Ashley + Brandt | Arizona Engagement Session

arizona engagement session

Well it wasn’t too surprising how fun it would be to photograph these two for their engagement session. Ashley’s parents here in Arizona are some of our very best friends. My husband and her dad are a bundle of non-stop giggles when they are together. Yes. Giggles. Did you know two mature grown men could giggle? If you know Jim and Ryan you know this all to be too true.



Her parents are the ones we call when our fridge breaks. They call us when they need an iron. She calls me when she needs something photographed for her blog, My Plant Based Family.

And on the days where we just need coffee….we have each other’s backs.

The moral of the story, Holly and Jim are life-long friends. 

On our way to our session as Ashley and Brandt were telling me how they met and what life is like in the U.P. of the great state of Michigan, Ashley mentioned her job.  At Starbucks.

Holy cow…did you hear the angels singing?  Me too.

I’m almost 99% sure that Starbucks is the sixth love language.  At least, I know it’s mine.  You’re having a bad day?  I bring you Starbucks.  You want to make my day?  Bring me Starbucks.  I’ll be your best friend forever.  (Currently I drink an iced coffee, extra ice, no cane syrup, with cream and raw sugar…I’m just throwing that out there).

Ashley has worked at Starbucks for a year and a half!  And while Brandt is a coffee connoisseur now, he only stepped foot into Starbucks for the very first time right before they started dating.

And now, he’s hooked on those caramel frappucinos (who isn’t)!  But his addiction did come with time.  When he walked in for the very first time, it was to see her at work.  He said when he walked in, he saw her face light up when she saw him.  At that point, all he could think about was how she looked at him and couldn’t concentrate on ordering anything but black coffee.

That’s it? She said.  Black?  Oh come on.  Really?

Really. That’s how I like it.  (In his defense, he says that the bitterness of black coffee is the only way to wake a man up in the morning…also, he couldn’t think of anything else but her).

I think it was all over at that point.  For both of them.

Thinking about that moment, him walking in, her standing at the counter, all dressed in Starbucks green smiling away, melts me.  Not because I’m a loyal fan of Starbucks, but because I’m a fan of these two.

Brandt and Ashley,

I know since it came up in our conversation, that neither of you will ever forget your Starbucks moment and I hope you don’t!  I hope that you’ll have those moments every single time you see each other.  I hope that when life is hard, for better or worse, that memory will be the forefront of all the rest.

I keep looking at these pictures, seeing the arching trees and the two of you standing underneath them and I can’t help but see God’s banner of love over you.  I pray that no matter where you go or what you do, that the world will see it.  They will see there’s something different about the two of you.  They’ll long to know the kind of love the two of you share and I know that because of it, you will be a blessing to everyone you meet.  Because you were to me.





Wanna see another engagement session? Check out Jodi and Steve’s engagement session!

Date Night Diaries No.1

date night diaries

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and yet there I was watching it with my own eyes.

There we were, sitting and waiting for our movie to start.  We looked up and saw a teenage guy on his hover board holding the hand of his girlfriend walking beside him.  He hovered over to a coffee shop and left his ride outside with his girlfriend while he went inside.  I know what you’re thinking, aanndd? What’s the big deal, I hover next to my girlfriend all the time.  #facepalm

We sat there watching this scene take place in front of us and I thought, this is why I want to date my husband.  Our boys are growing up in a world of hover boards for pete’s sake and I want them to at least have the decency to put down the dang hover board and escort their girlfriends like men!

So my husband and I have made it a priority to have a date night.  If you have kids, you know this is a big deal, and if you don’t then let me tell you, it’s a big deal.   Life just zooms by too fast.  We’ve been married 5 years now and have two beautiful boys, the oldest who will be 4 in October.  Yikes, I can’t believe it.  My husband and I used to go out all the time before kids.  We were such foodies and would love finding new places to eat.  We still do of course, but don’t always have the time or energy for it.  Now that we are out of the funky newborn stage, we’ve committed to ourselves to have two dates a month.  But what is so unique about our date nights, is that we want to share them with you.

In my Welcome Gifts to all my bride and grooms, I give them a set of 10 date night ideas.  Dating your spouse is so important and sometimes you just get in such a routine of what you think a date should look like that you forget why you do it.  It’s good to mix it up every once in a while!  Ryan and I are taking those 10 date night ideas to heart and are going on them ourselves!  Last night was already planned so we enjoyed a night out at a new favorite restaurant, went to a movie and made sure to leave plenty of room for conversation.  But the next night we head out, we’re checking Date #1 off the list!

While the food and movie was great, it was what we talked about that was icing on the cake.  We talked about work and the kids some, but as we sat and waited for our movie to start, we talked about the one thing we both hold near and dear to our hearts, Corvettes.  Don’t laugh, but it’s true.  We are car people!  We were pulling up the different body styles on our phones talking about the differences we saw, what we liked and didn’t like and which one we would drive if we had the chance.  Nerds?  Probably.  But my husband was on cloud nine!  And I have to admit, I was too.

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