365 Days of Love: Melissa + Zach

Mary Fields Photography

365 is the number. Love is the measurement. 365 Days of Love that is. That’s what this sweet couple celebrated recently and I was privileged to document it.

Zach and Melissa’s love for each other is so clear. They met in Missouri in 2007 at a coffee shop and dated for a short time before their paths took separate turns. She headed overseas and he stayed put. About a year later, those paths reunited in Dallas, TX coincidentally…or maybe not so coincidentally because you see, they were meant to be. He proposed in 2010 and they married in 2011. Now, a year after they said their ‘I Do’s,’ they are still celebrating their love.

Wanting to keep track of all their adventures together in the years to come, they decided to do an anniversary shoot each year that commemorated something special about that particular year of marriage. Yep, LOVE that! When they contacted me with the idea I was more than onboard. We met early in the morning to escape the summer heat and had such a blast! Since this was their first year together, their first apartment was particularly special so we made that our location. Being a sentimental addict, I loved this idea. We spent the morning doing things they enjoy doing together and simply celebrating their first 365 days of love.

Enjoy some of my favorites from the shoot!

Happy Friday!

Melissa made these awesome little flags and got Sprinkles Cupcakes which are to die for. Really.

There are some great walking trails around their apartment and they love taking walks together. It made for a beautiful first spot.

Mary Fields Photography

Melissa…you are beautiful.

If you are planning a wedding this is a fabulous idea. They had their wedding guests write them a card at the wedding for them to open on their 1 year anniversary. What a fun idea!

Yeah, this light was too good to be true.

Favorite.

Mary Fields Photography

They love to cook together so we headed to their kitchen and did some early morning baking. SO fun.

They also love to drink coffee so these were a fun gift. Seriously awesome mugs.

We then headed out to the porch to take some pics with this cute sign. Love it.

Love and coffee. Can it get better?

They both also love to read together which I greatly admire. I need to read more…

Yep, another fav. The light made me get really giddy. If you are a past client, you know what that looks like!

Married! And loving it!

With the summer sun coming up in full blaze, they were troopers and headed out for just a few more. Love this tree.

ONE YEAR!!! I told them they needed to close every anniversary shoot incorporating something that represented the year they were celebrating. This one was easy. 25 may be a little more difficult!

Laugh. Play. Love: The Houston Family

Words cannot express how much I love this family. Seriously. I have been so privileged to know the Houston’s over the last 7 years and watch as their family has grown. When I first met them, there were only two cute little ‘blondies’ and as you can see…things have changed since then!

They are a family that values exactly what they are. Family. They laugh a lot. They play a lot. And they love A LOT. Since I started my photography business, even from the very beginning almost three years ago, they have been my number one client. Melissa has been so gracious to see my interest and has sought me ought, giving me the opportunity to practice on her beautiful family. Our first family shoot was in the freezing November weather. It was about 30 minutes long because everyone was miserably cold…and I had VERY little idea of what I was doing. Surprisingly, we got some good shots but I think it is a true statement that every shoot we have done gets better and better! What a blessing to not only be able to witness such a wonderful Christ-centered family, but to have the privilege of capturing them.

When I was in Branson recently, Melissa and I spent some time dreaming up a themed shoot and I love the way it turned out! Matt and Melissa have the most beautiful photogenic children that it really is unfair to the rest of the world. However, I am certainly not complaining! We had a lot of fun dreaming it up and putting it together so I hope you enjoy some of my favorites.

Matt and Melissa, thanks for giving me a chance even in the beginning and for continuing to believe in my talents. It’s been a joy to watch your family these last 7 years and I look forward to many more! The Houston’s will always have a special place in my heart!

Happy Tuesday!

This sweet girl was a little distracted by her fruit snacks…but she’s still the cutest thing ever.

Ok, so talk about melt your heart. That smile is award winning…

Mary Fields Photography

The one boy in the family (besides Dad of course). Got to hold his own.

Mary Fields Photography

Mmmm.

What a cutie…and those blue eyes are a photographer’s dream.

LOVE this shot.

This girl is seriously the most thoughtful little girl ever. She has an old soul and I love it!

The oldest. And what a good job she does at it! Can’t believe she is as grown up as she is!

Sisters.

Bubbles are the best for photo shoots.

And glitter confetti…

Mary Fields Photography

Beautiful girl.

All of these cuties were in a wedding recently and so we wanted to get some good pics of them in their wedding outfits. They were ridiculously cute. Especially this little one who decided she’d cheese it up for my camera.

Talk about handsome.

I promise I did not pose this. She is just a natural.

She has been a silly band fan since the beginning and is still rockin’ them today. I love her dedication.

So grown up and such a beautiful little girl.

We had a mover but I love this shot anyway!

Again, what a beautiful family.

On Days Like Today

99.9% of the time I forget how blessed I am.

.1% of the time…on days like today…I remember.

When we were kids, he’d tell us that ‘He knew everything,’ and of course we believed him.  He’d line us up on his bed and play the ‘tickle game’ which was a love/hate relationship. You would wait in excitement and a little agony just watching his every move to see if you were next to be tickled into oblivion. Every once in a while, he’d look at us with a gleam in his eye and say, ‘You know what you need? You need a MR. BEAR-SQUASH-YOU-ALL-FLAT!!!!” Then he’d tackle us to the floor and just lay on us…squashing us all flat. We’d giggle until our faces were red and we couldn’t take it anymore. At night, we’d sit around the dinner table and he’d come up with some crazy game for us to play. Spell or Define. Math problems. The Whistling game. You may think it’s weird but you’re just wrong…it was wonderful. Sometimes, he’d just pull us into his lap and hug on us, telling us he loved us…the sweetest words for a young girl to hear from her father. Words that have made me secure in myself even until today.

It simply is unfitting to honor him today though and not her also. She was the world’s best ‘stay at home’ mom. Why you ask? She did it without a hint of regret, selflessly sacrificing so much of herself to give us what we needed. She made our home a haven. She was and continues to be the hardest worker I have ever known. On Tuesdays and Thursdays my sister and I would trade off on going to ‘Mother’s Day Out’ and having a ‘Day with Mom.’ I always wished it was my turn for DWM. She’d create the coolest adventures for us, making our days eventful and fun. We’d do crafts, go see the pigs, make potpourri, go on bike rides, make up games in our backyard and so much more. Sometimes if we were lucky, we’d catch her before she put fresh sheets on the bed. Crawling up on the mattress before she tucked in the top sheet, we’d say, “Can you shake the sheets Momma? Can you shake the sheets?!?” Without hesitation she’d just smile and lift up the fresh sheet, shaking it as if she was laying out for a picnic. We’d close our eyes and wait for the soft, fresh, and clean sheet to fall on our little faces. It felt like a piece of heaven. All of my life, she has always looked at us and said, “Who loves you the most?” And I always knew who did.

You see, I am blessed beyond measure. I have the greatest parents in all the world. I’m sure your’s may be great too but I’m sorry to say, I cannot imagine how they could be greater than mine. I have never questioned their love for me and even now, as a full-grown adult, they remain my biggest supporters, comforters, advice-givers, role-models, sounding boards and care-takers. Now, however, as I have moved into adulthood, I am privileged to call them friends.

I realize that today is Father’s Day but since I did not get a chance on the blog to thank my mother on Mother’s Day, I’m taking the opportunity to do both. Momma, you are the best mom a girl could ever ask for. Daddy, you are the best father a girl could ever ask for. Please know that if I ever get the chance to be a parent, I hope I can do it even a fraction as well as you have. Thank you for ‘knowing everything’ and for ‘loving me the most.’

Happy Father’s Day and a belated cyberspace Mother’s Day!

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

“Have I told you lately that I love you 
Could I tell you once again somehow 
Have I told you how with all my heart 
And soul I need you 
Well darling I’m telling you now 
My heart would break in two if I should lose you I’m no good without you anyhow 
Have I told you lately that I love you 
Well, darling, I’m telling you now “

These were the lyrics my Granny would sing over us as children. Words that we sing to each other now and words that I cherish so very dearly.

If you have been a follower of the blog for a while, you might know about the Herd Bull and His Bullette. My wonderful grandparents that lead our pack. The patriarchs of our crazy but wonderful clan. As I was going through all of my pictures from the last crazy 7 weeks, I found these gems from my cousin’s wedding last weekend and had to take a moment and pause. I paused you see because I was suddenly hit by an overwhelming feeling of pride. Not the kind of pride that leads to a fall. A more humble, grateful, blessed kind of pride in the heritage that I have. Pride in these two people who have so very much shaped who I am and the world I grew up in. A world that was characterized by godliness, love and laughter. Words cannot even begin to express how much I love these two and how much I admire who they are. My family, though we have our quirks, is a beautiful assemblage and picture of what family should be. We owe SO much of that to the faithfulness of these two. Their love for our God, their committed love for each other and their selfless love for each one of us has created a heritage that I am so proud to call my own.

Thank you Granny and Papa for leading this herd so well. You are both a treasure that I don’t deserve. I simply cannot express the way your lives have blessed and shaped my own…in the best possible way. Have I told you lately that I love you? Well…I am telling you now.

Happy Tuesday!

My Granny is still as beautiful as ever.  

My Papa and I dancing at the wedding. He is way better than I’ll ever be. So grateful that he is back on his feet after a painful battle with cancer. God is so very good.

I know the one on the left is blurry but I still loved it too much not to show it. What a memory for me 🙂

Just short of 60 years of marriage and still dancing. Still in love. They had their first date when they were 12. Married at 20 and dancing ever since. What a picture of marriage that the world needs to see. So grateful for this example in my life.

Marching On: Shelby Senior Photography

We bonded over marching band. No shame. We both love it and don’t care in the slightest what other people think. Sometimes I’d take her home from small group, she’d put her instrument in my back seat and we would laugh and talk about all the ins and outs of high school marching band. The competitions. The thrills of performing. The relationships that develop within your section and the unity you feel. The joy of making music. We understood each other and spoke the same language. A language that no one else understands and yet one that was so special to us both. I loved it.

Shelby is one special high school senior. We first met over three years ago at a church service that met in the Branson YMCA. She may not remember but I do, clear as day because I thought, ‘this is one cool freshman.’ Immediately it was clear to me that she was well beyond her years in wisdom and understanding of biblical truth. Her passion for the Lord and her pursuit of a life based on His calling was uncanny and so rare in someone so young. Over the next two years I had the great privilege of being one of her small group leaders and watching as she continued to develop into such a beautiful and godly young woman. When she asked if I would do her senior portraits, I was thrilled and honored!

Shelby, thank you so much for letting me do these portraits and for allowing me the privilege of sharing in your life these last three years. You are a gem. It is so rare to find someone so young who is equally as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. I know that wherever you go, as you pursue the Lord, that you will do wonderful and amazing things. I cannot wait to see what is in store for you and all the places He will take you as you keep ‘marching on.’ Love you bunches. (And let’s be honest…we know the truth. Marching band is the bomb.com…double click.)

Enjoy some of my favorites from our shoot!

Happy Tuesday!

I have always said that I wish I’d had red hair. I still say it. You are gorgeous Shelbs.

Love that flower. Love it.

Shelby had the coolest location picked out for this shoot. An old building near her house that had burned down years ago. SO cool.

Work it girl.

Every time I see the one on the right I gasp a little. Simply stunning.

Don’t worry it was safe…I think.

Favorite. So natural.

Seriously. Your eyes are ridiculous.

I may have freaked out a little when she showed me this ivy wall. Perfection.

Stunning.

 

Sneak Peek: Shelby Senior Photography

 

This Saturday I leave for my old stomping grounds. The place I called home for 3 years of my life. That quaint little town I love so much, tucked away in the hills of the Ozarks and so characteristically unique. Branson, MO.

I have back to back weddings, one of a dear friend (where I will happily be just a guest) and one of another dear friend (where I will happily be the photog) in this great little city. Instead of driving all the way back to Dallas for a short week, I decided just to stay and spend some good quality time with my sweet Branson family!

I’m particularly excited because I’ll get to see my wonderful old small group…the ever-amazing BOBs. Crazy, these wonderful young ladies are graduating in just a few weeks and I can’t believe it! So pumped about getting to spend a little time with them before they toss those caps and head their separate ways. I had the great joy of doing some senior portraits for one of them a while back and can’t wait to show you more! Enjoy a sneak peek of this beautiful gal! Hopefully in the midst of the craziness, her blog will go up tomorrow!

Happy Thursday!

Simply stunning Shelbs!

BOBS: Small Group Portrait Photography

BOBs they call themselves and BOBs they are. Babes of the Bible that is. They have been meeting together since they were in the 6th grade I think which is just unreal. I had they great privilege of being their co-BOBs leader for their sophomore and junior years. (My amazing co-leader and friend, Jennifer Farley, has an amazing design blog that you should check out) Now they are seniors in high school and growing into the most beautiful young women. Babes for sure as you can tell by these pictures. What makes them especially beautiful though is the latter part of their name. ‘Of the Bible.’ Those words set them apart from the rest of the beautiful young women in this world. Their beauty not only comes from outward appearance but first and foremost from a deep love for the Lord. In the two years that I got to spend with them, digging deep into God’s Word, I was blown away by their maturity and their desire to know God in a genuine self-abandoned way. They challenged me in life-changing ways and I only hope I was able to do a little bit of the same. They are SO very special to me and I know that as they leave their high school and inevitably each other, they will change the world. Going in all different directions come next fall, I hope that they will remember that they are indeed BOBs, beautiful on the inside and out!

Girls, I miss each of you more than you know and so wish I could be there for our Monday night meetings. So very grateful for two great years of being a BOB myself and getting to learn about our great God alongside you. Never forget that your beauty comes first from the work He is doing inside of you. The rest is fleeting but that lasts forever and will move mountains. I can’t wait to see where each of you end up and how your own BOB story will unfold. Each of you are a treasure. Don’t forget it. Love and miss all of you!

Enjoy some pictures of a BOBS group shoot we did before I left town last fall. Yes, I know that I am behind but life has been a bit crazy lately! Please forgive.

Happy Tuesday!

Meet Kylee.

Meet Angelica.

Meet Hannah.

Meet Hayden.

Meet Dovie. (you may remember her from her senior shoot)

Meet KristiAnna (you may remember her from her senior shoot).

Meet Shelby. (look for her senior pics soon)

Meet Lindsay. (Linds, you may not like the one on the left but I LOVE it!)

Meet Erin.

Meet Alex.