Becoming a Better Reader: The Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge

“Fiction is the human attempt to discover, understand, and apply truth through stories.” -Karen Prior (see a helpful video about why Christians should read fiction here)


Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved reading. In college, I studied English literature at Clemson and was constantly reading multiple novels and then I went on to get my MDiv and was constantly reading theology books. Unfortunately, I have found in the years since completing school, my reading has steeply declined. I still love reading but I find myself wanting to to a "mental rest" and just watch Netflix or a I get distracted by my phone or a million other things. It makes me sad to think about the time I have wasted and the books I have missed out on and I really want to purpose to be a better ready.

Some months ago, I discovered Modern Mrs. Darcy's blog and podcast.  She has inspired me to be purposeful about my reading and to make goals. Without goals, it is so easy to get sidetracked by everything else that is going on or to becoming lazy. She has a one year reading challenge that is supposed to start at the beginning of the year but I'm going to start it now and go by "school year" so this challenge will take me from August 2018-August 2019. Here's the challenge:

Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge

My hope is that by sharing my choices with you, it will give me accountability to actually complete this challenge! I would also love to start a dialogue and perhaps even inspire some of you to read a little more this year.

Without further ado, here are my choices:
A Classic You've Been Meaning to Read: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
A Book Recommended by Someone with Great Taste: The Secret History by Donna Tartt
A Book in Translation: A Winter's Promise by Christelle Dabos
A Book Nominated for an Award: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
A Book of Poetry or Play: Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan (*technically an allegory but I felt it was close enough!)
A Book You Can Read in a Day: Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
A Book that's More than 500 Pages: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (*Actually 464 pages but close enough!)
A Book by a Favorite Author: Persuasion by Jane Austen
A Book Recommended by a Librarian: Great Expectations by Charles Dickins
A Banned Book: Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
A Memoir or Biography: Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas (*on Audible) and Spurgeon by Arnold Dallimore
A Book by an Author of a Different Race, Ethnicity, or Religion than Your Own: Night by Elie Wiesel

Other Non-Fiction Christian Books I Plan to Read this Year:
The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs
Keeping the Heart by John Flavel
John Newton by Jonathan Aitken (*on Audible)
Newton on the Christian Life by Tony Reinke
Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp
The Whole Christ by Sinclair Ferguson


Other Books I Considered by Didn't Make the Cut for This Year:

Middlemarch by George Eliot
Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan
The Count of Monte Cristo (*I've listened to about half of this on Audible and gave it because it's so long but it's one of my favorite stories and I want to get back to it at some point!)
Beloved by Toni Morrison
I was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhorn
Transcription by Kate Atkinson
Guernsey and the Potato Peel Society by Shaeffer and Burrows
The Time Quintet by L'Engle
When Life Gives You Lulumons by Lauren Weisberger
The Clockmakers Daughter by Kate Morton
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover
Louise Penny novels

A Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbs
The Heart of Christ by Goodwin
Communion with God by John Owen
A Quest for Godliness by J.I. Packer
Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland Baiton

I would love to hear what books you're hoping to read this year or if you've read any of the books listed above in the comments below!

Fall Mini Sessions 2018

Winston Salem NC Fall Mini Sessions 2018

I'm very excited to announce fall mini sessions! I only offer mini sessions 1-2 times per year and these sessions give you the chance to have your pictures done at over 50% less than the cost of my normal portrait sessions! Fall mini sessions are the perfect time to have pictures done for Christmas cards or Christmas gifts while the leaves are changing. These mini sessions would be great for families, couples, seniors and more!

Here's all the details:

  • Fall mini sessions are $125 (+ tax) and include: One 15 minute session, 8+ edited digital images in an online gallery, and a print release.
  • Fall mini sessions will all be on 9/22 from 4-7pm in Burlington, NC at Cedarock park and 11/3 from 3-6pm in Clemmons, NC at Tanglewood Park.
  • Fall mini sessions are non-refundable. In the event of rain, a rain date will be rescheduled and you will be given the option of getting a refund if you are not able to make the rain date.
  • Mini sessions are for a family up to 6 people. If you have more than 6 people in your family, you will need to pay an additional $40 for each additional 1-2 people and you will receive and extra 5 minutes. Please contact me before booking your session if you have more than 6 people.
  • If you have any questions, please email me at

You can book your session online now here:


9 Months with Dom

Dom 9 months

I may or may not have missed Dom's 8 month pictures and taken both his eight and nine month pictures today....terrible I know! A LOT has changed in the last two months.

Dom weights 18lbs & 2oz and is 27.5 inches long. He started crawling at around 8 months and crawls crazy fast now! He's also pulling up on everything and he is officially weaned completely from breastfeeding and eating formula & 3 meals of solid foods a day. He also got his first two teeth a few weeks ago (the bottom front two teeth).

One other big update: He started sleeping completely through the night at about 8 months!!!! I honestly think that weaning him from nursing helped because he no longer expected to nurse in the middle of the night. Also, I let him cry it out several times and he eventually learned. He now *usually* sleeps 12 uninterrupted hours at's been life changing!

Dom loves:

  • Bananas and fruit purees (his favorite meals is still bananas with oatmeal)
  • Crawling EVERYWHERE
  • Playing with everything he's not allowed to touch, mainly cords and electrical outlets :)
  • Playing with his toys in the bath
  • Going for walks in his stroller
  • Teething crackers
  • The beach! He went on his first beach trip and did great!

Dom doesn't like:

  • Non-pureed food...I've been trying really hard to get him to eat pieces of avocado, puffs...anything! And he freaks out if it's not pureed, I guess he doesn't have chewing down yet!
  • Men in hats...he seems to have a fear of men in hats or men who make abrupt noises...haha!

Dom's current schedule is as follows:

7:30am- Wake up and have bottle of formula

8:30am- Breakfast (usually oatmeal and bananas or greek yogurt with fruit)

9am- Nap

11am- Second bottle

12pm- Lunch (usually 4oz of fruits/veggies)

1pm- Second nap

3pm- Third bottle

4pm- Dinner (usually 4oz of fruits/veggies/meat)

6pm- Bath and fourth bottle

7pm- Bed

The O'Donnell House | Emilie & Gabe's Wedding | A Sumter, SC Wedding Photographer

I'm so excited to share Emilie and Gabe's wedding with you! They had a beautiful, sunny day and a wonderful celebration.

The Vendors Who Made This Day Possible:
Ceremony: Westminster Presbyterian Church
Reception: The O'Donnell House
Photography: DiPrima Photography
Dress: Evelyn's Bridal
Florist: The Country Rose
Music: The Jim Bowers Group
Second Shooter: Megan Kaley Photography