This month reminded me that in friendship and family, nothing compares to quality time in person. My heart was overcome by the many (safe) reunions with many people that I love. I didn’t realize how much I yearned for this. Very thankful for the opportunity to safely connect in person after months (and years) of not seeing some of my people.
The month started out with celebrating Wayne’s birthday together at home. With him not feeling well on his actual birthday, we waited a few days to dig in to the cake that some close friends dropped off for him. Simple night, no fluff. Just the way he prefers it.
Another celebration was that Wayne passed his boards and his licensing exam! PRAISE GOD! He is now a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy. WE ARE SO PROUD OF THIS HARD-WORKING MAN!
Also… school is over forever!
Ethan and I had a date! We packed some veggies, picked up a McDonald’s Happy Meal and sat on our blanket for a little break outside the home. We chased each other, raced and had tickle wars… just the two of us. Most memorable part was our conversation:
Ethan: “Mommy, can you cook me this tree? I want to eat it!”
Me: “I don’t know how to cook trees!”
Ethan: “Yes you do! You cook them all the time! Broccoli!”
I got some baby snuggles with baby Benji!
A new president was elected this month! Waiting for the counts to come in felt exhilarating and exhausting, all at the same time. It was emotional to watch the president-elect, Biden, and vice president-elect, Harris, embrace their families after getting the news. Something to remember, no matter who you voted for, is that all Americans still have a responsibility to put in the work to do better for each other and for our country.
For MP, November was a whirlwind of a month. We had five weddings and five sessions in ten days. It’s national hug a photographer… MONTH.
Kim packed me a lunchbox at one of my weddings. I got emotional when we were at one of HER Associate weddings. She packed me a bunch of snacks and a drink. Even as a lead, she is serving me as her second shooter.
Below are some of our behind the scenes wedding selfies.
From walks around the neighborhood, to learning how to draw letters, Tori has become such a pivotal part of our kids’ lives. She makes nannying more of a relationship with the kids than a job. She is intentional about creating meaningful memories, while also putting in the hard work of partnering with us on discipline. There is joy in the labor of her love for us.
This month marked 9 years married and 11 years together! Wayne surprised me with a breakfast date in our backroom, while Tori babysat the kids. He made a SPREAD! He even had coffee with me (he HATES coffee).
It was so special to have uninterrupted time to ourselves … kind of.
Later in the month, we celebrated by going camping. Usually, we try to go on a big trip on our anniversary since it’s our only real vacation of the year. This ended up being our most simple and the shortest anniversary vacation, but it was probably one of the top three most meaningful anniversaries. We went to his aunt’s property nearby and set up camp. We had the entire site to ourselves, with a lake in front of our tent and prairie to our right.
The simplicity of the trip was a gift to me. Wayne planned for us so that I didn’t have to think. Not having to make decisions was exactly what my heart and mind needed.
Our weekend consisted of worshipping under the stars, spending time reading the Word together by the lake, praying a lot about our future, learning how to fish (me), cooking by the fire, playing card games, and watching the rain fall for hours. Sometimes, if you’re not careful to spend time IN your marriage you can start to feel distant, even when you’re working from home and seeing each other more now than ever. This trip was a nice refreshment for us to connect without anyone or anything needing our attention. The beauty of just being.
I caught this fish all by myself. I told Wayne I wanted one last try and this is what I caught! It was both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.
Katie, from KT Crabb Photography, shot our team pictures at the top of a parking garage! The last time we took team photos was when Kim and I were pregnant.
Look at this moment I caught when my cutie boy hugged my cutie girl!
After the shoot, Katie, my family and I picked up popsicles and had a social distanced date at a nearby plaza to share more about what this season looks like personally and professionally. It was great to connect again.
My dear friend Emily drove from Orlando for a socially distant, backyard hang! She brought over two lawn chairs so we could sit 6 feet apart and enjoy each other’s company. The cooler weather came just in time for a 4-hour date outside! It was a much-needed reunion that had kept being rescheduled about 5 times because of the pandemic. Thankful for friendships that are satisfied by nothing other than simple quality time.
Moments with Ethan and Tio Alex… including Ethan photobombing a picture on Tio’s date.
I partnered with Ashley on a little project for Dallas Doing Good. We took some merchandise pictures and here is a little behind the scenes with my not-so-behind-the-scenes assistant.
Speaking of partnering… Ashley came alongside me this month on a very special project for MP that will launch NEXT month! In between the (very) late night work dates, we caught up on Bachelorette and enjoyed fries and queso!
This year, Thanksgiving looked a bit different, because we didn’t celebrate with all of our relatives or even see Wayne’s family. We started out the holiday celebrating just our house (the Carneys + my brother). Wayne and Alex made our breakfast for dinner and set the table with our Thanksgiving linen. Our traditional linen tablecloth holds the names, blessings, and years of every guest that has celebrated with us over the past two years.
Then we drove to South Florida and I got to meet my baby niece! My sister and her family came in to town and it was the first time my parents, their kids and all of their grandchildren were together… in YEARS. Ethan and his cousin, who is his age, spent the entire weekend chasing each other, playing pretend, and fighting (lol). When Eloisa is around, no one else exists!
My new niece, Jemma! Fourth girl in my sister’s all-girl gang!
The spread for our family’s Thanksgiving. I made garlic and cheese filled rolls, which were a hit!
That next morning, I woke up really early to meet up with one of our couples for a rooftop engagement session in Ft. Lauderdale. They even showed up with a latte in hand for me!
I got my picture with all four of my nieces. Kind of.
While we were together, we took the opportunity to take a Molliner family picture. I’ll be honest… it was ROUGH. But, we powered through the best we could and managed to get some absolute treasures.
Self-timer success (after numerous attempts)! Also, let’s appreciate the facial expressions of Ethan & Eloisa.
My favorite. Tears shed in the making of the following photographs.
… and then the reality of family pictures summed up in one image:
What a sweet ending to my Month.
Praise the Lord from whom ALL blessings flow.