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Chris + Jenna {Engagement}

There's something about couples from Central Illinois that always hold a special place with me.  I love having the excuse to go home and shoot in places that feel familiar and hang out with couples that know my friend's cousin's roommate...or something like that. :)

So needless to say, Chris + Jenna are one of those couples for me...
These two have such a sweet tone to their relationship as they laughed easily, were most relaxed when they were close, and he opened her car doors.

I may give posing directions, but they brought the genuine emotion that is my favorite to capture...

This is the bench where she said, "Yes!"...

Chris + Jenna...
You are both so sweet and fun to shoot!! I'm excited and honored to be included on your day and know your wedding is going to be so special.  I loved getting to laugh and talk with the two of you, and hear your story.  I'm so confident in your future and am excited to see where life takes you.

I'll see you in just a few weeks!


The Best Beef Stew Recipe!

I Instagrammed the results of my beef stew tonight and have had several people ask for the recipe, so here it is!!  It's one of the best stews I've ever had and it's a very easy recipe.  I'd say that I'm pretty comfortable with cooking and would consider myself skill level, average...so basically, this is very doable for any home cook! :)

I tried blogging today but...

I've been sitting...starring at the blinking cursor in this blank post.  I have 74% battery.

I open a new tab in Safari.  I give Facebook a quick look over.  Wow, it looks like a friend of mine got engaged over the weekend! That's exciting.  Hmmm, what else?...I look through a couple weddings posted by my photog friends.  It's summertime, so Mondays are always full of those posts from the weekend.

I look at Instagram...shoot. My phone only has 7% battery.  I should have brought that charger.  Why are all my batteries running low?  Maybe they're just mimicking my mood.  They know it's a cloudy day...the perfect day to take it easy.

I click back to my blog tab.  That cursor is still blinking.  That post is still blank.  62% battery.  I didn't bring my charger to Starbucks...it was supposed to serve as motivation to sit down and write.

I look out the window.  There's a guy whose waiting to cross the street...his physique clearly boasts of a well used gym membership (unlike mine...I really need to try canceling that again).  He's "forgotten" to button his flapping shirt...but as the wind picks up because a storm is coming, he reluctantly gives in.

58% battery.  I really need to get a new battery for this computer.

Ugh...what should I write about?  I could post a picture of a recent shoot...I should work on that tonight when I have my charger.

There's a girl sitting a couple tables over from me...she's interviewing for a job.  I can't tell if it's going well.  I can't even tell if she really wants the job...probably a good sign that the interview isn't going well.

Sitting behind her is a guy who keeps taking pictures of his computer screen with his phone.  Is he going to Instagram? My kind of guy.

*Thunder*...we all look up.  I can see the construction worker outside say to another, "Thunder" as he points to the sky.  He pulls out his phone...probably checking the weather. Is it going to pass quickly or should they call it a day? The other guy gets on his phone...probably calling their supervisor.  At least, this is the story I've written in my head about them...for all I know, they're ordering a pizza.


I didn't know you could order a grande drink in a venti cup and ask for extra ice...thank you, Lauren! My Starbucks experience has just gotten significantly better.  I'm crunching on my extra ice.

Nat King Cole is singing to me.  It's raining.  I'm chewing ice.  I like this moment.

I remember something Jonas Peterson said to me a couple years ago as we sat at dinner in the Dominican Republic.  He leaned over and said, "Sometimes, I just stop.  I listen. I feel the condensation of the water from my cup on my fingers.  I feel the breeze on my face.  I hear the cooks in the background arguing.  Someone is laughing.  It smells humid...salty. And I just take notice of this moment.  Not for any profound reason, but just to take notice of these moments."

32%...maybe I'll pack up and go home...or for a walk.  It is raining after-all...the best time to take a walk.