Tuesday, May 31, 2016

links, links, links (v.21)

Sometimes (okay just about 98% ) I adore HGTV magazine. From the last one I looked through I found some amazing blogs (with some super cute diy projects!!)  One, two, three, four, five, six, and seven.

I've totally wished to have these conversations with my pup. 

Our wedding and engagement photographer- her work is just stunning.

This dreamy space. In love.

A huge reading challenge for book lovers? Um challenge accepted!

The entry way wallpaper is sooo dreamy.

I NEED these glasses. 

This feather dress. Love it!

This blouse. Perfection.

And this shirt. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

life lately (in photos)

Life lately has been crazy. Good, but crazy. The end of the school year is wrapping up, which means our wedding is getting closer!! It's extremely exciting, but I also keep thinking of all the things still left to do. Ek!!

Since it's the end of the year, our grade level went on a field trip to the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine. I'd never been, so it was pretty amazing. 

 And adventures with my friends (Lexi Loo, Daniel, and Kel) always mean laughter. Whether it's dinner, froyo, or wandering around Target, we always seem find ourselves laughing hysterically. Love them. 

Austin and I went downtown this weekend to our annual Jazz Fest. The photobombers behind us were a bit late..... 

Okay and how cute is this mug??? My future sister-in-law bought it for me and I am in love. 

I've been currently reading this book. It's amazing. At first I was hesitant to read it, it's more of a thesis than a novel, so trying to get into it was a bit difficult. However, I've fallen for it. Keller's thoughts are inspirational. 
This is one of my favorite parts so far from Keller's book:

And Chloe and I cuddling... although I may or may not have forced it. She loves it though, I promise. 
xoxoxoxo, kel

Sunday, May 22, 2016

first communion photoshoot

Another (and last post) about the church photography job I was lucky enough to be a part of.

This time, I took pictures of 40 plus kids' first communion. This was one of my all time favorite photography gigs. For starters, I love taking photos of kids. They wear their emotions and they are just so darn adorable (especially all dressed up). The other reason this was such an honor, was because it was a monumental occasion. 
I remember when I took my first communion. 
Each one since has obviously meant a great deal to me, but nothing beats the first time you make that promise. 
That commitment.
 That statement of love and acceptance of putting God first. 
They each decorated their own candles for the occasion too, which I absolutely loved. 
Then there was their singing performance. Oh my gosh, adorable! 
Thanks again Holy Spirit for letting me take photos of your children's special day!!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

a disciple // day 1

Truth: I grew up in church. I cannot remember a time where I was not a part of a church family or learning about God's Scripture.

Truth: I crave a deeper relationship with God. Yet, I don't always (or often) put in the hard work and effort that I need to. It's as if I just expect Him to do all the work and no relationship is like that, even a relationship with our Father.

So today I sat down with coffee on my back porch and opened my Bible and a Disciple study book that was my dad's. Today I choose to be more like those wonderful men I grew up with that taught and shared and lived the Word, my dad and uncle. They were never pushy. They never forced God on anyone. Instead, they let God work through them and just simply shared the Word. They shared who God is through their actions and kind words. They were some of the best men and men of God that I've ever had the privilege in knowing.

Today I want to start a new habit. A new ritual (for lack of better word). I want to delve deep into the Scripture for myself and share what I feel God calls me to share, as my Uncle Dana did. Not to prove something or pretend to be something I'm not. I want to do it for the same reason I believe he did. Because when you learn or hear or see something wonderful, you want to share it with everyone you know. You want to shout the Good News from the rooftop.
Even if no one reads, but me....

When I picked up the Disciple book, I had forgotten that it had belonged to my dad. His writing and  thoughts are all throughout the study book (and I think it just means that much more to me).

While reading this book, there were some really awesome writings that I enjoyed. They weren't necessarily a brand new idea for me, but they put things in a new perspective.

"Nothing is hidden." The Scriptures (which literally means writings) include all things- from violence and betrayal to divine faith and forgiveness. Nothing is held back. Bad and good of humanity is shared.

When we read the Bible, we shouldn't read it as any other book- it's not a novel or just any other love story or adventure novel. "Rather, as we read, we listen for the Holy Spirit to help us understand eternal, universal truths.  We watch for unexpected insights that are personal, just for us. We savor a promise, a thrill to a story that rings true in our experience, or agonize over a law or principle that could change our lives." "We see new truth."

Today's reading:
"Be strong and brave. Be sure to obey all the teachings of my servant, Moses gave you.  If you follow them exactly, you will be successful in everything you do. Always remember what is written in the Book of the Teachings. Study it day and night and be sure to obey everything that is written there. If you do this, you will be wise and successful in everything. Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave. Do not be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go," Joshua 1:7-9

recently read

I know I've mentioned before that my school has a reading challenge goal (for students and teachers), which I find pretty awesome. While I've tried to read 30 books this year to reach my goal, it's been more of 100 pages of a book equals one (don't worry- I checked with school and this is totally acceptable and I let my kids do the same thing).

 I love reading, so even when this hasn't been a "school" goal, it's always a personal one.
 And since I'm also in a book club, I often am reading books that aren't typically what I would read (and usually end up loving them). 

So this year I've read a lot of amazing books that I have to recommend, because they are just that awesome. 
Prepare yourself!

Three Blind Mice by Agatha Christie
I had a goal once (bucket list- I guess it's still on there) to read every Agatha Christie book. I think I shou;d have looked at how many books the woman actually wrote before I made that goal. BUT I do love her books. This one was short, but good.

Library of Souls (3rd of the series) by Ransom Riggs
When I read the first book of this series I wasn't really impressed, but then the second one came out and I was hooked. The third was amazing too (and now it's a movie!!) I think my appeal for this series is mainly that it's so different from anything else I've ever read. I like the uniqueness. So glad my book club picked this series

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie
Another Agatha Christie book. Man this lady knows how to write a good mystery book. Love!

Nemesis by Agatha Christie 
Great read. What more can I say?

Trash by Andy Mulligan
Apparently this book was also turned into a movie. I wasn't the biggest fan, but it was an interesting read (a unique idea- even if it was based off an incredibly sad one).

The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty
I read The Husband's Secret by Moriarty previously (another book club book) and I really enjoyed it. I was torn between this one and a few others of her, but my friend Kelly and I decided this one looked the most interesting. It seemed like an interesting plot, but the back cover gives it all away for the most part. Still- she's a great writer and I can't wait to read her others,

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon
Okay, so I saw this one in Barnes and Noble for super cheap and thought it looked intriguing. I actually ended up falling in love with it. I was sad when it ended. Plus, it was also about a real life event (about the disappearance of Judge Crater in the 20's). Awesome read.

....And the Ladies of the Club by Helen Hooven Santmyer
Another book club book and one of the longest books ever written. While it took a bit of time to get into it (I'm not the biggest fan of politics, especially Civil War time politics) it ended up being a really good read. Having read Gone With the Wind, I liked getting Midwestern point of views of the Civil War.

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
So, I picked this book for book club. While it wasn't as funny as her first book (in my opinion) I still liked it. Jenny Lawson is hysterical and I wish I could meet her in real life. I seriously want to be her best friend.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseni
A great read by a great author. I laughed, I cried (a lot) and I was sad when it ended. I felt so emotionally invested in the story and the characters' lives. If you haven't read this or Hosseni's other book, Kite Runner, you have to!

Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett
I've read other books by Follett, but I think this one is my favorite. Let me also state that I love World War II books, so this book was right up my alley. It also had a touch of mystery and was based on the invasion of Normandy (and the British trying to hide their efforts and plans of invasion from Germany). I really liked this book- I couldn't put it down.

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
So this book (which is going to be a movie I believe) is based off of the movie (and formerly book) Strangers on a Train (Alfred Hitchcock). I loved this book- it's so full of twists and turns, even up until the last line!!!!

What are you reading??? I need more suggestions until the next book club pick!!!
xoxo, kel

Friday, May 13, 2016

get your pen pal on

About 5 or 6 years ago I started this pen pal group because I was tired of emailing all the time and I craved and missed snail mail. I mean who doesn't love getting something in the mailbox other than bills and trash??
Before I knew it, the group exploded into something I never would've dreamed. Hundreds of people from all over the world signed up. I had emails daily asking to sign up (and still do) from all over..... England, Scotland, Australia, Africa, China, Germany, Canada, South America....everywhere. It was amazing how many people shared this same interest. I also loved how many good friends I personally made from this project. 
So I got to thinking about this the other day and how much I really missed it and I decided it's time to bring it back!!!
If you are at all interested, please email me and let me know!!!! (kellz0505@gmail.com)
 I plan to get started with planning in June, after school lets out.

I cannot wait. I hope you'll join!!!


Thursday, May 12, 2016

confirmation photography

I had the privilege of taking photographs for the Holy Spirit Catholic Church a couple of weeks ago for Confirmation and then again for First Communion. It was a new experience for me- typically when I've done photography shoots before I have one family in front of me and there are a lot of still shots. For this occasion though, I had over 30 teenagers and 40 kids to photograph and the majority of the pictures were of movement (as they made their way down the aisle to partake in communion or being blessed by the bishop). 
Obviously a majority of the pictures (and all the ones posted here on my blog) were taken during the service, and that was another aspect that I really enjoyed. Being Methodist, I have been to only a few Catholic Church services and I always enjoy seeing and partaking in new things. I think that visiting different religious services (and even discussing and learning about other religions) has always been an interest of mine. I've gone to all sorts of different Christian sects, Jewish sects, and I want to try others as well ( I just haven't yet). 
It's wonderful to see people worshiping God in their own way. I like seeing the similarities and differences. 

But that's besides the point. The point is, I really enjoyed the service and of course also taking these photos. Hopefully I did the families proud. 
And a special thanks to my big sis for speaking highly of my and my work and hiring me for this opportunity!
xoxo, kel

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

bridal weekend

A couple of weekends ago my bridal party, mom, and future in laws planned an amazing bridal weekend. We started Friday with manicures, pedicures and some shopping. Then we made our way up to Savannah for the night for my bachelorette party. It was fantastic (minus me being really sick and not being able to fully participate...). It was the perfect girls' night out with some of my closest girl friends.

Then Sunday was my bridal shower at my soon to be mother in law's shop, Ashes (which by the way is the most amazing place- if you're a local, you HAVE to try it). 
We started our afternoon with a trial make-up run at Bobbi Brown and then headed to the beach for the shower. I have to say, my friends and family are amazing. I have never felt so spoiled and loved. 

 The little personalized items all over the store made it even more special. The notes, the pictures and guest book, the signs, and of course the gold glitter touches everywhere....perfection. 

 Thank you friends and family for going above and beyond for me. I cannot put into words how special I felt and how much I loved having all of you with me for a weekend. 
And to all my friends and family that were there in spirit, thank you! You were truly missed. But I can't wait to see you in July!!!
xoxo, kel

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

pre-wedding wants

While shopping for decor, invitations, and everything else wedding, I've come across soooo many adorable things. So in typical Kellie fashion (or Rory fashion) I made a list of all the amazing things I've come across that engaged me wants really badly. I mean, it's not such a terrible idea since I have a birthday and a wedding coming up and all...right???
So here is the round up of my wedding wants and wishes!

This awesome headband from ban.do. 

Love, love, love this card!

All such adorable things!!! And as for the stock of perfume smells, I am trying to decide which scent is my favorite so I can have a signature smell for my wedding day. One scent that whenever I wear it I won't think about how I wore it for work, or fancy nights out, or just to make myself feel better, but instead will remind me of the amazing day Austin and I got married.
xo- kel