Dec 04-14

nancyray-micvaleng-1037

When Michael and Valerie told me they wanted to do their engagement session at the State Fair, I jumped at the chance! The atmosphere, the colorful rides, the people, the food - you just can't beat such a fun location. But more than the fun location, I was so excited to spend time with these two. Michael is my first cousin (his mom and my mom are sisters), so I've grown up with him since we were born. Our moms were pregnant with us at the same time (I'm only 4 months older than him), we graduated from high school together, we've spent most holidays together growing up, and I can't even count the times we've explored the woods behind his house as kids. I love Mikee and all the memories we've had growing up as cousins together!

One thing you have to know about Michael is that he is incredibly adventurous. He literally traveled the world for the past few years, scuba diving in Australia, taking a motorcycle trip up the coast of Korea, living in Nicaragua, celebrating a friend's wedding and living in Brazil for a while... I can't keep track of all the adventures he's had! So when Valerie came along, all of us were SO excited at the possibility of their future together! We weren't sure there would ever be someone special enough for Michael, who could keep up with his adventures. Sure enough, Valerie is absolutely perfect for him. Not only is she beautiful, but she loves travel, she is laid back just like Michael, she loves camping and hiking, and she encourages him to do the things he loves. What I love most about Valerie is her kind heart. I know that she genuinely cares about those around her, and I'm so excited for their future together. They really are perfect for one another!

Side note about the photos of Mikee and Valerie on the swings: I'm terrified of rides! And not only that, but I was about 8 weeks pregnant at the time. (No one knew except for Will and my sister, and I was quite nervous about the smells of the State Fair!) I told them I was up for anything, but I had to muster up some serious courage to get on these swings. Looking through my camera, as I was spinning high through the air was crazy being pregnant! I was pretty dizzy and nauseous, it was so fun and so worth it. I've always said "anything for a good photo!" and I didn't back down then either! I must say it's one of my prouder moments as a photographer!

Congratulations Mike and Val! Can't wait for your wedding in May!

Film Processing: Indie Film Lab

nancyray-micvaleng-1040

nancyray-micvaleng-1004

nancyray-michaelvalerie4

nancyray-micvaleng-1032

nancyray-micvaleng-1012

nancyray-micvaleng-1015

nancyray-micvaleng-1031

nancyray-micvaleng-1021

nancyray-michaelvalerie1

nancyray-micvaleng-1075

nancyray-michaelvalerie5

nancyray-micvaleng-1039

nancyray-micvaleng-1025

nancyray-micvaleng-1052

nancyray-micvaleng-1071

nancyray-micvaleng-1060

nancyray-michaelvalerie6

nancyray-micvaleng-1053

Comments: 3

  1. Jamie Hopkins December 4, 2014 2:28 pm

    Nancy! This may just be my favorite session that you’ve done ever. Love them!

  2. Kelly Strawberry December 5, 2014 8:54 am

    Gorgeous photos!!! These two should be models. She looks like Behati Prinsloo :)

  3. Mary Lindsey December 8, 2014 8:55 am

    FAVE FAVE FAVE!!!!!! These two are so beautiful I can’t even stand it!! Mikey and Val – I am so excited about your wedding. We love yall!

Add Comment

Dec 02-14

nancyray-blantons-1065

Clearly, I'm going to be incredibly biased and say the most wonderful things about this family. Why? Because this is obviously the cutest, most wonderful family on so many levels. And also because that adorable mom you see happens to be my sister and my very best friend.

I just love them all so much. Will and I have looked up to Chris and Sissy as an example since we were dating many years ago. We would, as a dating couple, drive to visit them. I remember watching them do married life together - no kids, just the two of them. They lived a simple, wonderful life, and they loved one another so well.

Then came the kids - yes, a lot of them! How fun it has been to have a front row seat in watching this family grow. I made up my mind a long time ago that I wanted my nieces and nephews to know their Aunt Nancy and Uncle Will. We've had a blast hosting them at our home at different times over the past several years, so seeing these images honestly melts my heart. I know these tiny people. Even the three that are identical look SO different to me in these images, because I know them.

And I sit here, typing all of this, it hit me : this is why family photography is so incredibly important. I don't have kids of my own yet, but my sister's family has grown so quickly before my eyes - it's amazing how time flies. To be honest, life gets crazy, and there are always excuses why it's easier not to take family photos. But it's so important to stop, right where you are, and remember this season. Capture it. Freeze time for just a moment.

These kids are only going to keep growing, keep getting bigger, keep changing. And it's always worth it to stop and take time to capture their seasons of change. (To see how much they've grown through the years, click here and here.) Thank you, Blantons, for loving me and allowing me to capture you sweet family time and time again!

nancyray-blantons-1010

nancyray-blantonfamily1

nancyray-blantons-1046

nancyray-blantonfamily2

nancyray-blantons-1013

nancyray-blantonfamily3

nancyray-blantons-1033

nancyray-blantons-1005

nancyray-blantonfamily4

nancyray-blantons-1060

nancyray-blantons-1054

nancyray-blantonfamily5

nancyray-blantons-1057

nancyray-blantons-1079

nancyray-blantons-1074

Comments: 6

  1. Kyla Fetzner December 2, 2014 11:02 am

    I really like when you said “it’s so important to stop, right where you are, and remember this season. Capture it. Freeze time for just a moment,” because, with photography, we have the opportunity to do just that. Your sister has such a beautiful family!

  2. Samantha December 2, 2014 11:14 am

    These are so great! I know this sweet family will treasure these images forever! xoxo

  3. Mattye December 2, 2014 9:54 pm

    The photos of your sister and her husband brought tears to my eyes! There is something about seeing a couple with FIVE kids, and just trying to imagine all they have been through together through that journey, that makes their looks of love so beautiful and admirable. To see the love between two people who chose to bring more wonderful, little people into the world, is truly special. Thanks for sharing these!

  4. Em December 2, 2014 10:31 pm

    Love these folks! There are some true gems here, Nancy!

  5. Carrie December 3, 2014 9:57 am

    Not only is it lovely to see how your sister’s family has grown through the years, it’s also amazing to see how much your work has changed! Lovely photos, Nancy!

  6. Ginny Corbett December 3, 2014 1:04 pm

    Geez….I’m smitten by this amazing family! Great images, Nancy!

Add Comment

Dec 01-14

nancyray-twinklelights-_1

There are so many reasons I adore December. I love cozy fires and hot chocolate, twinkle lights and the smell of Christmas trees, lazy family time and tradition. I love chilly runs on the greenway, mulling spices that my mom sends me each year, date nights and Christmas movies. I love movies that open on Christmas day, white elephant gift exchanges, being extra generous, finding new ways to buy gifts for those I love. I love the hustle leading up to Christmas, too - filling orders, finalizing galleries, clearing my inbox, getting ready to shut down for a while. But let me tell you - taking a vacation only feels really good after you've given this year all you've got. And that's what I plan to do - finish strong! I love looking back and appreciating all we've done, while looking ahead at what's to come. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. It's time to wrap up 2014 and tie a pretty little bow around it, but I refuse to do so without favorite every day of December. Here's to December!

December Goals

Clean eating + 1 dessert a week until Christmas
Finish all Christmas shopping by December 5th
Wrap all presents by December 15th
Train for and run in my Birthday 10K on New Year's Eve
Clean out and giveaway excessive Christmas decorations to newly married couples
Finish all weddings and sessions through November and send to clients
Annual Christmas Date night with Will
Take an afternoon, by myself, and dream of 2015 goals. (Giant blank notebook, favorite pen, and some apple cider, please!)
Make my Mama's butterfinger Christmas Cookies
Get a massage before my belly gets too big
Celebrate the NRP team's accomplishments and set goals for 2015
Savor this last Christmas as a family of 2!

Comments: 0

Add Comment

Dec 01-14

Holiday Sale 25 Percent

Yes!  We're thrilled to offer 25% off of our products this Christmas Season!

Theres a few important dates:

- December 12: Cutoff for prints and canvases to be delivered by Christmas.  (order albums for delivery early 2015)
- December 21: Last day of the sale!

We have two places to order, and here is what you order at each shop:

1) For prints and canvases on work delivered in 2014, please order via your online gallery.

2) For all albums, mentor sessions, and family sessions, please order via the Nancy Ray Shop.  Also, if you want to order a canvas for pre-2014 photography, or for a wedding happening in 2015, please use the Shop.

For both stores, use the Promo Code NRPHOLIDAY25 to get 25% off your purchase!

Merry Christmas, Y'all!

Comments: 0

Add Comment

Nov 27-14

nancyray-pumpkins-1

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

nancyray-pumpkins-3

 

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!

Comments: 2

  1. Kyla Fetzner November 28, 2014 10:23 am

    Happy Thanksgiving Nancy! I am most thankful that I am able to walk through this life with our Lord and be guided by the closeness of the Holy Spirit.

  2. Annie November 28, 2014 7:19 pm

    Happy belated Thanksgiving, Nancy! I’m thankful for quiet weekends, celebrations with family, and the season of life I’m walking in right now.

Add Comment

Nov 26-14
nancyray-laudexwed-3313

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

nancyray-laudexwed-3002

nancyray-lauradexwed1

nancyray-laudexwed-3154

nancyray-laudexwed-3063

nancyray-lauradexwed4

nancyray-laudexwed-3018

nancyray-lauradexwed2

nancyray-laudexwed-3059

nancyray-laudexwed-3152

nancyray-laudexwed-3068

nancyray-laudexwed-3041

nancyray-laudexwed-3042

nancyray-laudexwed-3064

nancyray-laudexwed-3045

nancyray-lauradexwed8

nancyray-laudexwed-3134

nancyray-laudexwed-3125

nancyray-lauradexwed10

nancyray-laudexwed-3211

nancyray-laudexwed-3280

nancyray-laudexwed-3296

nancyray-laudexwed-3299

nancyray-laudexwed-3283

nancyray-lauradexwed7

nancyray-laudexwed-3334

nancyray-laudexwed-3346

nancyray-laudexwed-3364

nancyray-laudexwed-3331

nancyray-laudexwed-3329

nancyray-laudexwed-3323

nancyray-laudexwed-3355

nancyray-lauradexwed6

nancyray-laudexwed-3354

nancyray-laudexwed-3381

nancyray-laudexwed-3137

nancyray-laudexwed-3136

nancyray-lauradexwed5

nancyray-laudexwed-3144

nancyray-laudexwed-3399

nancyray-laudexwed-3411

nancyray-laudexwed-3456

nancyray-laudexwed-3478

nancyray-laudexwed-3492

nancyray-laudexwed-3516

nancyray-laudexwed-3522

Comments: 3

  1. Jordan November 26, 2014 4:48 pm

    Stunning, the venue looks amazing!

  2. Erin November 26, 2014 6:56 pm

    Wow! Stunning. Just stunning!

  3. 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!!!

Add Comment

Nov 25-14

nrp-callie-raybaby-1005

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.

nrp-callie-raybaby-1002

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: 18

  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. Laura November 26, 2014 3:21 pm

    I’m going to second what most everyone else who commented has said… I feel like you wrote this to me.

    I’m in the stage right now of nearing the age where people start to raise their eyebrows when I say we’re not ready to have kids yet. I’m no longer in my low to mid twenties [even though I still feel like it inside] and I have had no desire yet to have a baby. Like you, I [am almost sure that I] see children in my future when I’m old and gray, but when I think that I might need to get moving and actually have those babies in the next x years… I can feel the anxiety creeping in as I type this.

    I want to welcome God in and let Him start to change my heart if that’s His desire. And yet while I do want that, it is also terrifying to write and say because His timing might be sooner than mine…

    The word “Surrender” has been on my heart lately too. And while I initially freaked out hearing that’s the word that led you to baby, I ultimately have a deep, deep desire to surrender my life’s course to God.

    Thank you for your honesty, and for helping some of us not feel so alone. God bless you!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. Laura December 1, 2014 12:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful message. I’m glad to know there is someone else out there like me. You expressed what I am afraid to say out loud. I’m not there yet, but your experience gives me hope that I will find peace in the path. xoxo

  17. Jill Powers December 1, 2014 3:14 pm

    AHH!! Thank you so much for writing this and being so vulnerable, Nancy!! I’m totally in the same boat as you and it is so encouraging to be reminded that God knows what he’s doing even if I panic at the thought of having children! I can’t wait to see how He uses you and Will on this journey into parenthood!! P.S.- On your travels, be sure to come to the farm!! :)

  18. Margaret December 14, 2014 11:23 am

    Oh Nancy this is so encouraging to read! My heart just resonates with so much of what you wrote. I’m not even married yet, but I can tell that babies & childbirth & having children will be an issue of surrender for me. I often feel guilty as I look around and see so many of my friends eager and excited to have babies. How encouraging to read that our journeys each look different. Amen. It’s the same faithful God who leads us though. Thank you for sharing your heart on this!

Add Comment

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!

928068_722114451204596_632066332_n

Comments: 0

Add Comment

Nov 20-14

nrp-callie-raybaby-1014

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.

nrp-callie-raybaby-1003

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!

nrp-callie-raybaby-1000


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: 25

  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!

  24. Happy Thanksgiving! | Nancy Ray Photography November 27, 2014 8:56 am

    […] 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 […]

  25. Jenn and Ford Maternity | Nancy Ray Photography December 12, 2014 8:31 am

    […] did let them in on our news before we announced it publicly, and it was like I just told my best friends. They were thrilled! […]

Add Comment

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!
Nancy Ray
Nancy
Callie
Elizabeth
Drop us a line

No Banner to display