annie agarwal photography | Buford, Georgia Photographer »

Rearrange Your Perspective

Anyone else attempt random projects while their spouse is out of town?

In the past I’ve rearranged furniture, painted brown doors aqua, redone our master bedroom and hung new art on the walls. All the walls. In every room. 

The past 7 days, while Rahul and Collin were in Mexico was no different. We painted Eden’s room from dingy tan to crisp white, hung tropical wallpaper in her alcove, took a van full of boxes to Goodwill, moved a couch from the main level to the basement – which included taking down a door (I don’t mess around) and mowed the yard. Twice. 

I think these projects are partly to keep myself busy so I don’t think about how badly I’m missing my crew, but they also seem to mask a lot of worry that’s deep down inside. 

So, while I always enjoy the accomplishments that are visible at the end of these trips, I don’t want to ever slip by with so much busyness that I forget to sit down with my Savior and trust what He is doing.

Trust that He’s got my husband and son in His hands, that He’s protecting and encouraging their weary hearts and bodies while they serve, that He’s changing lives through the way they love others. And trusting that while the rest of us are here, He can still show up and use random phone calls from new friends to remind us we aren’t forgotten, that He can take an afternoon of painting and strengthen a mother daughter relationship and that He can replace worry with peace.

And just like always, He did not disappoint. Growth and stretching both physically and spiritually happened. My quiet more introverted son stepped out of his comfort zone into the role of dependable leader and consistent encourager. And my husband got to lead students again, using his bright personality to shine into the darkness when it was tough, investing in the next generation and leading them closer to Jesus. 

So while a few rooms look different in our home after this trip, what’s even greater is the change that happened inside, as we were all reminded to give it to Jesus each morning, leaving the results safely in the hands of The One who loves us the most! 

Praise be to God for how He showed up this week!

redefining Thursdays

Thursday’s are no digital days in our house this summer. Tvs are off. Devices are tucked away. Fort Nite and Minecraft and YouTube can wait. 
We sleep in. Eat brunch. Work in the yard. Go to the pool. Play board games and card games, ping pong and 4 square. Eden and Matthan create their own recipes. The older boys get lost in books. 
It’s like a reset for our souls- even for just one day. 
There’s less stress. More laughter. More cooperative and pleasant responses from our kids.
Yes, it took some getting used to, but the constant barrage of information overloads our hearts, scrolling and playing makes us short with one another and keeps us looking down at a screen, not into one another’s eyes. 
I know it isn’t feasible to leave it all behind forever (although I’m willing to give it a go sometimes), but removing it for a day, well it builds relationships, creates memories, gives me a chance to talk and learn more about my children. 
The atmosphere in our home feels different. I feel different. 
I’m loving Thursdays. They may actually become my new favorite day. 
Any other brave families trying a digital detox this summer? If so, I’d love to know how it’s going!

The Ludewig Family || gwinnett family photographer

“We are mirrors whose brightness is wholly derived from the sun that shines upon us.” – C.S Lewis

When Jennifer contacted me about capturing her family, I was so honored. I have seen them in the halls of our church and have had the pleasure of chatting with her during a women’s leader gathering- but now I would have the privilege of watching her family interact in front of my camera. I was incredibly excited!

We met up on a frigid Georgia day and though the sun certainly decided to show off, the cold remained.
But stronger than the chill, was the connection between these 4 and so much joy– joy that was clearly spilling out from deep within!

Smiles and giggles abounded, hugs and snuggles were natural and there was a sense of adventure that made our time together come alive.

They weren’t afraid of playing and exploring and allowing real moments to unfold.
And when the girls tossed leaves, eyes twinkled and magic happened.

But not just with the girls. For when I turned around, I found Jennifer and Matt, enjoying a sweet moment too!

Then the family snuggle. It melts my heart every time.
Everyone wrapped up together:  cozy, safe, cherished.
It’s the comfortableness of this moment that allows personalities to shine! And 10 years down the road, when these girls aren’t able (or interested) to climb into laps, they’ll have this- a reminder of this season. A season that slipped away far too quickly, but one that was full of energy, laughter and so much love! 

And goodness, I could not leave out these delightful sisters- who brought all the cuteness and charm.
Their relationship is far too precious for words. It made me smile just as much as it brought tears to my eyes, thinking about how precious they will be to one another as they grow over the years!

Finally, as light was turning to dusk, we focused for a few moments on the love which started this family story,
the two who infuse joy and hope into the hearts of their girls, the ones who lead them well and point them to the true source of Light. This love is always worthy of capturing.

Thank you Ludewigs, for trusting me to capture your family story-for opening your hearts and your lives- and for the immense joy you brought into mine.

 

christmas minis are coming || session inspiration

Goodness how I love this time of year!
The holidays are upon us, we’re pulling out lots of decorations and we’re thinking about the Christmas cards we’ll soon be mailing!

Which means: our Christmas Mini Session dates are about to be announced!!

In honor of the most wonderful time of the year, I wanted to give you a little wardrobe inspiration as you start thinking about how to dress your sweet family, so you’re picture perfect!

This color palette pulls from the floral dress that would be perfect for big sister! The tones are then repeated in solid pieces for the rest of the family.
Layering with scarves, adding accessories and keeping it complimentary (without being too matchy) are all great rules of thumb when building your session wardrobe.

I’ve linked each piece below, in case this look gives you all the heart eyes!

And of course, follow us on Instagram and Facebook for the release of our mini session availability!

Dad’s Look: 

Sweater
Jeans
Shoes

Mom’s Look: 

Sweater
Pants
Scarf
Earrings

Big Sister’s Look: 

Dress
Velvet Bow Headband
Glitter Ballet Flats

Little Sister’s Look: 

Sweater
Velvet Leggings
Velvet Headband
Bow Shoes

Big Brother’s Look: 

Sweater
Pants
Shoes

Little Brother’s Look: 

Shirt
Jeans
Shoes

 

Acorns and Open Hands

When Griffin was little, he would stuff his pockets with acorns. He would grab them on the playground at school, in the parking lot at church, in our backyard.
And I would find them on the floor, rattling around in the dryer, or strategically arranged on his dresser.

So, earlier this week, when I was taking my morning walk, this low lying branch stopped me in my tracks.

Funny how something so simple can just transport you right back to another moment in time.
In that instant I saw my sweet little 4 year old. Chubby cheeks. Sparkly eyes. Pockets full.
Somehow, almost a decade has gone by since those days and I find myself swallowing hard, willing the lump in my throat to go away.
Because Mommas, it does go by just that fast.
Treasure it all. The little things, that one day won’t be so little after all.
When they come in with dirty hands from exploring, learn about their adventures.
When they make up a grand story, sit on the floor and ask them to share it again.
When they crawl up in your lap for cuddles, let them camp there a little longer.
When they ask for a bed time story, read every line- sometimes slowly.
Savor it.
Soak it in.
Thank God for the moments- even when they are hard. And I know they are hard.
Because truly, even the smallest seconds are tiny little gifts that you’ll unwrap over and over again in your mind one day.
Oh and when they bring you handfuls of acorns, open yours, accept them as a rare gift and remember that one day a branch on your morning walk will quite possibly bring you to tears.
    Children are a gift from the Lord;
    they are a reward from him. 
Psalm 127:3