ALEX BRIDGES PHOTOGRAPHY

YES, you’ve might’ve guessed correctly by the title! I am stepping out in faith to be more proactive in marketing myself in the photography world. A camera has been close to my hip since I can remember. I was on my middle school yearbook squad and LOVED every second of it! Since then, my camera has been attached to my hip on vacations, sorority functions and random outings with family shooting those “ordinary” moments.

With that being said, I have booked my first mini photo shoot for this Fall and I am ecstatic, excited and a bundle of nerves.

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

Elliott Erwitt

If you would like to follow along with me on this journey, please check out my website here and subscribe by entering your email on the right hand side of the homepage. It would really mean a lot! My website is still a work in progress, but it is still a step in the right direction!


If you are consider yourself an “amateur” or professional photographer, please feel free to reach out and send me any links, tips or tricks that have helped you along the way. I would LOVE to hear about what has helped you tick and help your business flourish. If you are also in the greater CLT area, I would also love to hear from you! Let’s get together and shoot!

XO,

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LAUREN KNIGHT

I vividly remember the day I met Lauren my freshman year at UofSC. I was this shy and quiet honestly, overwhelmed, freshman and Lauren, so kindly, reached out to see if I needed a date for the Halloween function that fall semester. From that initial meeting, I knew how important this girl would mean to me. Over the next few years together in college, she was the calm, easy-going and patient friend I knew would stick with me in the good, bad, // or ugly. She was an listening ear, steady presence and a trustworthy person who I could talk about anything with.

During college, Lauren was my go-to Toy Story fanatic, fellow Honey Boo-Boo watcher, hockey enthusiast and Gamecock football cheerleader. She was openly willing to house me for two weeks during sorority recruitment before my dorm had opened up for the semester my sophomore year. We’ve explored Emerald Isle together, been through sorority recruitment as Pi Chi’s (+ countless functions) and many other adventures along the way.

Lauren stood by my side as a bridesmaid in my wedding and we’ll be in switching places in a few short months! Through navigating adult-life living many, many miles away, I am SO excited to have both recently landed in Charlotte, NC together!


LAUREN,

Thank you for who you are as a person, friend, sorority sister and confidant. Your steadfastness over the past decade (wow!) have been nothing short of a blessing. I am grateful for your presence in my life and for being such a reliable, trustworthy and calming personality. I am so excited to finally be living in the same city again and for the many memories we will make in CLT. Get ready for many double-dates and lots of exploring our new town together! You mean the world to me!

P.S. – I can’t wait to officially celebrate with you and Alex in September!

XO,

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BOY

April 27 is a very important day in the year as it means it’s my husband’s birthday!

Chandler walked into my life five years ago and truly changed my life for the better. He was everything I didn’t know I needed and SO much more. His love of his sports teams, his family and his go get ‘em attitude are truly some of the best things about him.

Chandler is the collected to my crazy and the spontaneous to my type-A. He is the best in always meeting my needs and being my safe space in allowing me to vent

If you have known Chandler for any period of time, you know how pure his heart is. He loves deeply, laughs mightily and truly lives to make the most of everyday. He sets out to do give of himself 110% in every situation and never ceases to stop learning and seeking improvement in every aspect of life. Chandler inspires me to a better person everyday and is the best part of me.

Chandler,

Thank you for being everything I could ever need in a husband: lover, provider and friend. You are my everything and I hope your birthday is just as phenomenal as you are. You have given me so much love and comfort over the years and for that, I am eternally grateful. I’m so glad I get to spend the rest of my days (trying, but failing in) returning the favor.

Thanks for always dealing with my crazy and still managing to love me unconditionally. It must be hard to be my husband, but you make it look so effortless. Life is an incredible journey, and there is no one I’d rather have by my side during it than you. Every moment, good or bad, we’ve had together is as irreplaceable as you are. You are the reason my life is so full of laughter and joy.

Remember that you are so loved and so cherished, even though I might not do the best in showing you. You are the ultimate provider and the steadiest shoulder to cry on. I am so glad to walk this life with you and to be a witness in your greatness.

The words truly escape me when I try to sum up how much I adore this man. Our love and life together has grown deeper and stronger over the past year. Because of you, I also love me, too. Here is to starting a new decade and to seeing where the new year will take you personally and us as a couple.

Belmont also loves you lots for his daily snuggles and nibbles!

Happy 30th Birthday. I love you long time, boy.

XO,

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOMMA

Momma Bear. Retired Educator. Family Woman. UofSC Gamecock’s Biggest Fan. Selfie Extraordinaire.

Mom,

You are the type of woman that all people love and admire. You are strong, beautiful, courageous and wise. Thank you for the honest advice, tough love and unconditional support over the years, Mom. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and every opportunity you’ve given me in my life. You truly epitomize what it means to be both driven, selfless and to take life by the horns. From childhood into my teen years and now into adult life, I have looked up to you in every way.

You have seen all of my hills and valleys, yet love me the same.

You have taught me what it means to openly welcome people into your home and how to be welcoming in the most hospitable way. You have shown me the meaning of being flexible as the day comes, yet headstrong in accomplishing my dreams. You have taught me that age is just a number and that each day provides us with a unique opportunity of its own. You guide each day with grace and poise, all while ending each day with prayer.

To someone who has taught me almost everything I know in life, you epitomize “poised” in every sense of the word. You are the most sincere and loving person I’ve met and continue to do big things everywhere you go.

From hearing her laugh booming down the hallway, to her random singing and determination in every situation, my mom is truly one of a kind. She achieves everything to the highest degree and never takes no for an answer. She will fight for those she loves and advocates for those who need it the most.

Happy birthday, momma bear. You are so loved and cherished by so many. I hope your speical day brings lots of coffee, a new pair of house shoes and many cardinals your way. You are so deserving of everything that comes your way.


Remember – you don’t look a day over twenty-five. ♡

If you have known my mom for any length of time (previous students, teachers etc.) and would like to share a memory or just a word of encouragement, please feel free to do so in the comments below. I know she would love to read them and hear from all of you!

xo,

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VII: SARAH WOZ

SARAH TIMMS WOZNIAK. ATHLETE. WOMEN OF GOD. LIFETIME BEST FRIEND.

I met Sarah my sixth grade year of middle school during our P.E. class together. We were both awkward, brace-faced and just two kids with no idea of where we fit into the world. Let me preface with have come a long way since our original “glory” days.

We have seen each other through the middle school awkward phase, high school graduation, four years of college at different schools hours apart and are now currently navigating the adult world and married life together. She has been my longest friend and been my side through for as long as I can remember.

During our senior year, I would follow Sarah to the local course after school for her to get reps in as she would just nod and laugh at my horrible golf game. We’ve lived through middle school yearbook class together, being roommates during our high school mission trips, our questionable choices in boyfriends during college and coming full circle to being bridesmaids in each other’s weddings.

Sarah has always been one of the first to send a text to check in and say “Hey, how are you?” or call to check in on my week. She truly is the epitome of a lending hand and a selfless love.

SARAH,

I strongly believe in having “a person” and there is no better person to fit that description than you. For the last sixteen+ years of my life, we have been through numerous different stages of life together, like learning to drive, applying to colleges and planning weddings. To me, it is so important for your friends to be proud of you when you get a new job, learn something new or accomplish the big things. It’s also really important for your friends to just be proud that you got out of bed that day and you do both. You let people know there is more to them beyond their mistakes and are the first to offer a word of encouragement and a smile.

You light up every room you walk in and lift spirits of everyone around you. You face problems with dignity and and it’s no wonder why people are so drawn to you. You’re always the first to give of yourself without asking for anything in return. You exemplify grace in every sense of the word and are a testament to the Lord’s forgiveness in every situation.

You have sat with me, laughed with me, cried with me, empathized with me and picked me up hundreds of times when I feel like my world was crashing.

Thank you for sticking by my side, showing me the most sincere support and living out unconditional love. You have been a constant for me when the world was ever changing.

 ♡,
ALEX

Find a “Sarah” to have in your life, because she has been such a blessing to me. She is a bubbly, yet determined woman who is bound to change the world and I cannot wait to witness it firsthand.

If you are also looking for personalized online personal training or other workout plans, make sure to check out my girl! Sarah is also an amazing disc golf player, so ask her any questions you might have if that sounds like something you might like. Her Instagram is below, so make sure to check her out!

XO,

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V: KRP

KRP. Kelsey Ryan Phillips. Ball of Energy. Sunshine personified.

I originally met Kelsey our freshman year during sorority recruitment, although that encounter is a bit fuzzy for me. Just ask Kelsey. 😂

After we both rushed Gamma Phi, our paths crossed many times during the fall semester and into the spring. Praise the Lord for His timing!

From then on, we ate almost every meal together at the sorority house. We took pictures together before every function and asked guys to be our dates in the most crazy ways possible. We went to Shag night every Thursday and ate our weight in Cookout trays. We traveled to Carolina away games and made the twelve hour road-trip to see Casey in Baton Rouge. On off weekends, we crashed Mama P’s house in Sea Pines and enjoyed the beautiful SC coast.

Often times, I would get asked where my “other half” was if Kelsey wasn’t somewhere nearby.

Our friendship quickly blossomed into one of my most valued treasures in life. Over the last nine years, Kelsey has been by my side through my highest moments and my darkest valleys. Like momma Phillips’ famous mantra, we have shared so many of life’s highs and lows together.

Kelsey was the Maid of Honor in my wedding. Kelsey is the blond to my brunette.

She pushes me to be spontaneous.
She shows me that all people are worthy of love. She inspires me to a better version of myself, even when it’s hard.
She has always been a listening ear and a steady shoulder to cry on. She is a firm believer in the Lord and is a testament of His grace in all things.

Thank you, Kelsey, for all you that you are. Your free spirit and unwavering positivity radiates joy and light into every room you step foot in. You have been such a gift to me since day one.

I can’t wait to

P.S. If you are also looking for any kind of art for a birthday, holiday or “just because,” check out Kelsey’s Instagram. She is one of the most insanely talented artists I’ve ever met. She can do acrylic, watercolor, handmade cards, photography and so, so much more. Check her out!

I: YinYin

For my second day of “thanksgiving,” I chose to highlight my biggest confidant, my sorority little and my best friend, YinYin!

Anyone who has had the opportunity to meet YinYin knows has she a sass that is unmatched. They know grit, determination and someone who you can count on with your life. You can also expect a mean side-eye from across the room at any given moment.

I originally met YinYin my sophomore year (her freshman year) of college at the University of South Carolina. Go Cocks! YinYin had just joined the sorority that fall and we were both in the hunt for our respective big and little. Our big and little process was well underway and I wasn’t quite sure of any of the girls I had been matched with previously. In our next to last week of Crescent week, I was at Cookout with some of my friends one night when I saw YinYin with her Crescent. I immediately requested to be her Crescent for the final week and I am so glad I did. Call me creepy if you will. The Lord works in mysterious ways. 😂

Everybody has a home team: It’s the people that you call when you get a flat tire or when something terrible happens. It’s the people, who near or far, know everything that’s wrong with you and love you anyways. These are the ones who tell you their secrets, who get themselves a glass of water at you’re house without asking. These are the people who cry when you cry. These are your people, your middle of the night, no matter what people.

YinYin has been my “home team” since the day we met. We share the same love of naps, all things ice cream and Asian food. We throw up our peace signs as a sign of endearment and you can often find us day dreaming of our next trip abroad together. We can find all of the best Pho spots in town and will one day get our matching elephant tattoos that we’ve promised!

There’s nobody else I’d rather wander through downtown China Town during Chinese New Year 🧧 only to find confetti cannons to shoot off.

There’s no other person I’d rather sit in coffee shops eating our gelato in Québec City with or wander through shopping centers of Hilton Head to find macaroons before a friend’s wedding.

She went above and beyond to make sure my bachelorette weekend was more than I could have ever imagined and had the cutest bags made. She even flew into town a day early to sit in the floor and hand steam chair covers with me for my wedding.

Thank you for being you, YinYin. You allow me to say just about anything and to rant about whatever is on my mind without judging too hard. I could not be more grateful for you and I look forward to the day we’re roommates together in the nursing home. 💗✌🏼

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY INTRO

As an idea that came to me randomly today at work, I have a new “series” that I’ll be starting this upcoming weekend!

Every Saturday leading up to the week of Thanksgiving, I will be highlighting a “small business” that has meant something to me as well as ones that I have recently stumbled upon.

I can’t wait to see where this series goes and to bring light to all of the amazing talent we have around us in the Asheville (and Spartanburg) area.

If you have anyone that you would like to nominate for consideration, please send me a message and/or comment below!

Until next time,
Alex in Asheville

RBG dies at 87

Whether you agreed with her politically or not, credit cannot be denied Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the determination, grit and exceptional work ethic which epitomized her life and career.

On Friday, September 18th, our nation lost a justice of historic stature and a women who undoubtedly paved the path for women across the country.

Architect of the legal fight for women’s rights in the 1970s, Ginsburg served twenty-seven years on the nation’s highest court, becoming its most prominent member and rightly so.

“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

As one of the very few women in her chosen path of education and law, she thrived at Cornell, Harvard and Columbia just after loosing her mother as a teenager. She managed to care for her own family all while supporting her her husband’s bout with cancer and maintaining his and her class load both. Mind blown…

Watching On the Basis of Sex opened my eyes to just how she single-handily catapulted women’s rights and forced for their voices to be heard. She fought to make the justice system and life beyond a level playing field. I would definitely recommend watching this movie if you haven’t already.

RGB made it possible for a woman to have
• the right to sign a mortgage without a man
• the right to have a bank account without a male co-signer • the right to have a job without being discriminated based on gender
• the right to be pregnant and/or have kids while still carrying a job

If you can’t count the number of rights that you have because there are too many to count, you have Justice Ginsburg to thank.

Every woman stands on the shoulders of this tiny, but mighty giant.
For every second of every day, there are not enough thanks in the world to thank Justice Ginsburg and the path you chose to pave for women everywhere.

I have admired her grit and example of perseverance. I pray those close to RBG find comfort in the days and weeks to come as the Lady Justice has now taken her final leave.


#RIP Justice RBG.

REID GOT IT RIGHT

On Monday, August 17th, I received the news that Reid Bowyer’s earthly journey had ended.


Reid Bowyer was a man of honor, integrity, commitment and faithfulness. His life was always making much of Jesus. His contagious laugh was one of a kind and big bear hugs were unmatched. He adored his family, served his community and loved watching his Cavaliers play on Friday nights.

He ran his earthy race faithfully and obediently, ultimately meeting his maker face to face in fullness and in complete healing. Reid was freed from a year long battle with Glioblastoma. During his fight with cancer over the past year, Reid fought gracefully and humbly.

Meeting Reid for the first time when I was eleven, I had no idea of the impact he would make on my life. As as my youth pastor during middle school, he made you feel like nobody else at that moment mattered. His mile long grin from across the room would lift your spirits in any situation.

Right before his diagnosis a year ago, Reid lead Chandler and I in premarital counseling and helped us in setting the foundation for our marriage with every intention of preforming our wedding. Sitting with him in Panera over the course of those three weeks, he taught us that marriage isn’t always perfect. Marriage can be messy and isn’t always glamorous, but some of the most challenging things in life are worth the biggest investments.

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3

When thinking about Reid and the eternal impact he’s made over the course of his life, Philippians 3 came to mind. In this passage, Paul is speaking to the Christians of the Philippi church and urging them to press on toward a common goal. Paul knew that a race is won only in the present moment, not in the past or in the future. His will was to do God’s will and not his own. Likewise, Reid pressed on with an urgency that was only Heaven-minded. He worked with an eternal urgency.

I can’t imagine this life without his smile or words of encouragement & wisdom, but I know that he was entered at Heaven’s gates on Monday with open arms and I know he heard the words “well done.”

Reid, thank you for everything you have done for me, my family and the entire community of Spartanburg. You served often and served well. Your life was making much of Jesus and in every circumstance. I am so thankful to have known you and to have had you in my life. Because of you, I live intentionally, love more deeply and laugh a little harder.

While I am assured that he is rejoicing with his Savior, my heart has still been extremely heavy this week. It has been heavy for two families that are suffering the loss of a son (& son-in-law), husband and father. Mourning the “Reid-sized” hole in my life will never go away.

Out of loss and grief, however, comes joy. Reid’s death was not in vain. We can be assured that in death comes eternal life. We can sing in the middle of the storm and raise a hallelujah. From the ashes, hope will arise.

Please be praying for Bowyer family in the days to come. My heart grieves with you and would selfishly do anything to have him back with us, but we know that Reid has labored towards the goal of eternity his entire life. He was a good and faithful servant. He got it right.

Until we meet again, RB. In everything, I will stick to the task.

If you feel lead to help support this family monetarily, please consider donating by clicking on the Facebook button below. This family needs your prayers above all else, but this will help to provide for their specific needs in the days to come.

XO,

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