A Romantic Rustic Engagement at Frenchman’s Forest in Palm Beach Gardens
On December 9th, 2018, Andrew and I had the pleasure of capturing Ashlyn and Kyle’s rustic engagement session at Frenchman’s Forest in Palm Beach Gardens. Their dreamy engagement session took place in the natural reserve on a cloudy day. The soft lighting made their session even more romantic and whimsical.
Ashlyn and Kyle have been together for 8 years! They will be tying the knot in October of 2019 at the Lake Pavilion in West Palm Beach! We are so excited to be a part of their big day!
Ashlyn and Kyle, thank you so much for choosing us to document your love story! We had the best time working with you both! We know your wedding day will be nothing but amazing!
These two are seriously the cutest! Some of my favorite shots! The stunning engagement ring! Then it was time for their second look! Love and Football. Just another favorite! Their last outfit was a little romantic camo!
The details that brought this rustic engagement session together:
It’s Christmastime, my favorite time of the year!! This year is extra special to us because so many blessings have been poured into our lives this year! In just fifteen short weeks, we will be welcoming our first child into our new home! Ever since we tied the knot over five years ago, we have been working hard to buy our first home! It’s surreal to finally own a home and to be welcoming our little bundle of joy in just three months!
Our Home Story
We had been hoping to buy a home of our own for years! After we finally had our down payment, we just weren’t finding what we were looking for. The top things on our (my) list were: three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garage, and lots of natural light. If we found a townhome, we didn’t want anyone above us and parking spaces nearby. To some, our list sounded crazy, but after living the downtown apartment life, we were so ready for a comfort that was HOME! Well, we had almost given up, and I stopped my daily ritual of online house hunting. With only about two months left on our lease, our hope was nearly gone.
But God was about to answer our prayers in an epic way! First, let me take you back to the beginning. It was early June, and we had been pre-qualified for a few months. We tried to find a home and had been trying to conceive for a while, too, with no luck on either end. Our amazing realtor, Bea Hernandez, kept sending us listings, but I knew what I wanted and just wasn’t seeing it.
On Saturday, June 30th, while with family in Miami, we received a call that my paternal grandfather had passed away. It was a hard time, and, needless to say, it put all our planning on the back-burner. Earlier that week, I had also been convinced I was pregnant but later found out I had an ovarian cyst that messed with my hormones. It was painful, and since I had never experienced this before, I was wondering what was wrong.
We had the funeral early the next week. It was emotionally hard, and I was in physical pain, too. Wednesday, I went in for an ultrasound, and they told me it was an ovarian cyst that ruptured. My midwife advised my to continue taking my prenatal vitamins that I had been taking for years, but she also told me I could Evening Primrose oil and Pregnitude; I also took Maca root. I just decide to try everything and hope for the best! With everything with my grandfather and the house hunt, we honestly stopped thinking about getting pregnant.
In mid-July, we went to Fort Myers for our annual family reunion with my dad’s side of the family. This was a special year because this was the first year we would be there without my grandfather with us. He was the reason my dad’s family held this one family vacation every year since the 80’s! We enjoyed ourselves and our time with family. I had a cocktail by the pool, got sunburn, and a bird pooped in my freshly-done hair just hours before our 5-year anniversary portraits! It was a memorable trip!
When we were on our way home, I felt different, and I suddenly thought to myself, “Oh! What if?” It was still pretty early to know for sure, but the next morning I took a test anyways. Hopeful that it was not just another blank test, I peeked with excitement. And I saw the faintest pink line!! I showed Andrew immediately, and we were both hopefully but cautious with our emotions. We waited a few more days, and I took another test. This time the pink line popped right up!! We were overjoyed and elated!!
God answered our number one prayer, and we couldn’t ask for anything else! A week later, just when we thought things couldn’t get any better, we got an email from our realtor. As soon as I opened it, I knew the home was perfect! I told Andrew about it excitedly, and we scheduled a time to see it that same day! It immediately felt like home! We love it, and my mom even snapped a photo of us in front of it!
We put in an offer the next day and hoped for the best. I tried to not get my hopes up, because I knew the previous homes in the development sold within a few days, and our chances of getting it were slim. Eagerly, we waited hear back. A few days later, they asked for our highest and final offer. We placed it and prayed for the best. Bea later told us out of the five offers they received, they were only considering our offer! WHAT!?! We were thrilled!
A few days later, we received the call. They officially accepted our offer! We scheduled the closing just a month later, and on August 31st, we signed the papers and closed on our first home! Just 21 days before our lease was up–the perfect amount of time to paint our new place and move in! I’m still in awe of how perfect the timing was!
God’s Timing is Perfect.
It was perfect timing, because it was God’s timing. He knew one of my deepest desires was to own a home before we had a baby. Even though we were okay to have them in a different order, God had an awesome plan in store that was even better than we could even imagine. We moved in shortly after the painting was done. Even though this was our fourth move in five years, it was the hardest, yet sweetest move because I was pregnant! Morning sickness and packing isn’t the most ideal combo, but it was do-able! But only because of my momma, who helped me pack and brought me chicken biscuits, because that was the only thing I could eat that I could keep down!
The month of August was spent packing, planning and thanking God so much! In the middle of the month, we went in for our first appointment and ultrasound! We saw our baby, and the heartbeat flickered on the screen! It was just the best! We felt, and still feel, beyond blessed! God opened every door the moment we stopped and didn’t push things. His timing is perfect, and even though waiting and having a miscarriage was very hard, I wouldn’t want it any other way. We are stronger and more grateful now because of everything we went through. God’s plan is always so much better than we can imagine.
As we step into this Christmas season, we just can’t help but feel overwhelmed by His blessings on our lives this year. Just two years ago at this very time, we were going through a very painful miscarriage at the 12-week mark. It was the most traumatic and painful season of our lives, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But if it wasn’t for that season, we wouldn’t have the strength, perspective, and gratitude we have today. It’s humbling to see how much God can change in such a short amount of time!
Today, we look at this season of life and thank God daily. This Christmas is such a blessing and a gift. It’s been the best few months of our lives, and we know after our little one is born, things will forever be different! We truly can’t wait to meet her!
Our Home at Christmas Time
Here are a few shots of our house now at Christmastime! We went for a cozy cabin feel. I love the warmth our rustic Christmas home decor brings. Pops of red, cozy plaids, and lots of green brought this feel together! We hope you enjoy our Christmas home tour! From our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!
All Merry and Bright! I just love the vaulted ceilings and skylights in our place! So much natural light! My first homemade real Christmas wreath!
Hutchinson Island Maternity Couple Portraits at the House of Refuge
While on Hutchinson Island with the Carter’s for their family maternity portraits, my friend, Brooke, took some photos of us! I was almost 22 weeks pregnant during this session! The day was cloudy and dreamy. My dress flowed in the breeze and seemed to match the color of the ocean perfectly!
I am currently 25 weeks and feeling the best I have felt in a while! My energy still isn’t in full force, but I’m feeling our little girl move every day! She is growing so fast! She is already a pound and a half and measuring around 13 inches! I also finally popped around 24 week! Up until then, it wasn’t all that obvious that I was pregnant.
I’m so excited to meet our little one face to face! I’m also constantly reminding myself to enjoy the season and these last three months! With my two best friends also pregnant, there is just so much joy all around! Excitement is an understatement! 🙂
The details that brought these Hutchinson Island Maternity Couple Portraits together:
Hutchinson Island Family Maternity Portraits at The House of Refuge
It’s the Carter family! Every year we have the pleasure of capturing our dear friends’ family Christmas portraits! This year, it was extra special because our sweet godson, CJ, is at such a fun giggly age, and it’s his last year of being an only child! With his little brother due in just over a month, we also turned this year’s session into a maternity session at our favorite beach! We came back to the House of Refuge on Hutchinson Island, where we captured Brooke’s maternity portraits when she was pregnant with CJ!
Their family maternity portraits turned out stunning this year! It also helped that CJ was in a terrific mood, and we were able to get every last giggle out of him! They wore a classic and crisp white for their first look. They seemed to just pop out of the serene, coastal backdrop.
We had such a great afternoon with our friends as we captured these sweet memories! I love that we do this every year! Looking back over the years, so many things have changed, but we’re glad one thing has remained—our friendship. Now we are actually neighbors, too, and have two new little ones joining us next Christmas! I’m just so excited to see what’s in store for next year!
I called his name and he looked back directly at me! Oh, my heart! And the giggles began… Brooke Carter, aka the most STUNNING pregnant woman EVER! Just so many favorites right off the bat!Sweet snuggle with daddy, mid-session as mommy got her close up. Oh, that sweet smile!
Moments with momma! Till next year friends!
The details that brought these Hutchinson Island Family Maternity Portraits together:
On November 22nd, 2018, I had the pleasure of working with the Kern family capturing their Palm Beach family Christmas portraits! We captured portraits in some of Worth Avenue’s most iconic spots in Palm Beach. We started along the eastern part of Worth Avenue capturing shots in the breezeways, with the Christmas tree, and with the Clock Tower! Then we worked our way to the beach, finishing our session with some classic beach portraits as the sun began to set!
Kern family, it was a pleasure meeting and working with you! May you enjoy this year’s Christmas portraits for many years to come! I hope to work with you all again! Merry Christmas!
The details that brought these Palm Beach Family Christmas Portraits together:
Palm Beach Lifestyle Portraits on North Palm Beach, FL
On November 17th, 2018, Andrew and I had the pleasure of capturing Athanasios and Jenny’s Palm Beach lifestyle portraits! We had such a wonderful time on the north part of Palm Beach Island capturing couple portraits and photos with their adorable pups. It was a fun-filled session with so many favorites! I hope you enjoy this lifestyle portrait session!
They did so well during their portrait session! Some of my favorites! Those faces!! We wrapped up their session with a stroll by the water! Thank you Athanasios and Jenny, for choosing us to capture your portraits this year! 🙂 We hope to work with you all again!
The details that brought these Palm Beach Lifestyle Portraits together: