Tonight I drove a familiar road. Winding and narrow, I’ve grown accustomed to the darkness and the emptiness that this road provides at nine p.m.

In the morning it’s congested with impatient businessmen and rowdy school buses, but as I drove tonight as I will the next few nights, I relished in the eery quiet.

I shoved a random disc into the CD player, and Sara Groves filled the car. First, “I know that you tore the veil so I could sit with you in person and hear what you’re saying, but right now, I think you’re whispering…” And then, “He’s always been faithful…”

No two songs could have explained this past year better than these.

Moments of fear surrounding our missions trip, uncertainty after graduation, and now, the unknown of the next step for us as a couple.

But God…

So faithful
So constant
So loving and so true
So powerful in all You do

He sees us. He knows us. He created us, remember?

Something I’ve come to learn is that I often get so caught up in praying for my needs, that I forget to pay attention to my surroundings; changing and molding as God begins to move.

He doesn’t always move with loud, clanging cymbals, but with small, quiet motions; building up to the crescendo where His will is finally brought to completion, and we are asked to take another step of faith for the next part of His plan.

You see, I’ve been asking for provision. I’ve been asking for a miracle check because I KNOW God can do that for us, but then Caleb quietly reminded me that God HAS in fact been providing for our needs. Slowly, but surely, He has doubled our income, and allowed us to make multiple loan payments. We have been faithful in our giving, and He has been faithful to provide us with financial stability. Our bank account shouldn’t belong to two young newlyweds, but it does.

Last night I started my monthly overnight babysitting job, and my room that is usually extremely cold, was extremely hot. I opened a window and prayed for a breeze. I took a cold shower and hoped my hair would cool me off. I woke up multiple times throughout the night to drink icy water, but only ended up hot and tired in the morning.

Then I arrived tonight and discovered that there had been a fan in my room the whole time.

How could I miss it?

May my need never distract me from the provision.

Sometimes we keep asking, and He’s already answered in the ways we need the most.

Look around you, and see what God has already done.

I’ve been reading through Mark Batterson’s prayer devotion, “Draw the Circle.”In one of the entries, he writes, “Sometimes we need to pray ‘get me out’ prayers. But sometimes we need to pray ‘get me through’ prayers. And we need the discernment to know when to pray what.”

Sometimes provision is in the form of necessary struggle rather than instant relief, and even that is better than a silent God.

Our hearts must be willing to accept it all, and to be thankful, above all else, that God is always in control.

I’m Kelly, and I’m a horrible blogger.

I’ll just go ahead and admit this fact about myself, because I’m not really sure how to jump back into the blogging game.

On June 22nd, I wrote a little sneak preview about our latest trip out West, and then fell silent. We still had a week left, inconsistent wi-fi, and then when we came home, it took a while to unpack, let alone sit down and write down my thoughts.

Thankfully, I have this great friend named Natalie, and she recently began a little project called Oakmoss. The goal in creating this space was to provide dreamers and creators with a place to find simplicity, encouragement, and most of all, inspiration. I originally asked Natalie if I could be a part of the creative team as a photographer, but then decided I wanted to do more.

This month, Oakmoss will be featuring stories from our West trip, and I have decided that instead of writing different things for this blog, I would just share the posts here as they go live on Natalie’s site.

My “intro” has been posted and you can view it by clicking HERE.

A little bit about our West Adventure

Last Saturday, Caleb and I embarked on a really special adventure. On June 29th, we are going to celebrate two years of marriage, and while two years isn’t a whole lot of years, it’s still been two important years of learning about each other. They’ve also been two very successful years, and for that, we’re extremely grateful.

Over the past week, we’ve visited Rocky Mountain National Park (NP) and Mesa Verde NP in Colorado, and Arches NP, Canyonlands NP, Capitol Reef NP, Bryce Canyon NP, and Zion NP in Utah. We also stopped at the Four Corners Monument in New Mexico.

Last night we spontaneously decided to take a small detour on our very carefully planned trip and headed off to Joshua Tree National Park in California early this morning. Tomorrow we’re off to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

This morning we drove through the Mojave Desert, and were blown away by the vastness (and heat) of it all.

For the past 10 days, I’ve journaled about each day, each restaurant, each campsite, each hotel, and each hike. I can’t wait to share the 10000000000 pictures that I’ve taken, the things that I’ve learned, and the ways that I’ve grown as a person and a wife.

I was excited to take this trip with my husband before we left, but words can’t even begin to describe how incredible each day has actually been.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we continue to drive long distances, hike difficult trails, and sleep in a tent. I like the adventurous life, but after the first leg of this trip, I have a new appreciation for a good bed, a soft pillow, and a hot shower.

For now, here is a picture of Caleb and I at Zion National Park, at the top of Angel’s Landing. Please note my very trusty (and very red) bandanna. It’s saved my poor scalp more than once, and I always look awesome.


5/23/15: Oates Wedding

Last month I was given the opportunity to shoot my very first wedding! I stayed in contact with my own wedding photographer, whom I love & adore (Ioana Bentum), and when she asked if I would be interested in being her second shooter for a wedding in Rhode Island, I said yes without even thinking.

The whole day was a whirlwind, and was beautiful from start to finish. Julianna was so radiant, and I loved seeing Tyler’s face as she walked down the aisle. It was nice to experience a wedding from a different perspective, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

I still have so much to learn, and a lot of practicing to do, but I have never been more excited (and a little bit nervous) to share pictures.

Here are a few of my favorite shots: 
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Chicago: Pictures & Words (but mostly pictures. a lot of pictures)

Dear Blog, I have failed you.

It turns out that traveling and blogging don’t always mix. But fear not! I am back…for now.

Last week I was able to visit my family in Illinois. When I lived there, my family lived within 5 minutes of each other, went to the same church, and had frequent family dinners at my grandparents’ house. When I moved to Upstate New York with my parents and Sophie, everyone sort of scattered throughout the state of Illinois. My Aunt Mariela (Auntie Lala) and Uncle Brent live in Skokie, Aunt Cindy and Uncle Lee live in Belvidere, and Uncle Sam and Aunt Sara live in Naperville.

My week in Illinois was spent visiting the city, spending time with my sweet cousins, and taking lots and lots of pictures. Some of these were taken at Millennium Park/Maggie Daly Park, at the Museum of Science & Industry, the Chicago Botanic Gardens, Midway Village in Belvidere, and the Morton Arboretum in Naperville.

It was such a great week spent with my family, and I’ve missed them so much since I’ve been home.

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I feel like it’s been a while since I posted anything. This Summer is already flying by, and it only just started a few weeks ago.

Last weekend Caleb and I went to visit my friend Chelsie. Chelsie and I have been friends for almost 10 years now, and despite going to different colleges, and settling down in different cities, we’ve remained friends. We have the kind of friendship where you pour strong cups of coffee into big yellow mugs and pick up conversations that were set aside months ago. The best kind of friendship, in my humble opinion.

Chelsie now lives in Quincy, which is right outside of Boston. She let us crash in her cozy apartment, cooked me Whole30 approved food, and showed us around the city.

Thankfully, we were able to leave Pennsylvania on Thursday evening, so we had Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to explore.

On Friday, we had lunch at Faneuil Hall & paid a lot of money for chowder and a lobster roll, I watched Caleb consume a Lobster Tail, which is a delicious, flaky, pastry, and I bought way too much fruit at the best produce market. Even though I didn’t eat anything from the shop, Bova’s delivers everything that a food enthusiast could ever want: pastries, bread, cheese, happiness.

We also walked through Harvard’s Campus, and I felt like Rory Gilmore, except not as academically qualified, and married. I didn’t get a picture of Harvard. Why didn’t I get a picture of Harvard? I promise you, we were there.

Finally, we watched the Angels demolish the Red Sox at Fenway Park. It was a good day.


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I met Chelsie’s roommates, who are just as wonderful and sweet as they look on Facebook, and live up to all the great things Chelsie had told me about them. Their bond is rare, and is surely enviable. I’m thankful for them too, and even though they hardly know me, I wanted to give them big hugs goodbye, and thank them for letting two married weirdos stay in their humble abode.

On Saturday, I was a REAL LIFE PHOTOGRAPHER AND WAS A SECOND SHOOTER AT A WEDDING. I won’t say much more in this post because it is deserving of its own, but I’ll just leave this picture here:


The rest of the weekend was spent eating brunch with my wedding photographer (I also worked with her on Saturday), her husband, and their new baby girl, walking the Freedom Trail, and editing a thousand photos.

Overall, Boston was kind to us. The weather was beautiful, the people were friendly, and the produce was excellent.

The Fawn

Yesterday Caleb and I walked a new trail at the John J. Audubon Center, and while we saw a few beautiful birds and flowers, we saw a fawn that made the hike worth it. I had spotted a few deer, but couldn’t get close enough to take a good picture. Then this fawn came, and almost walked right up to us. It was such a surreal moment, and definitely one that I will remember for a long time.
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