Brandon + Maria

Imagine this…

You are all comfy at home and ready to do your evening workout routine. You do this often and sometimes you FaceTime with your boyfriend and you do the workouts together, since you live a few hours apart! What a great way to hang out together! However, this time instead of him calling you, you get a knock on your front door. A little confused, you go to answer the door in your workout gear to see your boyfriend standing there asking you to be his wife!

And that is how it all started for Maria. To top it all off, it was also her birthday!

Now that is an awesome birthday gift! A surprise visit and proposal from the guy you love!

Brandon & Maria’s wedding day was held at All Saints Catholic Church in Lakeville, MN and the reception was in the stunning and charming town of Northfield, at The Grand Event Center. They chose The Grand because of their love for music and the history that The Grand holds.

The day was perfect and full of so many laughs! My favorite part of the day was Maria’s sister’s speech. She put together the best compilation of songs and sang out Brandon and Maria’s love story! So thoughtful and so entertaining! Thank you so much Brandon and Maria for sharing this incredible day with me.

Cheers to many, many happy years!

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Venue: The Grand Event Center

Florist: Judy’s Floral Design

Cake & Cupcakes: Bluebird Bakery 

Hair & Makeup: Salon Onyx 

Dresses & Suits: The Wedding Shoppe Inc. 

DJ: Midwest Sound

Momming Slow.

How did I get to be the way that I am? Is it my generation, or this fast paced world that we live in? If we aren’t making the most noise does anyone even hear us?

I am a doer, a go getter and a mover. My brain never stops thinking and processing and moving. Until the last year I never really noticed how much I just went… without thinking. I constantly feel rushed and that if I am not moving then I must be wasting time. I have been doing so much soul searching since I turned 30. Now 32 I have never felt more of a pull to slow down. To watch more, listen more, and be still.

I don’t think my crave for adventure and new things will ever go away, that’s part of who I am. But, I can do it slower. Just like my parenting.

This last winter has felt so long here in Minnesota. I happened to be driving by my favorite Green House, Queen Beez, one afternoon and decided to swing in with Georgia and Bowdy to feel some warmth and see green living plants! Crystal, the owner is a sweetheart and let us hang out in the warm green house with her. I was in no rush to get back home to what can most days feel so full of mundane chores. So we stayed. Crystal let Georgia help her fill seed starters with dirt while Bowdy played with a truck and chased around the Green House puppy.

We spent an hour or so chatting and playing and I was happy. Happy just to watch and listen and feel the dirt on my hands. We of course left with a few new plants and happy hearts.

It has been one of my goals to parent slower. To speak with a calmer voice, to not rush them when they are just trying to understand this world they are growing in! Because they are so innocent yet. So in awe of every new thing that they see.  These kids just want to soak it all up (and so do I) so why do I feel the need to rush it all?

Slow was my inspiration for these Green House sessions. To stop and learn to grow. It was such a joy to have Sophia and her beautiful girls Beatrice & Elouise join me for the morning session. We all need a good reminder to slow down and enjoy the moments before they are gone.

 

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Location: Queen Bee’s Lawn & Garden Prior Lake 

Sophia is Wearing: Stone + Willow

Grant’s Studio Newborn Session

The sweetest little newborn session! I always love when families come out to the studio for their sessions. The lighting is my favorite. Its almost edible! Baby Grant was total perfection for hi session. He slept the entire time and loved all the cuddles. Big sister Quinn was so loving and I always enjoy giving the older sibling some time in front of the camera alone!

I hope this brings you joy today! That you feel the sweetness all over!

 

 

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I am So Embarrassed!

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As I sit here typing this my mouth is still totally numb.

It’s numb from the root canal that I just had to have done…

I had to have the root canal because I haven’t been to the dentist in 7 years!!!! Can you believe that. I bet you can. Because somewhere out there another woman is reading this and thinking the same thing… “I really should get into the dentist”

I haven’t been because I have pushed it off. Because my mouth didn’t hurt and it would cost too much. I also never made the time. Finding time for yourself is hard enough as a mom, but time to actually take care of yourself seems even harder unless it feels urgent. About a year ago I noticed that my tooth felt funny. Turns out a piece had broken off. And then another small piece and another. But still I had no pain. So I actually made an appointment to get it checked out. Had I done the yearly dental checks they would have caught this and taken care of it with a small filling, but now I’m out a whole bunch of money and have a numb mouth. COME ON KRISTA!!!!

On another self-care tip. I have always had bad eyes…. I promise it does not affect my job as a photographer but it sure does effect my driving, reading, writing, watching TV and computer work! So I thought I’d get my eyes checked since night-time driving seems so much worse. And sure enough my eyes have gotten worse since the last check up which was… about 7 years ago. My right eye in fact has gotten 7 times worse.

When I covered my left eye at the appointment to read that handy chart, I could only see the very top letter. A big fat “E” the rest was a complete blur. I actually started crying. That poor eye tech guy didn’t even know what to do with me!

Are you seeing a trend here….

7 years between visits

7 times worse

Our oldest just turned 7

I really like the number 7, but not today.

Today I am so frustrated with myself.

If I am not taking care of myself how can I expect to take care of my family. The ones who need me most. In the past 7 years all I have done is make excuses for why I can’t go to the dentist or eye doctor. Why I can’t do so many things and that’s all they are, excuses.

The definition of excuse is…

  1. :attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify.
    For so long I sought to defend my reasoning.
    I don’t have time.
    We don’t have the money.
    Who will watch my kids.
    I don’t need it.
    It’s not a big deal.
    And now look what I have done….

What do you need to do today to stop making excuses?

To take better care of yourself so that you can then turn around and take the best care of those around you? I can’t stress this enough. 7 minutes is too long to wait to make that call. Set up that appointment, get up earlier, start fresh. You owe it to yourself.

 

 

 

Mark & Courtney – World Changers!

Mark and Courtney met while out one night with friends. They went on their first date two nights later and have been inseparable ever since.  It’s so easy to love this couple!

I had met Mark a few years ago at another wedding and then later that same year at his sisters wedding. He is such an incredible guy and his family radiates that same nature as well. I am continually blown away at the people that I have met just this year. The families and the stories that I get to be a part of.

Mark and Courtney had such an awesome day! Everything was wonderful. I especially loved their ceremony. Their Pastor spoke about the way that great marriages have the ability to change the world. I fully believe this. And if any couple is going to make big changes its going to be Mark and Courtney. The kindness and love that they share with others is completely genuine. I wish you could all personally know them. I am so looking forward to seeing how they change the world with their love story!

Another amazing and surprisingly fun part of their day was when Goldy Gopher showed up during the best man’s speech! He even stayed and danced the night away with everyone. Now that’s an awesome wedding gift!

Mark and Courtney- thank you so much for sharing your love story with me.

 

Cheers…

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Venue: Minnesota Valley Country Club

Church: St. John Neumann Catholic Church

D.J.: Instant Request

Florist: Design in Bloom

Cake: Hyvee (Eagan location/ Baker Kelley

Dress: Effie’s Bridal

Bridesmaids Dress’s: Davids Bridal

Hair & Make-up: Primped

Party Bus: Aspen Limos

Suits: Savvi Formalwear

 

Max & Jenni – Legacy Hill Farm

How many people do you know can say they met their soul mate in kindergarten? I know that this was the first time I had ever heard it.

Max & Jenni have literally grown up together. I find that so rare and so special.

Their wedding day was full of tears… “Happy tears” as Jenni says.

As we got ready for their first look Max chocked up with the thought of his soon to be bride coming towards him. From there on the day was full of tears and kissing! Every time Max looked at Jenni he teared up and then he kissed her. What an amazing memory to have from your day! That your husband couldn’t stop his joyful tears at the thought of you becoming his wife and then he couldn’t stop himself from kissing your lips. It was such an incredible day to be a part of.

Max and Jenni were married at Legacy Hills Farm in Welsh, MN. I was so excited to be at this venue. It is beautiful everywhere you look.

Jenni also has amazing taste. From her dress to her florals, I was in photographers heaven! I loved her bouquet wrapped with a piece of her mothers wedding dress. Every detail was beautifully crafted. I hope you enjoy this love story as much as I did. Congratulations Max and Jenni and thank you so much for having me.

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Jenni did a first look with her Dad too! Such a sweet idea!

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Legacy Hill Farm (Contact: Joan Hoffbeck)
Dress -a&be
Catering – This Little Piggy
DJ – Bellagala (Mike Veiln)
Florist – Brittany Lott
Bakery – Angela Ross
Officiant – Jenni’s Brother, John Aiton
Day of Coordination – Events by Melody (Melody & Tina)

Alex & Kelly’s Maple Ridge Farm Wedding

Alex and Kelly were married on June 17th, 2017 in Taylors Falls, Minnesota at the beautiful Maple Ridge Farm.

I have been looking forward to this barn wedding for months. The moment I saw that big swing in the barn online my heart skipped a beat! It was everything I thought it would be.

Alex and Kelly have known each other for years! Their relaxed relationship with one another is going to make for a wonderful marriage. They are that kind of “friend” to one another that you always imagine yourself growing old with. They share a mutual love for things that go vroom; Motorcycles, fast cars, jeeps, and all cool engines. You know when your bride pulls up in a bright yellow mustang looking like Hollywood that it’s going to be a great day.

Kelly had driven her mustang to one of our meetings before the wedding day and, as she was leaving, our daughter Paisley yelled out, “Wow,  that car is awesome!!!” That comment made both of our days!

The day started with Kelly and her girls all getting ready at the hotel. The guys had spent the night at the barn house and were getting ready there! Alex and Kelly had chosen not to do a first look but to see each other for the first time that day when Kelly got down the isle. My favorite moment of the day was when Alex read a letter that Kelly had written to him. His face says it all in the images!

It was such a beautiful day full of joy and happy tears. Alex and Kelly danced the night away with friends and family. They will soon be on their way to Alaska on their honeymoon to travel the state and fish. It sounds delightful.

Thank you so much Alex and Kelly for having me, it was an honor.

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