Amanda Joy Photography

Before and Now: Guest Bedroom

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When Sunil and I bought our first home in the summer of 2014, I knew it would be a huge adjustment - we'd only ever rented before!! I was eager to paint and decorate, but I had TOO many ideas to choose from! We decided to tackle it all quite slowly (to save money - yay!) and painted our first wall four months after we moved in. Those four months felt like an eternity!

Part of me is extremely grateful that we waited so long to begin customizing our home. It taught me to be cautious, and it helped me really settle and nest. In some odd way, getting to know your house is a little like getting to know a person; you really need time to understand how they think and what things are important to them. Where you'll spend all your time. Where the sunlight hits the floor in the afternoon. Where that perfect reading nook should go. And for me, living in a house that didn't quite look like my ideal taught me to appreciate the flaws and lean into the perfections. It taught me that it doesn't matter what color the paint on the wall is... I can still make my home a place of safety, rest, and comfort for anyone who walks through my doors. 

When we finally started painting, I was super hesitant. I think I bought 20 samples of paint for our very first wall of color, JUST because I was so nervous about wasting money!

(Side-note: I hate spending money. I'm a saver/hoarder of money and my husband has to almost FORCE me to spend money on myself. Legit.) 

Reading a book called The Nesting Place really showed me what I was so afraid of: I was afraid that if I started decorating my house I couldn't stop until it was perfect. Done. Complete. It showed me that what I was really looking for was perfection, and deep down inside I knew I wouldn't find it. And that scared me. 

So I decided the only thing that would help was if I jumped in with both feet. We painted that first wall and I fell in love with the color AND the feeling. Improvement, not perfection. It gave me confidence to keep going; not for perfection's sake. But to make it lovely. To make it mine. 

I've decided to show you my guest bedroom today. Before and now. Not before and after. Because it's not done and perfect yet. But I still think it's lovely. And out of all the rooms in my house, this is the one that serves people the most. Out of town guests, last minute family needing a place to stay, unexpected visitors who need a place to be alone, sick friends that need to be cared for: that's what this room is for. And I hope it continues to be a place of rest and peace for our guests in the future. 

When we moved in, everything was peach. EVERYTHING. I hate peach. So we've started painting most things grey. Because grey is awesome. :) 

I debated whether or not I should remove all the clutter, iron, boxes and everything else that's kept in this credenza. But I decided to be real, not perfect. I still think it's lovely. :) 

When our guests come to stay, they find these toiletries waiting for them. Having some extra toothbrushes has come in handy a time or two. :)

The canvases on the right REALLY need to go on the wall... but I decided to be real, not perfect. :) 

Love that clock! 

When I can't decide if I want to hang things permanently or not, I use tape. It's the perfect solution for an indecisive person like me! :) 

Honest truth #1. The reason this room is so clean is because we will have two different visitors this week! Good timing, right?? :)

Honest truth #2: The sun came out ten minutes after I took these photos, and I ALMOST re-shot everything because the sun is so lovely in this room. #photographerproblems

Sundays | Kansas City Lifestyle Family Photographer

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Sundays are busy days for us. Both Sunil and I are on staff at our church which means early, busy mornings. 

We arrive home to fix an easy lunch and collapse on the couch, soak in the sunshine on our rug (it's the best rug ever, y'all!), and play with our puppy. Best weekend routine ever. 

Pixel is the newest addition to our family and we're pretty smitten with her cuddly ways and her big soft ears. 

At first, I was nervous about getting a dog - the effort, the time, and the training seemed like too much work for an animal... :) 

And then Sunil showed me pictures of tiny little puppies... and my heart melted. (No really. That's all it takes!)

And.... now she's my official cuddle buddy. (Sorry, honey!)

Especially on Sunday afternoons when we curl up in the sunshine. 

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And now... I'm pretty convinced that puppies are the best thing ever!! Why didn't we get one sooner? :) 

Kalli and Evin's Wedding | Kansas City Elopement Photographer

Couples, Love, WeddingsAmanda MohinaniComment

This was the third wedding they planned together, and it felt like an eternity. When more plans fell through for their wedding in March, Kalli and Evin took matters into their own hands and decided it was time to be done waiting. They were ready to finally be married!! 

In under a week, they planned a small, intimate, and beautiful ceremony at Union Station surrounded by just a few family members. The day was simple, yet stunningly elegant. 

Kalli's grey dress, her Tom shoes, and her small bouquet of fresh flowers all matched perfectly - it's amazing what you can put together in just a few days! 

Kalli got ready at home, surrounded by her beloved cats. 

The light behind their house was stunning and made her red hair and lips POP with color!! 

So gorgeous! I'm so glad the sun made an appearance! :) 

Evin was adorably nervous, but was so relieved to see his bride and get married already. :) 

We found a private balcony at Union Station that was out of the way so we wouldn't be bothered. 

My husband officiated the wedding, and it was such a huge honor for us both to be there to support them as they start their new life together. 

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(Notice the maintenance guys in the background? Apparently we didn't pick a very private balcony!!) 

Yay!! Married!! 

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The light, structure, and decor at Union Station was SO fun to photograph!! I really could've stayed there forever. :) 

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So gorgeous, Kalli! :) 

It was chilly and snowy outside, but we kept warm by telling jokes and giggling lots. :)

Love that red hair! 

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Favorite!! SO cute!! 

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Kalli and Evin, congratulations on FINALLY being married! It's about time, am I right?? Sunil and I were so thrilled to be able to spend New Years Eve with you, and we're so so happy for you guys as you start your new life together. Love you lots! :) 

Kalli and Evin | Kansas City Lifestyle Photographer

Couples, Love, PortraitAmanda MohinaniComment

Their story is long and complex. Full of drama, patience, tenderness, and years of waiting. Along the way they've planned two full weddings, only to have their dreams crushed each time as they pick up the pieces of their hopes to try again. 

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Kalli and Evin have a long history, and as such they have this comfortable way of falling into place next to each other so naturally. 

Evin LOVES their height difference - a trait others may find awkward - so we giggled and laughed about through their session. 

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With Kalli being very short, and Evin being very tall, it's hard not to smile when you see them side-by-side!! :)

The location they chose for their engagement session was the park in which Evin proposed. 

I made them retell their story as we made it to the bridge where he proposed and tempted her with this beautiful ring!! 

I can't wait to be a part of their wedding day soon, and I'm SO happy that God has worked in their lives to give them such immense joy. :) 

Kalli and Evin, I'm SO thankful that you've included me in this amazing (if not stressful) celebration of your patient love for each other. I know this wedding will be worth the wait (you're pretty much pros now!), and I'm so excited to see you guys FINALLY get married!! Love you both! :)

The Leepers | Kansas City Lifestyle Photographer

Couples, Love, PortraitAmanda MohinaniComment

Sunil and I met Mark and Melissa over a year ago when they started coming to our church, and I was SO happy when they asked me to do photos for them! They're in the middle of selling their property and requested that we do photos on the land they've come to love. 

We were gearing up for a full-out winter shoot... scarves, hats, gloves, and big coats. It IS December after all. Well, the day of our shoot arrived and it was a balmy 65 degrees outside! Boy, do I love living in Kansas City. :) 

Mark and Melissa are both HUGE self described dorks, and were convinced that they would be super awkward in front of the camera. 

That couldn't be further from the truth!! :)

We had so much fun exploring their beautiful property, and they had lots of stories to tell of the different memories they've made there. 

So sweet!!

Mark and Melissa, seriously, you guys could NOT get much cuter!! Thanks so much for allowing me to photograph your beautiful selves and for a lovely evening together. Love you guys! :)