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Caity and Will // In Love

I’m still steamrolling through all my Tennessee sessions, and next up on the list are my cousins Caity and Will. LOVE them. Love, love, love them. Caity emailed me when she found out I would be in TN to set up an “anytime” session for her and Will. Even though she loves her wedding photographs, she wishes that not every nice photo of the two of them that they have in their house involved tuxedos and a veil. (As a side note: Don’t stop investing in good photography after your wedding! Sometimes the small and simple parts of life are the most beautiful and memorable.) So, we worked out a trade. She works for a graphic design company, which works with artists and businesses to create products and protect copyrights and things like that. I think. Hmm. I do know that Caity won a paper plate design contest for Target– how cool is that?! You can go see her portfolio here. So anyway, in exchange, she’s going to design some sweet thank you notes for me. It pays to have talented family members. :)

Growing up, my brother and I loved spending time with Will and his sister Ellen. Ellen is 4 years older than I am, and Will is my age but 3 years older than Seth, so we always looked up to them so much. When we went to Nashville for Christmas, we would beg our parents to let us stay at their house for a few days. We felt so grownup, especially once Ellen could drive, shopping and going to movies and playing games and everything else. I wanted to dress like Ellen, and Seth wanted to listen to Will’s music and learn to play guitar. I miss those days.

But what I love is that now that we’re all grown up, some things may have changed, but my love and admiration for the Shinnick family has not. And just when I didn’t think it could be better, Caity joined our family. Before I ever met her, Aunt Paula and Ellen would go on and on about how much she reminded them of me. How we had such similar interests and style and personalities. And they were right! I knew we were meant to be cousins when we bonded over Harry Potter. When we met them for the shoot, Caity and I both showed up wearing yellow and gray striped sweaters from Target, jeans, and gray Converse. Because great minds think alike. Duh. I do wish we lived closer to Caity and Will. Jamie and I love hanging out with them so much. They’re just so fun and laid back and genuine. And it’s so evident how much they love each other. Between that and the fact that they’re ridiculously good-looking, photographing them was easy breezy. Because they both grew up in Franklin, we decided to shoot mostly in the historic downtown area, which is where Caity works and where the Shinnicks’ church is and…. well, it’s pretty much the place to be. :)

We love you guys…. and enjoy your photographs!

First we stopped in Caity’s favorite bakery, Meridee’s. So cozy and cute.

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Connected to the bakery was this amazing Mexican restaurant, Sol. The colors were delicious. Thanks, bartender, for letting us use your space!

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Love, love, LOVE.

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Caity, you’re killing me. Stop being so beautiful.

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p.s. To all future clients: Don’t forget to drink your coffee before your session! :)

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And, as always, don’t forget to CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE SLIDESHOW!

featuring one of my favorite Iron & Wine songs, “Love and Some Verses”

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megan - So cute, again great work Morgan! Caity has such beautiful eyes, you captured them well! Great couple and I know they will treasure these pictures for a long time coming!

Melanie - Simply adorable.

Erin - Morgan, these are beautiful. Your photography is just charming!

Alexandra - These photos are too cute :) I love that first one!

Leila and Vidur Get Married

When Leila first emailed me a few months ago about shooting her wedding, I knew from just the few details she gave me that we’d be a photography match made in heaven. Southern wedding, color scheme inspired by peacock feathers, huge farm in North Carolina…. YES, PLEASE. I am so glad I got to be apart of this day, because it was truly so beautiful, on many levels. Leila, who is from Johnson City, TN (close to my hometown), met her now husband Vidur, who is from India, while living in Boston. They now live in New York, and I just love how vibrant and cultured their lives and relationship are. They initially had a civil ceremony in New York, but they also wanted to be able to celebrate with their friends and family while honoring the traditions of BOTH of their backgrounds. Hence, the classic Southern wedding, and later they will travel to India for a traditional Indian wedding, which I’m sure will also be amazing. I also loved doing this wedding because I felt like it was so right on with my own personal style, and it was a dream to photograph all the well-thought-out details. Having just planned a wedding myself, I fully understand all the work that goes into pulling something like this off, and to have done it so well, even from long distance– well, let’s just say I’m impressed.

I’m also SO thankful that the weather worked in our favor, especially for an outdoor wedding in October in the South. It was the only day all week it hadn’t rained, and it was absolutely gorgeous. I’m so glad everything worked out for you guys, and I hope you enjoy your photographs as much I enjoyed taking them! (And don’t forget to watch the slideshow at the end!)

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I love that Leila bought her dress from J. Crew. Such an amazing option for brides, because compared to the average cost of a wedding dress these days, they are very affordable, and in my personal opinion, a lot more unique and stylish than a lot of what you see in bridal shops.

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And I LOVED this display of old family photographs, surrounded by vintage cameras. Such a nice touch!

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Lots and lots and lots of details!

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Oh my goodness…. beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

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They hired a local band from Asheville called Now You See Them. Such a great idea, because the low-key bluegrass-y music was perfect for the Southern backdrop.

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Ooooh, these dresses are SO pretty.

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Vidur, you’re one handsome guy. Okay? Okay.

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J. Crew ad!

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I love that the groomsmen had already planned out the poses they wanted to do. Hysterical!

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It was a happy accident that the groomsmen just happened to be walking by as I was taking pictures of Leila.

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Mmm, we managed to catch just a few more minutes of golden sunlight goodness before it got too dark.

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Oh, hello stunning couple.

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One of my faves for sure.

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Another fave!

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If you’re a blog follower, you’ll recognize Carrie and Shane, who, along with their precious daughter Harper, have been my photography guinea pigs from Day One. :) Their photographs are what landed me this wedding, though. Shane and Leila’s mutual friend Greg had seen them on Facebook and recommended me to her. BIG shout out to Greg!!

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And what, dear readers, would a wedding be without Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” as the last song? There is no better way to encourage group hugging and dancing and singing- I guarantee it.

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The morning after the wedding, Leila and Vidur were kind enough to allow me to come to their hotel and go with some of my nutso ideas. I know it was early, guys, and the morning after your WEDDING, but I really appreciate you humoring me, because I think we got some pretty cool shots! Even if it WAS pouring rain (again) outside.

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Congratulations again guys!

And now for the slideshow. So, I always try to be thoughtful about what songs I pair with which sessions, so I really wanted to include an Indian song in the mix. Keep in mind, my knowledge of Indian music is limited to Slumdog Millionaire and the handful of Bollywood movies I’ve seen, but since there was a fair amount of Indian music played at the reception, and it was SO incredible to watch everyone dance to it, I couldn’t resist. I did a little research, and I chose “Muaja Hi Mauja” by Mika Singh, from the movie Jab We Met. Not only is the song cool, but I love the English translation of the lyrics: “The whole world is glittering/Now that love is in the air/The heart is becoming yours, it’s touching the sky/See it jump and touch the top/Spreading love/Now it’s all fun and fancy free.”

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE SLIDESHOW!

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Melanie - You did an amazing job capturing the emotion of the day. I’m so proud of you and it was truly an honor to be there to watch you work. I miss you. Love, Mom

megan - Oh, Morgan. You again, have done such an amazing job! ( I know I say that every time but I really mean it!). I love love love how you captured them and I love the morning after the wedding shots! So beautiful!
and your moms post totally made me tear up a little, so sweet! You are pretty fabulous!

Charlie (father of the Bride) - dumbfounded…..the first word that came to my mind. So beautiful and taseful; it’s like a memory not a photograph. I’ve expected to see the obligatory shots of the family, the couple, shots of the rings; WOW the grin on my face just kept getting bigger and wider unitl I’m quite sure I was beaming. Now I can do a little braging, what a beautiful, fantastic couple that is truly in love and your view through the camera lens, lets everyone take a peak at that love. Leila and Vidur if you read this post, you guys look great together, just think what the children are going to look like. Mogan, what a fantastic job

Amanda - Wow, Morgan, I love how you tell stories with pictures. The way you make me FEEL when I look at them is simply amazing. I do not know this couple but I so enjoyed being able to take a peek at their lives. What a beautiful wedding! I LOVE the pic of them the morning after the wedding sitting on the floor and them jumping on the bed—-how FUN! Incredible job! Morgan, I am soooo proud of you!!

Vaughn - I have not viewed the slide show yet and I am already blown away! As a retired professional photographer,I have seen some of the best in the country, yours rank right up there with the best! Your work is truly wonderful. I would recommend you to anyone. Keep up the great work.

Karan (Vidur's cousin) - Oh my god, Morgan. Stunning! I am so happy Leila asked you to do this, I was looking forward to the official pics but didn’t see this coming. Amazing!

Alexandra - Morgan, WOW! You did such an amazing job :) :) Congratulations!

DANIEL - Baby girl,
My heart is about to explode with pride. Your talent gives
you an unfair advantage on the competition. You are bringing so
much joy to people’s lives and that is the best part of the gig
don’t you think?

carly - Morgan–you blew this one out of the water. Simple as that.

Debbie - Morgan, through your talent from God, Leila and Vidur can relive that special day the rest of their lives in your photos. People often comment that their wedding day is a blur and and can’t remember specific details, however this will never happen to couples you photograph through your amazing storytelling through the lens. Congratulations!

amy little - LOVE it lady! the day after are delicious….mmmm….

Shalini - So So beautiful! I’m at a complete loss for words…

Vidur - Truly amazing!!! The pictures turned out more beautiful than I ever imagined. Watching the slide show I thought I was there all over again. I am so glad you were a part of our wedding Morgan!

Elisa - GORGEOUS!!! Such thoughtful shots…I’m sure the happy couple is thrilled with your work!

Robin Moeck - Those are absolutely beautiful! and I agree about how the memory was captured! They look so peaceful and in love! Gave me chills!

Krishna (cousin of the bride) - Beatiful pictures! I wasn’t able to attend in person, but these pictures let me enjoy Leila & Vidur’s wedding from begining to end. Lovely!

admin - Thank you everyone so much for your sweet words! It really was a joy to capture this wedding. I loved it.

Heather - Morgan, Morgan, Morgan!!! Anytime you capture moments to where your viewers feel as though they were there or know the people personally, then you know you did your job…..Having said that what a great job! Your dad is right, the glorification of it all is creating something magical for the couple and their families. So BRAVO! Love to you and Jamie, Aunt Heather

Alaina - Morgan, Why didn’t I have you do my wedding? You are absolutely the most incredible photographer that I have ever seen. I can tell this comes easy for you, so keep up the AWESOME work!!!

Janie Gibbs - Hi Morgan, my name is Janie and I’m a friend (mom #2) of Leila
and her family. My daughter, Cara, was one of the bridesmaids.
I cannot tell you how your work has touched me. I desperately
wanted to be at their wedding but couldn’t. I’m sitting here in
awe and tears and feeling like I actually was a part of it. You
did an amazing job.

To Leila and Vidur………I’m speechless…….You are beautiful and I love you both. Much love and happiness in your
life to come. xoxoxox

vandana mehra - dear morgan,what an increadable job you have done with the pics seeing them we are reliving the wedding.thanks

Charlene mother of the bride - Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! did not think it would be possible to to ever capture the love that you see between Leila and Vidur but you did it and i am so greatful to you for that. These pictures are so incredible. You will forever be blessed for your thoughtfulness and pride you put into your work. You have given us a precious memory that we can look back on and live again…Thank you again….You will go far with your gift!

Monika Gondha - These are amazing! I’m looking to have an Indian wedding in Asheville and this location (and your pictures) look gorgeous! Are you able to tell me the venue? Thanks!!

Recap and sneak peek.

Wow. I don’t even know where to begin. It’s been far too long since I last blogged. Granted, we’ve been in Tennessee for the past 8 days, and our schedule was pretty nonstop the entire trip. But still. I know you faithful blog readers still come back to check for updates, and I’m sorry I’ve been disappointing you lately! Trust me, there will be PLENTY to blog for the next couple of weeks.

Before we left, I had been complaining about not having enough rainy days here in Utah. This whole dry climate thing is kind of foreign to us. It rained quite a bit in early June, but after that, there were literally two days of rain in, oh, almost 3 months. WEIRD. So sure enough, we get to Tennessee and it rains EVERY SINGLE DAY. We’re talking cold, windy, dark, depressing rain. So it was great the first couple of days, but when I had five photo shoots to do mostly outdoors, I kind of panicked. It was definitely one of the more challenging situations I’ve been in, having to shoot outside when it is literally pouring. On the one hand, overcast days are generally optimal for shooting, as you don’t get a lot of squinty glares and harsh shadows and bright spots, but on the other hand, worrying about getting all of my gear wet was a little nerve-wracking, to say the least. But I’m glad to have had the experience, because I definitely want to be prepared at all times to shoot in any condition.

Last Saturday, we flew into the Nashville airport late in the afternoon and met Grandmother and Grandaddy and Uncle Mike and Aunt Paula for dinner. Jamie made the mistake of announcing that the cheesy bread at this restaurant was probably the best he had ever eaten, and Grandmother spent most of the rest of dinner trying to make sure he took home a to-go box full of them. She gets very concerned about food situations, which is really funny. We talk about and eat a LOT of food on the Harris side of the family. :) Then she sent us home with a chocolate chip pecan pie, which for Jamie may as well have been the keys to the pearly gates of heaven. He had that pie demolished in two days flat. One morning I came downstairs and he was holding the entire pie pan in his lap, eating straight out of it. He consumed probably 1/3 of the whole thing… for breakfast. When I asked him last night what his favorite meal of the week was (because there were a LOT of contenders), he thought for a second, and then responded, “Grandmother’s pie.” Oh boy.

So then early Sunday morning, we got up and drove to Asheville for Leila and Vidur’s wedding at the Claxton Farm. Thankfully, this was the one day that wasn’t gloom and doom outside, because the entire event was outdoors. And it was SO lovely! When I blog it, I’ll give you all the details, but it was most definitely a fun day. I can’t thank my mom and Jamie enough for coming with me and assisting with posing and shooting and lighting and everything else. I couldn’t have done it without you guys!

We stayed the night in Asheville, then got up the next morning to do a morning-after shoot with Leila and Vidur. Of course it was POURING again, so we had to do some improvising, but  I think it turned out well. Then we drove back into Knoxville, just in time for me to make my way over to Heather’s house for an awesome shoot of all her baked goods she’s selling through her business, Sprinkle Bakes. She is unbelievably talented, but again, more on that later. Then I drove back to my parents’ house, and my mom cooked an amazing dinner of steak and salad and sweet potato casserole. To die for. Sometimes Jamie and I attempt to cook for ourselves, but usually, if we’re even at home at the same time, we’ll get into some argument at the grocery store about what to eat, and Jamie will moan and groan because he doesn’t want the kitchen to get messy and – God forbid- to have to do dishes afterwards, so most of the time it’s not even worth the hassle. Instead we rely on cereal (usually about 8-10 different varieties) and 99 cent Totino’s pizzas to meet our nutritional needs. So of course we were in HEAVEN all last week with all the amazing meals we got to eat. Nothing like good Southern cooking to satisfy the soul.

Tuesday morning, we got to sleep in… til 10:30! It was NUTS! What with school and work, and then of course our precious dog who regularly wakes up before 6 am pawing at our faces and scratching the door to get breakfast, we never get to sleep that late. It was glorious, especially after such an exhausting weekend. Then I went to Starbucks and got to hang out with all my old friends and make sure nothing had changed TOO much while I’d been gone. I was so glad to see everyone again. Later, we met my parents at Fuji for dinner. Oh Fuji, how we had missed you and all your tasty shrimp-saucy-ness. Mmmm. We loved seeing our favorite waitresses there too. They know us all, and what we order every time, and they were so happy to see us. They are, hands down, the best waitresses. Ever. Then we got to follow up that with $2 pint night at Barley’s with the Starbucks gang, and I seriously have not laughed so hard in a long time. We finally rolled back into the house around 1:30 (which is LATE for us these days!), and then the next morning…. slept until NOON. I repeat, NOON. Who am I?! After being lazy for awhile, we hung out at Starbucks some more, and I got to talk to my friend Sarah for a couple of hours about photography, which was neat-o. She just recently purchased a Diana camera too, so we compared notes on that, and -jealous!- she has a ring flash that attaches to hers that I got to play with a bit later on. Super fun. Our conversation also prompted me to go to Urban Outfitters’s website (because they sell all that cool old camera stuff) and I seriously almost PEED MYSELF when I saw THIS: a tiny digital video recorder that mimics the look of the old Super 8 mm footage. (Those of you who are blog followers will know that I am OBSESSED with this look, and have wanted to get into doing it myself, but all the cameras and film are sooo expensive that I’ve never been able to.) It holds little SD memory cards, which can record up to 2 hours of footage at a time. Are you kidding me?! AND it’s only $170. I told my parents that I finally knew what I wanted for Christmas this year!

Wednesday night, we went over to my Aunt Sandra and Uncle Chuck’s house for dinner. She cooked fried chicken and green beans and mashed potatoes, and we had strawberry shortcake for dessert. Once again, we stuffed ourselves ’til we were in pain. I’m pretty sure Jamie had two full plates of food. It was good to catch up with them, and to play with their dogs for a bit, since we were without our Gretchen. :(

Let’s see…. then we came home just in time for Glee. Duh. And I worked on some editing. Then crashed.

Thursday morning, I got up early and headed downtown to do a shoot for my friend Gwen from way back in the Starbucks Turkey Creek days. Which, despite the dreadful weather, turned out pretty dang good, if I do say so myself. Gotta learn to work it, no matter what! Then I dropped by Carrie and Shane’s house so I could see my little Harper, who thankfully has not grown TOO much in the past 5 months. Now she dances like a madwoman, and she can say her name, and Mommy and Daddy, and she kept telling me to sit. It was adorable. Carrie showed me her little Halloween costume, and she’s going to be a geisha/samurai. With her hair pulled into a bun on top of her head and everything! Can’t wait to see those pictures.

Next I headed to Tomato Head (which I had SO been missing/craving the whole time we’ve been away from Knoxville. Tuscan chicken sandwich is where it is AT) to meet Erin and Sarah for lunch. So tasty. And we geeked out the whole time over photography stuff, which was equally awesome. Originally, we were supposed to do a shoot with a local band called Seeing Skies, because we know Parke from Starbucks, but that sort of fell through, and we still really wanted to shoot together, so luckily, Sarah asked one of the girls in the youth group she mentors if she’d be willing to model for us. Oh. My. Goodness. It was amazing. You can tell Tori had been keeping up with her America’s Next Top Model, because she was fierce and WORKED IT OUT. Can’t wait to share those images with you.

And THEN we went with my parents to Aubrey’s another Knoxville favorite that Jamie had really been missing. Aaron, the little boy my family has been babysitting for almost four years now, came with us. That child truly says the darndest things. He calls my parents Poppy and Lainey, and when Lainey took a french fry off his plate to eat, he informed everyone at the table that this was NOT the kind of food God wanted us to share. (Apparently He only wants us to share when Aaron is on the receiving end. :) Or when it’s something he doesn’t like.) He wanted me to taste his Dr. Pepper, and when I did, he wiped off his straw with a napkin and told me I slobbered on it. He is pretty hysterical. And it was so sweet… In the car on the way to the restaurant, he was quiet for awhile, and then suddenly he looked over at me and said, “Morgan, I’ve really been missing you when you were gone.” I nearly started crying. I love that boy.

Later that night, we met up with Amanda, a girl Jamie used to work with at the Episcopal School of Knoxville. She is HILARIOUS. And she has the worst luck of all time. For example, she had just been hit by a car…. and the driver sped off. So she was in pretty bad pain. But she’s such a trooper, and I’m glad we got to see her. Then we went over to Bryce’s (Jamie’s friend and best man) new house to hang out with him for awhile. My favorite moment of the night was when Tim, another of Jamie’s friends and Bryce’s roommate, came home with a huge bottle of Sauvignon Blanc… to drink by himself. After discussing the ins and outs of wine, we were talking about the stemless wine glasses we have that we really like, and Tim was like, “Oh! I have some of those! Like these?” And he opened the dishwasher and pulled out a plastic University of Tennessee tumbler. Oh my stars. I almost died laughing.

Friday morning, after stopping by Starbucks to say goodbye to everyone, we headed back to Nashville. We stopped halfway, in Cookeville, to meet my brother for lunch, since we hadn’t gotten to see him much, with him being at school in Mufreesboro and all. We ate at Cheddar’s and my mom and I split one of the most amazing sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. It was turkey and ham and Swiss cheese, but it was wrapped in almost a doughnut-like fried bread, with powdered sugar and a side of raspberry preserves for dipping. I know it sounds really weird, but oh man, it was GOOD. Then we drove on to Franklin, where we were going to meet my cousins Caity and Will for a photo session in the downtown area. While we waited for them to get off work, we wandered around and looked in all the neat little boutiques and shops. And I continued to sweat bullets because, once again, it was…. you guessed…. RAINING. And cold. And windy. But you know what? We totally worked with it. And I ended up getting some of my favorite images of the entire week.

Then we went to my Aunt Paula and Uncle Mike’s house for dinner- chicken casserole, rice, creamed corn, salad, and chocolate fondue for dessert- YUM. It was great to get to catch up with them before we headed to bed for the night. Saturday morning, we met my other grandparents, Nan and Pop, for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel. Country ham, biscuits and apple butter, scrambled eggs, grits….. more YUM. Doesn’t get any better. Then we wandered around Opry Mills for awhile to kill some time before we had to be at the airport. Theeeen we went to the airport and headed home.

Yesterday, our first day back in SLC, was glorious. The weather the past couple of days has been amazing. 70 degrees, sunshine, and the fall leaves changed almost overnight. I just want to grab onto this time period, because autumn is always so fleeting. It doesn’t stick around very long at all. And of course we were so looking forward to getting Gretchen back. Unfortunately, it appears that she shed some pounds last week, so we’ve been giving her LOTS of food to put some meat back on her bones. I hope she doesn’t hate us TOO much for leaving her behind. :) It’s kinda funny. Before we went back to Knoxville, I didn’t know how I would feel being back. I remember quite vividly my first time back home for fall break from college…. I walked in the door and burst into tears. I was overwhelmed with nostalgia and love and homesickness, even though it didn’t seem like I REALLY missed it while I was at school. But this time, that didn’t happen. Don’t get me wrong- we’ve missed our family and friends, and even some of our favorite restaurants and spots. But as a whole, I can feel that there has been a shift. For now, anyway, Salt Lake City IS our home. And it’s really beginning to feel like it. Yesterday, when we got home from church, we settled in, me on my computer editing and Jamie on his doing homework and Gretchen passed out on the couch, and we ate our Totinos pizzas, and we went to bed at 8:00 pm to read Stephen King books, and it just felt like home.

I’m sure this was FAR too much information for some of you, but I felt like I owed you something pretty big to make up for all the time lost.

And now for what we’ve all been waiting for: the sneak peeks! Enjoy you guys, and I promise I am working like a busy little bee to finish all these for you!

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Amanda - Ok – – – I have been dying for some blog time with you! :) I loved reading about your visit to Knoxville. Next time you are in town I would like to schedule time for a photo session for me, Ricky and the kids!! We have not had a good picture made in a long time!! Glad you made it HOME safely! Love you

Gwen - Oh my I loved looking at all these sneak peeks! Can’t wait to see more! You have a great gift my friend!! :)

Ethfun - So…you took that picture in front of Franklin High?
As in, where I went to Highschool?

your work just keeps improving.

<3

amanda - Morgan! I am in love with your photography skills! Just so you know… whenever I need to have pictures taken you are the one I am going to call! Oh and P.S. I have to have surgery on my tail bone!!! haha