Maui Favorites + Movie

Shay and I spent a week in Maui in June. It was our first time visiting Hawaii, and most definitely won’t be the last! I’ve come to realize that my “heaven on earth” is whenever the mountains meet the ocean. For some people, this is no big deal. However, living in Chicago without either of these things has made me appreciate them so much more…

Questioning God

It’s been 3.5 months since I’ve posted anything on my blog. I believe that’s the longest I’ve gone without publicly writing in a couple of years. I say “publicly”, because I’ve been writing a lot, just in private. I’ve filled my journal with countless pages, and truly haven’t felt the nudge to share any of it until recently. I usually don’t shy away from vulnerability on the internet, even when in the middle of something. Most things in life can’t be neatly packaged together in a perfectly written blog post. But for some reason, I’ve been holding back…

March Madness

I’m a member of a Toastmasters Club at my office. Twice a month we get together at lunch to brush up on our public speaking skills. People give organized speeches, we answer table topics, and share short stories centered around a theme.

This week we shared stories related to “March Madness”. I wrote something quickly on my commute into work that day and shared it with the group, and then I decided to publish it here on my blog! This is a little off-beat from my typical posts, but I thought it would be fun to shake things up. Let me know what you think! …

Are You Tired? Burned Out? Try Practicing This...

It’s been a solid two months since I felt the urge to write. In my last blog post, I wrote about my 2019 word for the year - rest. I can honestly say the word “rest” has been deeply pressed on my heart and affirmed over and over again these last two months. One of the ways I feel called to rest this year is by figuring out what it looks like for me to honor the Sabbath. This last week, I finally felt a nudge to write and share about how it’s been going, where I’m currently at, and what I’ve learned so far…

My 2019 Word of the Year

At the end of every year I take time to pray, mediate, and journal about the last twelve months and about the year ahead. I always fill out some sort of New Years worksheet to help guide me. In the past, I’ve either used my own, or one created by The Well Studio. I’ve done this since 2014 and have kept all of my old worksheets. Yesterday I spent some time reflecting on the last five years. It was so encouraging to visually see how I’ve grown, where my priorities have changed, and how God continues to show up with each passing year…

DC Photo Diary + Deep Thoughts

For those of you who know me well, you know that I live for planning adventures. I’ve been told countless times that I should have been a travel agent. I create maps and spreadsheets, I go down rabbit holes researching the cities I’m traveling to, and I always put together a very loose (but calculated) itinerary…

Guatemala Project - 6 Months Later

I remember writing this blog post the week after I got back from Guatemala. I was certain I had at least two more posts in me, and that I’d be sharing more about the experience in no time! It’s funny how life happens and time gets away from us…

In mid-July, EMI staff had completed their review of the plans, calculations and report. At that point, I agreed to give a lunch-time presentation about the project trip at my office. I finally gave that presentation two weeks ago (it went really well BTW)! And now, here we are, six months later… and I’m finallllly sharing more about this experience with family and friends. Phew! Six months, how did that happen?!

Willow's Senior Portraits - Class of 2019

I’ve known Willow her entire life. Willow’s Aunt Brandi started dating my brother Luke before she was even born. When Brandi and Luke got married, Willow and I were both a part of their bridal party (she was a flower girl and I was a bridesmaid). We’re even a part of the same alumni family! In the Spring of 2019, Willow will be graduating from Lincoln-Way East High School…

Danielle + Keenan + Hadley - Nature Boardwalk Photoshoot

Last month I had the pleasure of meeting Danielle, Keenan and their sweet baby girl Hadley for the first time. We met in Lincoln Park and walked the Nature Boardwalk together, snapping photos along the way. This was Hadley's first official photoshoot, and she nailed it! It's hard to take a bad photo of a baby with the most beautiful blue eyes, see for yourself…

Megan + Tony + Seb - Mother's Day Session

I meet up with Megan, Tony, and Sebastian at a park near their house on Mother’s Day for a little photoshoot. This was my third time snapping photos of this sweet family. Every time I see this trio, I’m reminded of why I do what I do. Taking photos of people can be incredibly personal. I love that each session builds off of the last one, and each time we meet is an opportunity to learn more about them and share their story…

Jumbled Thoughts from Guatemala

I returned from Guatemala over a week ago and I still haven’t been able to put into clear, blog-worthy words what that experience has meant to me. I spent most of my flight back rotating between (1) crying, looking out the tiny airplane window and (2) sporadically documenting every thought and feeling I was having while it was still fresh in my mind. I raised some concern for the flight attendants, I’m sure...

Guatemala Bound & How You Can Help

I remember sitting down two years ago to write a blog post similar to this one. I remember feeling anxious as I shared that I was headed to Honduras to donate my civil engineering services. This time, I’m headed to Guatemala. From March 17-25 I’ll be working alongside a design team of architects and engineers to develop a concept design of new buildings and facilities for a pre-school, primary school, middle school and high school...

Austin Photo Diary

I flew to Austin at the end of January for a quick girl’s weekend / mini-college reunion. Kathryn met us there from Dallas (I hadn’t seen here in nearly 3 years) and Ciara met us there from Phoenix (I hadn’t seen here in 1.5 years). What’s that cliché about true friends letting so much time pass, but then picking things up right where they left off? Well, whatever it is – it’s true.

Amit + Soms + Rey - Family Stroll in Lakeview

When I️ planned this fall session with Amit, Soms, and Rey, we hoped and expected to do pictures in the park with changing leaves in the background. Instead, we woke up to a 35-degree day with snow and ice still on the ground from the day before. Winter came early, and we needed a Plan B allowing for us to take shelter inside!...