Merry Christmas from the Carnes!

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Christmas is here once again!

And this year, I am so thrilled to send a bit of Christmas cheer with these wonderful Christmas cards. Gosh – I’m thankful to have creative friends. Flashback to a few months ago when Caroline Fausel (a friend from college and fellow medical school wife) and I began to chat about what I’d like my Christmas card to look like. I sent over a Pinterest board full of ideas and shared with her that the fabulous Rustic White Photography would be taking our family photos this fall.

Caroline created a ton of options for our card to let us choose our favorite. We wanted something simple, with a bit of sparkle – and she rocked it! Plus, she was a joy to work with (all while being a mom to a precious little girl and traveling with her husband for residency interviews).

I may be a bit behind on actually printing and mailing them with such a busy season, but at least we can share them here with you all!

Caroline Fausel Paper Co. does awesome work and can be found on Etsy and Facebook, so check her out. Thank you, Caroline! Appreciate your help! And a huge thank you to Rustic White Photography for this photo and so, so many more!

(PS: for a little throwback, you can also find the in-laws Christmas card and our Happy New Year card from last year here!)

Amber & Bo Wedding Sneak Peek

This past weekend I had the honor of photographing the beautiful wedding of Amber & Bo at Vintage Oaks Farms in Watkinsville. It may have rained all day, but you never would have known it with their awesome attitudes. The love that these two share is so evident and bold that a little rain was not going to put a damper on their day!

Here are a few of my favorites from the wedding day. More to come!

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Amber Bo Sneak Peek8\ Amber Bo Sneak Peek9

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Amber Bo Sneak Peek2

Amber & Bo, thank you so much for having me be a part of your big day! Can’t wait to see what is in store for your marriage!

Charleston: Character & Color

Over the course of the semester, we’ve had the chance to visit some pretty great places for Chip’s 4th year of med school (still having a hard time believing we’ve gotten to this point in the process!). While his time away for a few months hasn’t always been easy, I have loved being able to join him for some days here and there in some awesome cities!

A few weeks ago, we visited Knoxville for the weekend after hearing endless recommendations during his month there to come back when the leaves were changing. Early one morning, we devoured some Tupelo Honey Cafe biscuits before heading to the Smokey Mountains to hike. If you haven’t done either of those things, you must! Get in your car and take a day trip. You won’t regret it.

And going back a bit further in the semester was his month in Charleston. I got to visit for a bit to work during the days, then explore the city at night until Chip finished with work. This counted as our “beach trip” for the year, and although we didn’t get to do much relaxing on the beach, we certainly saw some amazing sunsets! I loved the character and charm of “The Holy City.” There are so many textures and colors to be found. Here are some of my favorite shots from the week:

Charleston door blue

Charleston door secret gardenI loved happening upon this little “secret garden” of sorts.

Charleston door pipe

Charleston door front

Charleston door Pink  Charleston door eagle

Charleston beach wood

Charleston beach pier

Charleston beach sand

Charleston beach bird

Charleston beach ground

Charleston beach couple Lauren

Charleston beach bushand

Charleston beach blue pink Lots of beauty in these cities close to Georgia. While I absolutely love Athens, it’s always nice to explore a new town. Can’t wait to see where the next adventure takes us!

A Trip to Cades Cove

Fall is just amazing. A couple weekends ago we took a trip to hike in the Smokey Mountains during the prime time for changing leaves. Per a few recommendations for some gorgeous views, we circled Cades Cove to hike Abrams Falls. Cades Cove is a loop of awesome landscapes and views, with old churches and trails to hike. It certainly did not disappoint!

Cades Cove Landscape

Cades Cove Chip

Cades Cove Flowers   Cades Cove Lichens

Cades Cove Leaves

Cades Cove Abrams Falls

Cades Cove Water

Now I’m ready for another mini-vacation! Where is your favorite place to go for the weekend?

Amber & Bo are Engaged!

This weekend I had the chance to spend the evening with Amber & Bo around Athens enjoying the amazing fall weather and hearing all of the updates about their December wedding. This couple is just the sweetest! They have been dating since middle school and are so comfortable around each other, which made for a great night! I’m so looking forward to photographing their wedding and celebrating with them! Here are a few favorites from our time together:

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Amber & Bo Engagement 2

Amber & Bo, thanks for a fabulous night! Can’t wait for your wedding at Vintage Oaks Farm next month!

Sneak Peek: Whit’s 1 Year Photos

Even though the Dawgs lost, it was a sweet weekend in Athens. October is just a whirlwind, so this weekend of a little bit of relaxation was very welcomed!

I had the chance to take a friend’s little boy’s 1 year pictures… and it was amazing to see how much he has grown since his newborn photos! Whit was so sweet and interested in everything. Plus, he’s quite the fast little one. We had a blast running around UGA’s North Campus to celebrate his 1st birthday!

Check it out the sweet cookie monster:

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Looks like Whit’s a football player in the making! Hiking the ball already:

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It was such fun to spend time with Whit, Dane & Stephanie. Now, I can’t wait for his 2nd birthday!

A Fall Themed Bridal Shower

As soon as we finished college, there was a season of life full of wedding after wedding. Although that season has since slowed down for us, it’s just beginning for my sister-in-law’s group of friends! Lucky for me, I get to be a part of that by doing everything from shooting their weddings to helping coordinate bridal showers.

This weekend, we celebrated one of her sweet roommates and best friends, Madison, with a fall themed bridal shower. It was a perfect way to start October… and was complete with one of my favorite treats in the world. Check it out for some fall party inspiration!

Bridal shower I Do door hanger

Does that door decoration look familiar? You may recognize it from this post. I love how reusable it is! Just switch the color bow out, and it matches whatever bridal shower theme you have!

Bridal shower caramel apples

Bridal Shower caramel apple favor

The bride is obsessed with sprinkles, so we were excited to incorporate them somehow. What better way than on some homemade caramel apples? Plus, these favors doubled as place cards for all of the guests!

Bridal shower calligraphy

Bridal shower table setting

Bridal Shower Fall Tablesetting

I absolutely adore this patterned table runner from World Market. So perfect for fall. And my mother-in-law is kind enough to let me borrow it for the rest of the season for our house!

Bridal shower mantle flowers

Bridal Shower banner

The gift area was complete with a “Falling in Love” banner and a Bridal Jeopardy game!

Bridal shower game

Bridal Shower tort

Bridal Shower Bride

And finally, here is my sweet mother-in-law, sister-in-law, the bride and her mom! While we played the game and opened gifts, I got to create Madison’s rehearsal dinner “bowquet.” This one gave the last one a run for its money, as Madison’s mom brought all of the bows from her other showers too!

It was such a sweet morning seeing it all come together and celebrating the bride! Now, I’m looking forward to seeing the gorgeous photos from her big day coming so soon!

I’d love to hear what your favorite shower themes are! Do share!

The blog’s got a mini-face lift

You may notice something new and fresh about mason jar moments today. Yes, today’s the day that the wrinkles are smoothed away a bit and the blog’s getting a mini-face lift.

It felt like about that time to pull out the lovely blue mason jars from our wedding and create something special for the place that I get to document the little joys of life.

This morning, a friend and I were discussing how there is “a lot of life coming soon.” Isn’t that so true about so many seasons? With applying for medical residency programs with Chip, there are so many unknowns in the future. It’s a lot of life coming at us… 5 years of life, in fact.

There are so many great things, but big, ole’ scary things too. I want to know every step of the way. Instead, I’m just learning about a lot of patience, trust and being where my feet are.

However, throughout every season, one thing has always remained constant: my desire to create. From plaster painting as a little to pursuing photography now, creativity in my life is like honey to my hot tea. A necessity. It gives me the chance to preserve a season of life for myself and others in a way I couldn’t otherwise. Each creative endeavor reminds me of a specific time, place or event.

And that’s what I love about mason jars. In their most common form, they’re intended to preserve. The definition of which is: to maintain something in its original or existing state.

I want to preserve this season of life. Preserve it for the next season… so that I can always look back to where I’ve been and keep it on a shelf for a rainy day or for some perspective. And ultimately, I want to preserve the joys of this season because come this time next year, I’ll have a whole new set of adventures to pursue in an entirely new city… and I want to do that joyfully too.

So today, I’m remembering this:

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Thankful for that truth today and always. Here’s to a new season of preserving life’s little joys with you. Thanks for sticking around!

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More Weddings with Rustic White Photography

A while back I posted about working alongside Tiffany and Robert – the incredible duo behind Rustic White Photography. I’ve been so fortunate to join them at various weddings to second (aka third) shoot with them. Even more fortunate is that they have become incredible friends of mine (and just welcomed a precious little one into the world, who will affectionately know me as Aunt Lauren…)

I’m thrilled to share some of my favorite shots from the most recent weddings I’ve photographed with them! Now, I’m looking forward to an October full of wedding fun!

CG invite

CG kiss the bride

CG couple

CG bride

This light was just plain dreamy. Gorgeous, gorgeous.

CG dancing

  KB getting ready

KB bouquet

KB gift bag

I loved the Georgia themed welcome bags for guests. The bottled Coke was such a sweet, Southern touch!

KB stamp

KB groom

KB bridal portrait  KB couples    KB guys

Oddly enough, this last wedding was of my friend from freshman year in college. The bride and I lived on the same hall, so you can imagine the excitement when I found out she was the beautiful bride for the day.

MS dress

That right there is one of my hangers I’ve made. It’s such a treat to see the final product hanging with the gorgeous wedding dresses. It’s one of my favorite parts of creating the hangers, without a doubt.

MS bouquets

MS girls

The pure joy in this picture makes me smile. While I have no idea what they were giddy over on the phone, they sure were having fun.

MS bride

MS church

The Perimeter Wedding Chapel has unbelievable stained glass. I was in a friend’s wedding a couple years ago there and fell in love with it then. It didn’t disappoint this time, either.

MS couple

Overall, the experience with Tiffany and Robert has been an absolute blast and the weddings have been beautiful. I’ve been so thankful to have the chance to help document these couples’ special days.

And one more photo for fun… here is Tiffany’s baby belly peeking out from behind the curtains at one of the weddings. I always love a good behind-the-scenes shot. And now, that baby belly is no longer, and the most precious baby girl, Grace, has arrived!

RWP pregnant

The Farmer’s Market “Flavor”

For most people, going to the grocery store is just a dreaded task. However, for me, I welcome shopping for food with open arms. You may remember my description of grocery stores and markets serving as a sort of stress reliever for me. I find it weirdly exciting to walk into a store with a list of goodies to bring home for the next dinner. And on top of it, I typically end up buying much more than I needed or expected. I’m a sucker for a good deal.

But in an effort to soak up every bit of Athens in this final year here, we’ve been incorporating my love of food shopping into every free weekend we have at the Athens Farmer’s Market. There is just something special about the local food, local people and local flavor of Athens that you can’t find anywhere else.

And the color… oh it’s lovely. Here are just a few photos from our most recent visit of some of the best and brightest of colors.

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I just love it. Fortunately, the market lasts well into the end of the year because the weather down south is so warm for so long. I’m super thankful for that. I’ll take any spare moment of stress-free roaming at the farmer’s market with a fresh squeezed juice I can get.

What is your favorite way to spend a free weekend?