Jessica & Matt: Announcement

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Jessica & I have been friends since our early & wild days in high school. She met Matt around the same time I met my Matt & we both married our Matt’s around the same time. I had Stella (my youngest) just a few months after she had Harper. So I guess you could say we’re walking this journey called life side by side.

When I found out she was pregnant I jumped on the photo opportunity that had presented itself. I couldn’t wait to help them announce the pregnancy of their second babe. I got so many cute shots of them as a family of three & can’t wait to get many more photos of them when they become a family of four.

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When we were preparing for our shoot Jessica said Matt wanted some photos of them in their Packers jerseys & the announcement to say “We are adding another fan to the pack.” I thought it was adorable & even more adorable that Matt came up with it all on his own. I love this shot of them & how the announcement came together. It’s so simple & perfectly them.

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I love all the clever ways people announce big news in their lives these days. I can’t get enough of it! What are some of your favorite announcements you’ve created or seen?
xoxo//a

Book Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

“One friend with whom you have a lot in common is better than three with whom you struggle to find things to talk about.”
-Mindy Kailing

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Mindy Kaling is hilarious & I seriously wish I could recruit her as one of my best friends. When I first started watching The Office her character drove me crazy. Once I found out she was one of the writers of the show I instantly fell in love with her & couldn’t wait to get my hands on her book. After reading it I’ve decided she is similar to her character on The Office… just much less annoying but still obsessed with love & fashion. She really just seems like another awesome girl that stands for what she believes in & worked hard to be where she is. Plus, she’s hilarious… I am a sucker for hilarious girls.

I’d have to say the end of the book is my favorite part. All of it. The last 100 pages I couldn’t stop laughing. Like eyes watering. Dying. Laughing. Her description of men & how long it takes them to tie their shoes. You just have to read it. If you don’t want to read the whole book just read that chapter “Why Do Men Put on Their Shoes So Slowly?”. Prepare to laugh your ass off & after that I’m sure you’ll be convinced that you want to read the whole book.

Her look on love warms my heart. I’ve found love like she describes & I love that she believes so strongly in the love I have. In the book she says “I want to hear that you guys watch every episode of The Bachelorette together in secret shame, or that one got the other hooked on Breaking Bad and if either watches it without the other, they’re dead meat.” That my friends. Is literally the exact description of my husband & I. So Mindy, I invite you to be my best friend & I can show you that this love… It still exists & I can claim you as my bestie. So we will both win here.

Alright readers… Here are a few questions about the book that I have for you or for you to use in your book club!

1. Her description of her childhood is wonderful in so many ways. What was your favorite part of her childhood?

2. Her best friends remind me so much of my own. Maybe her & I are a lot a like… Once you’re our friend we cling on & expect certain things out of you. Do you have best friends like hers? What part of her descriptions of friendship do you agree with or disagree with?

3. She becomes a nanny for a rich family in NYC & all I could imagine is Kelly Kapoor watching these kids… Which kind of frightened me. But really, I’d be thrilled if Mindy Kaling nannied my kids & taught them how to be hilarious. Would you let her (Mindy Kaling not Kelly Kapoor) nanny your kids?

4. As I mentioned above I adore her look on relationships & love. Do you agree with where she stands on love & romance?

5. There are too many parts that made me laugh until my eyes were watering & I don’t want to give too much of the book away but I gotta know… What part of the book made you roll on the floor laughing?

That’s all for now my friends!

xoxo//a

Tollgate: Shelby & Austin

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One of my oldest friends has ventured her way from the valley of Salt Lake City, Utah up to Tollgate to live in the most adorable cabin with her boyfriend & pups. I constantly saw pictures across her social media of her new home & it looked amazing. I asked her if I could come up & take some photos of them & she accepted.

I’m thankful she did… if she hadn’t I don’t think I would ever have discovered this little slice of heaven that is a part of Utah. It’s the most amazing little canyon. There are medows with wild flowers next to ponds with phenomenal backdrops of the mountains. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I drove into the canyon. It is stunning. I truly had been missing out on something incredible.

I’ve known Shelby for over ten years & as most of you know friendships tend to fade slowly after knowing one another for so long. But you know you have a true friendship when you can go so long, see one another again & it feel as though no time has passed. That’s how it is with Shelby. Every time.

It was my first time meeting her boyfriend & her furbabies & they are all amazing. I can’t wait for future adventures up in Tollgate with them. I can promise there will be more adventures & many more photos… but for now enjoy these! They’re perfect. Everything about them is perfect.

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I can’t thank Shelby & Austin enough for letting me come up & adventure around with them. I’m insanely jealous that they get to call this place home. All of the photos were taken during a walk we took. Which just so happens to be the walk they take every night. I mean… come on… How lucky are they?

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Isn’t it crazy that something so magical can hide from you for so long! What is your favorite location in the place you call home? Share it with me!

xoxo//a

Flaming George: Sunlight & Babes

“Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains.”
-Diane Ackerman
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My best friend has a cabin in Manila, Utah (Well, her grandpa does but it sounds cooler if I say it’s hers) just a ten minute drive to Flaming George. If you’ve never been out that way I suggest you do it. It’s one of the most beautiful lakes. One side is complete desert & the other side is all mountains & big trees. It’s so stunning, the sunsets are incredible & the water is the perfect temperature to jump in & cool off.

I can honestly say our days were the same. Wake up, pack everyone up & head to the lake. For three full days. It was perfect. I know people think we are crazy… us two girls packing up our three kids & dog for a four day mom & kid trip at the lake. We are crazy & we love it. We get to spend quality time all together with no other distractions but the sunshine & water. I wish everyday could be like this…

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I seriously feel so lucky to have such an amazing best friend in my life. My life wouldn’t be complete without her & baby Koi in it. They are our best friends, our family. We love every adventure we get to have with them & I can’t wait to share each one of them with you all! Now… I leave you with the best selfie of us four ever taken.

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We have many more trips to the cabin planned this summer & I can’t wait! What are some of your favorite lakeside activities? Share them with a comment!

xoxo//a

Engagements: TJ & Breanna

I seriously have the most amazing sister & future brother… I told them I’d love to take their engagements but wasn’t sure if they would be willing since I have little… Well, I’ll be honest… No expertience doing photoshoots. They quickly became excited about having me be apart of it & agreed to let me do their photos.

For my first time doing any sort of photoshoot & maybe the 5th time using a DSLR camera I’d have to say I did a decent job. My first round of post production edits were kind of a mess… I am still learning so much about Photoshop that the photos didn’t look as I was picturing them. The photos you see now are my second round of edits & they look far better than my first.

I can’t thank my sister & her lucky fiancé enough for putting their trust in me & letting me take their photos. It was such a learning experience & got me exited for my future in the photography world.

Any tips & advice for portrait photography? I’m still learning & would love any extra advice!

xoxo//a

Fireworks, Rodeos & Freedom

This years Fourth of July was something magical. The week was busy & beautiful. Although the days were hot the nights were perfect. We did everything you’re supposed to do during the Fourth of July within the week & it was wonderful. Here are a few of my favorite moments from our Fourth of July. DSC_0517

Taking photos of the girls & Koi was a must do for our Fourth of July celebrations. Doing a few little shoots was so fun & such a wonderful way to celebrate our country & our freedom. Check out the other photos from our shoot here!
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I’ve wanted to do sparkler photos for sometime now… Look how perfect they are! I can thank my husband Matt for them coming out so well. He is the one that’s a pro with the camera & set it all up to capture exactly what I wanted. If you haven’t taken sparkler photos before I suggest you do it. It’s a blast.
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We took the kids to the rodeo. Stella was not a fan so Matt ended up taking her home… But Adalie LOVED it. She is obsessed with lassos & horses so you can imagine her excitement through the whole rodeo. At one point she started booking it down the stand…  I asked her where she was going & she replied with “The cowboy is going to give me his lasso!” Seriously, how cute? I think we have a future cowgirl on our hands.
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I grew up in Riverton, Utah a small country town in the suburbs of Salt Lake City. I grew up going to the parade the day before the Fourth of July & the park for the carnival & fireworks the day of. I love sharing these traditions with my girls & the rest of my family. My favorite photo in this collection is the one of Stella & I. I really wanted to get a photo Matt, the girls & I but they were being impossible… obviously.
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This years Fourth of July was hands down the best I’ve ever had. I spent it with the people that mean the most to me & did the things I love. What are some of your Fourth of July traditions? Tell me in a comment bellow!

xoxo//a

Photoshoot: A Taste of Freedom

May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy,
more lovely, than this our own country! -Daniel Webster

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Fourth of July: Fireworks, freedom, summer heat, food, family, & good friends. Best. Holiday. Ever. Democrat, Republican, Interdependent it doesn’t matter we come together as a whole, as a nation to celebrate the beautiful country that we are all blessed to call home.

I’ve always felt lucky to live in America but since I’ve had Adalie & Stella I feel even more lucky. I feel lucky that my girls live in a country that gives them the freedom to be who they choose to be. To be strong females that can do whatever they put their mind to. Whether that’s becoming the CEO of a company or being a stay at home mom. They can do it. Any of it… because we live in the Land of the Free.

To celebrate our freedom & our love for our country I took my best friends son, Koiya & the girls out to do a Fourth of July themed shoot. As most of you are aware I am just finding my way in the photography world. I will be honest. Kids are insanely hard to photograph. They move so much & so fast getting perfect shots is a challenge & will take a lot of practice.

But… I have to say that the photos came out decently well! Some are blurry which I somewhat expected with such crazy kids… but for the most part they captured exactly what I wanted. Kids being kids while representing the beautiful country we live in.

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These three kids melt my heart. I can hardly handle how much love they have for one another already. They constantly show me how lucky I am to be a mom & how blessed I am to have a best friend with such an adorable son. He is just as close to my heart as my babies are.

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As I mentioned before I am just finding my path in the photography world. Any tips on photographing running, crazy children? Let me know with a comment below!

xoxo//a