Mackenzie turned 20 later that month, which we celebrated with family.
Then we threw her a surprise party before she left for Florida to be part of the Disney College Program (DCP). Taryn & I made a bunch of food & decorations, & Ben kept her distracted while we got everything prepared.
The two of us also made a Chewbacca Valentine's Day cake for our mom.
We went bowling with the NewPoint youth group & volunteers, which was fun (even though I'm an awful bowler!)
I cut off about 8+ inches of my hair. I instantly regretted it.
Mackenzie came for a visit from Florida & surprised me & Taryn! It was so good to see her!
I voted in the presidential primary (Feel the Bern!)
We went to Florida for Spring Break, which was wonderful. Disney World (here & here), Disney Springs, resort touring, exploring Orlando, & seeing where Mackenzie lived during the DCP... So great.
We spent Easter in Duncan with my in-laws. It's always nice to get away & see family.
My brother moved to Germany for a few months, & we had several dinners together before he left. It was nice getting to spend so much time together before he flew across the world!
Taryn went to her senior prom! She looked amazing - She did her own hair & makeup, & my mom did her flowers. Her friends looked beautiful as well!
Taryn & I found a big field of yellow flowers & did a little mini shoot. You can see more photos below.
Taryn & I did a little shoot with Adam Rozanas Photography. It was fun to be in front of the camera!
Laker & I went to OKC & met up with my in-laws to see the Blue Man Group. Neither of us were really sure what to expect, but we had such a great time, & we even got to meet a couple of the performers after the show!
Our friends Brandon & Stacey came to visit from Washington. We hadn't seen them in a couple of years, so it was nice to get to hang out with them!
The 4th was Star Wars Day, & I celebrated with one of my Darth Vader shirts & my Star Wars lipstick.
Taryn & I also had fun on Free Comic Book Day with comic book-themed make-up & free comics from Hastings (RIP, Hastings).
Taryn also graduated in May, & there were lots of festivities - her last orchestra & chorale concerts, Baccalaureate (where Taryn spoke), a photo shoot I did for her best friends (see more below), her graduation, a graduation service at church, & graduation parties for her & her friend Katie.
Mackenzie finished her DCP & moved home just in time for Taryn's graduation!
Laker & I also went to the zoo in OKC with my in-laws.
We spent a weekend in OKC with Sarah & Cary. We were able to visit the Skydance Bridge while it was lit up in rainbow colors for the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting.
We went back to OKC for Father's Day with my in-laws, & played mini golf in Bricktown.
July also brought about the beginning of Pokemon Go. There were lots of walks with Laker, my siblings, & Sarah & Cary!
I also had some fun hangouts with my sisters throughout the summer.
Then we went on a trip to Destin, Florida with all of my extended in-laws. It was a nice trip, & we got to experience a lot of new things while spending some great time with family!
Wedding planning started quickly. Mackenzie asked Taryn & I to be her maid & matron of honor, & we went shopping in OKC & found her perfect dress!
We celebrated my mom's birthday in August, as well as Laker's.
We went to a birthday party for my cousin's son, Brooks. I hadn't seen my cousins in ages, & it was good to get together again, even just for a little bit!
Shelbi & Mykel got married, & I got to take photos of their big day, including a fun gender reveal for their baby (more below).
I took family pictures for my friend Brooke, & also for my friend Britny (more below). Britny's were taken out at 4D Farms, & we got to see some fun animals!
I started my practicum counseling with the school system, & have really enjoyed getting started with the career that I have been working towards for so long!
Laker & I went to the county fair with our friends Nissi & Joel, & ate way too much fried food. Joel is from Canada, & he had never experienced some of the crazy things we got to eat! He also played his first Skee-Ball game there.
We visited OKC & met up with my in-laws for dinner at the Mule & dessert at Pie Junkie.
At the end of the month, I made the switch to Halloween decorations (my second favorite holiday!).
We celebrated Taryn's 19th birthday with dinner in Stillwater. It's so crazy to me that she's now the same age I was when I met Laker.
I was baptized again, & it was such a refreshing experience. You can read more about it here.
I decorated my pumpkins & put my mums in a painted pot, & all of it went on the porch.
We threw a baby shower for my friend Cali, who was having a little boy named Treven. It was really cute, & we had a good time!
Mandy & I went to see The Girl on the Train. We both love scary movies, so it was a fun night!
Taryn performed at the fair in Billings. Billings is very small. Taryn did a great job though, & it's always fun to see her perform! My friend Andrea & her son Mason came with me.
I cut off several inches of my hair (again). After a treatment for my endo earlier this year that was really rough on my hair, followed by that bad haircut in the spring, I wanted a fresh start. This was just what I needed!
My sisters & I went on a quick trip to Stillwater to shop at Ulta, & found some makeup that was apparently named by an old man.
For Fall Break, Laker & I went on a trip to Kansas City (here, here, & here), where we explored several museums, tried lots of new food, & had our first Airbnb experience.
We joined a small group at Newpoint, & enjoyed getting to know some of our fellow church members better.
Laker & I went to Cary & Sarah's annual Halloween party as TJ & Spinelli from Recess. Cary & Sarah were an awesome Frankenstein & Frankeinstein's Bride. Check out Sarah's hair! Amazing.
We also helped out with Trunk or Treat at Newpoint with a Scooby Doo game, dressed as Shaggy & Velma.
After the Halloween festivities, I switched our Halloween decorations back to fall decorations, with mini corn, pumpkins, & squash.
I went to the opening event at Embellished with my sisters. They had so many cute home decorations & styling ideas!
Taryn performed in Carrie, which was her first college musical! She had a solo & several speaking parts, & I loved getting to watch her perform in a new way. She'll be in her second musical, Shrek, next semester, & she is actually playing the female lead, Fiona! We are so proud of her.
We celebrated Thanksgiving with extended family at my parents' house. It was good to see everyone, & of course the food was great!
On Black Friday, we had a girls day at the Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska. It had just opened on Halloween, so it was still pretty busy! We explored the general store, grabbed coffee & pastries, & tried some chocolates. You can read more about it here.
Later that day, my sisters & I took Kieara & Kamiya to see Moana in Stillwater. I didn't really have any expectations for this movie, but it was fantastic! I highly recommend it. I could go on & on about the story, design, & music... So good.
The Gilmore Girls Revival also came out on Black Friday. Although it was fun to see the cast I love reunited, there were a lot of things I didn't like about the revival. In case you missed all those rants, you can read them here, here, here, & here.
I made the switch over to Christmas decorations, although we didn't put up a tree this year. We went to Disney World at Christmastime last year, & our tree ended up staying put until April... So we made the decision that if we went out of town for Christmas again this year, the tree wasn't going up. & then my mom told us we were getting Disney tickets for Christmas, so... No tree.
Crust & Cream opened! It's a new pie shop here in town, owned by some family friends of ours. They've got all kinds of pies, cakes, & even soups. It's only a couple of blocks from our house, so Laker & I are trying to find the balance between not making pie a daily habit, & also sampling the entire menu...
Kiefer had his birthday, & we all got Fuzzy's Tacos in Stillwater to celebrate.
Laker & I went to see Rogue One the Friday it opened. I was pleasantly surprised, although I don't agree with those saying it's on par with the original movies (Episodes 4-6), or Episode 7, or that it's the best one yet. It's a fun movie, but not THAT good.
We grabbed dinner at McNellie's with some friends (Cary had to leave before the photo was taken). It was nice catching up with some friends I hadn't seen in a while!
We watched the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special. It was awful.
The next morning, we had Waffle Champ with Cary, Sarah, Sami, & Austin (& baby Melody!). Great food & great company!
We had a Christmas party for our small group at church, which was fun. We had enchiladas, chips & salsa, & sopapilla cheesecake, which always makes for a good evening, in my book.
We had an early birthday dinner (chicken pot pie, one of my favorites) with my family before heading to Duncan on my birthday. My mother-in-law made Belle cupcakes for me, & Lily ate about 4 of them, wrappers & all. We managed to save the rest, though, & also had a great dinner at Ted's.
We spent the next few days in Duncan, celebrating Christmas with family. It was nice getting to spend time with everyone!
Now we're spending the rest of 2016 at the beach & Disney! I can't think of a better way to end the year!
I started out with another senior session for Taryn, which led to senior sessions for Katie, a double session for Hannah & Haley, another double session for Ali & Israel, & a session for Kelsi. I also did a second session for Katy. I had so much fun learning more throughout the process, & getting to experiment with different styles for each different personality.
I took some photos of Taryn & her friends about a week before their graduation. My graduation day was so rushed, & I didn't get many good photos with my friends or in my gown. Mackenzie's ended up being very rushed as well, & I wanted to make sure Taryn got the chance to get some good photos with her friends before the rush of the ceremony!
Taryn & I also found a field of yellow flowers, & we stopped for a mini shoot. I love how the photos turned out, but they're misleading - the flowers reeked, & we got out of there pretty quick!
I shot my first full wedding, which also included a mini maternity session & gender reveal! It was so awesome to be a part of such an important time in Shelbi & Mykel's lives, & to experience all of those moments with them.
I took family photos for two friends, Brooke & Britny. I haven't had much experience taking photos of kids, so it was a good chance for me to practice!
Cali's baby, Treven, was born at the end of December, & I got to visit them & take pictures of Treven with his big brother Trayton.
Then earlier this week, I took Mackenzie & Ben's engagement photos! They are turning out beautifully, & I can't wait to share them.