Arizona Wedding-Boudoir-High School Senior-Photographer » I'm Stacy Kokes, and I photograph love...

Monday night football, loaded baked potatoes and the love of my life.

Happy Monday indeed!

I apologize for my lack on CTM posts lately. My excuse? I’ve been so busy living life that I haven’t had a chance to blog about it! Here’s what I’ve been up to in a nutshell:

1. Adoption classes

2. Weddings

3. Travel/Airports

4. More adoption goodness

5. Editing

6. Hubby time

7. Pinning nursery ideas

8. MORE adoption prep!

One of these days I’ll get back into my CTM routine. In the meantime, thank you for being understanding during this crazy, busy, AWESOME time in our lives! Happy Monday :) xo

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From the very first email I got from Katie, I knew that I HAD to photograph her and Justin’s wedding.

Her sweet and FUN spirit leaped off the screen and straight into my heart. I know that this was going to be a couple that would be more than just clients, but friends. And it didn’t hurt that they would be getting married in one of my favorite places on this earth: Estes Park, CO!!

On September 15th, two of the most incredible people to ever walk this earth joined their lives as one, all in the name of the One who they live for!

Maybe it was the way that Justin couldn’t take his eyes of his bride and fought back tears the entire ceremony. Or the way that Katie managed to write ‘dance around in my underpants’ into her vows and no one thought twice. Or the way that they held each other during their first dance as if no one else was there. All I know is that September 15th, 2012 was a day that I will always remember and a day that touched not just the lives of Katie + Justin, but all of those present.

Congrats Katie & Justin. I adore you both!!

Their first look took place at the spot where they had their first date AND the big proposal. It was breathtaking!

I can’t help but adore them!

Ceremony at the lovely Ravencrest Chalet

Before the ceremony started, the crowd worshipped the Lord together. It was simply amazing!

Justin tried SO hard to fight back tears. But Katie’s beauty won out ;)

The ceremony just radiated joy. It was beautiful!

The bad-ace wedding party ;)

We snuck away just as the sun was setting to get these last few lovely romance shots

Qdoba. Yet another reason that this wedding rocked my socks!

LOVED their first dance :)

Party time!

You know it is a great fit when the bride and her photographer make the same ‘dance face’! ;)

  • September 21, 2012 - 2:58 am

    Katie Gill - I love you, I love you, I love you! that’s all.

    SPEECHLESS.

  • September 21, 2012 - 3:21 am

    Caroline Schmit - U look drop dead gorgeous, n ur hubby looks great too!<3 wishing u both a blessed life full of love!

  • September 21, 2012 - 3:39 am

    Mati Harrington Winters - love th photos!!

  • September 21, 2012 - 3:46 am

    Jessica Hughes - You couldn’t of been more beautiful kt

  • September 21, 2012 - 4:04 am

    Catherine Schmit - Caroline shared your link and I enjoyed seeing you at your most joyous! Congratulations!

  • September 21, 2012 - 10:05 am

    Debby Schroeder - absolutely beautiful! and so much fun :) so happy for you Katie!

  • September 21, 2012 - 10:51 am

    Donna Madsen - These are awesome pictures! Thanks for capturing the memories that will last a lifetime. I loved watching them cherish each other, not just hearing the vows but also how they were gazing into each others eyes and not speaking any words :)

  • September 21, 2012 - 12:39 pm

    BethanynJoseph Dumas - Wow! That is all.

  • September 21, 2012 - 3:10 pm

    Alyssa Lichner - These are amazing!

  • September 21, 2012 - 3:27 pm

    Kristin Harris Walker - WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • September 21, 2012 - 3:41 pm

    Mary Richmond Emmons - All I can say is WOW. Amazing pictures and so capture the fun, the beauty and the emotion of the day. They bring tears to my eyes. Thanks for letting me be a part of that day.

  • September 21, 2012 - 5:05 pm

    Sarah Jane Martin Dodson - the love and devotion shows.

  • September 21, 2012 - 5:12 pm

    Amelia Vallet Campos - These photos are stunning and capture so well the love & joy that of that day! I teared up all over again when I saw the first look photos…..it was so meaningful for me to be able to share in this beautiful celebration, Katie Gill. Rejoicing with you :)

  • September 21, 2012 - 5:19 pm

    Ginny Hardesty - Stunning!

  • September 21, 2012 - 6:47 pm

    Chris Krueger Rodinis - These are beautiful memories.

  • September 22, 2012 - 12:39 pm

    Jim Madsen - Wonderful pictures that captured the emotion of the day! Thanks again!

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Today’s CTM post is a little personal. This excerpt comes from our family adoption blog. Enjoy our update :)

‘We are not in control.

This realization has been one of the most challenging, growing, AMAZING things I have learned through this adoption experience. I’m a type-A, control freak. You know the kind: color coded closet, to-do list maker, things-need-to-be-done-a-certain-way-kinda girl. I love to do my research before coming to a decision. Plain n’ simple, I like to be in control!

As a believer, God is constantly molding me and reminding me that while I like to try to be in control, I know I’m really not. The most freeing thing in the world is when I can truly know in my heart that his way is best. All I can do is bring my desires to him and ultimately say“yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42 (NIV). I trust that my God knows best. I trust that he is for his glory and for our joy. He is sovereign over the sunshine and the rain. And he will use OUR story as he sees fit.

Joe and I had an adoption plan. It went a little something like this. Go through CFC classes and home study to get our adoption certification, get in the matchbook, wait (hopefully only a few months at most!), get chosen by a birth mom and eventually bring home our baby. Well, judging from our track record, our plans don’t always happen the way we anticipate.

A few weeks ago, while facebook messaging with my sister’s friend Kelly (a fellow adoptive mom), I got a message that stopped me in my tracks. It said:

‘STACY!! Can you please call me, I think God is working faster than you can imagine!!!’

I will never forget the way I felt when I made that call. Kelly was talking a million miles a minute and I was desperately trying to make sense of everything. I tried to tame my rampant heart for fear that I may not have heard her correctly.

‘She wants to talk to you about adopting her baby! This is REALLY happening!’

I paced back and forth in my living room feeling much like David after the Dentist. All I could think was ‘is this real life?!’ I had waited for this moment for so long. And it was finally here. I was about to talk to our potential birth mom! I called my mom to tell her what had happened in the last two hours and then the call waiting beeped…

It was her!!!

Eeeeekkk! ‘What am I going to say? Is she going to like me? Oh my goodness, I think I’m going to throw up.’ Those were but a few thoughts going through my head. But it went better than I could have imagined. Our first phone conversation turned into hundreds and hundreds of text messages. Everyday learning something new. Everyday growing more love for this woman. Everyday praying for our precious baby.

This past weekend was one of the most special weekends of my whole life. We flew out to Missouri to meet McKenzi and her girls face to face. Words can’t describe how much joy and love I experienced on this trip. We spent time with her, her girls, the birth father, her mom, step dad and Whitley, the one who got us connected through Kelly. As I sat there in Whitley’s basement laughing with all of them and playing with the kiddos, I couldn’t help but praise the Lord. I thought “this is SO much better than being in control!’.

Baby Kokes is due February 14th, 2013. We couldn’t be more thrilled!’

My first photo with our birth mom McKenzi :)

Her sweet little girls :)

One of my faves from the whole trip: Kenzi, me and Whitley :). I adore these two ladies!

Heading back to Phoenix with full hearts :)

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What  do you get when you mix a gorgeous couple who are hopelessly in love with the radiant light of the desert? Pure. Awesomeness.

That pretty much sums up Sam + Nate’s engagement session.

Love it. Adore them. Can’t wait for their wedding :).

xo, Stacy Kokes

Lloydie made his doggy debut, although he was a little more interested in all the desert creatures then he was the camera!

What’s not to love about this couple?!

Gorgeous much?!

This light. This couple. Swoon!

Abandoned building…yes please!

Adorbs!

  • August 29, 2012 - 5:21 pm

    Dana Hoefer Fellows - What gorgeous pictures of an adorable couple!

  • August 30, 2012 - 2:02 am

    Toni DeBenedictis - Beautiful!

  • August 30, 2012 - 3:49 am

    Danielle Elizabeth - loveee!

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I first met Rachel when she was a bridesmaid in a wedding I was photographing. When I got the email that she wanted me to photograph HER wedding, I was ecstatic.

I love traveling to different parts of the country for weddings, so when she started describing her Mississippi Riverside Iowa wedding I was already sold.

Rachel + Joe are one of the most laid back, down to earth couples I have ever had the pleasure of working with. They were down for whatever; walking on the sandy beach in her wedding gown, traipsing through areas with horse poo just to get to the best spot, posing near active train tracks, climbing old train cars, the list goes on. It is always so refreshing to work with people like this. The focus of their day was their love and nothing could get in the way of them celebrating that. It was fantastic!

Congrats on your new life together! xo Stacy + Joe

Mmm mm mmmmmm, check out her Christian Louboutin shoes!

First look goodness!

I was obsessed with these Banana Republic bridesmaid dresses. LOVE!

Boys will be boys!

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