Part of Me Blog

yeah, we're still waiting...


It has been 4 years, 8 months, and 14 days since we first started this adoption process, which feels like the LONGEST bleeping pregnancy in the history of EVER.

Sweet, sweet people come up to me every day and ask about our adoption (thank you for caring!). I have finally just started telling them exactly how I feel. I am SO. DONE. with the waiting. But more on that in a minute...

I realized I may have never answered a few general questions about our adoption here on my blog, so:

  • We are adopting from China. More on why we chose international adoption HERE.
  • We do not yet know the exact child we will adopt. (Essentially, we are waiting on THAT phone call from our agency, saying they have a child for us.)
  • We do know that she (yes, it's a girl!) will be somewhere between 12-19 months old. It is very rare to see a child adopted internationally from China under the age of 1. These aspects (age range and gender) are all things that are part of our family's specific request. 

Side note: Did you know that currently in China there are more boys currently waiting on a forever home than girls? It's true! We were not aware of this when we first started and requested a girl (it is also possible to be open to either gender). If we would have requested a boy, he would have been home months ago. Our agency consistently has boys of all ages on their waiting children site. This is something we have battled with after learning, but we feel a peace about our current process and have decided to continue with our original request- at least for this current adoption. :) It seems that China's one-child policy of the 80's has trickled down to a (now outdated) Western mindset- including mine- that there are many unwanted girls available, therefore feeding the uptick in the request for girls. Here is a great article by Kelly Mayfield that explains this more fully.

  • Our daughter will have some type of special need, and we do not yet know what that will be. Our agency is aware, however, of the conditions/needs that our family has decided we are "OK" with, and what we are not comfortable with- and they will not match us with a child who does not fit within our "OK" list. Much more on the special needs thing HERE.
  • When we do get THAT CALL, we will have the opportunity to review everything that is currently known about the child, including a medical file which we will have reviewed by our pediatrician and international adoption specialist doctors (yes, this is a thing). We will have the opportunity to say "no" if we feel like her medical needs may be more than we can handle, or for whatever other reason- though we expect that would be a rare occurence.
  •  She will have a given Chinese name, which we are hoping to keep as her middle name if it has any connection to her biological family or special significance. If it is just a name given by the orphanage, we may not keep it. We DO have a name for her, but aren't quite ready to announce that yet. :)
  • Yes, adoption is expensive. Adopting from China will cost over $30,000 by the time it is all finished. These fees go to pay our non-profit Christian adoption agency, social workers, the U.S. Government, the Chinese government, translators, notaries, document authenticators, doctors, travel costs, and all of the people who have cared for our daughter before she is in our arms. Our agency has been transparent about each and every fee and what it goes toward. Because of all of the paperwork and people involved, the costs are high. But I MUST tell you- the Lord has provided every cent we have needed. Yes, we have worked hard to save, and I have about broken my fingers off filling out grant applications- but we have been provided for SO WELL by the body of Christ that it has instilled a true passion in Shawn and I to give to others' adoptions in the future. 
  • Why has it taken 4, almost 5 years now? Part of that is our "fault" and some of it isn't. When we first applied to adopt, it was through our agency's Ethiopia program. At the time, adoptions from Ethiopia had been very popular and families were being matched quickly- within a year. But right about the time we got in, timelines started to slow down. At first we were told 18-24 months, and then it was 24-36 months, and the wait time continued to grow. This is a confusing matter- because agencies aren't able to predict wait times- they don't know when they will be receiving files of children. They are only able to state the trends that they are seeing- as in, how long families currently being matched have been waiting. So essentially, timelines were growing. That is when we decided it would be ok to have another biological child. Our daughter Liv's story began broken and ended beautifully. I am so deeply thankful God wove her into this process and into our family. After Liv was born, we decided God was asking us to China's special needs program. So essentially, we started over. We've been waiting on our China baby since March of 2016, so about 18 months now. Another thing that has lengthened our wait in the China program is that we have requested our Chinese daughter be at least 12 months younger than Liv. Because China does not refer out children younger than 1 year very often, we've also been waiting for Liv to get older. She needed to be at least 2 for us to receive the very rare referral of a 1 year old girl. Most children are around the 18 month mark when referred from China.


Those are the facts. Now here are the feelings:

I HATE that our process has taken so long, because I worry that it will deter others from pursuing adoption. I pray every day that we will see more and more adoption happening in our specific community- our church, friends, and family. I was discussing this feeling to a wise friend not too long ago and they responded, "Lissa, someone else's decision on whether or not to adopt is their decision- and however your story influences them isn't up to you- it's up to God." Essentially, Lissa- YOU CANNOT CONTROL THAT. Amen. I needed to hear that. 

I want people to see that this process has been absolutely worth it- and we don't even have a baby home yet. God has refined our hearts and attitudes so much through our journey. One of the most consistent themes for me has been giving up control. Control of the timeline, the circumstances, my idealistic plan for my family- you name it, this adoption has likely impacted my perspective on it in some way. I'm thankful for that.

Literally all of my assumptions about how this process would look have been extinguished. I really thought we'd apply, wait a bit, decorate a cute baby room, fly to another country, get baby, come home, live happily ever after...and so far it just hasn't looked like that.

After we applied with our agency to begin the process in 2013, I scoured the internet for adoption blogs. I would read them late into the night, like a crazy Netflix binger. I was so hungry for others' real experiences. I wanted to be the EXPERT on how this would go. I remember reading one family's blog who had recently announced that they had a biological son while waiting on their adoption from Ethiopia to be complete. In my naivety, I thought, "Wow, they really lost focus. How could they possibly have another child without considering the one waiting for them in Ethiopia?" About a year later, I got to eat my presumptuous feet like a Thanksgiving meal. We were pregnant in the middle of an adoption. The pregnancy was an answered prayer and something I had hoped for for a long time. Wow- I'm so glad God knows my future and consistently writes a much better story than I do.

It's true. I am SICK of the waiting. But it has been refining. I am a better mom and wife because of it. At my most vulnerable, I'm also completely scared about what's to come. We are anticipating a lot at our household right now- and weirdly- we are full of peace. I know that this is because God's peace surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:7). I know it's because He hears the prayers of His saints and boy, do we have a lot of people covering this specific issue in prayer on the daily. I can't tell you what a blessing that is! I have many more thoughts to share, and I plan on posting more in the future. Thanks for reading. Stay tuned- greater things are still to come!

Pictured here: "You Belong Here"- the sweetest children's book I bought a while back, a jade necklace I bought on one of my trips to China, our passports, and just a smidge of the paperwork!

Pictured here: "You Belong Here"- the sweetest children's book I bought a while back, a jade necklace I bought on one of my trips to China, our passports, and just a smidge of the paperwork!

you can do hard things • free download


Is it just me, or do the problems we face get bigger and more real as we grow older? Yikes. It's one of my least favorite things about adulting- these actual problems that never seem to go away- the challenges that loom. I've had a few- and I've watched many of those close to me truly fight against the battles that have consistently been thrown their way. It can be discouraging- but I made this piece because I truly believe there is HOPE....only in Christ.

I think we all know Phillippians 4:13- "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"- but I love Phillipians 4:12. It's about contentment...about being okay "whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want". Ugh- that is hard. Thankfully, verse 13 rolls up and gives us "the secret" in two words- through Christ. We do hard things THROUGH CHRIST. Not alone. Praise the Lord!

I've made this print available in my Etsy shop here if you'd like to hang this reminder in your home!

I've made a FREE download of this print (sized for your cell phone or the web) available when you sign up for my newsletter below. I'd love it if you'd tag me if you post! 

logan + michelle • wedding


I think back on Logan and Michelle's wedding day- and I smile, because the only words I have to describe it are "simply lovely". It really was. Logan and Michelle are hugely intentional people and there are a few things they did that I will remember being so special-

Michelle was such a low-key bride- in the very best sense of the word- never fussing, moving along with a sense of purpose and hugging everyone she saw. She had sewn a blue heart made from a scrap of her late father's sweater on the underside of her dress, and paired it with the most  gorgeous wine-colored shoes. And when she got dressed and we headed out for portraits, she was anything BUT ordinary. Her face glowed with a calm expectancy- her joy in marrying Logan was soon to be made full. 

Logan was the same- extremely helpful to others even as he prepared for the day. He was smiling, easygoing and ready to meet his bride. Logan delivered several envelopes with pre-written notes to Michelle before the wedding- all for different seasons of their marriage- some read "Open when you're missing me", "Open when you're having a bad day"- and the one that made me tear up- "Open when you feel like giving up on us". Friends, marriage is hard- but worth it- and it so encouraged me to see the commitment and courage these two were taking into theirs.

During the ceremony, Logan and Michelle looked at each other as if they both knew they were getting the better deal. It was exactly what we all hope for in a marriage. 

And at the reception, instead of throwing her bouquet- Michelle announced that she'd like to give it to the woman present who'd been a bride the longest- how perfect?!? I loved it and it was such a sweet moment. 

Logan and Michelle- thank you for blessing us and giving us the opportunity to document your wedding day! 

okc/tulsa & that time we went to a wedding as GUESTS!

HOME + LIFESTYLElissa-anglinComment

It’s a rare occasion that Shawn and I are actually guests at a wedding- so when we were invited to Pierce + Annique’s wedding, we were a GO. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE shooting weddings- but it sure was fun to take my time eating that delicious piece of wedding cake and then getting to dance with Shawn. 

I’m the nerd that enjoys reading reviews and doing the research on the best local spots when we travel- and Oklahoma City/Tulsa really surprised us with all there is to do! So I thought I’d share here- since we had so many great experiences. 

We rented an Air BnB in the Gatewood neighborhood, which was within walking distance of the very cool Plaza District. The Plaza hosts a great collection of local boutiques, bars and restaurants- even a pop-up shaved ice stand made from a shipping container (Sasquatch).

Here’s a list of the places we visited in that area this trip:

Saints Pub- jazz band + yummy cocktails


Aurora- excellent breakfast in the coolest space! I went a little photo crazy here- but I loved the design SO MUCH.


Oak & Ore- 36 kinds of beers on tap- Shawn was sold! They also had a great banh mi sandwich.


RetrOKC- I picked up some vintage paint by numbers pieces forthe girls’ room here- $5! 


We didn’t get to visit The Mule, Goro Ramen, Empire Slice House or any of the other interesting restaurants but will definitely be doing so in future trips. 

We did make our way to Bricktown for dinner one night, and walked the river with ice cream, which was fun. It was a bit more “touristy” but we still enjoyed the whole Bricktown area.

We met up with friends who live on OKC for breakfast one morning, we actually visited two great spots:

Clarity Coffee- sorry, no pictures here- I was enjoying our company so much I forgot! The baristas were super nice and the space is very well designed, though- so just go see for yourself!


Okay Yeah- ya’ll. I could have eaten the whole menu and purchased every plant there. That’s right- they have delicious food AND the cutest little plant shop all in one space. We had some sweet and savory hand tarts (think home made pop tarts) that were soo delicious. 

We also made our way over to Tulsa for a day to visit some good friends and there were a ton of cool spots there!


Dilly Diner- this was a perfect family meal spot- the patio has 3 playhouses, and we ate breakfast for lunch.


The Boxyard- Really unique shopping center made out of shipping containers- my fave shops were East + West (menswear) and Dwelling Spaces.


Retro Den- I’ve followed this shop on Insta forever and couldn’t wait to scope out their space! It had so many great finds and I was heartbroken we couldn’t drive it all home, so I settled for some air plants (they're still alive!!!!).


Cirque Coffee- this was a great spot to sit, refuel, and answer some emails. Shawn had a coffee drink made with imperial stout beer that had been reduced with cinnamon sticks. It was delicious.

The wedding was at The Stone Barn at Blueberry Hill, and it was so lovely. The bride was absolutely radiant, the groom looked dapper- and we had the best time! Here are a few iPhone shots- you'll definitely want to check out the images from their awesome photographer


Till next time, OKC!

2017 Mini-Session Signups!


UPDATE: All Lubbock dates are full- I still have a few in Dallas, Midland and Borger, though!

I'm excited to announce that my 2017 Mini-Session signups are live! These are special, once-a-year sessions I do that cater to families and kids- just in time for Christmas. 

I'm adding dates in Dallas and Midland this year, as well as many in Lubbock and my hometown, Borger. 

Mini-Sessions are 65.00 plus tax for a 30 minute session. 

Your images (usually around 100 photos) will be uploaded to a gallery about one week after your session, and you can order prints, digital files, and custom made cards from there.

Prints start at 15.00 and the hi-res digital files are 45.00 for individual files or 300.00 for all of the images in your gallery. 

Dates are first-come, first-served, so click here to check out what's available and sign up!

our getaway to spicewood, tx in northwest austin!


The past few years it has been tough to find a time to get all of my side of the family together. My parents are busy managing guests from all over (they have several Air Bnb properties in Lubbock!), and my sisters and I are right in the middle of building careers and raising kids- and at the time of this little vacation last month- BOTH of my sisters and their husbands were in the middle of moving houses. Yikes! So, it makes me so thankful when somehow, the stars align and we are able to all spend some precious time together. 

This year, our goal was to do a bit of everything, but not too much of anything. :) We chose a large home by Lake Travis that had enough bedrooms for all (which is RARE), and a great kitchen and outdoor space to explore. We only had a few days so we did our best to carefully choose our activities!

Loved the views from the porch of our Air Bnb!

Loved the views from the porch of our Air Bnb!

Since having kids, we have decided that Air Bnb is the way to go when traveling as a family. Having the "real home" conveniences like a full size refrigerator, kitchen, and laundry are so helpful. I also LOVE having separate bedrooms for napping kids. If you haven't tried Air Bnb yet and would like to, here's $40 off your first reservation!

Our first meal stop was Opie's BBQ in Spicewood. It was just about 10 minutes away from our home, and the perfect place for lunch. Opie's is a open-till-we-run-out BBQ joint, and you literally pick out the meat you want from the cooker right when you walk in the door! It was delicious.

It's not a family vacation without some board games!

It's not a family vacation without some board games!

Our first adventure was Krause Springs. Initially, I wanted to visit Barton Springs, but found out that Krause Springs was closer to where we were staying, and possibly less crowded. The cost wasn't bad, either- $8 for adults, $5 for age 4-11, free for kids under 4. They only take cash though- just FYI!

There were quite a few people there, but it wasn't too bad. We brought towels/mexican blankets for the ground, floaties/pool toys, sunscreen/hats/change of clothes, a Yeti cooler full of beverages (alcohol is permitted), and a large bag of snacks. We also all wore Chacos or swim shoes- which are a necessity here. 

Isn't Krause Springs gorgeous?

Isn't Krause Springs gorgeous?

There is actually a little "cave" pictured below that was fun to go inside as well as a huge rope swing. 


Knox and Liv loved playing in the shallow pools on the rocks. The water was surprisingly clear and refreshingly cool. I put the kids in their "lake" swimsuits, and was glad I did because their booties ended up pretty dirty- totally worth it for the fun, though!


My niece, Hayden, was 5 months and I thought this pop-up tent that Layne brought was GENIUS ($25!). It stayed nice and cool, was easy to clean, and folded up so small. Here's the link to it on Amazon. 


That night we came home to the MOST delicious pulled pork tacos, and then got to have some famous Milo biscuits in the morning. Having a chef for a brother-in-law definitely has its perks!

Justin (Layne's husband) had just started a new job and wasn't supposed to get there until later- but he showed up early and surprised her! 

Justin (Layne's husband) had just started a new job and wasn't supposed to get there until later- but he showed up early and surprised her! 

The next day we rented a ski boat from Briarcliff Marina and spent the day on Lake Travis. It was hot, but the water was like glass and it was so much fun to watch my brave 6 year old go tubing for the first time! He rode several times with an adult and then finally went a few times by himself! It was a blast.

Liv made her way onto the boat only to be rocked to sleep by the waves.

Liv made her way onto the boat only to be rocked to sleep by the waves.

Ever since I shot Michael + Cassidy's wedding, I've been wanting to go to Dai Due in Austin. So, we ventured into town that night and had the most incredible meal! We were a large party for the space (complete with stir-crazy kids), and the staff could not have been more accommodating. And of course, the food was unforgettable!

When you have more family than you can selfie, consider yourself blessed. :)

When you have more family than you can selfie, consider yourself blessed. :)

Ice cream + totally wiped out from the lake + my grandma let me put on her makeup!

Ice cream + totally wiped out from the lake + my grandma let me put on her makeup!

The last day, we had a girls/guys day. The guys booked a tee time thru and the ladies did a little shopping! My favorite stop was Revival TX in Bee Cave. We thought it looked cute from the road, and little did we know what we had stumbled upon! This shop had the cutest gifts and knick-knacks- and then it opens up to this huge courtyard with yet another boutique, a gorgeous succulent greenhouse and a VERY large pig named Hamlet. Definitely worth a stop!


That night, we ate on the patio at Angel's Icehouse. It was the perfect spot- they had a playground for the kids, washer pits, live music (throwback 70's, which my parents loved!) and we ended up staying for a while to play Sequence. It was the great ending to our quick trip!

The kitchen sink was the perfect size for sweet Hayden to take a bath!

The kitchen sink was the perfect size for sweet Hayden to take a bath!

Mandatory group photo :)

Mandatory group photo :)


All in all, we had a great trip and already have a list of things to do/places to see and eat when we are back in the Austin area! Reeeeaaaaalllly hoping we will get to book our friend's awesome property that boasts several modern tiny cabins! Seriously, go look at them! 

Let me know if you have any questions about our trip or recs for future Austin area trips! I would love to start planning another adventure to this area!

the one tool that has radically changed my parenting and my prayer life


I am no expert on parenting. My oldest is currently 6 years old, so I'm still new to the game. I have, however, made it out of the foggy rollercoaster of the toddler stage with at least one kid (still gripping that handrail preeeetttttyyyyy tight with the second kiddo, though...)

Read to the end to see what these water bottles have to do with my prayer life! 

Read to the end to see what these water bottles have to do with my prayer life! 

We'd prepared for our firstborn son, Knox, with great intention- researching name meanings and praying over God's Word for a life verse that would help him define his purpose in the world. But now that he was here- the only prayer I got around to was, "God, please let me get some SLEEP!" (Let's be honest, I still say that one a lot).

And unfortunately, that is my prayer default: fear or stress-driven pleas for a change of circumstances or a detached "please help so-and-so". My prayers lack the depth and communion with God I so desperately need. But in those rushed moments, I find it difficult to tap into God's truth for my life so that I can pray with the right perspective.

So when I first heard my dear friend, Joy, speak on this subject, it was such a breath of fresh air! I'm so thankful she chose to share this method. Because I have my "focus words", I can pray with intention for anyone- or anything- in a powerful, intentional (even measurable!) way. I can't wait for you to hear about this- because I think it will immediately transform your prayer life, just like it has mine.

And now here's Joy:

Image by Patty Urlaub

Image by Patty Urlaub

Hey everybody! My name is Joy Urlaub. I’ve known Lissa for about 12 years. She is definitely my coolest friend and I love getting to share life with her! My husband, Brandon, and I have been married almost ten years. We have two kiddos. Barrett is six and Analeigh is three.

I am excited to share something with you today that has transformed the way I pray. I call them “focus words.”

Before I began using focus words to pray for different people, the list of prayer requests and people I wanted to pray for became so overwhelming. I didn’t even know where to start.  Sometimes, with my all-or-nothing mentality, I became so overwhelmed with prayer needs that I just wouldn’t pray at all. I would think about different issues and circumstances throughout the day, but thinking and praying are two very different things. I didn’t feel like my prayers were adequate. They definitely weren’t specific. My prayers lacked power. When I pray through a focus word, I am able to take what were once blurry and rushed prayers and bring them into focus. They create a focused and meaningful prayer time for me, especially when I pray for my family.

I’ve explained it all below, but if you would rather watch a video, I've linked two sermons I preached a while ago using the same concept at the bottom of this post. I hope you find this method of praying for your family to be encouraging! 

Do you remember the old prayer acrostic “JOY”? Jesus. Others. You. It was a model for how to pray. Praise JESUS for what He has done. Pray for OTHERS. Pray for YOURSELF. Focus words are essentially the same thing—an acrostic that serves as a model or guide for your personal prayer time. I have chosen different words for specific people in my life. I pray the word MIGHTY over my son, Barrett. Below is an example of how I would pray through the entire word. 

Lord, I pray you would raise Barrett up to be MIGHTY for the Kingdom of God. 

M--I am so thankful that he MADE a decision to follow Jesus this year! (Side note: When my husband and I started praying the word MIGHTY, one of our prayers was that Barrett would MAKE a decision to accept Jesus and that he would truly begin to understand salvation. That is one of the specific prayers God answered this year! Barrett accepted Jesus last October.) Help Barrett to MAKE good friends and MAKE wise choices. Allow us to MAKE time to connect as a family. I pray Barrett would be a godly MAN in the way he protects and treasures women and in the way he fights for the powerless. 

I--I pray Barrett would be a man of INTEGRITY. Develop in him honesty, a strong work ethic, and character that is above reproach.

G--GUARD him and GUIDE him. GUARD his heart with peace, his eyes from impure things, and keep him safe. GUIDE him. I pray that his heart would be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Help him to hear you above the noise in our world.

H--May Barrett be HOLY and set apart in his generation. Give him a HUMBLE heart. 

T--Let Barrett know the TRUTH about who he is and to whom he belongs. He belongs to you, Lord. He is yours, and you have entrusted him to our family. I pray he would always feel secure and loved. Help us teach him how to be a responsible member of our family. I also pray that you would give him a TEACHABLE spirit. 

Y—I pray Barrett would live for you all of his days. Let him live for you while he is YOUNG. No fear…no regrets!

One of my favorite things about using focus words is that when I have time to pray through the entire word, I can do so. Other times, when Barrett just crosses my mind throughout the day, with a single breath I can pray, “Lord, make Barrett MIGHTY.” God knows the depths of that word for me and I know all that it means. So, with a simple, one line prayer, I am speaking truth and power over my son. 

We've been intentional to post this in August, because so many parents are sending their kids to school this month. Because of that, we have a great opportunity and responsibility as parents to pray for our children.

As a mom, one of my greatest callings is to pray for my children. Psalm 127:4 says, “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.” I am called to be a warrior for my kids. The best way to fight for the hearts of my children is through prayer. Barrett started kindergarten last year. I have never felt so out of control as I did the morning I left him at school for the first time. I actually remember wearing a t-shirt that said “warrior” on it that day. I needed the reminder that even if I was a weepy warrior, I was a warrior nonetheless. There is a war waging for our families every day. There isn’t time for me to feel overwhelmed. There isn’t time for vague and generic prayers. It is time for me to pray powerful and effective prayers for my family.

My husband is a youth pastor and every semester I lead our teenage girls in a Bible study. Last fall, we read The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson. (If you haven’t read this book, I recommend it!)  In one particular chapter, Mark Batterson talks about the responsibility of a parent to pray for their children. During our discussion that week, I asked the girls, “How many of you know your parents pray for you?” Almost all of them raised their hands. Then I asked, “What do your parents pray for you?” Only one of the fifteen girls in my living room could answer that question. Only one could tell me specific prayers her parents prayed over her. Do you know how she knew? Her parents pray using a focus word. She knows her word and all that it means. I want my children to not only know that I pray for them, I want them to know what I pray for them. I want them to be able to rejoice with me when we see God answer a specific prayer in their lives. 

If praying this way is appealing to you, here are a few suggestions as you get started:

  • Brainstorm some ideas. Include your spouse and even your child if they are old enough to help think through the word. Before my husband and I landed on “mighty”, we thought about other words like “brave” and “strong.” “Mighty” just came together powerfully for us. The longer you pray through your word, it will expand and revise itself. You may even have different words for different seasons of life. You don’t have to pick one and stick with it forever.
  • Once you choose a word and complete a meaning for each letter, go back and find promises in Scripture and other meaningful verses to go with each letter. Praying through and memorizing Scripture is crucial. Here is one example of Scripture from Barrett’s word. For the letter G, GUARD him and GUIDE him, I pray Philippians 4:6-7 over him. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understand, will GUARD your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
  • Every morning before Barrett leaves for school, we ask him, “Who are you?” He replies, “I am a MIGHTY warrior.” He has also memorized Judges 6:12. “The Lord is with you MIGHTY warrior.” Choose a mantra for your child that declares the word you are praying over them and say it often!
  • Use a visual aid! Make a notecard or sign (or we have a really fun way below!) with your focus words and meanings and place it on your child's bathroom mirror or in the car so you can see it on your way to school.

Check out these videos to hear me speak more about the focus words I pray for the girls and guys in our youth group:

It's Lissa again...

Isn't that incredible?! I love that focus words give you the opportunity to really consider how you intercede for others and specific points to pray about. This year, I am making some custom vinyl decals for Knox's school supplies that include his focus word and offering them to you!

You can stick the decal on your child’s pencil box, lunch box, water bottle, etc. and every time they reach for that item, they are reminded that they have warrior parents and a faithful God who is working to accomplish great things in and through them. These also make great name labels!

Type in the promo code "JOY" at checkout to receive 30% off 3 or more decals!

I will close orders August 18th.

Focus Word Decals

Decals are 3- 4" in length, depending on the custom text. If you need a specific length, please let me know when you check out (there is a place on the order form).

They can easily be put on any hard, smooth surface.

There will be NO proofs/previews of your design before printing, so please be sure to enter your desired text correctly when ordering. 

Sorry, no local pickup. It will be more efficient for both of us for me to mail it straight to you!

I will do my very best to make every design look great! I will contact you via email should there be a problem with your order.

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Hunter + Brityn • Wedding at Eberley Brooks


I hope you guys are prepared for a photo-heavy post- because there was just too much awesome at this wedding to NOT share. I loved getting to work with bride Brityn because not only does she know exactly what she likes, here style is a gorgeous mix of funky and beautiful, which of course I loved capturing. Speaking of things Brityn likes, there's Hunter- her groom and now husband- who is also pretty great himself. :) These two endured some HOT Texas heat and glaring sunshine for photos, which I could not appreciate more. Their entire wedding day was full of special moments I can't wait to share with you. 

As you'll see, there were many gorgeous details curated by Brityn, her wonderful mother, and some very talented vendors. Their wedding was at Eberley Brooks Events, one of my favorite venues in Lubbock- and it was decorated so beautifully by Grayce Floral. The beautiful pearl necklace she wore was also her grandmothers. Brityn said, "My nana passed away when I was in the 5th grade but she was always such a special part of my life. Knowing that I could have her right there with me all night made everything perfect! I had planned on wearing that necklace at my wedding since I was 15 years old."

Brityn and Hunter are a teacher and coach- and so the arbor they were married under was adorned with the coolest collection of vintage children's books I have ever seen (swoon)! They actually painted a canvas in lieu of a unity candle (how many brides would be unafraid to sling paint during their ceremony?!?)- but it was totally special and worth it. 

Their cakes were also to die for- the floral watercolor + gold combo- oh my goodness, perfection! Oh, did I mention we busted out some smoke bombs for a few sunset photos? Seriously love this couple!

When I asked Brityn about her advice to other brides, she said, "If your groom tells you throughout the process that they don't care and for you to do whatever... ALWAYS still ask for their input! They really do care especially when it begins to get down to the day! Also, just breathe and make it your own! It doesn't matter about anything unless it is what YOU want! If it's a detail that matters to you than do it 100%".

Definitely some great advice! Thank you, Hunter and Brityn, for letting us capture your wedding day! It was a blast! 

Venue: Eberley Brooks Events

Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige from Bella Bridal Boutique

Groom + Groomsmen: Men's Wearhouse

Bridesmaids' Dresses: Adrianna Papell

Hair: Kali Hale

Makeup: Anyssa Gray

Floral: Grayce Floral

Catering: Joan's Catering

DJ: West Texas DJ & Ronnie Eaton

Stationery: Minted

Custom Wedding Bands: Sterling Silver Shop- Etsy


Vintage Camper Summer Mini-Sessions!


Super excited to announce that I will be doing a limited number of SUMMER mini-sessions on August 5th. I have never offered minis in the summertime and I am so excited about the details of this one! (For my families that typically do a fall mini-session, don't worry- I'll be offering those as well at the end of Sept.-Oct.).

The details:

This Mini-Session will feature a vintage camper scene in an outdoorsy location. There will be lots of posing options for families, kids, couples, etc! BYO flower crown :) Check out my mood board-this is the actual camper we will be using:

I'll be shooting in 20-minute time slots, which is typically the perfect amount of "happy time" for little ones. 

A $50 non-refundable deposit will be required to book your session. I will invoice you after confirming your time via email.

If you'd like to book a mini-session, fill out the form below and please list your first and second choices for time. 









Name *

Can't wait! Please feel free to email me at with any questions!

Zaya Rae's 1 Year Session


This little miss turned 1 year old a few weeks ago and I was excited to photograph her. It is always amazing to see how kids' personalities grow and develop in that first year- and Zaya Rae reminds me of my Liv- sweet and spicy all in one. :)

She had a Hawaiian themed birthday party and I loved the onesie her momma got from Baby Squishy Cheeks and the adorable felt flower crown from Fancy Free Finery. And of course, we had to get big brother Shaddix in on the action- he has grown so much as well! 

We ended the shoot with some ice cream at Holly Hop Ice Cream Shop here in Lubbock- it was the perfect spot to celebrate this little one!