Eryn Kesler Photography | Vancouver, WA Wedding Photography » Eryn Kesler is a wedding photographer based in Vancouver, WA, Portland, Or and the Pacific Northwest

Natalie & Richard | Historic Red Cross Building Wedding | Vancouver, Wa Wedding Photography

These two are just as kind, gentle, and sweet as can be. They fell in love at West Point Academy, and knew they couldn’t live without each other. Though they’ve spent some time living distanced apart, their love has continued to grow into a beautiful thing.

A rainy spring day in the Pacific Northwest did not dampen spirits one bit…we found some cover under the historic buildings lovely covered porches (one of my favorite areas of Vancouver!) and enjoyed the moment of their First Look. Natalie glowed with a gentle beauty that was stunning, and he was dashing as ever in his military dress uniform.  We even snuck off in the drizzle for a few romantic moments at the end of the day. Enjoy the sweetness of Natalie & Richard!

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What to Wear for family photos- How I planned and shopped for our family

We are blessed to be having our family photos done on Wednesday, with a friend of mine who is also a photographer. (Photographer tip- make friends! We are swapping family sessions, my family in the morning, hers in the evening. We both get great family photos without having to use our self timers!) But,Oh my goodness, we just took planning what to wear for family photos to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL!! It’s always tough for moms to coordinate outfits to look good, represent all the personalities in the family, but NOT be matchy match! Gone are the days of the white shirts and jeans that have been popular in day’s past…we are beyond that people! But, HELLO, planning outfits for 7 people, takes a little bit of work.

Here’s how I started. I had purchased this sweet little dress from Matilda Jane a few months ago, because I loved the fresh breezy colors and new it would be great for our updated family photos with the twins included (yay!) . Because it has lots of colors, I knew it would be a great piece to tie a lot of others together and give me options for complimentary colors.

NEXT- I pinned a few things on Pinterest to get my juices flowing. Then I marched into Old Navy with my Matilda Jane Cake Walk tank dress in hand (since I was using it to tie all 7 outfits together),WITHOUT KIDS and spent a good bit of time there, because I knew they had options for our whole family in one stop (THANK YOU OLD NAVY!). I first stopped in the Women’s Dept, and loaded my cart with options for myself. It sounds selfish to shop for your self first, but I really think the family photos are for MOM, who are we kidding? And, I won’t use a photo on my wall, if I hate how I look/feel in it. So, my suggestion is to find something you feel lovely and happy in, because it will show on your face in your photos. I settled on a pretty “poppy” colored gauzy flowy shirt (honestly, because I didn’t want to go sleeveless and didn’t want something tight fitting) and some of the white Rock Star skinny jeans. I love these jeans! They are super stretchy and forgiving, and they have a decent rise, so there’s no flashing when I bend over to pick up my littles. I’ve never done white before, and it’s probably a terrible idea with babies/kids, but it felt summery with the shirt I chose. I accented with a few turquoise colored jewelry pieces that I picked up at Old Navy for less than $5 each! That made me super happy and added a nice pop of color to the coral colored shirt.

Then I cruised through all the other departments, hitting the sale/clearance areas first to see if there was anything there that would work first, and then picking up pieces in the right colors, mixing and matching until I found a combination I felt good about for everyone and my budget. I was REALLY trying to stick to under $150 for the whole family…and I’m happy to say, with mixing in the few pieces I had at home (some shorts for Dad, and baby boy, and biggest boy) and an Old Navy coupon, I was able to get everything I needed for $131.00! Outfits for 6 (since I already had the Matilda Jane dress) for $131, was a win in my book!
MY TIPS FOR PLANNING YOUR OUTFITS:

Go with an idea of a color palette you’re hoping for, or look ahead at the stores website to see what is in season to get your juices flowing. If you have a item you love and want to coordinate with, take it with you!

Set a budget! It’s easy to get out of control and just start tossing things into your cart!

Go ALONE. Leave the kiddos at home with dad or grandma. Nothing more frustrating than making decisions while wrangling children, and trying to keep them out of the clothing racks!

PICK MOMS OUTFIT FIRST. Just do it. You’ll be glad you did, I promise!

Go when you are not in a huge rush to get to another place. I literally spent 2 hours in Old Navy. It was nice to feel relaxed while I perused my options.

Save your receipts! You can always return what you don’t use!

Plan for this, so you don’t feel guilty about spending the money. Save up for it if you need to. I think it’s an investment in capturing this sweet season of your family life, so celebrate it and have fun!what we will wear... What to Wear for family photos  How I planned and shopped for our family

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Brittany & Jordan | Mt. Scott Church of God Portland, Or Wedding

Brittany and Jordan are as sweet as can be, and it was my absolute joy to celebrate their wedding day with them!

As glasses were lifted and the toasts were shared, the story of how Jordan, as a new student to his high school, knew right away that Brittany was the girl he wanted for him. He pursued her, and after months of making him wait, he finally won her heart. The rest, as they say, is history! 6 years later, they joyfully said “I do” and promised to never ever give up or say “I’m done”.

These two have quite the journey ahead, after a brief honeymoon, they will journey to their first home together, away from home and loved ones, where Jordan is stationed in the Air Force. After hearing their closest friends and loved ones speak words of love over them, I have no doubt they will weather the challenges with grace and a deep love. Congrats to Brittany and Jordan, thank you so much for allowing me to document your memories! xoxo- Eryn

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Denise Pool Crawford - Love how you captured the feelings! Beautiful!!

Tosh Seeman - Beautiful pictures. I felt like I was there. Thanks for sharing.

Jarod & Kaylan | Oregon Coast Engagement Session

We chatted over coffee the first I met Jarod and Kaylan, and when she complimented my Kraft paper welcome packet folder, as one crafty girl to another, I knew I’d love them! There is a easiness to them, a genuine quality, that is so inviting. He gently touched her elbow as she talked, and she looked over smiling as they shared about the proposal and how he wrote for he. They are different in what things they love to do…he’s in a rock band, and she loves to ride horses, but together it’s the perfect love song.

I had SO much fun hanging out with these two on the Oregon Coast near their hometown. In the forrest of Tillamook, and on the beach of Oceanside, they are just kind, genuine, and thoughtful people. Jarod & Kaylan I can’t wait for your wedding day this summer!  xoxo, Eryn

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Monday Minute {keeping it real edition}

Well, I thought I’d hop on real quick for a Monday Minute.

I have much more to blog about our foster-adoption journey, and the increase in our family of five to SEVEN this past week. But, for now, as you can imagine, I barely have a minute. It seems in our house we are in continual pick up mode…desperately clinging to our goal of NOT LIVING IN SURVIVAL MODE this year. Remember? 2014 is the year we get out of survival mode!! And then, the Lord brings us into the adoption zone againicon smile Monday Minute {keeping it real edition}But, we are convinced that He does not want us to barely survive this life He has given to us, but thrive in it.  We are might be hanging on to our goal by a thread, but WE ARE HANGING ON!icon smile Monday Minute {keeping it real edition}

Anyhow, I as I did my sweep-through-the-house-while-twins-are-napping thing, I found myself fantasizing about what I’d do with just a few more minutes…I might tackle this. It’s so darn easy to only share the pretty styled photos of our homes, in those moments (rare, lovely moments) when things look perfectly placed. If you are anything like me, sometimes, it gets overwhelming feeling like I my home should like so and so’s, or if I just had time to make a lovely handmade display for my table…my life would be good. But the TRUTH is, my life IS good, OVERFLOWING with good, in fact (obviously, see pics below). Just wanted to keep things authentic today. This is real life!

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You see, my lovely office area that we spent the summer revamping, is no more. It’s now back to a living area for the fam, and my desk and business stuff are sort of in there. This shelf of my welcome packets, packaging supplies, and file storage, has become a baby magnet. They love to repeatedly pull the stuff out of the cubbies. And, since it sits inside our front door, our keys, shoes,  mail, etc have landed there, along with a basket of diapers, wipes, and baby stuff. Theres also some pictures and candles I’d love to actually be able to SEE, but they’re buried.  I also have some photos I want to hang above the shelving….

Another thing I might tackle would be THIS little slab of counter top, that no matter what, collects the daily stuff. School papers, keys, purse, markers, snacks, mail, coffee cups, calendars…you name it.

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That laundry basket on the floor? I set it there a week ago, thinking at the end of the day I’d haul everything that made it’s way downstairs, but should live upstairs, and take it back up. A WEEK ago. The pile has grown to overflow the basket, but hey- at least it’s all in one place right?

So, my goal for this week is to make time to tackle this two areas of chaos and tidy them up this week. The rest of the house actually doesn’t feel so bad, but these two junk magnets…need to be dealt with.  Even if it only lasts a moment!

We are in a state of adjustment, adding these sweet two babies, God has graciously brought into our life and family. It’s a little unbelievable how God opened the doors so clearly for us, paving the way. It’s no doubt a lot of work. Being a large family has made certain areas of life complicated (like, suddenly we have to take TWO cars on vacation). It can feel tough, being a mama to five kiddos, pulling in all directions.  I have been reading Nehemiah, along with the gals at SheReadsTruth.com and the verse where Nehemiah was being pestered and harassed by those who wanted to see him fail. He kept working tirelessly on the mission God had given to him. He did not ask for a break. He did not ask God to take it easy on him. He did not ask God to give him a new mission. He asked God to strengthen him, so he could keep working until the work was done. That really struck a cord in me. So often I want a BREAK! This week, I’m asking God to strengthen me, for the work He has graciously entrusted to me, so I can keep at it, faithfully, until it’s done.

Happy Monday!!

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molly - eryn,
you are such an inspiration.
keep it up lady!