The Five Love Languages // Thoughts on Marriage

I’m obsessed with the Five Love Languages. If you hang out with me for long I guarantee I will ask you what your love languages are. I love knowing and talking about them, especially with couples. I love hearing about how they meet each other’s love needs and how easy or hard it is based on what each of their love languages are. The premise of the Five Love Languages is that we all give and receive love through five basic ways. We all use all five, but we have one or two that are most dominant. The languages are Acts of Service, Quality Time, Gifts, Physical Touch, and Words of Affirmation. Acts of Service means doing tangible things like cleaning the house, fixing something, filling up the car with gas, cooking meals, or watching the kids while the other person sleeps in. Quality Time means that the amount of time spent together is as or more important as what you’re actually doing. It’s about being together and doing things together. Gifts is giving something to show love from a flower that is hand picked to a large, significant item. It’s both the surprise and special occasion gifts that are meaningful. Physical touch is not just sexual. It is showing love by touching when you walk by each other in the hall, holding hands, hugging, and touching more often than not. Words of Affirmation means that you express how you feel in words. It can be through a heartfelt card, a quick text message, and saying I love you should be said, not just lived out. Words are important...

Travel Diaries // Honeymoon in Puerto Rico

At a recent meeting for creative entrepreneurs (Tuesday’s Together) we went around the circle and introduced ourselves and said our favorite vacation. Mine was my honeymoon in Puerto Rico. Why? Because it was my honeymoon. It’s hard to top the first vacation you take as husband and wife and a week on a tropical island was the perfect start to our married life. We tossed around many locations for our honeymoon and considered waiting a few months after our wedding to leave, but I am so happy with our final decision. We left the morning after our wedding and spent a week in beautiful Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is a US territory so it was easy to travel to, communicate, get around, and travel around, but it felt like an exotic destination. The island is stunningly gorgeous and I highly recommend visiting several areas because different cities, towns, and parts of the island feel completely different. We landed in San Juan in the evening, so we spent our first night there. We stayed at the Olive Boutique Hotel, which was charming and beautiful. (I’m a huge fan of boutique hotels, which seem like the perfect marriage between airbnbs and huge chain hotels.) We grabbed drinks at their rooftop bar, which had a beautiful view of the harbor and the city, great drinks, and a friendly and helpful bartender. After drinks we crossed the street and had dinner at what seemed like a dive bar. The drinks were good and the food was mediocre. Overall, I found a lot of the food on the island to be kind of bland. Maybe it’s...

Travel Diary // A Quick Trip to San Francisco

In honor of our three year date-iversary (yep, we had our first official date on Valentine’s Day) we headed to San Francisco for a quick weekend trip. We didn’t have an plans set in stone- just relax, enjoy each other, and explore the city. Thanks to some great suggestions from @jackavenue and @alexandriamonette we visited a few new places and we have a huge list for next time (hopefully very soon!).  We stayed at The Scarlet Huntington in Nob Hill. Dave found a great deal online and it was a new spot for us. We both loved it. The service was excellent, the pool and spa were beautiful, and our room was clean and beautiful. Next time we’d just indulge in the spa services. Because it was the weekend before Valentine’s Day the spa and pool area were definitely hopping. Lucky for us we arrived during the Chinese New Year celebration. It was SO much fun walking around China Town and taking in the parade, decorations, and festivities. I loved that we were able to enjoy the celebration. For dinner on Saturday we went to Rambler. Their main restaurant was packed (again, Valentine’s Day weekend) and had a huge wait, but the hostess suggested going to their bar area instead. There was a smaller menu, but we were happy to share a few appetizers and order some drinks and enjoy the decor (we posted a video on insta stories while we were there).  We spent the rest of our evening in our hotel room with a bottle of wine from our trip to Guerneville. Every time we visit a...

Our Wedding in the Woods

Dave and I got married on October 1, 2016. We knew that we wanted our wedding day to be special and authentic and completely us. Of course, we wanted to celebrate with our children and include them (we have six kids!), but we also wanted it to be a day that we could focus on each other. Over the first several months of our engagement we threw around many different ideas, but none of them completely stuck. Finally, we came up with an idea we were both excited about. We decided to do a ceremony in the woods with just the two of us (and our friend/officiant, our photographer, and our two videographers). We both love the mountains and the woods and we had scoped out this particular spot a few weeks prior. It is in the middle of pine trees with the creek running behind and even a meadow right around the corner. So beautiful! After taking photos in the woods we headed down into town for family photos, a small dinner with our immediate family, and then a ceremony with our family and friends. At the reception played a video of our vows in the woods and then danced and ate pizza and donuts. In the end, like any wedding day, there are some things we would have done differently (it actually wasn’t necessary to do a formal, sit down dinner), but we are SO happy with our choice to get married in the woods and then party in the city. Our wedding day was amazing, but being married to this man is an absolute gift. I am so...

Travel Diary // Alt Summit in Palm Springs

Last week I traveled to Palm Springs for the Altitude Design Summit. It was my second time in Palm Springs and my second time at Alt Summit. I had an amazing experience and learned so much. I got to hear some of my favorite entrepreneurs and bloggers speak including Meg Keene from A Practical Wedding (her book was the only one I read while engaged and I could not recommend it more!), Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day!, Kristen Howerton from Rage Against the Minivan (who interviewed Luvvie), Ellen Bennett of Hedley & Bennet, and several others. I left feeling inspired and ready to continue to build my business and my brand – and my life- in a way that fits my convictions, my family, and my dreams. I traveled down with two friends from Chico- Heather of Heather Selzer Photography and Lindsay of Northern Daisy. We had some down time to explore Palm Springs (last time I went for a photography conference and only left the house once). It was fun to visit a few different coffee shops, restaurants, shops, and hotels (Ace Hotel and The Parker). On the last day we went on a mid-century homes tour as a part of the conference. The style in that town definitely cannot be beat (there’s some pretty mediocre and bland food. ha! But, the design makes up for it). We stayed at the beautiful and colorful Saguaro (pronounced sa-wah-ro). It is seriously SO much fun to photograph. (I am posting more iphone photos on my instagram feed if you’re interested). I tried to pull out my real camera at least a few times...

My Engagement Ring

After yesterday’s cleaning (and wedding band window shopping!), I thought an engagement ring photo was a necessity. I absolutely love my ring and spent some time thinking about it today as I was photographing it. It’s such a clear reminder of so many things- most obviously and importantly, Dave’s love for me and his desire to commit his life to me. As a vintage ring, it’s also a reminder of life and how I want to live- simple and modestly beautiful, strong and able to withstand time. It’s not average, it’s not flashy, it’s exactly what I never knew I always wanted – just like my life with Dave (and our six kiddos). I’m thankful for this reminder, every time I look down at my hand or feel my ring around my finger, of deep, real, authentic love. (For anyone like me who wants to know the ring details it is a 1920s Art Deco yellow gold and platinum ring. My fiance, Dave, picked it out himself and he did SO good. I am in love with it and couldn’t have found anything more perfect...