Family Nights | summer ’16

With so much going on, I really want to take a moment to appreciate my folks’ example of taking a night (despite really not having time) to go be with *some of* their kiddos in order to relax and enjoy this crazy, beautiful life God has blessed us with…(with photos of Garrett warding off mosquitos with a frisbee, Aaron venturing into the ohsocold water, my parental units being precious together and Aaron and I taking classy pictures *AS ALWAYS*  included)…so here’s to my Mom, for recommending we go unwind and my Dad, for pausing work he wanted to get done on his DIY camper renovation to show us, once again, the importance of living in the now.

Happy Summer shenanigans 😀












Adventure Day

My loving boyfriend, Aaron, knows I have a *BIG* thing for spontaneity and adventures. So, being the thoughtful fella he is, he took it upon himself to set aside a day of his spring break for Adventure Day (everyone should have one of those every once in a while, lemme tell ya).

Spending all day Thursday with him, just going to new places, exploring, taking pictures with disposable cameras, Aaron getting to converse with Mr. Aiken Senior (see second set of pictures), candy-shopping, eno-ing by the water (which was cold, there, I admitted it) making a campfire (he’s the man, fyi) and stargazing when we’ve had so much craziness going on…it was AWESOME.

Life is so go-go-go all the time…it’s wonderful to have such an amazing man to slow down and enjoy the little (and big) things with…

So, Aaron: Thanks for the splendid adventure day, you map-reading hunk, you. 😘















Fall | it’s that time of year

I woke up this morning and found myself absolutely freezing. Therefore, I was depressed.

HOWEVER. Colder weather does bring some rather lovely things to town…

  • I do appreciate a good hoodie and cozy sweatpants
  • And GOODNESS I can finally wear jeans again
  • Hot Chocolate, Apple Cider, Russian Tea (basically, all drinks hot)
  • Thanksgiving traditions and delicious homemade food that makes you wish that you had prepped for the day by fasting *at least* a week beforehand
  • Christmas tree hunting (it gets pretty legit with the Porter folk)
  • Pro: My bud’s birthday is two days before Christmas! Con: He will be thirteen years old *groan, slaps forehead*
  • We get to watch It’s a Wonderful Life in two months and five days (!!)
  • …followed by Garrett’s and my tradition of sleeping (aka present snooping, watching YouTube videos and talking about random wonders of the universe, etc) under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve
  • And one of the very most important: All the delicious fall treats. HalleLUJah.

So, in honor of the good things about the colder weather, here are some fall-ish pictures of the evolution of apple coffee cake. Enjoy!









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Escapades | garrett + andrea

         an act or incident involving excitement, daring, or adventure.
         synonyms: exploit, stunt, caper, antic(s), spree, shenanigans, hijinks. 

Garrett and I go way back. Because of this, we like to hang out and do random things. So naturally, when we have a date-day and find ourselves at Target with Icees, popcorn, a camera and lots of *barely held in* energy, we will always find ourselves in the position to release that pent-up energy and have a(n interesting, to say the least) photo excursion.

I am pleased to announce we only had two encounters with employees (we were moooostly sneaky), and one of them greatly encouraged our efforts.

This photo escapade is one of many and certainly not the final one (goodness, no!) but I really felt like this one should be put out there for seemingly normal people to see and marvel at our awesome, fun-filled ways.

P.S. I love this boy.




^(Garrett also enjoys taking pictures of strangers)



^(Of course the box didn’t break. What are you implying…??)












^(Fancy Pants. Because, obviously *eye roll*)

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The Porter Clan | family vacation 2015

Once upon a time, the oldest Porter boy was about to get married. Thus, the Porter parents decided it would be good for the original Porter 6 to take one last Porter vacation together (let’s see how many times I can say “Porter”). WELP, that was 2.5 years ago and was also the last vacation all the Porters have been on together since.

So when it worked out that all us lovely Porter people  would be able to (ALL SEVEN OF US, OHMYGOODNESS) assemble in vacation-fashion (TOGETHER), it was pretty exciting to say the least.

Some occurrences from this trip:

  • Mom broke her Kindle screen, so Dad fixed it whilst Hunter and Mom observed, making one of my favorite *hilarious* photographs ever (see below)
  • We played “Reverse Charades” for the first time as a family and lots of tears and bathroom breaks ensued. Things got a little crazy, no lie.
  • We found out that Dad’s pretty darn good at juggling Bocce balls (but don’t  mess with the white one when you play with him)…
  • Hunter and I have the BEST tea parties
  • Mary Beth and Hunter are stupid good at finding shark teeth. Ridiculous.
  • Chaise travels to the beach just so he can go to Books A Million.
  • Garrett goes to the beach just so he can read inside on the couch (I see similarities in that regard)….
  • I get sunburned if I don’t wear sunscreen. Who knew???

I honestly don’t think I could count how many times we laughed so hard we cried (and I feel like I shouldn’t exploit the  reasons over the internet, but just ask Dad about jackhammers), which is quite frankly the best way to laugh…

I love my folks and maybe it was a wee bit stressful at times (if it’s never stressful with family, you’re probably not spending enough time together, jussayin’) and maybe it rained a whole lot (I mean, GRACIOUS, did it POUR), but I had such a great time getting away and enjoying God’s beautiful creation with some of the  crazy people He blessed me with.

So here’s to us Porter-folk, keepin’ it classy and havin’ a good time. *cheers*































Adventure Is Out There | aka life

The past two years have been ridiculous. Seriously. That’s the best word I can think of to describe it. It’s been one heck of a journey, one that I haven’t always enjoyed but I haven’t always hated it either…

If I could change anything about the past couple years………I would, obviously. I’d probably not sign up for that 7:30 am English class my first semester. I wouldn’t have gone for a ride that night I totaled my truck. I would have walked away from situations and confronted others head on. I also would have made SURE I won the lottery (were we talking about only possible changes??? I DIDN’T THINK SO)…

However, every situation, good or bad (even 7:30 English) has grown me. I have become stronger. I’ve become even more independent (how, might you ask? I have no idea. I didn’t think that was possible, either, so I’m as shocked as you, reader). I’ve learned that sometimes, you’re just gonna flunk a test so you might as well go to sleep at a decent time so you don’t drive yourself to an early grave…staying up late won’t save your butt, in most cases, actually. I’ve also learned that sometimes, life just does not make sense. At all. And it really sucks…the life right out of you (that was for you, Dad). It’s hard, heartbreaking, discouraging, disappointing, exhausting and sometimes, it feels downright pointless.

But life is also beautiful. It’s not perfect, but c’mon, is anything? It’s been an imperfect, messy, wild, life-changing, beautiful ride and while I may not have enjoyed every second of it, I have definitely appreciated every second. Every bad thing that has happened has made me rely more heavily on the Lord. Every good thing has made me even more grateful to and for Him. There were times I thought I might not make it (Seriously. It got rough.) but He always pulled me through. And now, this North Carolina journey is coming to an end…

Today, I am finishing out my teen years and becoming *gulp* 2 decades old *BLECH*. Crazy.  Six days from now, I’ll also be graduating(FINALLY). Then I’ll move out of NC and back down to SC in a brand spankin’ new (to me) apartment.


I’ve been needing a new adventure for a while now and I’m finally gettin’ my hands on one. It’s time for a fresh start and new scenery. As I launch my photography business, I can’t help but be so excited (and maybe 7% anxious, okay) about finally and officially kicking off my career.

There are so many uncertainties in life…but that’s kind of the best part, I think. Keep up with me and see where life takes me…it’s gonna be a heck of a ride 🙂

“I don’t know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future.”



The Porter Clan | crazy people

In the very imperfect world we live in today, I think people often take their families for granted. I know I sure do sometimes. But when I think of my imperfect family, pretty fun memories resurface…

I could tell about that time I threw a stick *accidentally* into my oldest brother’s eye on a hunting trip, in the middle of the woods…

Or when my second oldest brother had this thing for carving his initials into the furniture and denied it, as though anybody else would have reason to carve “CCP” anywhere (except ONE time I did it for him to repay him for getting me in trouble, I AM NOT PROUD OF IT, IF YOU’RE READING THIS I AM VERY SORRY, CHAISE *heh*)…

Or how Hunter, Chaise and I would stack our three beanbags on top of each other and all climb up on top to see who could stay on the longest…

Or that time I dared my little brother Garrett to poke a motionless snapping turtle floating in a creek with a stick to see if it was still alive (it was, very much so)…

Or those times when I’d go back home and Mom and I would stay up talking for hours in the same room we had had humongous fights in years previous (it’s so cool how God works)…

Or those Thursday and Friday mornings Mimi and I would spend making breakfast and drinking a cup pots of coffee and talking about anything and everything…

Or when Dad and I would go hunting and I’d choose to continue huntin’ in the same tree as him instead of going off on my own because my favorite part of hunting was sittin’ with him…

Or when Hunter came into my room late one night telling me he and his now-wifey were starting to officially date AND I FREAKED OUT (it was a positive thing, don’t worry :)…

Or those countless nights Garrett and I would spend in our entire-room forts, coloring and talking nonsense and sneaking Rebel up to sleep with us in our fort (I’m pretty sure Mom and Dad were onto us, at least part of the time)…

And that time that we found out Mom was having another blasted boy, and I burst out into incredibly unhappy tears because I’d been praying for two years for a girl, I mean c’mooon! …And he turned out to be the biggest blessing I’ve ever been gifted with (so thankful God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we pray them)…

The time I explained to my parents over the phone that I had acquired a pet feline…on accident…and they weren’t even *that* mad…

That time Chaise chopped his finger off while Mom was on a retreat for women discussing “fears” (you can’t tell me God doesn’t have humor)…

Family is beautiful. And it’s also a mess. I’m proud of where I come from and who I come from. Despite the crazy imperfectness of the Porter family, we are kinda awesome, too. We’re constantly growing *funnier* and darn it, I just love ’em all.

So here’s to family! Now go and hug yours. 🙂

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My Nouns | sentimental

  1. a word (other than a pronoun) used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things common noun, or to name a particular one of these proper noun.

The past two years (especially) have been rather challenging. I moved into an apartment in a different state at the  fresh old age of eighteen, began pursuing my dream career of photography and boyyy, it nearly kicked my rear. I’m not one to get homesick but growing up in the beautiful state of South Carolina with an awesome family and amazing friends (let’s not forget my rockin’  dog, either) makes this lass sentimental every now and then. This past weekend, I was able to spend a few days with some of my family and as my time here at RCC comes to a close, it’s been really great to think about moving back to South Carolina and getting the rest of my life started up…I’m pretty stoked.

I’ve had so much support from my loved ones throughout the past two years…from demanding classes, working almost every day of the week to cover the cost of living (and an out-of-state tuition) and typically only making it home every couple months…

So here’s to my people. You’ve loved me when I’ve been darn near unlovable.

To my place. South Carolina, no matter where I may drift, you’ll always be my home.

To my “thing”…photography. It’s been a long, hard road but I’m doing what I love…and it doesn’t get much better than that.

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