Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sarah + Donnie | Engagements

Meet the most precious muffins on the planet: Donnie and Sarah. Y'ALL! I mean, SERIOUSLY!? I can't even begin to describe how stinkin' ADORABLE these two are together. They exude the gift of love of from Lord, and are just THE SWEETEST couple in the world. I don't know how I'm getting blessed with the sweetest and most beautiful couples, but I know one thing, and that is I LOVE MY JOB and I love when I get to work with love muffins like these two. This engagement session was at McKinney Falls State Park and it was THE perfect setting. I'll let the rest of the photos speak for themselves! :) 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April Goals

Gooooooodness Gracious. I have been absolutely awesome at posting my goals a little late in the month haven't I? I just got around to my e-mails after my mini vacation to Vegas with my friends, and in the subject line it said, "SHAY! WHERE ARE YOUR MONTHLY GOALS!?" Haha! :)  I thought it was absolutely crazy (and cute) that one of my friends thought I forgot about my goals for the month. That and the fact that SOMEONE (insert cricket noises here!) actually reads them and cares to follow along to see if I succeeded or failed makes me smile. Who would have thought? Anyway, I didn't forget. I just had a busy beginning to the month and had a few priorities that ranked a little higher on the list.  It's cool y'all. It's cool.

March was a whirlwind. It started my wedding season and boy is it in FULL swing. I am barely in the office these days it feels like because of meetings, photo shoots out of town, and when I am in the office, I am editing away and answering e-mails like a crazy lady. I realized last month that I am in need of some help around here. I've been weighing HEAVILY on the pros-and-cons of getting an intern (even for just one day a week) to help me with small errands and things that take up so much of my time. The fact that I'm even in a place where I can say, " I NEED HELP" or "I CAN'T DO IT ALL" is a really big blessing in itself. I never thought I would be here, but I am and it's exciting but scary. Do you have an intern? Do you have a good experience with it? My heart is really praying on it right now.

Watercolor orders have filled any and all free time I had. I am loving it and can't believe people actually want one from me. When I get e-mails about them, I just smile and think "NO WAY!" It has been the best creative outlet for me and is a great break from editing when my eyes start to go cross eyed and it also helps fill my evening time. Now that Drew travels so much, it's been nice to have this to help pass the time after hours. If you would like a watercolor print, please e-mail me at I'll have shop up in the next few months! My sister-in-law (DDHP's twin) also got engaged (YAYAYAY!) and she asked me to be the MOH! I've never been an MOH before so any advice is accepted around these parts! :) I'm so stinking excited! :)

Anyway- It's been a good kinda crazy over here, but I'm smiling and happy and trying to focus on all the good. I'm dealing with a few hardships at the moment that are private, but I'm trying to stay positive. Prayer Warriors...I need you reallllly bad right now! :) If you could say a big prayer for my family, I would be forever, EVER grateful. It would mean the world to us.

I'm actually yawning this as I type because I just got back from my Vegas vacation with my beautiful blogging babes that I met 3 years ago here (Erica, Rissy, Ashley, and Sabrina). We had so much fun and Vegas was so good to us! My body is craving sleep but it was well worth it. I'll hopefully have a recap up soon! :) Erica ended up taking a Go Pro too so be looking for a silly video in the near future! :) Those girls have my heart y'all! April is hands down going to be the busiest month in the world. I just keep repeating to myself...YOU CAN DO THIS! YOU CAN DO THIS! :)

OKAY- Let's see how I did with my March Goals.

Finish Editing ALL February Sessions
Post Ryan Ray Photos
Introduce Hattie (I am embarrassed. I know. But it's staying until I freakin' do it y'all!)
Celebrate 5 Year Wedding Anniversary with my HOT PANTS!!!
Photograph 3 Weddings
Photograph 7 Sessions

Get out in the sun more. My Vitamin D level is so low according to my recent blood work.
Anniversary Photo Shoot
Go to the Kite Festival with Drew (It got cancelled due to rain. BOO!)
Go to SXSW!!! (Freakin' pumped y'all!)
Explore those new branches I spoke about above

Start the process of changing my BLOG DESIGN with Kelly
Finish my website. Boom.
Pay it Forward
Get my hair did! :)
FINISH TAXES. Gross. Barf. Blah.
Re-evaluate my passion, the things that fire me up, and figure out how to find time to blog more

Start reading The Law of Divine Compensation
Go on more bike rides with my new BIKE with DDHP and friends
Take my dogs on more walks
Enjoy my down time because I set boundaries, office hours, and hope it's respected (So hard for me if I were to be honest. I am human. I need to rest more. I just hope I can train my brain to let me do it with Grace.)

Love the heck out of my man and squeeze his bum all day erry day.
Take a yoga class, and a cycling class because I NEED to get my rear in gear y'all. (I took a Pilates Plus class instead and I am HOOKED!)


Vacation in Vegas with my blog best friends (DONE SON! AND it was a blast!!)
Introduce Hattie for the zillionth time
Anniversary Shoot (Had to reschedule)
Get my hair did! :) 
Start reading The Law of Divine Compensation
FINISH my website. Boom. 
Finish Editing All March Sessions and Weddings
Photograph 6 Sessions
Photograph 3 Weddings
Finish my Blog with Kelly
Go on a date with Drew
Go to Charleston, SC to photograph a wedding (SO excited!)
Have another "Pretend you have a co-worker" Day!
Pay it Forward
Continue Tour of our Home

The end. :) Hibernation aka SEE YA ON THE OTHER SIDE WHEN I CAN COME UP FOR SOME AIR in my office begins nowwwww. :)

Playlist. Shake it.

Shaytastic Music Mix 13 by Shalyn Nelson on Grooveshark

Monday, March 31, 2014

RYAN RAY PHOTO SHOOT aka The Best Day Ever.

About two years ago, I was browsing the interwebs and somehow landed on an amazing photography site...also known as the mega talented, RYAN RAY. I remember looking at his work and just being infatuated with in his jaw-dropping-out-of-this-world-stunning images. I couldn't help but admire how beautifully crafted each photo was. I was determined to have this awesome guy take our photos.

In July of 2012, I sat down with Drew and pretty much begged him to let me inquire with Ryan because I had to make it happen. SO...I did it. I finally found the courage to e-mail him and pretty much professed my admiration for his talent. Thankfully he didn't think I was crazy, laughed at my silly over-the-top e-mail, and wrote me back the kindest response in the world. I started saving my pennies (I couldn't even afford a carton of twinkies at the time, seriously) and so I labeled a mason jar in my closet with "RYAN RAY FUND!". I took a picture of it and e-mailed it to Ryan to show him that ONE DAY we would all get to hang out! We were excited, he was excited and the saving began! 

When that Mason Jar was full...I e-mailed Ryan and screamed it from the rooftops!!! :) Our photo session was BOOKED and I was the happiest girl in the world! Ryan booty danced (okay, probably not, but we want to think he did haha) and that date on our calendar couldn't get here fast enough!

Needless to say, our photo session was everything I had hoped it would be. Of course being self critical, my hair and make-up didn't cooperate with me as I had planned in my head (this always happens doesn't it when you TRY to look your best?) but I didn't let that ruin my day. Being a photographer myself and never being behind the lens, made for one uncomfortable Shay, BUT Ryan being the most insane talent there is, made Drew and I feel right at home. Y'all! We had the best time! We even got to spend some time with his sweet as pie wife, Cary and we even got to meet his HUGE Mastiff, Jax who I wanted to just snuggle up with and take home with me...but that couldn't happen because Piper and Furlee would be gobbled up in a heartbeat. That anddd Ryan and Cary wouldn't have allowed that obviously haha! I had never seen a dog that BIG in my entire life. It was awesome!

OKAY OKAY OKAY, enough of my story. Let's get on with the photos that Drew and I will cherish for a lifetime. Believe it or not, we have had these photos for FOREVER and I wanted to hold off on posting them for our website launch, but I'm tired of holding onto them because they are pretty much out favorite photos ever! I am mad at myself for holding out for so long! They've been plastered all around our house for months though! :) Anddd I guess we can say we waited to post them in light of celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary this past weekend yeah? :)

There is no question that we will have another session with Ryan in the future. He pretty much is my photography role model. There is no question about that! :) 

Copyright of Photography: RYAN RAY PHOTO

There are not enough words in the dictionary to truly describe how thankful we are for you. We had the best time getting to know you and letting you work your magic on little ol' us. We couldn't be happier and will cherish this day forever. We can't wait to hang out again and are so happy we can call you a friend.  


The Nelsons

Drew's Outfits: 

Shay's Outfits: 
Anthropologie (Pink Dress)
Altar'd State (Beige Dress) 
Blue Heels (J.Crew)
Flats (Aldo)