RACHAEL HOUSER » photography for couples & families

This little guy has been prayed over more than any other baby I know personally and by the grace of God, those prayers worked! While he was in the womb, soon-to-be-parents Lexie & Bryan found out Braxton would have immature kidneys, and were almost certain that he would need surgery right after birth. No one was sure how extensive it would be, nor did we understand what exactly was wrong. But we prayed, and prayed, and PRAYED that he would be born healthy.

And when he was indeed born with immature kidneys, we continued to pray. The doctors, however, decided to just wait and see. Wait and see if he could mature them without surgery. Braxton was in the NICU for a week and slowly but surely, after hundreds and hundreds of prayers, his kidneys started working on their own. After that week, it was a pure miracle, he was allowed to come home! And he’s been doing great! We praise God every day for the blessing of this healthy baby boy!

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Ah, Jessica & Anthony. Definitely one of my favorite couples ! I said it when sharing their sneak peek on my FB page and I’ll say it again here, their wedding was the perfect start to my 2014 wedding season!

I started at the church where the ladies were getting ready. No one else had arrived so I grab Jessica’s bridal “details” and toured the church until I found the perfect light – a stairwell of all places!

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Jessica’s bouquet was 100% family heirloom brooches and pins! It was the most unique, most beautiful, and definitely heaviest bouquet I’ve ever worked with. In my opinion – totally worth it! And the prize for most personal touch to a wedding ceremony also goes to Jessica & Anthony, who are both United Methodist pastors. They commissioned a handmade communion plate and cup with which they served communion to their guests during the ceremony!

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On to Jessica’s bridals, which I could have shot for hours instead of the 15 minutes I allotted in their timeline. She was such a gorgeous bride! Quick note: the cross bathed in baby’s breath is actually apart of the church’s decoration for Lent and Easter Time. Bonus!

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The traditional bridal portrait in front of the church is certainly beautiful (see above) but can be dangerous for the photographer who’s standing in the middle of the road for the shot ;) The following is bound to happen at least once!

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Anthony, thank you SO much for being such an awesome groom and reacting the way you did when you first saw Jessica during your First Look! It’s priceless!

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Love these two!!!

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We took a small field trip to a neighboring churchyard for two reasons, 1) it’s a beautiful yard and 2) God gave Jessica & Anthony one of the best spring days we’ve had prior and since so it was a tad bright outside when we were shooting wedding party portraits – the yard provided great shade!

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One thing worth noting about this church is that they allow open flame candles. I understand why most churches don’t but it’s still nice when you stubble upon one that does. It adds a romantic element that can’t be substituted.

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Instead of a ring bearer, they opted for a bell ringer! I imagine it was much more fun for him to clang those bells all the way down the aisle instead of holding a pillow ;)

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And finally, it was time…

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The image below is a perfect example on how First Looks do not take away from the traditional reveal… Even though Anthony had already spent a couple hours with his bride, it still took his breath away to see her walking down that aisle during the ceremony!

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One of my favorite things to watch during the ceremony when I’m a guest (AND when I’m the photographer!) is the groom’s face when he sees his bride. I know I’m not the only one! And look, his mother (and guests) were still able to see and feel that moment!

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My second favorite image of the night: I caught them sniffling at the same time! Too precious!

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Then, there was the communion! The pastor who presided over the wedding first broke the bread and served Jessica & Anthony…

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And Jessica & Anthony served their wedding party and guests. It was incredible to see such an  selfless act by the bride and groom during their own day.

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Married! Jessica fist-pumps the air with bouquet in hand!

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The food was amazing! My mom (second shooter for the day) was periodically sneaking back to the kitchen while guests were eating to refill her plate. I couldn’t blame her!

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Jessica & Anthony, thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart, for including me in your special day!

Ceremony & Reception | Broadway United Methodist Church
Florist | Mother of the Bride
Catering | Artisan Kitchen
Cupcakes | Artisan Kitchen
Stationary | Wedding Paper Divas
Hair & Make Up | Pur Bliss
Bridal Gown | Anne’s Bridals
Bridesmaids dresses | Alfred Angelo
Tuxes | Men’s Wearhouse

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When you live in Atlanta and are getting married in Atlanta, but are from Paducah and LOVE Paducah… what’s a groom to do? Have your mom find a photographer in Paducah, whose work you and your bride both love to photograph your engagement session when you’re able to take a long weekend trip to your hometown!

I’m so thrilled that I was able to shoot Perla & Ryan’s engagement session for them even though I can’t be the one to shoot their wedding in Atlanta in September. It was a blistery day but the cold just made them snuggle closer…. so romantic!

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Last night, while Neil was building the linen closet in our master bathroom, I was whipping up something delicious for today: Sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich casserole! My best friend Megan’s mom has made this casserole for many a breakfasts and I finally snagged the recipe from her back in the fall. It’s so incredibly simple, it’s almost sinful how yummy it is!

I don’t remember what Megan’s momma calls it but I am calling it the Sausage, Egg, and Cheese SANDWICH Casserole. Not Sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit casserole, which sounds better, but it’s not made with biscuits and is made with sandwich bread so…. yea. Feel free to call it whatever you’d like:) Make it the night before, wake up the next morning, pop it in the oven, jump in the shower go back to bed for 45 minutes, and wake up to the smell of sausage all throughout your house! Heaven!


Sausage, Egg, and Cheese, Sandwich Casserole

Ingredients

1 pound sausage
12 slices thin white bread
1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
8 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried mustard
pepper to taste

Instructions

Brown sausage, drain, and place on paper towel to soak up grease. Butter bottom of 9×13 casserole dish. Beat eggs and add milk, salt, mustard, and pepper. Cut the crust off of bread and place 6 slices in bottom of casserole dish. Sprinkle 1/2 of cheese on top. Sprinkle 1/2 of sausage on top of cheese. Repeat bread, cheese, and sausage layers. Pour egg mixture over. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Pre heat oven to 350 and bake for 45 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

A Few Notes

I have made this several times now – it’s Neil’s favorite! – and I’ve tried several substitutions and I keep coming back to the original. Here’s what I tried and why I didn’t like it:

1) Wheat and whole grain bread instead of white bread – changes the taste quite a bit and neither Neil or myself cared for it. However, I think I could have dealt with it ;)
2) Less cheese – I already use block cheese ONLY for everything because bag cheese is nasty, seriously, read up on it. We tried cutting the cheese down to just 1 cup and the tang was left out… believe it or not, the tanginess really makes this casserole. Also? Neil freakin’ loves cheese.
3) Egg whites only – NOPE. Don’t do it. It’s not a breakfast/brunch casserole without real eggs.

There you have it! Do whatever you want to this recipe (I obviously can’t stop you) but please try the original at least once. You won’t be sorry. Or maybe you will – because you’ll like it 100 times more ;)

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Carla Jetton -

Thank you!

When we had our first big snow of the winter around the beginning of December, I looked around at the 4 inches that covered the ground and thought how nice it would be to grab a few shots in the beautiful winter wonderland. Then our second snow of the season came in January and I thought the same thing again. Wouldn’t it be nice?

Then our third snow came all of the sudden one February night. It was Super Bowl Sunday, actually. 6 inches, then 2 more over the course of a couple days, and thankfully, it never melt! I thought to myself, Well, if I don’t do this now, I’m going to miss my chance! I text my lovely model friend Maggie and to my luck, she was game!

We both had something gain from this session. I’d been DYING to do a session in the snow! Maggie? She writes this adorable fashion lifestyle blog, Happy Little Hummingbird, and I knew she could use the images done by some one other than her iPhone for her website! It was a win-win!

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Jenna -

These are gooorgeous. Great job!