Archives for March 2015

Engagement Photos: Consider a Night Shoot


Mother of the Bride, when your darling daughter and the love of her life start talking about engagement photos, they might want to consider a night shoot.

Lights always make for beautiful photos—whether city lights, candlelight, twinkling lights, stars, or sunset. Lights add a special touch of romance. And what better time for a touch of romance than for engagement photos?

If your happy couple would like to have some daytime shots as well, check with your photographer and see if he or she would be willing to split the photo session into two 30-minute sessions, one night shoot and one day shoot. You never know unless you ask, right? He may charge a small extra fee to split the session, but it probably wouldn’t be too much more.

So MOB, why not suggest an engagement shoot at night? If you do, I see fantastic photos—and a very pleased couple—in your future!

*You might also like to read Engagement Photo Idea: Frame That Moment!, Engagement Photo Idea: Playground Fun, and Engagement Photo Idea: Bike Fun!

14343443484_b568f1b796_z*Flickr photos by Christopher.F Photography, Creative Commons License

Pain Before Pleasure

3965290660_f3a989c1c1_z*Since we’ve been traveling more often the past couple of months to help take care of our grandbabies, I’ve been sharing encore posts more often than usual. Today I’m featuring one from April 2012. Hope it blesses you!

Sometimes new things—good things—hurt. Think of the pain that precedes or accompanies some of the happenings in our lives. Whether it’s a move, a promotion, the birth of a child, goals achieved, weight loss, or our young adult children leaving us to start responsible lives of their own, most of the time pain comes before the pleasure is realized.

In my writing life, this has certainly proved to be true. I make mistakes as I venture into new and challenging territories. I experience the pain of rejection in order to realize the pleasure and joy of publication. I put in hours and hours of labor to see my work come to completion, and the strain on the brain (as well as the tushy!) can be quite painful at times.

Pain before pleasure also marks my personal life. For instance, I don’t like the planning and packing that must precede a vacation or the fact that my arthritic joints cry out against the uncomfortable positions I must assume to pick fresh strawberries from our patch. When my girls were growing up, I dreaded the discipline I had to dish out in order to see them become responsible and caring adults. The examples could go on and on.

The principle of pain before pleasure also dots the landscape of my spiritual life—and yours as well, I’m sure. To come into relationship with Jesus, we must first feel the sting of our sin as we realize our need for a Savior. Then lessons in unconditional love and forgiveness come with the price tags of hurt and anger, while deeper relationship with our Lord often grows from periods of heartache, fear, or desperation. Yes, pain comes before the pleasure of salvation, freedom, peace, comfort, and a host of other blessings.

Let’s consider our salvation and hope of heaven a bit further. Even though we experience some pain and sorrow as we realize our sinfulness, Jesus took on the real pain for us. He suffered and died to pay the price for our sins, to make a way for us to live in victory today and to have the assurance of eternal life with Him in heaven.

As we celebrate Easter each year, we see the ultimate example of pain before pleasure. Jesus’ death before His resurrection. Darkness before light. Sorrow before joy. New life to all of us who will turn from the old sinful nature and give our hearts to the One who gave His all for us. Pain before pleasure—a pleasure for us as we gain a Savior and Friend, as we gain eternal life. A pleasure for Him as we accept His gift and become His children.

Let’s live in that pleasure today and every day. Let’s live in the joy of Easter!

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

*If you’re in a painful phase right now, take heart — pleasure will come again. Anyone have examples you’d like to share from your own life of pain before pleasure?

*Flickr photo by mikebaird, Creative Commons License

Midweek Morsel: Look What God Does!


I love passages of scripture that recount some of the things our mighty and loving God does. One such passage is found in Psalm 146:6-10. Just look at a few of the things the Maker of heaven and earth does!

“He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,
the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
the LORD loves the righteous.
The LORD watches over the alien
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

The LORD reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.

Praise the LORD.” Psalm 146:6-10

Praise the Lord indeed!

And don’t you love how verses that tell us what God does can be turned into prayers? Pray through this passage with me, won’t you, asking God to do these very things in our lives, in the lives of others we know, and in our world today. He is forever faithful. He will continue to do these things!

*Which part of this scripture passage resonates the most with you today?

*Flickr photo by Andréia, Creative Commons License

Wedding Centerpiece: Cupcake Bouquets!


Mother of the Bride, have I got a super-creative, super-yummy centerpiece idea for you and your sweet girl today—Wedding Centerpiece Cupcake Bouquets!

What’s not to love about a centerpiece that will definitely not go to waste? And what can be be more exciting for guests than cake at their very own tables? This is definitely a win-win idea!

Ask your cake baker/designer to frost the cupcakes to look like roses and then select whatever color will work best with your décor plan. You can even go with different color bouquets scattered throughout. For an extra touch of variety, you can offer multiple flavors of cake—but nothing is wrong with one divine flavor either!

A variety of bases and numbers of cupcakes in the bouquets can also be used. A pail is used in the examples pictured here, but flower pots, baskets, crystal glassware, or even wooden crates can work as well. A pretty ribbon wrapped around the base also adds a nice touch.

So MOB, see if this idea appeals to your daughter—and then have fun brainstorming cupcake bouquet ideas together!

*You might also like to read Centerpiece Idea: Mirror Magic, Centerpiece Idea: Flower Ring and Candle, Table or Mantelpiece Décor Idea for a Rustic Wedding, and Wedding Cake Trend: Multiple Mini Cakes.


*Flickr photos by clevercupcakes, Creative Commons License

Double the Yum With Double-Layer Groom’s Cake


Mother of the Bride, if your daughter’s beloved isn’t really interested in a groom’s cake with a theme, why not suggest this elegant double layer/double flavor option? The decadent yum-factor will be sure to make it a hit with everyone.

Just think of the possibilities: Different flavors and/or different fillings for each layer, the variety of toppers that could work (flowers are pictured here, but strawberries would be gorgeous and delicious, too.), and even the color combination for the frosting could vary. The photo above is just the jumping off point for what your sweet couple might come up with.

So throw the idea out there, MOB—and then lobby for the flavors of your choice, right?!

*You might also like to read Groom’s Cake Idea: Law Books (or any other books!), Groom’s Cake Idea: Alma Mater Pride, Groom’s Cake Toppers for the Hunter, and Groom’s Cake Idea: His Favorite Set of Wheels.

*Flickr photo by prettydaisies, Creative Commons License