Shannon Gurney Photography » Blog

It was a major whirlwind and put most of our family into shock, but it was so worth it!  We’ve always said Carly is special.  She doesn’t do things like most people would…she was meant to stand out.  She was meant to grip life by the reins and hang on.  While the rest of us are busy planning every step, she’s sailing through life in a blaze of glory making her mark on every moment. Meeting Chayse and getting married was no different.

After the shock wore off for the rest of us and we were able to take it all in, none of us could doubt the immeasurable joy and happiness he brings her.  When he’s around, she lights up like a firefly.  You know the the light.  It’s the kind that sparkles and reflects the brilliance of the sun…the kind that makes you feel special just catching a few glimpses of it.  The best part is…HE does the same thing.  It’s like this crazy brilliance between the two of them that is so bright, the rest of us start reaching for sunglasses.

At first, I thought she was crazy.  I thought, “here we go again.”  I started praying God would lead her in the right direction and she’d make the best decision for her life.  I honestly thought she’d change her mind and head the other direction.  But, not this time.  It seems God knew her heart better than I and had plans I couldn’t comprehend.  Each time I prayed for a change of heart, God would open a door providing an even clearer path toward Chayse.  It was almost like He was laughing at the rest of us as we scrambled to make plans (quietly hoping things would fall through) for a wedding.  This crazy family of ours began to take notice of all the obstacles being moved out of her way…all the hurdles she wasn’t having to jump…all the tiny details making it impossible to pull off a wedding in the time frame she’d given us…  They simply dissolved and fell to the side as if she had someone out in front clearing the way like a big dozer pushing the two of them closer and closer… until they were just within reach.

Then it hit me.  THIS is God’s plan.  THIS wedding was the right decision for her.  She knew immediately and laughed as the rest of us tried to play catch up.  She wasn’t worried.  She wasn’t stressed.  She was calm, collected, and in control….something not really normal for her.  She was everything she’d always wanted.  All she needed was for the rest of us to get out of her way…

and so we did.  We pulled it off.  Fairy tale complete.

Funny how God has perfect timing and if we’ll just sit quietly and listen, instead of trying to control, we can hear his ever calming voice leading us in the right direction.


And that’s just the beginning.  We are so blessed to have Chayse join our family.  He’s the real deal, folks, and his family… AMAZING!



After much consideration, my family and I have decided to downsize and take on a new adventure. We’ll be selling our AWESOME 2376 Square foot house with 10 acres. It’s 3 bedrooms plus an office with 2 full baths. It’s also geothermal and has tankless hot water.

For those of you who’ve been here, you know just how cool the place is and how hard it will be to leave. But we are super excited to try something new.

If you know someone who would be interested, please give them our contact info. I’ll be sharing tons of photos over the weekend and adding to this post.  We are located near SE 134th and Harrah road.

Asking Price is $359k


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2nd bedroom102816_0050

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master bathroom / walk-in shower102816_0042

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living area102816_0031102816_0027102816_0028102816_0024102816_0020102816_0023

entry way102816_0017


I’ll add more photos as I get them loaded.  Enjoy!  Please email me at to get more information.


I’ve had so many folks asking for more information on the essential oils I’ve been using that I thought I’d post a little info.  A blog I read did a great job of explaining the sign-up process and so I thought I’d share here and offer a little promotion for March.

There are lots of places you can buy essential oils, but I love how Young Living is a trusted source and a pioneer in bringing the use of therapeutic oils to the United States.

To kick off this new adventure, I’m running an amazing special if you get a Premium Young Living starter kit {which is, on its own, is a really great deal at $150}.


I love the oils so much I want to share them with you – along with material to help you learn how to use oils in your home to promote wellness.



  • 11 Bottles of Essential Oils – 5ml each. Including: Lavender, Frankincense, PanAway, Joy, Melaleuca (Tea Tree), Citrus Fresh, Lemon, Peppermint, Thieves, Purification, Stress Away.
  • Home Diffuser
  • Wholesale membership – i.e. discounts on shipping and lots of samples



Ordering the Premium Young Living Starter Kit is, on its own, a really great deal at $150. But if you order before the end of the month, you’ll also receive:

  • An amazingly helpful Essential Oil Starter Guide – The Essential Oils Pocket Reference that retails for $25. It has over 400 pages packed with essential oil information.




Before you get started be sure to write this number down: 1636168


1. Head over to the Young Living page here and fill out your information.

2. Be sure the “Wholesale Member” option is checked so that you don’t end up paying retail prices.

3. Be sure the “sponsor ID” and “enroller ID” say 1636168.

4. If you do not feel comfortable putting in your social security number (this is only for tax purposes if you decide to turn this into a business) then you can get easily get an EIN from the IRS in just a few seconds here and use that number instead (the IRS just needs to be able to connect some number with you for tax purposes). They need a Social Security Number or an EIN because if you make $600 or more per year selling Young Living products, you will receive a 1099 form in the mail (which is required by law). Young Living will never share this info with anyone.

5. Select which starter kit you want to get. My recommendation would be the Premium Starter Kit (Item #4672) Those are the oils that I use almost every single day. You can get the kit that’s $150, or you can get a kit for $160 (Item# 4724) with an even nicer essential oil diffuser!


6. During the sign up process, please note that Step 3 is optional. I’d recommend skipping the Step 3 part of the sign-up process. I’ll send over an email with more details on that part of things after you sign up (if you’re going to be purchasing products monthly then it’s a great program that will give you credit back with each order and save on shipping costs). You can always sign up for this voluntary program later.
7. Continue through the checkout process.

8. After you sign up send an email to letting me know that you signed up through this promotion.
This promotion is only available when you sign up as a WHOLESALER with the sponsor ID and enroller ID as #1636168!



Frequently Asked Questions:

Does signing up make me a “distributor”?

Nope! You are not required to sell anything at all to anyone. When you become a wholesale member, you get a special link that you can share with friends and get credit from their purchases, but there are no minimum sales amounts at all. In fact, 90% of the wholesale members in Young Living don’t do the business side at all. They are buying from Young Living because of the quality alone.

Am I required to make a minimum purchase each month?

There are absolutely NO minimum monthly purchase requirements. To remain a wholesale member, you have to make $50 worth of purchases per year to keep your membership. But if there’s a year that you don’t make a $50 purchase, you can reinstate your wholesale membership discount by just placing a $50 order.

If you do find yourself making regular purchases each month, then Young Living has a rewards program (called Essential Rewards) where you can make a nice percentage back in product credit each month on all of your purchases. So that’s a neat program to join if you find that you *want* to purchase regularly (but it’s not a requirement for being a wholesale member).

Why should I buy from Young Living instead of other essential oils companies?

It does seem like a new essential oils company pops up every day, doesn’t it?
I can’t speak to the quality of other companies, but I can say that Young Living was the only company in my research of essential oil companies that could answer all of my questions about purity in a way that was satisfactory to me.

Young Living was the only company that has their own farms (in the regions where the plants should be grown), could absolutely guarantee that no pesticides or herbicides were used in the growing of any of their oils (they use essential oils for pest control and they do all of the weeding by hand), has their own testing equipment (they do both in-house and 3rd party testing, and use many different testing methods not just GC/MS which only tests for certain chemicals, not whether those chemicals are synthetic or not), and only uses the first distillation of oils instead of adding chemicals to get more out of the plant.

Young Living also was the only company that was directly in charge of essential oil farming operations. Every other company I researched goes through some kind of an “oil broker” to buy their oils. They have to trust that the oil broker is telling the truth, who has to trust that the essential oil distilleries are telling the truth, who have to trust that the farmers are telling the truth about what they say they are doing.
With Young Living, you just have to trust one company instead of several.

I feel like it’s a trust step either way (anyone could be lying) but I felt the most comfortable trusting Young Living since they are a full-disclosure company. ANYONE can visit the farms, participate in the harvesting and distillation, view the Young Living labs, and see the entire process. That’s not an option with any other company.

How will I know which oils to use for what?

One of the benefits of getting a starter kit through this promotion is that you also get to join our private Facebook group that’s specifically for questions about essential oils!
The reference guide that I’m giving away as part of this promotion is also a HUGE resource. You can look up almost anything in it and see which essential oils and supplements can be helpful.

Does Young Living only sell essential oils?

The answer to this one was surprising to me when I first got my starter kit! Young Living actually has an entire line of personal care products, supplements, meal replacements, energy drinks, and more! Almost every product incorporates essential oils (for example, frankincense is absolutely wonderful in facial products), but there’s a wide variety of products available.


Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website.

Thanks for stopping by and, as always, feel free to email me with any questions you might have.


In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been a long while since I’ve visited here.  As much as I love updating all of you on current sessions and the amazing families I get to meet, my life has been keeping me busy elsewhere.  In the last three years, a lot has changed in the Gurney house.  We’ve added an amazing little man to our family who will turn three in October.  He alone has made it very difficult for me to spend the time needed for editing sessions and I find that lately I’d rather play with him anyway.  But, we have also made some other changes here at home.

Josh and I made the difficult decision to homeschool our boys this past year.  Most of you know we live quite a ways out in the country, which meant a long drive in to school each day.  I had started looking into schools that were closer to where we lived and just wasn’t that impressed.  As I weighed the schools in our area, I became more and more stressed about which one to choose.  Which direction should I send them?  Do they have sports?  Would someone be able to help pick the boys up once in a while?  As I was voicing my concern to a friend, she mentioned homeschooling, something she was already doing.  Once she placed the bug in my ear, it was hard to get it out.  I started wondering if I could do it.  Would I be able to stay on task, focused, and even able to keep both boys busy at the same time?  The more I thought about it, the more fun it sounded.  After all, I was a classroom teacher for ten years prior to having kids.  Surely, I could handle my own children, right?

It turns out, we are really liking the homeschool thing.  Right now, it suits us.  However, making that decision for our family has made other aspects of our lives a little less important.  I feel like my time is really valuable now and best spent with my family in mind…  planning fun trips and neat school projects, not staying up until 3 am editing pictures for other families.  As much as I love all of my wonderful photography clients and friends, I know you’ll understand when I say I need to spend more time with MY family in the coming years and a little less time with yours.

In the coming months, I’ll be phasing out of Shannon Gurney Photography.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I would never leave all of the wonderful families and friends I’ve made in a photography lurch, so to speak.  I plan to continue doing sessions for my regular clients, clients who’ve been with me through the years.  I will not, however, be accepting any new clients.  I will also be limiting my sessions each month to around 4 or 5.  Whoa!  I know, I know… some of you are gasping for air.  What will you do?  Ha ha…

I understand the Fall season and holidays are right around the corner.  I plan to fit you all in the best I can, but there will be less available spots this year.  If you are planning on booking a holiday or Fall session, you need to email or call me NOW.  Spots will be limited.

I will not be doing mini-sessions this season.

If all of this is just too much for you to handle and you feel like you need to move on, I can recommend an excellent photographer/friend who will take good care of you.  She has a style very similar to mine and her pricing also fits the bill.

As for this blog, it will be getting a facelift very soon.  I plan to share stories and pictures along our homeschool journey with a little bit of everything else mixed in.  It’s the way Shannon Gurney Photography came to be.  It’s only fitting to return to the root of my love for photography.

I love you all and wish you the very best.


It seems every time I check in here at this blog I make excuses for why I’ve been away so long.  Not today.:)

Today, I’m excited to introduce you to the Novotny family.  Tonight was my first time to shoot some photos of them, and THEY WERE SO MUCH FUN!  We met up in Shawnee at the old train depot and were back on the road 45 minutes later.  It has to be one of my quickest sessions to date.  The main reason was how totally cool they were.  They made my job super easy and FUN!

Here are a few of my favorites…






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