Oh my word, these babies! They’re Landon James & Mason Ray. They’re nine months old TODAY! They’re fraternal twins & they’re our nephews! We had a hoot photographing them for this session in our backyard. All three of us (me, Josh, and my sister) were making crazy noises, looking at them with the silliest facial expressions, dancing, jumping up and down, and doing our best seal impressions. Hey, whatever works, right?! Please enjoy these fun & adorable photographs of our twin nephews and their many expressions.

This is Landon. He’s squishy, stoic, cuddly, and pensive. Plus, his hair obv rocks. He’s the older of the twins.

Youngstown photographerstwin_0002twin_0003twin_0004twin_0005Don’t you adore how they’re so different and so beautiful in their own way?twin_0006twin_0008This is Mason. He’s energetic, smiley, precious, and loves to jump and squirm. twin_0009twin_0010twin_0011twin_0012twin_0013twin_0014I just can’t. This is too funny. Watching them interact is special.twin_0015twin_0016This one Cracks.Me.Up.twin_0017Hugs for brother.twin_0018twin_0019twin_0020If you’re happy & you know it, clap your hands. Landon= a fan. Mason= not so much.twin_0021twin_0022twin_0023My beautiful sister, Angie, is a fabulous mommy.twin_0024We love these babies so much! Happy 9 months old, Mason & Landon!

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If you’re anything like me and your husband says, “Don’t make any plans on Saturday. I’m taking you somewhere. It’s a surprise,” then you would squeal, clench your fists together, smile a huge, dorky smile, and feel like a pretty darn special girl with a pretty darn amazing husband. If you’ve followed our blog for any amount of time this year, you’ve figured out that we have only had two Saturdays off since April, which is a VERY great thing! We love photographing weddings & getting to experience the wonderful moments in our clients’ lives each weekend. That said, there’s just something about being off on a Saturday that’s exciting; we feel semi-normal being able to go out and do Saturday things that people with weekends off get to do. (We feel as normal as two weirdos like us could possibly feel, I suppose).:)

Ever since I was a senior in high school & my home ec class studied interior design and architecture, I’ve wanted badly to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. I’ve mentioned it a few times to Josh & he remembered, as he often does. Thoughtful, sensitive, and observant, he is. This past Saturday, we left at 10:00 am to a destination unknown to me. I felt like a kid on the way to a family vacation or the beach or Disneyworld for the first time. Giddy to be experiencing a surprise and getting to hang out with Josh all day. The drive took a little over two hours & by the time we got off the exit for Fallingwater, I had a strong inkling about where we were headed. Josh called me a “little sleuth” for figuring it out.
As we walked the pebble path (original to the home) hand in hand, I imagined what it had been like long ago.I won’t get into too much historical info on here  because if you’re interested you can go ahead and look it up, but I will say that Fallingwater was designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kaufmann family (of Kaufmann department stores) in the 1930s. It was their weekend home so that they could escape the hustle and bustle of Pittsburgh. The most unique feature of the home is that it was built into the natural waterfall on the property. It was slightly unseasonably chilly and damp that day so I busted out my TOMS boots for the first time all year.Josh=so cute.Photography is not permitted inside of the home so you won’t see any photos of the inside here. . . The tour was really interesting & seeing the home in person was more awesome than I imagined it’d be. Our tour guide was fun and knowledgable. She said to Josh & me about halfway through the tour, “You two have got to be newlyweds.”:)That definitely made me smile! We told her we’ve been married almost four years. She said, “Well, you’re past the newlywed stage technically, but it still seems like you’re really in love.” We hope we’re mistaken for newlyweds for many years to come!After a great day together, we were reflecting on our time at Fallingwater, talking about what it must have been like to live there in the 1930s, and discussing our favorite parts of the home. Josh asked me, “Would you want to live there now?” I thought about it for 2 seconds and we both said at the exact same time, “I like our house.” Then I promptly got teary eyed and thanked God for blessing me with Josh, with a comfortable home to live in, with living close to our families, and with contentedness.
Our life isn’t happy because we have the best of everything. It’s happy because we make the best of everything we have. We aim to be content whatever the circumstances. So I’m very thankful for our Saturday off, the sweet surprise that Josh gave to me, and for time to just be together and enjoy each other.
Life is a beautiful adventure. Take your loved one on a surprise trip. Make the most of your Saturday (whether it’s a Saturday or a Thursday or a Monday). Be truly present with those you love. Find contentment. Live in the moment. Be thankful. Enjoy. “Life is short, but sweet for certain.” Connect with us here: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google + 

Andrea & Jesse are a fun and adorable couple! Their wedding day was full of love, happiness, laughter, and goofy fun. The groom started his morning with a The Simpsons marathon while Andrea & her ladies were getting hair & makeup done at About Beauty. The ladies were all having a great time, telling stories, laughing together, and feeling relaxed. . . Andrea planned a great, well-organized wedding day timeline, which really made everything run smoothly. We love that in a bride!
After the salon, we stopped by Andrea’s childhood home for a quick outfit change.:)
I absolutely adore this gown & it’s perfect for Andrea.Josh was with Jesse & the guys while they were getting ready at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. While the bride & her bridesmaids waited in the church basement for the ceremony to start, Andrea’s grandmother came by to say hello to her granddaughter. It was a special moment & I’m glad I got to capture it.The happy & utterly joyous moments just after the first kiss are, in my humble opinion, even more emotional & powerful than the first kiss.:)They piled into the limo bus & headed to Fellows Riverside Gardens for some bridal party photos & bride & groom photos.Wellman’s Flower Shop made the pretty bouquets.So much happiness! You CAN’T look at these without smiling.Classic. I’m not exaggerating: Jesse is one of the funniest guys I know. And he was looking extra dapper that day.Stunning bride!Her dress is from Toula’s Bridal.The reception was also at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.Dear Youngstown Cookie Table, We love you. Sincerely, All Youngstown Wedding Guests EverClassic Bakery made the cake & the Matron of Honor’s son bought the Lego bride & groom cake topper with money from his allowance for Andrea & Jesse. Is that not the sweetest?!Grand entrance as Mr. & Mrs.Andrea’s dad dancing with his only child on her wedding day.Jesse’s mom dancing with her oldest son on his wedding day.Andrea’s parents:Good hustle goes to the ring bearer.#letmetakeaselfieAndrea & Jesse, we wish you two a blessed and fun lifetime together! We’re so glad we were a part of your wedding day!

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My friend Ashley and her husband Nic are expecting a baby in December! You may remember them from seeing their engagement & wedding photos on our blog. Ashley & I have been friends since we were born! I am one day older than she is & we were in the Salem Community Hospital nursery together. And (at the time) our parents only lived five houses down from one another. It has been fun being pregnant at the same time after all we’ve been through together in our lives. So how could I decide what to get her baby?! I already got them something from their registry, but I also wanted to get them something really sentimental & personal. It needed to be something special & one-of-a-kind. I knew I wanted to make something myself to make it more personal. So Josh & I set out to make a homemade rustic sign out of pallets. He cut the pallets (free pallets!) using a circular saw. I bought some milk paint from Junque Boutique.  (You might remember us blogging about this small business for one of our Small Business Showcases awhile ago). Queen Anne’s Lace was the perfect color I was looking for because it’s soft & neutral. Ashley & Nic are having a boy, but I wanted to keep the sign neutral so they can hopefully use it for years to come & so it would be more classic.We lined up the pallets how we wanted them (alternating the nails) and then Josh glued a few pieces of scrap wood to the back side of the sign with wood glue for connecting and hanging purposes. He also nailed the pieces of wood to the pallets, too.This is the back of the sign (pictured without the hanging hardware that we nailed to it later).Then I placed down the stencils that Becky from Junque Boutique had made for me. Once the stencils were in place, I got to painting. The font I chose for the cursive parts of the sign was tricky, but I really like how the final product turned out so it was worth a little bit of frustration. I had to paint those portions with a Q-tip because they were so tiny and thin.Here’s the finished product! It is a quote from Psalms 139:14. “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” I left a space beside the “and” in case Ashley & Nic want to put baby’s footprints or handprints there.:)

I took photos of each step of the process with our d800 and then totally spaced and didn’t get a shot of the finished product with the camera. This one is a snap with my iPhone. . . before I brushed off those little paint flakes everywhere. I really like the rustic and vintage look that the milk paint produced. If you’re going to make a sign like this (or you’re painting anything you want to get this look with), I highly recommend checking out Junque Boutique’s line of milk paint. There are lots of different colors!

SMABS_0014Here are the parents-to-be during their baby shower opening the sign:
Here are some friends at the shower. It was really great to see everyone! (Thanks, Amanda, for snapping this for us).
Ashley & Nic, we love you and your little baby! We’re excited for him to arrive!

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Devon & Dustin are one of those couples who doesn’t do things halfway. When they’re in, they’re all in. When they met, they fell for each other instantly and hard. And they never looked back. On a fateful day in Pittsburgh on St. Patrick’s Day, both decked out in green, they saw one another for the first time. And they’ve been together ever since. They originally had us booked for an August 2015 date, but they decided they just couldn’t wait to start their forever together as a family so the wedding got moved up. On August 23, 2014, Devon & Dustin said “I do.” Lauryn, Devon’s cutie 8-year-old daughter, was also part of the wedding ceremony, as she said “I do” to her new family. It was a beautiful day & we’re glad we got to be a part of it!
Such a little princess! She was so sweet to me all day. We made friends almost instantly and I think she hugged me 12 times that day.:)While I was with the ladies, Josh was with Dustin & the guys.Little stunners!Devon & Dustin did a first look before the ceremony to cut the nerves a little and get to see each other and talk to each other before they were standing before a crowd of people. For these shots, we use our longest lenses so we’re far away to give our couples a little privacy during this amazing time. We can, of course, see them, but we can’t hear what they’re saying. . . unless they’re squealing or screaming in pure excitement and happiness, which happens sometimes.:-DSecret handshake: There was an adorable group of kids in this wedding!When Lauryn walked down the aisle to  her own special song, I’m pretty sure almost everyone in the room was brought to tears, myself included.Then came the bride & her dad:And everyone was blown away. . .
Especially Dustin.The ceremony was at Salem First Friends Church.Great lookin’ bridal party with florals by The Willows by Wehr in Columbiana. I know we’ve said it before & we’ll probably say it again: Jenny and her team at The Willows by Wehr do an awesome job!These photos were taken at Fellows Riverside Gardens in Mill Creek Park.So happy!The bride’s aunt Mary made their wedding cake.Kids’ table!And seriously. . . they had a table FULL of donuts from the world-renowned White House Fruit Farm! This was a guest favorite. Devon & Dustin had their engagement photos taken at White House; maybe their love for the donut goodness started then?Sidenote: their pretty uplighting was done by Wedding Solutions. It really made a huge difference in the feel and look of the banquet hall.After slow dancing for a bit during their first dance, they busted out some moves to a few different upbeat songs.Then Devon danced with her dad.Dustin shared a dance with his mom.And Lauryn got to have a special dance with Dustin.Maid of Honor, Ciara, caught the bouquet.Thanks for sharing your wedding day with us, Devon & Dustin! We wish you all the happiness humanly possible in your future together!:)

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