If you ask me about my happy place, it will involve a mountain, my husband, dog, and some kind of waterfall or stream. Our little family is most content just spending quiet time together and appreciating the outdoors.

We headed west this summer for a very special mountaintop engagement shoot (I will share soon, I promise!), and had such a wonderful time in the Blue Ridge Mountains that we almost didn’t want to come back to the coast! We hiked down a secluded path to the most beautiful waterfall where Frank and I took in all the fresh air while Nigel went for a swim and then sniffed every inch of every plant and rock.

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Boone, North Carolina / Blue Ridge Mountain film photographer

Photographer | Jessica Slaunwhite
Film lab | Photovision

Nigel is our goldendoodle. He is goofy and fluffy and snuggly and sweet. He keeps me company in the office every single day, and you can bet that if you receive an email from me, it was written with Nigel snoozing somewhere close by.

This handsome boy turned two at the beginning of May, and while he still acts very puppyish most days, we wish that he would stop growing up so that we could enjoy his gentle and loving company forever.

On his birthday, we decided to capture some moments of Nigel at the beach. It’s one of the places where he’s most happy because he gets to lick shells, try to play with sea birds, and gather a whole bunch of sand in his floof.

We just love our sweet Nigel.

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Camp Lejeune, North Carolina / North Carolina lifestyle film photographer

Photographer | Jessica Slaunwhite
Film lab | Richard Photo Lab

One of my goals for the coming year is to take more time to capture my own life. I take so much joy in documenting the most important occasions for others that I often overlook my own little moments. At the close of 2018, Frank and I want to be able to fill an entire album with our memories of daily life.

This intimate Thanksgiving, spent with just the two of us cooking and Nigel at our feet smelling all of the yummy smells, was the perfect start.