Weekend Gems

Monday, September 1, 2014

This weekend was a great one, so, I thought I'd share some "gems" from it.

On Saturday, I shot a close friend's wedding. It was rustic, it was outdoors, and it was perfect. The weather was incredible (after threats of rain, and then threats of sunshine and 90-degree heat), just the right amount of clouds to hide the sun at times, and not at all as hot as predicted. It was really, really a beautiful day. 

My friend Oliver helped me as an assistant, which he does from time to time, but for the first time, he was also my second shooter. This was really exciting for me, because I have never had or been a second shooter. It's fun, so as it is, to come home with a camera full of photos to sift through and edit, but even more fun to have a second camera with someone else's shots to go through. Here's a photo he captured during the posed shots. The wedding was at an orchard.


And here are a few photos from their preview. I couldn't peel away from editing yesterday afternoon, and was at these preview photos (15 total, I believe, which I obviously won't post here, but you can visit here: http://www.laurabarndtphotography.com) for about 5-6 hours.




Are they not the sweetest couple? They (and their bridal party and friends and family) made it such an easy, fun day.

Sunday, we went to church, and then had our friends Megan and Andy over with their kids. It's quickly becoming a Sunday night tradition to have our friends over, pull up some chairs around the fire pit outside, and laugh and chat over roasted marshmallows (or string cheese, if you're Andy...ha). Loving it.


I have some oil updates, for sure, but I'm scheduling posts for those the rest of this week and next, so, I'll save that chit-chat for later.

Ethan begins preschool tomorrow. I'm more nervous than I was even yesterday because he's suddenly telling me he isn't interested in going, while choking back tears. Ahhh. Pray for us. ;-)

Hope you had a great weekend! Enjoy your holiday!

My Oil Journey: The Beginning

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Things are about to get oily up in here.

As you see those probably familiar colorful bottles, you're probably thinking one of three things:

1. I am so unfollowing this girl. I can't stomach more people talking about these dumb oils. (If this is you, please know you are me the past year or so, minus the past month. Did that even make sense?)

2. Okay. I wanted to know more about them, anyway.

3. Yes! I love my oil experiences, and can't wait to read more.

- - -

Here's the deal. When things are "trendy," it's like a red flag for me. I try to stay away. Except for cute, printed leggings. I was on those from the start. Oils, for me, were trendy, and I've ignored them up until last month.

Not really having health concerns that needed "fixing," I assumed they weren't for me. Then, more and more people began talking about them, and one day, I decided I wanted to know more. I asked a friend who is a part of Young Living. I trust her to be honest and not salesy with me. I was sold after talking with her, but didn't love the price tag of Young Living's Premium Starter Kit. I told her I would wait until the next month. The more I thought about it, and the more I saw what these oils could do via blog posts, word of mouth and Pinterest and Instagram before/after photos, I wanted them right away.

Short story: I signed up with Young Living. Gosh, don't you already do Scentsy? Yes, but I do Scentsy for money. Intentionally. I consider Scentsy a job (a fun one, but nonetheless). Young Living is very different from Scentsy in many ways. When you sign on as a member, you don't have to sell, but you can make a commission, if you choose to. Signing on as a member, I wanted to be a customer...a member with a discount. If people bought from me? Added bonus. No gimmicks, just discounts, people.

If you'd like to order, yes, I can help you out. But I mostly started my oil journey for me, and now, I want to share it with you. What better way than my blog?

A non-salesy approach: Please know anything I blog about related to Young Living Essential Oils going forward is my honest opinion and experience. I was a skeptic about these oils, and I felt like everyone was just trying to make a buck, so, I wasn't sure who or what to trust. I don't want you to get that impression from me, as that's not at all what I'm doing. I do like to be honest here on my blog in all reviews, whether paid or not, and sharing essential oils with you will be no different.

And that's the short story.

There's no method to how I'm going to do this. I have plenty to share with you. When I have free time to begin sharing and highlight individual oils with you, I will, but for now, I wanted to kind of clear  things up/inform you of what's to come. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment. So that I can respond to you, please verify you have an e-mail address attached to your account when commenting.

New Chapters

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


When we moved to our neighborhood almost one year ago to the day, I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of neighbors. We had some friends who live down the road, but beyond that, we knew we had a lot of vacant, brand new construction around us, an older lady next door, and a family with a teenage boy across the street. We didn't know if or when we would make more friends, or whether or not there were kids our boys' ages.


About a month ago, we learned we had neighbors just down the road a few houses who had two boys a little younger than ours. They moved to the neighborhood a few months after we did. We met, and we've had a few playdates since, including this trip to the local dairy farm. We've found new friends in them, as well as other families in our area.

As simple as it sounds, making friends with your neighbors, we didn't have that at our previous house. In fact, it was quite the opposite scenario, you may recall. I won't rehash any of that drama llama. 

This is a pleasant change, not only for us, but especially for our boys.



With Ethan beginning preschool next week, I have mixed feelings. I'm a little sad to have my "baby" starting school and being in someone else's care, but I'm more excited. I'm excited for the new friendships he'll develop and all of the learning he'll do. I'm thrilled God gave us this place to call home, and these friends to call ours.