This year, Brian and I had the privilege of hosting Thanksgiving for the Powell family! This was something I had wanted to be able to do for a long time, but we’ve never really had the kitchen space to accommodate all the cooks. This year, the family decided to keep things minimal as Brian’s mother continues with chemotherapy, and as just about every household was in the midst of busy seasons of life. So it finally worked out that our home was the place to host Thanksgiving!
Even though we were keeping food dishes simple, I knew I wanted to set a lovely table for everyone. If you don’t know, table settings are a bit of a big deal in my family (the Reynolds family), and my mom even owns her own business renting out vintage china for events! My mother graciously let me borrow some mix-and-match white plates and napkins from her “bridal” collection. I used simple, cheap, gold chargers from Hobby Lobby instead of place-mats, and our existing silverware. And for the centerpiece, I just used an assortment of different-sized square and rectangular vases with floating candles along with these funky, mod gold teal-light holders from, of all places, Wal Mart!
And of course, I had to throw in a little eucalyptus garland for a pop of color, also from Hobby Lobby. I love the look of eucalyptus, but unfortunately, we cannot have real eucalyptus in the house as it can be a trigger for Avonlea’s seizures! Crazy, right?
Lastly, our house has a sweet, arched opening from the living room into the dining room, which we adorned with a lush greenery garland (from, you guessed it, Hobby Lobby). I loved looking in at the dining room table through that archway!
Of course a lot of things went awry, as they tend to do on major family holidays. The napkins never got pressed before they were folded, we forgot to get out the wine-glasses until after we were already loading our plates up with food, and I completely conked out and fell asleep about 17 minutes after dinner was over, because I’d stayed up so late the night before, cleaning! Lesson learned from my first time hosting Thanksgiving: clean earlier in the week to spare my energy to enjoy more time with family on the actual holiday 😉 Start placing your bets now as to whether or not I’ll actually do it!
Enjoy a few of our favorite photos of our Thanksgiving table!
One of my favorite things about being a wedding + lifestyle photographer is getting to be a part of multiple milestones in the life of a family: capturing engagement portraits, documenting the marriage taking place on a wedding day, and then a little ways down the road, the joy of expanding their family as they bring home their first baby! Another one of my favorite things is getting to do all of this for people we love so dearly. Joel and Kayla are clients-turned-friends, whose engagement session and wedding we did in 2013 and 2014, before we were even parents ourselves! As members of the same church, we became involved in the same community group and have so enjoyed doing life with these two over the last few years. They even modeled for me for our nationally-published Christmas Romance styled shoot (cleverly hiding Kayla’s tiny baby-bump behind that gorgeous bouquet). Their joy was our joy when they told us that they were expecting their first baby, and Kayla and I got pretty excited to force… ahem, encourage… best-friendship on our children when she and Joel found out they were expecting a girl! And I’m not gonna lie, it was nice to know that it was ok to bring Violet with me to their newborn session, even if Violet did insist upon arriving back home that SHE was, in-fact, the real baby 😉 Enjoy some of our favorites of the Bowen’s in-home lifestyle newborn session with their precious new addition Lydia Wren (and for those of you who know them well, yes… Winston makes an appearance in this post).
And for your viewing pleasure… I present to you: Violet, enjoying being the fifth-wheel.
If you know us even a little, you know that Brian and I are suckers for a good miracle baby 😉 We have one ourselves, and the opportunity to photograph our friends and long-time clients’ with their own, brand-new miracle baby was just too much to pass up. Josh and Linsey hired us to photograph their wedding very early in our business. Since then, they’ve sent us more friends and family than we can keep count of. They’ve been some of our biggest fans and supporters over the years, and our joy for their newest addition more than doubled when Linsey filled us in on how miraculous this pregnancy was! After having their first son, Asher, very easily, Josh and Linsey tried for a long time to have a second baby. Testing revealed that one of Linsey’s fallopian tubes was actually blocked, cutting their chances for conception in half. Josh and Linsey began praying growth over their family through a “fulfilled” exercised led by Elevation Church. Shortly after receiving those discouraging test results, Linsey began going into the doctors’ office for ultrasounds each month to see if her egg would be descending from the un-blocked tube. Just a couple of weeks after being told not to bother trying to conceive that month because an egg was stuck in the blocked tube, Linsey got a positive result on a home pregnancy test! Under the circumstances, her doctors feared the pregnancy would be ectopic. But the ultrasound showed the baby growing perfectly, and in the perfect spot! The fact that Baby Levi was conceived that month was truly a miracle! We admire the faith that Josh and Linsey had that the pull on their hearts to grow their family was from the Lord. They have been so faithful in sharing their story and attributing Levi’s life to God’s power, and we could not be more ecstatic for them as they settle in to life as a family of four! Enjoy a few of our favorites from Baby Levi’s home lifestyle session!