Nov 27-14

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It's tradition for us to make a "Thankful List" each year at Thanksgiving. If you let it, gratitude can change you.

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” — Thornton Wilder

Nancy's Thankful List

- My Savior, Jesus
- The hope of heaven
- Scripture. The truth and life changing power of it. The people who wrote it down so we could have it.
- My incredible husband, who loves me and serves me and cares for me. He's a man, he stands for truth, he's not a pushover. He loves Jesus more than anything, he gives his very best at every project big or small, he loves teaching others, he loves life. Goodness I'm so thankful for him.
- A full pantry
- Being debt free (& Dave Ramsey's ministry who taught us how to do it)
- My photography business
- My amazing clients
- My husband's business in financial coaching
- Winston the dane!
- Our little one
- My health, my family's health
- The things money can't buy that are truly the best things
- My Mama - her encouragement and constant support and communication. I don't know where I would be without her.
- Morning coffee
- That I know how to read and write
- Authors of good books
- Technology - living in 2014 and all that comes with that
- Clean water, hot water
- An encouraging Dad who is an amazing example to me
- Leslie, who constantly serves and takes care of others
- Christmas music
- Holiday traditions, surrounded by family
- Aunt Becky's Thanksgiving treats
- That Will's grandparents are doing so well (and are here to meet their first great grandchild)
- My sister - especially our laugh-until-we-cry moments!
- My brother in law Chris who loves the Lord and cares for his big family so well
- Family that doesn't hold back, but lives fully and listens to God's adventurous plans
- Candles
- Bonfires and smores
- My brother - his love for his family, his service to our country, his sense of humor
- My sister in law Meghan who is passionate and true to herself
- Fasting and feasting
- Good sleep
- Adventures and game nights with my little bro and sis, Ryan and Reba
- Easy and available transportation
- Jess' music
- My nieces and nephews: Kyler, Niko, Harper, Warner, Maverick, Crews, and Haven
- The Minkies - my 4 best friends on earth
- The gift of music, and how Will and I both grew up in musical families
- More than enough clothes
- Heat and AC
- Our bed
- That I haven't had morning sickness
- Our church
- Our sweet little town home and neighborhood that I love
- This country that we live in
- The legacy of Papa and Mama Dot in my life
- Freedom
- Living in the great state of North Carolina
- Callie, how she encourages me, how hard she works, how she is one of my closest friends
- Prayer
- Encouraging and sharpening friendships
- My tervis
- Running, and my ability to run
- Seasons of life
- Elizabeth - her love and adoration for family and tradition, her relaxed personality that is an example to me, her love for the small things in life
- Entrepreneurship
- Shark Tank, 24, and other favorite shows that we like to unwind to
- Naps
- Mission trips
- The Bridge Youth group and how they've impacted me
- My sweet mother-in-love who is the greatest prayer warrior I know
- Christmas lights in our neighborhood
- All of our cousins! Love our family - Will's side and mine
- Tom, my father in law, who treasures his kids and works hard
- Cameras, lenses, photography - the gift that it is
- Raleigh
- Bluebell Ice cream
- Organization
- Contentment
- Opportunity for growth all around me
- The love and support I have from family and friends

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So what are you thankful for? Leave 1 thing you are thankful for in the comments!

Also, I had to share this beautiful print by my friend Lindsay! It's a Thanksgiving favorite!

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Nov 26-14
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Photographing this wedding was such a treat for me. Laura and Dex are not only beautiful people, but they are incredibly gracious and kind. Their wedding was beautiful. (How could it not be in the mountains of North Carolina?) The weather was lovely, the light was dreamy, and I personally adore Laura's wedding dress and classic style. Dex was smitten with her, and I loved seeing his face when he saw her for the first time! It brought tears to my eyes and a huge smile to my face. Goodness, my job never gets old!

The Camp at Eseeola is one of my favorite venues in this state. I fall in love with the blue ridge mountains and fresh mountain air all over again when I have the opportunity to shoot there. But this time, it was different. Dex's family owns a home just minutes from this beautiful venue. We walked out of the doors of the quaint church they were married and stepped into Dex's back yard for family photos! It wasn't a destination wedding - this wedding venue meant so much to them because it is part of Dex's heritage. To me, that's what a wedding is all about - incorporation tradition, heritage, meaningful places and people... then taking all of those things and making it your very own celebration.

Laura and Dex did exactly that. They are perfect for one another, and I loved capturing the start of their marriage together. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Hobbs!

A big thanks to Snippet and Ink for featuring this lovely wedding!

Ceremony Venue: All Saints Episcopal Church 
Reception Venue: Camp at Eseeola
Cake Artist: Hallmark Cakes
Caterer: The Eseeola Lodge
Florist: Callista Designs
Event Designer & Coordinator: Viva L'Event NC
Reception Band: The Voltage Brothers
Hair & Makeup Artist: Hair 101
Paper Goods: Opus 1 Weddings
Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Band: Summit Strings
Grooms Attire: Martin Greenfield Clothiers

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Comments: 2

  1. Jordan November 26, 2014 4:48 pm

    Stunning, the venue looks amazing!

  2. Mary Lindsey November 26, 2014 9:27 pm

    This is one my most favorite weddings that you have done!! I think it is the bride’s style and how adorable the bride and groom are together. The picture of them with their grandmothers… I melted!! Seriously, LOVE this wedding!!!

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Nov 25-14

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I just had to say thank you for the incredible warm wishes and kind words you offered to us last week when we announced our exciting news. I was quite honestly overwhelmed by your kindness and love! Goodness this Ray Baby is loved so much already. Truly, thank you!

What is so sweet about this journey for us, and for me in particular, is that God has been incredibly gracious and gentle with me. Thankfully, the Lord has taken my hand and has led me every step of the way. For me, this journey has not been typical or easy. But two things I know to be true: He is good, and His timing is perfect.

While Will has loved the idea of having kids for a few years now, it's taken me quite some time to get used to the idea. My journey started a few years ago, when I really struggled with the idea of having a baby. I'll be honest : I am not the girl who has dreamt of being a mom my whole life. Yes, I've wanted a family, and when I see myself old and gray, I see kids and grandkids in that picture. But actually taking the steps to have a baby right now? A bit terrifying in my book.

I'm going to be honest here - the past few years I've felt very strange and sometimes alone, because I have never had a strong desire to have a baby. I share this because my prayer is that it will be an encouragement to some of you out there who might be walking a similar path. It has literally taken me years to come to this place of being joyful about bringing a life into the world, but even now I am okay with the fact that it's going to look different for me.

At the risk of sounding a little crazy, and possibly even being ashamed of this later, here is how I've felt: I love my life with Will, and I know having a baby will change what we have. I love my sleep. A lot. I don't like baby toys or clutter. I've always loved the idea of having a family, and I see us going on camping trips and having adventures together. I've always loved working with adults or older kids / teenagers - I've never been one to volunteer in the nursery at church. Those teenage years excite me (I know I'm weird, but I've led a youth group for 5 years so to me, it's not intimidating!) The baby years? The toddler years? Yikes. I like a clean and organized home. I don't like crumbs or messes or drool. (Says the owner of Winston, I know. Ironic.) When Instagram feeds get taken over by babies, it slightly annoys me. (I'm pretty sure I'll kick myself for that one later, because I see this as inevitable.) Getting used to a growing belly and changing body is an act of surrender for me. Childbirth? Can't even talk about that one yet.

The list goes on and on, friends. But in all of it, I'm so thankful for God's grace.

So how did I get to this point? The point I am at now: a place of joy about this baby?

It began in the beginning of this year. The Lord called me to fast the month of January about motherhood. I didn't want to, but I did out of obedience. I gave up sugar and processed food with the intent of digging deep in my heart, asking God what He had for me. At this point, I did not want to get pregnant. I did not want to start "trying." I was not ready in the least.

There was no voice from heaven or specific moment that my heart was changed. But it was the first step in the journey where my heart began to change. There was a theme that the Lord spoke to me throughout that month, over and over again - in sermons, songs, scripture, in my quiet times in the mornings : surrender.

The truth is this: the life of a believer should marked in surrender, not selfishness or pride. And the more I prayed, the more I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit gently nudging me towards surrender. Just like the Water Song in Hinds Feet in High Places, the Lord was teaching me that the lower I go, the more beautiful my life is to Him :

Come, oh come! let us away--
Lower, lower every day,
Oh, what joy it is to race
Down to find the lowest place.
This the dearest law we know--
"It is happy to go low."
Sweetest urge and sweetest will,
"Let us go down lower still."
Hear the summons night and day
Calling us to come away.
From the heights we leap and flow
To the valleys down below.
Always answering to the call,
To the lowest place of all.
Sweetest urge and sweetest pain,
To go low and rise again.

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I was wanting this and fighting this in my spirit, all at the same time. But I knew if I was specifically praying about motherhood, and if the Lord kept speaking "surrender" to me, then it was time to do just that. Surrender. So I tearfully let Will know that I wasn't ready to start trying quite yet, but I was ready to stop preventing.

I realize these words sound crazy to so many of my friends out there who so desperately want a baby, who have struggled with infertility, who love family more than anything. But every one of our journeys is different, and the Lord teaches us His faithfulness and goodness in different ways. He calls each of us to surrender, to seek Him, to follow Him, and that looks different for everyone. And that is OK.

Anyway, month by month I would continue to pray and get a tiny bit more accustomed to the fact that I very well could get pregnant. I never got to the point of being super excited about having a baby, but each month the Lord formed my heart just a tiny bit more like His - a bit more selfless, willing to surrender all my plans. After 6 months, I was okay with whatever happened - totally fine to not get pregnant, totally fine (even though still a bit weirded out) at the thought of getting pregnant.

So after several months of not getting pregnant, we decided it was time to prevent for just a few months so we wouldn't have a baby in wedding season. Which is hilarious, because that's exactly when I got pregnant!

No, I don't see this as God laughing at us and in some cruel way doing exactly what I didn't want. Because here's the thing : in every step of this journey He has been SO good and SO gracious and SO patient with me, I just knew that His plan was trustworthy from the start. It's NOT my plan - it's His. This timing has been such a gift, because I've entered this new season of motherhood with open hands, knowing this is His life and not mine. And the reality of it is this: the creation of a new life is way more important than booked weddings or predictable finances. My security lies in being in the middle of His plan for me, and there's no denying that I'm in the middle of it now.

I've had this weird, supernatural peace from the moment I found out I was pregnant. Yes, I cried and I prayed and I freaked out a bit for the first 30 minutes. Normal. But I have also been laughing at it all, from a place of trust and joy, and I can't help but think this too, is a gift : "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." Proverbs 31:25

So here I am, about to be a Mama, already in my 2nd trimester. I can tell you this : this is going to look different for me, and I'm okay with that. God is writing my journey and my testimony, and my prayer is that I will follow Him. I may not have Pinterest Boards yet and I may not be taking weekly photos of my belly and I may not be dreaming up nursery plans quite yet. We are still going to travel and have a clean home and run a business. But I will be a Mama, and I'm going to be a good one! Not because I've always dreamt of being a Mama, but because God is teaching me and leading me to be one. And He's the best, most faithful, most generous, most loving Teacher there is.

Comments: 14

  1. Jenn F. November 25, 2014 12:17 pm

    Beautiful, Nancy! And you most definitely will be a wonderful Mama!!

  2. Amanda November 25, 2014 12:25 pm

    What a beautiful and truly honest post Nancy! While you may feel alone in your thoughts, I know that many other women out there have felt the same including myself! God will give you the strength to be a wonderful mom! Best wishes! :)

  3. Becca November 25, 2014 1:22 pm

    Love this so much. Love that verse from Proverbs. Love you!!! Can’t wait to talk with you about this more and welcome and love baby Ray. Praise the Lord for His perfect timing…even when it doesn’t align with our own!
    XOXO

  4. Lauren Flowers November 25, 2014 2:00 pm

    Tears are flowing! This is such a beautiful story of surrendering all to Christ. He is going to bless you and make you THE best mom you can possibly be. I cant wait to read more on this story :)

    xoxo
    Lauren

  5. Lane November 25, 2014 2:29 pm

    Nancy, THANK YOU for writing this so honestly. I have struggled with the same things and have felt so weird for feeling the way I do! I’m so glad to know there are other people out there like me … and who have crossed to the other side beautifully. :) You are a gem and will be a wonderful mother!

  6. kate November 25, 2014 2:39 pm

    Hi Nancy! We met briefly in Indy (@ Cafe Patachou–the weird Noonday lady who just had to say hello!) My journey is so similar to yours-I could NEVER picture myself as a mother. I felt God call me to motherhood in a similar way and I truly had to surrender to His plan. Some people are called to be a missionary in Africa but for me- where I felt the most fear- was becoming a mother, and it was where I had to trust God the most. He has used motherhood to refine and in some ways completely transform my spirit into being patient, gentle and selfless. Now I have a 2 year old that is the absolute JOY of my life. Congrats and be confident in following the Lord and trusting Him as you are on this journey-He has entrusted you with this sweet child and you & Will are going to be the best parents!

  7. Deborah Zoe November 25, 2014 7:29 pm

    I’m not sure I’ve ever posted before, but I couldn’t help and share that I can I so relate to this!! Clutter? Chaos? NO SLEEP? I LOOOOVE sleep? All things I was scared of, nervous about, when it came to motherhood. (Don’t tell anyone but I cried for two days when we found out we were having a boy, ha!) There are so many emotions, unknowns, things outside of our control, when you’re pregnant and all those feelings you have are so normal!! I really appreciate your candor!! Now being on the other side of it (with a 19 month old baby boy who is just the best!!) I can say that the experience, while different for everyone, is incredibly sweet and unbelievable rewarding. I’m excited for you and Will and the journey that you’re on!! Congratulations!!

  8. Lori Ellen November 25, 2014 10:41 pm

    Love this so much! As another who has never really wanted kids, I just have to say thank you for this. It was beautifully said.

  9. Lauren November 26, 2014 12:05 am

    Nancy- thank you thank you thank you!! I too have felt these feelings. The constant asking about when we might have children just escalated the shame I felt that I didn’t want to have a baby yet. The hard part about social media is that so many people share what everyone shares, which tends to alienate people and you have had the boldness to do the opposite. Thank you for sharing your perspective, even though it isn’t as easy to explain or as common as everything else out there.

    I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine a few months back, when I confided in her that I was afraid, and ashamed, and felt very alone about my feelings about motherhood. She had no resources for me or ideas of who I could talk to. This one simple blog has opened a new conversation.

    The Lord has been shaping my heart, similarly to yours. We are not yet ready to begin trying or not preventing yet, but this season has shown me so much of who God made me to be, and has reminded me that He doesn’t make mistakes. How good is this God we serve that He walks with us through every season, molding and shaping us!

    Your life is such a beautiful example of His handiwork. Thank you for the work that you do, friend.

    Lauren

  10. Leanne Caroline November 26, 2014 6:31 am

    What lovely words Nancy.

    I’m beginning to see how everything in life has a certain timing, as well. I am a baby person (as opposed to a teenager person), but my lesson is the waiting for the baby (and the waiting for the hubby).

    The lady who sits next to me at work has just become a mama, and what was so interesting is that she wasn’t a baby person either. However, it really was incredible watching her heart grow and prepare over the months. The day she left for her maternity leave you just knew she was ready and going to be more than okay. I’m starting to think there’s a reason for the lengthy nine months of “cooking” time.

    Thank you for sharing your feelings – and please continue to share. You’re helping others who aren’t even in the same stage of life as you, so I can only imagine what a comfort it is to others in similar situations.

    Many thanks, Leanne.

  11. Joey November 26, 2014 8:40 am

    Hi Nancy! First of all, congratulations! I’m so happy for you and Will and know that you both will make excellent parents. Secondly, thank you for your honesty here. I feel 100% the same way about the whole baby thing. I imagine my life with a family, and when I’m old and gray I see us having a family, but the whole “let’s have a baby” thing isn’t on my todo list right now. And like you, I enjoy the teenagers (and I can handle an actual baby), but the whole toddler/child years–I just can’t see it for myself. I wish you and Will and your new little bundle so much happiness and health. And it’s so refreshing to see such honesty. <3

  12. Em November 26, 2014 10:01 am

    Love you, friend. As you know, you are speaking to my heart. I particularly loved these lines: “But I will be a mama, and I’m going to be a good one! Not because I’ve always dreamt of being a mama, but because God is teaching me and leading me to be one.” So comforting, and I pray that will be true for me one day, too!

  13. Kyla Fetzner November 26, 2014 5:45 pm

    You are going to be a wonderful mama Nancy! I am thankful for your honesty in sharing, as I know you are encouragement to others who are reading this. God is good and I’ll be praying that you experience Him in beautiful ways throughout this journey.

  14. Sissy November 26, 2014 9:28 pm

    I am just so proud of you. You are going to be an incredible mother. I love you!

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Nov 24-14

One thing we love is some good music to go along with whatever we're doing, whether that's spending a day on the lake, editing in the studio, or enjoying fall.  Our Nancy Ray News readers have been able to get a little taste of that as well, as we've sent out Spotify playlists with our last few newsletters.

Well, we wanted to celebrate with a little giveaway, a 1-year subscription to Spotify Premium ($119 value)!  If you love music like we do, and you know anything about Spotify, you know that this is the ultimate!

We've learned how to use Spotify over the last year or so, and we love it!  Imagine having [almost] any song, album, or artist you want at your fingertips, and being able to play them anytime, anywhere (including on your iPhone or iPad), commercial-free.  That's Spotify Premium.

All you have to do to be eligible to win is to sign up for the Nancy Ray News!  And you must sign up by December 1st - just in time for our monthly newsletter. That's it – just put your name and email in the boxes in the sidebar under "Sign Up."

If you want to double your chances of winning, you can post the following graphic to Instagram with the hashtag #nancyraynews.  Be sure to include what you're listening to currently so we can check it out!

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Nov 20-14

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It's true! We're having a baby! We are so, so grateful.

Baby Ray
Due: May 27th, 2015

To be honest, It's so hard for me to believe this is really happening. Is there really a human growing inside of me? Are our lives really about to change forever? It's quite surreal! It came as a surprise, and while we were certainly talking about starting a family sometime in 2015/2016, we didn't expect for it to happen when it did. Will and I would both describe the first 2 weeks of this pregnancy in one word: disbelief. We just couldn't believe it! In fact, we've been laughing a whole lot lately, because we specifically said that we would try to avoid having a baby during high wedding season: May, June, September, October. Yep, we nailed it.

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So, there are a few questions I've been asked every time we've shared the news with family and friends. I plan to write more about my journey soon, but for now, here are my answers (since I know you must be curious)!

How did you find out? :: Will kept telling me I needed to take a pregnancy test before leaving town for the Influence Conference back in September. I was convinced I was not pregnant, so I didn't want to waste a perfectly good test on something I was so sure about. ("Will, I know my body! I'm not pregnant!") He headed out to a financial conference for the day, and I quickly took a pregnancy test before getting dressed on Thursday, September 25th. I didn't think twice about it. Sure enough, a pink line showed up right away. I could NOT believe it. I stood in my bedroom for 5 minutes in my PJs, not knowing what to do. I cried and I prayed. Then I finally decided to get dressed, and go pick up 2 more tests that had "pregnant" spelled out so I could be SURE. When I got home, I took another test. Sure enough, the word pregnant popped up very quickly! I told Will later that afternoon, and he was elated! (More on that later!)

A note on the timing of when I found out : it was one of the craziest weekends of my life. This was the day before I photographed a beautiful Friday wedding, 2 days before flying out of town at 3:30am on Saturday (and the plane was delayed) for a speaking engagement in Indianapolis. It was a whirlwind of a weekend, and only by God's grace and Will's amazing support did I make it through!

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Were you surprised? :: Yes, very surprised! But thankfully we were talking about starting a family this year or next, so we are quite happy with the surprise.

Are you going to find out if it's a boy or a girl? :: Undecided. Leaning towards not finding out!

How have you been feeling? :: Great. Seriously, I have been feeling so amazing. I always feared "morning sickness," but I am incredibly thankful that I haven't been sick at all. I get really tired at 10pm, but I feel great and energetic during the day. I've kept up my running, which has helped a lot. I've had waves of nausea, but as long as keep eating, I'm good! It's odd because I don't like peanut butter anymore (it was pretty much my favorite food), and I love black coffee and pickles. (Not together.) Oh, and I hate red onions all of a sudden. But other than that, I really am feeling great.

•••

I'll be sharing more of my journey as my bump grows! God has taught me so much through this process, and most of all He's shown me how loving, gracious, and patient He is. Truly. To be honest, I have never had "baby fever," and I've been quite content as a wife and business owner. But as time passed, He called me to this. He held my hand the whole way, reassuring me that I can do this, implementing His perfect timing. He is always sovereign, and He is always good. Trusting Him every step of the way! More thoughts to come!

•••

A big thank you to:
Callie for taking these beautiful images
Juliet who hand lettered this announcement!

Comments: 23

  1. Linnea November 20, 2014 4:47 am

    Ahhh :) Congratulations Nancy and Will! This is such amazing news. You guys are going to be wonderful parents! We had our baby girl in August – it’s wonderful. I can’t wait to see your bump grow and read more about your business as you become a mother.

  2. Ashley November 20, 2014 5:14 am

    Congratulations! What a fun new adventure for you both in the new addition of a baby! I can’t wait to follow you through this new journey and see fun bump photos!

  3. Kari Bailey November 20, 2014 7:09 am

    Congratulations Nancy & Will!!!! Such exciting news!

  4. Lindsey November 20, 2014 7:26 am

    SO EXCITING! I’m convinced keeping my running up (I did a half marathon at 12 weeks) was what kept me feeling so great. Congratulations to you all!

  5. kelly November 20, 2014 7:59 am

    Eeeeep!! SO excited for you and Will!! Y’all will make great parents! :)

  6. Kelly Strawberry November 20, 2014 8:11 am

    Congratulations!!! I’ve never had “baby fever” either, so I appreciate your honesty! I’m excited to follow along on the blog. Best wishes and prayers for you and Will. :)

  7. Sissy November 20, 2014 8:21 am

    Yahoo!!!!!!!! I am ridiculously excited!!!!!!!!!!! As you know. And YOU look SO beautiful!!! Glowing already! I love you & Bebe Ray!!!!!

  8. Juliet November 20, 2014 8:24 am

    Yeah!! SO excited for you and will! Love you, Nancy!

  9. Alison Wilson November 20, 2014 8:31 am

    So exciting, Nancy! Congrats to you and Will!

  10. Victoria B November 20, 2014 8:58 am

    Congratulations! Such exciting news! You will both be wonderful parents!
    I have never had baby fever ever, so it’s a little scary to know when the time is right. I just have to trust as you did.

  11. Jamie Hopkins November 20, 2014 9:29 am

    A BABY RAY!!!!! So excited for you and Will (and Winston too!). Love you guys!

  12. Molly November 20, 2014 9:34 am

    Yay, a million congrats to you and your family! My husband and I were also surprised by our first pregnancy this summer! I’m due about 2 months before you – it’s such an amazing time! All the best to you!

  13. Kyla Fetzner November 20, 2014 10:19 am

    Congratulations Nancy and Will!! This is so exciting :)

  14. Mary November 20, 2014 11:38 am

    Yay, congratulations!

  15. Leanne Caroline November 20, 2014 3:10 pm

    Nancy (and Will), what beautiful news. These internet ‘relationships’ are weird, because I don’t know you, yet in another way, I do. I cannot tell you how much you inspire me – life, love, contentment, finance. I look up to you so much and you have helped my must-keep-up-with-the-jonses soul immeasurably. Wishing you the biggest congratulations today on Baby Ray. I cannot wait to watch the love, grace and wisdom you’ll share as pregnancy and motherhood unfolds. Sent with love, Leanne.

  16. Emma D November 20, 2014 4:04 pm

    I agree with Leanne! I am SO excited for you and had chills the entire time I read this post. This is my favorite post ever! I hope that you will not hesitate to write about being pregnant (either here or on instagram) because it will be a true joy to read about your journey.
    By the way, lol to “I love black coffee and pickles. (Not together.)” haha!
    You are awesome and congratulations!

  17. Kate November 20, 2014 5:39 pm

    Congratulations! Such a beautiful lettered announcement too!

  18. Angela November 20, 2014 9:56 pm

    Congratulations! Such amazing news!

  19. Brent Deitrich November 21, 2014 9:21 am

    how exciting! That’s about how Anna and I planned it too.. We were going to start trying soon, but it was a surprise. And we didn’t find out the gender either! Blessings to both of you :)

  20. Thank you. | Nancy Ray Photography November 24, 2014 8:11 am

    […] you for the incredible warm wishes and kind words you offered to us last week when we announced our exciting news. I was quite honestly overwhelmed by your kindness and love! Goodness this Ray Baby is loved so […]

  21. Linda November 24, 2014 9:16 pm

    Congratulations on your pregnancy. I wish you and your husband all the best.

  22. My journey with Baby Ray - Part 1 | Nancy Ray Photography November 25, 2014 11:20 am

    […] you for the incredible warm wishes and kind words you offered to us last week when we announced our exciting news. I was quite honestly overwhelmed by your kindness and love! Goodness this Ray Baby is loved so […]

  23. Mandy Volpe November 25, 2014 11:54 am

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I love that Ray and May rhyme! Well wishes for you both as you grow this baby!

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Nov 19-14

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Alison and Doug were married on a gorgeous September day, and it was such a joy to capture their contagious love. Never before have I felt so cared for on a wedding day! They were constantly checking on me and Elizabeth. Not only did they make sure that we had what we needed, they wanted to be sure we were enjoying ourselves during their reception! Honestly, I wouldn't expect anything less from this sweet couple. They are selfless, and it shined through even on a day that was supposed to be all about them. From the genuine prayer around the door prior to their ceremony to the laughter on the dance floor, this day was simple and full of meaningful celebration!

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wilson!

Venue: Wake Field Plantation
Cake Artist: Whole Foods
Caterer: TPC Wakefield Plantation
Florist: Lisa's House of Flowers
Event Coordinator: TPC Wakefield
Reception DJ: All Around Raleigh DJ
Hair & Makeup Artist: Noelle at The Parlor
Custom Prints: Laura Underwood
Menu & Ceremony Sign: Kenan Hill Designs
Custom Koozies: Cherish by Noel
Film Processing: Indie Film Lab

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Comments: 2

  1. Jessica November 20, 2014 7:48 am

    Such a great snapshot of an incredible day! So happy for you Alison and Doug :) Love you both!

  2. Alison November 20, 2014 8:33 am

    Thank you for your sweet words and awesome photos, Callie! We will cherish these for a long time :)

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Nov 18-14

AH Inspired! 2014

Speaking ~ by Callie Pitts ~ one comment

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Back in September, Callie and I had the privilege of being a part of AH Inspired : a gathering for creatives. I was honored to speak for 2 different sessions on Money and Life Balance, and Callie photographed the entire event. All I can say is, wow. We were absolutely blown away by the entire experience that Amber and her team offered! Every detail of this event was thoroughly planned, and I met so many truly incredible women.

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First, let's just talk about the venue. I'm pretty much ready to pack up my life so I can live permanently at the Inn at Evin's Mill. We were surrounded by lush trees, greenery, nestled in a mountainside. My favorite view was walking down towards the mill on the side of the Inn - it felt so adventurous and refreshing! It was breathtaking: a lake on the right, the waterfall on the left. And we had to walk across a bridge to get to the Mill where we had classes. There were hiking trails, waterfalls, and cozy places all around to cozy up and drink some coffee. The rooms were so adorable and comfortable - the cabin feel made me feel like I was at a luxurious summer camp for adults. No, I didn't want to leave.

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(See those two crazy ladies swimming at the bottom of the waterfall? Yep, the one on the right is me!)

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While the venue certainly would have been enough, the entire experience was top notch. The details were incredible! We had welcome bags, personal itineraries printed for us individually, name tags that were super cute, swag (that was cute AND practical) from every speaker, and little surprises throughout the event. When I thought it couldn't get any better, it always would. We even had a product from Shark Tank as a gift, which you knew made me really happy!

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One of my favorite images from Inspired: Emily Ley, Micah May, and Nancy Ray!

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Finally, the speakers and attendees were just incredible. I'll admit - I didn't know every speaker that was on the list prior to coming, though I knew most. I looked many of them up beforehand, to try to familiarize myself with each of them. But nothing could have prepared me for what was in store. Truly, I don't know that I've even been in the same room with such incredible business women. Micah May blew me away with her family's story, her business story, and her fun-loving spirit. I look up to her in so many ways, and it was incredible to spend so much time with her. Rhi taught me floral styling, and man do I have a new respect for what she does! That is no easy task. Ashlee Proffitt became one of my favorite people on this earth. What a beautiful spirit that woman has. We led a devotional and prayer time each morning, and it started our days off in such a refreshing way. Goodness I've learned so much from her story, her loss, her deep love, and her grace. (Not to mention she's an incredible business and branding expert!) Samantha Shepherd showed us that small dreams really can turn into big businesses. I loved hearing the story of Studio Calico, how it started out a few years ago as a 3-person operation, and how they have a staff of well over 50 employees and are continuing to grow. Emily Ley always blows me away with her simple and profound comments like, "my inbox goes to zero at the end of every day," and "I only work 3 days a week," as if those things are easy to do. I have so much respect for that woman! And these are only a few of several incredible business women that speak and share over the course of 2 days together.

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Finally, I would be remiss to acknowledge the amazing, hard-working, Callie! This girl hustled like I've never seen her hustle. She captured every detail, every speaker, and just as I would arrive back to our room to rest, she'd be dressed and ready to head out the door for more. I'm so proud of these images and her hard work - she truly did an incredible job.

Sad you missed it? Don't be! AH Inspired 2015 is already set for April of next year, so be sure to sign up when registration opens. (And when you do, be sure to use the discount code NANCYRAY to save on your registration fee!)

Comments: 1

  1. Kate November 18, 2014 9:18 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing! The pictures are amazing! It looks like such a great retreat- in a beautiful location, with amazing ladies, and perfect decor!

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Nov 17-14

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The NRP team: Emory & Coleman, Nancy & Will, Callie & Jamie (we missed you, Elizabeth and Robert!)

Happy Monday, friends! We had SO much fun at the Southern Weddings Launch party this past Thursday evening at the Umstead, I had to start this week by sharing these hilarious and wonderful images with you. The Hot Dog Photo Booth is always a highlight!

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The lovely Southern Weddings Ladies!

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Myself, Callie, and the lovely Erin Mclean! The sparkly cardigan photo was a must.

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Oh my goodness. When I saw my sweet friend Rhi (from Hey Gorgeous Events), I flipped out. She flew in and surprised all of us! The SW ladies didn't even know. She even did all the florals for the event, and sent me home with the most beautiful arrangement! It was amazing.

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Bobby and Ally were there! Callie recently photographed their wedding, and Ally often second shoots for our team. So fun to see them!

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Our dear friends and camping buddies: John & Emily (Creative Director of Southern Weddings Magazine), Graham & Sam!

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Had to include this amazing pic from our friends at Heartstone Films! Love them!

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A big thanks to the generous ladies at Southern Weddings for hosting such a wonderful event!

 

Comments: 1

  1. Rhiannon November 23, 2014 9:39 pm

    I love you so much! Seeing you two weeks ago was beyond a highlight for me too, friend. Xoxo

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Nov 14-14

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Sweet Anna, today is your wedding day!

These images make my heart so happy. Can't you just feel her joy? I have known Anna since high school, and it's been so wonderful watching her life journey unfold before me. Her parents are the pastors of our church, so we know and love her entire family. But Anna - there's something so special about Anna. She's the youngest in the family, she overflows with joy, she's never met a stranger, she loves Jesus, she loves people, she is beautiful inside and out, and boy does she love Peter! I have been looking forward to their wedding day for such a long time, and it's here! It's finally here. I am so grateful to be part of such a beautiful day with so many people I love so dearly.

Congratulations, Anna and Peter!

Venue: North Ridge Country Club
Film Processing: Indie Film Lab

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Photographer, wife, and worshiper... I am a Southern girl who looks most forward to waking up each morning to drink my coffee, read my Bible, and soak in the beauty that surrounds me. These pages chronicle my work, my life, and the things that I love most. You'll also hear from Callie, Will, and Elizabeth - my amazing team who has so much to offer. Thanks for visiting, I do hope you stay a while!
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