December 26, 2014

>> End of the Year Review and Christmas All in One!

So much has happened this year I don't think there is really any way to remember it all. 
The newest change is that I am now spending most of my time in Iowa at college.

Obviously that means I graduated from high school. That was definitely a highlight... and for some crazy reason I decided to go back to school for another 4 years.

I'm not going to spend ages and ages telling all about my year. I'll just let you sift through the pictures and see for yourself.

Now I'm off to go spend time with the family. 

Merry Christmas!

My wonderful year started right off with Hannah.
You've seen her on my blog many times before because we happen to be great friends!

She has such a cute little laugh!

The end-of-the-year post is often one of my favorites because this is when I get to share all those random pictures that I love, but they don't really fit in most posts, so I just let them "gather dust" in my computer.

I'm always excited when I get to take some pictures of my brother... especially when he's in his firefighter gear. 

In May I had the amazing opportunity to second shoot my very first wedding with Jessica Lauren Photography. I had no clue that by the end of the year I would have photographed two more!

As far as traveling goes, I guess I did my fair share.

I visited a few midwestern states in the spring. 
Driving to Iowa gave lots of opportunities to sight-see. I shot my first destination wedding in Minnesota. 

And then there's the flight HOME - I always love that one.
There were several spontaneous trips up to the mountains this summer to explore and see what we could find.

This session ranks pretty high on my list of favorite sessions.
First, Abby is super cute.
And second. There was a ukulele involved
and third, it was golden hour.

Yup. It was great!

This is one of my favorite places in the history of ever.
Yes sir... this little desk is where I do all of my editing, designing, and dreaming.

Miss Hannah graced the blog with her presence TWICE and I'm so thankful!

Guys, she is going to graduate in just a few months and I'm so excited for her! She's pretty excited too and to celebrate the momentous occasion we decided to have a coffee date/photo shoot.

Dakota >> August

Another girl that you've probably seen a lot of. This was another coffee date/photoshoot. Except this one also included Hannah.

Scott and Rachelle >> August Wedding

I second shot this wedding two days before I left for college. Thankfully, I had some time on my hands on the way to college and spent most of my travel time editing....or sleeping. :) 

Mount Rushmore was a stop on the way to college. Apparently I've been there before... but since I was too little to remember we stopped again!

Erin and Thomas >> September

I shot this wedding in Minnesota during the very beginning of college.
Because it was my first wedding AND my first destination wedding I was especially excited!

It was a dreamy wedding with the reception in the family's beautiful barn!

Unfortunately, at college I didn't take very many just-for-fun pictures. Most of them were of sports or activities at school. Next semester I will try to do better. 

Maybe. ;)

Bethany >> November 

Bowling during thanksgiving break with friends and family is never a bad idea...just don't expect me to win. :)

Stephanie >> December

"I'lllll be hooooome for Christmas!"

This song (especially the version sung by Josh Groban) *might* have been on repeat in my room for around 3 weeks before Christmas break. 

maybe. ;)

Flying always requires coffee. ;)  
...and this time my layover also included a spontaneous redesign of my blog.
Not much, just a few things here and there. You'll understand why soon.

And then I was HOME!

And here's when the post turns to Christmas thoughts...

During a conversation at lunch, one of my friends at college posed the question:

"What if Joseph hadn't trusted the angel?"

Everyone listening stopped and thought about it a minute. What if Joseph hadn't trusted him?
God would have worked it out for good, but it would have been so different.

Someone else then piped up and said, "But He did! And see what happened!!"

And they are so right! Just look what happened!
A baby....not JUST a baby, but a Savior was born! Then that Savior, Jesus, died on the cross... and that is the real reason behind Christmas. 
Don't get me wrong, it is a celebration of his birth... but it is also a celebration of his life, his death and his resurrection!

And that's what Christmas is all about!
Merry CHRISTmas!

Anna Rose

November 27, 2014

>> Even if not...God is still good >> Thanksgiving 2014

"to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. 
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever." 
PSALM 30:12

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
This thanksgiving has been very different than my other Thanksgivings. 
Last year, I was in Pennsylvania...and this year I'm deep in northern Minnesota. 
I would share some fall pictures with you all, but I took a little walk today and took these and since it IS Minnesota and it's *basically* winter, there is snow. 

It's also cold. 
On my walk I looked at the thermometer and it said it was somewhere below zero, and in my book, if it's below zero in my book it no longer matters HOW MUCH below zero it's just cold.
BUT, all that being said, I am so thankful for a warm house. I'm thankful for the wood that is heating this house and I'm thankful for the family that is filling this house. Although I'm not *home* I am home because I am with family.

At college, sometimes it is challenging to be thankful, not going to lie. 
There are many early mornings and late nights when I wish that I was sleeping, but God is good and He has been teaching me much through these little challenges.

He has been teaching me that whatever happens, He is still good.
One of my favorite quotes this semester has been "And if not...He is still good." It's easy to focus on MY dreams and MY plans and I sometimes forget that maybe God's plans for me are different. 

Something a friend has reminded me of is that God's plans for my life are so far superior to my own that I can't even begin to dream of them. 
And so to sum that all up, I am thankful for God's goodness. I try and struggle to be thankful when God sends us hard times, because He loves us, even though it can be hard.
But whatever happens, God is good.

That is just a little glimpse of what God has been teaching me to be thankful for.

What has God been teaching you to be thankful for?

-Anna Rose