Storybook Village: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the quaintest, cutest, storybook town in the heart of Germany. I squealed multiple times throughout our time here just from all the cuteness. If it looks a little familiar, this town helped inspire the creators of the Disney movie Pinocchio! It also happened to not get bombed flat in WWII which helped preserve the medieval cuteness. There is a wall lining the entire city that we got to walk on, and the doors are big enough so a horse drawn carriage could fit through!! It was seriously just so charming. 

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Mosel River Valley: Cochem, Germany

Our first day in Germany after we traveled to Kierspe (see more on Kierspe here.) We arrived in Cochem late that night after driving through lots of winding mountain backroads. One of the main reason's I picked the Mosel River Valley over the roaring Rhine River Valley was that it was closest to the Burg Eltz Castle that we wanted to visit, (to see all of its medieval glory click here. :) And also because it was less touristy and quieter. It casually has its own small castle on the top of the hill. Cochem is known for its wineries and because of that most of the wine is local! Its half-timbered traditional German architecture was incredibly quaint and beautiful and completely stole my heart! We woke up the next morning from our lovely hotel, Pension Gunter to head to the Burg Eltz Castle. After we returned we walked around Cochem and had a dinner & gelato date. Here are some of my favorites from our day in Cochem :)

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Burg Eltz Castle // Germany

To say all of my medieval castle finding dreams came true once we visited the Burg Eltz would be an understatement. Burg Eltz, an over 850-year-old intact castle just outside of Cochem, Germany, was like stepping into a medieval movie, but in real life.  Somehow since 1157 AD, this castle has remained untouched by wars and stayed within the same family for over 800 years!! CRAZINESS! Surrounded by forests that feel enchanted, and far away from any major city or roads, it is the real deal. I only wish I could show you pictures of the inside (photography wasn't allowed on the tour.) so you could see the grandeur and how crazy it was that everything was still intact. Chase and I hiked down the hill to see this glorious view of the Burg Eltz peeking through the trees. I definitely squealed multiple times just wondering how this place even existed still! Here are a few of my favorites. 

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Kierspe, Germany & Cologne, Germany

Hey guys! I can't wait to share all the fun memories from our trip to Europe a few weeks ago. We started off our European road trip through 3 different countries (well really, 4 countries, if you count Liechtenstein) by flying into Cologne, Germany and renting a car to travel to a tiny farm town named Kierspe. Going to the town that shares our last name has been on Chase's bucket list forever and it was SO FUN to knock that off!! We had to travel on the autobahn to get there which was an experience all in itself, but once we made it to Kierspe we quickly realized that there wasn't a whole lot here other than the Kierspe family crest and some cool road signs that said Kierspe! Haha but it sure was fun to walk around and explore the small downtown area, meet some locals and watch them laugh at us as they attempt to decipher our terrible German. 

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Day 5 San Gimignano, Italy

San Gimignano Day 5

Before going on our trip I asked a lot of people advice on where to go while in Italy. I had so many people tell me to check out San Gimignano as a day trip from Florence. So after doing some research we thought it might be a really fun trip to see a little bit of the Italian wine country (which we unfortunately couldn't fit into this trip but gives us an amazing excuse to come back) and it definitely didn't disappoint . 

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Day 3 &4 Florence, Italia

Once we arrived in Florence we quickly realized that we were not in small quaint town anymore, but in fact in a huge city with lots of cars and people. One of my first memories of Florence was walking up to the Duomo (the main cathothic church of Florence) and just being in awe of how massive and beautiful it is. The Duomo is located right in the heart of the city and can be seen from any street corner. That night before dinner we did a Rick Steves audio tour of Florence, grabbed dinner, and had some amazing gelato afterwards while seeing the Duomo lit up at night. 

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Day 2 &3 Venice, Italia

On our second day in Venice, we woke up to the sound of rain at first of course was a little bummed. But by the time we ate breakfast and put on our rain jacket and walked outside the rain has stopped and it became a really pretty day. We navigated our way through that narrow streets of Venice and followed the signs that said "to Saint Marco Square". We stopped for a quick lunch then toured the Doge's Palace which was where the Venetian government was held and full of so much history. We walked around a little bit more and then finally went on the Grand Canal cruise at sunset. This is one my favorite memory from Venice! We got front row seats on vaporetti and took so many pictures. We ended the night with dinner along the river and amazing gelati! Here are some of my favorite images below!! 

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Happy 2 Years!!

 It was so unbelievably special to be in Venice, Italy the morning of our anniversary and have Urska & Domen Photography  (who I met through the Rising Tide Society) capture us in this incredible city full of so much history. Sometimes I still feel like this whole trip was a dream and that these pictures aren't even real, but we are so grateful to have them to treasure. I still can't believe it's already been this long since we got married. It's been the best journey I've ever been on, with lots of ups and downs and piles of laundry and dishes that need to be cleaned, but also full of laughing till we cry,  pursuing each other, and dreaming really big dreams. And praise the Lord for His goodness and grace, because he continues to pursue us in our brokenness <3

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Day 1 Murano and Burano, Venice Italy

Hey guys! I am so excited to finally be able to share images from our trip to Italy last month. It's crazy how personal images get pushed to the back, as your clients images obviously come first!! I've had so many people ask about our trip, and all I can say is it really was a trip of a lifetime. It was definitely more of an adventure, versus a relaxing, chill by the pool, kind of vacation, but we absolutely loved every jammed packed second. We spent 16 days exploring 6 different cities, and 2 countries including Venice, Florence, San Gimignano, Rome, Positano & the Amalfi Coast, as well as Paris. It was my first time to Europe and now I definitely have the travel bug even more. My photographer heart was in heaven because every single place you turned was picturesque. From the culture, to the history, to the people, you could see so much beauty in God's creation everywhere you went. 

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Elopement Styled Shoot with Finny Hill Photography

Chase and I met Mike and Liz of Finny Hill Photography through a local photographer community! When they asked us to model for them an elopement styled shoot I was so excited, just because I wanted the chance to get to know them more and because they are truly incredible photographers/videographers. Liz styled everything including the floral crown and bouquet. Jessie Peters did my hair and makeup and Amber of the White Magnolia Bridal Shop in Tampa graciously allowed us to borrow the beautiful wedding dress! So here is a few images from our "elopement styled shoot." 

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Vintage Warehouse

My friend Jessie and I had the best time shopping at the Vintage Warehouse in Lakeland, FL. It was like a creatives dream. So. Much. Prettiness. Like every other sentence was like “wowwwwww, look at this! How cool! How did they do that?!” Thanks Jessie for taking me. Can’t wait to go back soon :) I left feeling so inspired! 

Alabama: Light of the Village

This summer revolved around planning a mission trip to Pritchard, Alabama, which is one of the highest crime rate communities in America.  We took 120 students and volunteers with us to partner with Light of the Village Ministry. This urban ministry is truly INCREDIBLE. God is working so hard through it and His light is shining from every crevice. To say this was a large undertaking is an understatement. There were so many hours and tears put into making this trip a success. The main thing (and only reason for this trip) is it was all for Jesus. For a whole week our students served and volunteered by day and worshiped and built community in the evenings.  And let me tell you something: GOD SHOWED UP!! He is so faithful and so good. Even in the mist of so many things falling apart around me. This was the first trip that Chase and I had been away from each other. On the first morning, I got a call from Chase saying that his grandfather had passed away. I was seriously a hot mess of emotions. It was like God telling me that I  couldn’t control this week, but to let him take control.

Here is what I wrote down after the trip was over praising God for answered prayers:

How You Showed Up in Bama:

  •       Worship was like nothing I had ever experienced before. Your presence was there!

       Every meal was incredible and just what we needed

       You wrecked my plans and broke me

       You spoke to me asking me to take care of your daughters

       You gave me your strength

       You let me paint a mural and spoke to my heart

       You showed me that you are worthy of all credit and glory//breaking me of people’s approval

       SAVED 15 STUDENTS

       Ministered to so many hearts

       Had an incredible team of adult leaders

       Allowed the death of chase’s grandfather to minister to so many people.

The coolest thing on the trip for me was seeing 15 students give their life to Christ. Knowing that the work you do for the Lord will never return void. His grace abounds in deepest waters. And He is a good, good Father.            

Fripp Island: June 2015

One of the coolest things Chase and I found out about each other while we were dating is that for our entire lives both of our families have been vacationing at the same beach! Such a small world right?  Fripp Island has its own special kind of southern, secluded charm to it. Once you arrive onto the island you only drive your car if you are leaving the island. Everyone else drives golf carts, or rides bikes. There is an over population of deer on the island and they sure aren’t afraid of you. In fact, they want you to feed them haha! It is so special because this is actually where Chase proposed to me!

 

But this summer we went back to spend a week with Chase’s family. Here are a few of my favorites! We have 4 nephews and 2 nieces that are truly the most precious kids you ever did see! We got a lot of good quality aunt and uncle time with them :)

Dominican Republic Day 2

We woke up the next day to a beautiful sunrise over the ocean and were ready to go explore! We loaded into the vans to go to a local church and the service was truly incredible. Most of the service was spoken in Spanish and roughly translated into English, but I left completely in AWE of how big God is. It hit me that He understood every word in Spanish and English. That he is not just my God in America, but he is the God of this nation in the Dominican Republic and is the God of the entire universe. My thoughts are miniscule compared to the matchless knowledge, wisdom, and power that God has. After we returned to the hotel we had a little down time which made for an awesome opportunity to reflect and rest. That night we went into the community we would be serving in for the next week, and attended an outreach session where we fellowshipped and worshiped together with the Dominican people. The Dominican band played first, and then they asked our worship leaders, Erica and Gabby, to come lead us for a few songs. And let me just tell you they did an incredible job. They started singing the last song of their set acapella, "From the Inside Out", because we didn't have a track. The coolest memory for me (I'm getting goose bumps while write this again) was when the Dominican band knew the song and while Erica and Gabby were singing, they started looking at each other in excitement like "hey we know this song" and picked up their instruments and started playing along with Erica and Gabby in perfect harmony worshipping the Lord together as one people. It brought me to tears, just seeing the unity in the body of Christ. Knowing that the cry of all our hearts, Dominican and American, is to bring Him praise!

From the Inside Out: (Hillsong United)

A thousand times I've failed Still your mercy remains Should I stumble again Still I'm caught in your grace Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame

Your will above all else My purpose remains The art of losing myself in bringing you praise Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame

In my heart, in my soul I give you control Consume me from the inside out Let justice and praise Become my embrace To love you from the inside out

Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame And the cry of my heart is to bring you praise From the inside out Lord my soul cries out.