A Wedding 2,438 Days in the Making:

That’s right, I did the math.

To tell you our wedding day was perfect, would be a lie.

A 4.5 month engagement does not a perfect wedding day make.

I thought, well I have it easy, because there’s Pinterest nowadays! We’ll just throw some of my pins together!

It’s easy to plan a Pinterest wedding because to “pin” something is much easier than to “do” something, or to “pay” for something.

I had it all figured out on my virtual wedding pinboard:

Bunches of lights.

Mason jars for everyone and their dog.

As much rustic barn wood as we could find, used in every possible rustic barn wood necessary situation.

Then reality hit:

“What is a circuit breaker and why does it not appreciate all the lights I want to plug in?”

“Mason jars cost HOW MUCH!?”

“You’d think there would be more barn wood available to us city folk.”

Ok, those were weird and somewhat fictional examples for how my vision of a perfect Pinterest wedding blew up in my face sometime immediately after getting engaged.

I had to majorly tone down my idea of a “perfect” wedding.

I started hitting up estate sales every week to gather random items that I thought I could use in the wedding–I must say I am very proud of some of the things I was able to find! Beautiful old books, vintage cameras, and elaborate glass bottles.

Other things, I bought with the intention of using, but never did.

I now have more doilies than you can shake a stick at.

Somewhere during the 135 days between getting engaged and getting married, I realized that it doesn’t really matter.

Yes, I’d like things to look nice, and yes I’d like people to “ooh” and “ahh” at all the hard work we put into it.

But in the end, all that really mattered is that we were going to be married.

We were finally going to start our lives together.

So whether or not we knocked our guests’ socks off with hundreds of dollars worth of burlap and chalkboard paint didn’t measure up to the fact that, when it’s all said and done, you’re left standing next to the one person who’s only request was that you spend the rest of your lives together.

And that’s a good thing.

So,

while the day didn’t exactly go off with out a hitch–

–there was an emergency bow cutting off situation since the bows on my shoes looked like huge bunny ears like you see on slippers.

(Lesson learned ladies: try your shoes on with your dress more than a few hours before the wedding)

But we were wed!

And the reception was gorgeous!

But, you know what?

I didn’t even notice the centerpieces.

I did however notice, and will never forget, the look in my husband’s eyes as he said

“I will Love you and honor you, all the days of my life.”

That part was actually pretty perfect.

Here are some of my favorite images from the day, all courtesy of my amazingly talented photographer/all around cool gal, Karen Obrist.

Check more of her work out here!


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Here’s to the start of a new adventure.

xoxo,

Monica

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Sunshine

Sunshine.

For those living in a place like Nebraska, where there are 4 seasons (sometimes seemingly predominated by Winter). Sunshine can  become a rare commodity.

This is something that people tend to use as a reason NOT to live in Nebraska, or other such places.

However, I am a firm believer that it is a blessing.

A BLESSING, you say!?

Yes, a blessing.

Because without the cold, gray, long winter–how else would we TRULY appreciate when the sun does come out again?

It’s kind of a metaphor for life.

In life, without suffering, one cannot fully appreciate their blessings.

For example: A cold.

It’s easy to take breathing through your nose for granted–right until the moment you are completely stuffed up and absolutely miserable. It’s only then that you realize how good you had it. It seems like such a distant memory that you were able to sleep with your mouth closed without fear of asphyxiation. The good old days.

That being said,

it’s easy to see why Nebraskans are like horses out of the gate when the sun decides to come back into our lives.

Colors seem brighter.

Songs seem more catchy.

Those pesky allergies seem practically tolerable.

And the grass is finally green again.

Just perfect for a few photos:

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“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.”

Make the best of today and every day!

Have a lovely Wednesday!

xoxo,

Monica

Virginia is for Lovers

“Tourists don’t know

where they’ve been…

Travelers don’t know

where they’re going.”

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I like to try and live my life as a traveler.

Most of the time, I don’t really have a choice.

At best, I have very loose scheduling skills.

My road trip to Richmond, Virginia was no different.

I had a starting point and a destination, but the middle was up to wherever the road took me.

In 2 days, I drove through Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia.

It is a beautiful country.

It was a beautiful ride.

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The world’s largest catsup bottle–everything I’d dreamed it would be.

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I had to stop in Indiana for a photograph the beautiful, starry sky.IMG_5148 copy

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I stopped for a cheeseburger at this tiny diner in Frankfort, KY.

They presented it to me saying, “And for the photographer, the most boring order we’ve ever received.”IMG_5190copy IMG_5168 copy IMG_5170copy IMG_5173copy IMG_5180copy IMG_5182copy IMG_5185 copy IMG_5189copy IMG_5204copy

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I fell in love with West Virginia and it’s countless old iron bridges.IMG_5212copy IMG_5214copy IMG_5219copy IMG_5221copy

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These are my great self-timer photos by the awesome river front properties.
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I made a last minute decision to take the highway for part of the trip to see more sights. I came across the most amazing waterfalls, old buildings, and gorgeous river views. Also, I inadvertently ended up on top of a mountain, which FYI, was not something that shows up on google maps.

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A couple HDR photos of the New River Gorge Bridge.

It is so big that it made a 40 minute trip around the gorge become a 60 second trip across the gorge.HDRBridge

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Micah in beautiful Richmond, Virginia. We were able to explore after our retreat got finished on Sunday.IMG_5347copy

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Looking towards Benedictine Prepatory school where we had our retreat–we were right in the beautiful museum district!IMG_5314copy IMG_5322copy IMG_5324copy IMG_5328copy

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The reason this post has taken me so long to put up is because I had no idea how to explain it.

The things I saw and the experience that I had were too big for words.

To say it was beautiful would be the best that I could do–and that really isn’t doing anything justice.

I’d like to thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes for a safe drive and an inspirational Engaged Encounter weekend.

Micah and I had an enlightening experience as we prepared for our life as a married couple.

I couldn’t have dreamed of a better outcome.

xoxo,

Monica

Spring!

Today was beautiful!

Perfect weather to play outside and break in a few of my new estate sale backdrops.

Here are a few photos that I’ve appropriately named “laughter”…the girls have an easier time laughing than they do making normal looking smiles sometimes. As we all do.

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Love those goofballs!

xoxo,

Monica

1st Blog-aversary!

Happy 1st Blog-aversary to The Nanny Diaries!

YAYYYY

It’s hard to believe it was a whole year ago that I decided to take the plunge and start this blog.

It all began in an attempt to get away from the stress and deadlines of real life. I was in school and had a lot going on with my photography business, all of which were good things–but I felt like I wanted an outlet that I could express myself creatively, with absolutely no guidelines or rules to follow. As a person who feels a need to create, it has been an amazing experience, as well as a source of inspiration in many other parts of my life!

I had absolutely no expectations for people to see, or care, what I have to talk about – but after a year of doing this, I’ve grown quite a base of followers and have reached people all over the world!

Screen shot 2013-03-23 at 9.39.37 AMIf you look closely, you’ll see that people in FIFTY countries have read my blog!

It is absolutely amazing (and terrifying!) to realize just how many people I can reach with this little thing.

Besides feeling like people all over the world can hear my tiny voice, it has also been amazing to see my progression of the quality of my writing, as well as my photography.

It’s fun to look back and laugh (or cringe) at how I used to write, photograph or edit, just a year ago — and to see that I am indeed making progress and becoming better and better every day.

The photography industry is very visual, and there is a lot of pressure to compare yourself to others photographers. By having this blog, it has made it easier for me to ONLY compare myself to ME and to try and to become a better photographer than I was yesterday.

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Case in point.

And, to take a moment of vanity–it has been nice to BE in some photos! As a photographer, I find that although I’m not exactly as comfortable in front of the camera, it’s always nice to have proof that you’ve actually been to places, or were part of an activity.

As much as I LOVE being “the photographer” of a group, I am often sad that I don’t get to be a part of the fun, candid photos that I take. This blog has pushed me to be more vocal in asking someone to take a photo of me, rather than shying away and keeping my mouth shut, only to be disappointed later that I don’t have any photos of myself doing something I enjoyed. If you have a photographer in your life–be courteous and ask if they’d like to be in a photo every once in awhile! You’ll probably find that they really, really do!

And finally, it has been so amazing to see the girls grow!

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FrancePantsI have always known my time with these girls is limited, so to be able to have this diary documenting the years of my life that I have been blessed enough to share with them has been something that is priceless unto itself.

I’d like to thank everyone who has expressed their kind words and thoughts about the work I have put into this blog–it really does keep me going some days!

Here’s to the journey!

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Thanks for being a part of mine!

xoxo,

Monica

Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice

Every once in awhile, at our house…

…we have an impromptu photo shoot.

(Probably more often, here, than at most other households)

As the girls get older, they have learned to grasp the concept of getting their photo taken.

They have also learned that their dear Nanny Monica will pay a hefty price for good photograph.

So this little photo shoot cost me my stash of M&Ms that the girls somehow knew I was hiding in my room.

Anything for some “choc-oh-let!”

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IMG_1721 copy1 IMG_1679 copyAs I looked through the spoils of my bribery, I couldn’t help but feel an ache in my heart–an overwhelming feeling of love for these sweet girls.

Their gorgeous smiles and contagious laughter bring such light to my life.

I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to be a part of their lives.

They don’t know it, but they have given so much more to me than I have, or would ever be able to give to them.

xoxo,

Monica

This is what I get…

…for sleeping all day.

I literally slept nearly the entire day today.

Why?

Well, to spare you the details, I don’t recommend eating questionable day-old, cream cheese pizza.

It ended with Ruthie asking me if I threw up in her bed or in mommy’s bed (the two places she frequents for her barfing experiences) and Viv telling me that she “frew up tooooo” (One of her favorite sympathy cards she likes to bring into play on far too regular a basis)

Luckily, the girls had school (daycare) today, so I was able to ask Alisha to take them in so that I could try and get better. And, after finding that I wasn’t quiiiite over the horrible bug for parts of the morning, I found myself feeling lethargic and sleeping through the rest of the day…until around 10pm.

Now, here I sit, after roughly 21 hours of sleep–feeling much better (albeit a little shaky and eating stacks of saltines), but unable to fall back asleep.

So I figured I’d post a few of the photos that me and my friend Kaylie took a few weeks back when we went searching for some photo locations!

Nothing like a story about barf to lead into some fun adventure photos!

I’m sorry if I’ve offended anyone with the details of my sickness–in the last 3 years working as a nanny for babies, my meter for gauging what amount of details that are socially acceptable to share has been completely thrown off, as nothing really phases me anymore.

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Hope you enjoyed!

Now to decide whether I should use this time to get stuff done and be tired tomorrow, or attempt to fall back asleep.

xoxo,

Monica