Weekend Scenes : Kayaking and Saturdays Are For The Girls

It has been a hot minute since I did one of these! Partly because my weekends have been looking a little bit like changing diapers lately and partly because we work some weekends! Anyways, here we are and this past weekend was more exciting than most. Ha!

Started off with a day for just me and my girl. We ran errands around Destin and had lunch at our favorite tex-mex restaurant, Burrito Del Sol! (This was just one of two trips we had there over the weekend. Ha!) She also decided to boycott a nap on Saturday so I laid her in our bed and she went straight to sleep beside me. At least one of us got a nap!

Then, it was time on the water. Our favorite! We stopped by to see some of our best friends who just opened a bait and tackle shop in Fort Walton Beach (Emerald Coast Bait and Tackle - check them out!) and stock up on some lures. Cory went fishing on his kayak and I had a joy ride on mine. BTW, I love my Becasa bracelets! They are waterproof and made for a water lifestyle!

There is something about getting out in nature that refreshes you immensely. Being on the Coast helps a little, too. ;)

xoxo

Watercolor Inn & Resort Engagement | Gabe + Cassie
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Oh my goodness, I am just a little bit excited about this engagement session. Meet Cassie. We were roommates in college and by default best friends, fellow study buddies, “shhh’d” in the library pal and fellow Gilmore girls veggie. (She loved it. I by default watched it. Lol.) That’s not the cool part, though….

She waited for Gabe. No… for real. Cassie didn’t date. Ever. She waited for her someone even despite being sought after in college. And good grief, she was worth being pursued by her someone. She is the sassiest, funniest, wittiest and one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever known!

I have waited so long for Gabe. (Go with me here.. lol) I have waited to see who she would end up with because he was going to have to be someone special. And he is.

Gabe grew up along the Gulf Coast, so it was only fitting for us to shoot their engagement session in Watercolor, Florida! The Watercolor Lakehouse backdrop was perfect for Gabe and the beach at sunset fit Cassie. These two together flowed like they were meant to be.

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I Said I Would Not Photograph Families
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Can I let you in on a secret?

I said I would not photograph families. 😱

By industry standards - it wasn't cool. It was kind of at the bottom of the totem pole. If you booked weddings - or "destination" weddings (gasp!) - you were wanted. Successful. All of those things.

So, I photographed families and didn't market it. I didn't post about it. But very quickly I realized that I was not only having a blast with each family during our time together... but that I loved it. And maybe even more than that - I was good at it. It felt good photographing something that I am at the core of myself passionate about - family.

And now?

Family portraits make up the bulk of my work. AND I LOVE IT. It fuels me. These families mean something to me. Over time photographing them over and over again every Summer, I have come to consider a lot of them great friends. They have reached out to me when hurricanes came through. They have cheered me on and encouraged me to trust God when Cory and I thought we only wanted to be dog parents. They were then the same ones who congratulated me, gave me advice and prayed for us when we had Rylynn.

The thing that I said I would never do has become something that I am wildly passionate about.

It's more than standing behind a camera for me. It is loving these families where they are, sharing in their love for the Emerald Coast/30A area and showing them through their images that the best times are now.

Little Squish Is Three Months
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Our little squish is a little over three months! Part of me can’t believe we can say we have survived three months (hello, no sleep!) and part of me feels like it has gone by semi fast.

She is starting to laugh, which is the best sound in the world and her smile kills me. She is apparently camera shy because any time Cory or I bring out our phones or camera, she goes straight faced. (Ha!) And she is the LOUDEST talker ever. (Which I love!) Ask anyone who has met her. Ha!

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This little dress and gold bracelet were mine when I was a baby. My mom saved it all of these years!

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When we found out we were pregnant, this song became the prayer I started praying over her life.

Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me
You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
You have been so, so kind to me

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.

Cory Asbury

Valentine's Day Gift Guide
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I am a sucker for any type of celebration! Valentine’s day is one of those! I remember in school there was a movement of “You are lame if you like Valentine’s day..” and I always secretly loved it - even if it meant just sharing gifts or a fun dinner with my friends!

If you are practical - just want to treat yourself - or have a friend that is a soon-to-be-bride or Coast lover, these are great gifts for her!

1 - These Cuyana travel bags are beautiful and perfect for an everyday makeup bag!

2 - This Plum Pretty Sugar robe has me in the mood for Summer! I love the ruffles at the bottom and on the sleeves!

3 - Who does not love a good t-shirt and specifically one that is made locally on our Coast?

4 - I just discovered Viviandrew and am obsessed! These earrings are gorgeous! If you have a soon-to-be-Bride friend, these are perfect for her!

5 - This honey is made locally in Destin and has been featured on Oprah! These candles are made from a Beeswax and soy blend and are fantastic!

6 - An Amazon favorite! I love these coffee mugs!

7 - This lip balm is so soft and so good! This rose color is perfect for Valentine’s Day!

8 - And finally - lunch or dinner at the Bay in Santa Rosa Beach! The view of the Choctawhatchee Bay is breathtaking and the food is great!

XOXO!

Rosemary Beach Weddings | Chase + Mariah
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Chase + Mariah’s Rosemary Beach wedding had it all - timeless florals, a ceremony with Gulf views and a reception that went on through the night! They chose the iconic Pearl for their ceremony and reception location, which couldn’t have fit them better! Mariah said she wanted an editorial aesthetic for her wedding and they had just that!

I met them in Rosemary Beach for their engagement session and knew right away that these two were going to have an epic day! It was such an honor to be a part of it!

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Vendors -

Photography - Kaylie B. Poplin Photography

Assistant Photographer - Andrew Lanier Arts

Ceremony - The Pearl

Reception - Havana Rooftop Lounge

Florals - Fishers Flowers

Entertainment - Brandon Crocker

Cake - Bake My Day

Seaside Florida Wedding Chapel | Kyle + Hannah
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Kyle + Hannah’s Seaside, Florida Chapel wedding was one for the books and absolutely breathtaking - from the gorgeous light in the Bridal cottage suite, the timelessness of the Seaside Chapel, to their electric reception at Bud & Alley’s with a good breeze off of the Gulf of Mexico.

This was my last wedding of the year before going on maternity leave and it couldn’t have ended with a sweeter or more fun couple! These two are so good together! The whole day was a breeze and that is credited to how at ease they were. They just flow!

Kyle + Hannah, thank you two for letting me a part of this day with you! You two got it right in each other. :)

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Vendors

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Photographer - Kaylie B. Poplin

Planning - The Ivory Aisle

Hair + Makeup - Make Me Blush

Cake - Sweet For Sirten

Invitations - Shine Wedding Invitations

DJ - Gulf Talent Services

Reception - Bud and Alleys

Venue - Seaside Chapel

Florals - Florals By The Sea

Our Little Adventure
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It blows my mind that in only a matter of weeks Cory and I will have begun a FAMILY. Call it whatever you want, but I still think back to the summer that a guy and girl spent too many afternoons on the water - having no idea that this was a forever thing. That’s who I still see us as - just ten times better! And I think how can we be here? I know it sounds overly dramatic because let’s face it - we are the last of our friends to have a kid. This is no new thing to most of the people around us. But to us - it is everything new and has been the craziest ride since we found out in February. Everyone knows we were shocked. (I don’t think anyone was as shocked as our families were because they knew that kids were the furthesttttttt thing from our minds. And we didn’t think that would ever change if I am being honest here.)

But back in January of this year, I started to tell God that I wanted a new adventure. “Whatever it may be.” (Those words. Lol.) I don’t know if it was the start of a new year causing it or if I was in the winter depression season (It’s a real thing in Florida) but I had this deep need for something new. An adventure. Something to liven things up. Something that was fresh and exciting. If you look at my prayer journal, you will see this “adventure” being prayed for a lot on into February. My thoughts behind it? Oh, maybe God will move us somewhere crazy even though we are very planted here. Or maybe something cool will happen within my job! Or maybe this is the season we get to build a house like we have always wanted! I kept praying.

Towards the end of February, I had a day that I remember to the finest detail. I had to drive about an hour away to pick some things up for Cory. I was going to take the day to enjoy the drive and just pray because by this point I was a little tired of asking God for an adventure and nothing happening. We had some things to discuss. I swung through What-A-Burger to get a taquito because there is nothing in the world like one. I open my bag as I left the drive thru to find I had a FAJITA at eight in the morning - not my taquito that I was CRAVING. (*Key word - craving.) I was so mad that I sent Cory a photo of it to tell him how my day was starting. I picked up the things. I had many words with Jesus on the ride and asked Him again for a new adventure. After I got home I decided I need to go to Target because I was just having a “day” and everyone knows Target helps all things. I walked around. I bought a candle because - why not. I tried not to cry walking down the aisles for who knows what reason - maybe because I was still pissed off about my breakfast situation. I bought a pregnancy test and remember thinking word for word, “Why am I buying this? I am clearly acting like someone who is not pregnant.” (If you get my drift.)

I went home and to spare details - that day I found out I got my adventure. It came in a package that neither of us were expecting. Unless you know us, you don’t understand how much we were not expecting it. When I called my sister to tell her, she thought someone had died by how I was acting since I couldn’t get words out. I would be lying if I said I handled the new adventure God had given us like a champ since the day we found out. Cory has - which has brought me a sense of peace about it in my not so pretty moments.

I tell all of this (let's face it - I wish I had been a little more graceful because I am so excited now!) because for us and I hope for you reading it - the details that went into this (there are way more that would be for a conversation over coffee) have been a huge reflection of God’s hand in our life in ways that we couldn’t ask for or imagine. He placed in my heart this desperation for an adventure and carried that out even when we were unaware. That alone makes us excited to meet this little girl in just a few weeks - our little adventure.

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Thank you, Jennifer Blair Photography, for these gorgeous images!

From photographing engagement portraits, wedding portraits and now three years worth of family portraits - you never disappoint!

Germany
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I have no idea why it has taken me so long to share photos from our trip to Germany + Luxembourg! Part of me still can’t believe that I finally got to go and looking back at these photos makes me appreciate this trip all the more. It was Cory’s first time out of the country, which was so much fun to watch! (Ha!) I have dreamed of going to Germany for-ev-er. Years ago I even tried to learn to speak German. I’ve always been so fascinated with it, the architecture, the language and the culture. I don’t know why. I’ve never had any ties to it. Looking at the photos of this gorgeous place may explain some of it, though. ;)

I truly believe that God instills in us fun desires/dreams/interests sometimes that may not have any purpose other than just to say, “Hey, look at what I am going to do to bring this to life - just because I like you. Watch this!”

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