What can I tell you about my friend, Dan? I could tell you about how he is wise beyond his years. Or how he quietly observes his world around him, only to drop words that seem to be carefully chosen because they are so articulate and reflective and inspiring. I could also tell you how big his heart is for his family, his friends and his faith. Hopefully you'll meet him some day, because I don't think these words do his personality justice.
He's a pretty cool guy! And he's so excited to finally be a senior!
I met up with Dan at one of his favorite childhood spots- Spencer Park in Troy, Michigan. He and his family love to spend their time with nature here, getting lost in the woods and admiring the lake.
You are going to do some amazing things with that brain and heart of yours! Have an awesome senior year!
It was a gorgeous day at Red Run Park in Royal Oak, MI! The Royal Oak Dog Walkers and I had been eagerly awaiting this Meet and Greet all summer and the event did not disappoint!
Catherine and her crew went all out! Beautiful decor that celebrated their love for their work and their pups!
Homemade macaroons and "dogs in a blanket"? Yes please! So yummy!
The Royal Oak Dog Walkers officially have swag! These awesome t-shirts can be purchased on their site!
And they didn't dare to forget about their 4-legged friends! How amazing would your pup look wearing these collars?!
Meet Leah, Royal Oak Dog Walker's newest dog walker! She loves everything nature, especially the pups she cares for.
These dog lovers were in heaven enjoying delicious food, friendly conversation with other dog parents and as promised- a professional photo with their pup!
I had never been surrounded by so many adorable canines!!
These ladies! I feel so blessed to have gotten to know them this summer! Thank you so much for welcoming me into your dog world! You do amazing work and I can tell you pour your heart into each one of those puppies! Thank you for doing what you do!
It was a beautiful Michigan summer day and Melissa was excited to be working at the Michigan DNR, exploring nature during her summer off from teaching. She then noticed a blonde haired man approaching. "Who's that?" Melissa asked one of her co-workers. "Oh, that's Matt. He never smiles," said her co-worker. "I bet I can make him smile," said Melissa.
And she did just that. She made Matt smile in countless of ways, from their nature hikes in all sorts of Michigan weather, to catching fish in various lakes and rivers that surround their West Michigan home. And Matt made Melissa smile the biggest smile when he asked to be his forever!
Melissa and Matt, capturing your beautiful day was an absolute dream! You believed in me from day one and my heart is beaming! I wish I had better words for describing "thank you." I know that whenever I go to West Michigan, I will always think of you two- your love for nature and each other is truly inspiring!
It was a gorgeous summer day in Benton Harbor, MI. The Blue Dress Barn was the perfect venue for these Michiganders. It was filled with so many beautiful elements that celebrated nature!
This dress! Melissa's mom wore this on her wedding day and in true Melissa fashion, she made it into her own. So beautiful!!
Melissa, you are STUNNING!
Melissa and Matt opted to see each other before the wedding, giving plenty of time for taking photographs! I don't think I've ever seen Matt smile this big!
First dance as husband and wife!
The gorgeous bride leading everyone to some all night dancing! Her loved ones happily followed!
This moment might have happened more than once...
What an unforgettable night!
During one spring semester at Michigan State University, Amy helped organize a mission trip to Puebla, Mexico with a group of adventurous do-gooders. Everyone signed up to spend their spring break traveling hundreds of miles for friendship, faith and ultimately- to do good things.
Little did Amy know that Joey signed up for something more- her.
It was a rainy summer day in East Lansing, so we started off at the MSU Library.
Joey's eyes never left Amy's glowing smile!
What a show-stopper of a ring!!
Next we took our adventures outside and found a dry, cozy spot for them to enjoy the rain. Well, I enjoyed the rain. The love birds enjoyed each other!
We saved the best spot for last and headed over to this grandfather-like tree by the Horticulture building, where Joey asked Amy to be his adventure partner for life.
The clouds parted and the rain stopped. And Amy and Joey were transported back to their amazing moment under their tree. It was magic!
25 countries explored. 13 states toured.
4 cities they called home.
Dozens of friendships made.
Volumes of memories to cherish.
The next adventure for this amazing couple? South Korea!
There are those special friendships put in your life that remain constant-regardless of time or space. For Agnes and Michal, a quick phone call or a simple trip across continents always leaves us right back to where we started. Our friendship doesn't skip a beat. It grows with more adventures and memories and sharing of excited hopes for the future.
I am so blessed and grateful to have your constant friendship <3
Cassie and I decided to celebrate her fabulousness one day by capturing her beauty on a trail in Hines Park in Livonia, MI.
Cassie is creative beyond measure! She has a love of fashion, unique pieces and is using her talents for costume design. This custom- made headpiece is just a small glimpse of her talent.
We couldn't have picked a more perfect time to shoot! A summer breeze was in the air and golden hour illuminated everything around us!
Nothing but gorgeous! Inside and out!
I am a cat mom. Molly came into our lives last year after a couple trips to the Humane Society. I love her to death and she has been such a joy in our lives! But I have a secret... deep in my heart, I am a big dog lover! I love their unbreakable loyalty and joyful friendship. That big ball of fur is going to love you and show you he loves you until his last bark. With that said, Jake and I knowingly avoided the dog section of the Humane Society. Why? Because we knew taking care of a dog meant a lot of work, time and energy. Don't get me wrong, a cat needs that too! In all honesty though, it is not in the same level as a dog.
Enter the Royal Oak Dog Walkers! From the moment I met Catherine, Anne and Jillian at Booth Park in Birmingham, I saw how much love and joy they had for dogs! They spoke about their pets as an extension of their family- and If you've ever had a pet, you would know that very same feeling. With their extra hand and care, I now know how having my very own dog would be possible!
Here a just a few of the wonderful services they provide:
· Dog walking
· Dog running
· Dog let outs
· Dog park trips
· Dog sitting
· Cat sitting
These ladies! Their energy is boundless and full of love!
This is Catherine and her dog, Winston. Do you ever sometimes see how an owner and their pet have similar personalities? Well, I saw the same joyful and friendly energy with these too! Catherine is the owner of Royal Oak Dog Walkers and founded her business on her love for humanity - which she believes that same love should extend to our four legged friends.
This is Anna and her adorable dog, Kobe. It was love at first hug for the both of them when Kobe immediately laid his head in her lap at the Humane Society. There's no doubt Anne spoils the other dogs she cares for with her warm hugs!
This is Jillian. She is a gorgeous wife, mom and animal lover! Jillian has always dreamed of pursuing something she is passionate about. Growing up with dogs definitely sparked a love of animals for her!
Winston is a part golden retriever and part crazy! He is full of excited energy and everything around him is an adventure.
Sherman's personality is the best! He is a free spirit loves doing his own thing.
Kobe loves to cuddle and just goes with the flow!
Along with being friendly and loving, Royal Oak Dog walkers are professional, dependable and considerate. They are a busy dog lover's dream come true! For more information, please visit their site at Royaloakdogwalkers.com.
Congratulations to the Class of 2015!
From a girl who's lived it, my big sister heart wants to share some helpful bits of wisdom:
It's OK if you have no idea what you want to do.
To quote one of my favorite songs, "Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't."- Baz Luhrmann
Follow your passion(s).
Look for what tugs at your heart, and run after it! And who says you can only limit yourself to one?
That passion of yours- how are you chasing it? When looking for jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, etc., spend your energy on ones that align with what you want to do. Not sure what you want to do? Having a variety of experiences will definitely help you in finding out what you DON'T want to do.
Italy. California. Chicago. Grand Rapids. Any trip is an adventure! One of my favorite adventures was traveling around Italy. And I got PAID to do it. Interested? It's called A.C.L.E.
Save and Budget
This is something that will forever be a work in progress, but the earlier the better!
Tip: I always put a small percentage of paycheck into my savings and I did it automatically through my bank account. I also budgeted an amount for bills and an amount for play.
Get to know your parents
You never know, they may inevitably become your best friends.
Surround yourself with good people
Your time, energy, and love are sacred. Don't waste it on people who don't value YOU.
Make the most out the time you have with your high school friends before the future pulls them away from you! Time is fleeting, but memories last forever!
Be who you are meant to be
Let's face it, high school fits people into so many labeled boxes. My favorite part about the end to high school was breaking out of mine!
The world awaits!
Oh dear boy, I hope you know how much you are loved! You are such a delight and a blessing to know! Your contagious smile and endless giggles could brighten any room. I wish I could stop time so that you never grow up and preserve those kissable rolls of yours! But that will prevent you from changing the world for the better, and I can't wait to see that too!
P.S. You have the coolest parents!
I was so excited when this gorgeous lady approached me about head shots for her new business! The head shots quickly turned into a full on glamour shoot! Why? Because Stacey is THAT gorgeous. You'll see...
Silliness is a must when you're with me! I'm get kinda kooky and well, I guess it's contagious.
Windy hair, don't care!
Oh gorgeous girl, you will move MOUNTAINS with those mesmerizing blue/green eyes and amazing personality of yours!