but with humility of mind regard one another
as more important than yourselves."
-Philippians 2:3

(After reading that verse, I am a little nervous about today's lesson!)

The culture around us teaches us to focus on our appearance, feelings, and personal desires to the top priority. The goal, it seems, is to chase the highest level of happiness possible. The danger from this kind of thinking, however, becomes painfully apparent once inside a marriage relationship. If there were ever a word that basically means the opposite of love, it is selfishness. Unfortunately, it is something that is ingrained into every person from birth. You can see it in the way young children act, and often in the way adults mistreat one another. Almost every sinful action ever committed can be traced back to a selfish motive. It is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves.

Ask yourself these questions:
  • Do I truly want what's best for my husband/wife?
  • Do I want them to feel loved by me?
  • Do they believe I have their best interests in mind?
  • Do they see me as looking out for myself first?
Whether you like it or not, you have a reputation in the eyes of those around you, especially in the eyes of your spouse. But is it a loving reputation?

Today's Dare..Can you handle it??
Whatever you put your time, energy, and money into will become more important to you. It's hard to care for something you are not investing in. Along with restraining from negative comments, buy your spouse something that says, "I was thinking of you today."

(You don't have to go cash in all of your could be as simple as his/her favorite pack of gum)

I'm in..

I participated in Mamarazzi's swap last time she held it.
Loved It.
Doing it again.
You can too!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Day 2

How did you do with Day 1? I had every intention of being patient, but I will admit I struggled a bit. I even said, "I am trying to be patient but you are making it difficult" Sometimes, it is hard to be patient.

*Newcomers, there is no reason you cannot pick up and start today. Even if you do not believe in my religion [Christianity] or ANY religion, applying these principles and accepting these dares will change your marriage.

Day 2 is to be completed February 4, 2009
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other,
just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. -Eph. 4:32

Kindness is love in action. If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance. Patience avoids a problem; kindness creates a blessing. When you're kind, people want to be around you. They see you as being good to them and good for them.

Kindness can
be broken down into four categories: Gentleness (You're sensitive, Tender, Speaking the truth in love), Helpfulness (Being kind means you meet the needs of the moment), Willingness (Kindness inspires you to be agreeable. Instead of being obstinate, reluctant, or stubborn, you cooperate, you stay flexible), and Initiative (Kindness thinks ahead, then takes the first step).

the kindness
of love
in Luke 10
[the parable of the Good Samaritan]

It is difficult to demonstrate love when you feel little to no motivation. But love in its truest sense is not based on feelings. Rather, love determines to show thoughtful actions even when there seems no reward. You will never learn to love until you learn to demonstrate kindness.

Today's Dare.
In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse (what! we can't forget yesterdays lesson?!?!) Do at least ONE unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.

**If you want to go a step further, share what your act of kindness is going to be..some of us may need an idea or two! :0)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Day 1

Day 1 is to be completed on February 3, 2009
Now these three things remain:
Faith, Hope, and Love
But the Greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

(Taken from The Love Dare)
Love is life's most powerful motivator and has far greater depth and meaning than most people every realize. We are born with a lifelong thirst for love. Our hearts desperately need it like our lungs need oxygen. Love changes motivation for living. Relationships become meaningful with it. No marriage is successful without it.

Your dare will begin with patience.

When you choose to be patient, you respond in a positive way to a negative situation. You're slow to anger. You choose to have a long fuse instead of a quick temper. Rather than being restless and demanding, love helps you settle down and begin extending mercy to those around you. Patience brings an internal calm during an external storm.

Patience helps you give your spouse permissions to be human. It understands everyone fails. It gives you the ability to hold on during the tough times in your relationship rather than bailing out under the pressure. Few of us do patience very well, and none of us do it naturally.

This Love Dare journey is a process, and the first thing you must resolve to possess is patience. Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. But it's a race worth running.

Day 1 Dare

The first part of this dare is fairly simple. Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything.


I decided to buy the book "The Love Dare." For the next forty days, I will be posting about things in this book. Each day brings a challenge. Some days will be harder than others. The way it will work is I will post tonight for Day 1- you will complete the task of day 1 starting tomorrow. Come back and read the post tonight, and if you are willing, accept the challenge. Will you join me?

Of course you could go buy your own book and start it whenever you pleased, but for some reason I have it in my mind that we should all try to do it together. Let's see where we end up after the forty. I realize this will probably dwindle my readers list, but that's okay. I'm strengthening my marriage and hoping to help you strengthen yours.

"Receive this as a warning
this forty day journey cannot
be taken lightly.

It is a challenging and often
difficult process, but an incredibly
fulfilling one. To take this dare
requires a resolute mind and a
steadfast determination.

It is not meant to be sampled or briefly
tested, and those who quit early will
forfeit the greatest benefits. If you
will commit to a day at a time for forty
days, the results could change your
life and your marriage."