Christmas is Come

Christmas ornament | Columbia SC wedding photographer | Lorin Marie Phtoographer

"Jesus' humble birth was not a lack of provision but a sign of purpose."

Hustle and bustle - two commonly used words to describe our Decembers. Each year, the lists get long, our time feels short and we struggle to do/buy/be it all.

Thinking back to right before that very first Christmas, when very pregnant Mary and her betrothed husband Joseph made the required journey to Bethlehem for the mandated census. There certainly was some bustling as they trekked from Nazareth to the little town in Judea.

But in the midst of the travels, government census and last days of pregnancy, the couple wasn't overtaken by worries or overburdened with stress.

Earlier, when an angel revealed to her that she would carry the Messiah in her womb, Mary replied, "Let it happen as you say." When Joseph received a dream that told him that his wife was pregnant and would carry Immanuel, meaning 'God with us,' in her womb, he did take Mary as his bride, despite the cultural stigma of a pre-marriage baby bump and not actually grasping the depths of being the earthly father to the King of Kings.

Instead of allowing their seemingly inconvenient, overwhelming or undesirable circumstances to shape their attitudes or outlook on life, Mary and Joseph were obedient and intentional. What a beautiful way to welcome the birth of the Savior - by having a husband and wife, committed to one another and to raising their baby boy the best they could and trusting the Lord to work all the details out.

As we approach the end of advent and celebrate Christ's coming down on earth, we wish you and your loved ones a very merry Christmas. Let the weary world rejoice! Christ has come - glory to God in the highest!

"Jesus came to serve in humility...the perfect gift of grace."

{December Goals}


"I'm choosing not to get stressed. I'm just managing blessings."
{Lysa Terkeurst}

December Goals

☐ Celebrate Christ’s birth through meaningful reflection and activities

☐ Work through PowerSheets for 2-0-1-6!

☐ Cut down our very own Christmas tree (it’s a tradition now!)

☐ Listen to as much Christmas music as possible

☐ Make mini gingerbread houses

☐ Host an Eggnog + Cookies party

☐ Update Maddie’s baby book   

☐ Finish reading From Anger to Intimacy (I'm still reading this one! Really soaking it in).

What are your goals for this month? I'd love to know what your aim and focus are set on!

December Gratefulgrams

Val Marie Paper prayer journal
Winchester sunrise portrait session
SG send-off party
Pregnancy announcment photo
Tribal necklace

"Far from what I once was but not yet what I'm going to be." {Unknown}

Happy 2015!

It's so incredible to look back, over the weeks, months & year to see how the Lord has led, directed & worked through our lives. In the span of just 5 months, Dean & I found out we were pregnant (August), celebrated our 1-year anniversary early in Canada (September), decided not to renew our townhome lease (October), began the job search (October), slept in a hotel/friend's basement/apartment/on a pull-out couch (November-December), traveled to visit different companies (November), accepted an offer (November), said good-bye to our church community & friends (December) & moved into a new little rental home in Columbia, SC (December).

We are thrilled to have this opportunity for newness - a new location, a new job, a new season of life. Like Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 3:1-3, 11, "There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born ... a time to uproot... He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."

Here's to living each day of the year in light of God's mercies, which are new each morning!

1. A place to keep all my prayers #Vmpjournals/ 2. Sunrise + photography + beautiful friend / 3. An incredibly (bitter)sweet farewell from my SG ladies / 4. Sharing the news about #MyFairweatherBaby / 5. Hosting our very first Christmas / 6. Capturing moments like this of my amazing sister

MBC Holiday Show and Expo Photo Booth

MBC Holiday Show and Expo Photo Booth

This past Saturday, our church hosted a crazy fun ladies' Christmas extravaganza, the first ever Holiday Show & Expo!

The tagline: If Etsy and Pinterest threw a holiday party, wouldn’t you want to join the fun?

Is that actually a question :) With so many wonderful local vendors & exhibitors, the afternoon was chock full of tutorial workshops, beautiful booths of homemade goods & all things Christmasy.

LMP had the privilege to host a sparkly Holiday Photo Booth for guests. This backdrop is soo sequiny, I would looove to use it like wallpaper in our home! We had a wonderful time meeting so many new friends, taking lots of prop-filled photos, laughing til our sides hurt & visiting with our Small Group & MBC Arlington girls who stopped by.

Sparkly gold photo booth | MBC Holiday Show and Expo
Sparkly Christmas photo booth | MBC Holiday Show and Expo
Holiday photo booth | MBC Holiday Show and Expo
DIY gold photo booth | MBC Holiday Show and Expo
Fun Christmas photo booth | MBC Holiday Show and Expo
Gold photo booth | MBC Holiday Show and Expo
Holiday sparkly photo booth | MBC Holiday Show and Expo


And mad props go out to Deano, who not only helped me set up but continued to rearrange the props, answer questions & man the booth as one of the few guys in the whole building. He's so great :)

Thanks to everyone who joined us on Saturday & let us be a sparkly part of your holiday afternoon! To view more image, download & order prints from the booth, visit the link below:

A December dream come true

Have y'all ever cut down your very own Christmas tree?? Back in December, I had listed it as one of my goals to accomplish during the holiday/birthday season.

I was born & raised in the Sunshine State, meaning we had mostly palm trees, orange trees & yes, some pine trees, too. But not your choice of farms with the big, beautifully perky evergreens that so perfectly hold out their branches as if to say, "I'm here for you. Please, do put your ornaments on my needles." Since moving to Northern Virginia (or, if you're not from around here, DC :) ), I've wanted to bundle up on a cold winter day & head out to a Christmas tree farm for a tree picking extravaganza. And this past December, that's exactly what Hubby & I got to do!

We drove over to Evergreen Acres in Nokesville. Such a great farm! It's a family-run business & even though we went in the middle of December, they still had a ton of trees left to choose from. Bonus? They gave out steaming cups of hot cider. YUM!


This guy :) :) :)


Here's the hilarious part of it all: although the wintery white flakes were melting/on their way out of town when we were at the farm, it was still preeeeetty cold. Meaning I was pretty cold & Dean was not :) I was SO excited to go frolicking through the rows of Fraser fur & pine trees that I didn't even consider that the boots I was wearing were not exactly weather appropriate. 


My comfy brown boots! Oh how I thought they would never do me wrong. But after the wear & tear of a few winters, they have slowly started to fall apart. Which leads us to the middle of our tree-cutting adventure & I have cold, dripping wet feet. With every step, the melting snow & ice sloshed more into my boots & socks. And y'all, there were puddles ALL over! Since Hubby couldn't cut down the tree & carry me, it became one of the fastest rounds of find-your-Christmas-tree that farm has ever seen!


There it is! And down she went! So fast. I was telling Dean to let me know when it would fall & then it was already cut down haha. He works so fast!


Such a welcome to the cold day! If only my soaking wet toes could have had a cider bath...


We successfully attached our voluptuous tree (she was pretty curvy!) to the roof of our car & brought her back home. I must admit I've never before attempted carrying a tree up 3 flights of stairs! Luckily for me, Hubby & his gun show could get it upstairs with very little assistance from me. And our FSU Just Married ornament was a wedding gift from my sweet friend Lauren Elizabeth & her boyfriend :) Go NOLES!!!


We brought back this angel from our honeymoon in St. Lucia :)


Slipper time :) Feet finally started defrosting! Next year, I'm definitely wearing rain boots! Or any pair of boots without holes in them! And if you want to have your own Christmas tree experience, we highly recommend Evergreen Acres! Everyone was really helpful & the prices are great! P.S. if you wait til closer to Christmas time to snag your tree, they go on sale! $25 for any of the pines, same as picking one up at Home Depot. Sold!