Justin + Brittany {Hagerstown, MD Wedding}

i remember, 
trying not to stare the night 
that i first met you...
 i thought i loved you then
brad paisley | then
Award-winning food blogger,
daughter of a fireman,
engaged to a policeman,
brand new homeowner,
and funny as sticks,
Brittany has been one of my most enjoyable brides ever.
(special thanks to my second-shooters for these guys shots! you rock rebecca watkins + ellie b!)

Brittany is the kind of bride that I treat like my sister.
By that I mean,
when I walked in I teased her,
I picked some of her food off her plate and ate it with my hands,
and Facebook stalked with her all morning.
And my heart swelled for her,
 because I was so excited this was her wedding day.
If she wasn't laughing,
I was laughing.
And if I wasn't laughing, 
her mom was laughing.
And we were ALL giving the make-up artist a run for her money.
The tear-jerker moment of the morning was talking to Brittany's manly, rugged, tough fireman father.
We stood and watched his daughter get all glammed up.
"You ready for this?" I asked him.
He didn't answer.
I looked over and tears puddled in his eyes. 
"Well, I guess I have to be."
(ps. yes, she is eating french fries + chicken fingers.)
Though the schedule was sliiiightly behind,
Brittany was thrilled to have a few more "daddy/daughter" moments.
They practiced their dance one more time.
It was precious.
And dad also announced that he was going to drive Brittany to the church
in his big red diesel pick-up truck.
He was so excited.

After the final dance practice, the bride hustled upstairs to put on her looooovely gown.
Then she hustled downstairs to her magical carriage ride :D
And we flew down country roads,
under sunny skies,
to a little church where a girl in a red truck,
driven by her dad,
would get married.
She loved her little "hiding room" where she could watch all the guests arrive.
heart, heart, heart.
Did you think all the Dad + Daughter sweetness was over?
You were WRONG.
Before they walked down the aisle,
he presented her with a diamond necklace.
What a proud papa face!

And what a sweet papa face!

I do love ceremonies,
but I also love kisses.
And so I skipped right to that?
She was the happiest wife in all the land.
Truly truly the happiest.
I don't usually see this in my area,
but I love a big happy "church exit,"
where all the guests wait outside,
and "woop"
and blow bubbles.

I just think it's great.
So happy!



After leaving the church, we had to move quick.
With about a 15 minute deadline,
we started taking pictures of the new husband + wife.
I have to take a minute to just brag to the world about them.
They're wonderful.
They're wonderful together,
he does things that make him wonder,
she does things that make him full
(wow. pushing it there, Kristen)
and they love each other so much.
Justin is such a strong man for his funny, crazy wife.
For example, they bought their house a few weeks before the wedding.
And the house attacked.
Started leaking and breaking and just being ridiculous. 
Justin didn't want to stress Brittany out.
He took care of things himself,
and let her know what had happened after it was fixed.
He sent her gifts each day leading up to the wedding on wedding week.
He knew what she needed,
he knew how to care for his girl
and he didn't hesitate to do that.
And she just can't say enough about her man.
She sparkles when she talks about him,
and loves being his.
God knew what this girl needed.
And He knew what this boy needed.

It never "gets old" to me,
that people really do fall in love,
and make a promise,
and become one.
(Uuuuuuh, hello, countryside.
You look fine tonight!
Can I have yo numba?)

Brittany + Justin  have so much fun on this new adventure together,
and eat lots of good food,
and try to get your house to stop breaking,
and mostly just have SO much fun :D
I'm thrilled for you!


Home {Personal}

"Home is the nicest word there is."
laura ingalls wilder

Back from vacation.
Back to regularly scheduled blogging.
Back is peeling from sunburn.


(And I miss you already, too, mom.)


Airplane Thinking {Personal}

As I get on the 707 
Ridin' high I got tears in my eyes 
You know you got to go through hell 
Before you get to heaven 

steve miller | jet airliner

I'm still trying to figure out what it is that happens when us humans get on planes.
We start getting all deep and thoughtful;
looking out a plane window ignites some of our most inspiring thinking!
We're so cute.

The last few days I've had some serious airplane time:
Sunday was 10+ hours of flying (Baltimore, to Newark, to Seattle, to Vancouver.)
Tuesday was wonderfully only about 6 hours (Vancouver to Chicago to Washington DC)
and then yesterday was Baltimore to Tampa (felt like a walk to the bathroom! so quick!).

You know what that means?
And lots of water from a tiny plastic cup.
And lots of hiding my phone from the flight attendants so I can take pictures during take-off.

I did have a mini airplane revelation about myself, though.
It might be a little cheesy,
or cliche',
but at the moment I was sitting there it seemed ridiculously profound.

Here it goes (don't laugh):
During life I like to see what's going on.
I like my familiar world.
"Hey look! There's my highway. I know this place."
I'm comfortable,
I feel safe,
I feel somewhat in control.
Then the impending grey clouds creep.
This, well, is when I start to react.
"What they hey! Get out of here! I can't see!"
Fear creeps in,
thoughts swirl.
"Maybe it'll just stay like this.
This isn't TOO bad.
I can still kind of see."
I find my comfort and safety in my ability to "see."
And before long,
I'm in the throes of "zero visibility."
I literally wouldn't know if I was going up or down or sideways.
It's confusing in complete grey.
I freak out.
I want to go back.
I want to see my highway again.
This is ugly.
I don't like it here.
It's dark.
And I don't like turbulence. 
It makes my stomach turn in sick knots.
This is the worst.
By the time a "new" scene comes,
I don't even notice the beauty,
because I'm just SO RELIEVED to be out of the grey.
It's easy for me to miss the process that just happened.
The leaving behind the old, the comfortable, the familiar,
being tossed into storms clouds
with the purpose of taking me somewhere new.
PhotobucketDespite my doubting + freak-out-ing,
the new place is always so stunning.
The horizon of two skies meet,
brilliant marbled blue on top,
golden kissed air spun to make miles of puff underneath,
greet each other with colorful strokes of light.
It's beyond breath-taking.
The sun has been shining all this time. 
And this new place has been here all this time,
I just couldn't see.

In a very literal sense,
I had to go through the storm clouds to see this new glorious stage.
I had to go far away from my highway,
my world,
my safety net.

This particular beauty isn't there!
It's somewhere else!
When the time comes to go,
I must embrace the going.

When clouds are thick and awful,
I must choose to believe this is only part of the ride.

New is coming,
this won't last!
I'm going to fly above the clouds and see the sun.
And it's going to be better then what was left behind.

"For we walk by faith, not by sight.
The old has passed away; 
behold, the new has come. 
All this is from God."
 2 cor 5 | verses 7, 17 + 18