Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Costume Fail

Other than dressing up as a kid for fall festivals and all of that good stuff, I never really did Halloween costumes. We always had something going on, and I didn't really care about it.

Last year I went to a Halloween party for the first time in years. My friends and I sent pictures back and forth for several days of what we should dress up as. Of course, the over thinking me couldn't make up my mind, and I kept changing my idea. Work was busy, and before I knew it, it was Friday and time for the party. I was tired and hadn't gotten everything together, so I quickly went through my closet and picked out an outfit.

I was a hobo. How's that for creativity?

I think I started this too late in life. Ha! Maybe I'll give it another shot later. While I love seeing the costumes and creativity, I think I'll cheer everyone on from Facebook and enjoy not stressing and over thinking the best outfit ever. Ha!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Johnson Family :: Preview

Here's a little peak at Saturday's photo shoot with a bunch of blonde headed, blue eyed kiddos!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Equip You Workshop Recap

Last Saturday we taught our first Equip You Workshop, and it was fantastic! After several brainstorming sessions at Panera, late night Skype chats, and several hours on our computers, everything was a go! 

There were a few times when we questioned whether or not we had enough content. The Friday night before we gave it a trial run and realized we had more than enough. My goodness, we were excited. 

I have to give a HUGE shoutout to Anntonette for her craftiness and brilliance! She created our awesome gift bags, notebooks, and gift cards! 
Also, many thanks to Sweet N Simple Co. for their contribution to our goodie bags! Aren't the hair ties adorable? 

As everyone arrived on Saturday morning, we made coffee and had introductions then jumped right into the lessons! 

I think we were surprised at how much we loved teaching. What made it even better was the comments we were receiving from the attendees. 
"Oh, I finally get it!" 
"Ah, that makes sense." 
"So THAT'S how you get that."
"I just want to go home and practice!" 
THEY WERE GETTING IT! Whew, we weren't failing them! 

We spent a few hours overloading their brains, and let them out to shoot and practice what they had learned. We were impressed! 

What a fantastic group of people to teach for our first time! They were so kind, excited, and eager to learn. That makes teaching easy, right? 

We ended the day by taking head shots of everyone who attended! 

Thank you guys for trusting us on our first go at this! We can't stop talking about how much we loved it. And for those of you who didn't get to come, don't worry...we were just getting started! ;)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wednesday Work Break

Happy Wednesday everyone! I literally just typed out "Tuesday" and caught myself. Today just feels like a week is so messed up. It's probably because I slept in on Monday. ;)

Last weekend was crazy and wonderful! We taught our first Equip You Workshop and it went SO well (more about that later). On Sunday I photographed a proposal that included flowers, cheesecake, old ruins, horse back riding, a bamboo hut, and of course, a beautiful ring!

In fact that's what I'm working on this morning. I'm on an editing roll, and I just had to take a break and share a few with you guys!

I'll share more along with the story later! Time to get back to work. Have a great day everyone! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Christmas Card Session SALE! This week only!

Book a Christmas Card Session this week (October 19-24th) and get $75 off! 

Christmas Card Sessions just $100! 
Get your Christmas Card Session for just $100 when you book between October 19th-24th! (Regularly $175)
Christmas Card sessions are for those who prefer a quick photo shoot to get that perfect picture to put on the Christmas card!  

- 15 Minutes of Shooting Time  
- 5-10 Edited High Resolution Photos 
- Copyright Release (for your choice of printing)  

Sessions can be scheduled between October 22 and December 12th.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Trinity :: Adoption Story

I love hearing and seeing adoption stories. Over the past few years, I've followed Trinity's story through her mom's Facebook page. When I saw that Trinity's adoption had been finalized, I emailed Whitney asking if I could do a photo shoot to share on my blog. They worked it out, and even though it ended up being a nasty and rainy Saturday, I had a great time getting these precious pictures. Trinity's smile is just contagious! 

I'm sure you'll enjoy their story as much as I did! 

Had either of you thought about adoption before you knew each other/were married?

"Adoption was always on my heart, even when I was young. I can remember thinking it would be really cool to adopt one day but I never knew what that would look like until after Paul and I married. I think we both had a renewed vision for adoption when we traveled to Ukraine in 2009 for a short-term mission trip. We spent some time in the orphanages there and God really burdened our hearts for children in need. 

Shortly after we married in 2010, we began to look at the cost of adopting from Ukraine and between the cost and the logistics, we really felt like God was closing the door at that time. We began to pursue starting our biological family and prayed that God would one day open the door to adoption again. After moving churches and changing jobs, God began to open our eyes to what His gospel looks like on a day-to-day basis. We began to yearn for an opportunity to live out the truest, rawest version of Christ's love for us and Foster Care was a subject that came up again and again! Up to that point, we both were feeling like the Lord was preparing us to move into a new calling and away from pursuing our biological family. Now we know why He did not give us biological children at that time! We would have missed the incredible opportunity to be Trinity's forever family!"

How did God bring Trinity to you guys?

"We began the process to become certified foster parents in the state of Georgia on February 1, 2013. We completed our final certification class on March 22-23, 2013 and we were told we'd be in the Foster Care system as certified foster parents on March 25th. We had told our placement agency that we wanted to wait to get a placement until after we returned from a trip to Orlando, which we had previously scheduled for the beginning of April. We were flying and we knew that logistically it'd be unwise to travel with a newborn and traveling out of state with foster children can be a bit of a hassle so we opted to wait. Our agency said they understood and that they would wait to call us until after we returned on April 11th. 

We started the week of March 25th with our normal activities and made it to Wednesday, March 27th before we got the phone call. It was our agency, saying that they had received a call for placing a newborn baby girl and they were wondering if we'd be willing to open our home to her. We were frustrated that they called us, even after we all agreed that we'd wait until after we got back from Orlando. But, God had other plans and we decided to take the newborn and then let her stay with some close friends while we made our trip to Orlando a couple of weeks later. We received the call on Wednesday, March 27th at 1:30p. We picked Trinity up at 6pm that same day:) It was by far one of the most precious moments of our life! We both fell head over heels in love with her the moment we met her! She was 3 days old and was the most perfect little bundle of black hair, dark brown eyes, and chubby brown cheeks! We knew, in that very moment, that we'd lay down our lives for that little precious bundle and nothing would stand in the way of our loving her with everything within us!" 

What was the biggest adjustment during the adoption process?

"There are so many facets to the foster and adoption process. We began fostering Trinity and then 2.5 years later, we were blessed to be able to adopt her. Not all foster cases end with adoption but we are so thankful that Trinity's did! So, adjusting to the adoption was easy since we'd had her the entire 2.5 years. But, the adjustments to foster care were many! I think the biggest adjustment was realizing that we as the foster parents have no legal say in the case of the child. While many people are trying to change that precedent, we were never able to have an opinion about what went on in Trinity's case. As a foster parent, the hardest part is sitting back, trusting God, and letting the system do what it's designed to do! Sometimes, you cannot see the inner workings of the system and you have to depend on other people to make things happen, but in the end, God showed us time and time again that He was in control!"

What has been the coolest thing you've seen through the whole process? 

"Wow! We could write a book of all the cool things that God did throughout the 2.5 years to Trinity's final adoption but one of the most beautiful things has been watching our extended families rally around us and accept our children as their very own flesh and blood! Not every foster family has this kind of support and we have been so blessed to see them open their hearts to what some might consider an unconventional way to build a family but they have been willing to see it from God's perspective and embrace our calling with love and support! We could not have asked for better supporters!"

What are your favorite things to do together?

"We enjoy taking walks as a family and impromptu dance parties!:) Trinity loves being outside and music so any activity that encompasses those things is a favorite!" 

What is something that is more fun now that you have Trinity?

"Everything is more fun with Trinity! She has given us a whole new perspective on the world around us and seeing things through her eyes is priceless!"

What is the biggest way you've seen God work? 

"Trinity's biological mother's Termination of Parental Rights court hearing (TPR) was rescheduled five different times between May 2014-December 2014. We arrived at the courthouse on December 14, 2014 for the hearing, only to find out that the Defending Attorney was not present. This was so disappointing and we sat as the court rescheduled the hearing, yet again. The next hearing was set for January 20, 2015. We were so devastated but trying to trust God's timing. Right when we were getting ready to leave, our attorney came out of the courtroom to tell us that Trinity's biological mother had recognized that the stand-in attorney was not her regular attorney. This was a miracle because she had been declared incompetent up to that moment, which meant she could not legally surrender her legal rights. The judge asked the stand-in attorney to discuss a surrender of rights with Trinity's mother since she had been deemed competent by recognizing the change of attorneys! 

That's all they needed and she decided to do the most selfless thing a parent can do! She surrendered her legal rights to Trinity. What a miracle! We were watching God move all the pieces into place and He showed us, once again, that He was writing an incredible story for this precious little girl! If the courts had terminated her rights at any of the previous hearings, the TPR would have been appealed and most likely overturned due to the loopholes in Trinity's mother's mental health. Needless to say, it was a day we will never forget and we left with a renewed hope that God was going to give Trinity a forever home by the end of the 2015!"

Thank you, Paul and Whitney for sharing your story! I have loved hearing it, and I know I'm not the only one!