March 31, 2014

keepin' on

Whew, its been a morning! We had a house showing yesterday, the realtor called first thing this morning and asked if she could bring the folks back over again today...good sign. Meanwhile the A/C unit in the tippy top is on the fritz....lovely. We had some guys out to look into the situation, its not proving to be super easy to deal w/ due to the roof lines...ay yi yi, always something right? This is the week we should hear about B's school situation so I'm on pins and needles and starting tomorrow will not be without my phone should they call me with good news! If that happens then I'll be off to CA within 24 hours to register her in person. In the midst of all of this crazy its also tax season (ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh). Adam and I thought we were so responsible...setting money aside for Uncle Sam, etc.. Well, turns out due to MWP what we anticipated was no where NEAR the reality of what we actually owe. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. I think I'm still in shock, I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around these numbers. Taking lots of deep breaths over here.

This weekend was good, some dear friends took us out to a lovely dinner Friday night, Saturday B had a bday party to go to, then that evening I had a baby shower, super fun. Last night was love feast at church, our last one...sniff. The reality of the move is hitting me more and more each day. Sigh. All in all we're very thankful folks around here, just have a lot on our plates, but keeping it all in perspective and taking a day at a time. Head on over HERE to check out my latest engagement session that's up on the ol' blog! xo

March 28, 2014

The Big Easy

Sorry for the blog lull! It has really just been kinda crazy around here! But good crazy so its okay. Whew, okay, I want to blog about New Orleans while its fresh in my mind. I picked out a handful of photos to share that I hope I can look back on and be reminded of this great trip. For the past couple of years Adam and I have mentioned several times how we want to go to NOLA, its close enough to drive and we've both never experienced it (Adam went for a conference a couple years ago but he didn't get to "see" the city). So, the 3 of us hopped in the car and off we went on our 9 hour journey. After being in the car for about 6 hours B asked if we could just go home.....sigh, but she quickly realized how nuts that was! Anyhoo, I'm not exaggerating when I say I probably looked for a place for us to stay for at least 8 hours. I was searching for a shotgun house that is so common in NO b/c I really wanted an authentic experience -I didn't want to stay in a generic hotel. Well, I quickly realized most private accommodations only house 2 people as most shotgun houses are 1 room, those that did house more were either booked (as mardi gras was the week before) or they would not allow children under the age of 12! Ay yi yi -needless to say, it was a long search but I really did find the most perfect place for our family of 3! It was a darling updated shotgun house, we had the back portion of the house with its own gate/private entry, it was back further from the street so completely quiet, and it felt really safe. I would absolutely stay here again.

Before going to NO I did a lot of research on kid friendly activities and asked some folks for recommendations. I had a long list and not enough time! Our dear friends Katie and Timmy live in NO so they gave us some ideas and we met up with them as soon as we got into town and ate one of the best meals of my life. It was a long wait to get a table (the restaurant only had about 10 total) but so worth it -if you are headed to NOLA definitely check out Adolofo's - so unique, quaint and delicious! (bring cash and be prepared to throw down...yikes, but worth it!).

The next day it was a bit rainy but still warm, our first stop was café DuMonde for the famous beignets -OMG, to.die.for. That is a stop not to be missed! Then we walked around the French market, walked around the French Quarter, got snacks here and there, walked down St. Charles Ave, did a little shopping, got B rain boots so she could puddle jump, ate a fabulous dinner at this quirky restaurant called Jacque Imo's, and ended the day by getting a fabulous dessert at Sucre'. It was a fantastic day.

The next day we went to City Park and B climbed on trees, we walked around, we went to Story Land, ate lunch at this recommended Pizza joint on Magazine St, I shopped for about 20 mins while Adam and B waited (not so patiently ;), then we drove about 35 mins out of town for a swamp tour. This was fun -we got to cruise around the swamp with about 15 other folks and see lots of gators! Adam and B even got to hold one! (I passed, I was happy to capture the moment instead :)

Inside the swamp tour office -an albino alligator!


When we got back from the tour we hung out at our cute house and napped while we waited for our friends to get off work and then we met up with them and they took us this restaurant that has the "best po boy in town." It was DELISH. I had a fried shrimp po boy and it was awe.some. Then we all came back to our house, put B to bed and the 4 of us had some wine and chatted and caught up until around midnight. It was a practically perfect day.
The next day we got up and headed into town, had some beignets (not near as good as Café DuMonde), and walked around the French Quarter a little more, the weather was nicer on this day so the street artists were out and the sun was shining, it was lovely. In the early afternoon we got back into the car and started the long journey home.


I love how you can see little B walking around the corner in this photo below:

This was a fantastic memory making trip with my sweet family, we all LOVED it (B didn't want to go home)! I think we all agreed a few more days would have been nice. If you love food, beautiful architecture, and enjoy an "alive" city  -you MUST spend some time visiting the big easy, it does not disappoint. xo

March 19, 2014

its been a crazy week

Wednesday already?! I'd hoped to have New Orleans blogged by now but that's gonna have to wait a bit longer. This week has been kinda nuts. We got home from NOLA late Thursday night, I had to be up early on Friday to shoot a house for HGTV's show "Fixer Upper"(that will air next month) which was fun b/c this particular house belongs to some of our besties here and it was such an a-maz-ing transformation! Can't wait for ya'll to see it! Anyhoo, that day was us somewhat running from here to there and then Adam and I were treated to a yummy dinner by our sweet friends. Saturday we had friends over until late, Sunday church, etc. Monday was running errands and Bible Study, then last night was mi casa and it was a kiddo's bday so I made this grapefruit pie (pretty darn good, I'll have to search for the link). This morning I'm up and at 'em b/c my sister flies in today!!! SO excited to have Steph in town for a few days! She hasn't been to Waco yet so I'm excited for her to see it before we have to leave (sniff). We're spending the night in Austin tonight and having a girls night out on the town! Fun! Anyhoo, all that to say -its been nuts around here so I'll catch up on blogging soon! I did get an engagement session blogged so check it out over HERE. Have a great rest of the week, everyone! I'll be having fun w/ my sis so will be away from the computer the rest of the week! Thanks for checking in! xo

March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day -what?!

St. Patrick's Day already?! It really snuck up on me this year! HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY everyone!! I've said this before but I'll say it again, since living in Ireland this holiday has special significance to us, Winns. In the past I've thrown big parties for it but this year, it really came too fast for me to even think about. Today, before B went to school she said "Mom, you know how you normally get me a shirt for St. Patrick's Day...did you this year?" DOH!! I haven't...yet, I think I need to rectify that while she's at school!!! Here is a photo of us IN Ireland ON St. Patty's day a few years back! My, how time flies!

New Orleans was fantastic and I will try and blog about that tomorrow, but today, I just want to honor the Irish and give a shout out to our friends who are in Ireland! Happy St. Patrick's Day, all, wear green and drink a Guinness!! xo

PS Head on over HERE to check out a lovely bride! (I finally updated my blog!)

March 6, 2014

It's Official!

Adam signed on the dotted line today! He is officially a professor at Azusa Pacific University! We met with our realtor last night and are hopeful to get our house on the market next week...the ball is officially in motion. Now, we just need to sell our house, get B into school, find a new house, get me a part time job, etc.. Lots to do!

Spring break is next week (man, that came fast!) and the Winns are headed to New Orleans! I've wanted to hit up the big easy for years so I'm excited to explore and have a taste of NOLA before we leave this part of the country! Any recommendations?!!

Well, I'm buried in editing today so I'm gonna get to it! Have a wonderful Thursday! xo

March 4, 2014


The biggest stressors right now to this whole move are 2 things, #1 where we will live, #2 where B will go to school -and not necessarily in that order. I'm not too worried about where we'll live, in that -I'm sure when the time comes we'll find something. BUT, where we live dictates B's school, and that is where it gets tricky. Open enrollment has ended for the first round, B is currently THIRD on the waiting list for our #1 school choice!! If you're of the praying kind, please join us in praying she gets in -I can't tell you what a relief/blessing/weight off our shoulders that would be. Once that is nailed down it gives us much more freedom where we can live (since the whole point of open enrollment is getting randomly selected to attend a school outside of your district). Sigh. Its really hard to figure all of this out under the best of circumstances but to figure it out when you don't have a local address and are halfway across the country -makes it near impossible. They say that IF she gets into our first choice, we have TWO DAYS to PHYSICALLY APPEAR AT THE SCHOOL to register her, otherwise her spot gets forfeited. Oh, and you have to have a mortgage statement or lease agreement and a utility bill in your name. Sure, when you don't have a clue where you're living this is totally doable. Um... -what?!!!! I think my blood pressure just went up. Anyhoo, we have a lot on our plates around here, lots to think about, figure out, etc.. Thanks for checking in and for your prayers!! xo 

March 3, 2014

good weekend

It was SO cold last night that there was a delayed start for B at school today, it was nice to sleep in and be cozy. We had a good weekend! I had a lot of work but it was fun work so I'm okay with that. :) Friday I had 2 shoots, then we grilled chicken skewers and hung out at home. Saturday we went to the farmers market, walked around, ate lunch, came home, chilled, I had a shoot, then went out to our favorite bbq joint in Clifton with our friends. Sunday it was the kids service at UBC, it was really really sweet. B read and did such a good job! All the kiddos were so cute and I found myself emotional through the whole thing. I just kept looking at these kids that I've watched come into the world and that we've done life, and who we know so well who we're going to say have to say goodbye to soon. I hate saying goodbye, and the thought of not being a part of these sweet kids/families lives anymore hit me like a ton of bricks. Poor B has been having a hard time with the idea of the move too. She's been teary quite a bit and tells us repeatedly that she doesn't want to move. Her teacher emailed me from school the other day saying she was having a bit of a meltdown and crying about moving to CA I know soon enough she'll feel at home in CA, and sooner than most would since we have community there already and aren't starting over but, that doesn't mean much to her now and I get that. Sigh. The downside to the good news of Adam's job. :(

I have lots of editing to do today and some errands to run so I'm gonna get after it! Here is a peek of a bridal shoot I did this weekend! xo