Category Archives: Topher

The Sweet Life

Family Photo5

“La Dolce Vita” is an Italian phrase meaning “The Sweet Life” that we picked up on our first visit to Italy. We’ve used it often to describe our life together over the years, but I have to tell you, life over the past six months has been even sweeter than ever. This little girl is such a joy! I don’t know if anyone will even see this post since it has been so long since I last wrote, but if you are reading this and you were one of the many people who prayed for us during this pregnancy, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. It still amazes me that we get to be her parents. ‚̧

Over the past few months I’ve had several people ask if I’m going to start writing in this space again. And the truth has been that I just didn’t know. As I’m sure most of you who follow me on social media have guessed, we are currently keeping our daughter’s online presence to a minimum. Which means that I’m not planning to write about her here. I could write about the same types of things I used to write about here: recipes or fitness or time with friends or travels or photography or DIYs or house updates all without mentioning her or sharing photos of her. But, my friends, that’s just not where my head is right now.

I’m still doing all of these things that I was doing before her arrival, but she is just so much a part of our lives now that I don’t want to blog without talking about her. Maybe at some point down the line I’ll be ready for that or we will decide to share more about her publicly. But for now I guess this is me officially saying a goodbye to this blog.

I may not be writing in this space, but I’m not completely gone! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. And of course if you have questions about recipes or travel or baby things or just want to chat, you can always email me ( I would love to hear from you! ūüôā

I started this blog in 2010 and am so thankful for the connections I’ve made thanks to blogging. What a sweet and supportive group of bloggers I ran into in this corner of the internet.¬†Thanks for being part of that and for reading along over the years! ‚̧

Love Rach



Christopher, this photographer’s BFF

I’m currently on maternity leave from photography, but I’ve been thinking recently about how thankful I’ve been to have Christopher as such a big part of my photography business.¬†Since the beginning of this photography business, Christopher has come to every photo session that he can. Many sessions happen while he’s at work, but if he’s able, he likes to come along. And I love for him to be there. It’s nice to have the sweet encouragement, but even more than that – he is super handy to have around!

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First of all, I like to be able to check the lighting before my clients arrive. So having a person to model for me helps a TON! This shot was taken to test lighting just before a client arrived and it has turned into one of my favorites. I just love how cozy Christopher¬†looks with his scarf and coat and beard. ūüôā

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Kids love him! He is great at keeping kiddos occupied while they wait their turn for photos. In the photo above he was playing with the kids while I took couple photos of their parents. Christopher is quite the child wrangler. ūüėČ

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He helps out with lighting! Usually by using reflectors to reflect soft light onto¬†the clients, but in this case we had one giant shaft of sun coming down in the middle of the photo so he’s actually using the reflector to block the sun.

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He’s great at getting kids to laugh! You can see here that he has a toy in one hand and a burp cloth, paci, and ball in the other hand. Not only is he great at lugging around purses and diaper bags as we move from spot to spot, he’s also great at getting natural smiles from kiddos while I snap away. He usually stands right behind me while he does this so he has been known (on many occasions) to drop a toy on my head to elicit laughter from kiddos. Works every time. ūüėČ

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And best of all… he has become my second shooter for weddings. All along the way, he has been interested in what I’ve learned so I’ve shared it with him as well. He may not have quite as much hands-on practice at photography as I have over the past few¬†years, but he has a natural eye and the practical know-how to take beautiful photos. I absolutely love having him as my second shooter for events! ūüôā

I am so thankful for the way he has supported me from the beginning and has helped out all along the way! I love my lenses and lighting equipment and Photoshop, but Christopher is the most invaluable asset to my business of all. He is definitely this photographer’s BFF. ūüôā

Do you have a person or thing that helps make your job much easier?

Love Rach

Father’s Day Thoughts

There are a lot of mixed emotions this Father‚Äôs Day as we continue to grieve the slow loss of my father-in-law as well as prepare for the joy of meeting our daughter next month. It breaks my heart that Christopher doesn’t have his dad here to advise and support him as he becomes a father himself. But I know that the lessons and principles that Christopher’s dad taught him over the years have shaped so much of the man he is today. I have no doubt that Christopher will be a great father. And part of that is due to the fact that he had such a good relationship with his own dad.

And beyond the close relationship he had with his own dad, so many of Christopher’s¬†personality traits lend themselves to good dad material already. He is unendingly patient, kind, and gentle. He tells ridiculously corny jokes. He listens well and gives great advice. He has an unwavering faith in God and His goodness which will be such a testimony to our daughter as she grows up. He loves deeply. And he is just truly a good man.

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As I reflect on these things I realize that while he may technically not have changed any diapers yet, he has been practicing being a father for a long time. From the teenagers he has mentored to our nieces and nephews who he has loved from day one (not to mention our friends’ kids who adore him). He has had lots of practice being a positive male influence. Fathering isn’t just a biological thing. He has been a father-figure to kids who desperately needed a good man in their lives. And even with kids who have great dads, he is still the guy who will happily get in the floor to play with them when they are little, coach them through sports and homework as they get older, and listen to their hurts and joys as they share. I love that about him.

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And in a blink of the eye our daughter is going to be here.
And we are going to start a new chapter of life.
One with full-time parenting.
And he is going to be an awesome dad.
Love Rach

Happy birthday, my love!

Today my precious husband turns 31 and we plan to celebrate all day long! I’ll probably be sharing on Instagram throughout the day, but first I want to share something that I’ve been thinking about this week.

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A few weeks ago someone asked Christopher and me what the¬†most challenging year of our marriage had been. Christopher responded,¬†“This will sound crazy, but marriage hasn’t been challenging for us. Maybe it’s just our personalities or that we are so easily compatible, but marriage has honestly been easy for us. In fact, marriage has made dealing with¬†the challenging things¬†in life easier. It gives you a person to face the hard things with. Someone who loves you, supports you, and gets what you are going through because they are going through it with you.”

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And he’s really right. I know that the things that come with marriage (living together, making decisions together, sharing finances, etc) aren’t always easy for everyone so I try not to take that part¬†for granted. But what he said about how life is hard, but marriage makes it better¬†is my favorite part. You guys, we have walked through fire over the past few years with the things life has thrown at us. And yet, having each other to lean on for support has been such an awesome blessing.

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I am so grateful that I get to live life with this man. Happy 31st birthday, my love.

Love Rach

Oh my heart

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This guy. Oh my heart is so full. I wish I had the words to explain what a blessing he is to me. I am so grateful to get to live life with him.

Next week we celebrate 8 years of marriage and I can just barely believe that it has been eight years since we vowed our lives to each other. We were just kids. But we made a great choice in choosing each other.

I met him 12 years ago this month. He claims we met at a party before school started, but I don’t remember meeting him until¬†a couple of weeks later after a movie on campus. Either way, we were fast friends after that movie.

And that friendship has grown into the most beautiful thing.

I keep writing and deleting. Mostly because I have SO much to say. More than you want to read and much of it too personal to share for a public blog. But the snippets I try to write to sum up this wonderful man aren’t near rich enough to explain my heart. So I’ll just leave it at this: I love him and I am so thankful for every day of life with him by my side.

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Same photo as the one above, but this one isn’t cropped. I love how Oreo is being a creeper in the background. Definitely changes the tone of this photo, ha! But that’s so him. And this is so us. And I love this life we lead. ūüôā

Love Rach

Turns out not all dogs know how to swim (and other weekend happenings)

Thursday night we discovered that our upstairs A/C was leaking through our ceiling. We immediately shut off the unit and first thing Friday morning called our home warranty people. The earliest they could send someone out would be Tuesday. You guys, the heat index in Memphis has been 100+ all week (one day it was 118!). This is not the time for us to lose air conditioning¬†for (a minimum of)¬†five days. So my very handy husband got busy Googling. Between that and texting a friend who knows more about this stuff than we do, he felt pretty good about fixing this himself. And sure enough… he did!

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The leak is fixed, the A/C unit is back on and running again, and currently we’re letting the ceiling finish drying out (we have a high powered blower that’s been blowing on it for 2 days) before we go about fixing the damage. I’m so glad he was able to fix this over the weekend so we have the A/C back! Definitely a huge blessing. It’s times like these that I’m reminded how grateful I am that he’s so handy with house stuff!

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Since it has been so hot lately, this weekend was the perfect pool weekend! We even got carry out sushi from our favorite spot and ate by the pool. We swam and played and soaked up the sun (while reading up on the Greece portion of our Europe trip – so exciting!). Considering all the hard work we were doing at home (to fix the A/C issues) this was an awesome way to spend the hottest parts of both Saturday and Sunday!

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Oreo came with us to the pool on Sunday afternoon and it was the best thing ever! Our dog haaaaates water. I can’t even tell you how much he despises being wet. He fell in a lake once and I think that really scared him so he has hated water ever since. Bath time is just horrible for him. Anyway, after a LOT of coaxing (using a toy he REALLY wanted) we convinced him to get in the pool. Before yesterday¬†I thought¬†that all dogs instinctively knew how to swim, but it turns out that our pup needed a little help. He started thrashing around and SINKING when he first got in. So Christopher put his hand under Oreo’s belly to support him in the water so his legs could kick smoothly (like you do with little kids when teaching them to swim)¬†and then walked around the pool with him so Oreo could learn the motions of swimming.¬†It was the most precious thing. And hilarious as well. Once Oreo got the hang of it and could swim on his own, he actually seemed to enjoy chasing the ball around the pool (or maybe he really hated that game, but was just SUPER determined to get the ball, ha!).¬†¬†Anyway, it was pretty much the best Father’s Day ever (I told Christopher he was getting lots of quality time with his “son” because we are so those pet owners who refer to ourselves as “mom & dad” to our dog).

So despite the initial scare of potentially terrible A/C problems, it turned into a pretty awesome weekend. Christopher feels super accomplished (as he should!). He fixed our A/C, started fixing the ceiling (as much as he can so far), and he taught our dog to swim! ūüôā

Have you ever had an A/C leak like that? (if so, any advice on repairing the ceiling? we will be researching that this week)

If you have a pet does he or she like water?

Love Rach

When People Ask Us About Kids

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We’ve been married seven and a half years. And in those years we have been asked¬†often about kids. I know this bothers some people, but we tend to assume that people are well intentioned and just genuinely interested in our lives when they ask so it doesn’t bother either of us. However, just because it doesn’t bother us doesn’t mean that we’re going to share¬†personal things with every person who asks.

I actually learned this in our second year of marriage. An acquaintance¬†walked up to me and asked if I was pregnant. I stammered a response, “Um… no… why? Do I look pregnant? Did someone say I was?” Later that day I reflected back on the moment and realized what a weird situation it was. What if I¬†had¬†been pregnant, but not ready to tell people? That would put me in a situation where I would either have to lie to the person asking or be honest and tell this person before I even told my own family and friends. I’m not comfortable lying so I came up with a vague, non committal comment that I could make every time someone asks me about kids. I always say, “Oh, you never know…” in a sing-song voice. Because truly, unless we fill you in,¬†you¬†don’t know. ūüėČ Plus it sends the message of “this is kind of a personal question that I’m not going to answer” without having to say that outright.

My husband, while typically a very honest sort of person, has no problem making up random answers in response to questions about future kids. His responses are all over the place and tend to be pretty hilarious so I enjoy hearing what he comes up with each time someone new asks. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Christopher’s responses to the question “Are you guys going to have kids?”

“Definitely. At least six. All boys.”

“No way. Have you met our spoiled dog? Clearly we aren’t good parents.”

“Only if we can have twins. Can you request that? Is that a thing?”

“Sure! I’m hoping for an even dozen.”

“Oh man, I don’t know… we practice all the time, though…”

“Whenever we figure out how. Do you know how it works? Can you explain it to me?”

Oh that husband of mine, he makes me laugh.

So tell me, do you get asked this question? If so, what is your normal response?
Love Rach