Sunday, January 30, 2011

Laura + Brian // Sneak Peak

It was such an honor to shoot engagement pictures for Laura and Brian, and I couldn't be happier for their upcoming April wedding! Here are just a few pictures for the happy couple!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Darkness cannot fill a room of light, but light can fill a room of darkness. "For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!"

Eating healthier this year? Check back soon for some easy new recipes!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Letters from Dad

A few years ago, my dad made me this beautiful oak box for Christmas, and when I opened it, I noticed an engraved tag on the front that said, "Letters From Dad" with my name on it. Ever since that day, my dad has mailed me letters every so often to tell me that he loves me and that he's proud of me. Sometimes he writes down prayers that he prays for me, shares some wisdom, or just writes other personal thoughts.
Out of all of the expensive gifts I've ever received from him: a college education, a wedding, or even a car to drive--this one is the best.
That gift may have cost him $30 to make, but I wouldn't trade that handmade wooden box and the pieces of paper inside for anything. It's not valuable to anyone but me, and it's the best gift in the world! It's only for me, from my one and only dad.

I love you dad. I don't tell you enough.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Iceland Wedding

This iceland wedding theme just blows my mind. Why didn't I think of this about 4 years ago?

The photos were found on Embellished Weddings and are from Wedding Plans & Just the Thing

Natural Sunlight

I love these rooms! They are classy and simple, but their best definitely natural sunlight! It makes such a huge difference, doesn't it? Light and clean never looked so attractive!

All images from Canada's House and Home Magazine.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Psalm 27

I can't think of anything to tell you right now other than this...don't be afriaid.

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble?

2 When evil people come to devour me,
when my enemies and foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.

3 Though a mighty army surrounds me,
my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
I will remain confident.

4 The one thing I ask of the Lord
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections
and meditating in his Temple.

5 For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.

6 Then I will hold my head high
above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
singing and praising the Lord with music.

7 Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
Be merciful and answer me!

8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

9 Do not turn your back on me.
Do not reject your servant in anger.
You have always been my helper.
Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
O God of my salvation!

10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the Lord will hold me close.

11 Teach me how to live, O Lord.
Lead me along the right path,
for my enemies are waiting for me.

12 Do not let me fall into their hands.
For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
with every breath they threaten me with violence.

13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.

14 Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

NLT Version

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 Book List

As promised, here you go! The titles in red are the ones I have personally read and recommend. The others are on my own to-read list this year and I can't wait to get reading!

1. Crazy Love by Francis Chan
2. Weird by Craig Groeschel (comes out April 2011)
3. The Power of a Whisper by Bill Hybels
4. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
5. Fearless by Max Lucado
6. Total Forgiveness by R.T. Kendall
7. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
8. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
9. The Blessed Life by Robert Morris
10. Choosing to Cheat by Andy Stanley

Winter Hair Soultion

Does anyone else hate winter frizz? It happens to me a lot, oh wait...USED to happen to me a lot until I tried out this new product and I'm in love. I mean, head over heals love! If you have longer hair, or just unmanageable dry or frizzy hair (especially during the winter), never fear. I've got you covered. Redken makes a product called Smooth Down Detangling Cream and it's out of control awesome. My hair is frizz-free, smooth, smells good, and not oily at all. If you want to try it out, get it on sale at Luxury Parlor! And ladies, you're welcome...for changing your life.

Too close

I saw this picture on Facebook today and this was the caption: Seriously, dude! How am I supposed to get in my car!!!

Then, the best response of all time followed: You should leave him a note, and it should read, "God wants us to draw close to HIM, not my parking spot."

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Book List

It looks like tomorrow's the day! Check back for my top 10 must read book list for 2011!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I debated whether I was going to post this blog for about 20 minutes. Transparency won out.

I've decided, by a unanimous vote from myself, that I'm going to live the remainder of my life as a worry-slapper. You heard me!

Forever, as in, as far back as I can even remember, I used to worry all the time. I'd worry about if I was going to be late to school, whether I was going to die at a young age, or whether I would go bald by the time I was 50. I'd worry if my car was going to die and somehow stop in the middle of the trip home to nowhere and some stranger would come and pick me up and kill me. I mean, I'd worry about stupid pointless things. Then, worry turned to fear and it started to kill me slowly. Instead of just a small passing thought, it was a reality, and I began to prepare for the worst when I should have been living life. Now yes, worry is annoying, but fear...fear is real. Fear kept me from branching out in areas of my life. Fear was negative about new possibilities. Fear lied straight to my face. Fear made me cry. Recently my life hasn't been filled with these things. I'd even say this past year, not much worry has made an appearance, but this week was different as I began to dig deep into God's word. Satan took out his fangs and began to play dirty and brought my mind to begin worrying again, which began to turn to fear.

It's funny how once you're aware of something, you're not scared of it anymore because you know it's there and where it came from (Satan), and then you realize that it's small stuff to God. He can do anything! Last week it began with small things Satan was whispering:

Michelle, you aren't very pretty. Jonathan hasn't told you you're pretty today so it must be true.
No, God says I'm beautiful, Psalm 45:11!

Michelle, you aren't a great cook. And you really aren't all that hospitable.
Really? People say that I am for the most part, but I guess since they didn't eat my pie, maybe you're right.

Then he got meaner...

Michelle, would you still love God if Jonathan stopped breathing in the middle of the night?
Are you going to kill him? Yes, I would love God regardless. I would be thankful to be considered God's faithful servant just like Job.

...But then I got up in the middle of the night and check and see if Jonathan was breathing.

Michelle, what if someone came and robbed your house, broke your arms, and killed your husband? Would you still love God then? Why would he let that happen to you?
I know that God loves me and he did not allow sin into this word! He wants the best for me. That was you that let sin into the world! Go away!

I felt overwhelmed, and began to pray about my fear. A lot. And God was there for me.

That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything.
Mark 11:24 MSG

Then God spoke. He revealed the things that I was worried about, and helped me see how they weren't reality. Did they ever really come true? No! I was worried about falling in the shower and breaking my arm, but it didn't happen. I was allow terror to reign supreme. Don't ask me why this was suddenly so hard for me after nearly a year of no worries, but it just was.

So, I decided to deal with it instead of dwell on it. This is where my accountability partner Katy came in. She spoke so much encouragement and Godly love into my life and helped me to think through my real fears. People like this are priceless to me. I'm not sure how I'd go this journey alone, and I never want to find out.

Then I stopped, and I asked God to fill me up. And when I say stopped, I mean, I literally closed the door and stopped for a few hours. I wanted God to know that I was accepting his help.

We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin.So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
Hebrews 4:15-16 MSG

God is enough. He always shows up. Let him be enough. I'm not worried about tomorrow, it has enough worries of it's own. God has proven himself to me countless times, and Satan's not winning this battle. It all seems pretty funny looking back. What in the world was I worried about?!

People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works.Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Matthew 6:32-33 MSG

Be encouraged today! God is bigger than your fears. Maybe you don't struggle with worry or fear like me, but everyone struggles with something. I believe God made us all so different so that when one falls down, there are others to help him up. Ask for prayer when you need it! You're not an inconvenience, you're not wasting anyone's time, and you're certainly not being selfish. Just ask for it.

I pray for all of you reading this today that you'll find rest in the savior, you'll find delight in his unlimited grace, and enough hope for a lifetime. You are loved...and yes, I'm praying for you today. Always feel free to leave me a comment or email me.

Much love.
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