Friday, May 31, 2013

Engagement Pictures: Part One

If there is one thing you're going to splurge on for a wedding, splurge on photography. I'm serious. A good photographer is more than worth every single penny you spend. (Same goes for videography. I know it seems like an extra--we almost didn't do it at all, but I'm so so so glad we did.)  I haven't pulled my wedding dress out of the closet in a year, but I look at our wedding pictures and videos almost every week.

When we started looking at photographers, prices seemed a little overwhelming on top of everything else in our wedding budget (because EVERYTHING for weddings is expensive, amiright?). Tyler met our photographer, Colby Moore, at a friend's wedding, and he gave me his name when we started searching for one for our own. I started looking through his work and knew he had to do our wedding. Then we talked pricing, which was relatively inexpensive for someone of his caliber and everything he included. He also was just a super cool, laid-back person, which was a huge plus. The last thing we wanted to feel during engagement and wedding photos was awkward and uncomfortable. He had us cracking up pre-wedding showing us hilarious YouTube videos and making quips like, "Photoshop can remove sweat, but it can't remove hatred." Ha! Seriously, if you're in the Springfield MO area and need a photographer, Colby is your dude.**

He also did our engagement pictures. Since it was supposed to be pretty dreary weather-wise in Springfield on the day we had set aside, he asked us if we would be game to drive a couple hours into Arkansas. So we did! Here are a few favorite shots from our day:

**Just to clarify, this is NOT a sponsored post. Colby has no idea I'm even writing this. Tyler and I are just big fans of his work and of him personally! You can see more of his work at and

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Heads up! Wedding week(ish).

It's crazy to me to think that just over a year ago, I was a mere few days away from marrying Tyler. Some days it feels like we've been married a week if at all (hello giddiness & butterflies) and other times, it feels so comfortable I would swear we'd been married 20 years already.

Since I wasn't blogging a year ago, I didn't get to put my engagement/wedding out there, which kinda bugs me. I mean, it's sort of a big major life event, you know? :) So I've decided to take a little over a week to highlight it, right around our anniversary.

There will be tons o' pictures, some tunes, and lessons I've learned over the past year. Our wedding was a complete DIY from the invitations to the decorations to the food and everything in between, so I've planned some tips for tackling a big day (mostly) on your own too. If you hate weddings, love, and happiness, feel free to skip the next week's posts, though. I promise I won't be offended. :)

Credit: Colby Moore

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Memorial Day finds me sitting in the warm air on our balcony watching our neighbor across the street mow his field. The clouds are moving quickly this morning, making shadows race across the weeds, which are likewise dancing in waves, pushed by the same wind. It's a perfect morning, and yet I'm subdued with the knowledge that it isn't as perfect for some who are reflecting on this day.  I don't personallyknow anyone who died while in military service, thankfully, but I can't even imagine. I have family members currently serving, and I remember the complete fear I felt when my high school best friends told me he was joining shortly after graduation. I always saw going into the military as a terrifying choice, and I knew that those who chose to do so were much stronger than I am. Same goes for military families. One of my good friends from college is a military wife (and was a military daughter), and she is, without a doubt, the strongest woman I know. I have a panic attack when Tyler drives to work in bad weather; I can't imagine sending him off to active service over and over. Even though I abhor war and am pretty much a pacifist, I still can greatly respect and admire the strength and sacrifice of those who joined the military for honorable motives.

My grandpa was one of those people I admire. Shortly before he passed away, I went through a bunch of his old photographs from his service in the Korean War, and scanned them so I would have a copy. I feel like I got to know him better through that process. He was proud of his service, but it had also scarred him. He never talked about it in depth, and he wouldn't watch war movies or active war footage on television. Most of the stories I knew from that time in his life, I heard from my dad, who gathered them from elsewhere. Still, he kept the photos and would go see his old Army buddies around the country when he was well enough. I really think he had mixed memories of that experience--the extremes of brotherly bonds and rampant death. How do you process such dichotomies when they're thrown at you all at once?  I'm just grateful I don't have to know, and I'm indebted to those who know all too well.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from Grandpa's army days. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

This week in Instagrams

1) This is what happens when Journey comes on in Jimmy Johns and Tyler has no idea that he's in the picture I'm taking. It has to be one of my favorite snapshots of all time. This is why I love iPhonography so much--I get to capture these little moments that would otherwise just be lost. This is 100% Tyler. He has to be one of the silliest fellas I know. Love him so.

2) I am smitten with the warm weather lately. We spent part of an evening in the park with snowcones! Something about that combo always makes me feel like I'm back in high school. Tiger blood FTW.

3) In most of college and all of grad school, I lived in a house right in the middle of town (Rountree, for all you locals). It's pretty much my favorite part of Springfield, and most of the time I dream about moving back there. There is definitely something to be said about living outside of town, being able to go pick wildflowers any time I want. (Also, can you tell those are my new favorite shoes? This wasn't the same night as the park--I'm just wearing them all.the.time.)

4) I brought some sunshine into the apartment. I have a  fondness for milk glass + wildflowers, so these are now sitting in my favorite little corner of the apartment (see #6 and #9).

5) We love when Mandy and Brylee (Tyler's sister & niece) stop by for a visit. Brylee is the funniest kid ever. She can be kinda shy around new people, but she never has been around me, for some reason. Tyler warned me before I met her for the first time a couple years ago so I wouldn't be offended, but he left the room for a few minutes, and came back to us snuggled up on the couch playing with one of her toys. :) I just wish his other sister + her husband + kiddos were closer too!

6) I snagged this vintage chair at the Red Racks/DAV last week for FIFTEEN DOLLARS. It was quite a hilarious process actually getting it home (one involving a belt, a scarf, and the trunk of my car), but now it's all cleaned up and pairs pretty perfectly with my record player.

7) I hate tornado season, and it's here in full swing. These two pictures were taken literally 30 minutes apart. Nothing like a terrifying storm cloud and gorgeous sunset to make you feel all over the map with emotions.

8) I started playing around with apps and photos after seeing a picture from Leney's Instagram. I'm not even sure how I found her blog, but it's become one of my favorites to browse through, and her pictures make everyday life seem so beautiful.

9) This little corner has become my favorite place in the apartment. All my favorite things (books, plants, that yellow chair, my records, and record player....) are all right there, and it just feels so homey to me. A lot of the stuff in our apartment is just cobbled together from our respective college days, and even though most of it was mine from before, I don't feel like it really fits me anymore. This corner is the exception, though. I love love love it.

10) Yesterday was the worst day I've had in forever. I can't even pinpoint exactly why--it was just a combination of several things in succession, and a general case of the grumps. Lots of tears were shed, and lots of caffeine consumed...because we all know that Starbucks cures all manner of ills.

11) Today has been the complete opposite of yesterday. I've just been around the apartment, only doing things I want to do, and it's been amazingly relaxing. These days are so rare for me, because I always have something going, even if it's just one of my own projects. I like being busy, but every once in awhile, I need a day to do nothing but watch SVU marathons, browse the internet, and make tea the traditional English way.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Currently: (late night edition)

Stressing over: some big ol' changes at work. My boss resigned, and today was our first day without her. It's already a little chaotic. Change is hard, ya'll. For real.

Feeling: itchy. Poison ivy doesn't mess around. It also doesn't go away quickly, either. MUST.STOP.SCRATCHING.

Wishing: for an adventure. I'm feeling a little stuck lately. I need some travel, some inspiration. I'm kinda restless to a fault, honestly.

Listening to: Sigur Ros. It's the perfect remedy for a stressful day. Pure relaxation.

Drinking: purple Kool-Aid. My husband is on a kick, so I'm just going to drink all my calories now. Cartoons and Kool-Aid? We're five years old.

Excited about: this big, four-day weekend I just slipped into. Wanna know what my plans are? Nothing.
Glorious, glorious nothing (except watching every episode of Call the Midwife on Netflix....and maybe a trip to Hobby Lobby).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Plus Projects: Iphone Case

Looking for something to do? Here's a quick,simple little project I tackled a few weeks ago. It took next to no time and turned out fairly well (though if I had to do it over, I'd probably use a different, glossy sealant).

Ta da! Pretty easy, and perfect for an afternoon at home with nothing else to do (because those totally happen all the time, right?)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

One whole year.

Earlier this month, I hit the one-year mark working for my current company. Man, there have been some highs and definite lows (you might remember this post), but when I sit back and really think about how I feel right now, the only word I can come up with is "content." Am I happy with my job all the time? No.  Is working with kids with autism a breeze? No way. Are there days I want to throw in the towel? Yes. Do I want to do this for the rest of my life? Probably not. But right here, right now...I'm content.

I would be lying if I said it wasn't a hard year. I've had a ton of sick days (thanks to working with kids/germ machines for the first time), and I've been hit, kicked, pinched, screamed at by 3-4 year-olds. There have been kids who tried to hurt me, kids who tried to hurt themselves, and days where I've come home and collapsed into a teary mess in Tyler's arms. I've been frustrated, anxious, angry, and exhausted. I have questioned every job-related decision I ever made.

But there have also been days where parents have said that they can see a difference in their child.  There have been days where I ride an emotional high because a child said an intelligible word for the first time, or made some other small but very important step toward a better life. And that is the key--the difference, the meaning.

I may not have an easy job, but I sure have a meaningful one.

And for now, that's enough for me.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Music Monday:Slow & Steady

I don't really have any explanation for it, but I've felt a really strong connection to this song recently. One morning at work last week, I had it sitting on repeat at my desk, and lost count of how many times it played.

 "I move slow and steady, but I feel like a waterfall."

That line. That's the one. It pretty much sums up my life lately. I have all these ideas, passions, plans, and excitement rushing out, but day-to-day, I'm slow and steady, moving in small steps, doing what I have to do so I can do what I want to do when I'm finished. Slow and steady, slow and steady.

Slow and Steady by Of Monsters and Men on Grooveshark

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Loving Lately: Watercolors

If my blog header didn't make it obvious, I love watercolor more than just a little bit. I mess around a bit with my own (well....technically my brother's), but I'm far from a pro. I do love scouring Etsy for some gorgeous prints, though, and these definitely fit the bill. One of each?

Oana Befort is one of my favorites ever.// Source

Obsessed with this. I wanted him tattooed on my body. //Source

I adore this little honey jar! So simple and perfect.//Source

This whole shop is gorgeous. I want them all. //Source

This is so haunting. Gives me goosebumps.//Source

Looking at these makes me want to take an art class. I think I'm going to spend the afternoon fooling around with some paints.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I took myself on a date

You know those moods where you want to have "me time" but the thought of being in your apartment for another second  sounds like torture? No? Just me? Well, I'm weird, then. But trust me, it happens. Yesterday, I was in one of those moods, but I couldn't figure out what to do where I wouldn't spend too much money, and it was unbearably humid and a little dreary outside, so the park didn't sound that great. I decided hit up a few thrift shops around town, then went to Target, ran by the pharmacy, headed to Relics, and stopped by a sweet little roadside plant nursery for some cilantro and flowers I (hopefully) won't kill. It was a pretty fun and productive little day, and I struck up so many conversations with strangers that it was impossible to feel lame for having a date day with myself. 

I am IN LOVE with this chair from one of the thrift stores. It wouldn't fit in my car, but I still almost went back for it, convinced that I could find a way to make it happen. We really have no place for it in our apartment, but I'm still tempted to go back for it, even today. I'm borderline obsessed with mustard-colored furniture, and this was a steal! *Sigh*

Okay, I popped into Starbucks on my way out of Target, and MY GOSH. I don't know what they did to this simple little iced coffee, but man oh man. It was the most delicious thing I've ever had. Totally hit the spot on such a gross Missouri day. I snapped this picture while waiting at the pharmacy. (Have I mentioned I love working for a company that has a pharmacy? Hello, employee discount. My no-baby meds were a whopping $3. TMI? Sorryboutit.)

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but my husband LOVES Prince. I find this kind of hilarious (and maybe a little weird, but I'm all about Phil Collins, so whatevs.) I found this gem while digging through the record bins at Relics, and I had to buy it. It wasn't even an option. Though one of my instagram pics blew the surprise (he spotted it peeking out of my haul), it still made for an interesting few minutes when he busted out the moves to "When Doves Cry." God help us if I ever find a George Michael album (yes, my husband is obsessed with gay vocalists--we already own an Elton John record).

I FREAKED OUT when I found this. It's like a time machine to my childhood. I used to love watching Mary Poppins with my grandparents, and I would sing along to every single song. I snagged it for $3, and I couldn't believe it. It's probably my favorite find of the day. It may be playing on my record player right now...just saying.

Here's the total haul. Definitely a successful day, I'd say. If you're ever in the Springfield area and want to meet up to scour the flea markets and thrift stores, I'm your girl. I might start making this a weekly (or at least bi-weekly) ritual. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

This week in Instagrams

1&2: I drove to work in the most beautiful morning fog. I had to snap a couple quick shots of the field by our apartments. Sigh.

3: My first new records arrived from Amazon. Everything I had up until that point was all thrifted classics. But how do you NOT get Mumford and Bon Iver on vinyl? I mean, really.

4: Crazy storms brought in some amazing lightning, thunder, hail....and deeper thoughts from yours truly.

5: My temporary pet from our dinner at the park. So glad warm weather is back!

6. This past weekend flew by, and seemed so crazy. But I took a little "me time" one afternoon with some Earl Grey and Wendell Berry. I'm learning how important it is to slow down every once in awhile. Lately, I feel like I'm falling behind somehow, and I keep packing more things on my to-do list to feel like I'm making progress. I have to have time to unwind, though. If I have to put "me time" on a to-do list, I'll do it, because it's that necessary.

7. Tyler and I hardly ever watch movies because I'm way too ADHD most of the time. But we did sit down and watch one of my very very very favorite childhood movies: "The Last Unicorn." He actually liked it a lot...enough that he's been walking around singing one of the songs from the soundtrack ever since! (He also found out that there's a comic book series based on the book, so now he's on a mission. He REALLY wants to turn me into a comic book nerd.)

8. I did a stylized photo shoot with my friend Paula. She had a concept in her head built around this amazing vintage dress she found, and she asked me if she could photograph me for her portfolio. I am SO much more comfortable behind a camera than in front of one, but it was so much fun! We were laughing almost the entire time.

9. My mom came into town (and brought my brother with her!) for Mother's Day, since I couldn't make it back home. We only got to spend a couple hours together, but we went to Aviary for a mid-afternoon lunch, and it was perfect. They even snuck us in between reservations. Love that place so much.

10. Just downloaded the A Beautiful Mess photo app early yesterday morning. I'm a little bit addicted, if you want to know the truth. Judging from my Instagram feed, I'm not the only one!

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