Monday Lovin’: August Edition

Hello hello hello, and HAPPY Monday to you!! Can you believe that it is AUGUST?!? ME NEITHER. This summer has been one for the books that’s for sure, and I am so so sad that it’s almost over! Luckily, I still have a good 3 weeks left..and A LOT will be happening in that short amount of time :) A vacation to Seaside, FL with the hubs next week, two big-girl parties, lots of new-home-decorating-and-organizing (and Target shopping..), a trip to Ikea, lesson planning, dog-walking, AND the official launch of the Sami Renee Photography web/blog site THIS FRIDAY!!!!! Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!! (And yes, you did note a name change there…none of this “Samantha Renee” stuff, because I sort of really hate being called Samantha? Yeah, makes sense to me too :) ) I am super excited to show you everything I’ve been working on for the official branding of this business, and I hope you love it as much as I do!!!! Eek!

Okay, enough of the rambling. Let’s get to the good stuff :)

This Monday, I am loving…

  1. my new lens :) :) I FINALLY own the best stinkin’ awesome wide angle lens out there — Canon EF 24-70mm f\2.8L II USM for all you Canon geeks — but the rest of you can just know at as my ZOOOOOOM!!! I am so excited about this purchase because, while it was a big one, every single little penny will be worth it! Normally I rent this lens for weddings, but I was shooting all my sessions solo 50mm. Now, I love my 50 and that’s still my go-to lens for now, but I am so excited about the 24-70 because it just adds so much VARIETY to my sessions :) For example, feast your eyes on this bad boy from Saturday’s Vow Renewal Ceremony …

2014.8.2 Tousley Vow Renewal-1810_STOMP.jpgYeah. I love it too :)

2. Speaking of Saturday’s Vow Renewal — I am LOVING that I got to shoot this session and witness all the love these parents of 4.5 (hehe) have for each other after 10 years of marriage!!! This was the first session of this kind I have done, and I am hoping to get to capture many more in the future. Even with all the craziness of the day (you would never know from the photos but an INSANE wind/rain storm blew through about 3 hours earlier), Celena and Keith were able to just ENJOY each other and celebrate all God has done for them…and it was beautiful. That’s all I will say about this for now…so be on the lookout for this entire session on the blog later this week :)

3. I’m also loving my family and the generosity they have for others. My dad and older brothers drove all the way up here to help Chris and I move on Saturday morning, and we could not have done it without them!!! Growing up I was sometimes jealous of friends who had parents that bought them clothes and shoes and fun things all the time. Not to say my parents didn’t ever buy me great things — because they did! — but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized just how lucky I am to have parents who freely give the most important thing: time! My Dad and I grabbed Einstein’s for everyone before the move on Saturday, and it took me back to all of those father-daughter dates we went on during middle and high school. We would wake up early, drive to Einstein’s, and grab a bagel before school, and just talk about life. I love those memories with my Dad, and am so thankful for all the time and energy both my parents have given me throughout the years! Love you guys :)

4. On a more silly note, I am super loving putting a sheet over Graham’s crate at night. Best. Idea. Ever. No more 6am barking every time the sun comes up…thank you Kerlins for the few extra hours of snoozing in the morning :)

Well, I am off to run some errands, finish unpacking, and get to organizing!!! I will leave you with some sneak peeks of what you have to look forward to this week on the blog :)

1. Peter & Bobbi’s maternity session at Edgewater Park2014.8.1 Peter + Bobbi Maternity-1510_STOMP2. Tousley Family + Vow Renewal Ceremony :) 2014.8.2 Tousley Vow Renewal-1677_STOMPHappy Monday!!!

Love love love,



Monday Lovin’: Letter Style

Screenshot 2014-07-28 09.52.55Hello hello hello, and a very happy (rainy!!!) Monday to you!! I love getting to write these posts each week. They have turned into such a neat way to document all the happenings & loves throughout the summer, and I often can’t wait to share my favorite things with you all!! One of my favorite blogs to read every Monday is Lauren’s “Monday’s Letters” series over at Elle & Company Design, so to show some Monday love to her (and to switch up this series a bit!!), I am going to write some letters of my own this morning :)

Dear Mr. Orndorff, Last night we had a tornado warning, and (being me) I obviously freaked out a little bit and wanted to make a straight get-away to the basement of our apartment building. Thanks for giving me a hug and flipping to the weather channel to show me nothing was wrong…and for giggling when you saw that my flip-flops were on my feet and my water bottle was ready to go just in case a downstairs sprint became necessary :P

Dear BarkCam, You are the best app on my phone to date, and the way you get my little Graham-ster to tilt his head & smile makes me giggle every time :) I see many memories documented with you in the future (oh, and I especially love your photo add-ons too!).

Dear College Course That I Dropped 4 Weeks In, While I didn’t really appreciate your false course description or the fact that your professor often blew her nose WHILE continuing to lecture (multi-tasking at its finest?), I am so so thankful for you because you brought Cait Snyder into my life :) Commiserating over weird math equations that somehow had something to do with psychology, drowning our Hutton Honors sorrows in Ballantine paninis, and talking about relationships, Jesus, sororities, college, dorm-life, Facebook, boys, family, and pretty much everything else under the sun EXCEPT our course material brought us together and has kept us close ever since! Having her visit #theCLE this past weekend was such a blast, and I owe all the beach-laying, park-walking, Mitchell’s-ice-cream-eating, beer-drinking, margarita-slurping, heart-to-heart-talking, SVU-watching, garage-sale-shopping, Jesus-loving to you :)

Dear Chris, These past almost-two years in our #tinyapartmentbigspirit have been the best of my life, and I find myself a little sad to be moving to a bigger place this weekend! While I can’t wait for the extra room (and hopefully all the visitors it brings with it!), I am going to miss our fun times in these 492 sq. feet of memories. You make every part of life an adventure, and I am forever grateful for these past years of literally not being able to get away from each other :P I love you!

Screenshot 2014-07-28 09.53.20


To read more Monday Letters from Lauren, make sure to check out her blog here!

Midweek Catch Up

Hi guys!!! Happy WEDNESDAY!! I feel like it’s been forever since we’ve met in this little space — this was the first Monday I missed a Monday Love post since we started back in March!!

Normally if I know I’m going to be busy I will do a bit of pre-blogging to stay consistent, but with my siblings here last week, an all-day wedding for Emily Millay Photography on Saturday, a cook-out with church friends AND the US-Portugal game after (talk about a crushing ending!!) on Sunday, plus a 12-hour work day on Monday…I just didn’t have time!! At first I was stressed out about it…but then I realized that all of those things involved all of my favorite things (friends, family, laughter, the beach, photography, and celebrations), so there was no reason to be ashamed of living life & not necessarily blogging about it :P Right?? I think so. :)

And then this awesome little post by Abby Grace popped up yesterday. She is an AMAZING photographer & blogger and was a big part of the inspiration behind my Monday Love to begin with, so when she wrote about skipping a post and living in the here & now, it confirmed me thoughts I’d had too :) So here’s to living in the now!

For me, this is what now is lookin’ like:

Screenshot 2014-06-24 21.30.12

Graham at 8 weeks:

Loves: sleeping, playing, snuggling, run/jumping (it’s adorable & he’s a clutz haha!), being held, my toes, his triceratops dinosaur toy, his crate (thank you Jesus), rolling in the muddy grass, the rain, sniffing out our #tinyapartmentbigspirit, and meeting new friends!!!

Not-so-much-loves: car rides (aka he puked on me driving home. yuck.), going poop outside (sad face), and walking on his leash.

I’m sure there will be lots more to add to this list shortly as we keep getting to know each other, but one day in that’s what I got! Compared to other crazy horror stories I had heard about puppies’ first night at home…Graham is doing SO great. He didn’t whine at all in his crate until around 2am when he needed to go pee, so that was pretty fantastic for us :) He is so cute all snuggled up in there with his favorite toy :) If anyone has any tips for crate-training or helpful blogs to check out, I’d LOVE to hear from ya — leave a comment below!!!!

Besides for figuring out life with a puppy, my now also includes finishing up some session edits, finalizing my website, FREAKING OUT over my AMAZING logo via Letters of Grace which I CAN’T WAIT TO SHOW YOU, watching Friday Night Lights, babysitting some really awesome-fun-silly kids, enjoying beautiful flowers, attempting to work out, reading great books, not cooking, and snuggling my hubs :)

What’s your now? Be in it. :)

Love love love,