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Jenny & Alden

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There's nothing more fun that photographing beautiful, adventurous people. Jenny and Alden met up with me for a mountain photo session, and were even willing to jump in a waterfall in October!

Alden told me that Jenny loves wildflowers, so I brought along one of the bridesmaids bouquets for my wedding next June. I picked these out from Wedding Designs for You - an Etsy shop that sells dried florals. I love the idea of dried wildflowers for a couple of reasons, one being that they are already preserved and another being that they have a really beautiful, unique look to them.
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Beautiful Opportunities

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Since I started this semester of college, I've been working on a few things. I'm not sure I would call them personal goals, because I feel like they are more in the realm of personal growth. Last year I did a lot of letting go and learning how to live in the moment. I had spent a good few years prior thinking that you had to clutch tightly to every moment and soak in each day for all it was worth. Which was true to an extent. But that mindset began to become more of a poison than an antidote. It caused me to overthink everything, and in a way special moments became filled with anxiety and sadness over the realization that they would soon end. Last year I started loosening my unhealthy mental grip on moments, and really, truly lived. I didn't think about how soon those good times would end, how soon Summer would send me away from my close friends. I didn't feel the need to photograph and video every. single. little. thing. Instead I chose to just be. And I had never felt so free.

With this semester have come some new personal challenges. I've come to a realization. It's easy to take joy and live in the moment when things are going your way. It's simple, but profound. So what about when life happens, and you find a few mountains to climb in the middle of your path? Hmm - living in the moment suddenly gets a little more tricky, didn't it? Ouch. Slowly but surely, I've been learning to enjoy all of the moments - the days when I have free time to spend with my honey, the days when I have hours of math to pull through, the small hour break I get on Mondays to grab a latte, the 30 minutes I get to spend with Jesus each night before I go to bed.  Everyday is a gift. Even through the stressful and overwhelming times, there are still beautiful, treasurable things to hold onto. I can look at a boatload of homework and see it as a hindrance to my joy, or as an opportunity to stretch and exercise my mind. I can look at difficult social situations and take them as learning experiences. There is something good to find in every situation.
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Dress & kimono: c/o Romwe
Necklace: Forever 21
Shoes: Payless
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Lauren Photography

Fighting Nature

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INFJ. That's the little box Meyers-Briggs put me in. At least, that was before I came to college. I remember sitting in a classroom the first month of Fall semester, listening to each student share which personality type they were given, and how accurate the results were. And then there was me, thinking, "Sure, some of this stuff is true, but a lot of it I could go either way on." So why did everyone else rave about their newfound personal insight, while I sat by frustrated by the fact that once again, I couldn't manage to pinpoint myself? I went home that night and sat on my floor with a notebook in hand, scribbling down every true fact I could think of about myself. Why was it so hard? I realized something that night. I had spent a lifetime of people-pleasing - adapting to every social atmosphere, seamlessly blending into "normalcy." I couldn't even tell myself whether I thought the temperature of the room was comfortable because I was so used to agreeing with the opinion of the asker. So I thought hard that night. What do I like? What makes me tick in the morning when I wake up? What are my strengths, and what are my faults? I was brutally honest with myself, which was something I either hadn't done before, or at least hadn't done in a very long time. Truth be told, we're learning everyday who we are. We grow, we change - are souls are cultivated by experiences and relationships.

I am not an introvert. And I am not an extrovert. Can a test help to iron out a few details? Maybe. But the human mind is so complex, I really feel it's near impossible to accurately put anyone into a single category and call it a day.
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Now that I've ranted to you, I want to make mention of the amazing lady who took these photos. Elizabeth of Elizabeth Lauren Photography met up with me just before I flew back to VA this Summer and managed to fit a photo session in just as the sun was setting. This girl is so talented, it's crazy. Best part? She's going to be the photographer for Jon & I's wedding. God definitely blessed our socks off there.

A few of you girls have been saying you miss the outfit posts. I definitely plan to keep posting fashion editorials; just mixed in with some other content here and there. Getting someone to snap photos for you at college is a bit tricky ;). With that said, for my style gals, let's talk outfit shall we? This off-the-shoulder top is from Romwe. I've been loving the off-shoulder trend this Summer, especially in soft, neutral colors. These distressed skinnies are a new favorite of mine, though they're not a huge hit with my man. I assured him that it's just a fad that will probably pass in a year, amirite?
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Shirt: c/o Romwe
Pants: thrifted
Shoes: Payless
Necklace: Forever 21
Photo credit: Elizabeth Lauren Photography