Part of Me Blog

holiday wishlists for the camera-lover in your life!

PHOTOGRAPHYlissa-anglinComment

Some of the most popular topics in our Moms Who Snap Facebook group are about which lens is best for what, which camera to to buy, and what software/courses are recommended. (Psssst.....if you're not a part of the group, come join us!) I love hearing what works for everyone, but I thought it would be fun to compile some all-inclusive "must haves" for beginning photographers, soccer moms, and even those who have been shooting a while. So, I've created 4 wishlists, just in time for Christmas shopping!

It was SO much fun to put these together, and I'm hoping they will be helpful if you are buying for a momtographer or if you need something to easily pass to that family member who has no idea what to buy you! I'm linking all the products and sharing a little about why they've made my list this year under each photo. Enjoy!

6500StarterSet.jpg

I'm asked all the time to give a recommendation on a "nice camera"- this is it, friends! I always trust what Ken Rockwell has to say, and the D3400 is his favorite DSLR for the price. It comes with an 18-55mm lens (also known as a "kit" lens), that will perform well outside, but also including the 50mm prime lens makes this setup a great all-around choice. Add in an extra battery, a super fast SD card and cute bag, and you are good to go! I've shot Nikon all my career, so that's what I know best, but I'll also be linking the Canon equivalents in case you'd prefer to go Canon- both companies are equally great!

ONE- Nikon D3400 with 18-55mm lens   (Canon equivalent: Canon Rebel T6)

I've linked the refurbished model- a great way to save some cash! This camera also has Eye-Fi technology which means you can connect it to your computer or phone and get images sent straight to them!

TWO- Nikon Nikkor 50mm 1.8 lens  (Canon Equivalent: Canon 50mm 1.8)

This sweet lens is a staple for professionals and comes in clutch in low-light situations, like when you're unwrapping gifts by the light of the tree. :)

THREE- SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB SD Card

32GB will hold quite a few images- at least 400 RAW files, or over 4000 JPG! And it's quick writing speed means you'll be able to shoot more quickly too- highly important when you're trying to capture a busy toddler!

FOUR- Extra Battery for Nikon D3400  (Extra Battery for Canon Rebel T6)

This may seem like a no-brainer, but an extra battery is realllllly nice to have around when your camera dies suddenly as your kid steps up to bat. Not that that has ever happened to me or anything. ;)

FIVE- Kattee Camera Backpack (also comes in navy and black!)

This is a cute bag at a great price point. The camera compartment is removable, and there is plenty of other space to store your stuff.

CameraBags.jpg

Wooo- this was a fun one, and I had WAY too many bags to fit into this graphic! So here are the ones I've had my eyes on!

ONE- JoTotes Hanover Bag This is my day-to-day workhorse of a bag. I love it!

TWO- JoTotes Georgia Herringbone Bag Cute for work and travel!

THREE- House of Flynn Evermore Bag This bag comes in a ton of different colors and fabrics!

FOUR- Ona The Capri Shoulder BagCalling all leather lovers!

FIVE- Kattee Camera Backpack Comes in navy and black as well! 

SIX- Kelly Moore Steph Bag Helllloooo, metallic! I also love the shape. I have owned several Kelly Moore bags and loved every one!

 

SoccerMom.jpg

Another popular question I get is "what lens do I need to photograph my kids' sports games"? I'm afraid the answer isn't cheap, but it will do the trick and me a worthy investment! Here's the perfect setup for all you soccer moms!

ONE- Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 lens (Canon equivalent: Canon 70-200mm 2.8 lens)

This is the older model, (you can buy the newer one at almost $2000 more!), but I have had this exact lens for 11 years and it continues to be one of the most tried-and-true lenses- able to reach long distances in low light.

TWO- Nikon 70-300mm f4-5.6 lens (Canon equivalent: Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6)

This is a less-expensive long range lens that will do well if you are primarily shooting outside (i.e. soccer and baseball- sorry basketball moms!)

THREE- Lowepro Flipside Backpack I loved the look of this backpack AND the fact that you can fit the 70-200 lens in it easily, along with the rest of your gear. 

FOUR- SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB SD Card

32GB will hold quite a few images- at least 400 RAW files, or over 4000 JPG! And it's quick writing speed means you'll be able to shoot more quickly too- highly important when you're trying to capture a busy toddler!

FIVE- UV lens protector 

Not only will this help protect your lens, it will help reduce UV light and create richer colors.

Upgrades&Gifts.jpg

ONE- Adobe CC Photoshop + Lightroom

This is a pre-paid 1 year subscription. Lightroom the THE most essential software needed to organize and edit your images, and Photoshop is it's even cooler older brother.

TWO-  b.still Leather Camera Strap

Because the yellow and black ones are just ugly.

THREE- How To Work It Online Camera Course

Yes, this is MY course- but- I have to say that it has gotten rave reviews on Skillshare! This would be an easy gift for someone wanting to learn how to really work their DSLR camera- and it's all done at their own pace. My suggestion would be to get at one-year membership to Skillshare (around 100.00). Not only will that grant you access to all my How To Work It classes, but my editing course as well- not to mention the thousands of other great classes on Skillshare!

FOUR- Vintage Floral Camera Strap

Again, the yellow and black one is ugly. ;)

FIVE- mPix Gift Card

This is the place I recommend to my clients for photo goods and printing. mPix is the consumer side of one of the best professional labs, and I've been consistently impressed with their products!

SIX- Pelican SD Card Case

These cases are tough and I love knowing my cards are in a safe place where they don't have a chance to fall out.

SEVEN- Nikon Nikkor 85mm 1.8 Prime Lens . (Canon equivalent: Canon 85mm 1.8)

This baby makes some beautiful portraits and performs well in low light. A great addition to a basic lens collection.

EIGHT- Nikon SB-900 Speedlight . (Canon Equivalent: Canon Speedlite 580EXII)

This flash will drastically improve the look and quality of your images when you need to use flash. Instead of blinding your subjects with the on-camera flash, this one can be used to bounce light off another surface, creating a more natural, even look. 

NINE- Sigma ART 35mm Lens for Nikon (Sigma ART 35mm lens for Canon)

This is one of my favorite lenses of all time! Gorgeous bokeh and contrast. My love affair with the 35mm may never end. :)

TEN- Nikon Nikkor 28-70 2.8 lens (Canon equivalent: Canon 28-70 2.8 lens)

This is on my actual wishlist this Christmas. It is an amazing workhorse of a lens that covers a wide range of focal lengths, allowing you to get wider shots or portraits. Plus, the 2.8 means it performs well in low light!


Whew, that was a lot of info! Hope you find this helpful! As always, I am happy to answer questions (i.e. offer my opinion!) about anything you see here. This post is not sponsored in any way and is alllll my professional opinion. It does contain affiliate links that help me pay for the childcare I need to put these wishlists together for you- haha. But seriously, it's true. Can anyone get anything done with a very "helpful" two year old around?!?

Merry Christmas and happy shopping!

a day in the mind of a waiting adoptive mom

MOMLIFElissa-anglin1 Comment

Beeeepppp…..Beeeeeeepppppp……that alarm is always too early and too loud. I lean over to silence it and breathe a deep yawn. With my head still on the pillow, I realize it’s a new day.

Lord, can it be today?

We’ve been in our adoption process for almost 5 years now. For much of that time, I knew that there was a very slim chance we’d get to see our daughter’s face that day- so it was easier to push that anticipation to the future- telling myself that we were not in the season to expect that just yet. I could still pray, be satisfied knowing God’s plan is perfect…anticipating that time when “it could be any day now”.

And now, for the past three months…every day of those months…“it could be any day now”. We are anticipating that moment when we will get a phone call- that leads to an email- which contains my daughter’s face. This part- the “any day now” part- has not been what I expected.

FallHomeDecor-2994.jpg

“Mooooooommmmmmmmyyyyyyy….I want cereal! Moooooommmmmmyyy!!” Instead of hopping out of bed, I pretend that they really aren’t there and beg my pillow for a few more minutes of sleep. Thankfully, my husband arises to feed the hungry and make coffee.

Kids are sent to school, husband heads to work. It’s finally quiet and I have some head space. Time to spend with Jesus. We talk and I’m honest. I worry that there is something he’s waiting on me to “figure out” before we get that call. Something I can control or fix before it happens. Ha! Why are you always grasping for that control, Lissa?!?

And he tells me, “Child, I love you. Rest in my timing. Her redemption is coming. She will be home in my perfect time." So, I ask again that our phone call would come. Can it be today, Lord? I pray about the other hard things in my world- things that seem so much bigger than our adoption. Gracefully, my Savior hears it all. 

Work begins for the day and takes over my brain waves. Emails, texts, images to edit. It’s family photo season and as I look at the sweet faces of the families I photograph I wonder, “What will ours look like next year? This time last year I was sure there’d be another face in our photo…”

During my efforts to lessen the chaos of my email inbox, I see an email from our adoption agency. Could this be it?!? And maybe I just missed the call?!? Hurriedly, I open the email. It’s just a monthly program update. It’s nice, and encouraging, but not the email I really want today.

The email prompts me to check our agency’s private waiting child website. There, I can see the faces of the children recently matched, as well as some who are still waiting for their families. It is exciting and heartbreaking- in some of their faces I can imagine my own daughter’s, and seeing some my heart breaks knowing that they wait still- and that we are not the family for him or her. I should be praying over this list. All of these children are in a wait, too. It’s not just me. And I have a husband to hug, and babies to hug. I’m ok. Lord, bring these kids a family.

FallHomeDecor-2991.jpg

Before I know it, it’s time for my daily school pick up parade. I pull up to my daughter’s daycare and jump out of the car because as usual, I am riiiight on the edge of being late. As I approach the door, a few Taiwanese mothers stand talking as their children play nearby. What will they think when I have a baby in my arms that looks more like them than me? Will they ask about her? And how will I respond? I’ve never spoken to these women before, but I have gazed upon their beautiful children more than once, thinking of my own beautiful Asian. We do not yet have any close friends who are Asian- though we are dying to find some…but what do you say? Hi, our daughter is coming from China and will you be our Asian friend? Really, Lissa?!? I roll my eyes at my inner thoughts as I open the glass doors of the building. 

Daughter in tow, I hop back into the car, and I’ve got a voicemail on my phone from a friend. She’s just checking on me. Tells me she’s praying for that baby to come. It is sweet- because I know she knows. Her adopted baby girl is now approaching 3 years old and is absolutely beautiful and full of just the sass and flavor God knew my friend could mother well. Don’t forget, Lissa, she waited too- her daughter is your reminder. I haven’t forgotten you.

My littlest and I head to my son’s school to pick him up. As we wait for the 1st graders to file out of the school building, I chat with a mom friend who happens to be holding a very tiny, very new foster daughter in her arms. She asks about our adoption process and I have no real news to tell her. I love that she asks- that she cares- but I wish I had something new to say today. Her family has been fostering for about a year now and I have seen several sweet children in her arms during that time. The vast differences of our current journey with international adoption versus the rhythms of foster care hit me. While we wait, she has babies in her arms. When we bring a baby home, it is permanent. When they welcome one, there is no promise of permanency. Still, both take care of children in need. Both are a means to a family. We have so much in common and yet so many differences. 

My son smiles as he approaches us. We wave goodbye to teachers and friends, and head to the car. Loading my two and getting them buckled amidst school pick up traffic proves to be more challenging than anticipated. How in the world am I going to do this with three kids?!? Ugh. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. 

The next hour or so if full of homework and play, snacks and tying up loose ends from my work day. Before I know it, it’s 5:00. Our adoption agency is closed for the day. Ok, another day done. No call. That’s ok. Maybe tomorrow. Just be where you are and enjoy your family.

We eat and my husband and I talk about our day and discuss plans for the weeks and months ahead. Will we be able to make that trip? There is still so much in the air. We can’t make plans too far in advance. We don’t know when that call will come. We don’t know when we will travel to pick up a new daughter. But there are still schedules, and jobs and trips in the midst…and we can’t just stop living…

We clean up, do the bath time and bedtime routine. Our youngest is 2 1/2, and still wants to be rocked to sleep. I’m ok with it- because it’s as much for me as it is for her. I can’t rock my baby in China right now. But I am so very thankful for this one I hold in our warm house, snuggled under her blanket. I turn on our songs and we sing as we rock. 

Take courage, my heart, stay steadfast, my soul- He’s in the waiting, He’s in the waiting

Hold onto your hope, as your triumph unfolds- He’s never failing, He’s never failing

("Take Courage" from the Bethel Starlight album)

One daughter in my arms, and one half a world away. Both in the protective and loving arms of my Father. It’s now 8:15 p.m., which means that China is waking up- men and women are doing their morning exercises in the park, maybe my daughter is eating breakfast. Maybe she was done with that hours ago and now she’s playing. Maybe she is crying or being held my a nanny, or a foster mother…I don’t know. And I won’t know…and maybe I’ll never know. But that’s ok. God’s promise is good and He has her right now, just like he has me. Tomorrow is a new day, and a new chance we will get that call. 

Lord, can it be tomorrow?

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I've been in the process of knitting a quilt for our adopted daughter. I put the project down for a couple of years and have recently picked it back up- maybe as a coping mechanism?!? Here's to hoping I can actually finish it. Either way, it helps. :)

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I've been in the process of knitting a quilt for our adopted daughter. I put the project down for a couple of years and have recently picked it back up- maybe as a coping mechanism?!? Here's to hoping I can actually finish it. Either way, it helps. :)

fall foliage desktop & screen background downloads

PHOTOGRAPHYlissa-anglinComment

I am soaking up all the beautiful colors of fall lately! I shot these images in our neighborhood this morning and thought they would make the perfect desktop or phone background for the season. So, I'm sharing here!

LissaLivFallLeaves-9352.jpg

These images were shot with a Sigma Art 28-70 lens. I will also be sharing a review of this Sigma lens over on the Moms Who Snap group later today!

Fall Foliage 1

Click image to download

Fall Foliage 2

Click image to download

LissaLivFallLeaves-9403.jpg

Fall Foliage 3

Click image to download

And, since it's that time of year for soups and chilis, I'll be sharing some of my freezer meal tips on my InstaStory today if you follow me on Instagram!

autumn touches & how I handle decorating for the seasons

HOME + LIFESTYLElissa-anglinComment

Confession, ya'll...while I love the fall and winter holidays, I've never been a huge fan of seasonal decorating. It has always just seemed too fussy- too much work to get out and put up, and all the while pieces are breaking off and getting lost (#kids). I did a major purge of our Christmas decor a few years ago and condensed it down to two Rubbermaid bins. Some of you may be laughing, but that is "minimal" for our family. 

But just like always, October makes its entrance and that crispness fills the air...and all of a sudden I. NEED. PUMPKINS!!!

FallHomeDecor-2935.jpg

Yes, I AM that lady that forgets about the pumpkins I spent so much time carving and leaves them to rot on the porch. GUILTY. Sorry everyone who comes to our home in the month of November. You will be greeted by the saddest bunch of post-Halloween carved pumpkins you will ever see. 

This year, though, I have yet to visit the pumpkin patch (which is a MUST)- but I've already made peace with some very minimal autumn-izing at home. 

Because I know my kids will, inevitably, play with whatever decor I put out, it HAS to be durable. It also needs to be not too special- as in, it need to be cheap. But on the other side, I don't like to buy new things every year, so it also needs to last. 

So, this is what I've decided to do this year- I'm keeping our fall decor limited to one table- which my kids are calling "pumpkin city" (haha, love them!). On it, I pulled a few orange-y things from around our house (it's one of my favorite accent colors, though I've never been super crazy about Halloween). 

FallHomeDecor-2926.jpg

I knitted several pumpkins a few years ago that have been lightweight and durable, and mixed them with these velvet pumpkins my mom gave me. She found them at the local TJMaxx but here are similar. And to realllllllly personalize, we added in the crazy decorated fake pumpkins that the kids decorated with my mom (bless her for busting out the glitter! Of course Liv's pumpkin is coovvvvverrrrreeddd in it). 

FallHomeDecor-2944.jpg

I threw one of my favorite Mexican blankets down on the bottom just to add a bit of warmth and interest, and pulled a few vintage Reader's Digest books (these are so handy for decorating and there are so many colors of them!) to create some levels. I was so happy with the result.

This table is viewable from nearly every spot in our kitchen, office, living and dining area so it really is enough to remind us that it's autumn (even when the Texas heat wants us to believe otherwise). 

And that is literally ALL I'm going to do (with the exception of maybe a few real ones on our porch after our pumpkin patch visit). I do get a little crazier for Christmas, but that post is for another day. :) 

I'd love to hear how you keep seasonal decorating simple! 

yeah, we're still waiting...

Adoptionlissa-anglinComment
AdoptionBooks-1989.jpg

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.

AdoptionBooks-1997.jpg

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

lissa-anglinComment
Dohardthingsweb_lissaanglin.jpg

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

lissa-anglinComment

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

2017-09-07_0001.jpg

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

2017-09-07_0002.jpg

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

2017-09-07_0003.jpg

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

2017-09-07_0004.jpg

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!

2017-09-07_0005.jpg
2017-09-07_0006.jpg

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!

2017-09-07_0009.jpg

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

2017-09-07_0010.jpg

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

2017-09-07_0011.jpg

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!!!!).

2017-09-07_0012.jpg

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

2017-09-07_0013.jpg

Till next time, OKC!

2017 Mini-Session Signups!

lissa-anglinComment

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!