oklahoma wedding photographer

Styled Shoot | Pioneer Woman Oklahoma Wedding Inspired

β€œ'Well, first of all,' he began, 'I really…I really like you.'
He looked into my eyes in a seeming effort to transmit
the true meaning of each word straight into my psyche.
All muscle tone disappeared from my body.
Marlboro Man was so willing to put himself out there,
so unafraid to put forth his true feelings.
I simply wasn’t used to this.
I was used to head games, tactics, apathy, aloofness.
When it came to love and romance,
I’d developed a rock-solid tolerance for mediocrity.
And here, in two short weeks, Marlboro Man had blown it all to kingdom come."

 (Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)

You know I love a good story. This is a fine story. But it was *this close* to being a good story. For the sake of my family it's probably for the best; had this become a good story the bragging would have. never. stopped.

A couple years ago Caleb and I were living in Oklahoma, working slowly on finishing our house, and expecting to settle there for the near (maybe long!) future (life plans changed haha). I was working on making connections with photography in the area, trying to re-build a base. I decided to do an Oklahoma Inspired Styled Session with Ree & Ladd Drummond's story as the theme. Better know was "Pioneer Woman and Marlboro Man," I came to love their romance at the perfect timing. Ree's book "High Heels To Tractor Wheels" was released just as Caleb and I started talking. I won't lie, I craved that kind of romance and (what appeared to be) beautiful, happy marriage it led to. 

When looking for models I asked my brother-in-law, Micah, if he wouldn't mind playing the groom. And I asked a cute girl who grew up in town, Savannah Crockett, if she would model as Ree. "I'll need to spray your hair red... is that fine?" We staged the shoot in the cow pasture on the Morris property, Shekinah Springs Farm, and the whole family was so sweet to help me set-up, make food, and hold props. It was a really fun afternoon!

At one point we staged a service and my father-in-law, Terry, pretended to officiate. He couldn't help himself with the obvious for a father. "Now, why aren't one of my single boys actually interested in this wonderful woman?! I think I should be out here marrying one of you for real!" Elijah raced off on a four-wheeler in a cut-off t-shirt in the background.

But less than a year later... ELIJAH REALLY MARRIED SAVANNAH. Ugh. I was one brother-model away from being the best match-maker, with a staged wedding blind date to show for it!!

Anyways, this shoot was such colorful, floral, food-focused fun. And I'm still so happy Elijah and Savannah realized they wanted to love each other forever. Micah, thanks for pretending to marry your brother's future wife for your crazy sister-in-law ;)

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Elijah + Savannah | Oklahoma Engagement Photography

"I promise to sing to you
When all the music dies."

Train | Marry Me

They've lived a few miles from each other their whole lives -- and in a small town, especially, that's noteable. They weren't each other's first crushes, or high school sweetheart, or even long time best friend who is "just like a sibling." They never actually crossed paths until they were in their twenties. But even then, it was merely a crossing. She worked at the coffee shop he stopped into nearly every day. They went with a group from Guthrie on a Caribbean cruise, but hardly talked to each other all trip. There was no unrequited love or secret flicker one of them was harboring for years (though, admittedly, they both thought the other was a cutie). There was just nothing... until there was something. And all of a sudden "here you are, standing here, loving me."

A friendly hello at the gym (one of dozens throughout the years) turned into nice chit-chat and then into a few texts. Those texts turned into hanging out a couple of times which turned into... forever. They started dating in June and were engaged in October. We (the family) love to think about the fact that Elijah was completely single at Daniel and Erin's wedding last May and this coming May he'll already have been married a month. Lightning strikes fast, hard, and strong. 

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It's awfully fun to watch each other be each other's answered prayers. This relationship is redemption, sweetness and joy come to life. And since they've both always lived in Guthrie, met in Guthrie, fell in love in Guthrie, got engaged in Guthrie, will marry in Guthrie, and share their first house in Guthrie... It was only fitting we do their engagement session on the orange-gold, historic, cobbled streets of Guthrie. 

Happy love, you two! We're so happy for you and can't wait to officially welcome another "Morris" to the gang! Hurry up, April!

Woods Family | Hoboken Coffee Roasters At Home | Family Portraits in Guthrie

i could be sweet
and i could be sweeter
i want to be where your heart is home
she & him - home
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You met Trey and Mallory behind the bar at Hoboken Coffee Roasters.  You met their dream - their wooden, mechanical, brown, window-ed, handmade dream.   You met a part of them that isn't just their career or their work, but their hearts on display on Division Avenue.  Hoboken is more than a part, but it isn't the whole.
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Today you'll at least get to meet more of the parts, that will help you know the whole far better.  The parts about an OSU cowgirl-student, paying the bills by working at a college town coffee house.  The parts about her meeting Gerald Woods, the Third (or "Trey," for three.  Get it?)  The parts about an engagement three months later.  And a wedding four months after the "Will you?" And the parts about their bike ride - on their bicycles, with pedals and wheels that runs on human muscle, determination and exhilaration - from Oklahoma to Oregon.  Yes.  The parts about their time in Eugene, working working working, playing playing playing, learning learning learning, dreaming dreaming dreaming.   They continued to pay the bills by being hired at, well, where else?  Coffee shops.  And they looked forward to big new parts.  Baby parts and a shop of their own parts and a house to make their home (at least for a good long while) parts.  
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On a personal note, before I wow you with more heartwarming Woods tales, I have to recite, once again, why I love shooting people in their real life.  I'm not the biggest fan of styled shoots (I understand their fun and place), I'm never going to be a commercial "America's Next Top Model esque" photographer (but I sure am glad someone does it, because I adore the spreads in Vogue and Vanity Fair), I have no desire to learn camera and photoshop tricks and magicals to create Popular Page worthy Flickr creations (though I adore it when those are well done - they're dreamy.)  Honestly, I could take or leave photography.  And "art."  Not in the world, oh no.  But in my own life - I don't "need to take pictures!"  What I do "need," however, is to create (bedrooms or meals or outfits or blog posts) and to know people.  I'm far less bubbly and outgoing than I was a few years ago.  I may be less social and, heck, even less friendly!  But my heart is "on" and I'm addicted to knowing and discovering the stories of people.  I love shooting a birth story or a wedding or a friend of mine at the pool.  I just, oh, feel alive!  Like life is tasty and happening and dazzling!
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And here, in a living room on Oak Street, in a town set aglow by the promise of "Munson and Sons" (or "Mummy Fords," depending on which old lady in town you speak with), is a wife and mamma and female who doesn't know how to pin something onto Pinterest.  And a husband and daddy and man who looks like American Storybook Jesus, according to my husband.  And a coffee-shop babe who takes her naps under a espresso machine, and who kind of looks like a munchable little coffee treat herself.  And this is where they wake up and come home and close their blinds and take their showers and park their jeep and rest.
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And it makes me feel alive.
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They moved into this home, less than two minutes from their store, last month.  They have hardy plans for it.  When we opened the blinds they fell off the window and Mallory tossed them into the kitchen.  Where the dish and clothes washer live.  And the plaster needs to be repaired in the walls, and the bathroom isn't "them" at all.  Just the night before this shoot Mallory went all "destroy the shower doors!" and hung up a curtain and rod in their place.  It's just on the cusp of all it will be, but it's undoubtably theirs and beautiful.
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In my various conversations with the Woods family over the past eight months, I've watched a trusty thread stitch their thoughts together.  "It just wasn't us, ya know?"  "That was just SO 'me'!" "It was us!" "It really wasn't 'me.'" They have some of the most developed, unstuffy, natural, pleasant, makes-you-feel-comfortable-not-judged-happy-not-like-a-failure sense of personal taste and desire I've ever come across.  They aren't trendy or trying to be cool - they just dress and decorate and drink and do what they love!  It's so simple and good. 
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Trey is the sort of person who you feel really proud-of-yourself when you've made him laugh.  He's easy to talk to, interesting and not-shy - but he also doesn't pity-laugh.  Mallory, on the other hand, is a feather of a speaker and, if she caught on that you were making a joke, would laugh no matter what - just to make sure you didn't feel bad.   But as a couple they make you feel like you're family.  It doesn't matter if you're at the shop or in their living room.   And their little offspring daughter is a holdable part of their love.  She is so easy to adore and want to be near.  She's (obviously) super used to being around people all day long.  She sucks her fists and is working on coordinating her back with her mind, and she looks at you like she's got you all figured out - and then usually smiles really big, which makes you confident that she assessed you well ;)
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These three must be a little window light of heaven.  Everyone - from my own family to the church ladies to the Town Member of The Year to the instagram-and-tweeters to myself - have only experienced memorable, rich and addicting love from this crew.  It's honest and not something that can be faked or manufactured or posed.  
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Trey, Mallory and young Autumn, er, Harmony (hahah just kidding. Harvest.) yes, you're beautiful.  "Inside and out," as they say.  Yes, you're inspiring.  But thank you, sincerely, for your hearts - especially towards people.  Thank you for not making people different than you (basically your whole town!) feel snubbed or looked down on.  Instead they feel a part of you.  Thank you for living out what you believe is best, but not talking about those things in a way that makes me-or-others feel like half-bakes.  You love differences and don't want everyone to be like you - you want them to be like them.  And you bring that out in people.  Thank you for talking about God like He's really your friend, and not like you're "good Christian folk who have to bring up prayer now."  It's obvious that your life in Him is so interweaved with your everyday life that they just simply can't be separated.  It doesn't feel hokey, ultra-spiritual or pushy.  It just feels right and helpful and delightful.  
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Thank you for the start of a friendship - I hope our babies will be buds for a long long time, and I hope you'll get to eat at our bagel shop someday, and I hope for many nights and meals and BBQ's and holiday parties and coffee-breaks and conversations and knowings with our families.

It's been so nice to meet you.

Carlotta | Pastor's Girl Ponderings Portraits

and the world's like a science
and i'm like a secret

lingering still - she&him
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I'm calling her bluff in the poker game of personal online portrayal.  If you've had the breath-easy bliss of reading the blog of Carlotta, you'd know a number of facts, and you may even come to quite a few educated guesses, about her. photo carlotta_blog_pastors_girls7of19.jpg
Thoughtful, deep, intoverted, esoteric, wide-eyed and poetic.  We come to her blog and find calm, everyday beauty.  Well-constructed sentences without many exclamation points or smiley faces.  The colors are neutral, the patterns are non-existent and the fonts are classic.  No hot pink and polka-dotted for this girl.  People ask if she ever has a bad day?! Because life appears so perfect!  Her mind seems as interesting and full of treats as her attic-like bedroom we love to see pictures of.  We probably imagine her waking up, with lips that smell like hyacinths and armpits that smell like bookstores, and starting the day by just staring out the window for a few minutes, blinking slowly and breathing silently.  With a handmade knit throw dripping off her bed, she probably lifts an original German leather notebook off her thrifted nightstand, flows down the stairs with perfect posture and creates prayers of sweet happiness in calligraphy, while eating curds and whey.
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Everyone.

She has us fooled.

Bravo, Carlotta, bravo!

When I drove up to the Tiev's household, the first thing I saw was the neighbors house.  Four little mangy-headed, bare-footed, beautiful small women, fumbling with a sign and screeching "GIRL SCOUT COOKIES! GIRL SCOUT COOKIES FOR SALE!"  I recognized a couple of their faces.  They waved and watched me park. "Is she buying some? I think she is.  Maybe." was written all over their smooth faces.  (I did buy some, by the way.)  Carlotta was standing across the street and ran to meet me.  She kind of tripped and we oddly hugged.  Her voice was much kid-d-ier than I thought it would be.
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Yes, she is just as stunning in person as she is online.  So.  Don't make yourself feel better about that.  She is just extraordinary.  Our day together began with a tour of the house, meeting her family, and seeing the new chickens.  Then she showed me all over Tulsa.  Her church.  Her favorite cafe.  A hotel Britney Spears and Lady GaGa stayed at.  Underground tunnels.  Gelatto.  The "hipster" area.

She got lost (nearly) constantly.  She left me in an elevator.  She took me through some parking garages (by mistake).  She dripped gelatto in her hair and washed her hands with my ice (I offered, for the record.)   She talked on and on about different projects she started on and never finished.  She got her skirt stuck in her barstool at lunch and chided herself playfully "WHY am I so awkward?!"  She talked and chatted and joked and zoned-out and goofed and skipped and slouched.  And I finally said "You are SO different than you seem online!"  She laughed, that beautiful, real, knowing laugh of hers.  She looked just like MiMi on the side of the road behind a picnic table full of primary colored cookie boxes.
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"Yeah, I know.  I really do have deep thoughts!  And I'm very careful about what I put online.  I don't know... I don't want to look back someday and be like 'Ew, gross!' or, like, have a potential boss find some crazy things about me on the internet.  Yeah.  I don't know.  My blog is me.  Like, a part of me.  I just have to sit down and write and think about it - I'm not like that all the time."
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Hear me out: she is educated, sickeningly discerning, very lovely - in word, action and thought, gentle, mysterious and quite well-rounded.
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However.  She is a ITSSOFLUFFYIAMGONNADIE goofball.  She has colorful stories to tell, and a cheesy sense of humor, and is sometimes "slow" to get sarcasm, and does a great money-walk... and tries to steal money (um. yeah.  Ask her about it ;).  She seems far older than her age.  In fact, all day I felt like she was older than me.  But she somehow pulls off "seeming older" with this weird little girl crazy.  Like, I would say "She seems like a 24 year old with a 10 year old's personality."  As opposed to "She is a very mature 17 year old, who seems more like she's going on 30."

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She carries herself with grace and gladness and giddy.  She isn't misrepresenting herself on her blog - that girl and that mind is very much a part of her.  The whole Anthro-come-to-life thing is there.  It's just not all.  And I for one found myself more amused than "philosophically inspired."  She is so much fun.  She's hilarious!  She's a ham!  She's truly great.  
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So, please, by all means.  Keep reading and loving her blog.  Keep being amazed at her ideas, taste, language and online journal.  And know that behind those posts, sitting behind a screen, somewhere in Tulsa, is a kooky, bilingual, chaos-and-calm, whippersnapper, doll of a girl, who is more herself than most adults you'd ever meet.
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You're a keeper, Carlotta.  Don't get used to hearing it: you're rare.  And brilliantly memorable.  Especially when it comes to driving directions ;)

Rachel Leigh + Allix B | Portraits

it seems like one of those nights,
we ditch the whole scene and end up dreaming
instead of sleeping.

22 - taylor swift
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I connect with people by trying to figure them out.  In some ways this a neat and interesting quality, and in other ways it's problematic.  I can relatively quickly watch, process and conclude "what a person is like" but I can also turn people into a "project." Which is bad.   But.  I often have one specific moment where, in my mind, I finally "get" someone.

For Rachel Leigh, it happened while I was grilling hamburgers.  Rachel has been a longtime blog-friend.  I've always been fascinated with her crazy long hair (can your hair give my hair lessons?!), her simple and good reminders of happy and true things, and her celebratory happiness for her friends.  I guessed (deduced) that she was a fresh, kind, talented and smart girl.  Which, she is.
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From what I could tell online, Rachel seemed demure and ballerina-like.  And almost as if she had been dropped into 2013 from a Green Gable somewhere a number of decades back.  Not because she looked old, but because she seemed charmed in a southern grace, bonnet and dress, walk in the fields and read sort of way.
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Last week, Rachel and her best one, Allix (who you'll meet in just a second) came all the way up from Texas to be my guests and to "break the cyber barrier" and MEET. IN. PERSON.  Rachel instantly surprised me.  Though she was just as kind, graceful and intelligent as I imagined she would be, she was not nearly as quiet or reserved.  Rachel is full of conversation, question, thoughts, stories, facts and humor.  She is extremely well-spoken, quick on her feet and bright.  Her vocabulary is golden, her opinions are thoughtful and her confidence is strong.  I loved it.
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And it all dawned on me while we were visiting Caleb and the boys at the house.  My tradition is to bring hamburger meat up to them for lunch.  Every day.  We charcoal grill.  Patty to grill, patty to bun, bun to mouth.  No utensils, plates, napkins, toppings.  They like it hot, well-done and fast.  They've cut the hamburger meet with their saws (which is gross) and use 2x4's as a serving platter.  But since I had some ladies with me, I tried to be a little more hospitable.  I brought some fruit, chips, paper plates and water bottles.  While our lady-lunch was grilling Rachel asked if I had plates.  "Yes!  They are in that bag on the ground." "Do you want me to get them for you?" "Eh, we have a little while before the burgers are done.  I'm good. Thanks though!"  A minute or two later I see her pawing through the bag. She stops.  Comes and stands by me.  I felt like she was on the verge of saying something, but she didn't.  I continue talking with Allix and her mother (who joined us for the day! So much fun.) and I catch Rachel eyeing the bags again.  She finally blurted out "Do you want me to get the plates out now so that when the burgers are ready, they'll be ready?"  And it clicked for me.
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"Rachel!" I laughed "I figured it out!  You're a control freak!" Hahaha.  "Yes, go get the plates.  You're very concerned about them!"  She immediately started laughing too. "No, no! I just, well, I want to help and...!" I cut her off.  And I really was mostly teasing.  More than control-freak, this is what The Paper Plate Pleading showed me about her: she is an initiator.  I think I thought of her more as a sweet follower.  But no.  She is a bold, aware, gentle initiator.  Whether it's trips or stories or practical needs or match-making... she is taking action.  I think it's an incredibly beautiful and important quality, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that in her.  Though I teased her about the plates for the rest of the day, I was more impressed than anything.

Rachel, I loved meeting you and am justsoglad you made the trip up to visit with me.  See you again soon, yes? Oh.  And never forget that us "Leigh's" will always hold a special place in each other's hearts ;)
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If you know who Rachel is, you definitely know who Allix B is.  And vice-versa.  They're often asked "Are you two sisters?!" And they seem to be with each other all day, every day.  Which, I know they aren't.  But it's rare to "find" one online without the other nearby.  They're the best kind of best friends. Different in nearly every way, yet too many similarities to count.  I would have been actually sad if I hadn't been able to meet them both together :)  Thanks for making me happy, guys.
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Now, while I had "imagined" Rachel as more on the hushed side, I pictured Allix being a CRAZYGOOFBALLFIREWORKALLTHEDAYLONG.   I was certainly "closer" in my guess with her than I was with Rachel ;)
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However!  For being only 17, I was, again, surprised and impressed with Allix's sense of calm and stability while maintaining giddy, dimple-y, instant happiness.  I decided that she writes much more exclaimated than she acts (at least during first impressions), but she is really as happy as she seems.  Her cute sense of style, her smart business sense, her love of words and writing well, and her obvious talent with a camera are just cherries on this sweet sundae.  
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I'm sure she has her moments (who doesn't?) but Allix was much less "dumb blonde" and much more "Eva Gabor."  She isn't just funny quips, easy laughter and bright colors.  She has a processing, analyzing, deep brain - and it's not hidden.  It's obvious.  She knows what she likes and doesn't like, because she has thought about it.  She isn't "about the trends."  She is gracious and patient and really just so kind.
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It was great getting to watch Allix enjoy, friend and even play with her mom all day long, too.  They have such a trusting, close relationship.  The kind where you finish each other's sentences and mutually care deeply about the other's opinions and preferences.  I'd be willing to bet that most of Allix's relationships are like that: she is all in, and she is all in because she cares.  It's impressive, and I hope never ever fades.  You must come visit again.  I won't stand for it otherwise :)
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Girls!  You were such a lovely part of my week.  And I want the whole world to know: Rachel and Allix are so much wonderful.  Follow them and be their friend, and get ready for fun times. 

Red Dirt Home | Personal


Flashback: September 21, 2012

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The Design of a House by Wendell Berry
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"Love has conceived a house,
and out of its labor
brought forth its likeness
- the emblem of desire,
continuing though the flesh falls away.
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Love foresees a jointure
composing a house, a marriage of contraries,
compendium of opposites in equilibrium.
Let severeness be as dividing
as budleaves around the flower!
- woman and child enfolded, chosen within.
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This is a love poem for you -
among wars, among brutal forfeitures of time
in this house,
among latent fires and stillness,
among all that honesty must see,
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I accept and love you.
And our Baby,
precious and periled in her happy mornings,
whose tears are mine.
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Love has visualized a house,
and out of its expenditure
fleshed the design at this cross ways
of consciousness and time:
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Its form is growth come to light in it;
croulants, gardens,
are of its architecture,
labor its realization,
cities we have gone to and come back
are the prospect of its doorways.
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And there's a city it dreams of."

Red Dirt Life | Personal

"and drivin' down the road
i get a feeling that i should have
been home yesterday, yesterday"
country roads - john denver
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On the border of Logan and Lincoln County, forming the third point of a triangle with Meridian and Shiloh, is the forgettable "town" of Merrick.  The roads here are all numbered, not named.  780.  3300. 800.  105.  As orderly as geometry graph paper, the lines of the red dirt go straight, in both directions, for more miles than you could drive in a day.  Likewise for the cross roads.   God help the soul who gets lost out here (and don't worry, God does, through His friendly and blessed people who call these paths "home.")   The only memorable town trophy is the old school house.  It's been closed for decades, but the former students who live nearby (all grannies and granddads now) have a monthly town dance in the empty, square building.   If you happened upon the right lumpy lane, and knew where to stop, you'd see these trees:
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These trees look like the rest of the trees lining sunburned roads in Merrick (and Meridian and Shiloh and Frost and...).  But these trees our our trees.   Almost three years ago, long before he met me, my husband bought 25 acres of trees.  At one point the path through them had been cleared out, but spending almost two years in Maryland gave the grass and reeds ample time to reclaim their territory.  Behind these trees, about a quarter mile straight in, is the beginning of our house.   There is a concrete footing and foundation, as well as concrete exterior walls (I was there for that stage), with cut-outs for the windows and doors.  In a couple weeks, we're headed to Meridian, and we'll be passing the old school, and we'll pull up to these trees.  During our month long stay, we'll trample down most of that helpless but persistent greenery on the ground.   We've been saving for over a year - counting pennies, not taking trips we could have taken, waiting - and now it's time to put a roof on the house.   Caleb will spend 10-16 hours a day, nearly everyday, making this roof become real and not a drawing.  Early mornings, late nights, sweet rest, unexpected costs and satisfying progress are sure to be our story.

This was never how I imagined my first year of marriage.
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No, I wasn't exactly a Red Dirt Bride in my mind.  Before I met Caleb, I imagined staying in my outskirts-of-DC-location for a few years, and then maybe moving somewhere quaint down south.  South Carolina was the location of choice.  Beach, class, lower cost, East Coast (near route 95 and all the beloved cities who live up and down it - from Boston, New York, Philadelphia, DC, Charlotte, Charleston and on).  Close enough to not drastically change my photography clientele, but far enough away to change my world.  Close enough to spend long weekends with my family, but far enough to miss my birth city.  I also dreamed of quick California fixes.  The California coast is my favorite and best place in the whole world (well, that I've had the honor of experiencing so far.)  My mother and her family is from and still near and around California.  I have friends - so many friends - out there.  When I was still younger than 10, we moved out to San Diego for a year and a half.  It was the longest vacation I've ever taken.  I'm a summer girl, who craves a beach and tacos and fashion and a dry heat world.  I imagined that.
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But I met a red dirt man.
"... somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to cradle his own grandchild... somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to 'be sure and come back real soon' β€” and mean it... Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life β€˜doing what dad does.'"
He dreams of carrying on the family business he and his father and brothers began years ago.  He bounces in his seat, and gets flushed when he explains to me the plans for his, er, our, home.  We often nestle into bed and begin using our hands to "draw" a new idea we have.  Usually this turns into lights popping back on, and someone googling or doodling to "see" the idea better.  I made a few changes to his original plans - a woman's touch.  The kitchen has been moved and there are far more bedrooms now.  He's talked me into some ideas I didn't love initially (*ahem* stone, turrets *ahem*) and I've gotten him quite excited about acrylic chairs, glass and crystal, and bright and white over dark and "cabin-y."  Dark wood floors, wood-beamed ceiling and a white-exterior with black accents have been our chocolate fondue melting pot. 
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So we begin.  Living this life as "one," a Hollywood half-blood crossed with country wind and grit.  There is more preppy in him than he was aware of, and I've discovered there is more small-town in my heart than I had ever understood.  Our neighbor across the way, for example, plants two gardens every year: one inside his fence for he and his family, one on the outside of his fence, by the side of the road, for anyone nearby or passing-by who needs an onion or potato.   Every year.  Just to be kind.  Yes, there is room - much room - my heart for living life with people like him.  Caleb's favorite shoes are either his Cantor Low Ralph Lauren canvas sneakers, or his classic brown Sperry Top-Siders.

I love being changed, and watching someone else change, and yet somehow still retaining ourselves in the process.  I love being a Red Dirt Bride.  It's better than I imagined.

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Our road-trip to build the roof starts the first weekend in March.  We'll be cruising through country in my little white Corolla, and we'll live in Guthrie (the latest stop for the Mumford&Sons tour! What what!  "The biggest thing to happen to Guthrie since The Land Run.")

I'd love to meet new friends in the surrounding area.  E-mail or get in touch somehow if you're available to chat and hang-out during the month of March.   We can mingle at Hoboken!  Or if you'd like a photoshoot of some sort - I'm available for a few sessions :)  

Oklahoma Wedding Reception | Mr. + Mrs. Morris

"they never understand why their princess falls
for some camouflage britches 
and a southern boy drawl."
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Our wedding was all kinds of dreamy, joyful and dear to our beating Morris hearts.  The *only* thing that seemed a sad touch of strange was that, aside from family and his new Maryland friends, Caleb really didn't have his "own" guests at the wedding.  The sweet church ladies who talk about his piano skills every time they see him (while pinching his cheek, or placing their hand on his.)  The Laura Ingalls Wilder children.  The families who are in the photo albums and home videos.  The first employers.  The next-door neighbors.  Dozens of friendly faces and lives were absent at our wedding.  In some ways it felt like "my" wedding without all of those "Caleb-people" there.  

On Saturday we were the bride and groom, for the very last time.  And this time, it was all about Caleb.  His hostess-with-the-mostess, creative bumblebee of a mother threw a "Cinderella pumpkin patch/Flea Market/Western" event of a lifetime on the family farm, Caleb's childhood stomping grounds.  I wore his favorite gold hoops and wore my hair down (he doesn't like pins and clips and bands.  Kind of like how most guys don't like lipstick.  Only gets in the way ;).  I told him to wear whatever he wanted: a tie-less suit with sneakers it was!  

We spent 4:00 pm to nearly midnight eating Mrs. Morris' BBQ, talking in the sunset, dancing, hearing stories from "way back when," and savoring all the sweetness of farm life and country friends.  My parents flew in to be here with us - which was so special to me.  I loved watching everyone 'ooo' and 'awww' over my mom, and laugh and tease with my dad.  I was madly happy.  Caleb comes from a little taste of heaven, and I'm honored to now be a part of this world.  

Enjoy the incredible detail and love put into this day!
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Tulip bulb favors!
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My favorite piece of advice was from a 15-year-old girl: "Take Kristen shopping every day."  That's the secret to a happy marriage, right?!
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There were little babies to couples who had celebrated their 50th wedding.  Friends from literally right next store, to friends who drove 12 hours to be with us.  We love all you folks - but mostly the kids.  They're so dang funny!  But my favorite quote of the night was from a lady who remembered one of her first conversations with the Morris boys, about seven or eight years ago:  "Well, Caleb told me he wanted to marry a city girl.  And Daniel, Daniel insisted he wanted a country girl."  I love how different Caleb is from his family, and how he really did want everything that I am... even way back then ;)  In the meantime, Daniel is waiting for that "country girl."  Unless I somehow convince him that city girls make for better wives!
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Alright.  This man right here is Matt.  Matt is a good friend of the family, and he  was one of Caleb's first employers.  We love Matt (even though this was my first time meeting him) because he helped Caleb be the worker and skilled-tradesman he is today!  When Matt got married, Caleb and his brothers decided to pull a little prank on Matt.  As he was running to the getaway car, the boys dumped baked beans, honey and snow down Matt's pants.  Matt drove away and apparently had to try to clean up a little in 10 degree weather out by a barn.  Terrible.  Matt's wife walked right into the reception and said "Caleb Morris, there is a verse in the Bible that talks about 'an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'  Consider yourself warned!" Photobucket
As the main part of the reception was winding down, Matt got his rightful revenge ;)  My only instructions were "Make sure his phone and wallet is not on him.  Please take his shoes off: they are brand new and he loves them with his whole heart.  And don't you dare ruin his $400 suit."  And with that, the fun began:
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(Shoes coming off.  Thank you, guys!)
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So happy... even when being attacked.
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At this point, he still did not know what was going to happen to him...
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... but then he say the water and started SCREAMING "NOOOO! NOOOOO!"  It was kind of heart-breaking!  But then I thought about honey-snow-freezing-beans pants on a wedding night, and I didn't feel too bad for Caleb ;)  The ice bath was frozen and ready:
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When he got out he said he was so cold he couldn't even breathe.  His body went into a quick shock.  It's a good thing he's so healthy and that they DIDN'T CAUSE A HEART ATTACK! Heart Attack > Beans Pants.
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We had a good laugh, made a chilly memory and learned a lesson... right, Honey Bunches of Oats? Riiiight?
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Two of Caleb's siblings built this play house years ago.  It's one of my favorite things I've ever seen. Photobucket
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"The House That Built Me" is a song that can bring both Caleb and I to tears.  Partly because we have half a home built in Oklahoma, that we dream of living in with children someday.  Also in part because Caleb's home really is the house that built us.  I met him here (almost two years ago exactly!).  I discovered he liked me here.  I fell in love with him here.  He lights up when he tells stories about these 27 acres, and always-being-built home.  Now we've celebrated our marriage here.  


Up those stairs in that little back bedroom
Is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitarAnd I bet you didn't know under that live oakMy favorite dog is buried in the yard

Plans were drawn, and concrete poured
Nail by nail, and board by board
Daddy gave life to mama's dreams

Out here it's like I'm someone else
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To all the men, women, children, neighbors, and friends who built Caleb, thank you.  To Oklahoma, red dirt, big pastures, energetic small towns, and lots of barbeque, thank you.  To our future life, children, dreams and passions, thank you.  You've all built us, and we wouldn't be the same if it weren't for you.  God knew what he was doing when He made us a part of a small town outside of Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Happy "You" Reception, Cowboy.  I love every part of your life.  And I can't wait to spend our days loving it even more. Muah!