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beauties

For the past few weeks, I have been doing a ton of portrait shoots, editing, and print orders. I absolutely love it! Portraits are so fun for me! After almost ten {!!!!!} years of shooting weddings {with portraits mixed in as well, of course}, I get less excited about weddings these days, and more excited about the freedom and control I have during portrait sessions.

Here is an image from a print order I am working on for my beautiful friend Rhonda. This is her, her adorable niece, and her gorgeous sister.

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Rhonda is the wife of my boss John. For the past few years, I have been blessed with a great job working as the office manager for John and my other boss, Peter. They are both so kind and laid back. Rhonda has a heart of pure gold, and I am so happy that I’ve had the chance to get to know her.

~abi~

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Kelly BeaneDecember 6, 2010 - 4:07 am

Wow, beautiful photo!

gift ideas

I am an avid fan of Twitter. As my pastor, Scott Williams, says, “Twitter is like a river.” Basically, he means that you don’t have to try to read every tweet by every person you follow, but just catch some of the info as it flows by.

Yesterday, I noticed a tweet posted by Promise Tangeman, a very cool chick who designs, photographs, and creates awesome art. She posted about giving gifts this season that give back. Today, I headed over to her blog and checked out her list. I thought it was pretty great, so I thought I’d share it here with you:

Promise Tangeman’s Christmas Gift Guide 2010!! 10 Gifts That Give Back

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finer with age

Today is the first day of the last month in my twenties. Not to be too dramatic about it, but–never mind, let’s just be dramatic about this! It’s my last month in my twenties!!! I am so excited about this!

Yep, you read that right. I am thrilled to be on the cusp of turning thirty. See, I have this theory about aging. Let’s take a moment to think about all the beautiful, successful female celebrities of today. {Yes, I am basing my theory on celebrities. Yes, I realize the shallowness of this.} The majority of my “favorite” female celebs are all in their thirties or older. And what’s more, many of them have been around for awhile, and it is my opinion that they have only improved with age. {Some of my faves: Kate Hudson, Rachel McAdams, Gwen Stefani, Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker…}

Okay, okay…so they have access to the finest physical trainers, dietitians, dermatologists, etc.–not to mention, ahem, plastic surgeons. Let’s just ignore those facts and let me live in my happy little world, where turning thirty means that I will become more toned, taut, and beautiful; my career will skyrocket; and I will marry a hot younger man–or be fabulously single.

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{this is me, today}

Ahhh, turning thirty looks pretty sweet to me. Bring it on, December 31, 2010! Happy birth month to me!

~abi~

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AlexDecember 1, 2010 - 6:38 pm

Hahahaha I laughed through this whole post because it's just so cute :). I must agree with you though, all of my favorite celebrities are 30s up. Happy last month of your 20s!

Scott WilliamsDecember 2, 2010 - 5:47 am

Nice post… Thirty is the new (you know the saying).

Cool pics… Both are cool but diggin' the one on the right.

Keep doing what you do, believing in yourself, stay focussed and your career is going to skyrocket. :)

RobinDecember 2, 2010 - 3:46 pm

Oh, girl. You are awesome at any age!! And believe me, it only gets better! Keep being His light and love. (And I'm still believing your man is out there being prepared for YOU right now!) Love you.

Steve RDecember 8, 2010 - 4:49 pm

Glad you're looking forward to ur 30's. They have been the best years of my life so far (3 1/2 years in).

You joked about your career, personal life taking off, etc., but you might be surprised…alot of great things happen after 30. And being eager to see what lies in store is a great way to enter the coming decade.

Best wishes for an extraordinary year!

cirlce of life, love, family

Last week, I left Oklahoma around 1:00pm to make the oh-so-familiar drive up I35 to Iowa. I have driven that route so many times in my life that I could navigate it in my sleep. And sometimes I do. ;)

Thursday was Thanksgiving Day, and it dawned cold and clear in Iowa. My mom’s side of the family gathered at a local church, as we have been doing the past several years…ever since we outgrew my grandparents’ farm house. We always form a {giant} circle before we eat. We count how many are there, and then we pray. It is a sweet, sweet tradition, and I know every single one of my relatives would agree in saying that The Circle is a special place with a special feeling of love and safety and family.

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{my grandparents are on the left above}

This year there were fifty-five people in The Circle. I believe a few more may have come in later. This represents only my mom’s parents’ direct descendants. Just them, their ten children, their grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Oh, and the fifty-five people there weren’t even a full showing. We’re a large family.

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Of course, after we pray, we eat.

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{My aunt Cindy baked this delicious pie! I ate a piece before I even fixed a plate of food. Because that’s how I roll. And that’s why I roll…}

Before and after the meal, there are always multiple games of Rook going on around the room. My grandpa is better at Rook than your grandpa. My nine year old cousin is better at Rook than you are.

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After the meal, I conducted an impromptu engagement session for my sweet cousin Anna and her fiance Michael. They braved the cold and totally rocked it for our quick shoot. It doesn’t hurt that they are adorable and completely and happily in love.

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To say that I had a wonderful Thanksgiving would be an understatement. I missed my dad’s side of the family, because I had to get back for a wedding here on Saturday. But I did stop and see my grandma {dad’s mom} on my way out of town, and she gave me a bag filled with homemade cookies and zucchini bread, to enjoy on the drive home. I love my family!!!

Hope you have all recovered from the holiday weekend. :)

~abi~

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jaredwanzerphotographyNovember 30, 2010 - 6:06 pm

I really like Michaels coat I think I want one ha.
Great pictures!

Kelly BeaneDecember 1, 2010 - 3:03 am

Sweet times and photos!

CaseyDecember 1, 2010 - 4:41 am

Love The Circle! What a sweet family you have!

AnonymousDecember 1, 2010 - 8:00 pm

I feel honored that my pie made your blog! cindy

Best Military storiesOctober 24, 2011 - 5:32 am

Its really great to spend the time with our dear ones. The images are really good.

Oklahoma has coolness to offer

So, if you are looking for a good read this week, I’ve got a great recommendation for you. Head over to one of my favorite blogs, Jeremy & Kathleen, and check out Kathleen’s riveting tale of their Everest Base Camp Trek.

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Kathleen is an excellent writer and illustrator. She is living, blogging proof that Oklahoma is capable of producing some of the coolest people on this planet! I am warning you now, her blog is addictive!

~abi~

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And KathleenNovember 29, 2010 - 6:24 pm

Aw, shucks! Thanks, Abi!