Monday Confessions, Advent is here

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"O holy night the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn" - O Holy Night
My 3 big kids are learning the words to "O Holy Night" to be sung at church and I confess, it's been sometimes so sweet to hear them singing this beautiful truths, albeit in maybe not so beautiful tones! I find the words so encouraging. Today in light of the advent season, I thought I would share some ways that I am finding in adding to the meaning of the season and not just rushing through the motions. 

1. I just finished up reading Loving My Actual Christmas by Alexandra Kuykendall and I found it really helpful. I tend to like her writing style and practical advice on how she tackles the every day. I think it also poignant that she wrote this right after losing her beloved step-father so she tackles dealing with the grief of losing a loved one and that first holiday season without them. If you find yourself with a fresh loss in your life, this might speak to you. 

 If you're not a reader or realistically have no time, Alexandra did a great 20 minute video sharing some encouragement from the highlights of her book for MOPS International.  Watch or even just listen to this video to bring you thoughts on how to tackle your Christmas season with intention and joy!

By the way, if you live in my town and are looking for a place to connect with other moms, we have our own MOPS group coming in January!!! SO excited for this prayer to become a reality! 

2. She Reads Truth Advent series Joy to the World is also fantastic. I was lucky enough to get a hard copy of the beautiful book and I think it will also add to my enjoyment of the season this year. It just started yesterday with the first Sunday of Advent so you're not behind at all and can read along online or in the app!

3. Desiring God is also offering a free devotion seriesGood News of Great Joy,  with advent devotional if you're interested in reading something daily up until christmas.

In case you're wondering, I won't necessarily be doing all of these but I am trying to choose to challenge myself to less social media and more intentional reading this month. One thing I love is that you can look at all of these online, so if you're waiting in the doctors office or sitting in the car pool line, redeem a few moments of meaning for yourself and read one on your phone. Joy to the world! 

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Monday Confessions, Thanksgiving

    If you have never read Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving address, I am going to invite you to do it now. I started reading it during Thanksgiving week over the last few years and it always moves me. It reminds me of our tumultuous U.S. history, as well as our history as a Christian nation. It reminds me always who we are thankful to and that this great United States of America is a huge thing to be thankful for. I pray you have a beautiful Thanksgiving week!

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Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union."

Sweet Autumn Engagement, Middletown, DE

       Dinaker slowly realized that there was another roommate in the friends house he kept visiting. Once he realized who this other roommate was, he started paying attention. Eventually though it was Rachel who suggested "hanging out sometime" and it all began there! I love stories like this, where the couple met through friends unexpectedly and slowly simmered into their own love story. Dinaker and Rachel are looking forward to a gorgeous January wedding so we took some time to get in those peak fall colors while we still had them for this session! 

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Monday Confessions, Recent Reads

   We just had what might have been the craziest, busiest week of our year, which is saying something! My brother-in-law got married on Friday in a beautiful outdoor ceremony, in which the whole family was involved. I also photographed another wedding over the weekend and had daylight savings time change. Needless to say, I'm going to be sipping coffee and reading off a to- do list today to keep my head on straight! I have had a few requests for a recent reads post so here's a few!

Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons: Non-fiction

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I really enjoyed this honest read that shares the authors struggle with anxiety and changes of life seasons. It's small and I read through it fairly quickly. It left me encouraged and gave me lots to think about though. If you don't think you'll have time to pick up the book, definitely still go and read her article Why Women are Fading and you will get insight into some of the book. 

The Lucky Few by Heather Avis: Non-fiction

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 Not even kidding when I say the first page of this book is so beautifully written and convicting that I had to stop and read it a few times. Heather and her husband have gone through adoption for all 3 of their children, two children also with special needs, specifically Down Syndrome. I read through this book very quickly and found myself being both challenged and encouraged by her story. Definitely worth the read!

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery:  Fiction

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I picked up this classic again after watching Anne with an E on Netflix earlier this year. Anne is such a great heroine for a young girl and as it turns out, 35 year old women as well! I loved reading through this again because it has been such a long time. It makes you laugh and cry all along while routing for Anne Shirley in her various circumstances. Sometimes revisiting a classic is the best reading, it's familiar and brings warmth to your soul. There's way too many quotes to choose from but this one always stays with me, "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?" 

The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs: Fiction

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     If you want to get in on the Hamilton craze but aren't feeling reading a lengthy biography, this was the perfect solution. It's a historical fiction version of Alexander Hamilton's life that fills in just  enough details while keeping the story going. We all know how Hamilton met his demise, but I always somehow want a different ending! I really did enjoy this read though. I have no idea how much is true or isn't true but it tells the tale of Hamilton meeting and falling for his wife, as well as other dalliances along the way. I liked the blend of the romantic story with historical elements.

 

Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker: Non-Fiction

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 I laughed a lot through this one which goes along with the subtitle "wrangling delight out of this wild and glorious life." It's written in an essay form so it's very easy to pick up and put down if you're not wanting to get bogged down in something serious. Jen Hatmaker has been involved in some different agendas and theological controversies over the last few years, so I went into the book with the knowledge that we disagree on some things. I actually think there's tons of value in reading opinions differing from your own. That being said, she kept it fairly light and I really enjoyed it. If you're in the thick of raising a family, it will help make light of life. We have even made some of the recipes from here, because you know she's all about food as well. If you find you like this book, check out the For the Love Podcast with Jen with various guests and topics.

Monday Confessions, End of October

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           How are we headed into Halloween tomorrow and the last 2 months of the year?! I have been plugging away at work and home life, yet still generally feeling behind. I have been pretty inconsistent with my Monday Confessions lately, which I am sorry for but I am back today! We have lots of excitement around here this week with a wedding in the family! 

 1. I confess that I am excited for cooler weather if it will ever come to stay?!!

2. I have been trying to put at least one thing on my calendar each week that's about serving someone else. This was some advice I was given months ago and it does seem to keep my attitude in the right place. Meeting a need, large or small, for another person helps me to remember I am part of a larger story and blessed enough to help. 

3. Other advice that I heard and have applied lately is to try to do at least one thing each day that can't get "undone." What do I mean by that? Things like laundry and dishes can get undone in an instant...there's always just more. Things that can't get undone are work items like a blog post or a house project or task on my to-do list. This helps my productivity-loving heart feel like I am accomplishing a thing or two. 

4. I am secretly (not anymore) excited that the Eagles are on a winning streak. I've grown up watching the Eagles and although I am not really a hardcore football fan in anyway, it's just more fun when they win!  Am I the only one who thinks of the Silver Linings Playbook characters when the Eagles play?! :) And don't forget the discount Dunkin' coffee when they win....

(Image from yesterday's game and from the internet! Hilarious!)

(Image from yesterday's game and from the internet! Hilarious!)

5. I am in the middle of a few books at the moment and I am not sure which ones I will read until the end. I'm caught up in a few non-fiction that are great, but take more mental and emotional engagement to stay into. The fiction book I am in the middle of I just can't decide if I want to keep going... do you give up on books you aren't loving?! What's the best thing you've read lately?

6. I am LOVING this awesome pot-roast recipe from Rachel Hollis that I made last week and my family was pretty glad with it too. The best part is doing the hand pies recipe with the leftovers too!! Making a good pot roast makes me feel legit as a mom! Rachel Hollis' blog is pretty fun too!

Image from the Chic Site

Image from the Chic Site

7.  I confess I can't get into Stranger Things like my husband but I have watched parts of it with him. Why can't I ever love Sci-fi?! It's just NEVER been my thing. Even in fourth grade we read A Wrinkle in Time and I couldn't grasp the story. Reading the books 1984 and Ayn Rand's Anthem in eleventh grade about put me over the mental edge. Maybe I have a defective imagination?!

8. My current favorite show is Poldark on PBS. Don't hate,  it's so good! I've heard the books are really good too but just no time to check them out right now. 

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I hope you have a great week! Unless the stars align, I won't be posting another blog until next Monday. Between Halloween and the wedding this week, we are out almost every evening!

Happy Friday, Greenhouse Envy

   I hope this beautiful fall Friday has you sipping pumpkin spice coffee and dreaming of the weekend (My reality was more like sipping cold coffee and running errands with kids!) I had the privilege of attending a friend's beautiful baby shower last weekend and her parents home is such a treasure. Her mom, Lynne, has a fantastic gift for creating beautiful spaces and parties for that matter! How much do you LOVE her greenhouse that was created (along with her husband's woodworking skills) by putting together old rescued and recycled windows?! I think this is absolute proof that one man's trash is another (wo)man's treasure :) Happy weekend! 

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#greenhousegoals

#greenhousegoals

Sweet little family session, Wilmington, DE

“Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile."

~William Cullen Bryant   
This sweet family met up with me early afternoon for a session with their two young boys and thankfully they were so sweet! It's amazing what a little sugar treat can do for encouraging smiles for photos! We also got some sun after a rainy morning which makes all the difference in these images. Happy Monday friends! I aim to resume the usual "confessions" on Mondays in November.
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As always, I am so thankful for new clients and referrals from others. It's honestly the best way to grow a business! If you're looking for updated family photos, I have limited December bookings emily@emilytroutmanphoto.com

Fall Senior Session, Wilmington, DE

      Fall of senior year is a super exciting time with college applications, football games and that slight taste of freedom coming with college ahead. Hannah is a sweet spirit with an artistic side and she's exploring her options for art programs in college. I have had the privilege of photographing her family over the last few years and this year it was her turn for a special session! Here's to the class of 2018!

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Monday Confessions, Columbus Day

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     I have been absent from my Monday confessions and not by choice. I can only say that I am seeking continually to balance out all my responsibilities as wife, mom, business owner, and teacher. In some seasons I do way better at it than others! Today though I am not confessing my current likes, dislikes or shortcomings, I want to share a story instead.

       The story told by Girolamo Benzoni in his Historia del Mondo Nuovo of 1565 was that at a meal several of Columbus's detractors began to comment that any number of other people could have found their way to the New World and that Columbus's feat was unremarkable because of its simplicity. Columbus replied that it was only easy now that he had demonstrated how it was done, and by way of an example, he challenged anyone present to stand an egg on its end. After all those attempting the feat had admitted defeat Columbus demonstrated the simplicity of the challenge by crushing one end of the egg against the table which allowed it to remain upright.   

      I heard this story recently and it made me smile. A task does always seem more possible once it has been done, but I think of the passion and bravery that Columbus (all his shortcomings aside) had to exhibit to put his life and fate in the hands of a belief that he could indeed sail around the world. Enjoy today with your family and ask yourself, "what dream am I avoiding because it seems to difficult?" Maybe take that one step today towards realizing that dream!

Late Summer Bridal Shower

    If you're looking for some inspiration for a late summer bridal shower, look no further! I got to be a part of a beautiful bridal shower honoring the fiancé of my husband's younger brother. It was a perfect weather afternoon with an outdoor setting and all the sweetest details. The blush pinks and golds were a perfect color combination for the brunch. All the creativity, planning and executing credit goes to my mother-in-law! We had all the food setup inside (it's September and the flies are crazy) and then hosted the brunch out in the tent. It was fun to all be together and the countdown to the November wedding is on! 

These huge beautiful flowers are made of paper! 

These huge beautiful flowers are made of paper! 

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Cookies for favors!

Cookies for favors!

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All the gorgeous flower arrangements are credited to my mother-in-law's best friend! 

All the gorgeous flower arrangements are credited to my mother-in-law's best friend! 

The beautiful bride with her cake! It was a delicious vanilla cake with raspberry filling.

The beautiful bride with her cake! It was a delicious vanilla cake with raspberry filling.

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First Day of School 2017/18 Year

        As I write, I just sent my 3 big kids off to school for the first day of the year! They all went to bed excited for today. My little first grader had magical confetti under his pillow from his new teacher and it just overjoyed him! My one third grader who will remain nameless did not sleep in ONE day this summer, yet I had to wake him for school today. Go figure right?! It is still hard for this mama heart to believe that my little 5 & 6 pound twins are third graders, but I'm also enjoying their growth and development. We are absolutely blessed with the best teachers at their school, so I know they're in good hands all day! Here's to a new school year and I will leave you with Dr. Seuss for inspiration, 

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss

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First Grade

First Grade

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Monday Confessions, Back to School Week

     I confess very mixed emotions over here this morning with my kids going back to school later this week. While I do enjoy the summer flexibility and sunshine, I also feel the need for predictability and routine. This summer has been interesting in the fact that everything we did was together, as a family. There really weren't any separate trips or camps this summer like there were last summer and I am not entirely sure that I recommend this. I think my kids in particular might need a break from each other and if I am honest, so do I. Don't get me wrong, so much family time has been great in some ways, allowing us to make a ton of memories over these past 3 months! We have done everything from camping, to the the beach, to fishing, to kayaking, to amusement parks and movies, as well as concerts. I am just plain tired to be honest! I know the kids are looking forward to school too, which makes it a tad easier to kiss summer goodbye!

Benjamin's 2nd Birthday at the end of July 

Benjamin's 2nd Birthday at the end of July 

I know my Monday confessions have been sporadic this summer so in case you were wondering what I have been up to this summer, here's a few of my latest favorites. 

Currently Watching: Matt and I are watching season 3 of Turn, a revolutionary war time period series on Washington's spies. We are so into it that we just tore through most of the season and are just about ready for season 4 (which just ended on AMC). If you like a bit of history, intrigue and action, it's a great option.  I am also watching Broadchurch (when I can sneak a few minutes) on my own. It's a British drama/crime series that sucked me in right away. Warning: the series starts with the death of a young boy and carries on from there, so if you're not wanting that type of story, don't watch.  I like the way the story is woven together through the characters. (Both of these series are currently available on Netflix)

Currently reading: I can tend to read a lot of non-fiction at once so I am juggling a few books at the moment. At the top of the list though for laughs and reality is Jen Hatmaker's Of Mess and Moxie, which I am easily devouring. I feel like I need a disclaimer that as of last year she was in the news with some controversial views and theology, but I like to say "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." I still can enjoy her books and view points even if I don't agree with everything she stands for. Theological differences not withstanding, I am absolutely loving her book right now. She's able to poke fun at serious subjects as well as just plain making me laugh at nonsense like what happens to a mother of a large family in the grocery store. 

  The other book I am currently reading that's more like a little balm to my soul is Erin Loechner's Chasing Slow.  I like her writing style and her vulnerability as she shares her own story of both living life and rising to blog fame. I am about half way through but have felt encouraged, as well as asking myself some questions about the pace of my own life. She's encouraging us to see less as more, both with material things and our time.

Currently listening to on Spotify: The Hamilton Soundtrack, Zac Brown's Welcome Home album and a genre station called "afternoon acoustic" that I can't get enough of when trying to get work done! I also have been known to just turn on Rhianna's Work, to get the juices flowing and make a point to my kids (I know, I am so mature).

Favorite Recipe as of late: Jen Hatmaker's "Grocery Day Sandwich" and it's not even really a recipe but an assembly! We (mostly) all loved it! 

Bakery: Ciabatta bread (one loaf for normal families, two loaves for larger families)

Deli: pepperoni, salami, ham, and mozzerella sliced uber thin, tub of pesto, tub of marinara 

Produce: butter lettuce, tomatoes, fresh basil, onions if they won't incite mob violence

Slice your ciabatta loaf in half. Spread pesto on the bottom, layer up the meats, cheese, and veggies, spread marinara on the top half. Close 'er up, stick on a pan, warm through at 350 for about 15 minutes. Slice and serve with cute little individual bowls of marinara, because the only thing better than marinara is more marinara!

A group shot from Sesame Place this past week, part of Benji's birthday gifts was tickets to go there! He adored the entire day and the big kids had a lot of fun too. 

A group shot from Sesame Place this past week, part of Benji's birthday gifts was tickets to go there! He adored the entire day and the big kids had a lot of fun too. 

Have a  great week ahead!

Summer Maternity, Newark, Delaware

   

"Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy’s inmost nook
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- Summer Sun by Robert Louis Steveson

 

      I am excited to share this special maternity session with you, knowing that this sweet couple has been waiting for this day! I not only had the privilege of photographing their wedding day almost 3 years ago, but we returned to the very same spot under a setting summer sun to capture their maternity session. I am thankful to be in the business of capturing memories, to be a part of capturing a family's visual history. These moments are like little time capsules, reminding us how we felt at the time. I pray that Jess and Mike are able to look back on these and remember all the feelings leading up to the day that they will become parents! Congratulations and I cannot wait to meet little Miss :) 

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Their faithful pups, Wesley & Alden joined us for a few shots as well. It only made sense, they're a part of the family too!

Their faithful pups, Wesley & Alden joined us for a few shots as well. It only made sense, they're a part of the family too!

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Under this tree was the very spot they said, "I do!"

Under this tree was the very spot they said, "I do!"

Monday Confessions, Thoughts on Charlottesville

    I was absolutely horrified standing in my local coffee shop early Sunday morning to see the images coming over the newscast from Charlottesville, VA. My heart hurt and those I was standing with all vocalized the horror of such actions by hated-filled individuals. I got my coffee and I had a but of a drive ahead of me, which allowed me to think for a few moments on the events. It led me to thinking of some  my travels as a college girl. There have been two places in the world I have stood, where my feet were rooted to the ground and my heart was pierced, knowing to my core that racism in any form was wrong. One of those places was abroad and one here on U.S. soil.

    The first spot I speak of was in Germany, where on a freezing German winter morning as a young college student, I toured Dachau concentration camp with my travel mates. Everything about that place is somber and makes you contemplative. You can almost hear the screams and you certainly can feel the heaviness of such a place. I remember walking around bundled up in my sweater, coat and warm boots thinking, "how could anyone survive this weather in a thin cotton dress or shirt," as many who were taken there did. As we toured through different areas just taking in the place and knowing what kind of atrocities happened there, I felt it in my soul that racism was wrong. All those who suffered there at the hands of the Nazis had no crime other than simply being different. 

    The second place a couple years later that my heart felt the same murmurings was at the Civil Rights museum in Memphis, TN, which was previously the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. The feelings and stories emerging from that place felt even closer to home. This was how American brothers treated one another. I found myself hurting for our history and wondering how we would continue as a country to move forward with better race relationships, but more than that I was asking myself, "would humans ever learn to treat each other better?" 

    Unfortunately as far back at history is recorded, there are stories of one people group being against another or viewing another group as superior. We cannot though, treat this type of behavior as acceptable. I read an article yesterday that better sums up this idea than I ever could so I will quote Dr. Mohler here. "But Christians must see much more than the lessons of history, though we dare not miss them. We must see claims of racial superiority–and mainly that means claims of white superiority–as heresy. That is not a word we use casually. Heresy leads to a denial of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the eclipse of the living God as revealed in the Bible. A claim of white superiority is not merely wrong, and not merely deadly. It is a denial of the glory of God in creating humanity—every single human being–in his own image. It is a rejection of God’s glory in creating a humanity of different skin pigmentation. It is a misconstrual of God’s judgment and glory in creating different ethnicities."

      God created us ALL in HIS IMAGE and we do well not to forget that. I know this problem often feels so much bigger than any of us, so what can we do? We can literally love our neighbor. I am thankful to live in a very ethnically diverse neighborhood and have many relationships here. I can also continually teach my children that to treat someone differently based on them being different (race, gender, ability etc) is NOT ok. We can raise our children to be a different generation and we can all pray to root out any kind of deep-seeded misconceptions or prejudices in our own hearts. As these prejudices surface in your mind, confess them and ask God to take them from you. We have to all be committed to doing the work to make it better. May you find a little spot of joy this Monday in loving or serving someone different than you!

Summer family session, Smyrna, DE

 "The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last for ever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into autumn – the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change." 

―E.B. White, Charlotte's Web

It's August and I am starting to hear those crickets chirp...

   Photography has been such a great way for me to both meet new people and keep in touch with old friends. When I got a message from Brandon, an old college friend, to come photograph his family, I was excited to see them all. Brandon and Hannah have not only a beautiful family but a lovely home that's more of a farmette. They are able to have some animals to keep them busy along with their kiddos. We were so lucky to have some of the milder August weather last weekend to have an evening session. I have to say, it was really enjoyable and the kids hung in there!  They may or may not have been smiling for candy :)  What's not to love about summer white outfits, sunshine and family?!

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Greg & Anna, Summer Outdoor Wedding, Chadds Ford, PA

     Do you knot the old saying that goes something like you like a man even more when you meet his wife? Well this story goes a little something like that for me. Greg was actually the first one I got to chat with on the phone because he and Anna were planning their wedding long distance. They are now Texas residents but their families are still living in Pennsylvania, which is where the wedding was going to be held. I enjoyed chatting about wedding details and made arrangements through Greg first, but then I got the pleasure of meeting Anna. She was so easy to like and I obviously could see why Greg fell for her! She is warm and can light up a room with her smile. She's an elementary school teacher, which makes a good fit with her bubbly personality. Greg is a little more reserved but as soon as he's with Anna, it all just makes sense. Their friends teased them during toasts about their differing personalities, but I can see that opposites attracted here but in the best possible way!

  All the details came together beautifully for this warm, July outdoor wedding at the Gables at Chadds Ford. The rustic details and textures paired beautifully with the simple elegance of the rest of the wedding. Greg & Anna had also planned our photo session at Longwood Gardens, which was of course beautiful! It was quite busy on a summer Saturday afternoon but it was the perfect backdrop for their first look and all those formal group shots. Somehow we made it all work and didn't melt! Warning: cuteness overload coming from their flower girl, she loved the camera and it loved her right back! Here's to Anna and Greg's beautiful wedding day! Congrats! 

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Can't you just eat her cuteness up?!

Can't you just eat her cuteness up?!

Great shot by @MatthewTroutman

Great shot by @MatthewTroutman

Another shot by @MatthewTroutman

Another shot by @MatthewTroutman

The fountain restoration at Longwood Gardens is fantastic

The fountain restoration at Longwood Gardens is fantastic

Vendors:
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Gables at Chadds Ford
Florist: Jennifer Lawn, JL Original Designs
DJ: East Coast Event Group
Cake Artist:  Kim Withers at Liberty Lane Bake Shoppe
Bridal Gown Shop: Bijou Bridal in Ardmore, PA,in house designer
Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridal Jewelry: Kendra Scott
Bridesmaids Gown Shop:  Azazie
Groom’s and Groomsmen Suits: Jos.A.Bank
Wedding Stationery Designer: Britni Willis from Paperpeonies on etsy.com
 

Monday Confessions, Early Summer Favorites

  I know it's not officially summer until Wednesday this week but with the kids out of school, it has already felt like summer for a week and a half! I have been in full swing mom and business mode while trying to balance it all out. Unfortunately I still think balance is a bit of a myth, but I've learned to pick a focus for the day and try to get to at least that particular priority. If I am honest, there's always things at the end of the day that will just have to wait for tomorrow! For today's confessions I am going to share five favorite things I've been enjoying so far this summer!

Reading Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery: If you haven't read this classic since childhood, I recommend it. (And then watch Anne with an E on Netflix!) I confess that I watched the beautifully done Netflix series and then revisited the book. The opening credits alone to the Netflix series is a gorgeous montage of paintings. Give it a look and check out the book :) 

The sequence is based on eight custom-made paintings by artist Brad Kunkle, and created by Imaginary Forces, the design-based production studio.

The sequence is based on eight custom-made paintings by artist Brad Kunkle, and created by Imaginary Forces, the design-based production studio.

"Chore" Charts: which are really more like a plan to control the chaos and motivate the kids to keep to a simple routine. I am loving this version that a friend shared with me that covers basic morning tasks to allow kids to earn privileges like screen time. Any type of complicated chore charts, I know we will ditch before the week is out! 

From Erin @ Erin Farell Photography

From Erin @ Erin Farell Photography

Pedicures: Plain and simple a little relaxing and quiet while walking away with pretty toes is always a favorite! Plus, who can say no to the massage chair?!

Doing Something for others: Some advice I heard recently was to "put something on your calendar each week that's not about you and serves another person." I've been putting this into practice the last few weeks, simply trying to think about it on Monday morning. I ask myself, "who is someone that I can serve with a practical need this week?" This is not a brag on me AT ALL and in fact, this practice has been doing wonders on giving me an attitude adjustment when I need it most. It reminds me of others who need the help because maybe they are walking through a rough time. A simple meal or delivery of needed items can be a huge encouragement to someone who needs their spirits lifted among the practical help! 

She Reads Truth summer reading plan I have said for many years that as soon as I neglect my spiritual side, it's not just my faith that suffers. Engaging with the bible and prayer on a regular basis not only feed my soul, but helps my entire being to stay in balance. Having solid and regular doses of truth intake can help me keep perspective in even the toughest situations. All this being said, it also regularly reminds me of my own sin and need for repentance. I know this is a healthy process, especially as I seek to mother 4 children way this summer with everyone home each day. Even the simplest seeming things can instantly get overwhelming while dealing with two 8 year-olds, a 6 year-old and a 2 year-old. Three meals a day anyone?! :) 

Monday Confessions, Summer & Rest

   Summer is officially here in our house with the kids finishing school last week! Along with summer break kicking off, I've been doing a study on rest. I know that may seem silly to have to study about rest, but I am the worst at actually resting. My very name means "industrious" and it can be hard for me to be still. I struggle with the concept and practice of real rest. (The study I have been listening to is Rhythms of Grace by Rebekah Lyons if anyone is interested). It has me thinking about how this summer season can bring about some true rest instead of more hamster-wheel type busyness that I've been prone to lately. I know that I truly need a break for my mental and physical being, as well as the health of my family.  

     As I think through things that I can lay down for a season of rest, one thing is social media. I am going to start with taking a social media break this week. I've been posting a lot with the summer kick off events, but it also affects me when I look at everyone else's imagery. I know over time it feeds how I compare myself to others as well as just impacting my perceived reality of how everyone else is handling life. I have found that even a brief time on Instagram can have me longing for a different countertops or wishing for a trip to Europe. Whatever the envy of the moment, I am going to try to choose not to even allow my eyes to see it or my heart to be affected by it. I know even this small thing will feed my need for soul rest! Will you join me?

"Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."
 -Matthew 11:28

 

 

As always if you need me for business inquiries, I'll be checking email, emily@emilytroutmanphoto.com 

6 months Sweetness, Wilmington, DE

    I am always thankful for photography to allow me to meet new people and make new friends. It's the best when clients and friends refer me to other new families! I was asked to come do a six month session for a sweet little man and I had such an enjoyable time photographing him along with his family. This adorable family included a big puppy as well as a baby so how could I not love it?!! The hardest part here is for me to choose what to share from the session and not just want to share the whole session. The nursery was perfectly styled and practical as well! I loved all the details! Sweet B-man rocked this session from his gummy grin with 2 bottom teeth all the way to the drool between he and puppy Solomon! As always, what a gift for me to be allowed into the lives of families to capture their memories!

Collective "awwwwww".....

Collective "awwwwww".....

Fairwind Farm & Stables, Northeast, Maryland Wedding

   Hannah had a friend that said, "you should meet my brother" and that is where it all began! Hannah met Caleb and their love story began. As the drizzle came and went on the last Sunday in May, nothing could dampen the excitement Hannah and Caleb had for their wedding day. The beautiful details like peonies and rustic farm charm had this wedding feeling like a dream. Their sense of fun and humor was in each detail, even things like the groom's cake topper that read, "I love you like a fat kid loves cake!" We had to duck in and our of rain showers to do some outdoor portraits but I think we were successful! 

Hannah's dear friend Brenda grew and created all the florals! They were just gorgeous!

Hannah's dear friend Brenda grew and created all the florals! They were just gorgeous!

Such a sweet moment as his bride comes down the aisle...

Such a sweet moment as his bride comes down the aisle...

Cakes by "I have a Confection to Make" - www.ihaveaconfectiontomake.com

Cakes by "I have a Confection to Make" - www.ihaveaconfectiontomake.com

Congratulations you two! 

Congratulations you two!