Sunday, May 31, 2020

Our Wildflower Family Photos

As Aaron and I have started to share more of our story and hearts behind The Brim, we've been absolutely blown away by the amazing support of those who don't even know us. From videographers jumping into make a short video at no cost, to people following along and sharing things on social media, we have truly felt so loved and blessed by those who choose to be a part of this journey with us. One such person is the amazing Kristen of Kristen Cline Photography. After seeing that we were offering free wedding ceremonies for brides affected by COVID-19, Kristen reached out with her own little thank you. She was doing photo sessions in a gorgeous wildflower field in Weston, and she offered us a complimentary session as a way of supporting us and saying thanks. For this mama, it was the perfect gift, and just in time for Mother's Day! 

Holy smokes, did Kristen ever deliver!! She was so fun and sweet to work with, and we just love her heart for brides and grooms. She was so kind, and was able to wrangle our little family of four with ease, while capturing these precious memories. And that field! All the heart eyes. 

What I love most about these photos and that they are real, and raw, and totally us. The way Addie stares up at her big brother and smiles. The clingy tendencies of E and the way in which he cheeses way too hard in many photos. The sweet, innocent, side-tilted head that is so his personality right now. A sweet kiss on the cheek for his mama, who he asks for just one more hug and one more kiss each night before bed.

If you're a mama, there is not doubt that you are aware of just how crazy fast your kiddos grow and change. Time is flying, and although we do have Addie's newborn photos of the four of us, she is already so much different. And so is Eli! Gosh, I just can't even handle these photos of them. And that fact that we got E to hold Addie for just long enough to capture that sweet photo? You go, Kristen! 

These babies are the sweetest blessing and most precious gift. I love them so so much. Can they just stay little forever?

Of course, I had to sneak in a couple of photos with my main man. Even though COVID-19 meant neither one of us had haircuts before these photos, I love that Kristen captured a little reminder of where this whole thing started. We hadn't taken photos together just the two of us since we were the "bride and groom" in the Tuscan Villa Styled Shoot back in fall of 2018. I think this may be the only time that my vineyard-tending hubby had a deeper tan than me (it was early May and I certainly had not seen much sun ha)! I love this guy and am thankful for this special Mother's Day adventure, which we followed with some delicious Tin Kitchen

I will cherish these sweet photos of our family forever. No I just have to decide which one to make my new profile picture (which I rarely change). It will be a hard choice since I love them all! 


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

"Do I Pay You to Book My Trip?"

Since the start of CK Travel and my journey into the travel agent world, I have been asked some questions about how payment works. Honestly, I had some of the same questions in the past when I was booking with an agency. No one likes feeling like they're paying more than they need to, or are being charged some hidden fee. In an effort to be transparent, and help clear up some common misconceptions, here are some answers!

1. Do I pay you to book my trip?

Nope! You don't. I book your trip at no additional cost to you.

2. Will I pay more to book with you than to book on my own?

No. You will not pay a dime more to book with me. If you've found a trip deal that is cheaper than a quote I've provided, send it my way and we can provide added value for the same price, or find a way to save you money! Often times, I can check a variety of vendors and carriers, and can even save you more than what you've found on your own. If there was ever a situation where we truly would be unable to save you money (for instance, if you were booking Southwest flights only with points), I would let you know that! I won't ever add hidden fees.

3. How does an agency (and you) make any money then?

Commission is a big part of the travel agency world. When you book your own travel using a large travel site like Expedia or Travelocity, they will make a commission from the hotel and airline after your trip (which happens, even though you don't see it listed as part of the price). In our situation, after you travel, the travel commission portion being paid out either way from the hotels/airlines/vendors goes to our agency for helping get the client booked, so you are supporting people you actually know, rather than an huge online booking engine! Plus you have a face and a name (and a great, award winning company) that actually knows you to personally help with things.

4. Why should I consider booking with you versus on my own?

Trip planning can be very overwhelming for a lot of people. When you book with me, you will be able to provide some basic information like desired destination, length of stay, budget, and hopes for the trip. Then I take it and run with it, doing the searching and the research to find the best possible fit for your vacation. I'll look into current specials, use my own travel experiences, and even provide you with some ideas of great itineraries and things to see and do while you're there. If you're someone who likes doing the basic research, that's great too. You can do that, then I'll step in for the details, and our agency will handle the customer experience, reminders, and last minute specifics for you! We work as a great team to help you and make your trip as easy and stress-free as possible, even when some unexpected challenges come up. We've got your back!

5. Is there anything else I should know? 

I'm here to clarify the confusion that can arise from doing an overwhelming amount of research on your own. I'll use my own wide-range of experience traveling (everything from European tours to all-inclusives, cruises, and more) to help provide you with amazing costumer service. I will be up front and transparent with you throughout the booking process. Sit back and let your vacation planning be they way it should: stress-free!

Ready to start planning?
Shoot me an email at or contact me here so we can get you packing!


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Introducing: CK Travel

If you've been around or have known me for a while, you know just how much I LOVE travel. It has been a passion of mine for years, and I've regularly shared about our amazing adventures on the blog. Whether it was figuring out the million details of our 17 day trip across Europe, or ironing out the small stops of our little getaway to Hermann, trip planning is something I love doing- both for myself, and for others. Which is why I'm excited to announce a new adventure: CK Travel!

Back in December, I decided to take my passion for travel to the next level, and in early March I signed on as an Independent Contractor with Cruise Holidays, a thirty year, award-winning travel agency in Kansas City!

Now I have all of the tools and tricks at my fingertips to help plan the most amazing vacations for all of you! From all-inclusive resorts to European adventures, ocean and river cruises, tours, and everything in between- I'm ready to help send you on the trip of your dreams! I specialize in leisure vacation travel: nothing is too big or too small. We do not charge any additional fees to book, and we will either help you save money, or provide additional value if the price of the trip is the same. I'll have your back if there is a problem, will help eliminate stress, and will provide options you may not have even thought of- personalizing your trip to be the absolute best fit for you. Families, groups, couples, solo trips- I can do it all!

Along the way, I'll keep sharing some helpful tips and fun recaps here on the blog, but I can plan for you even if you aren't local to Kansas City! When you're ready to get out and explore, click here to book a trip! You can also shoot me an email at I can't wait to get you planned and packing!