Photography Sneak Peek ~ Hazel Grace 7 Months

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Seriously another month has come and gone, and my sweet niece is growing like a weed. The cutest most precious little weed ever :)

I look forward to our monthly photoshoots, they are sweet and simple and Hazel always gives me the cutest little smiles. I am so grateful that I live so close to her and she knows her Auntie. Even though her Auntie will do just about anything to get those little smiles on camera, she doesn't seem to care, in fact, I think she likes it haha ;) Thank you Angela for being my assistant, I couldn't ask for a better one!

Hazel Grace is the sunshine in our lives and we just love her to pieces. Happy 7 months Hazel <3

Here's a few of my favorites from out little session...
Thank you so much for stopping by I appreciate all of your support. Have a sweet and beautiful day :)

You can find the bow headband I used here and the ruffle diaper cover here. Both are handmade and I found them on Etsy.

I Can't Believe It // Life Update

Saturday, November 19, 2016

So I guess it's about time I wrote a little life update, since it's been exactly 4 months since my last one. It seems like lately I've been being asked constantly how house hunting is going. Well you guys, I am so stinking excited, I am going to cut right to the chase, here goes...

WE'RE BUILDING A HOUSE!

I can't believe that I'm saying those words out loud, well, you know what I mean, typing them for the world to see at least ;) Our very own home, it's still seems unreal to me! I am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity.
I guess I'll just start from the beginning. and tell you about our house hunting journey, and how we eventually ended up building.

Just a fair warning, this post is going to be a little long. I want to write this to document our journey and so we can look back at it one day.

The first week in October, Dale, Alan's dad became a licensed realtor. We planned on looking at a few homes as soon as Dale got his all powerful, get into any home, realtor key. So for the first time in months, Alan and I went online and started searching for homes that we might like. We found a couple and made plans to view them the next evening.

One house had everything we wanted, and we fell in love with it. So much so that we actually put an offer in on it the next morning. It was accepted and we had a closing date at the end of October! Everything happened so fast, it was crazy!

It was a beautiful brand new home, glowing with natural light, soaring ceilings, a kitchen island that went on and on, and it was right on a golf course. There was a view, a beautiful unobstructed view of the west, and the sunset. I really was in love, that was a dream of mine, to see the sunset from my living room.

This house seemed too good to be true, and guys, sometimes that's just what it is.

Thank goodness, we paid for a home inspection. There was a huge crack in the foundation and it was all the way down and all the way through to the bottom. There were also other cracks all around the foundation. Now I know that some cracks are normal, but that one was way to big, especially for a new construction home. There was a long list of minor problems with the house, as well as a list of pretty major problems, the cracks being the most concerning. We took some sound advise from our inspector and we walked away from that house, and that view. I'm not going to lie, we we're a little sad.

There was another house just down the street that was identical to the one we walked away from, so we went to check it out. We got under the house ourselves this time, and guess what? Another huge crack in the foundation in the exact same place as the other one! Seriously what are the odds? Something just didn't feel right, so we took that as a sign. We ran away from there and that builder as fast as we could.

We waited a couple days and found another house to go look at. It was another beautiful new construction home with all the bells and whistles and most importantly to Alan, it had a large 3 car garage. The house was full of storage, had an amazing kitchen, a walk in closet I always dreamed of, it was perfect, all except for the location. The backyard backed right up to a busy, and I mean busy road! If we could have picked that house up and moved it we would have. The builder seemed to be motivated and promised all sorts of things, but when it came right down to it, it just didn't work out and he rejected our offer. Seriously, another blessing in disguise.

So third times a charm, right?

A few days later I found an adorable home that really seemed just perfect. I thought, "this is the one." And then I remembered the golf course house and thought, "well that was also the one, so hold your horses and don't get too excited." We all jumped in the car and drove over to see it. Seriously have I mentioned how handy it is to have your dad as a realtor?

The house was beautiful. The location was ideal. I was in love. I thought I knew what "the one" felt like, but now I really knew. We didn't rush this time, we didn't even make an offer on it. We went back several times over the next few days really critiqued it. I loved almost everything. Yes, I'm picky. But this is a huge investment, if I'm not picky now, when is a better time?

As I was making a list of changes that I'd want to make, and discussing if we could even build it, the builders agent called Dale. She said that she noticed that we had viewed the property several times, six times to be exact, and she wanted to know what we though of it, and ultimately, wanted to know what our intentions were. We discussed how much we liked the house, but we weren't in a hurry right now, and there were too many changes we would want to make to the house. We told her we weren't going to put in an offer. And so we walked away from our dream house, again. But this time it felt different. I could not stop thinking about that house. I stopped looking because I just knew we end up building that house.

Sure enough, just couple days later, the builders agent called and suggested we meet with her and the builder and see what we could do. We discussed building the home we loved with all the changes we wanted. They made us an offer we couldn't refuse. The rest is history. We really never even considered building before then. We just assumed we would find something that we loved that was already built, and that would be that. But seriously, it's not that easy. Nothing ever is. Obviously.

The first thing we did was view a plot map and chose our lot.
Next we chose the floor plan. We picked the same floor plans the house that we went into and loved. Then we made our changes. We completely redesigned the master bathroom. We tweaked the kitchen. We added a few windows. We made this house our home.

Emails, phone calls, contracts, and signatures were flying around everywhere, and before we knew it, we signed off on our final blueprints and the builder sent off for building permits.

Eleven days later I met with my builder, the interior designer, and a group of professionals. Alan was working, so I brought my mom along for moral support. I choose our flooring, carpet, countertops, tile, backsplash, grout, cabinets, interior paint, exterior stone, and exterior paint. It was so much fun! I had a pretty good idea of what I liked, so everything came together pretty easily.

I am loving what I've picked out so far.
It was then when my builder surprised me and said that our foundation was poured! What the what??? That happened two weeks ahead of when I though we might start. I was so surprised. Well as I write this post a couple days later, I am still surprised! Thanks to the city, our plans were approved in record time, and our permits were issued without any complications. Just another little miracle for us that our foundation was able to be poured before the weather got too cold.

Of course I had to get over to our house as soon as I could so I could see this foundation. I had my mom take this picture, then I stopped by Alan's shop and had him look at all the finishes I choose for the house. This picture was the last one in my photos, so as he was scrolling through carpet samples and tiles, this popped up. He was just as surprised as I was!
I have stopped by a couple times to see the progress and see what going on.

Forms are off.
Gravel is being delivered.
Sewer and water lines are in.
I just can't wait to watch everything progress and change and eventually turn into our home.

I just cant say it enough, but our builder is amazing. We walked though several of his homes and his attention to detail and the quality of his homes are exceptional. And I kid you not, almost every time I have driven by our place to check on the progress, he has been there, checking things out. I LOVE that! I love that he cares. I love that he is looking out for us.

We were patient and things just fell into place. Once we stopped rushing into things, and having doors slammed in our face, things started to work out. We prayed and put things into God's hands, and then we received a blessing.

This is so exciting/scary/fun/stressful/amazing (insert any adjective), and we can not wait until we can move in! The count down is on and we could not be more excited to move in and continue or adventure in our new home!

We looked at that 1st house on the golf course October 4th, we signed off on our final blueprints November 4th. In exactly one month our lives changed and went in a direction we didn't expect. Honestly we weren't even planning on looking for anything until this spring. But now it looks like that will be about the time we are moving in!

In approximately 100 days and we will have our home sweet home <3

Thank you all so much for stopping by, and taking the time to read this life update. And thank you for you calls, texts, messages, and well wishes! You all are appreciated so very much <3

I'll keep you updated as things progress!

Photography Sneak Peek ~ Brandi & Jacob

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

These two were just the sweetest couple ever! Their smiles and laughter were contagious. Their energy and enthusiasm were what every photographer dreams of. It was so much fun to photograph such happy people. I'm so happy that there was still a little fall color left and we were able to sneak in one more fall session.

Brandi and Jacob have been married for 8 years and you would think that they were just newlyweds by the way they look at each other. There's no denying the love that they have for each other.

I am so honored and happy that they chose me to capture this moment in their lives. Life is so precious and it's always worth documenting :)
I had such a hard time narrowing these down so...here's a few of my favorites...
Thank you so much for stopping by, I hope you have sweet and beautiful day :)

Pretty Paper Chain

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

What is is about counting down to something that makes it so exciting?

Most of us have made at least one of those countdown chains in our lifetime.  You know the one with construction paper or white computer paper and a staple connecting the ends? I always made them around Christmas, my birthday, or before any major vacation when I was a kid. It was fun to see that chain shrink down day by day as my anticipation grew for the next fun event around the corner.
Well, I decided to make a "pretty" version for my more sophisticated grown up taste. I have a fun little getaway coming up and this was exactly what I wanted to do to count down the days! I am excited to get out of town for a couple days and go visit my amazing friend, who moved away this summer, and who I miss terribly. Come back home Amy, Idaho misses you!
This is the perfect craft to do if your inner child is calling. Even my hubby commented and said that it felt like he was in kindergarten again! But this isn't your regular construction paper chain, this one is classy ;) And it's super easy and inexpensive. This cost me about $3.50 to make.
I bought some pretty foiled craft paper and regular printed scrapbook paper at Michael's when it was on sale a couple weeks ago. Even though fall is in full swing, I wanted these light, spring-y, pretty colors, for my chain.
The other supplies were things I already had. Scissors, glue, and a paper cutter. Actually this amazing paper cutter is my grandmas and it worked awesome, mine is still packed away in storage.
This could not be more simple. One sheet of 12x12 paper will make 9 strips.

Cut off 1 1/2  inches on one side of the paper.
You will now have one strip of paper that is 1 1/2 inches by 12 inches. Cut off 1 1 /2 inches from the end of the strip.
You will then end up with a strip 1 1/2 inches by 10 1/2 inches. Set that aside. Now take the paper that is 10 1/2 by 12 , and turn it 45 degrees, so that when you cut it you are cutting down the 10 1/2 inch side.
 Cut paper into strips in 1 1/2 inch increments.
You will end up cutting eight strips from that piece of paper and you will end up with nine strips total from the 12x12 sheet. The only waste is that little 1 1/2x1 1/2 square piece.
Repeat with all the rest of your paper until you end up with the amount of strips you need. I ended up cutting 90 strips.
I cut a few more than I needed because I glued a few pieces together so the links were pretty on the inside of the chain and on the outside. Of course that is completely optional, but it definitely made it extra pretty :)
The rest, is easy! Take a strip of paper and glue the ends together, and make a circle.
Take another strip, thread it through the first link and glue ends together.
Repeat until you are at the number of links needed for you count down.
These can definitely be used for more than a countdown. They are a fun craft for kids to make so they can decorate for holidays, they can be customized and used in a nursery, decorate the halls at school for spirit week. Just coordinate the colors with the season or holiday and have at it.
Don't be afraid to play around with different textures. I just love the glitter and pebble paper, it gives the chain a little bit of whimsy. I was going for something cheery, pretty, and girly, and I just love how it turned out.
Did you make paper chains as a child? What did you use them to count down for? Thank you for stopping by, I hope your day is sweet and happy!

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