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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mullins2 + Oh What Joy

Josh and I are lucky to have such great friends that also happen to have pretty cool jobs. One of my best friends, Kim Bimat owns a vintage rental company, Oh What Joy! , renting out some of the cutest even decor you have ever seen. Their inventory ranges from vintage suitcase and couches all the way to church pews.  We were lucky to get to be a part of her collaboration with one of our other good friends, Ellie Mullins, the cutest half of the father daughter photography team Mullins2 . Like I said, we got really lucky. 

Here are some of our favorite shots. 

Monday, November 4, 2013


This year I did two pretty big adventurous things, out of my comfort zone, and all I had to do was say yes. I got to go Great White shark diving in Mexico and I ran a half marathon, both of which are entirely outside my comfort zone. Both of the adventures were presented to me around the same time, and this crazy part of me told me, I have to do these things. I want to live a full life, a life full of stories with both pain and triumph. You don't get those kind of stories or experiences by not living an adventurous life. So I said yes.

Don't get me wrong, I had to say yes over and over again, especially while training for the half marathon. Everyday for months I had to say yes, and many a days I failed. Then the next day I got up and tried again. There were a handful of times I wanted to just quit, but really I didn't want to quit, I just didn't want to run that day. What I have truly learned to love about running is how it is a testament to your own strength and journey. A mile is a mile, no one can take it from you. And then there is the fact that you never really want to run, or if you do, its short lived. Until you are out there, and you are almost done, and you are amazed at what you can accomplish if you really try. I love how I feel after a run. I just did something I either didn't think was possible or didn't want to do and it's only 7 am. I achieved my biggest goals from running this half, I finished the race at my goal time and I became a runner out of it. Halfs might not be what I choose to run from here on out, but I will forever be a runner after this. All because, when a friend asked me, I said yes.

Sharks on the other hand, are a whole other version of scary. God, I am so scared of them. I have been scuba diving since I was 12, and yes, I have seen plenty of sharks, but nothing scares the crap out of me still like a shark. Namely though, the Great White shark. Obviously. We are all universally afraid of these apex predators. And of course, shark week does and then again doesn't help that fear at all. This year when my dad was unable to go on his anniversary trip with my step mom due to tearing his Achilles' tendon, Laura asked me to take his place. We would be a doing a live aboard dive ship in the Guadeloupe Islands diving 4 times a day in cages with Great Whites. As much as I wish I was brave enough to just say yes right away, I was pretty scared out of my mind. I couldn't even imagine the first jump into the water. I knew how bummed my dad was that he couldn't go, he and my step mom are fearless, this was their dream. And Josh kept encouraging me. Ok, fine, yes, I'll go.

Here we go! First dive! 

Crap, here we go. I had talked to my family, friends, and clients about my trip, people either thought I was straight out of my mind or were so jealous of how lucky I was. I'll be the first to say that I am both. Their encouragement and prayers though, I swear is what I accredit my overwhelming peace with. The day came where we finally jumped in, and of course, what are the odds that I was on the first dive and first one in the water??? I was. Like a badass. I went in, cold, but so at peace and just excited to see some sharks. Which I did. Right away. Two right bellow me. Then another two. The size of a small bus going by. This continued for the next 3 dives that day and the next 3 following days. It was one of the most amazing and wonderful experiences of my life. Laura and I had the time of our lives. I will forever be thankful that in this turn of events that I got to go on that trip and that I got that special time just me and Laura. We met some great people, swapped dive stories, life stories, took a ton of pictures, ate some yummy food, and lived a full life that week. Because I said yes. I am so thankful.

Those creepy beady eyes.

Their size is amazing, you can't believe it, even in person.

Cage selfie.

Doesn't he look like Bruce from Nemo?

Look how big he is next to the two story cage!!!

Selfie with a Great White, check.

Can I also say that I didn't zoom at all taking these pictures. That is how close they really came.

 I could go on and on about all the stories and encounters, but just know that it really was as crazy, scary, exhilarating, and amazing as you think it would be. I can only hope that I get to do it again someday with my dad, Laura, Josh and my sister Cait so we can all experience it together. I highly recommend this being on your bucket list. While on the topic of bucket list, I highly recommend you have one, and start pursuing it now. Life is so short, so fragile, and so precious. Live the life you want, to the fullest, with your loved ones, and enjoy every second of it. 

That is a small glimpse into what saying yes has taught me this year! 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Brielle June by Karissa Yeager.

Here is another guest blog I have been saving up! One of mine & Josh's bestest friends, match maker extraordinaire, fellow blogger, wife and mom to the most beautiful girl, Brielle June, Mrs Karissa Yeager. Karissa & her husband Jake's story of how their sweet Brielle made our life so much bigger and better is amazing. I am so thankful to have witnessed the power of this story first hand and now share it with the world alongside them. 

Jake grew up across the street from Josh in Coalinga. Instant best buds. Jake started dating Karissa sophomore year of high school and the rest is history. Josh, Jake & Karissa have always been best friends, and I knew Karissa from my best friend Kate, who was also from Coalinga.  Kate moved to Clovis just before I did - thank God, or I would have been friendless for the better half of 6th and 7th grade and missed out on one of the best friendships I have to this day. Any way, as Josh and I look back on the countless times that we could have met, we just laugh. God had such a bigger and better plan, with perfect timing that would sweep us both off our feet. Karissa actually messaged me a legitimate list of "10 reasons to date my best friend Josh" ... they were really good reasons. Both of us were not ready to be set up, and of course we just happened to run into each other at church a couple weeks later. The rest, is history. 

Both Kate & Karissa knew we would fall in love, get married and live happily ever after. Really though, none of us knew the blessing that our friendship would grow into. Karissa has truly become a sister to me, funny because we do look freakishly alike, but also, because our boys really are brothers. I couldn't ask for a better couple to share our crazy adventures through life with and have sleep overs with at any age. We shared the same joy as we both got our first babies, their Chocolate Lab Gatsby and our Pit / Aussie mix Greyson. And then, just before we were gonna tie the knot, we found out Jake & Karissa were pregnant. I'll let her take it from here...

Karissa Yeager

it's kind of amazing how this bitty six pound, fifteen ounce life can rock your world, can explode your heart, can make you suddenly feel God stronger than ever before.

after march 9th, 2013 at 10:17pm, there was no going back. i was done for.

Brielle June is precious because we all are, but Brielle June is precious because she is a beautiful testimony to God's love and power and to my love and humility.

on june 24, 2012 my sweet husband and i found out we were pregnant. that moment was magic. i'm talking a moment when the world gets blurry and your legs get jiggly, and you just wanna stop time and soak up every last drop of life's sweetness. on july 2nd, 2012 we were told that the baby was gone. the pregnancy was no good. i don't remember much more than crumbling. my legs got jiggly again, but the kind of jiggly that knocks you out cold. i felt my heart crush, my back buckle. i leaned over, short of breath and sobbed. i felt betrayed, by God and my own body. i felt broken. i felt guilty.

on july 3rd, 2012 i was wheeled into the OR and i received a D&C. i just felt wrong. i felt wrong everywhere about everything. i was desperate to get a do-over. i remember pleading with God inside my head. i was desperate to be a mama. i was pleading to Him. please, Lord. someday make me a mama. that day was awful, and so were the days that followed. i remained tired, sad, and bitter.

on july 11th, 2012, found myself clinging to God, my husband, and any last bit of strength i had left. we were in the emergency room at UC San Diego Medical Center. my pathology reports had come back with no fetal tissue. blood tests confirmed i was still pregnant...somewhere. my doctor suspected a tubal pregnancy. so there i sat. more terrified than i had ever been before. more exhausted. more angry. more helpless. i wanted my home, my mom, and my ovaries. i wanted a baby, for goodness sake. i still wanted that baby, and i just felt like i was never going to recover from any of the nightmare that my life was at that moment.

after hours of waiting, we were taken into a room, given an ultrasound, taken into another room, visited by a doctor, and it was there that i witnessed the biggest miracle of my life.

my stomach gets fluttery and my mind gets foggy just thinking about. the doctor told me that i was still pregnant. that the baby was alive, in my uterus. the baby was alive, and healthy, inside of me, right where it belonged.

doctors and nurses flooded in with nothing to tell me except that there was no explanation for what happened. it was simply a miracle. a beautiful miracle.

on march 9th, 2013 at 10:17pm i heard that sweet cry. she was here. my sweet and precious baby was here. i wanted her so badly. i pleaded for her. i pleaded, begged, prayed. now she is here.

there is no going back. she has my heart. i will never, ever be the same again. i love her so much it hurts me. i cry for her because i love her so. sometimes a lump forms in my throat when i hug her. when her cold, smooth, squishy cheek rests on my shoulder, when my lips touch her fuzzy head, when her body goes limp against mine. when she is completely at peace, completely content with my love and protection, thats when she gets me. it's moments like that that i am constantly longing for.

from the moment she became mine, God made sense. it's those moments when i'm down on my knees, when i'm reading those scriptures, when i'm loving that neighbor, and i'm completely at peace, completely content with His love and protection, that's when i get Him. that is what he is longing for.

i will never understand how much He loves me, how much He loves us. i can't even grasp how much i love her.

Brielle is a horrible napper, and sleeper in general. i have bruises on my arm from where she has pinched me. and more often than not, she pees everywhere the second i undo her diaper. regardless, my love for her is unconditional in the purest way. pinch all you want, little girl. pee on my favorite dress. never nap again. i love you.

and God is the same to us.

i sin. always. i am a gossiper, liar, and thief. but i am a child of God and to Him that is enough. i am pure and clean and precious.

i often think about the fact that one day Brielle will be 15. one day Brielle will want to dye her hair, to date someone we might not approve of, to listen to some music we can't understand. i will love her just the same, i can promise that. but i can also promise that she will forever be my six pound, 15 ounce perfect gift from God. she will be that answered prayer, that miracle that i will never deserve. she will always be that first cry, that sweet toothless smile, that girl that never naps. she will always be that fake cougher, that boob lover, that giggler at Gatsby, her chocolate lab. she will always be perfect. i will forever hold on to her innocence and purity.

i am so thankful that God made me a mama. i am more thankful that God made me a mama to Brielle June. she is everything i have always dreamed of. she has made mine and Jake's life richer than we ever imagined.

above all my gratitude and thanksgiving, i am humbled and blessed by God's love for me.

give thanks to the God in Heaven, for His steadfast love endures forever. psalm 136: 26

To follow Karissa and her gorgeous family, check out her blog !! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

childlike faith by Jamie Feliz.

My first ever, guest blog post! Let me introduce my girl, Jamie Feliz. 

In seventh grade, I had the pleasure of meeting Jordan Feliz in my p.e. class. We became instant buds. Jordan and I went all the way through high school together. I remember when he started dating Jamie sophomore year and thinking how beautiful she was. Turns out, while I hadn't met Josh yet, Jordan and Josh were friends through being in bands and playing together in high school, too. Fast forward years later, when Josh was going to meet up with Jordan to grab coffee, we realized we both knew the same curly haired cutie. Jordan was just about to marry Jamie, and he had always told me he thought me and Jamie would be really good friends. We finally set up a double date and the rest is history. They became our best buds that we did everything with. Our dogs, Lennon & Pancakes, are even boyfriend and girlfriend. 

I fell in love with Jamie. You can't not love her. She is so ridiculously stylish and sassy, and without fail she will have you on your butt laughing. She's truly one of a kind. Jamie & I got to work together at the salon until they recently moved to Nashville, where she did Billy Rae Cyrus's hair by the way. No biggie. We are so blessed by being besties with these guys. I am so lucky to call Jamie one of my favorites and to share one of her stories of watching her faith grow. She is original, quirky, funny, stunning, humble, creative, and easy going. I'm a huge fan. Hope you love hearing her heart as much as I do ...

Jamie Nicole Feliz

We've all been there. That place in time where the walls inside of you crack and your heart falls down into the pit of your stomach. Life as you've know it so far has completely changed. A moment unplanned, unexpected.. a reality check. Sometimes these moments hit you right then and there. The second his eyes met mine, I knew he was the one. He smiled at me and my heart started pounding and my throat got dry and from that moment on I never wanted to be even a rooms length away from him. 15 years old, a time in my life when I wasn't looking for anything or anyONE, and I found him.. and I couldn't live without him...unplanned...unexpected. It's only by God's grace & intervention that I have been undeservingly blessed to call Jordan's heart my own. I got the privilege of 7 years of dating the heck out of him before we finally tied the knot 2 years ago. A decision I haven't regretted for a second.

 Sometimes life throws you curve balls. Leaves you feeling.. blank. breathless. speechless. A car crashes, a gun fires, a line goes flat and you think everything is going to be ok. You think you're gonna get through this one unaffected. Until, a week later, you trip going down the steps, or you drop a glass plate, and your mouth goes numb and your hands start shaking and you fall to pieces. You crack, break, and realize that life as you know it will never be the same... unplanned...unexpected...a reality check. 

I remember one time in particular my world was turned upside down. It may not be everyone's ideal story, but its the one I feel like sharing. I'm being real here, so no judgement please.

As a little girl, I was brought up believing in God, knowing the stories of the bible, praying to Him at night, and celebrating Christmas and Easter. As a child, you believe what you're told and you don't question anything, because humanity hasn't taught you to doubt yet.

One day, I was running around town with my dad and our dog, Zeus. First to the pet store and then quickly to the grocery store. On our way home, I pulled out the dog brush we had picked up at our first stop so that I could brush Zeus in the backseat. It was one of those brushes that has a clip attached to the face of it, beneath the needles of the brush. After the brush has collected hair, you can pull up on the clip, which pulls up all the hair, and you are left with a clean brush. And, thats exactly what I was doing. Being in the car, I disposed of the excess hair by holding the clip outside the window so that the air rushing by could wipe the clip clean. Unexpectedly, the wind pulled the clip straight from my hand and I watched, in horror, as the clip flew onto the freeway behind us and underneath passing cars. Gone for good.

I'm sure we all remember, as a child, there is no worse feeling in the world than disappointing your parents. Knowing we JUST bought that brush, I knew my dad would KILL me if he found out what I'd just done. Immediately, I bowed my head and with all my heart, I prayed to a God that I knew was a God capable of miracles. I don't remember the words I said to Him, I just remember putting all of my faith into Him and knowing he was going to cover me.

We pulled into the driveway and my dad opened up the back to unload the bags. I grabbed the first few and as he reached in and pulled out the last two, there it was. Underneath the last two bags in the trunk was the clip to the brush. Speechless, my heart sank. "How did this get here?" my dad said, handed me the clip, and continued inside. That, to me, was a real reality check.

Over the years the world taught me a lot of things, one of them being doubt. But the one thing I never doubted was my belief in God, His love, and His ability to make His presence known in our lives as long as we continue to have child-like faith in Him and not do ourselves a dis-service by assuming what He is/is not capable of doing in our lives. For years I kept that story to myself. In fact, it wasn't until about 2 years ago that I finally told the story to my husband, knowing he wouldn't doubt me. Actually, to my amazement, he told me it was his favorite story he'd ever heard. So when Lexi asked me to write a story, I figured this had to be my best one. 

Faith is like a seed; plant it in your heart. God will give the harvest at the appointed time.

... He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you." - Matthew 17:20

Thursday, August 15, 2013

nowhere to set her foot upon.

Trying to think of stories that I wanted to share that not everyone may know about me, the story of why I have a dove tattooed on my foot came to me. When I was twenty one I went through an amazing year long program at The Well called Residency. That's where my deep love for the bible really grew. I learned more that year than I had in my whole life about Gods word. To be honest, I had always been confused and bored with the Old Testament. Suddenly though, God revealed it to me in such a relatable, life altering way. I began to fully understand the weight and cost of sin, what sin really was, and how it was dealt with before Christ came. And how much of a sinner I was, saved by grace and grace alone. 
Reading through the Old Testament, my heart was broken and my love for who Christ was to me became real. I fell in love with the gospel before I even got to that part! My heart was broken, yet comforted, as I realized I was just like each broken character of the bible. Stories of my own past connected with each one I read. The redemptive power of Jesus & the Holy Spirit comforted me as I realized who I was to Him. 

I really connected with one story in particular, it truly summed up my testimony. Genesis 8:6-12, the story of Noah sending out two birds, a dove and crow. The crow found a place to rest and live without the arc and Noah. But the dove, she found no rest, nowhere to set her foot upon. She came back to Noah. When he sent her out again, she brought back an olive branch, Gods symbol of land & peace to Noah. That was me. You see, I had to be sent out into the world, look at all of it, try to find rest without the arc, but in the end, there was nothing. Nothing but Jesus to set my foot upon. Nowhere to rest my foot upon that satisfied or comforted. It only left me more lonely, empty, and guilty. 

I fell in love with this picture of me, flying back to Noah the second time, holding that olive branch. I knew that was my redemptive story through Christ. I already had 3 tattoos, so I thought it wouldn't be too bad. Then the tattoo artist told me the top of the foot was one of the most painful places... Awesome. Guys, I'm a total wimp. I can prove it, here's something to make you die laughing, just as Cheryl & Josh did. 

Best friends are for holding your hair and laughing at you while you cry. I simultaneously laughed and cried through the whole 45 minutes. Yes, I'm embarrassed. But that lil beauty was worth every minute. It's truly a reflection of me and I'd do it again. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Last week I had the opportunity to tag along to a creative conference in Texas with Josh & his bosses. I thought it would be fun, but I had no idea what would stir in my heart. The conference is put on in Dallas at a mega church called Watermark. Easily the most beautiful church I have ever seen, down to every detail. 

One of the days, we were lucky enough to catch a Rangers game! So hot. Like Clovis is hot, don't get me wrong, but that humidity is another ball game. Pun intended. 

The conference was designed and put on by people that work in churches, make church media, lead worship, etc. There was a ton that was over my head and not applicable, but there was a ton that was directed at artists in general though. I left feeling so inspired. And full, there was no shortage of food or caffeine at this joint. Chik Fil A, Krispy Kreme, one day there was even ice cream trucks they had rented out. 

The theme of fear // what fear does to us as artists was in almost every session we had. As artists we are so afraid that what we are making might not be appreciated or it might be just being plain bad. The funny thing is, we all have to be bad at some point in order to start our journey to being better, ok, and eventually being good. The loaded question of "what would my life look like if I acted like fear wasn't involved?" can only lead to me asking myself, "what am I afraid of?" One of the other speakers phrased it by asking, "what does the little voice inside you tell you can't do?" That made it a little bit easier. 

 I thought a lot about when I am doing hair and make up. And I thought about writing my blog. My fears for both are pretty similar. What if nobody cares? What if nobody likes it? What if people are talking about how much they don't like it? What if I am irrelevant? The thing is, we are all afraid. We are all afraid of failure. That is Satan's easiest foothold into messing with our heads, tempting us to back down from what we love and what we are called to. I am guilty of watering down my blog from too much Jesus talk because it won't be read by as many people as when I post pictures of my wedding. I hate that. 

What kept coming to my mind was, the power of stories. Then another speaker touched on how important stories are to us, how much we connect with them, and how much more we remember them in the long run. That is where I really stopped and thought, that's what I want my blog to be. I want my blog to be about stories. Stories that we read, connect to and hold on to. I want to tell my stories, my friends stories, little, big, funny, stupid, or emotional stories. I want to tell our stories. Stories are what make up our lives. Stories are what make us cry, laugh, and come to our knees. Stories empower us, move us, lift us up and encourage us. And the best part is, we all have stories to tell. 

I believe so deeply in being real and true to who you are at all times. This is a place where I am just that and can share my stories. I have a couple friends who are gonna share their stories here too, I can't wait. Thank you guys for your love & support! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

a year later...

So the day has finally come, it's been a full year that I have been Lexi Warren. 

I have loved every moment of learning what it means to be a wife, humbling myself as I stumble and fall. Being a loving, praying, respectful, kind, unconditional wife is not as easy as I imagined. Life creeps in, and you struggle to be everything you swore you would be, and in those moments all I have to say is "Thank God." Thank you God for knowing me. Thank you for knowing I would fail, but that You would be glorified in my failures. My love for who Christ is in me and who He is in my husband has grown leaps and bounds this year as our need for him has been magnified. It has been a year of searching and growth as we see Christ in this new light of being the keeper of our covenant and where he leads our life together. 

 I have gotten a glimpse into what unconditional love is on a level that only a husband and wife can understand. We got married in the stage of falling in love still, so we had never even gotten to the point of being annoyed of each other! I never thought there would come that moment of thinking he didn't deserve my love and adoration. Really learning to let there be room for error, for men to not be held to the standard of Christ, showing grace without restraint, this is so crucial. It's suffocating to try to live up to the standard of perfection. I promised Josh the day I married him that I would love him when he fell short, and through God I am able to.  Learning to be unconditional not just in the moments when it is easy and we are laughing, but the moments when all you want to do is win that fight. You never know how painfully prideful you are until you are married. Dear Joshua you have sharpened me so much in that sense I could never thank you enough. 

 I have found friendship deeper than I have ever known. I am known by the best man I have ever known. Isn't that every woman's dream? That her husband wants to know her thoughts. He wants to know why she does those silly quirky little things. I love that Josh knows my weird habits and can make me laugh as if I am seeing them for the first time. Laughter truly is one of the biggest joys of marriage.

 And this is only the beginning! It has not always been the fairy tale that we all paint out lives to be, but it has in so many ways, been much better than that. I wouldn't change a piece of it. 

Check out our full wedding video! The password is "love", thank you Kroh Media, I am in awe of it still. If you want to check out the shorter wedding preview that is also amazing. Enjoy!

Cheers to a year & to a lifetime full of love!

 July 15th 2012 

Friday, June 7, 2013

jordana kaiser.

Recently one of my beautiful friends got married and I had the honor of doing her hair and make up. Here are some shots of the beautiful bride on the best day of her life. 

She is glowing!!! That is the look of a woman in love, marrying the man of her dreams if I have ever seen it. Event styling is how I fell in love with hair and makeup, and to be quite honest, I had lost sight of that until this perfect day with my friend. Weddings are so hectic and so much pressure!! It was so special to have this time with a calm bride, just getting ready to marry her true love. My love for my friend grew that day as my love of event styling was renewed. Thank you Jordana for letting me be apart of your special day and a special thank you to Puente Photo for letting me share your beautiful work! 

All photography by Puente Photography
Hair color, styling, and make up by yours truly. 
Lexi Dawn Kiker. Powered by Blogger.