Season - My Word for 2018

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It’s 2019 and my word of the year is Pursue. And that scares me a bit, because my 2018 word of the year ended up meaning a lot more than I intended when the year started out with confetti poppers and fresh powersheets goals. Now that 2018 is in the past, I wanted to share all of that with you.

I chose the word 'Season’ for 2018 for a couple of reasons. I wanted to say yes to the things that were right for us right now and give myself permission to change as soon as something stopped working for us. I wanted to think short term and focus on one step at a time instead of putting pressure on myself to think long term. As a mom to a 1 year old, I’d figured out that Darcy’s schedule would change every 3-4 months and all of a sudden what had been working for us would stop working. We’d have to throw our entire routine out the window and piece by piece, create a new schedule that would work for us in this new season. Type A Caitlin likes a good routine, so I chose the word Season to encourage me to embrace these changes and be flexible until we found a new rhythm.

Those are the seasons that I expected for 2018. But we experienced some BIG unexpected seasons throughout the year.

Ryan’s job - Ryan moved to work for another business under the same company umbrella early in the year. Then in the summer, his roll changed again. And in December, he accepted a job with another company in the business intelligence field. None of these changes were expected, and each was an exciting new opportunity.

Our house - We always knew the little yellow house wasn’t our forever home, but we weren’t growing out of it yet. At first we just wanted to finish up our projects and figure out what we’d be looking for in our next house. Then we started looking at houses, and we were surprised that what we were looking for was actually in our price range. So we decided to put our little yellow house on the market. And it sold immediately. It was so clear that God wanted us to move. But as we shared last year, every step after that one was very unclear. The house BUYING process was really hard and filled with a lot of second-guessing and back tracking. God gave us winter before the spring in a very real way. There were so many moments that one of us wanted to walk away from the short sale. It often felt like the wrong decision, and we had no idea if we’d ever receive an answer. Finally unlocking the door to our new home was a moment of such relief and joy.

Throughout 2018, we were continually shifting from one season to another in our home, in our work, with Darcy, and with the actual seasons. We grew and adjusted, and at the end of the year, we were so grateful for each of those seasons and where they brought us. So when God put the word Pursue on my heart for this year, I really wanted to pick something else. Pursue sounds so active… so exhausting…. But I am also excited to see how much GROWTH will come from a word like Pursue. Let’s do this, 2019!

Top 18 in 2018

It’s a shiny new year, but before we shut the door on 2018, we have one more recap post. Each year we share favorite moments: our top 15 in 2015top 16 in 2016, top 17 in 2017, and now our top 18 in 2018. Here they are in roughly chronological order:

1. Booking our Disney trip - just a couple more weeks now!

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2. Darcy's dedication at church

3. Reading all the Harry Potter books back to back

4. Ryan started working in business intelligence

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5. Girls' weekend in Asheville

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6. Saying goodbye to our little yellow house - we loved it but we were excited to move on!

7. Walking through our short sale for the first time

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8. Living with my parents for 125 days - Darcy got to spend so much time with them!

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9. Showing Darcy that playing in sand is fun - this one took some work!

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10. SUP yoga - and holding crow pose on the paddleboard JUST long enough for a photo

11. Lots of fun new things for CGP: new venues, shooting a 2nd wedding for the same family, and two print features!

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12. Finally getting the keys to our new home

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13. Watching Darcy play with his dinosaur tail

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14. Darcy's birthday

15. Uncle Jon's visit

16. Lucas Family visit

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17. Meeting Darcy's cousin - I'm an aunt!

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18. Celebrating Christmas with Darcy - he actually understands it this year!



If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
2018 Best of Weddings
2018 Best of Engagements
2018 Best of Ring Shots
Behind the Scenes 2018

Ringing in the New Year: Our Favorite 2018 Ring Shots

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Happy New Year! Post-Christmas winter sometimes gives me the blues, but then I remind myself that it’s engagement season! And on top of that, it’s booking season for us at CGP! We get inquiries all year round, but most of our bookings come each year between January and March, because as soon as our couples put a ring on it, they jump right into the planning! No long engagements for CGP couples!

Since just about everybody seems to get engaged this time of year, it’s only fitting that we RING in the new year with our favorite ring shots from 2018!

Are you newly engaged and planning your wedding? We are booking 2019 weddings now, so drop us an email to say hello and see if we're available for your wedding day!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
2018 Best of Weddings
2018 Best of Engagements
Behind the Scenes 2018

Merry Christmas!

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It’s Christmas Eve! I hope you’re as full of Christmas cookies and hot chocolate as we are! We’ll be rocking our pajamas for most of today, reading all of our Christmas books a dozen more times, and baking Jesus a birthday cake!

Merry Christmas to you and yours! We’ll be back in the CGP office after the New Year, but check back next Monday for our favorite ring shots of 2018!

Behind the Scenes 2018

Behind the Scenes and bloopers… it’s one of my favorite posts of the year! Enjoy a small glimpse of what it would be like to follow us around on a wedding day!

We get in each other’s way a lot!

In spite of having lots of ideas to pose our couples, I never seem to know what to do for lighting test shots.

After collecting all the photos for this post, I realized that I only wore 2 dresses to all of this year’s weddings. And they’re pretty much identical. (I also have it in black!)

Sometimes, you don’t always get the perfect background for engagement sessions.

Ryan has a good time at weddings, I promise!

This face is proof that I say stupid things when I’m shooting. I can’t believe I’m sharing this one!

Love her!

Two exciting things that happened this year were having a styled shoot featured in the Coastal Virginia Bride Magazine and receiving a charger award at the ILEA Gala. The votes were tied for Mike Dragon and me, which I consider a big honor, because Mike is an amazing photographer!

Our Favorite 2018 Wedding Photos

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What an amazing wedding season 2018 was! We saw tearful first looks, gorgeous mix and match bridesmaids dresses, delicious cakes & pies, and so many beautiful details handcrafted by our couples and their families! This wedding season took us to some really gorgeous venues, like the Norfolk Botanical Garden, the Chrysler Museum of Art, CNU, and Fort Monroe! And I know that I say this every year (but it’s TRUE), we work with the kindest couples in the world! They invest in us, not just as vendors, but as people and friends. They ask our advice on their timeline and logistics, and they are SO EXCITED for their sunset portraits, which we love!

I love winding down the year by looking back at all of our favorite shots. Cheers, 2018! It’s been a good one!

Enjoy our Best of 2018: Weddings!

Coming next Monday… Behind the Scenes and Bloopers!

Are you newly engaged and planning your wedding? We are booking 2019 weddings now, so drop us an email to say hello and see if we're available for your wedding day!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
2018 Best of Weddings
2018 Best of Engagements