Monday Confessions, with Sadness

    It's with a heavy heart I share the news that Gianna passed from earth to heaven on Saturday night, surrounded by her family. I did not feel like this was coincidence as we all sat in church together yesterday morning crying and praying for her family. We were gathered as a church within hours of her passing. It's hard to explain, especially to all the kids who have been praying for her. She got her miracle and healing, but it just wasn't this side of heaven.

Oh what an ache her family will walk through in the days and weeks and years to come, noticing that empty seat at the table. So many would ask why would God allow this sweet little soul, a Chinese orphan with a literal broken heart, to come to know a forever family, only to be taken from them in such short years? I admit, I have wondered this myself. Her family has shown so much faith, even as they wrestled. They are now in mourning, yet it is not without hope. 

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34: 18

Gia's mom, Johanna, shared again today the long but beautiful story of Gia becoming a part of their family on her blog if you would like to read it. So it is with a heavenly perspective I will try to live out this week and be reminded that Gods ways are not our ways.

If you have been following the story and felt led to give to help with the extensive medical expenses, go here to do so.

 Photo Cred: Gia's family 

Photo Cred: Gia's family 

Monday Confessions

   Hello friends, I know it has been a while and forgive me for that! I have found myself in the buys swirl of life with four young children and a business. How is spring treating you so far? I say spring, but it's basically felt like an eternal winter here in the Northeast but I digress. I thought it a good time to confess a few things about what's been going on with me lately! I'm starting today with a heart of gratitude, remembering that I have so many things that I once had only prayed for. 

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1. If you've been following on Facebook, you've seen me share some posts on a sweet young girl from our church named Gia, who is still currently in the fight for her life in Boston Children's Hospital. If you are a person who prays, please lift her up if you can today. Lots of decisions being made in regards to next steps and her exhausted parents need our prayers! (This is on 3 weeks of being on life support and so many complications). 

 Photo credit: Stephanie Leight 

Photo credit: Stephanie Leight 

2.  I confess that I have been trying to find a better routine/rhythm for workouts that just "whatever I can fit into the week." In all honesty though, I have basically just been trying to fit in at least 3 or 4 workouts a week but I know I need to do more to see results. I have been doing a mix of my old favorite T25, classes at the Y and running outside. What's been your favorite workout to keep you motivated lately?

3. I am SO late to the party but I have been watching episodes of Friday Night Lights and The Good Wife on Amazon prime. It's a good mix of high school football theme drama and an intriguing legal show..both serve as great shows to fold laundry to :) And now I totally get the "Tammy Taylor for President" vibe now! What are you watching these days?

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4. I am starting the potty training process with my youngest and I feel like we are both half hearted about it but it's time to try. What worked best for you with potty training? 

5. I am trying to drink more water and am enjoying LaCroix. Are you a water drinker? How do you jazz it up so that you don't get sick of just plain H20? 

I hope you have a great week ahead! 

Sweet M Newborn

    We got a beautiful new niece a couple weeks ago over the first weekend of March and she couldn't be sweeter! Her big sister P is just a little over a year old and very curious as to what this little baby is doing at her house. Thankfully the cousins all played with Miss P to keep her happy while I snuck up to the nursery to snag some photos of little Miss M. Her nursery has lots of sweet floral touches crafted by Grandma! It's such a cute little room for a tiny new little sister. May Miss P & Miss M grow up to be close in spirit! I've always wanted a sister of my own so thankfully life has given me great sister-in-laws. Congrats to you Ashley & Ken, she's beautiful and we can't wait to see her grow into her own person. 

A sister is a gift to the heart. A friend to the spirit. A golden thread to the meaning of life.” ~Unknown

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Monday Confessions, it's March

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     Oh March, you "came in like a wrecking ball" for sure and we have the roof damage to prove it. Was anyone else affected by Friday's crazy storm here in the northeast? It's already later in to the day and I've been working on editing as well as life/house stuff so I'll keep it short but I've been missing my Monday Confessions posts lately! The big excitement around here is that we got a new niece yesterday and I can't wait to meet her, Makenzie Elizabeth! Our kiddos are excited to have another cousin and I am looking forward to some baby snuggles :) 

So here's what's on my mind today...

1. I went to a killer boot camp workout this morning which actually put in to question whether or not I am "in shape" at all! I realize that levels of fitness are different for everyone but whew, she tried to kill us through burpees, squats and weights. I hope that I can get up off my desk chair after writing this! 

2. My most favorite recent book I've read is Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng. It's beautiful writing and characters with a bit of 90's nostalgia and I found myself lost in the story. Definitely put it on hold at your local library or get it on your kindle if you are looking for a good spring break read!

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3. Speaking of Spring Break....my kids break starts this Thursday! They are excited and yet I see snow in the forecast so it's just not the "spring" feeling I was wishing for but we will have to find some fun adventures anyway to make it a good time off. 

4. My favorite Spotify channel lately has been the "afternoon acoustic" or Johnnyswim on repeat. What music or vibe are you loving these days?

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5. I got these TOMS for my birthday and I adore them. Wedges look put together but are still good for a mama chasing a toddler. What are some fashion favorites you're looking at this spring?

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I hope you have a beautiful week full of sunshine and coffee, two of my other favorite things!!

Xo,

Emily 

Headshots for Business and Media

     I don't know formal statistics but from people I know in real life, it's very common these days for men and women to be running independent businesses from home. I know friends doing everything from skin care, to fitness, to health and vitamins sales. With the internet, the options for running home businesses has expanded exponentially but the thing that remains is that each person wants to keep a professional online image. Are you in the market for a fresh headshot to use on your business or media? Are you ready to update a resume on online profile and need a new headshot? I am offering headshot packages but on location and in a studio setting if you prefer. Here's a recent handful of images from a happy customer running her online business! 

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Headshot packages starting at just $150. Contact me today for pricing and availability, emily@emilytroutmanphoto.com

 

Beautiful Bride, Styled Shoot

   

"To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man's life. " - T. S. Eliot

These cold and dreary winter days have me dreaming of warmer temps, and contemplating the beautiful.  I thought I would take a few minutes today to share a beautiful bride from a styled shoot I was a part of, the beautiful Camille! 

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styled shoot vendors:
|| planning, design, teaching @mandaweaver || workshop @seasidebride || vintage rentals @alittlerustyshop || florals @flourishfloralartistry || ribbon @tornandtied || HMUA @tanglesandknots || models @camilleeonair & Sutton || calligraphy/signage @calligraphetteco || champs @onehope || gown @lulus

Monday Confessions, Recent Favorites

 We are here in the freezing tundra that is currently the East Coast and waiting for more freezing rain later today. I have to confess that I sometimes succumb to the winter blues, especially after Christmas and with this really cold weather. The Christmas is put away and I'm printing off the memories (print those photos friends!), so I need some other things to perk up my attitude! I thought I might share some of my recent favorites for today's installment of Monday Confessions.

1. The Greatest Showman & soundtrack: I saw this with my two older kids over the weekend and loved it.  I didn't want it to be over! It was just a fast moving, fun movie with lots of dancing and singing, as well as creative license with history. I know it's probably not super accurate but I adored both Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron in this musical. I actually was glad to see Michelle Williams again too (all you Dawson's Creek girls know what I mean!). My twins really enjoyed the music and dancing as well, but I am glad I left the 6 year old at home because I don't think it would've been his favorite. It's pretty much impossible not to come home from the movie and turn the soundtrack right on! 

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2. My Rae Dunn Mug: These simple but cute reminders are fun additions to any kitchen. I have the "blessed" one but have seen so many other fun ones out there! 

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3. Gel Manicures: I know a gel manicure is a little more pricey but I got one before Christmas that is still going strong. My hands are taking such a beating in this dry, cold winter air so it's nice to still have paint that stays in tact. Anyone have a favorite recent polish color you're loving?

4. Hot Cinnamon Sunset Tea; I love this tea because it's so full of flavor you absolutely don't need to add anything to it to make it drinkable. It's perfect for me as my afternoon snack because I am on a quest to eat less sugar. I'm trying to learn to embrace flavors of real food not enhanced with sweeteners. 

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5. AE High Rise Jeggings: My college years were full of a fondness for American Eagle denim. Unfortunately now after having 4 kids, those low rise situations are not what they used to be. I am so thankful I stumbled across the AE Hi Rise jegging that comes in all shapes, sizes and stretch available. God bless the stretch and higher rise! It holds everything in nicely and still allows for style and movement, as well as being available in all types of washes. You might have to stop in to try them on in store or size up (I had to go up one size from my higher end jeans size). 

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I hope this week you find some small joys within the mundane and stay warm!!! 

 

Groom Details are important too!

   As we roll into a new year and we are in the middle of the biggest engagement season of the year,  I thought I would share some ways to capture the grooms details that are important. Obviously brides get much deserved attention on the wedding day, but the groom has some things he will want to remember as well! As you prepare for your or a friends' wedding day, think through if the groom has special cufflinks, gifts for his groomsmen, a gift or letter from the bride, etc. These are the things we don't want to forget because chances are, they were thought about and planned for just as much as the rest of the wedding day!

Tips for fellow photographers:  Try to keep with the color story of the wedding for cohesiveness in the imagery (helps with prints and albums later) and also look around for masculine feeling textures or surfaces. These will help bring the details to life but be a contrast to the usually feminine and light bride's details. 

 These really unique, personalized "beer growlers" were the grooms gift to his groomsmen. The snazzy bowties were a nice touch for everyone!

These really unique, personalized "beer growlers" were the grooms gift to his groomsmen. The snazzy bowties were a nice touch for everyone!

 Sleeks groom's shoes on a whiskey barrel 

Sleeks groom's shoes on a whiskey barrel 

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 The groom getting ready is just as important as the bride! Although admittedly way less stressful usually ;) 

The groom getting ready is just as important as the bride! Although admittedly way less stressful usually ;) 

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 Groom tying his dad's bowtie with a smile. A sweet and memorable moment for both of them I am sure!

Groom tying his dad's bowtie with a smile. A sweet and memorable moment for both of them I am sure!

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 All the groomsmen together looking dapper!

All the groomsmen together looking dapper!

   For the record today I am on my third cup of coffee, my kids have only been in school 2 of the last 21 days and it feels like a negative temperature outside. It's Friday and I feel the need to have some sign of productivity and sharing in my life. I feel a little warmer just thinking about wedding season! Images in this post shot by Emily while second shooting for @TracyFleckPhotography in 2017.  If you are recently engaged or might be getting a ring soon, check with me about available wedding dates for 2018. 

Monday Confessions, New Year 2018

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     As I sit here on the first morning of a new year, my coffee has gone cold and it's only a whopping 8 degrees out. I confess that I did not necessarily do everything I set out to do in 2017. If I am really honest, I feel like 2017 raced right over me. It truly has been the fastest year of my life. I remember clearly sitting in a coffee shop the week before the end of the year last year filling out these pages of hopes, dreams and goals for 2017...but what I really felt like happened was I just held on tight for the crazy ride!

I think the best way for me to start this year is to look at what the 2017 intentions were and see how I did! These were 5 intentions I set last January and here's my res

1. Self-Care needs to be a better priority - I think this needs to stay a goal for me. Getting back on track with water, exercise, sleep, vitamins and showers :) I am only half kidding here about the showers... being a mom hasn't gotten any easier this year, just different as the kids age. The only way we will all survive is if I survive! I want to get back into a morning workout routine and set weekly goals. 

2. Spiritual focus- I do feel like I made some progress in this area and read through several different series with She Reads Truth.  I know that this element of my life has to stay a priority to keep everything else in balance. 

3. I want to be committed to the creative process this year.... fail, fail, failed on this one. I struggled to just be creative when not forced.  I did get to be a part of a great photography workshop in April that was encouraging and helped me create for the fun of it. It would be good for me to find another workshop to attend in person or online this year. The in person aspect of the April workshop allowed me to make some new friendships that I have valued this year! 

4. Renewal in relationships... I'm not really sure how to "measure" this one but I know it needs to remain a focus for me, especially with my immediate family. Allowing my family to act as a mirror to my own heart is important. I need to grow in how I relate with them and not grow complacent. 

5. Keep reading... I haven't kept a count but I was pretty consistent in reading this year. I read through a lot of non-fiction, which I want to balance out with some fresh fiction this year as well. I  learn so much from reading and if I am honest, many days come and go without adult interaction other than talking to Matt. That can be really hard on my naturally outgoing personality. Reading is a way to feed my brain and soul even if I sometimes find myself isolated in my little family world. 

   I just finished reading Wonder and saw the movie with the kids! If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it and then see the movie too, totally worth it :) Great book to start the year on!

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Monday Confessions, Merry Christmas

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"Joy to The world! the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let ev'ry heart prepare him room
And heaven and nature sing"  ~Joy to the World

May this Christmas day find you surrounded with love, laughter and the truth that Christ came for you too! Now that Christmas is here, allow me to share a few of my favorite images from our fall session with Christina Vance Photography. She's wonderful and I am so, so thankful to have some updated family images that include Benjamin! 

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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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