While ENJOYING a little trip up to Door County a few weeks ago we visited a few country markets along the road and picked up a few pumpkins, aren’t they gorgeous? The day Cole & I decorated our porch for fall we decided to do an impromptu autumn session to honor his love for the season.
Another HALLOWEEN in the books. Cole has been in love with Nintendo and all the Mario characters for the last year and has been so excited to have the chance to dress up as his favorite pizza loving plumber since last Halloween. I don’t know any other kid that has his costume ideas for the whole family the entire year before, lol.
A few weeks ago Troy’s parent’s also know as Gigi & Poppy visited us and they brought along Grandma Weeks. It was the first time Troy’s Grandma has been able to come visit us here in Wisconsin and we were so glad to have her. The first two days the trio visited we spent our time on a little mini getaway in Door County. We enjoyed shopping our favorite lakeside stores including…..
Their story started innocently enough. Erin & Casey's sister who was a co-worker were at a mutual friends Wedding when she mentioned that Erin had to meet her brother. She rolled her eyes and laughed, but said sure anyway. The next day he texted her and they went out for drinks 3 days later. Ever since Erin say's "He's my best friend and partner in crime."
Strong Women empower other women, and we rise together. Here we have the Behind The Scenes images from our Fierce Women Rise Styled Shoot. I met Alysce a year ago at a Tuesday's Together meeting here in Green Bay. The Rising Tide Society has opened up so many relationships and has been such a blessing in my life. I met both Alysce and Dana thru our group, along with some of the most creative and amazing people who really rally together and build each other up.
The day included hair, makeup, and behind the scenes photos while the ladies got Maggie ready. She already had her outfits styled and laid out when we arrived. When all was perfection we set off on our adventure to Barkhausen Waterfowl, it set a stage for the perfect location. Alysce had told me she wanted a row of tall pines and we found just that among these tall pines. We took small breaks allowing Maggie to warm back up, sipping hot tea that Dana brought (man, that girl is smart) and put warmers in her boots. Pretty glad I packed an extra pair of snow boots at this point, thankfully they fit her. After a short drive to our second location at Wesquiock Falls, we strapped on our ice cleats and made our way down to the falls. If you haven’t seen a frozen over waterfall in person before, put that on your to do list for next winter, because it is glorious. Maggie of course rocked that location and owned that ice like a boss. On to the last location and it was a race to beat the sun before it left for the day. That phrase “chasing light,” it’s a real thing yo! We arrived at the edge of the bay at Red River Park, hopped out of the car. Maggie in heels. Alysce and Dana carried her onto the ice, we snapped a few images before Maggie froze completely and then off to the car again to warm up. We headed our froze toes back to our original location where we got ready for the day and packed everything away, chatted about all the incredible things we just did, snapped a photo of all of us together (minus Troy, who clearly took the picture) and said our goodbyes. I can not say enough good things about working with these ladies. They are each magnificent in their own way but boy are we a force to be reckoned with as a team. Please check these talented ladies out, I have listed their social media links below the post.
Be on the lookout for branding session collections, because girl!!! this is just the beginning of something badass! If you need behind the scenes, day in your life, lifestyle in your pj's eating pizza with your hubs, or headshots. I'm your little lady, and let's get snapping'. Ask about our BUILDING BRANDS DISCOUNT. Only 3 spots left.
Elle's GRATEFUL for;
- Cole & every single moment he's in my life
- Troy & each day we have together
- the fresh Wisconsin air
- daily rituals that help me grow as a person and spirit
- yoga for keeping my muscles strong and loose during a strange and uncomfortable year in my body.
At the end of every year I feel like my ears are overhearing the phrase. "I can't wait for this year to be over, next year is going to be better!" But what is it that was so bad about this year? And what are we so eager to get to?
I'll be the first to admit this year went foul in some seriously unfortunate ways and I was most likely the leader of the squad saying I was ready for a fresh start and a New Year. For myself and a lot of my friends, I can honestly say this was the most trying year I can remember over my lifetime. If you want to hear about one of our sad and frightening moments from this year (that made us grateful and stronger), here is a little [ peek into that story ]. Bottom line is, I'm always wishing time away and at the end of the day, I do not want time to go by any faster than it already has. Each day that passes means I'm another day closer to Cole no longer fitting in my lap, no longer giving me a hundred kisses before 10 am, and no more “I love you Mommy,” first thing in the morning and every night before bed. I fear that day! Those precious moments will stop on their own time and they are not something I want to rush.
Should we shove these days away, never to revisit them again because they didn't go the way we wanted? Is there a way we can learn, grow, and even be grateful for the suffering in our life?
What is it that we are so eager to run towards that we cannot create right now? What is it about a calendar date that says we will have our shit together? We'll be the perfect business owner, Mom, Wife, cook, be organized, have financial freedom, time freedom, or more family vacations. Whatever it is, why do we settle for next year and not open ourselves up to having those experiences right now?
This post isn't a cheers to a Happy New Year, but a Congrats to creating a Happy Life! So let's throw down the thoughts of disaster that irked us hard the past year and let's take on 2018 with a splash of whiskey and as many happy moments as we can create. This year is going to be exactly like last year and also the best year yet. We will have good moments, bad, and all that goes with life. But this year we can be more present and aware of how we're are approaching these situations and take them head on. I mean a bad day only lasts 24 hours right? With the right tools and mindset we can have more good days than ever before.
This past year I had little time to myself yet created space to work harder on myself than ever before. My goal was to learn how to become more grateful and curate situations that didn't go as planned into something that helps me grow.
4 Daily Rituals that have taught me GRATITUDE.
- No. 1 - I started a Gratitude Journal. Each night before I lay down but already comfy in bed. I revisit my day and list as many things I can think of that I'm grateful for including but not limited to; people, places, gestures, feelings, things that happened in my day, needs being met, memories, and having the time to do this activity. I try to dive as deep as possible and be as specific as I can. If your like me and you're obsessed with Pinterest I have a whole board dedicated to Journaling you can take a peek at [ right here ]
- Meditation - as little as taking a few seconds to disconnect and reconnect with your core a day has proven to restructure your brain at a cellular level. My evening meditation is scheduled to last an hour and the very last thing I focus on before I open my eyes is to list a few things I'm grateful for every day and a few things specific to that day. You don't need to dedicate a whole hour. 5 minutes a day is beneficial.
- A Hot Cup of Herbal Tea - this one is my favorite and to most people may seem simple and confusing on how it could possibly teach someone gratitude. But each time I sit with my tea it centers me. That still moment of silence with a hot cup in my hands and a fragrance of pure happiness and health put me in space where I can be present and honestly if I get to drink the whole mug while it's still hot, I am darn tootin grateful AF.
- A Deep Breath - One of the first things I do in the morning while my pot of water is boiling for my tea, I take a step outside. No matter how cold or hot it is ( we can laugh now, we all know it doesn't get hot in Wisconsin. It does get darn cold thou. ). I take a deep and long breath, focusing on bringing in that good ass Qi ( Energy, Chi, Prana, whatever you yourself call it ), envision it going in my mouth and down through my body to my root Chakra, pause holding my breath 4 seconds, and then slowly letting it out rising up out of my body along my spine and out my mouth. I do this as many times as I feel I need to replace any stagnant energy in my body and revive my life force and ground myself.
I've shared some of my personal gratitude towards life and this year along with 4 rituals that help me live in that space. Would you share 3 of your most beautiful parts of this year or your life your most grateful for in a comment below?
- spending time and playing with Cole
- being alive and sharing life with Elle & Cole
- working for a company who supported my family and myself during one of the hardest years of our lives
- filling our weekends with outdoor adventures
- leaving this year healthier than it started
Elle x Troy Photography, husband and wife photographers capturing Intimate Wedding Photography for rebel souls wildly in love.
Blake and Kristy have been together for 9 months and got engaged back in October while on a trip to New York City with their families. They love staying in cooking Pinterest recipes together and love making puzzles together. Date night looks like sushi followed by a movie back home with lots of cuddles. Sounds perfect to me!
BilliJo & Chasidie met online and found out right away they had common love for the outdoors, traveling, and music. They could hardly wait to receive their next message from each other and before long they were heading to the movies to see Thor for their first date. Chas said "We spent the whole afternoon and evening together and it was just not nearly enough time together." I think it's obvious these two were smitten from the beginning.
Their Wedding Day was nothing short of Enchanted and Magical. Their idea for the day was inspired by the TV show "Once Upon a Time." and they envisioned a dark enchanted forest in Chas's Parents backyard on the Menominee Reservation. The ladies created their theme as VILLAINS GETTING THEIR HAPPILY EVER AFTER. BilliJo wore a Maleficent dress and handmade Chas' Evil Queen Costume, and boy did they turn out incredible.
In the speckled light below a canopy of tall pines sat their guests anticipating the costumed Bridal Party members to walk down the aisle. It was a sight to see, each Bridesmaid and Bridesman played their character to the fullest. Then the moment arrived when each Bride exited thier tent and walked down the aisle alongside their Father. I can say with certainty that each guest was on the edge of their chair during the entire ceremony. The ceremony was written on a scroll that Darth Vader also known as Chasidie's Mother read during the ordaining of their marriage. Each detail was so carefully and artistically created, the day was truly mystical.
Chas and BilliJo's memories of their day that were most special was being married by Chas' Mother outside at her Parent's home which was a childhood dream that came true. The feeling of being lucky enough to marry their best friend and watching everyone have a good time being in character created special memories and a perfect day for these two Villains.
MALEFICENTS DRESS Cosplay Sky / EVIL QUEENS DRESS Handmade by BilliJo / CEREMONY Parents Front Yard on the Menominee Reservation / RECEPTION & CATERING Red Maple Country Club / DJ Jolene Van Beek / CAKE Rebecca’s Sweets Boutique / INVITATIONS Handmade by Brides & Best Man Jeffrey Dixon Jr & Fiancé Chevelle Gauthier / CENTERPIECES Handmade by Brides & Bridal Party / FLORALS Handmade by Brides