Inspiration from an Event Designer


Hello friends.

If there are still any of you out there!

I know it’s been a long long time since I last blogged…and it’s not like I had a huge track record to begin with!

Free time has been…limited…or, rather, prioritized differently? over the past couple of months. Actually, the time I’m using right now is stolen. I should definitely be cleaning the house at the moment. But I figured I’d let Cadence be sure she was sound asleep before I started clanking dishes around or folding laundry…you know how loud folding laundry can be! ;)

It’s funny the way things change in a short time frame. Back in March I thought, wow, I’ve been really bad about blogging lately, my bed has just seemed like a better plan at the end of a long day, I think in April I’m going to set a goal to blog daily. Every day might not be awe-inspiring but I can throw in personal things and random pictures and it’s about the challenge of blogging daily and following through on the commitment. As April approached I thought, hmm, maybe I should change that to 3 times a week, that seems more reasonable. As April faded in the distance I thought, hmm, maybe I should plan to blog once/week starting in May…I’m sure I can set aside one evening each week to engage in a creative outlet, that would fit my life without being overwhelming. Now here we are more than half way through May and I’m writing my first post since February I believe. A lot has changed since I launched this blog! Namely, the inspiration behind it.

A few months ago, I still had aspirations to be an event planner. This blog was not just a creative outlet but a means of expressing myself to connect with potential clients and inspire brides. And it was working. Then I got caught up in my “real life” and let it slip. And it didn’t bother me. Because blogging seemed like a burden, more of a requirement than an outlet. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t formed as large of a reader base as I wanted to yet – I’ve always been bad with patience and gotten frustrated when things didn’t happen overnight (like learning to play the guitar! These things take time??!). But maybe it’s because God was already softening my heart toward the reality He was facing me with.

Event Planning does not fit my family right now.

Friday and Saturday are our 2 days a week together, and one weekend a month we don’t even get both of those days because Nathan has drill. So to give up even one of those family weekends each month is not something I want to do. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday I work during the day and Nathan works at night, so we barely see each other those days, save for climbing in and out of the bed (he actually works Monday-Thursday, 10 hour shifts 1 1/2 hours away, but I’m off on Wednesdays with CadieBug :). Our Sundays are filled with our Lifepoint Family, from me arriving early at the school to help set-up our portable church, to tearing it down that afternoon, we have a few hours in the late afternoon to nap or speed clean or grocery shop before our Lifegroup comes over at 6. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. We LOVE our full Sundays, even Cadence loves spending the morning at Lifepoint and having a house full of her friends in the evening. That’s the most important day of our week. But these are the priorities we’ve set. Our family. Our passion.

As much as I love the idea of event planning, it’s not a good fit for us right now. Maybe in a few years our lives will be aligned differently and that will change, but for now, I’ve decided to put it down. And – let’s be honest – it was a dumb idea anyway –> I hate making phone calls. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before. I guess because I always step up to the occasion – if I need to make a call, I do it. Particularly in the professional world. And I do it well. The person on the other end has no idea the level of anxiety I’ve got built up or the five minutes I spent before dialing their number rationalizing myself into just making the stupid call. It’s ridiculous, I know. And I feel like I’m “growing out of it”. But it still lingers. And it makes event planning stressful.

Now, the other side of that world, the design side – that never gets old, or stressful. Okay, maybe when I watch shows with budgets in the triple digits knowing I will never deal with that kind of disposable income though I may very well have a bride who wants that kind of wedding, that’s a stressful thought. But stylizing an event is a blast for me – and it’s something I can think about anytime and draw inspiration for anywhere – it’s not something that I can only do between the hours of 9-5, when I’m working at the church office and therefore obviously not making vendor phone calls. I can dream things up when I’m driving, or shopping, or waiting at the dr’s office or playing games with Cadence or…literally…dreaming. It’s wonderful. It’s a part of my brain that never turns off anyway. That is something I’ll never stop doing, even though I’m not employed for it. And that is what this blog is going to morph into. Just my inspirations and the various ways those play out. And maybe a little bit of photography dabbling :) I really need to learn how to use the camera that my amazing husband got me! And I want to SO BAD. It’s just another one of those things that takes a little bit of time and is thus frustrating for me. I can shoot in manual about half the time but there is so much left to learn! We’ll see how that goes ;)

So, maybe one day I’ll live in a city where people will pay me to dream up a design for their event or bring all of their ideas together for them but as Fredericksburg is likely not that city, for now I’m going to focus on enjoying my family and the amazing job I’ve been given at Lifepoint and just blogging my random thoughts and dreams and not caring whether I have 20 comments or a side business. I think this sounds like a lovely idea <3



Today I’m excited to spotlight a very talented Etsy designer who is making gorgeous, timeless, lasting bouquets for your wedding day!

JILLIANNS is a shop you should definitely visit! You can pay quite the pretty penny for wedding flowers that will only last the evening, but for about the same cost you can have a handmade, one of a kind, everlasting wedding bouquet that will look stunning gracing any room in your home, long after your wedding day. What a lovely reminder of the most meaningful day of your lives together! She also offers some great discounts for brides and bridal parties! So be sure to check out her shop after admiring a few photos below!

Remember this gorgeous fabric bouquet from our love shoot?


(these 4 photos by Katelyn James)

Wouldn’t this cotton candy bouquet be perfect for a carnival themed wedding? Or a bright engagement shoot highlighted with giant boldly colored balloons?!


I love this next one for a sweet garden wedding, maybe featuring bees on the stationary and local honey as favors :)

And who doesn’t love both feathers and the color purple these days?!

I am completely in love with this next bouquet, I could seriously get married again, or style another love shoot, just to get my hands on it! GOR-GEOUS!

(These photos are by Emily Steffen Photography)

And, these bouquets are not just for weddings and photo shoots, I’m totally eyeing these candy button bouquets for C’s big girl room!

So, if you didn’t abandon this post in the middle of reading it to run over to her site, visit JILLIANNS now!


Yup, that’s us! ;) This is a stylized photo session I put together shortly after Nathan got home from his deployment last year – shot by the lovely and amazingly talented Katelyn James! I adore these images and I’m so glad that we did them! The original idea was just to go back to The Norfolk Botanical Garden, where we got married, and have Katelyn shoot details like a replica of my bouquet, my handmade wedding dress, our rings, etc. We were the first of most of our friends to get married and I really didn’t know what to ask for with our photography. I LOVE detail shots, and put a lot of planning into the details, but we didn’t really have any photographs of those things… and then I thought, hey, if Nathan is home in time, maybe we can grab a few shots of the two of us together! Well, that just spiraled into this elaborate stylized photo session in my head (of course!) and it’s a good thing, because the company who was supposed to be cleaning my gown, sent it back with more stains on it (another story!). So, we decided just to do a love shoot – a big jump from photos we weren’t even going to be in to begin with! I would highly recommend a love shoot for any couple! It’s a timeless capture of the love you share at that moment in your journey together. We didn’t have engagement photos either so this is really the first set of photos we have together, outside of our wedding day, in 8 years of togetherness, including 3 years of marriage, and a baby girl! lol. So, enjoy these pics and watch out for another post coming soon, featuring the Etsy designer who made that gorgeous fabric flower bouquet!

These are actually the shoes I wore at our wedding reception :)

Did I mention I love detail shots? ;)

mmm, homemade snickerdoodle cupcakes!

My wedding gift to Nathan was a journal I started to fill with letters, scripture, song lyrics, and quotes that spoke to us. We’ve both added to it over time. I recovered it later and brought it to the shoot!

LOVE HIM!!!!!!!

love his laugh <3

Definitely a favorite! :

Katelyn loves her serrryus shots :) And Nathan has such a hot model look! ;)

<3 =

& :

& :

I don’t know what it is I love about this next one, I think it reminds me of when we’re entertaining in our home, and we catch each other’s eye and in that little look there’s an “I love you so much and I love doing this, life, together with you” and we steal a kiss before turning our attention back to our loved ones…okay, that’s so cheesy and I just made a story to go with one little picture, haha…

stay tuned…


Something Sweet

Photo Credit: The Knot

so sweet.

I know I’ve neglected you recently – I’m coming back :)


Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

I’m too much in love for words:



JUST GO. and be in love. <3.

(It’s the new WEDDING LINE from the makers of ANTHROPOLOGIE – and it went live today!  *SWOON*!!! I cannot pick a favorite…I’m smitten with every single one.)


Something Sweet

Photo Credit: Lane Dittoe (my new fave photog to stalk!)


Trends: TOMS

I have to tell you, when I started to write this post, it was with a tiny bit of sadness. Only because I knew that the pair of TOMS I really really wanted (as in searched every retailer, bugged an online TOMS representative, and watched the site everyday for a month to see if someone returned a size 9) were no longer available in anything but a 5 and a 12 and weren’t forecasted to return in the spring…and the only “how we wear them” picture – is a wedding pic!

BUT – to my absolute  delight, when I went to retrieve the pic, I found that…drumroll please…they’re baaaaaccck. Of course, they’re not in my budget this month but at least there’s hope!

Which – is actually what this post is about! HOPE! If you’re not familiar with the company, for every pair of uber comfy TOMS shoes that you buy, they donate a pair to a child in need. It’s simply called “one for one”. And as of September 2010, they have donated over ONE MILLION pairs of shoes to children in need! You can read more about their mission here and see what they’re up to on their blog, which will likely make you cry (in a good way)!

So, what does this have to do with weddings, you ask? Well, I happen to think that it’s a FABULOUS idea to wear TOMS at your wedding! Whether they’re your reception dancing shoes, your groom sports a pair, or your whole bridal party dons them, it’s a great cause to get involved in and it certainly makes a statement about your love for others on the day you publicly profess your love for one another <3 Not to mention, you can wear them every-single-day you-want-to after the wedding too!

Enjoy a few awesome pics below and then head on over to the TOMS site to order a pair! They even have a special wedding section to help you make your selection! *You can also head to Saxon Shoes if you live in the Richmond or Fredericksburg areas or Nordstrom at Short Pump in Richmond!*

And check out this gorgeous inspiration board by Artessen featuring a pair of TOM’S wedges I’m loving:

So – what are you waiting for? They have canvas, glitters, wedges, boots, and limited edition designs. Join the movement! It’s sole good. ;)

PS – Here’s the pair I’m currently the most heels over head for:

– Ash Vegan Wrap Boots –

I’m also quite smitten with the Cords in Ocean…and Saffron…and Pomegranate ;)


aaand, I can’t wait to get this “raise IQs, not sea levels” pair of Tiny TOMS for Cadence!

So – do you have a pair of TOMS? Are you just a few clicks away from owning a pair (and thus gifting a pair to a child in need!)?! Which pair is YOUR current crush?!


Additional Photo Credits: TOMS (of course), 2081, catieronquillo, Funky Trend, My Portland Photographer, Photos By KimThe Chief Honey BeeWedding BeeWhit Meyer Photography