Hey gurlfriend, where you at?

I generally dislike blog posts where the purpose is to say why you haven’t been blogging…but this is one of those so… LET’S GO. IMG_1110First of all, it’s wedding season. We are up to our ears in wedding-y goodness. It’s the best. We jam at receptions.

It’s also the biggest reason the blogging has been inconsistent. So much to edit. SO much. Side note: the other day while taking this picture, I accidentally set 2 miniature ponies and a goat free.IMG_1336oops…David & Audrey Raws in order1870

It’s SUMMER friends!! Which naturally means I needed to find a ride and a funnel cake. Check and check! A night at Start of Summer Celebration is always good for the soul. IMG_1348 IMG_1305I’ve been wearing a lot of black and white…shocker.IMG_1442The humidity this summer has been making my hair feel like this…#throwback.

IMG_1278In the past week that Finding Dory has been out I’ve seen it twice and don’t think I’m done. Disney & Pixar does it again. If you need something to do tonight, you’ve found your answer.

Here are two things to convince you to go..

  1. It starts with an adorable Pixar short of this darling little birdie named Piper 🙂IMG_8552
  2. Watch this clip and tell me you still don’t want to see it.

This past week took an unfortunate turn and I was admitted to the hospital. It was minor and I am home now, but it was a great reminder of the Lord’s faithfulness. My health has improved so greatly in the last two years and I have a job that lets me work from home. My worst fear, for the last two years, has been being in the hospital over the weekend of a wedding. Well folks, it happened and ya know what? The Lord was faithful. He provided three lovely ladies (Gabby, Allie and Mom, you da real MVP) who stepped up and carried my business when I couldn’t. What sweet joy comes from knowing we serve a Father who cares about the details. While they were out shooting for me…this was mostly happening.

Oh! I also bought a label maker.IMG_1353Well, thats it for today friends! I hope you enjoy your week!FullSizeRendersignature-1

Why I read multiple books at once…

thumb_IMG_0114_1024I used to read a single book at a time. I didn’t understand how people could be reading more than one book at a time. How can they focus? How can they ever finish one? How do they have enough time for that?


My perspective has changed and I now love reading more than one book at a time. A few weeks ago, I posted a photo on Instagram showing 4 of the 6 books I’m was reading at the time. Here are a few thoughts on why I read several books at a time, and why I think you should too!

 

I’m not always in the same mood.

I don’t often have the time to sit down and read a whole book in one sitting. So, if I’m breaking it up over time it’s likely that I will be in a different mood the next time I sit down to read. I may be thinking about something different. I may want something more light-hearted. I may want something deeper. If I am only reading one book at a time and I am in the mood for something different, I typically don’t read at all. Having options, allows me to pick up something that matches my mood and get sucked in. I find that if I’m reading multiple books I read more frequently, and typically enjoy them more.

 

I think some books are best absorbed over time.

Good coffee is brewed one drip at a time and some books are the same. Some lessons are best learned over time. Some principles are more effectively implemented over time. I do this a lot with Timothy Keller. I will read only two or three pages in each sitting because I want to take time to fully absorb what he is saying. If I read a book quickly I often forget key parts of it’s message.

 

Reading multiple things at once can often make you see all of them in a different light. The first time I read “Make It Happen” by Lara Casey I loved it. I read it by itself on vacation and had several takeaways from it that really helped my business. However, a few weeks ago, I re-read it much slower. At the same time I was reading “Counterfeit Gods” by Timothy Keller. It honestly made “Make It Happen” feel like a completely new book. These two messages side-by-side flattered each other so well. Instead of Lara’s message being about making your dreams come true (the way I read it the first time) her message about having your heart in the right place and your priorities straight shined through. It definitely was a much more impactful when read the second time around through the eyes of another book.
What about you?
What are you currently reading? Do you prefer reading multiple books at a time? Comment below and we can chat!

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Happy Thoughts…

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  1. Birds chirping in the morning
  2. A cool breeze
  3. Colorful pens
  4. Fresh Flowers
  5. Eating dinner outside
  6. Twinkle lights
  7. Driving with my windows down
  8. Sweet tea
  9. Polka dots
  10. Grocery shopping

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Oh T-Shirt Dresses….

katie grace photography, grand rapids michigan wedding_1569Oh T-Shirt dresses…how I love you.  You are my favorite type of clothing and I would wear you every single day.  You are comfy, casual, effortless, and stylish. katie grace photography, grand rapids michigan wedding_1570 katie grace photography, grand rapids michigan wedding_1564 katie grace photography, grand rapids michigan wedding_1567 katie grace photography, grand rapids michigan wedding_1568 katie grace photography, grand rapids michigan wedding_1565 katie grace photography, grand rapids michigan wedding_1566//Dress//Jacket//Shoes//

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Springtime Picnics

katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0697 With it finally being springtime I have been enjoying spending more time outside!  This is especially fun when it involves my nieces and nephews!  We had so much fun having a picnic (…of Wendy’s! Ha! I love me some chicken nuggets!) at the park on one of the first nice days! katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0701  katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0699 Caleb tried entertaining Hunter.  Hunter was not amused.  katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0698 Hudson got a little giggle out of him and then pulled his “model face” out. katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0703Love his little baby feet!  katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0702Looking at me like I’m cray, then looking around to see if anyone else noticing! Ha!  katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0706 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0707

I love Logan’s little hair!!  He kills me! katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0708 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0704 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0700 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0705 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0710 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0709signature-1

Trend Magazine – Featured

katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0730 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0727 It’s no secret around here that I’m a little bit obsessed with Instagram. What started as a fun social media outlet has become crucial for my business.  It has connected me with brides and other business owners, and even helped me find a few new friends. katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0731 Instagram is an incredibly powerful tool when leveraged correctly.  On top of all that, it’s just plain fun.  Curating a feed, capturing life moments, and sharing them…I’m all about it.  That is why I was thrilled when Trend Magazine reached out to me asking me to write an article about my use of Instagram.  Yes please! katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0726 I chose to write about the community behind Instagram because it is something that has so personally affected me.  It’s crazy to me how big a blessing this community has been in the past two years. katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0728 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0732

Trend, it is a lifestyle publication that is designed to inspire and encourage.  You can read more about Trend and their beautiful mission here.  I was so honored to be featured on the cover and have my article included in the April edition of Trend.  If you are interested in reading more, you can grab your printed copy or digital download here!  katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0729signature-1

25 Things I’ve Learned About Traveling

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I have officially been bitten by the travel bug! I have been home from my last trip for 3 weeks and I am itching to plan my next one! I didn’t start traveling much until I started my business. We took vacations as a family off and on growing up, and often drove to visit our relatives but we were never really the adventurous type. I am so grateful to have a job where traveling can be involved! Between workshops, shoots, and “just for fun” trips I have traveled 6 times in the last year. This may not seem like much to some people, but to me it feels like a lot! I have loved every second of it! Granted, there have been some highly stressful days mixed in there, and not-so-fun experiences, but even in those times I still love that I am out trying and experiencing and seeing new things!

Traveling while I was growing up was always exciting but stressful! Packing, planning, and the actual travel was all very overwhelming to me. Don’t even get me started on airport security. Now I am happy to say that I’m not often stressed during any of those steps! My mom and I have found a rhythm with travel and it’s quickly become one of my very favorite things. With all that being said, today I thought I would share 25 things I’ve learned about traveling in the past year!

  1. No plans are the best plans. You may be thinking, huh? But I’m serious! My absolute favorite trips have been the ones where we kept plans to a minimum. When we went to Charleston in the fall I had two days at Creative @ Heart planned, and the rest of the trip we just played it by ear. We quickly realized that it is easier to plan once you are already in the city. Restaurants that you find in person are often better than the ones you saw on Instagram. You never know what kind of things you will stumble upon if you stop trying to stick to a timeline. This also reduces the stress level of the trip by a WIDE margin. Did it take you longer to get somewhere? No problem! Need an iced tea? Let’s find one! Forgot your toothbrush? Hey, let’s run by Walgreens! Having no plans keeps you cool as a cucumber!
  2. Be flexible! If you are determined to have plans, try to take it easy if things change. In a new environment it’s impossible to predict every possibility, so take a deep breath and take it in stride!
  3. Hotels.com is the bomb.com. Save yourself the hassle of looking at hotel websites and just go straight to Hotels.com! On our drive to Charleston we weren’t sure if we would want to stop and spend the night somewhere so we decided to make the decision when we started getting tired. Somewhere in West Virginia, we decided we were going to spend the night in North Carolina and I hopped on the app and booked us a hotel…only to realize I booked it for the wrong night. A quick call to customer service and they had my date switched in no time! Not to mention your 10th night is always free!thumb_IMG_3287_1024
  4. Backpacks are the way to go! Having your hands free is the BEST. After always traveling with a purse, I bought a backpack with me to Florida and felt like I should be doing cartwheels in the airport. It was awesome.FullSizeRender-6
  5. It’s worth flying Delta purely for the cookies. Have you had them?? I’m not kidding when I say I hoard them. Savor every bite and do not settle for the pretzels they try to give you!
  6. Do everything in your power to not have a carry on suitcase (especially if you are traveling alone!!). Why pay the fee when you can have a carry on suitcase? I’ll tell ya why! They are annoying!! They are tiring to drag around all day, obnoxious to get up into an overhead bin, and..and…did I mention they are annoying? I stand by this even more if you are traveling alone. Have you ever tried fitting into a tiny airport bathroom stall with a suitcase? Don’t look at me like that, I know you have!FullSizeRender-3
  7. There is no reason to stand up right when they say “now boarding…”. You aren’t going to take off any sooner! I’m just saying! I always giggle slightly when they start boarding first class and everyone stands up. That line moves so slow!! Why waste the energy?
  8. Comfy shoes…fo realz. When everyone in the world reminds you to pack comfy shoes you should probably trust them.
  9. Sometimes it’s worth it to pay for convenience (i.e. Why I don’t take red-eyes). I used to think that the cheapest option was always the best and I’ve found that (at least for me) this isn’t always the case. I used to love the idea of a red eye, they are often cheaper, you sleep on the flight and get an extra day added to your trip right? Wrong. I am not particularly fun to be around after I have been on a red eye. Finding your terminal during your 2am layover in an airport you’ve never been to is not my cup of tea. I do sleep easily on planes, but in my experience you spend more time “traveling” then you do zonked out on the plane. Not to mention the nutrition I get through my feeding tube runs during the night which you can’t bring through airport security. So now you have me, awake all night, with no nutrition…this is not worth it to me. I also used to consider myself a master at finding cheap hotels. Then I would get to hotel and it would be (1.) not particularly clean or good smelling, (2.) suuuupper far away from the area I wanted to be in and (3.) not have a continental breakfast.
  10. Continental breakfast FOR THE WIN.FullSizeRender-1
  11. Pack less. I go over this with myself every single time and every single time I overpack. When traveling less really is more. I now prefer to pack fewer, more versatile pieces. (My dad is probably laughing at me as he is proof reading this post because he endlessly mocks me for overpacking! Hi Dad! I promise I’m learning!)
  12. You will fill your suitcase so use a smaller suitcase. I used to pack entirely in a carry-on and somehow in Florida I hit exactly 50lbs in a massive suitcase. Reign it in Katie, reign it in.
  13. You don’t read as much as you think you do. You just don’t. One book is plenty! If you finish it and need another one get one at the airport, download it on your phone, or stop at a drugstore! You don’t need to pack a whole library!
  14. Little Bibles are great. Along the same lines, I used to always bring my study Bible. That baby is huge and weighs a ton! I felt stressed about not bringing it though because the study notes are so helpful and I have a lot underlined. But here is the thing, it’s not the study notes or what I have underlined that matters. It’s the actual word of God. Study notes are great but you don’t need them all the time! Especially not when you are trying to keep a suitcase under 50lbs. I now have a smaller Bible that is lightweight and I have really enjoyed traveling with it. If I mark something in it I now put the date next to it. When I look through it now it is a reminder of what the Lord was teaching me on each trip! You also could just stick with an Iphone app if this works for you…I have a distraction issue if I get on my phone so small Bible it is!FullSizeRender-7
  15. Keep track of your phone charger. Just do it or you will end up spending $30 on one in an airport even though you bought the exact same one at Target last month for $9.FullSizeRender-5
  16. Research traffic before you go. This also should come into play when deciding on a hotel. Turns out in Seattle 13 miles = One hour and twenty-four minutes. katie grace photography, grand rapids michigan wedding_1562
  17. Traditions are cheesy but fun.
  18. It’s okay to spend more money on something than you would at home. Aside from the phone charger that I am still bitter about, I have found that sometimes it’s okay to buy overpriced things. I have some little things from Denver, Traverse City, Etc that were more than I would spend on it at home but SO worth the memories.
  19. But it’s not okay to spent too much money on something you don’t actually want. The way I draw the line here is by asking myself “would I buy this if I found it in Grand Rapids”. It’s easy to feel “in the moment” and justify something, but if you don’t see yourself getting lots of use/wear out of it at home put it down and walk away.thumb_IMG_2120_1024
  20. Don’t feel bad staying in the hotel. The biggest thing I’ve realized that I didn’t expect is to not overdo it on trips just because you are there. It’s easy to stay out late, wake up early, and push yourself past your limits because you’re “only there for a week!!”, but it’s not worth it in the long run. If I stay up late I may have fun for the night, but I’ll be whopped the next morning and not enjoy that day as much. My mom and I have spent lots of night eating dinner in our hotel room, watching fixer upper, and going to bed early and that is OKAY! Some may call us lame, but I would argue that it is a good thing sometimes! While I was in Disney last month I wasn’t feeling well one afternoon and had to go back to the hotel. At Disney. Was it a bummer?  Yes. (a big, huge, whopping big bummer). But was it worth it to be able to feel better the next day? Yes.thumb_MGZC3987_1024
  21. Stop being a hipster and just go to Starbucks. I am all for trying new coffee shops, but I’ve realized that when I’m traveling I just want good ol’ reliable coffee. I will try new foods, experiences, etc, but I just want to trust my coffee. Oh Starbucks, you never let me downIMG_0320
  22. Being alone is okay sometimes, peaceful even. I have flown by myself twice in the last year and the first time was mega stressful (mostly because it was a last minute change of plans) but last month I really enjoyed it! It was kind of peaceful being alone. I could read, work, and just enjoy the quiet! I thought I wouldn’t like it but I was wrong!Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
  23. It’s okay to visit the same place multiple times. People always say “but haven’t you already been there?” To which I would say “YEAH, BUT DISNEY IS AWESOME!!”. If you find a place you like, go back! Enjoy it again! Going to new places is great to, but don’t let that hold you back from visiting your favorites again!
  24. Be present where you are. AKA put down your phone. This is something I am still working on. With my love of photography I often want to capture everything all the time, and sometimes it’s okay to put the camera down, step away from the phone, and just be in the moment.IMG_0318 
  25. There’s no place like home. And no bed like your own bed.

 

Now you tell me!
What are some things you have learned about traveling?

Transitioning to Spring

katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0652 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0653With the change of weather comes a change of attire!  Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons to dress for because you can layer and style things without being too hot or too cold.  For spring, I’m swapping snow boots for ankle boots and fleece lined leggings for lightweight linen.  Today’s look is a go-to for lightweight layers!  katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0654 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0655 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0656 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0657 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0658//Jacket//Top: BP, Similar//Pants: Gap, Similar//Ankle Boots: ASOS, Similar //Bag//

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FLORIDA

In April I had the blessing of joining my friend Kirsten’s family in Florida for a week!  We. Had. So. Much. Fun.  Traveling by itself is fun.  It’s even better with your best friend.  We were so excited for the trip that anytime we texted about it we put “Florida” in all caps. Hence, the title of this blog post.  Laughter, sun, sand, and 2 days at Disney, what more could you want? NOTHING!  It was so nice to get away for a week of rest right before heading into a busy wedding season!

When Matt Damon photobombs your picture…

Of course the trip involved lots of Target, ice cream and Starbucks.katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0630

We were just a little excited for Disney!

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Processed with VSCO with c1 presetSelfie with a storm trooper.

And then I cried “wee wee wee” all the way back home!signature-1

Wednesday Rambles…I’m 20!

Happy Wednesday folks!
I have been quite enjoying writing my Wednesday Rambles posts so I thought I would keep going with them.  It’s fun to feel like I’m just casually chatting with you.  So here is what’s on my mind today.

p.s. how cute is this wheel cover my Dad gave me for my birthday?

I turned 20!  What the what?!?  

So weird!!  Does this mean I have to change my “about me” page to say “I’m a twenty-something….”?  On my birthday, I was telling my Mom that I think I’m going to feel 18 years old forever.  I think this is because I started by business when I was 18, and I still feel like a new business owner.  The craziest part about being 20 isn’t being 20, it’s that I’ve been in business for almost 2 years!  I so did not expect this all when I shot my first wedding 2 months after turning 18.   I’m not a teenage business owner anymore. I feel a little sad about it.

The travel itch.

 In the last 2 years I’ve traveled more than I ever thought I would.  I am so grateful for the opportunity.   I have truly fallen in love with traveling and I am itching to plan my next trip.  While I probably won’t take my next trip for a while, I’m always interested in good travel ideas.  Where have you been lately?  Any places I must visit?

I think I’m gradually becoming a neat freak

…and I don’t hate it.  Although I am pretty messy by nature, it has always bothered me.  When I walk into a messy room, I instantly feel stressed.  Recently, this has been taken to a new extreme.  If there is a single pen out of place on my desk I have to move it!  I have to tell you, I think I’m okay with this.  It’s helping me create new habits and I feel like I’m being more productive during my workdays.  Maybe it’s all in my head!  Either way, a clean room is always a good thing.

It finally feels like Spring!! 

YIPEE! The weather in Michigan is finally warming up it and instantly makes me want to get out and take pictures! I loved soaking up every second of sunshine I could on shoots this weekend!

 

Tell me what’s on your mind today?  Leave a comment and we can chat!

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