Happy Holidays from Us to You


Though I haven’t been posting here as often as the years prior, I want you to know how thankful I am for your support over this past year and half as my family has transitioned to the three amigos.


We’re finally feeling “normal” and have hit our groove. I’m finally used to my new life and my new job too.


We are glad to say good-bye to 2018 in a lot of ways, but are thankful for all of the growth that came out of it. We are looking ahead to 2019 and excited for all that it will bring. We will be sure to take you guys along with us too.


We hope you had the best Christmas, and we’re wishing you the happiest New Year!


Alex, Elle and Levi

Photos by Rennai Hoefer

Family Holiday Photos

Ryan and I have sent out a Christmas card every year since we've been married. It's a tradition I plan on continuing until we are old and gray. I love getting holiday cards in the mail just as much as I love taking family photos, and this year was extra special because Elle is here.

We had our friend Mike Olbinski take our first holiday photos with little Miss Elle. She was a delight the whole time thankfully. We went to a local restaurant called Windsor. They have a beautiful little patio with bright red chairs, and an ice cream shop next door.

I found this cute polka dot, orangey-red cardigan at Target not too long ago, and I decided it was the perfect color for our photos. Ryan already had a red gingham shirt, and it complemented the polka dot pattern well. I found Elle a bright red hat with a bow on top, and had her wear a simple onesie and leggings. I generally discourage couples from both wearing jeans, but the colors of the denim were pretty different. Plus, my dark brown puffer vest and his grey cardigan kept us from being too matchy matchy.

The only thing missing from our family portrait was Wendy. Next time we'll make sure she can come too.

You can see more photos from our shoot on Mikes blog, click here.

Tips for Holiday Pictures

Yesterday we had our family portrait session with our friend Mike Olbinski (a peek above), and it reminded me that many families this time of year struggle with picking out their outfits for pictures. Afterall, these images tend to be the annual family update that Grandma and Grandpa SO look forward to every year. You want to be sure everyone looks their best, right? So, a couple things to keep in mind...

1. Pick a color scheme that uses a minimum of three colors and at most five. This will ensure there is enough variety that you aren't matching and yet keep everything cohesive. Keep in mind the location of your shoot. Pick colors that will stand out against white snow, green grass or brick buildings. (Image above by Mike Olbinski. Styled by AVE Styles)

2. Layer your looks so you can have more variety in your photos. For example, add a caridgan or vest that you can take on and off. Sometimes you just don't know how things will photograph. Maybe the dress you chose doesn't make your arms look the best. Dun da da dunnnn!! Cardigan will save the day!

3. A bit camera shy? Use props to keep your mind off the camera. It can be as simple as a cup of coffee sitting at table with your family. If you're a bit more festive, you could bring a garland or Christmas lights and wrap yourself up in them. The picture above was from a fun party Melissa Jill hosted a ways back. The garland was a blast to play with.

4. Keep your Christmas card design in mind. I love ordering from Tiny Prints every year. That have so many cute designs to choose from. But you'll want to make sure the colors for your clothes complement the colors in your card. It will make everything look EVEN better in the presentation.

5. Get your hair done or makeup done...or both! I'm not so great at doing my hair. So, I made sure to schedule a hair cut and style two days prior to the shoot. Not great at makeup? Head to the makeup counter and get it done. You probably have to buy some fun stocking stuffers or gifts for some gals in your life. If they make you buy product that is the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone.