Two of my very best friends recently got engaged (and one married now!). I have been so excited to share in their journey toward marriage and celebrate the love that they share with their partners.
I first started this blog when I was newly engaged. At the time, I wondered what the point of marriage was. I know now that my wedding day really didn’t mean much – other than as a chance to celebrate with friends and family.
That’s kind of a weird thing to say, right? But the day that I married Russell, I still cared about myself more than anything else. I married him because I wanted him in my life, to make me happy. Somewhere, sometime over the last three years, that changed. And whenever that changed, that’s when we were really married.
While it is about me being happy, it’s also about Russell being happy – and more than either of those, it’s about us as a family being happy, healthy, and functional. And sometimes that means sacrifice and compromise. But, because I love US more than ME, it always means reward and joy.
It’s about our families – past and future. It’s about our friends – old and new. It’s about the people who have poured into our lives and made us who we are today. And it’s about the people who we will, together, pour into and love over the next however many years.
It’s about our culture and society. I so strongly believe that healthy marriages and strong family units are the only hope that we have to survive as a country, a society, a human race.
It’s about God – about loving others the way He loves us and honoring the first and most important relationship that He gave us.
I once was ambivalent toward marriage. Today, I’m its biggest fan. I realize now that there are so many points of marriage. And, I’m sure, as Russell and I continue to grow in our relationship and marriage, I will realize so much more.
Over the last few months, I have so enjoyed celebrating not only my friends and their partners – but also love and marriage in general. I captured a few photos at their showers, each of which were such beautiful and fun celebrations of love, family, and friendship. I’ve been so honored to be a part of their journeys as they embark on the most important and sacred relationship and institution on this planet.
Praying blessings over these couples – love you guys!
Celeste’s Engagement Party
Emily’s Couples Shower
It has been a few months now since I quit my full-time job to focus on freelance work and photography. The decision and the time leading up to my last day was scary, exciting, daunting, nerve-wrecking, and relieving all wrapped up in one. I hoped that the day after my job ended, I would know whether or not I made the right decision. But, truthfully, the time since my last day has been a lot of the same, conflicting emotions I had for so many months leading up to my decision to resign.
I was really worried about getting bored. Not having enough to do. Worrying about not contributing to our family, not having employer-provided health insurance, not having an active 401k.
But, I am so blessed that so many of you have trusted me to work on your wedding invitations, family photos, Christmas cards, fundraising and event materials, websites, and so much more.
This week, I wrapped up several projects I’ve been working on. As I held the finished products in my hand, I had such a peace come over me that I made the right decision to focus on this business.
To show my deep, profound appreciation, I’m giving away a free mini-session, with a print release for your favorite image from the session and a custom Facebook cover photo – a $125 value.
Entering the giveaway is easy!
Like Andrus Williams Creative on Facebook
Share the giveaway image on your Facebook timeline
(Bonus entry for those who read my blog – leave a comment below!)
I’ll pick a winner on Monday night (November 11, 2013). The session must be booked by May 11, 2014 and is subject to availability. Additional fees may be assigned for travel outside of Dalhart, TX.
Congratulations to Rinnell Yoder, who won the giveaway!
Again – thank you all so much for your love and support.
These two were some of the first people that Russell and I met when we first visited our church. And in the moment that I met them, I felt for one of the first times that I could find a church family and a place to belong in Dalhart. I’ll always be thankful for the kindness and warmth that radiated from them that Sunday morning – and the support, love, and fun they have shared since.
They are such a special family and friends to so many. I was so excited to take their family portraits this year. Their fun personalities and love for each other, others, and God shine through. Here are a few of the photos from their session!
Be sure to like Andrus Williams Creative on Facebook to see more of my work!
Look who is turning one – and what a cute age! She just learned to walk and was quite proud of herself. And that sweet smile and beautiful blue eyes – what a doll!
Today, I’m thinking about Christmas. I know, it’s only September. We still have Columbus Day, Halloween, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving to get through. But, still, Christmas is on my mind.
Russell and I are leaving on Christmas Eve to go to Myanmar and Thailand for a mission trip with our church. We’ll spend 3 days in Myanmar at Father’s House Orphanage, celebrating Christmas with the kids there. The orphanage houses over 20 children, aged 6-15, who were orphaned during the devastating tsunami of 2008. The precious children attend school, learn subsistence farming skills, and are taught about God’s love and His Word.
Right now, we’re working hard to raise money to take the kids Christmas presents and to be able to serve them a special Christmas dinner. We’re hoping to take a basket of goodies for each child, with basic necessities, like school items, toiletries, towels, and an umbrella, plus some toys and books for the kids to enjoy.
To help raise funds for our trip, I’m offering a Christmas Mini Session & Photo Card Package, for $215, with 100% of the proceeds going toward the gifts for the kids. Book by October 15 and get:
- 30 minute photo session
- 5 edited images with print release
- Custom Christmas card design
- 50 5×7 Christmas cards with envelopes (additional cards available for order; 25 for $40)
Please contact me if you’re interested in booking a session or making a donation to the mission trip!
*Sessions are subject to availability.
Last weekend, Russell and I headed to his hometown so he could play in the annual golf tournament. Which essentially left me with a weekend without him in Farwell, Texas.
So, I did what I do best – I filled my time by taking pictures. Of a bridal luncheon and bridal party getting ready, of Russell’s cousin, and of this sweet (and gorgeous!) family.
Okay, seriously, how cute are these kids?
They were full of personality, having fun with each other and with the photo session. Lots of silly faces – and so many sweet smiles.
I’ve heard it said that Costa Rica is for lovers. So, where better to go and celebrate our anniversary this year?
And Costa Rica definitely lived up to all of the hype. We started our trip staying at Tabacon resort, near Arenal volcano. This place has to be as close to Heaven on Earth as possible. It was so incredibly beautiful and peaceful.
It was the rainy season while we were there, which for us desert-dwellers was much welcome! How wonderful to fall asleep and wake up to the sound of rain! Luckily the rain cleared during the days, so we hiked through the rain forest, swam around waterfalls, and enjoyed the hot springs.
It was also Russell’s brother and his wife’s anniversary, so we met up with them for zip lining and then a few lazy days at the beach.
It was such a great trip, full of relaxation, adventure, delicious food, and wonderful company – it was so tempting to “accidentally” miss our flight and stay in paradise a little longer!
A while back, I shared a few photos from some photo shoots with B. Whimsy, a local clothing and home decor store. It’s been a while – so here are a few more photos of their adorable clothes (and shoppers!)
See more of their items on Facebook or on their website!
Until December 23, 2010, I was a city girl. I had daily lattes, shopped a little too often, relied on public transportation, and rejected the thought of ever living in the country. When my husband and I decided to leave it all for West Texas to farm, life changed completely. Read my “Farmwife Confessions” to learn about the transition.
In my last Farmwife Confession, I talked a little about “corporate” farming and some of the incorrect perceptions consumers sometimes have about farming. Another one I hear and read often is that us “corporate” farmers don’t consume food we grow and have separate organic gardens for our families. Which is absurd.
I hear this line most often in regards to potato farmers. Always followed up by a statement that non-organic potatoes don’t sprout because they have so many pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. I know that this is anecdotal evidence, but there’s the glaring fact that every single potato that I’ve ever bought and not eaten right away has sprouted. Details.
Opponents of modern food production methods so often paint farmers as pawns in a food war, unable to make genuine decisions about what and how we grow. They make statements like: Monsanto forces farmers to buy their products; farmers are just tied to the welfare of farm subsidies; and farmers don’t really care about their land or product – only money. And, hey, there could be some farmers out there about whom these descriptions ring true – every industry has a few bad seeds! (Pun intended.)
But, from the farmers I’ve met, they believe in their crops and in their land. They work endless hours to grow a healthy, life-sustaining product for all of us to enjoy with our families. What’s that saying… don’t badmouth a farmer while your mouth is full. Yeah. That.
For my birthday this year,
I bought myself Russell so thoughtfully gave me a bread machine. It was wheat harvest on the farm then, so he brought me home a small bag of grains that I could use to make whole wheat bread. And, it was not secret organic wheat that we keep for ourselves.
(Another thing I read a lot – that there is SO much GMO wheat in our food. Not true. There is no GMO wheat in legal commercial production in the US. Again, details.)
I don’t have a home grain mill (yet), so I decided to grind the wheat with a food processor and then a mortar and pestle. It ended up looking a bit like steel cut oats. Since I couldn’t make a fine flour, I added our wheat to other whole wheat flour to give the bread texture. And what a fresh, hearty, earthy bread it turned out to be – so much better tasting than store-bought bread.
I used the Honey Whole Wheat recipe from 100 Days of Real Food. Here’s the recipe as I made it:
- 4 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1/4 cup of our ground wheat, plus some for the top of the loaf
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast
I made the dough in my bread machine, following its directions for the order to add the ingredients. Once the dough was mixed and had gone through the rise cycle, I took it out and cooked it in a loaf pan, 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
As Russell said when he took the first bite – this recipe is a keeper.