lani’s dreamy baby shower

little bitty pretty one from erin elizabeth on Vimeo.

i filmed this video with the 8 mm app on my iphone 5s.
the song is “little bitty pretty one” by the frankie lymon & the teenagers.

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christmas 2013

yesterday was our first christmas spent away from our family in austin. needless to say, it was a day of very mixed emotions. I woke up around 5 am, and couldn’t get a line from have yourself a merry little christmas out of my head: “someday soon we all will be together, if the fates allow. until then.. we’ll have to muddle through somehow.” i was just feeling so incredibly sad & missing home like crazy. luckily, i have matt here with me & he is such a wonderful man. he always comforts me & makes me feel glad that we took a chance & moved away to have an adventure with just the two of us. we have officially been in charlotte for 6 months! it’s unbelievable that we have lived away from home for so long.

my favorite cure for feeling sad is to put on a pretty dress, pearls & some lipstick. i baked a delicious white cake in my new jessie steele christmas apron & felt like myself again.

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our beautiful rustic christmas tree:

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our holiday day trip to charleston, sc

matt & i took a lovely day trip to charleston. since this is our first holiday season away from home & family, we decided to have a little adventure to a part of the country we would probably never find ourselves in during the holiday season.

today was an unseasonably warm day & we had the pleasure of walking around king street in 75 degree weather- it was absolute perfection. we walked south of broad & i admired all the southern homes decorated for christmas.

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IMG_7980it was a special day that will forever live in my holiday memories.

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holiday baking

today i curled my hair, put on a beautiful vintage dress & baked sugar cookies using my grandmother’s handwritten recipe. i turned on an old connie francis album & felt a wave of nostalgia rush over me. i imagined my grandmother baking in her little ohio kitchen, undoubtedly wearing a dress, heels & jewelry reminiscent of a glamorous old hollywood movie.

i filmed this video with the 8mm app on my iphone 5s.
the music is “a marshmallow world” by brenda lee.

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just another perfect in-between day.

grandma’s cut out cookies
2 cups powered sugar
2 sticks oleo
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch salt

cream powered sugar & oleo together
add eggs- beat until light & fluffy
add vanilla & lemon
sift dry ingredients & add to mixture
roll dough & cut out
bake in 350 oven for 10 minutes

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our first thanksgiving in charlotte

“gratitude turns what you have into enough.”

today matt & i celebrated our first thanksgiving in charlotte. this was the first time matt & i prepared a traditional thanksgiving dinner without our families. (all modesty aside- we rocked it!)

My parents moved to Texas after they got married, and after their first year of marriage, they cooked their first thanksgiving meal away from their families. my grandma sent my mom the sweetest handwritten letter listing all the steps to prepare her family’s thanksgiving recipes. this year, my mom made a copy of this beloved letter and using the same format composed a nearly identical letter for matt & i. needless to say, when i opened this incredible gift i was a crying mess. every time i read it, i feel so overwhelmed by my grandmother’s handwriting & my mother’s handwriting & the tradition of cooking for the ones you love. & especially for the love of a mama that reaches so deeply across so many miles. i feel unbelievably fortunate & grateful today.

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day dreaming of paris

i want to sit in my shades
sipping my latte
beneath the awning of a famous café
jet-lagged and with our luggage gone astray
i wish i could go traveling again

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november in charlotte

i have been feeling so anxious lately: stressing out about little things, over-analyzing my performance at work, missing home, struggling with my personal faith & just simply feeling worried (often.) i talked to lani about my nervousness & she urged me to return to my photography & my blog… my little corner of the internet. taking photos & stringing them together with my words allows me to revisit my day & seemingly helps me to live more gratefully. i like snapping photos & writing a blog because it forces me to be more appreciative of the beauty that surrounds my daily life.

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although matt & i feel so fortunate to be on this north carolina adventure together, we are missing home like crazy. this sunday i asked matt if he would be up for driving to the park to take some photos of the autumn leaves. never in my life have i experienced a fall quite like charlotte in november. the colors in the park are so brilliant & it compliments the buzzing electricity in the air. there were a few families at the park with their children, but it felt somehow desolate. i think nature has a fantastic way of doing that; you feel so alone with your thoughts & you feel so appreciative to be in that moment, that you hardly realize that anyone else is around.

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this idea of being alone with my thoughts reminds me that matt & i are here alone, but together. i can’t help but think being dependent on one another will strengthen our marriage & make all the pain & sadness of being away from my family worth it. we have so many firsts to look forward to: especially our first thanksgiving as a family of 2. we excitedly sat in bed monday morning and drafted our grocery list for everything we want to cook for one another. although, it is an extremely difficult transition, i think this adventure is good for us. hopefully, it will help us live filled with more gratitude for one another & our future together.

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“happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, & gratitude.”

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