“my cup overflows; surely Your goodness + love will follow me…” [PSALM 23:5b-6a]
Instagram + Facebook are plastered with people trying to come up with the words to sum up their year. “Growth, change, blessings, ups+downs, tears+laughter.” But for me, the one and only word that can truly describe this year is “overflowing.” It was a very FULL year.
FULL of adventure, full of grace, full of love, full of mistakes, full of “new,” full of life. God was so much more than He has ever been. I was stretched, changed, loved, and blessed, and it was all beyond measure.
I’m grateful for 2016 — the best year of my life; and hopeful for 2017 — the promise of the new. CHEERS!!
It’s hard to believe that I started off this year living in LA. It seems like yesterday/an eternity ago. I think I’ll always miss these sunny stretches of salt water, the constant sunshine, and the struggle of keeping sand out of my car. My time down in LA was hectic and crazy, but there was a beauty to living independently and working in the ministry that I’ll never regret.
The year started off right with an engagement session for my roommate, Marina, and her brand-new fiancee, Ben. It’s still one of my favorite engagement sessions EVER. Zuma Beach at sunset? Come on.
Mason and I were blessed with the chance to have several visits during our time apart, and they always included SOME kind of adventures – like that time we rented bikes in Santa Monica and rode EVERYWHERE – from Venice Beach to the most delish gourmet doughnuts ever.
I was so excited to watch my friend, Aura, begin her photography journey. We had the chance to get out and do some headshots a few days before she shot her first wedding with me (!!), and I’m so grateful for the time we got to spend together. She truly is a precious soul (and if you’re in the LA area, check out her mad photography skills!).
Jessica + Branden‘s Lancaster, California wedding was truly one of the sweetest celebrations of marriage that I’ve ever seen.
Plus, shooting that ring in the early-California-spring light was beyond dreamy.
In May, I moved back up to live at my parent’s house for a few quiet weeks before my wedding. They were anything but quiet (haha!), but the change of pace and the chance to spend some last few moments as a “single” girl with my family are moments I’ll cherish forever.
May also held a tenth anniversary shoot for these two still-lovebirds, my now-siblings-in-law!
And then the wedding. My wedding. OUR wedding.
There are DEFINITELY not enough words to sum up such a special day.
And I couldn’t limit myself to just one photo, even in this “short” 2016 recap.
And I just have to take a moment to say… marriage is a bigger blessing+adventure+challenge+reward than I could’ve EVER imagined. Spending your life with your best friend is beyond any other earthly privilege we get.
To know and be known so deeply, yet to love and be loved so truly. There really is no more beautiful thing in this world.
The first part of our honeymoon was a roadtrip across Washington State, with the first stop in Leavenworth. A tiny Bavarian town in the middle of the state, Leavenworth is a real gem.
Marriage looks pretty good on us, yasssh?
Our “second stop,” after SeaTac, was the muggy, adorable island of Kauai. Exploring, eating, and taking way too many pictures with this hunk was literally the funnest thing ever. Funnest IS a word.
After Kauai, we headed over to Oahu for a few days – check out that ocean view from our balcony.
*all the heart eyes*
When we came back to “real” life and settled into our apartment, I had the time of my life making our little space into our nest. Someday we’ll move on to a house with a yard and a family and a REAL laundry room – but I know I’ll miss this third-story perch and the early morning light.
A few days of work in Seattle for Mason meant a few days of exploring Seattle for ME. It was September – and a perfectly sunny one at that. I watched the sunrise from Pike’s Place, tasted the first Starbucks, and rode the ferry more than was good for my wallet. But it was soooo worth it.
And I got the chance to catch up on a windy beach with THIS GEM – a Seattle native and my former college roommate. I love when God crosses paths like He does!
When we came home, I started into the swing of redesigning my business + website – it took way longer than I anticipated, but was so very worth it!
My Mom started her own site for her new health coaching business – check it out! I’m so proud of my Mom and the insanely awesome example she is to me. The greatest compliment I can get is that I’m like her in any way, shape, or form.
I got to do headshots for her new blog. CUTEST. SESSION. EVER.
Before I knew what had happened, fall had come and gone with its crisp mornings, overabundance of fruit, and warm/cozy moments…
With the first snowfall (around Thanksgiving), I again got to photograph one of my favorite families – and aren’t they adorable?! We had some issues with the cold/snow/clothing/other stuff… but hey. You do what you gotta do – even if that means singing Christmas songs during the session.
This year, in addition to marrying into a WHOLE NEW FAMILY, I got a future sister-in-law!! My handsome brother picked that gorgeous girl to spend his life with, and we all couldn’t be more excited to welcome her into the family next summer.
Their engagement session was literally the COLDEST THING IN THE HISTORY OF EVER, but their smiles had absolutely no problems shining.
Christmastime came, and with it, more family time and the beauty of the lights, colors, sharing, food… all that good stuff. I love Christmas and I’m pretty sad that it’s over!
Another highlight of the year: THIS. I hadn’t played piano much since we got married since I didn’t have one… but Mason + I invested in this as my “Christmas present” (which didn’t work cause somehow he ended up buying me MORE stuff… I married a generous man and highlyhighlyhighly recommend it!). I can’t wait to start teaching on this beautiful piano someday soon!
Just a few days before Christmas, I flew to Ohio to shoot the wedding of one of my best friends from college and the most incredible woman ever – Anna Grace. It was a dream come true. Such a perfect wedding. Such a perfect couple. I LOVE that I got that chance. <3
AND WITH THAT (^^ precisely how I feel about 2017) I’ll finish. This post in NO WAY touches all the wonderful things that happened this year – all the people met, memories made… all those beautiful in-between moments that make the year the most special. But it helps to give a hint into why it was so incredible.
HAPPY 2017, EVERYONE. Cheers to another AMAZING year!!