Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Week & stuff.

Almost time for another weekend. PRAISE!!!

Also, almost October. As in, next week it will be OCTOBER!!! Thankful & excited about this as well. I know i am the 5904004th blogger to say it, but I LOVE FALL. :) It just feels so nice out, and coffee tastes better, and hot food tastes better, and did i mention you aren't sweating in 1.2 seconds of being outside?!

This week has been good.

I'll start with Sunday! Normally i would start with Monday, but i kind of love this picture. So yeah. On Sunday, after church, we had lunch with our good friends Billy & Mandy. We just love them.

Also on Sunday, I did a photo shoot with a family I had never met. They were SO sweet though! Loved them. I took this photo while out. This is the Mississippi River in downtown Baton Rouge.

On Monday, I went to my friend Aimie's house so she could take me to Hobby Lobby & show me what to buy to make a wreath. And then take me back to her house & help me make the wreath. Ha! I'm not real crafty, but i REALLY wanted to make a fall wreath! I had a great time with her, as always, and i LOVE how my wreath turned out!! (Heyyyy, Aim! Thanks again!)

Um, yeah... that sadface is due to the fact that i ran out of ribbon & had to start again! Oops!

The finished product...
kinda blurry & the lighting sucks... but you get the idea. I love it! :)

On Tuesday, I made this meal in the crockpot before i left for work. And it. was. AMAZING. Seriously. You must make it. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. This recipe exceeded my expectations!!
 pin | recipe

On Wednesday, I went to church for Week 4 in the Beth Moore study I'm doing. I seriously fought sleep the whole time. I LOVE Beth Moore. Was just exhausted, i suppose. Oh-well.

Tonight, I came home and watched the season premiere of Law & Order SVU. OMG. So good. So so so good. I LOVE Mariska Hargitay. Best actress on television. But the entire cast is phenominal.

 A screenshot from their instagram. Oh, how i love this duo! But mostly Mariska. Ha!

This weekend I will catch the season premieres of my other two faves, which aired tonight: Grey's Anatomy & Parenthood. SO DON'T TELL ME ANYTHING IF YOU WATCHED THESE! :)

Also, this weekend:
-I will go on a date with my love! Dinner and a movie, tomorrow night!
-I will do a mini photo shoot for my good friend Brittany.... to give her some pics for her business cards. Honored that she asked me.
-I will return to Theatre Baton Rouge after a pretty long haitus... but just to help with the children's Christmas Carol auditions!
-I will continue editing the wedding i did two weeks ago. Yep, still working on that!
-I will have dinner with two of my besties, Sarah & Shana. 
-I will go to church!
-I will do a photo shoot for my friend Erika's two boys.

Brad and i talked today about exercising. As in, it's getting cool out... no excuse... time to get our running shoes on & start walking/running everyday. Also, i told him if i buy one of those weighted balls & a resistance band and some hand weights... we could do some of those things like we did at bootcamp. He is all for it. WOOT!

Happy weekend, y'all!!! :)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bootcamp FUN!

I did use the words "bootcamp" & "fun" in the same title. That was not a mistake. :)

This weekend I went to another bootcamp class at my friend Gayle's gym. Gayle is our church secretary & believe me... she is not like any church secretary you've met. She is one of a kind. And HILARIOUS... you should read her facebook statuses. PURE entertainment. 

Gayle has also lost nearly 100 pounds, and she is such an inspiration to me! She is eating healthy & works out with a trainer 3x a week. This bootcamp class isn't really an official class. It's just something she got some friends together to do with her & her trainer. This was my third time going, and i am not kidding when i say it's such a fun workout! (And i'm not someone who likes to exercise... so it's saying something that i love it!)

Gayle's trainer, Heather, is awesome. She does the class like another bootcamp class I used to take. Each person is at a different station (station = exercise) & you do that one exercise as many times as possible until the trainer calls "time". Then you switch to the next one. I love it because you are only at each station for one minute. ONE minute! Then you switch to another station. So basically, even if you are DYING, you can just hang in there because in one minute you are done (until you are back at that station again... but still).

I mean, come on. I can do anything for one minute!

(Except planks, y'all. DEAR LORD, except for planks!)

I was excited because this time several friends were coming to join us. My good friend, Amanda, and her best friend, Brandi (who i just love!). And two other good friends of mine, Ashley & Ashley. Ashley M (blue tank below) came last week, too. Ashley V  (purple tank) is a really good friend, too, but she also used to be my zumba teacher. (She no longer teaches zumba - sad face!)

 (left to right) Ashley V, Amanda, Ashley M, Gayle & me!

I was thrilled they all came. We had a BLAST. Yes, a blast working out. I kid you not.

Once we finish the workout inside, we normally go outside for some tire flipping! Haha! It is just more exercise - but it's actually a lot of fun trying to flip a 225-pound tire! Ha! I thought we wouldn't be able to do it this time because it was POURING rain when i got to the gym. BUT it stopped raining before the end of class and our trainer said as long as we didn't mind getting dirty, we could do it! Well, i mean, gee. We were already stinking like dogs from the first part of our workout. Why not?! :)

So we went outside for a little tire flipping!

You usually pair up for this, but some people try it alone! I haven't yet - it is hard enough with a friend! HA! Amanda gave it a shot!! Woohoo! :)

Excuse our sweaty selves!! 
 me, amanda & brandi 

 Me & Ashley V after flipping a tire together! :)

This time, Heather had a new exercise for us. We would run down the parkinglot with someone pulling a resistance band against us. Um... i THOUGHT this meant the person pulling the resistance band from behind would have it easy - WRONG! I thought I was going to fall flat on my face! Haha! It was pretty hilarious. :) 

 Gayle & Ashley going!

I took a video of Gayle doing this, and you gotta watch it to the end. Love her little glance at the camera at the end! She is a hoot! (Yes, i am the loudmouth filming!) (Gayle - if you are reading this, don't kill me! You said i could post it on FB & that's a lot more people than how many will see this! Plus most of these are strangers to you! And you can't deny me showing them this... it's too cute!)

(NOTE: Exercise in video is much harder than it looks! Ha!)

All that to say, bootcamp Saturday was a blast! I really wish i lived in that area - i would join that gym & go all the time!! ONE DAY! :) 

 me with Ashley & Amanda - two of my favorite people! :)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Covenant Church's Cooking Class!

For some reason, I stopped blogging the fun events in my life... not sure why! So I am going to go back in time a few weeks and show you some pics from a cooking class we had at our church!

There is a man at our church who is actually the father of one of my very good friends, Ashley. His name is Craig. Craig has been attending our church for 6 months or so, and he has very quickly gotten a reputation there as being a fantastic cook. I guess because of this, someone had the idea of doing a cooking class at covenant, where he would teach us how to make his famous dish, Shrimp & Grits. When i saw this event, i signed us up immediately! I absolutely LOVE Shrimp & Grits! And I love to cook! A win-win!

They had Mrs. Sandra, a lady at our church KNOWN for her desserts, come as well. She taught us all how to make her famous Strawberry Shortcake Trifle. YUM!

 Craig Pike & Sandra Santangelo

I had no idea what to expect... we have never had a cooking class at church before. But it was a HUGE HIT! So much fun. Craig's wife, Teddie, went all out decorating for this event. Everything was so cute! She did an awesome job!


The class was set up more like a cooking show. We were practically salivating at the amazing smells in the room! Haha! By the time it was time to eat, we were STARVING! Good thing we would get to actually eat the meal at the end! ;)

Mr. JC, Mrs. Sandra's husband, helped too. He is a HOOT!

They did such a great job! We had a blast. Craig also made DELICIOUS Parmesan rolls to go with the Shrimp & Grits. YUM!!!

Craig & Teddie

The Shrimp & Grits? AMAZING. Y'all. I have had Shrimp & Grits about 4 or 5 times, in different restaurants, and this beat them ALL. Absolutely the best ever! No joke. 

Dinner was served & it was AMAZING! 


Here are more pics from the night... Sorry for the picture overload! I love my church family!!! 

Our youth pastors - aren't they so cute?! :)

The cooks of the night & their spouses! Craig & Teddie, and JC & Sandra! Thanks, guys, for a great night! :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Recent happenings...

So. I had a good weekend. You?

Just a few things I should update you on, probably.

I shot my first wedding this past Saturday. Thoughts? Hmm. Well, for one, it was not STRESSFUL, necessarily, but just... exhausting. I was so exhausted, i think i am still recovering. I had an issue with my camera battery which has never happened before (thankful for an extra battery, a battery charger, and a second shooter, or i would've been in TROUBLE!). Other than that, everything went okay. I am slowly going through my pictures, and... well... they're not terrible. But they're not my best. And it's a wedding, so... i kind of wish they were.

And I forgot things you shouldn't forget... things i NEVER forget on regular shoots... like don't place people in front of ugly brick, place them in front of pretty trees instead... yeah, basics like that. I also apparently forgot how to pose people... i look back at my pictures and go, "Why is he standing like that?! Why didn't i tell her to put her bouquet down?!" Some of the mistakes i made are things that most people wouldn't notice, but that people who are into photography or even who aren't but have an eye for it WOULD notice. And that kind of stinks, because people like that will be seeing these!

But it was a great learning experience. At first I said i didn't really want to do it again, but now I am finding myself wanting to give it another try! I want a second chance to do it better! :)

All of that being said, i still got some good shots, and I know the bride will be happy. Which is truly what matters, you know?

She is too cute, by the way...

And i absolutely fell in love with this little doll... 

I mean, seriously, how sweet is this?!

So i guess the bottom line is... it was hard, it was exhausting, I'm glad I did it, it was fun, and i MIGHT, MAYBE, POSSIBLY would do it again! Ha! 

But there are other things to discuss!!

Today was the much anticipated much nerve-wracking OBGYN appointment. I was so nervous. Brad came with me; i have never had him come with me before. I was prepared for her to say I needed to lose more weight before she would consider moving on to tests/treatments/etc. If she had said that, I had decided it would be time to go to a specialist. But i didn't want that to happen; i would rather continue going to her! I LOVE HER! (If you are new to this blog & just read this paragraph & have no idea what is going on, just read this.)

Anyway, she was SUPER sweet & didn't mention weightloss (except to say i had done well...yay, me!). I am at a point where i still don't know if i want to just tell ALL THE GORY DETAILS on my blog, so for now, let's just say... we're moving forward. I have an ultrasound scheduled, i have to get a little lab work done, and then i will be starting clomid with my next cycle. (I guess I just told you the gory details anyway, didn't i?!)

Please please pray for me! I am telling you... i was so nervous about this appointment. I didn't know what she would say. I found this verse last night & have been holding on to it.

This morning I woke up to, not one, but THREE messages from friends saying they were praying for me. THREE! One who said she got up early to pray for me! WHAT?! One who prayed for me through email - as in typed out a prayer! And then another few texts! I felt SO loved & am so thankful. Please continue to pray for me... mainly that clomid WORKS. It doesn't work for everyone, and i am afraid it won't work for me... but i am PRAYING it WILL work for me. And i know my friends who are now on to IUI's & IVF will pray it works, too... nobody who has been through it wants others to have to keep going through this nonsense! :(

Anyway. Please pray for me. That they find nothing else wrong with me & that clomid works. AMEN.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them OUT OF THEM ALL. Standing on that today.

I feel like there was something else to tell you, but now that i have talked about weddings & infertility (do those things even belong in the same post?!), I can't think of anything else. Except BED. BEDTIME. I'm sleepy.

Night all!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Me, wedding photographer???!

Today I am shooting my first wedding. I am beyond excited. And have butterflies, too. Yes, a little nervous!

I am actually a little nervous before every shoot, unless i know the client very well. But if it's just an acquaintance, or a new type of shoot for me, I get nervous. I am usually fine once i get started, though! :)

But today is the big WEDDING. Eeek! When i got my dslr, I had no dreams whatsoever of becoming a photographer. All i wanted was to take better pictures of the events in my life... you know, birthdays, holidays, vacations. But then i learned to shoot in manual (mostly thanks to Laura!). And then I took a photography class. And then I worked for a photographer (for a very short period, but that's besides the point). And then i did a few little photo shoots. And then i learned a little about editing (also thanks to Laura!). And then people were asking me to do shoots left and right.

And now I just LOVE doing shoots. I am weak in some areas. Newborn shoots are very difficult, and i feel like I need to attend a workshop! Couple shoots are probably my favorite.  It has definitely been, and still is, a learning process. But i LOVE IT. Love it!

Even doing all of these shoots, I never thought I would be asked to do a wedding. NEVER! And i was okay with that; truth be told, i didn't know if i WANTED to do a wedding. They can be scary! But every single shoot has left me wanting to learn more, do more, get better, try something else. And so today, my first wedding. I'm excited! And as ready as I'll ever be! :) 

I know that there are photographers who refuse to do weddings, because of the stress. There have been a few people who have felt the need to tell me how stressful weddings are, and i just want to say - "Yes. I KNOW." But the thing is, i could absolutely LOVE doing weddings. I will never know if i don't try. I turned down a wedding before. But this one seemed like a good "first wedding" for a photographer. It's a small wedding, at a little white chapel. And the couple is super easygoing. It was a no-brainer really. I need the opportunity. Just to see how it goes.

Last weekend, the lady who photographed MY wedding almost 5 years ago, asked me if i would like to be second shooter for a wedding she was shooting! AHHH! Perfect opportunity for me to get in a bit of wedding photography practice before the one today. I am so glad i got a chance to do that before today! Gave me a good feel for it!.

One problem i have had a lot is having too many pictures out of focus. I got some pretty shots when i did this engagement session, but oh, how many pictures that i couldn't use because they were out of focus! They would have been great pictures! That has been my only worry for this wedding. But i figured out WHY i struggle with focus. I have been guilty of using such wide aperature. But now i know what to do; this article helped me a lot. I feel good about today! :)

I just looked at the weather. It's been showing a beautiful today ... until TODAY, of course! Now it's saying RAIN late afternoon until about 7pm. Boo! The ceremony is at 6, but we were going to do pictures outside before & after the ceremony. Ack! I am praying that it does NOT rain. Please, Lord! :) (It's a 50% chance until 6, and then it's a 30% chance.)

I do have a second shooter, and i am excited about that! We have a list of the shots we need, and have discussed the shots I will need her to get, how she can help me during the group photos, etc. I am thrilled to have her work with me today. 

ANYWAY, say a prayer for me today. I am getting to her house at 3:15, getting a few pics of her and her bridesmaids getting ready, and then we'll head to the church! Eek! I am praying to get beautiful pictures that they will cherish a lifetime. Chances are, even if i am proud of the pics today, there will come a day where i cringe at the pics from my first wedding. Haha. But as long as i am happy with what i get today... and as long as the bride & groom are happy... then I will be thrilled!

Since I posted the engagement session on my facebook page, people have been asking me for shoots lately. I didn't do any in August because it was SO HOT, but i welcome more sessions now that it is (almost) fall. Yay!

Okay, gotta run!! :) Happy Saturday! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Etsy Crushes!

So, my good bloggy friend, Amy, LOVES Etsy. Like, seriously, she loves it. She posts her "etsy crushes" once a week on her blog. Or maybe more. And it's a lot of fun to look at her recent faves from Etsy

What Amy may not realize, because i have yet to join in on her little etsy parties, is that i too have a serious love for all things etsy. Or not ALL things. They do have some odd things over there! But i do open my etsy app EVERY SINGLE DAY (just like i do for ZULILY!) to see what they're showing off now. And every day, i am oohing & ahing & favoriting. It's fun!

So, here are my recent Etsy crushes. :)

i love little earrings. I love stars. Lately, i love gold. Perfect! 
{Star Earrings from HouseThatCrowBuilt}

I am not a watch person AT ALL... if i were to get one, i probably wouldn't wear it... but i am pretty much madly in love with this one. It's so pretty! 
{pretty watch from tik tok)

I meant the outfit. But I'll take the kid, too. :)
{Cute outfit for baby from HaddonCo}

I want this. Now!
{Fall Sign from WheredyougetthatFlag}

A camera strap! So cute! 
{Camera Strap from Girliegurlz}

When i worked at Aveda, I wanted to buy this & hang it in my office, for the students to see when they came in. Just a reminder that they ARE beautiful - and even more so when they aren't trying to be like or look like anyone else. I just love this.
{Be-You-tiful sign from word willow}

I don't know if you know that i have a coffee mug obsession? But i want these. 
{monogram mugs from GreySkiesBlue}

Well, that's it for now! And i just wasted about 30 minutes organizing my etsy favorites into "Boards" just like on Pinterest! Who knew you could do that?!!? (Amy probably did. And probably even told me! Oops!)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Courtney & Justin | Engagements | State Capitol Gardens | Baton Rouge, LA

Last weekend, I met my friend Courtney & her fiance, Justin, in downtown Baton Rouge. There is an area called the gardens near our state capitol that is just beautiful. I did a maternity shoot there not too long ago, and couldn't wait to do an engagement or bridal shoot there soon. I got my opportunity with Courtney & Justin, who are engaged to be married on October 22nd.

I had so much fun with them, and think this was my favorite session to date!

Courtney really wanted a few shots by the fountains downtown, because it's where they got engaged. Unfortunately, when we headed over there, the fountains weren't on! Bummer! Oh-well! Gives me an excuse to take pics of them again soon! ;)

Here are a few of my favorites. Aren't they a stunning couple?!


This was the bride's idea. I have a feeling lots of people were googling this verse after we left! Haha! It says, "He who finds a wife finds what is good & has found favor with the Lord." :) 

Such a beautiful couple! So happy for them!