Throwback Thursdays: The ’90s

Phewww… Made it to Thursday. It’s been a long week, and I’m excited to share this installment of Throwback Thursdays! Today’s edition brings you a small collection of photos that give you a glimpse into the ’90s, Dean-style. I’m one of those people who still has 1996 or 1997 come to mind when people say, “Remember ten years ago when…..” Haha, I still have trouble believing that ten years ago is 2003!

The ’90s were a fun time for the Deans. Four of the us seven kids were born during that decade! I have so many wonderful memories from those years, and looking through photos like these make me tear up, thinking how crazy different life is now. (It’s great, just different.)

Before getting into photos, here were some of our favorite pastimes during those years…… Remember any of these?

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MSB-Titlecard-magic-school-bus-32439016-932-706Aaaand in the world of photos…….

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Playing in the snow was difficult in those days when your legs struggled in anything higher than four inches… (and yes, those are plastic deer in the background… we loved them).

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Clark became a big brother in 1996 when Tori was born!

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Twins in sucking our fingers…..

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I loved these summer days. Despite only being five or six, I remember those summer nights in our old house, playing outside until sunset….. never lacking playmates!

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Beach vacations at the Outer Banks… Not a care in the world.

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Ah yes, attempts at the family photo……. Always a challenge.

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Yet some things never change……

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Most recent photo of ALL nine of us, from a few summers ago. So blessed.

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What are some of your favorite memories from growing up? (No matter what decade it was!) Leave comments! I’d love to hear. 🙂 Happy Thursday!

A Needed Laugh

Today has been one of those days. The kind when you get out of bed 15 minutes before class. When you can barely move because of the previous day’s workout. When you forgot more than one of the homework readings you were supposed to do. When you get off your bike and immediately trip, slamming your knees on the pavement first before the rest of you goes down. When you aren’t dressed for the negative a MILLION degree weather that’s come over Virginia. When you go to class and your professor adds assignments due next class period that aren’t in the syllabus. When you see friends and they ask if you’re tired. When you miss your family terribly despite it only being two weeks into the semester.

MMMMhhhmmmm…. love these days.

If you’re having a day like this, know that I’m 100% feeling your pain. (Literally. My knees are bruised and throbbing from my bike fall.) These next words and funny pictures are for you. I hope they put a smile on your face and bring you encouragement!

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, nor let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16a)

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

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Snowy Night

As has been all over Facebook, the Hampton Roads area was showered with snow last night! It covered campus and drew many students outside to build snowmen and tackle each other in the snow. I wandered out there when I got off work at the gym around midnight, and it was beautiful. I love snowy, unique nights like these at CNU that show-off the campus’s beauty in a way we rarely get to see in Newport News. Here are some shots from last night. 🙂

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Arielle – Roommate Shoot

It’s not like we planned to call each other “spouse.” “Husband” and “wife.” It just kinda happened. And before you start freaking out and thinking weird things, I should say that my roommate Arielle and I love the Lord, love men, and God has richly blessed our friendship.

I have four roommates, but technically you would say I have one roommate and three housemates. And Miss Arielle Poe is my technical roommate. We met sophomore year and have lived together junior and senior year. It’s been great watching our friendship grow as we’ve experienced the struggles and joys of friendship and roommateship (yes, that’s a word). We have many inside jokes, funny memories, and would-be-awkward-to-anyone-else-but-ourselves moments.We are blessed to share the room in the house that looks like it would be the master-suite, and at some point last year, we fell into calling eachother “husband” and “wife.” (Maybe this is TMI, but take it as you will. Haha.) I love how weirdly we joke and how our friendship has a special bond because of our living quarters. It’s wonderful. :):)

I’ve been telling Arie forever that I wanted to do a photoshoot of her (she was BORN a model), and this past Sunday I finally got around to it. And let me tell you, she’s a stunner, folks. I’m stoked to show these photos. Please leave her some love in the comments!!

Without further adeau…. Miss Arielle Poe.


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Monday: Flu + Slowing Down

This morning I woke up feeling nauseous and feverish, and the dreaded word, “INFLUENZA,” flashed across my brain. The flu has been taking quite a toll recently, campuswide at CNU and even nationwide. Everywhere you turn you’re bombarded with the advice to “Get a flu shot!” “Wash your hands!” and “Stay away from others should you feel yourself getting sick!” Naturally, I’ve boycotted the first requirement and have done my best to follow the last two. (Us Deans let our immune systems fight for themselves!) So today, I laid low and have taken big doses of rest and liquids. I hate sitting still all day but on days like this when your body says, “STAY,” it becomes peaceful to doze in and out of sleep as the rain falls and the breeze blows through my window (whoopss, sorry…. got on the cheesy train for a bit there). Here are some photos from today…. Happy Monday!

Still working to unpack and fold laundry… don’t judge me!

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Spending time in the Word…. Love Hebrews.

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Organizing my books for the semester…. The joys of being an English Lit major.

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Candle Mom got me for Christmas. It smells like MEN and I love it! Haha

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Rain on the deck outside my room…..

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Finished and submitted my application to go to East Asia for a year with Cru after I graduate! Stoked to see how the Lord leads.cru

Kylie and Dominic — Clifton Engagement Shoot


I know it’s been YEARS it seems since I posted something on here, and for that I apologize! I was trying to make some renovations and changes to the blog that have had to come to a halt, so there really are no excuses for me to not continue blogposts at this time. And MAN do I have stuff to post!

This shoot goes back to this past December when I was home in Northern Virginia for Christmas break (my last winter break EVER as a college student!). Kylie and Dominic met me in downtown Clifton, VA on a crisp Sunday afternoon, full of energy and making me more excited with every minute of interaction. Kylie is a CNU grad and Dominic went to the Air Force Academy, and they’ve been together for more than SIX YEARS. (Woohoo!) It was clear right from the get-go of shooting that they’re best friends. They were so comfortable, continually laughing and building on the other’s jokes, while at the same time easy-going and flexible. They made my job so easy with their laughter and model faces! I had a awesome hour of shooting with them. Thanks for the fun afternoon, guys! (Aaaanndd… Go Army! Beat Air Force! (Sorry Dominic… had to do it!))

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Jenny & Eric – Bumpass Wedding

I don’t even know how to begin this wedding post. How do you summarize a day full of sunshine, rain, a living room ceremony, a rainbow, a gorgeous couple, and a just fun fun crazy time?? Jenny and Eric’s wedding day was insane. But SO wonderful.

When I arrived to the gorgeous Keen home in Bumpass, Va. on the morning of September 8th, the sun was shining and the skies were blue with only a few clouds here and there. The Hager and Keen families were running around making finishing touches on the outdoor ceremony and reception area. You wouldn’t have believed me if I had told you that just a few hours later, the skies would open and winds would come crashing down, drastically changing our plans for the day! Yes, a sudden monsoon came and moved the wedding into the Keens’ living room…. but despite this drastic change to the day, Jenny and Eric were SO calm. Their families and friends pulled everything together to make a beautiful indoor ceremony and salvaged much of the reception decorations to put the reception area back looking stunning! (Of course the rain stopped right after the ceremony ended…. God’s got a great sense of humor.) Jenny and Eric have been dating for over six years, so they were just ready to be husband and wife! Their day didn’t go as they planned but through it all they were so joyful, and just so excited to be with family and friends.

Congrats you two! I had so so much fun with you (crazy-rain-changes included!). Enjoy some photos from your special day!

My amazing second shooter, Halle, took these following few photos of the reception area before the storm hit. So beautiful!


Jenny’s gorgeous bracelet with their rings… SO STUNNING!

The beautiful bride!

Jenny and her adorable niece…. So precious.

OOOhhh goodness, so cute….

Jenny joined Phi Mu while in college, and one tradition of this sorority is to sew several beads – symbolizing things like love, sisterhood, etc. – into the dress of a Phi Mu sister when she gets married. Jenny’s Big Sister Amanda did the sewing…. It was really sweet to watch!

Here comes the bride!

Halle’s view….

Eric’s sisters and Dad played/sang a song during the ceremony… It was emotional!

Halle’s view of the kiss!!!

Married!!!!!!

Rainbow… Seriously???

This bridal party was awesome…. SO fun!

Eric and the ladies!!!


Sisters. 🙂

Siblings!!

The Keen’s barn on their property…. Love itttt!


Love this….. Such a special moment of the Father-Daughter Dance!

Eric and his groomsmen created a band in High School and they played for a bit during the Reception! So fun. Eric was a fantastic drummer….

Jenny’s Phi Mu sisters singing a traditional song around her….

Jenny about to throw the bouquet… Looove her face!

Eric’s brother and sister swing dancing…. Precious.

Heading out as husband and wife!!!!!!

Thanks for letting me be a part of your special day!!!! Loved every moment.

Jenny’s Bridals – Williamsburg, VA

It’s been KILLING me keeping these secret for the past two weeks! When Jenny and I drove to Williamsburg and did her bridal portrait shoot on a gorgeous Wednesday afternoon at the end of August, I knew it was going to take everything in me to not share her photos until after her wedding on September 8th. SHE WAS STUNNING, and so natural and happy, and I loved how the pictures turned out! Now that she and her hubby Eric are wed and off honeymooning in the Bahamas, I can finally reveal this gorgeous girl’s bridal photos. Be looking soon for their wedding pictures in the upcoming week or two! For now, enjoy some of my favorites of beautiful Jenny…..

Barefoot Wedding – Frederick, MD

When I first came to visit CNU in 2008 as a senior in High School, I still vividly remember my cousin Maggie bringing me to lunch in one of the dining halls and introducing me to a million people. The very first person I met was a beautiful red-head by the name of Emily Wolven. She was so welcoming and engaging, genuinely reaching out to me and wanting me to be part of the group. I even remember Maggie going off to class while I chilled with Emily and her roommate Carly in the library, feeling totally comfortable and at ease with these two new friends of mine. I honestly think my interactions with these girls are some of the main reasons I decided to come to CNU!

Fast forward a few years… Emily’s living across the street from me at CNU in a cul-de-sac of houses, and this guy named Sean Barefoot lives in the same circle of houses with a bunch of guys. I get to know Sean that year (he was a great neighbor…. especially when he and his roommates hit tennis balls across the street onto my house, making me and my roommates feel like we were living in a bomb shelter), and it was easy to see what good friends he and Emily were. When Sean graduated in May 2011, people began to wonder if something was up between this crazy, caring, people-loving, life-of-the-party Emily and quiet but incredibly sweet and hilariously-comical Sean. Not many months later, word on the street had it these already-best-friends were dating…. then engaged…. and then quickly planning a wedding! You can imagine my joy and excitement when Emily approached me at work one day at CNU to ask if I would be her wedding photographer! I was floored and overjoyed and just so so SO honored!! This same amazing girl who welcomed me in to CNU when she didn’t even know me now wanted ME to capture her wedding day. I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

Sean & Emily’s wedding took place on August 19th, 2012 in Frederick, MD at the Morningside Inn. Despite rain changing up a few parts of the day, the two were wed with much celebration and praises. Their wedding was so focused on Jesus Christ and their deep love for Him as their Savior, and how they desire to reflect this Christ-like love in their love for each other. I know the Lord will bless their marriage as they seek after Him and daily lay down their lives to serve the Lord and serve each other. I love you two so so much, and I still can’t believe you let me photograph your wedding!! Thanks for letting me be part of your special day, Mr. & Mrs. Barefoot!! XXOO, Debbie

Emily’s gorgeous gown was a gift from many of her dear friends, who all chipped in to buy it for her. So beautiful!

Personalized Toms…. So clever!

Emily always loved to wear jerseys around CNU, and commonly became known as the “jersey girl.” As part of her gifts for her bridesmaids, she bought them all jerseys!


Stunning….

Sean and Emily chose to do a First Look, getting a special time of about 45 minutes for portraits before the ceremony. While the rain foiled some of our plans, we were able to get a few shots before it poured. I love this one of Emily and her best friend Lauren praying, while Sean stands out of sight waiting for his bride-to-be….

Showing off her Toms…

My 2nd shooter Halle captured this AWESOME shot…

Makin a run for it as the rain begins to fall!

Gorgeous!

Sean had this idea…. Love it!

About ready to go! Praying before the ceremony…

Here she comes!!

Precious….

Married!

It stopped pouring right as the ceremony ended, so we were able to run outside and grab some more shots!! Thanks, God. 😉

Thanks again to Halle for this fun shot!

Back inside for the reception!

Emily did YoungLife in college and is going on to YoungLife staff now that she’s graduated. A bunch of her girls were at the wedding! Love em…

You guys are GREAT and I love you so much!! Thanks for letting me document your amazing day.