Counting Down


Baby girl's due date is just a few days away so James and I are soaking up time together as just the two of us (well, three of us, counting Coach!). These past two years of marriage have been filled with so much adventure and joy and while there have been bumps in the road along the way, James and I both feel so blessed by the ways in which our relationship has evolved and grown. While there is a teeny sense of mourning for the passing of the season of us, there is infinitely more excitement for the next season of our lives and for the richness and depth our daughter's presence is going to bring to our hearts and our home. We know that we are never going to be the same, and for that we are grateful.

Our dear friend Heather Hawkins took beautiful maternity photos for us in June, so I promise to share the rest of them soon. I love this blog so much, as it's served as a wonderful space for connecting with others while also serving as a scrapbook of sorts, documenting life's momentous occasions, adventures, and thoughts. I've been busy tying up loose ends at work before I head out of the office on maternity leave while also queuing up lots of posts for my editors at both Darling Magazine and Wonderfully Made (including finalizing a fun podcast project that I can't wait to tell you about). I haven't carved out as much time as I'd like for sweet Coffee & Tacos but just know that even though my posts may be more infrequent, as they have been of late, I'm not going anywhere - I pinkie promise.

Photo via Heather Hawkins

One Year Anniversary

filmscans089Monday was our one year anniversary, which I can hardly believe. It feels like such a cliché to say that it seems like our wedding was just yesterday, but that really is the truth. The past 365 days have absolutely flown by, and I feel so grateful to have shared in them with my perfect partner. filmscans024 IMG_9047I remember every detail of the day so vividly. I remember going for a run with my brother in the morning and enjoying breakfast tacos, coffee, and green juice with family and friends at Jo's, all of whom had traveled to Austin for our special day (I thought that was a fun fact - not one person on our guest list lives in Austin, so it was a true destination wedding for everyone involved, bride & groom included!). I remember feeling pampered as I had my hair and make-up done while my bridesmaids and family got ready in our amazing suite at the Hotel San José. I remember rocking out to a playlist I had made specifically for our wedding day, and I remember feeling overwhelmed with love for my best girls, my parents, and my brother as we drank mimosas together and noshed on snacks. I remember excitedly piling into the limo to head to Le San Michele and dancing the whole way there (everyone got particularly stoked about singing along to "Timber").

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rachelandjames 0544I remember bursting into tears as we pulled up to the venue because it was all really happening. I remember seeing the floral arrangements for the first time and being astonished by the weight and beauty of my bridal bouquet. I remember putting on my dress and feeling like I was floating on air. I remember waiting anxiously for the ceremony to start, sipping champagne with my bridesmaids while peering out the windows as the guests arrived and took their seats.

filmscans029rachelandjames 0352 rachelandjames 0357 rachelandjames 0378rachelandjames 0428I remember the sound of the string quartet as they played "Make You Feel My Love" while Dad walked me down the aisle. I remember seeing the first glimpse of my groom's sweet face as he started to cry, watching his bride walk toward him. I remember every detail about the ceremony, about our brother-in-law's incredibly thoughtful presentation as he officially deemed us husband and wife. I remember Callie sitting at our feet, posing like the perfect flower dog she was.

rachelandjames 0348 rachelandjames 0411 rachelandjames 0510 rachelandjames 0475I remember taking photos all around the property after the ceremony concluded, basking in the energy and glow of the evening. I remember having a few stolen moments with James, enjoying margaritas and appetizers and reflecting on the fact that we were married. I remember listening in rapt to the amazing toasts read by my dad, James's dad, Karli, Erin, and Andrew. I remember inhaling more green chile macaroni and cheese than anything else, and I remember how delicious our chocolate wedding cake (appropriately named the James Brown cake) tasted, especially when paired with an ice-cold flute of champagne.

filmscans084 rachelandjames 0510 rachelandjames 0536 rachelandjames 0742I remember the dance party - oh, the dance party! - that ensued after dinner, concluding with my favorite people forming a circle around James and me as we got down to one of my all-time favorite jams, "Forever" (thanks to Karli requesting that the DJ play it as the final song of the night). I remember running to the getaway car with James and Callie, so overwhelmed with love and joy. I remember crying once again in the car, feeling so grateful to be embarking upon our new life together but just a little sad that our special day was over already. I remember it all, and I'm so thankful.

So, to my husband - thank you for being my person, my love and my life, today and always. Here's to a million more years together!

Photos by the amazing Heather Hawkins

Date Night at Taqueria La Ventana

racheljamesdatenight016 While reading some posts on my favorite sites and blogs last month, I stumbled upon the opportunity to write a date night submission for Southern Weddings. I loved that the site was launching a series to feature newlywed couples and the dates they enjoy, and I admit that I was selfishly drawn in by the promise that, if selected, we would get to participate in a photo shoot while on a date with the photographer of our choice (how fun is that?!). On a whim, I gathered up photos from our favorite activities and whipped up some responses to the date night questionnaire. After letting the submission marinate for a few days, I made tweaks here and there and finally sent it to the editor in charge of the column.

On October 1st, the very same day that I blogged about how much I loved shooting our engagement photos with Heather, I got an e-mail from Southern Weddings saying that our date night submission had been selected! They liked all of the date night options we wrote about but they were particularly smitten with the idea of photographing a night spent enjoying tacos and margaritas. Really, could that be any more perfect?! I was thrilled at the news!

So last Tuesday, James, Callie, and I met Heather at Taqueria La Ventana, a restaurant in downtown Dallas that I had been dying to check out. La Ventana is the epitome of taco stand chic - there's no interior, just a fabulously decorated patio, and there's a great view of the skyline in the background. The menu, as you'd expect, is perfect - lots of varieties of street tacos, corn elotes, frozen margaritas, Mexican beer, Topo Chico, and the very best churros we've ever had (stuffed with warm caramel sauce!). The night would have been blissful enough had we just been enjoying an al fresco taco dinner together but throw in the fact that we got to have it all documented by the amazingly talented Heather, too, and it was enough to make me pass out with joy.

racheljamesdatenight049racheljamesdatenight002racheljamesdatenight003racheljamesdatenight005racheljamesdatenight028racheljamesdatenight010racheljamesdatenight015racheljamesdatenight012racheljamesdatenight022racheljamesdatenight024Our date night feature is live on Southern Weddings today - I'm so grateful for this fun opportunity, and I'd love for you to hop over to the site to check it out! A huge thank you has to go out to Heather, of course - I wish I could carry her around in my pocket so she could document every aspect of my life on the regular. These photos are going to make for such an amazing keepsake - I love them more than I can say!

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Photos via Heather Hawkins for Southern Weddings

Our Wedding on Style Me Pretty

rj15I am so excited to share that our wedding is being featured on Style Me Pretty today! Style Me Pretty is a major blog that showcases weddings from all over the world, helping brides gather inspiration and find vendors while also highlighting amazing work done by photographers, videographers, and planners worldwide. So it's such an honor to have our special day featured on this fabulous site! Plus, it's super fun to revisit all of our beautiful images and relive all of the gloriousness from our wedding day. rachelandjamesWED113As you know, we love Heather more than we can say, so we're thrilled that her gorgeous images are splashed all over Style Me Pretty's site today. She posted some extra pictures on her blog, too. And we love that Patrick's video was posted there for the world to see! Hop on over to take a peek at the feature - we couldn't be more excited about how it turned out!

rj6-copy11008rj8 rj171 110461105811047 rj251 rj27 rachelandjamesWED2201 rachelandjamesWED225 rachelandjamesWED226P.S. I got to share my thoughts about our wedding process - you can check them out on the Style Me Pretty post, and you can take a sneak peek at some of my sentiments here!

James & I knew that we wanted a wedding that reflected our love for each other, our families, and our friends. We wanted our day to showcase our passions for our faith, our community, our relationship, our style, and our loves for great food, delicious drinks, awesome music, and gorgeous florals. We knew that we wanted to host a celebration not only of ourselves and of our marriage but also of the people who supported us along the way, both individually and as a couple.

We decided that we wanted to get married and have our reception outdoors and options in Dallas, where we live, felt limited. We ventured to Austin on the recommendation of our close friend & super talented photographer, Heather Hawkins, who was booked to shoot a wedding at Le San Michele, a venue located in Buda. We fell in love with the way Le San Michele combined a sense of sprawling European-style gardens with Texas foliage, where beautiful plants like succulents and bluebonnets and cacti were growing freely around the property. We loved that the venue owners had outfitted the space with plenty of amazing lighting and beautiful decor, and we appreciated that we could bring in any vendors of our choosing to help us on our special day.

Through yet another connection, we were introduced to The Nouveau Romantics. We cannot say enough good things about working with Liz and Hannah – they made our dreams become a reality. They helped us craft the ceremony and reception that we wanted, and we loved that they are a one-stop shop, a place where we could work together on everything paper, floral, and event-related, creating a really streamlined effect for our wedding as a whole. From succulent-filled bouquets and margaritas during cocktail hour to farm-style tables and family-style food service, Liz and Hannah helped us make selections that felt innately us, choices that reflected our relationship and the party we wanted to host for the people we love most in the world.

Head on over to Style Me Pretty for more!

Images via Heather Hawkins

Studio Reworked

xNBzrj9Nqll_F0t34E4ZaAJGuceiGq0lARzYSn5J_mA,_VnAVHKV1VzPq1qIFD19zAT61mNFYZaB0ujdWmy8Gq0 The fall issue of Bungalow Magazine came out last week and, per usual, it is so beautiful and inspiring. I got to write a piece about Paige Morse, a Dallas-based designer, interior photo stylist, and all-around creative who renovated the dilapidated sheds in her backyard, converting the space into a much-needed studio and refuge. Paige travels frequently and wanted to be able to rent out her entire house, so she ensured that her backyard studio could be fully functional should she choose to camp out there. She worked alongside a local contractor to use repurpose the space and it turned out so beautifully. She even managed to include a kitchen and full bathroom in the space. Heather took all of the gorgeous photos that you see here, so make sure you take a peek at the rest of the lovely images that she snapped. Check out the entire issue here, and read my piece on page 35!

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Images via Heather Hawkins for Bungalow Magazine