sara G photography: Blog http://saragphoto.com/blog en-us (C) sara G photography saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) Mon, 12 May 2014 18:13:00 GMT Mon, 12 May 2014 18:13:00 GMT Mike & Sara Graham http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/5/mike-sara-graham It's finally here!  After months of hard work and a million different details, we are so excited to launch Mike & Sara Graham!

This is our new wedding site.  We will be showing exclusive weddings and engagements (and stories of love) over there.  sara G photography will be showing all of our other sessions that we will do from time to time.  We will spend a lot more time updating everything over at Mike & Sara Graham, but you can still follow sara G photography on Facebook Be sure to jump on over and check out the new site and then tell your friends about all the new things coming!

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/5/mike-sara-graham Mon, 12 May 2014 22:00:00 GMT
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/5/breaking-up-is-hard-to-do We've been around the block a time or two.  We've photographed everything from seniors to families, to newborns to weddings.  But for us - it has always been about the story, the story of love.

We're about to celebrate our eighth wedding anniversary.  We didn't know where God was going to take us on this journey, but eight years later, I can truly say we love each other more now than back then.  I may not have puppy dog eyes looking at Mike each day, but I am more convinced than ever that God knew exactly what I needed.  The love we share runs much deeper than the look in our eyes now.  I'm grateful to have married my best friend and to get to work with him throughout this journey.  I can't think of a better teammate!

The longer we have been married, the more we have valued marriage and family.  We love the couples we get to meet during this journey and care more about their marriage than the wedding itself.  We know that the wedding day is just the beginning for what God has in store for them.  It's an important day, one they will never forget.  One that marks a milestone of what they stand for and where love is going to take them.  So for us, we have decided to make this our priority.  We want to have time and love to pour into one another, but also pour into these couples that are beginning their journey.  

So - we're breaking up!

No - not Mike and I - the business!  Actually, this will allow us to do much more together than before.  This break up is something that doesn't hurt - but something we are both really excited about!  We've been pouring a lot of time and energy into getting this right.  It hasn't been easy, but we know it will be worth it.  We are incredibly thankful for so many friends that have helped us along the way.  Not much is changing about how we've done business, but now it will all just be stated and upfront.  Trust me - it's a GOOD thing!

sara G photography will still exist.  You can book family, birth, senior, and all other sessions through here.  But - we have a lot more that we will be pouring into our new wedding site.  It's something you won't want to miss!  The full launch is coming soon so be sure to check back next week!

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) about personal rebranding http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/5/breaking-up-is-hard-to-do Fri, 09 May 2014 18:51:05 GMT
Things That Make Us Different http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/5/things-that-make-us-different There are a lot of things that Mike and I have in common.  But, we have always been an "odd" couple - meaning we are very different.  We think that's why we work so well together.  We truly compliment each other and his weaknesses are my strengths, and vice versa.  The longer we have been married, the more alike we have become and I think it's one of the beautiful things about marriage.  So - here are a few things that make us different from one another.

1.  Mike loves LOVES movies!  I actually feel like it's torture to sit quiet for 2-3 hours and prefer tv shows, specifically reality tv.

2.  I love cheese!  I think it should be it's own food group.  Mike could skip it all the time and refuses it on most things.

3.  Mike is steady.  I can change emotions on a dime.  Luckily he is always consistent and provides stability for us as a family.

4.  Mike grew up on the water in Florida and loves being in and on it.  I am very cautious on and around the water because as a family we were not big swimmers or boaters.

5.  I hate studying and Mike loves it.  College was a little bit of a shock for me.  I never studied in high school but was able to carry straight A's.  Mike can spend 5 minutes "studying" and can remember 90% of the information thanks to his idetic memory.

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) mike personal sara http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/5/things-that-make-us-different Thu, 08 May 2014 16:20:43 GMT
Sara's Secrets: Priorities http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/5/saras-secrets-priorities I laugh at the irony.  2014 I've blogged more than any other time and nearly every workday.  I then write about how important consistency is and then fall off the grid.  What kind of example is that?

Sometimes it's ok.  And sometimes it's worth it.

View More: http://justinandmary.pass.us/saramikeanniversaryshootView More: http://justinandmary.pass.us/saramikeanniversaryshoot


So, get your priorities straight.  Choose your family over work.  Sometimes this may be choosing your friends over work too.  Remember who helped you get where you are and what life is all about.  I love my job, but it is not my identity.

After the last post, our family started encountering some difficulties.  We need to be together.  I will be with them and letting the work things that can wait, wait.  Taking care of myself and my family is crucial in keeping the joy in this business.

Thank you for your patience and if you think about us, please pray!



P.S.  Today ONLY you can snag any prints or products for 30% off.  Just use coupon code 30OFF at checkout!

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) Saras secrets personal secrets http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/5/saras-secrets-priorities Thu, 01 May 2014 21:08:27 GMT
Sara's Secrets: Consistency is Key http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/saras-secrets-consistency-is-key I had another colleague questioning Facebook and why her posts were only being seen by 10% of her followers.  I have followed her for awhile and looked up to her a ton in the industry.  Being a part of this community, we like to share ideas and help one another out.  As part of that, it was only fitting I reached out to give her some insight on some things I have learned.  Trust me - I don't have all the answers!  But I have found some things that have proven to be successful in growing my business and getting the word out to more of my followers.  Most of these I didn't discover.  I would love to take credit for all these bright ideas, but I can't.  It's really just a compilation from many others that have been willing to share with me.

As I sat down to write out a few helpful ideas, my email grew a little longer..and then longer...and longer.  So, I don't really feel like I could put all this information in one place at one time.  So, instead I'm going to split things up over several posts.  Obviously this is meant much more for other photographers or small business owners, but it may be helpful to anyone looking to grow a following and interact with some of those friends you have made.

So, today I thought I would start with something a little shorter and probably the key to everything else: consistency.  Once I went full time with photography, I quickly realized the most important thing I could do was to be consistent for not only everyone else, but also myself and my family.  I really try to work out of the office Monday - Thursday.  Weekends are usually reserved for weddings or other shoots, so I know I'm easily going to work a five day work week.  

One of the biggest changes I made when I went full time, I blog every day, Monday-Friday.  Well, ok, there are a few days I have missed, but for the most part I really try to blog something each and every day.  This allows for all your friends to know exactly when to expect new information.  In a perfect world, I would have the post go up by 9am every day and then post the link to Facebook.  That doesn't always happen...but when I am ontop of things, that is what I aim for.

So, whatever you do, be consistent.  Start with one thing at a time.  Write a blog post each day...or even start with Monday, Wednesday, and Friday if you don't feel like you can post every day.  Same thing with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Come up with a plan and STICK TO IT!  

 

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) blog blogging consistency for photographers helpful hints sara's secrets http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/saras-secrets-consistency-is-key Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:38:59 GMT
Creating a Habit http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/creating-a-habit I used to be pretty good at creating habits.  My OCD and perfectionism didn't really allow for anything less.  I tried to do everything and do it all at 200%.  I'm not really sure what made that all change, but I started to say no to some things in order to say yes and provide 200% to the other things.  It's always a challenge to figure out what to say yes and no to, but I believe it is well worth it.

I'm working on creating a new habit.  I was reading earlier today.  Reading about fear and worry and anxiety.  The author was talking about how fear can become a habit.  We get so used to responding to one thing the same way over and over again that before we know it, we are responding without even thinking about it.  I think I'm there...and maybe have been for awhile.

And I want to change.

We probably all have other emotions tied to joy.  So why not make that a habit?  I look at all those little faces that visit Disney World for the first time.  The joy in their eyes says it all.  But why?  Have they ever been?  Do they have fond memories of riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant a million times?  Probably not...especially if this is their first time visiting.  Then why?  They're been trained!  They're seen that little castle pop up on movie after movie.  They don't think about each detail or their adventure for the day.  So, if this is true for them, can't it be true for me?  I want to choose joy.  I want joy to be the automatic reaction my heart feels before my brain has to stop and think.  I need a new habit - and I choose joy.

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) anxiety joy personal http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/creating-a-habit Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:08:10 GMT
Comfort http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/comfort I'm still fighting anxiety - pretty hard.  Some things have gotten better, but other things send me in to a near panic attack.  But - I am comforted.

I have found GREAT comfort in music and reading.  These are things I have enjoyed at different points in my life, but not something I would normally use to describe my hobbies or favorite things to do.  I use both of these as entertainment.  But, recently, they have brought great peace to me heart.  They have helped me refocus on the things that really matter.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not there yet.  I haven't arrived at a perfect ending.  I have a long way to go.  However, I know that I have grown a ton in the last few months.  I've grown in myself, in my marriage, and most importantly in my relationship with God.  I truly am learning to deal with one day at a time...and one step at a time.  I know it's not an easy fix.  Thankfully I have a great community of friends walking and fighting this battle alongside me.  Community really does make a big difference in your life, especially in struggle.  

Find some friends you can share your struggle with.  Be there for friends in a struggle and through the struggle.  

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) anxiety personal http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/comfort Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:08:37 GMT
Monthly Cooking http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/monthly-cooking When we first got married, I thought life was pretty perfect.  I was teaching full time and Mike was back in school.  I would get home around 3pm and take a nap.  I would get back up between 4:30-5pm to start working on dinner.  Nearly every single night, dinner was ready to go by 6pm - just in time for Mike to get home and have a few minutes to relax.  That "perfect" homemaker was working inside me.  I loved being a wife.  Cooking each night.  Laundry every Saturday (or Sunday if we had plans on Saturday).  Everything was all nice and put away - ALL the time.  

That lasted about 6 months.

Cooking wasn't the same anymore and I loathed laundry!  Before long, we found ourselves eating out quite a bit or making the most of cereal or whatever else was always in the fridge.  We have tried meal planning each Sunday afternoon.  We always felt like it took away from a day of rest and then we had to figure out when we were going to the grocery store to get everything for the week.  A meeting or something would come up and we would swap out the gourmet meal for a run to Chipotle.  We would end up throwing stuff away because it would go bad before we ate it and felt like a lot of our time together was being spent on business planning.

Several months ago, a lovely friend introduced me to onceamonthmeals.com.  I had seen all the freezer meals on Pinterest, but really felt like that was too much to handle.  You factor in sorting through the recipes and which ones 1) I would want to eat 2) Mike would eat and 3) I could eat with Celiac Disease.  Seemed like way too much trouble.  With onceamonthmeals.com, everything is done for you!  They even have a gluten free menu to choose from.  Other menu options are Paleo, Whole Foods, Diet (includes WW points), etc.  They give you a shopping list and you change the number of servings you want and everything recalculates.  They give you labels for each item with cooking instructions. And they give you a prep sheet - what should be done first.  (For example, chopping all your veggies first so you do not have to wash the knife and cutting board a million times with cutting raw meat.)

We bought a subscription for them and went through their menus.  We found several we liked and actually doubled them.  This was back in September, and we STILL have stuff in our freezer from then!  Obviously that means we didn't eat at home every day, but we have eaten healthier and wiser.  This time I went through and picked some recipes that I knew we liked (some from the previous time cooking) and others that are just staples for us.  It took a little longer to come up with a shopping list, but it was much better the second time around and because I wasn't using unknown recipes, I didn't have to go back and forth to the computer for recipes.

This is about halfway through and the burritos were already in the freezer.

Let me say this, if you have never done freezer cooking before, I highly recommend using onceamonthmeals.com your first time.  You can cancel your subscription at anytime.  The $10/month is worth the time it takes to plan it all out and learn how it works.  After that firs time, decide if it something worth the the convenience, new recipes, time savings, and excessive options.  Feel free to try it on your own.

OK - here is the breakdown.  We spent just under $150 on groceries.  We buy as much as we can from Costco.  Then Aldi, then Publix.  If we need a specialty item, we usually hit up Whole Foods.  So far we haven't had to do that.  I cooked about 4 lbs of chicken in the crockpot as soon as we got home.  Once cooked, I throw it in my trusty KitchenAid mixer and shred it.  Stick it in the refrigerator until the next day - cooking day.  You will also want to chop any veggies up to make it easier for the next day.  We use a lot of frozen stuff so we eliminated this step.  You could also brown beef on the shopping day, but we held off.  That meant it took us a little longer the next day because we couldn't assemble some meals until the beef was ready.

Keep in mind, the $150 does not include some stuff we already had on hand.  We already had rice, beans, marinara sauce, and lasagna noodles.Once you find the meals you like, you will probably have a lot of the ingredients on hand.

As promised, here are some of our favorite recipes!  This does not include some of the staples for us:  Chicken Pot Pie, Shepherd's Pie, Lasagna, and Tacos.  Oh, I also made 12 chicken-bean burritos for last minute lunches.  The chicken-bacon bites are AMAZING!!!

OK - so here's what we got for the $150:

3 Lasagnas  (12 servings total)

2 Shepherd Pies  (8 servings total)

2 Chicken Pot Pies  (8 servings total)

12 Burritos  (12 servings total)

1 Taco  (4 servings total)

9 Chicken Broccoli Casseroles  (25 servings total)

2 Cashew Chickens  (8 servings total)

2 Teriyaki Chickens  (8 servings total)

~30 Meatballs  (10 servings total)

~40 Chicken-Bacon Bites  (20 servings total)

(I still need to make the Granola bites.)  Most of the casseroles or main dishes are prepped for 4 servings.  We just eat two and then have two servings for leftovers the next day.  

115 servings for $150!  That is not including the breakfast bites.  $1.15 per meal per person is not bad!  Granted, you still need to add some side dishes to many of these meals.  This is also a a GREAT way to take a meal to a family that just had a new baby or other families who are in need.  You can take it out of the freezer to thaw and give them cooking/reheating directions so they can make it when they are ready. Let me know if you try it and some of your favorites!

 

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) food monthly meals personal wife http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/monthly-cooking Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:00:00 GMT
Another Special Moment http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/another-special-moment First looks have become a newer, non-traditional moment that many couples are choosing to get some extra time together.  As you are planning out your wedding, you may feel like each day is creeping by and wondering if you will EVER get married.  Your day arrives - and you can hardly breathe, let alone think about eating.  With those two things being a necessity for life, how can you squeeze in the luxury of spending time with the ones you love?

Plan.

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Plan what you want, when you want it.  You will hear it from more than just me:  your wedding day is going to FLY by.  There will be some moments that are a blur.  Plan accordingly to enjoy each moment as it comes.  Those special moments you want to enjoy, allow for extra time for them.  This can be the "first look", prayer time with your wedding party, or something else.  Maybe I am a sucker for some things traditional.  Maybe it is because I was raised most of my life by a single dad.  I don't really have a reason why, but I LOVE the father daughter dance!  With my dad being one of my best friends through I wanted to enjoy every single moment that we had together.  I knew the rest of the day was moving so fast, the father-daughter dance was going to be the only time I could spend with just him.  I could thank him for all he had done and or always being there.  For setting the standards high for my husband and for loving me unconditionally.  

I have noticed some couples shortening their special dances.  Personally, that was not an option for us.  We knew that the rest of the night was going to be a whirlwind.  For us, we wanted every single second with one another and our mother and father to soak up.  The party would could come soon enough.  By all means, make decisions based on YOU and your other half.  But, if you are looking to enjoy some quiet time with your father (or the groom with his mother), I would encourage you not to shorten your song.  Soak up every single moment you can.  Your guests will wait.  You have an audience, all eyes are on you, but somehow they all disappear and you can have just a few moments to say thank you and remember all of those special moments that your father poured into you.  

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) father-daughter dance special moments weddings http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/another-special-moment Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:55:55 GMT
First Looks http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/first-looks I know I've talked about these before.  So, I'm not going to bore you.  Instead, I'm just going to let one of my lovely friends, Laura, share about her experience with a first look.

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loved doing a 'first look'. I was so nervous before the wedding, but seeing my groom beforehand totally put me at ease. It was great to have a time that was just the two of us that day (something you just don't get again until you drive away from the reception) -- we had our own special moments to take each other in, embrace and anticipate (together!) all that the rest of the day had in store, and spend some quiet time in prayer together. I cherish the picture that captures the intimate first hug from that day, and the moments that followed as we prepared to say 'I do'. I wondered if I would feel that it took some of the specialness from 'the big moment' when the bride enters the church during the ceremony. But, I actually felt that it created two really special moments. One when my groom and I first saw each other - a moment that was all our own - and another when I entered the church where all of our loved ones had gathered to celebrate with us. Then I appreciated knowing we had time to get all the pictures that we wanted, of just the two of us, our bridal party and our immediate families, without feeling the need to rush to meet our waiting guests at the reception. I would definitely recommend doing a 'first look' to other couples!

Just for the record - this is still one of my favorite photos we have ever captured!  Aubrey could not wait for Laura to make it down the aisle.  About halfway through - he took off towards her.  The moment was breathtaking!  Look at the where he embraces her!  They then took a few minutes together and he checked out the ENTIRE dress.  They made their way to the front of the church and spent some time praying together.  It was truly magical - and only Mike, myself, and the videographer had the front row seat.  Definitely a perk to this job!

 

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) couples first look weddings http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/first-looks Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:08:50 GMT
Entertainment: In the Kitchen http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/entertainment-in-the-kitchen We are working on some new stuff (and have been for some time now) in case you are new here.  Part of that is revising our Favorite Things list.  As I was going through some ideas, I couldn't help but think of my favorite kitchen item.  If you are getting married, add this to your registry!  (Think about something you are going to still want 20 years from now.)  If you are already married, tell your husband to stop by here!  HUSBANDS - want to earn mega points?  Buy your lovely bride one of these - Christmas, birthday, or just because!

This isn't only good for baking!  I use it to make mashed potatoes and shred chicken perfectly!  It is so nice to not have to man the machine and I can take care of finishing something else up for dinner.  Plus they now have a glass bowl with lid that is perfect for something you need to throw in the refrigerator.  

One last plug - this is something you will probably NEVER buy for yourself.  So - add it to your registry and see if some people will go in on it together.  If you are throwing a shower for a wonderful friend, consider making this a group gift.  I promise it won't disappoint!

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) couples favorite things personal weddings http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/entertainment-in-the-kitchen Thu, 10 Apr 2014 01:04:08 GMT
Confession http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/confession I Have a confession.

I'm not perfect.

I met with a sweet and wise friend this morning.  I talked through some of my anxiety and shared my heart.  I shared that the prayer request I have been asking others to pray for is"That I would trust God - unconditionally."  This really sums up what I want, how my heart beats, and what I know deep down is true.  I want to believe God even when things don't seem good to us.  But - He is good, no matter how we feel.

As I said these words, do you know what her response was?  "Is that attainable?  Will you ever have a life, here on earth, that trusts God unconditionally?"

Ummmmmmm......excuse me?!  That is my goal...that's what I want...and I think that's really what God wants too....right??

I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me. "No."  There will always be something I am holding on to.  Something I am scared to let go of.  Something I cannot trust God with.  It may be big, or small.  Consuming my mind or I may not even recognize it is happening.  But the reality - I am imperfect and on this side of Heaven, I always will be.

Don't get me wrong, I think God DOES want these things for us.  But this goal is one I won't be able to check off my list.  It is something to work towards, even though we will never arrive.  We all start somewhere.  What is something you are trusting God for TODAY?

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) God anxiety fear life personal trust http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/confession Tue, 08 Apr 2014 18:53:22 GMT
Sneak Peek: Wadley Family http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/sneak-peek-wadley-family We got to spend some time with this awesome family this weekend!  I have had the privilege of knowing them several years and seeing their oldest grow up year by year.  It is always a treat to see them and their oldest always keeps everyone entertained.  

Check out some of our favorite photos from the day!

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) Gemini Springs Volusia County barn family sneak peeks http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/sneak-peek-wadley-family Mon, 07 Apr 2014 21:43:11 GMT
Fridays http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/fridays I love Fridays!  Fridays Mike usually takes off so we get to enjoy some time together.  The weather is definitely warming up, but we are trying to get outside as much as possible before it is TOO hot.  So, today we took the kayak out for a little fun.  We never really thought we would have a kayak, but after all of our walks around the neighborhood and sitting on the boat ramp to watch the sunset, we realized it would be much better on the water.  

The lake we live on actually connects to another neighborhood where some of our dear friends live.  So, we kayaked out on the water and enjoyed some time dreaming, brainstorming.  Then, we met up with our friends over on their side and spent a little while just visiting and catching up.  Our little kayak has not only been nice for the two of us to spend time together, but we have had more conversations with our neighbors  just by getting out more.  Then add in the fun excuse to kayak over to the other side, and we get even more time with our friends.

So, maybe Fridays are a work day for you.  Find a day to make a fun day.  Set aside this day for you and your spouse to enjoy one another.  Go to the beach.  Build a fire.  Go for a hike.  Watch a new movie.  Whatever it is - find some time to connect.  We fully believe in dating, even after you are married.  Take time away from the rest of the world and check out - just the two of you.  Let us know some of your favorite ways to spend time together.

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) dates dating favorite things personal http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/fridays Fri, 04 Apr 2014 21:50:35 GMT
Why Wedding Planning is a Groom's Responsibility Too http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/why-wedding-planning-is-a-grooms-responsibility-too Cinar-42Cinar-42

Every now and then, I (Mike) will write something on the blog.  This piece is for all the future grooms out there.  

Of course one of the first things you do after proposing is call all of your friends and family to tell them the details.  I will never forget what one of my groomsmen told me after I shared the good news, he said something to the effect of:

"Mike, I've never understood why so many good male leaders become entirely passive in the planning of the first act of their new family.  Mike, you get two great ceremonies in your lifetime, your wedding, and your funeral - these two days say more about what you stand for than any other days in your life.  Make them count."

Those words cut me straight to the core.  At this point in my life, I couldn't have cared less what our wedding color palette was - let alone know what that meant.  It made me cringe to spend $11.95 on a bridal magazine - which I didn't even know was a category of magazines.  What exactly are center pieces on tables?  How do I spell boutonniere again?  

My wise friend's point was not that I had to make all of these decisions for us, but I needed to be actively engaged in the process and particularly to the point of having opinions and talking about them.  

If the miracle of a wedding is that two families enter and three exit, then it only stands to reason that a good husband will care about the day that miracle takes place and what it says about who they are.

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) Advice Engagement Groom advice Inspiration http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/why-wedding-planning-is-a-grooms-responsibility-too Thu, 03 Apr 2014 22:18:20 GMT
Community http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/community I am so thankful for community!  We have gone through seasons where we had friends, but not community.  Life was different, harder then.  Mike always says "I can't really explain the difference between community and friendship.  But when you experience community, you will know."  It is so true.  I think if you have community, you have friends.  If you have friends, you may have community, but not always.  For us, during a touch season of our lives, we had awesome friends - still do - we love them A LOT - but we were missing community.  In that specific instance, I think it was because all of our friends there were not friends with one another.  We were spread out between neighbors, coworkers, friends from church, etc.  Life was meant to be shared.

   

Today I am grateful for community.  Not a specific one - just community.  I feel like we have so many great communities and are blessed beyond belief because of these people in our lives.  They share with us and we share with them.  We have an awesome community of photography friends, those from church, those of fellow crafters, and sooooo many more!  

So, if you don't have someone in your life that you can cry with and laugh with - find someone!  Even just one person.  Build a group wherever you go!  Find one or two people to keep you sane during the work day.  Find some that you can grab dinner or a walk with when you've had a bad day - or good day.  Find some that enjoy doing what you enjoy doing.  Then learn from one another!  YOU have something to share - let someone in!

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) community friends personal http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/community Wed, 02 Apr 2014 17:37:19 GMT
I Miss It http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/i-miss-it Sometimes I miss England.

I lived there for a year with some awesome friends.  We were working on University campuses around Liverpool.  Sure - it's Westernized in a lot of ways.  But there are quite a few differences from the suburbia lifestyle I'm accustomed to.  

Five girls - yes FIVE - shared one bathroom.  

We didn't own a car and always used public transportation.

We took trains to and from other major cities and I loved them.

We walked to and from the grocery store - meaning you didn't shop for the month because you had to carry it all home.

And - we had a mini fridge - to share between five girls.

We didn't really see the sun for weeks months.  We could see signs of it, but not the actual thing.

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I saw several countries and dozens of cities.  

I met history - way more than America could ever dream of.

I worshiped in intricate cathedrals - the sound of our voices in giant buildings was awe inspiring.

I met amazing people.

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And I miss it - all of it.  

I miss the hustle and bustle of getting ready with 4 of your friends.

I miss public transportation and how efficient it was.

I miss trains - a LOT - and the convenience of traveling.

I miss walking to the grocery store and the quietness of walking - walking everywhere.

I miss that many fridge and truly understanding what was important for just a day or two with very little going to waste.

I miss the overcast skies - sometimes - not all the time.  The light drizzle and spit in your face - and drenched jeans when you finally made it to where you were going.  But - it didn't stop us.  We would keep walking.  And I miss those quiet walks between me and God.

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Travel.  Travel when you can.  See the world.  Experience history.  Meet new people.  Live in a different culture.  Mike and I are both incredibly thankful for our experiences abroad - separate countries, but at the same time.  Our lives have been shaped from that one year.  We have more memories from that one year than any other time in the history of our lives.  If you are single - TRAVEL.  If you are married - travel.  We would do it all over again - separately.  We learned a lot about ourselves.  And then we would do it all again - together.

The world is a book, and those that do not travel read only one page.  -St. Augustine

 

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) Europe personal travel http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/4/i-miss-it Tue, 01 Apr 2014 16:47:18 GMT
Faithful http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/3/faithful It's been a crazy year for us.  We are so fortunate to have incredible friends and family to walk this road with us.  We feel incredibly blessed and there is very little we would do differently.  This year - especially for me - has been pieces falling all around us.  For the most part, we haven't personally gone through hell and high water, but we have watched our friends face it time and time again.  

We've watched several friends battle out cancer.  Several deal with infertility and miscarriages.  We've even walked this heartache with some who have lost a child.  Life is not always fair - and yet somehow that little five year old inside of us, wants it to be.  Well, I don't really think we want it to be FAIR - we are way too selfish for that.  If it were fair, I think we would all experience much more hardship.  But because of God and His mercies, we have experiences some incredible graces.  Why?  Because life isn't fair - we don't get what we deserve.  If we look back at how selfish we really are, we deserve very little - but time and time again we are blessed.  Most of the time we don't even recognize it.

For over a year now, I've been listening to the song below.  There has been an incredible amount of comfort for me in these lyrics.  I have listened to it time and time again.  In the car I can belt out and let loose, crying out to God, and hearing the words come off my tongue, I start to believe them.  I know they are true from God's promises, but why is it so hard to feel in your heart?  I've grown anxious, way more than ever before, in the last five weeks.   I have played this song beside my bed as I am falling asleep.  When I thought our plane was going to come crashing down, this song rang in my ears.  When I wake up for no apparent reason and exhaust myself for all the reasons why I am awake, I can peacefully fall back asleep if I rest in this song.  

So, no matter what you are going through, know that the Lord is faithful.  He finishes what He begins.  We may not get it - but He does.  He is EVER faithful!  Enjoy the song, the words, and thank you Kristian Stanfill for music that gives me great comfort because of the promises of God.

 

 

You can pick up the whole album in the Passion Store.  

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) God Kristian Stanfill faith personal http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/3/faithful Fri, 28 Mar 2014 14:57:55 GMT
Volkswagen Vans and the Edge of a Cliff http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/3/volkswagen-vans-and-the-edge-of-a-cliff OK - this is our very last session from our time out in California.  This is actually all from Mike, as I was off with another shoot.  This was a much smaller shoot and couldn't have asked for a better set up!  Seriously - who doesn't love seeing a blue Volkswagen van sitting ontop of a cliff overlooking the Pacific?  

A special thanks to Susanne Ashby for coordinating and Ella & Louie for the flowers!  And an INCREDIBLE thank you to our lovely models!  Thanks for rocking this out and making the drive!

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/3/volkswagen-vans-and-the-edge-of-a-cliff Thu, 27 Mar 2014 13:00:00 GMT
Loving these Upgrades http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/3/loving-these-upgrades Now that Rico and Lawren have had time to scroll through the rest of their photos, I can share a few more with you!  :)  Before I do that, I LOVE the new layouts for galleries!  Seriously, much better than scrolling through photos one by one and looking at teeny tiny thumbnails all the night.  Plus you can post to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest with just a click of one button!

Gorgeous, right!?!  I just can't get enough of it!

OK - so now that you've seen that, here are a few more of this awesome couple.  I love this first one (which you've already seen) because I feel like there is so much captured that is unique to THEM and not be or another couple.  Them being them!  I love that!  That by far is one of the highlights of my job.  Enjoy!

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saragphoto@gmail.com (sara G photography) Cypress Grove Cypress Grove Estate Cypress Grove Park Orlando couples engagement http://saragphoto.com/blog/2014/3/loving-these-upgrades Wed, 26 Mar 2014 15:28:41 GMT