Jen + Scott | Jumping with your heart

Winter Wedding in Vail

I have always been a believer of jumping with my heart. I feel like when you trust your heart you know it’s right. Jen and Scott were these people to a T. When you know you know and let’s not waste any time. They planned their whole wedding in three weeks with the help of the amazing Emily Campbell from Bella Planning in Breckenridge their event was pulled off flawlessly in an intimate ceremony and reception at the Four Season in Vail, Colorado. They were engaged in October and married in November. I remember asking Jen about the craziness and she said “Why wait?”. I love that these two jumped and never looked back. I wish them all the very best in their adventure together!

Wedding Dress in WindowGetting Ready VailGetting Ready Bride and GroomGetting Ready1st look in VailBridal PortraitsUntitled_0127Vail Colorado Winter Wedding
Winter Wedding CowboyWedding decor winter weddingCeremony Four Seasons Vailgray and brown winter wedding cake1st dance vail weddingfun wedding dessertFour Seasons Vail inside weddingdaddy daughter dancereception four seasons vail

Venue: Four Seasons Vail

Wedding Planner: Emily Campbell of Bella Designs

Florist: Bloom

DJ: Great Time DJ 

Second Photographer: Erin Cady

Dress: Panache in Beverly Hills

I believe in living life graciously

Sometimes things happen in our lives that evoke fear and make us doubt the very existence that we all share. Why am I here? A question all of us have asked ourselves at one time or another. As we grow and change throughout our lives we have to allow the definition of our selves to grow and change with us.

I am a cancer survivor. Whew. That is the first time I have said that publicly. It is both a  little scary and liberating.

I have graciously been given another opportunity to look at my life and wonder what the purpose is. When things like this happen our natural reaction as humans is to find out what it is that we are thankful for even though our world seems to be crumbling to the ground.

I am very grateful that my doctors were able to get all the cancer out in one surgery and the recurrence rate is very very low. The emotional toll is life altering and the recovery from the surgery was long. I was determined to not let this define me even though it has changed me. It was only when I stepped back that I thought about this strengthening my message.  I had a stack of cards 50+ high filled with encouragement sitting on my desk . Thank you cards to write for people who brought us food, visited me while I was in the hospital, helped me clean, take care of clients, sent flowers, sent me well wishes of all kinds. People are innately amazing and compassionate people. This should have come as no surprise to me and yet I was still overcome by it. The amount of compassion and love that I felt over this whole ordeal has been humbling.

Sometimes it takes something like this to realize how lucky we really are. I look into my son’s eyes and know that his mommy will be here to watch him grow up. I am thankful and appreciate his smile, laugh, and silly adventures so much more. I appreciate my husband’s bad breath in morning when he kisses me as we wake. Stopping to pay attention in a world that is full of distractions and excuses not to live presently. To be thankful for those moments that allow us to feel. A basic human emotion that we sometimes curse. All these are signs of being alive which I cherish so much now.

There is a certain amount of blame and shame that comes with a cancer diagnoses. What could I have done to prevent this? My doctor’s answer: “Nothing, sometimes it is just bad luck.” Bad luck.  I believe everything happens for a reason. Finding this and striving toward it has made it worth it. It is not a new thing. Something that has always been at my core, but now I can give myself permission to celebrate those things about me that I want more of: Grace. Benevolence. Compassion.  These are now a part of both my personal and my business message. Be gracious to others, sure.  More than that, be gracious to YOURSELF. You must love the imperfection in yourself in order to love all of you.

Brene Brown, one of my favorite speakers and authors said. “The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button.”  I suggest you listen to those. I am doing my best to do so. With Grace.

Romantic. Gracious. Carefree.

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March 18, 2014 - 4:11 AM

Jackie Gannon - Sarah you are an amazing woman. An inspiration. “be gracious to YOURSELF” YES!!! Thank you lady! :) <3 you!

March 18, 2014 - 8:10 AM

Christine - So much truth here, Sarah! Love it. Love you!!! XOXOXO

March 18, 2014 - 1:02 PM

Evette Goldstein - Sarah, your post is beautiful and beautifully written. I know that you have always had grace, benevolence, and compassion, especially for others. I believe wake up calls are, in part, so that we will turn these traits inward. I also believe everything happens for a reason, however, I do wish the alarm on the wake up calls was not always so harsh! One more thing… Please remember, you are loved by so many.

March 18, 2014 - 2:16 PM

Rachel Aberle - Sarah, you are amazing and special!

March 18, 2014 - 2:22 PM

Sarah Austin Lehberger - You must love the imperfection in yourself in order to love all of you. <3 So true, Sarah, so true.

March 18, 2014 - 2:38 PM

Cindy Harter Sims - YOU are a beautiful human :)

March 18, 2014 - 2:47 PM

Stephanie Ostermann - You are one of the most amazingly alive people I’ve ever met. So glad to call you friend. <3

March 18, 2014 - 3:04 PM

Jeff Chrisler - wow sarah, congratulations on becoming cancer free and not hitting the snooze button this time. i know what you mean there. beautiful post.

March 18, 2014 - 3:26 PM

Tori Pintar - Thank you Sarah for sharing your story! We love you! Permission to treat myself with grace.

March 18, 2014 - 3:53 PM

Lorrin Cordell Dyer - Brava! Beautifully written! You are such an inspiration and your heart is pure! Hooray for kicking cancer’s arse! I love and adore you and so happy you are my friend! xox

March 18, 2014 - 7:09 PM

Carol Rust - So beautifully written, Sarah. Please know how much you are loved!

March 18, 2014 - 7:31 PM

Kelli Noel Crannell - Sarah – so eloquently and bravely spoken! You are special to me and I am honored to call you my friend!

March 19, 2014 - 1:00 AM

Sloan Waters BizOwner - This is beautifully written, and I can relate from a child’s perspective. I was raised by a breast cancer survivor. My mother is still alive and kicking, and her life is good. Sadly, my father lost his life to cancer…I was 34 years old, but still very much his child. I’m so glad that you have found your worth and your strength, and this voice, if for nothing else, your son. It will not only continue to shape you, it will undeniably shape your son in so many surprising and wonderful ways. God bless!

March 19, 2014 - 2:25 AM

Rami Carter - Beautifully spoken! You never cease to amaze me. You are a true inspiration to me and many others.

March 19, 2014 - 4:18 AM

Rachel Lefkowitz Abelson - Amazing. Tears in my eyes. For you, from you. That was perfectly said. So lucky to have you as a friend.

March 19, 2014 - 6:02 AM

Debbie Meier - A smile and a full heart. Thank you for giving me these things…again!

March 19, 2014 - 8:32 AM

Katrina Meyer - You are such an amazing person! I am so blessed to call you friend!

March 19, 2014 - 2:43 PM

Kristi Pohly - Wow Sarah–very powerful writing that tugs at the heart strings! I am so glad you are through it and more alive than ever before. Truly blessed to know you and have your inspiration!

March 19, 2014 - 5:23 PM

Kathi Cook - Sarah, I love you <3 You are a gift and I am so glad I know you. Thank you for sharing this, sharing yourself and for you grace:)

Chrissy & Hank’s Mountain Winter Engagement Session

 

 

Engagement Session with dogsLaughter. It makes me feel like the world is melting off my shoulders.  The ability to laugh at my husband and him to laugh at me at the darkest times seems to be our saving grace. We can never take ourselves or each other too seriously. I have bad days just like the rest of the world, sometimes really bad days. Even with my intensely romantic view of the world sometimes it is hard to see beyond it, but laughter always makes it seem better and makes me see the world with the rose colored glasses that I love looking through. Where ever there is a bad day there is a good one.  I am so grateful for tomorrow, for laughter, for love, for friendship, for sweet awesome people like Hank and Chrissy who aren’t afraid to laugh at each other and be gracious in their lives. One thing I have learned lately is that one of the ways we can be happier is to be grateful. Being grateful on those days that stink, for the smiles, for tears, a sense of humor, that we feel at all, and just being grateful for being alive and enjoying the chaos that greets each day.

I love Hank and Chrissy’s laughter they share together. Their smiles, carefreeness, and gratitude towards each other and everyone around them is inspiring.

Huge congrats to Chrissy and Hank who are getting married in Lake Tahoe in July!

What are you grateful for today?

 

 

Blue Skies mountain engagement sessionMountain Engagement SessionWinter Engagement ShootEvergreen Engagement SessionPine trees engagement sessionWinter Engagement Session laughterPurple and Gray engagement sessionBarn Engagement Session
Snowy Engagement Session with blanket

 

PS – I am grateful for Jenni Lillie. A dear friend and fellow photographer. I had some surgery a few weeks prior to this and am on a 10lb limit. She was kind enough to come with me to this shoot and carry my bags so I could play in the snow with these cute people.  :)

Tonya + Josh’s Dog Sledding Elopement | Breckenridge

snuggling-with-husky-dog-weddingI believe there are no rules for your wedding. I have said this before. (Click here to read my blog on that topic). I am sort of in love with elopements for that reason. It is about the love that you have for one another and the lifetime commitment that you are sharing. Talk about exciting? I almost leaped our of my chair when I talked to Tonya about her plans to elope dogsledding in Breckenridge. I was seriously so excited. Gorgeous dogs, an awesome couple, and the mountains? How could it get much better than that? Tonya and Josh were absolutely one of the most perfect couples for me. Their carefree, relaxed sense of the day told me that what was really important to them was that they have fun and say their vows to each other. The day couldn’t have been more beautiful and what an experience and story to tell for their wedding. We started with a first look, in the snowy trees near The Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge where Josh and & Tonya were getting ready.

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Then we headed up to Good Times Adventures  in Breckenridge where we dog sledded in, stopped at a clearing for a beautiful ceremony, and then dog sledded out!

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We then headed to the Ice Castles in Breckenridge. I had never been and they were still under construction but they were amazing. It was like something out of Narnia.
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I think Tonya looks like the goddess of her Ice castle.:)So gorgeous. Ice-queen-bride-at-breckenridge-ice-castles

Just remember that if you are having a wedding large or small that it doesn’t have to play by any rules. It is about you two committing your life to one another and that in itself makes it special. Whether you are surrounded by 300 people or just the gorgeous Colorado mountains, , an officiant, gorgeous dogs, and a photographer what is important is it is what you want and you are celebrating the love you have for one another. Josh & Tonya, your love and carefreeness in your relationship is inspiring. I was honored to be a very small part of your awesome day (signing the marriage license was a first!), I wish you both the very best in your adventures together!

 

January 15, 2014 - 10:37 PM

Julie Tedder - These pictures are absolutely stunning! How lucky they are to have someone like you who can capture the excitement and emotions of this adventure!

January 15, 2014 - 11:41 PM

Tonya Rohret - Sarah!!!! Ahhhhhh! I’m just so in LOVE with these pictures. You did such a sensational job. They are beautiful. Thank you so much for all you’re hard work, hours of driving, braving the cold with us, and for hours of editing. This is more than we could’ve asked for.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Tonya & Josh

January 16, 2014 - 2:39 AM

Pat Bouska - What beautiful pictures to relive the memories. Your clothes are so very nice and colorful. Just perfect for the occasion. You look so happy. We wish you the BEST in all your years together!! Congratulations once again.

Love, Uncle Dave and Aunt Pat

Paige + Chaz’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High Wedding | Denver Broncos Wedding

Denver Broncos WeddingSo I tell a lot of stories about my Grandfather here, but he was one of the most important influences in my life so I love sharing his spirit. Ever since I was little I was a Broncos fan. My family has always been hardcore fans, and my Grandfather bought tickets at the birth of the Denver Broncos back in the 60s. Those tickets have been in our family for years and the seats are some of the most coveted prize in our family. It was something we all could always agree on. When I was old enough to understand the game or at least sit still for more than 10 minutes, my Grandfather would give those most coveted tickets to me and take me for my birthday. It was one of my favorite Grandpa and me dates.  He would pick me up from my house and we would make the long walk into the stadium. He always had his portable radio with his ear phones. He would buy me whatever I wanted and then would proceed to explain the game to me. There was always parties celebrating playoffs and Superbowls.  A good excuse to get our family together and have a great time. So needless to say my blood is pretty much orange and blue.

As everyone knows I am usually the outdoor wedding photographer. I typically only consider indoor weddings or weddings not in the mountains if the couples are an absolute perfect fit and I am really excited to photograph the wedding. This was one of those cases. Being the crazy Broncos fan that I am, Paige and Chaz being a perfect fit for my brand (being playful, carefree, romantic), it was a perfect combination and I almost leapt out of my chair when Paige called. I remember chatting with her on the phone and she said Chaz told her to trust her gut and I was it. A twenty minute conversation and we knew we were a great fit for one another.:)

Their wedding day did not disappoint. Getting ready in the club houses overlooking the field, a ceremony, and an awesome grand tour after. Chaz is a huge Broncos fan too, so this was a surprise gift for the groom! Yay surprises. Chaz didn’t even know until the final walk through when they pulled up in the parking lot and he asked why they were there! Best Groom gift ever!  Afterward the ceremony they proceeded to Chaz’s parents ranch for their reception. Just an awesome day. Paige & Chaz I wish you both the very best. I love seeing your updates and lovingness towards each other. You inspire me.

Getting Ready Ssport Authority FieldDenver Broncos Shoes Orange and Blue Wedding shoesGetting ready Broncos Wedding

Broncos Club House

The Bridal Party Broncos Stadium looking out at the field

Sports authority field Wedding kissingDenver Broncos Converses Wedding Shoes

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Huge thank you to my second shooter that day Erin Cady

Venue: Sports Authority Field at Mile High (Broncos Stadium)

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