Loved meeting this super sweet family and capturing the last few memories in their first home before they move. More to share soon…
I had the amazing opportunity to collaborate with some talented artists for a DIY shoot for Ruffled blog last month. Kathryn Godwin (Studio Cultivate) is a creative genius! Brides, she is worth getting in touch with for some unique ceremony backdrops. She creates the most incredible installations (she’s even worked for Anthropologie in creating their window displays/storefronts!) . I was so honored that she asked me to jump on board for this shoot. Special thanks to one of my former brides, Danielle, and my favorites, Casey Nelson (makeup) + Jennifer Abercrombie (hair).
It’s been such a blessing and honor to be featured in these publications and on a few blogs this summer!
A fun DIY shoot on Ruffled.
It’s always been a dream to work for The New York Times, and I was shocked when they called me to freelance for a few national assignments. It’s been fun to get back into the journalism world after a four-year hiatus.
Today marks three amazing years of marriage with my handsome husband. I truly cannot fathom a better life with anyone else. He is my perfect match, one I could have never guessed when we met way back in high school in the little town of Muskegon, MI. We both left home to pursue our careers in different states and by God (literally…long story) reconnected five years ago. I love living the “good fight” of marriage with him. This year felt kind of crazy, almost on the precipice of another chapter in our lives. But, I’m trying to savor every day because I know that we will never get this time back. I’m excited to see where our lives take us in the next 365 days.
It’s our tradition to take some sort of trip for our anniversary. We make holidays, birthdays, and our anniversary a big deal. We could care less about gifts, but we love making sure to spend some special time together on those days. This year, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Santorini, Greece, for Henry + Leah’s wedding (I’ll be sharing those photos soon!). Since it was only two weeks before our anniversary, we decided to extend my work trip a few days and make it into our trip for the year.
Most of these photos are from my phone. I’ve become more active in posting personal work to my Instagram account instead of my blog, so follow me if you want more frequent personal updates!
First, I had a quick stop in Michigan for another wedding before heading across the world.
I was so excited to meet my “nephew + niece” during my quick trip. These are the sweet twins from two of my oldest friends, Cassie + Phil.
Santorini is super far away from the U.S. It was not convenient to fly there, so we opted for a really long layover in Zurich, Switzerland to get some rest and avoid being stuck in multiple airports. I had been to Zurich when I studied abroad, but I loved showing Brendan around the city. We had a relaxing day at the Thermalbad Spa, which hosts an incredible soaking tub on top of the roof with a skyline view of the entire city. Unfortunately, phones are not permitted, but you can check out their site to see photos. I highly, highly recommend stopping by if you’re ever in Zurich. We also had an incredible traditional German meal at one of the local restaurants. My heritage is partially German, so I grew up eating lots of sausage and potatoes :)
Also, I have to say how impressed we were with Swiss Air. The food was INCREDIBLE on the airline, all local from Switzerland. Usually airplane food is horrible, but we had fresh rolls and amazing cheese + meats on our two-hour flight to Santorini.
Santorini is insanely expensive during the month of August because it is the holiday season for Europeans. We splurged for our anniversary and stayed at the lovely Kapari Natural Resorts for one night (found via Mr. + Mrs. Smith!), relaxed by the pool, had a wonderful dinner, and tried to get over jet lag. Then, we journeyed to Oia and rented a (more affordable) super cute apartment via airbnb.
We walked down all 250 steps to the bottom of the cliff to venture to a swimming hole. You can swim out to the tiny island (pictured below) and jump off. I’ve never experienced water more blue (even after having travelled to Mexico, multiple islands in the Caribbean, other European countries, Africa) than in Greece. It was incredibly clear and refreshing. We LOVED swimming in the Mediterranean Ocean. We swam out to the island and vowed to not jump off the top. It looked terrifying from the water down below. However, once we saw little kids jumping off the peak, we decided that we needed to man-up and just jump. It was quite riveting to take the plunge!
This is Elaine, the sweet lady we stayed with in Oia. Her villa was the perfect fit for us. It even had this sweet little balcony attached to the bedroom that we could watch the sunset and stars.
We went on several adventures with Henry + Leah, one taking a little motor boat from the yacht to a cove to snap a few photos after their ceremony.
We were worried there wouldn’t be much to do in Santorini. We’re not really the types to just lay by the beach and read all day (although I do love relaxing for at least one day on vacation). Thankfully, Santorini has some epic hiking and swimming outlets. We had a blast exploring the island and taking in the various views that each adventure allowed.
We had an hour to spare before heading to the airport, and a friend suggested to hitting up Santo Winery. We LOVED their wine flight, although we definitely weren’t able to conquer all twelve ;) I also have to take a minute to mention how incredible the food was in Greece. At minimum, each experience lasted 90 minutes to two hours. In America, we hurry up through dinner and rush to the next thing our to-do list. However, I loved that Europeans take the time to enjoy their food and the company. No one was ever on their phones but, instead, always enjoying the scenery or their guests. We ate Greek salads every night and enjoyed various seafood, pasta, and lots of bread.
I’m wrapping up this post with one of my favorites from our wedding day. (Photo by Sean Flanigan).
My parents are going on almost 3o years of marriage. From only three years of marriage ourselves, I have to congratulate them for pursuing each other this long. Many (well, half) of marriages fail every day, and it’s incredibly special to come across couples still fighting to keep their marriage alive past wrinkles, empty-nesting, great years, tough years, deaths, births, arguments, hugs, changes, and overall life. I love that during our short session they snuggled in the (filthy) papasan that my dad proposed in well over thirty years ago (that I’m sure he won’t let my mom get rid of because of the sentiment). They walked the beach in front of their first home where they held their wedding reception, where we grew up as kids, and where they started their life together. I hope to see them last on the dance floor thirty years from now at one of our kid’s weddings winning the “marriage dance,” celebrating 60 years.
Love you both, mom + dad.