New House!!! – Before and After videos

It’s done, it happened, we’ve MOVED!!!

When Steven and I stopped by to look at the house the first time, I took a video on my phone of the inside so I could refer back to it during our days of deliberation. I’m so happy I did, I watched it a number of times to remind myself of what we had seen. There were many wonderful things about this house we would eventually call home, but it wouldn’t be home until we had put our blood, sweat and tears into it. And that we did.

Next came weeks of driving from Overland Park to Leavenworth and back, chasing Miles around this new territory and trying desperately to preserve his clothing (we still lost several pants and shirts to paint splatters) and his life (why to little ones love outlets, knives, hammers and heights so very much?!). Here is a quick rundown of the tasks we tackled: Removed popcorn ceilings in all the rooms, sanded all the trim, washed all the walls and ceilings, primed every ceiling, wall, door, trim, window casing and the occasional elbow, painted all the ceilings, painted all the trim and doors white, and painted the walls (finally).

The morning of the move, I arrived ahead of the crew along with my friend, Beth and tried to get a video once-over of the house before all our junk was brought in. You will see that there were still some finishing touches that had yet to be completed. Missing doorknobs (missing doors), unfinished kitchen, painters’ tape here and there and paint cans that had yet to be put away. As I finish each room to my liking, I will post blog entries about each one. For now you can just take a look at the bones of the house and what we did with it in the weeks leading up to the move.

I’ll stop talking and show you the videos.

New House – BEFORE

New House – AFTER

New House – BEFORE from silverdoves on Vimeo.

New House – AFTER from silverdoves on Vimeo.

Some photos of the process

VIDEO0216_0000011415IMAG1426IMAG1423IMAG1307IMAG1295IMAG1293IMAG1292Primed Living AreaDen Wall Primed for PaintingBrianna Painting aka TextingPriming the CeilingIMAG1285

We’re Buying a House!!!

The New HouseYes, the next step has arrived.

We are buying a house!

A couple months ago we were given the opportunity to buy a house in Leavenworth, KS. This is important because it is much closer to where Steven works. Right now he’s driving 45 minutes to work each morning (then back at night of course) so having a home in Leavenworth will give us a good two extra hours with him each day and that itself is enough reason for us to take the plunge. Another huge reason we needed this is that we’re running out of space. Better said, we ran out of space months ago and this is exactly what we need. I’m a massive pack-rat / border-line hoarder so this is a great chance for me to get organized and get rid of things I really don’t need anymore.

About the House

Here’s a little about the house we’re buying. It’s in Leavenworth (duh) and a California style split-level with 3 bedrooms and a basement. A basement!!! That is amazing. We also will have an the addition of a family room/den and a yard! Oh, and a garage. It has a cute yard and awesome back decks and updated exterior. Not exactly my style but in fantastic condition. The interior has been kept really clean and well-taken care of. Some of the color and features are a little dated for my taste, but most of the things I want to change are cosmetic, so yay for paint!!!

Getting Ready for the House

This means we are in full swing getting ready for the house! We won’t actually be closing on the house until the end of the month, but we have a lot to do before then. I’ve been trying to slim down our possessions a bit. I went through the contents of our bathroom cabinets and discovered I have at least 15 bottles of spray-on hair color. I got rid of 3. That is progress, right? I have a laundry basket and 3 shopping bags full of garage sale items and the purge has only just begun. I’m having so much trouble knowing where to start. I have a few boxes packed but the place is still a disaster and I literally find myself walking around in circles unsure what my next step should be.

To get the new house ready we are working on a few cosmetic updates. So far we have managed to prep a previously wallpapered wall in the den, remove the painted popcorn ceiling from 1/2 the den (torture) and sanded about 90% of the trim in all the rooms. In the remaining time we have this month we plan to remove the popcorn ceiling from all the rooms with unpainted ceilings, wipe down all the walls and ceilings completely in an attempt to reduce the cigarette smell that still lingers throughout the house, primer EVERYTHING from top to bottom, then paint all the rooms and trim. That’s the fun part. In the coming months we also plan to replace the light fixtures (Ikea can’t arrive soon enough) and possibly replace some flooring in the next 3-6 months.

The plan is to move in the last weekend of March, so that leaves a limited amount of weekend hours to accomplish these tasks. It’s daunting, but I feel confident we can do it. Also, we don’t really have a choice, because we need to be out of the apartment by the end of March. The good news (other good news, I guess) is that I am have finally reached a break in my workload for silverdoves, leaving me free the rest of the month to focus entirely on the move. Once I have my computer set up in the new place (in it’s very own office!) I will resume my activities as usual. I have a few stunning sessions that are hibernating in lightroom and tempting me. Those will be tackled in April.

I hereby announce March 2014 as move-in month and will do my absolute best to update you on the progress. 

Krystle + Cecil’s Wintery Church Wedding

Wedding Rings  Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaThis winter I developed a new-found sense of wonderment when it comes to the beauty winter has to offer. Here I was, obsessed with snow and pinecones and evergreen and the stark beauty of naked tree branches. Even better, I had the opportunity to celebrate this winter wonderment in a special way, by photographing Krystle and Cecil’s winter wedding. It was perfect, from the charm of the quintessential country church, to the way the snow reflected the light dancing in the eyes of the bride and groom as they held each other close, capturing the warmth together. As always, I felt humbled to share in such a special day. Thank you, Krystle and Cecil!

Wedding Photos by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaGetting Dressed Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaCute Moment Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaFirst Look Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaBride and GroomWedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany Tarchala Bride and Groom Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany Tarchala Black and white Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaBride and Groom Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaGroom details Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany Tarchala  Umbrella and Rainboots Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaUmbrella Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany Tarchala Wedding Party Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaThe ceremony Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaCeremony Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaThe Kiss Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaThe Kiss in Black and white Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany Tarchala The Cake Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaReception Details Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaProgram Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany Tarchala

Pictures from Krystle + Cecil’s Wintery Church Wedding Photography in southwest Missouri by Johnson county based wedding photographer Brittany Tarchala.

Confessions: of a Monochromatic Soul

I have eliminated one color after another, and what has remained is gray gray gray

Here we go again… (It’s about time. Some of these confessions were self-actualized before Christmas)

  • I’m one of those people who loves the fact that Christmas starts earlier every year. I decorated my tree on my birthday (Nov. 7) and I plan to make it a tradition. We usually end up keeping the tree up until spring, so I figured we might as well put it up earlier and enjoy the anticipation of Christmas in the few extra weeks we gain before the holidays. (Update: I made myself take the tree down in January!!! Mostly because I was sick of guarding the ornaments and I was missing out of space in our livingroom for all the new toys Miles got for Christmas, haha)
  • I drink 3-5 Seagram’s Sparkling Seltzer water each day. Two years ago it was Red Bull, most of my life it has been Dr. Pepper and I feel justified in clearing the “White Peach” flavored sparkling water from the shelves at Price Chopper every two weeks because it’s not as expensive as Red Bull and has no bad sweeteners. (Update: My dentist told me this is also bad because it’s acidic. Will no vice ever be sacred?!?!?)
  • My favorite colors are: Charcoal Gray, Medium gray, gray, gray and GRAY. I get caught buying gray everything and when I add color it’s usually solid and shares it’s space with few or no other colors. I love seeing color elsewhere in the world and marvel at livingrooms full of patterns and colors that somehow GO together. But there is something about white and gray and gray and gray that, when seen together, inspires me. I think being gray on the outside allows me to be more colorful and vibrant on the inside.
    This guy says it well

    • “If I see everything in gray, and in gray all the colors which I experience and which I would like to reproduce, then why should I use any other color? I’ve tried doing so, for it was never my intention to paint only with gray. But in the course of my work I have eliminated one color after another, and what has remained is gray, gray, gray!” — Alberto Giacomettii
      For more monochromity see this Pinterest board of mine.
  • I’ll leave you with this very deep revelation: I prefer the outside of a cinnamon roll to the inside.

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The Prettiest Fall Leaves I’ve Ever Seen!

I seriously think the leaves this fall have been the prettiest I’ve ever seen! Everything just came together, I suppose, to bring all the right varieties of trees to transition at the right times and just the right amount and timing of wind. Here are a few of my leaf images. Can you guess which is my favorite? Maybe the one I decided to keep HUGE even though it’s vertical?

Fall Leaves 2013

The Brooke and Brian Hour

Last Friday my sister, Brooke came through town with her boyfriend, Brian and we got to spend a sweet 60 minutes or so with them, catching up and enjoying the perfect fall weather together. I couldn’t let them leave without snapping some shots of their happy faces a midst the fiery trees outside our apartment complex. I was especially happy that Miles got to be reacquainted with his Aunt Brooke. He also made fast friends with Brian, faster than I have ever seen Miles take to someone, actually. He was sad to see them leave, and so was I. But I have these to keep me company until we meet again.
Brooke and Brian | A hour with my sister

Brooke and Brian | A hour with my sister

Brooke and Brian | A hour with my sister

Brooke and Brian | A hour with my sister

Confessions: of a Right-Handed Hoarder

Fancy Nail Painting

I’ve decided to admit the sometimes deep and likely embarrassing truths about my daily life, a few confessions at a time.

Today’s confessions are as follows:

  • Sometimes It bothers me that on a normal day people see this (The Outside) instead of this (The Inside)
  • When I paint my nails, my right hand always looks atrocious, but I’m fine with it. And my justification is this : When I’m at the drive-thru window paying for my order, the cashier will see my good hand…
  • Speaking of drive-thrus. Today the guy taking my money at Chick-fil-a said “See you tomorrow.” And he was serious…
  • I am such a hoarder that I save the clear stretchy plastic tab things that are sewn into clothes to hold them on the hangar.
  • At the end of a shower, I like to turn the temperature way  up and stand with my face under the hot water for a few seconds before exiting. The other day I accidentally made it so hot that I literally burned my face off. By that, I mean it felt like I had a sunburn for several days.

That’s my life revelation for the week. Enjoy.

Mister Miles – 13 Months

Miles | 13 Months Photo

This child is growing up like a flash! In the last month or so he has expanded his vocabulary of babbling sounds, mastered walking, and explored every cabinet available to him. I don’t know if I’m just in a good mood or what, but this might just be my favorite month yet. I’m finding myself super nostalgic for the days of his infancy, simply because the child I spend my days with now is so different than the tiny bundle of a year ago. The contrast between the two is so strong these days. I absolutely love watching him learn, I can’t believe how fascinated I am by each new thing. You hear so many things about the milestones that your baby reaches in the first year that it’s easy to forget how much they learn during the year(s) following that!


We have nothing new to report since he hasn’t had a Dr. appointment and I haven’t taken the time to measure him  myself.


Strength & Mobility

He’s walking! I’m going to call November 5 the first day he started walking for reals. He stood up while we were visiting Uncle Bobby and Aunt Jenna and just walked across the whole room to his daddy. There was no denying after that. He’s been up on those feet ever since. For awhile he would topple frequently but get that little booty up again and keep going at it. Simple things like that make a parent so proud.

Hand/Eye Coordination

He’s learning new tricks with his toys, like stacking those ring toys that have been around since the beginning of time. He’s really mastering the button pushing (and turning the dial that starts the dish washer. Argh!) He tries to swipe his finger on our phones, which really blows my mind since when I was a baby his age, such a thing did not exist.


I’m wondering how applicable this one is anymore. He’s being offered everything we eat at meals except the really spicy things and he’ll nibble at them, but he still doesn’t seem to eat a lot of finger foods. I wonder how normal this is? One adorable thing is that he really wants to use a fork, so I bought him his own and he manages to use the right motions, the only issue he has is gravity.


Need I hash this out again? Sigh… the little mister has been getting a gaggle of new teeth in the last few weeks and the weather has changed and blah blah blah. All just excuses, maybe? But his sleep is not good. His bedtime has shifted to the point that 10 p.m. is bedtime on a good night. The bad nights are 2:00 a.m.! I may have had a mental breakdown one night but I worked through it. We’ve made our bed, now we must lose sleep in it.

Social & Vocalization

His babbling has become even more animated, he’s getting closer and closer to words, I can just tell! He loves playing with other kids, especially older ones. Now that he’s walking he likes to chase his friend, Naysa around the house when we go over there to play. His humor is developing even more, as well and I find myself giggling often in surprise.


Why do I keep forgetting to write these down? The obvious ones would be his first steps, a weekend playing with his cousins in the country, walking in the grass and playing outside as the days grow colder.

Other Photos

DSC_8212_Miles_13-Months  DSC_8245_Miles_13-Months_Miles_13-Months

Ashley & Rob’s DIY Wedding

This DIY wedding was a photographer’s dream. But this isn’t about my dream, it’s about the dream Ashley and Rob have had for years, the day they became Mr. and Mrs. I consider myself privileged to be part of this dream come true for both of them and here are some of the moments that said that best.






This is the Alexander Majors Barn in KC. Isn’t it heavenly?!













So you see, it was beautiful from beginning to end. Ashley’s handmade DIY details showered the day with personality, filling the day with things and people that had brought them together. Here everything and everyone came together again to create quite the dream day.

2013 Fall Mini Sessions | Heritage Park, Olathe

Fall Mini Sessions by Silverdoves Photography & Design

I didn’t plan to offer any mini sessions this year, but once the leaves  started changing I knew I just had to do something to get my fix in! Fall is my favorite time of year and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to jump into a huge pile of leaves with you and your loved ones and capture the spirit of the season. Here is some information for you, if you have questions for me or would like to reserve your time slot, please email me at

Fall Mini Sessions

Saturday, November 2nd, 3:00-6:00 p.m. (6 time slots available)

Heritage Park, Olathe, KS


What you get:

  • 30 minute session for up to 5 people
  • 10 high resolution images with printing rights
  • 25 custom-designed Christmas cards with envelopes

To reserve your time, send an email to

Custom Christmas Card Design Samples

Custom Christmas Card Designs