Life has a way of showing you when it’s time for a break. When it’s time for at least a comma in the chaos of your life’s paragraph. There’s not always time for a full stop, but an extra second to catch your breath is sometimes enough.

This week I had my Saturday on Tuesday and headed up to the mountains with a dear friend. We planned to hike; I packed a lunch and everything. But as we passed the sign for the stables, we couldn’t resist the adventure that sign promised. So we hopped on horseback and rode up the mountain instead.

To be honest, the whole time I thought – this is the furthest thing from relaxation we could have done! But it provided quite a few moments of laughter. And I guess you could argue that’s even better than relaxation.

We did find a short walkway that led to the rushing river and enjoyed some quiet moments there. Brittany caught a picture of me sitting by the water and when she showed it to me, my eyes filled. It took my breath away. I guess it was seeing a picture of myself sitting in silence that made me realize it’s been way too long since I’ve stopped.

What is life without a little time to relax? To stop, to sit, to make time for at least a comma in the middle of my paragraph? As we head into the weekend, be intentional about making time to stop and catch your breath. And I bet you’ll find something that takes your breath away.


Sarah McAffry specializes in family, senior and commercial photography in the Knoxville, TN and surrounding East TN areas. Use the contact button above or email for booking inquiries.

  • Dad

    Always remember making time with special friends, to do special things, will always make special memories. Glad you got away to such a beautiful place with a special friend. Always Live in each moment.

    Peace out

    Love Dad

Two lines from Taylor Swift’s song STYLE were the inspiration for the #tswiftsession! Cassie styled it as a modern take on the classic, vintage 50s vibe. And she did amazing putting it all together! The city of Maryville proved to be the perfect location. We couldn’t believe how many cars stopped in the road to wait for us to get our shot. People pulled over to tell us certain spots we couldn’t miss and the Capitol Theatre even made us an adorable banana split that we all enjoyed. Maryville, your people are awesome!

Wardrobe: Blush Boutique Knoxville

Styling: Cassie Dunning

Models: Peyton Rohde and Will Burleson

Hair and Makeup: Kristen Davenport

You got that James Dean day dream look in your eye

And I got that red lip classic thing that you like

And when we go crashing down, we come back every time.

Cause we never go out of style

We never go out of style


Though we got some tough news this week about our estimated travel date, we continue to hope against hope that God will part the seas from here to Ethiopia for us to bring #McAffryA home!

Senator Lamar Alexander’s office has been working on our case doing everything they can to expedite our paperwork. Though they told us the official word was that nothing could be done, we completed the first step of our process weeks faster than expected. That was nothing short of an act of God.

We are continuing to move forward in this journey trusting that no matter what official agencies and governmental organizations are saying, that God is the one in charge of this process and it will all happen in His good time.

We have #McAffryA’s blanket ready, most of his wardrobe prepared, and now we just need to get his room set up. Finishing up our paperwork feels just like the last few weeks of pregnancy. We’ve signed up for training classes to learn about sensory disorders and parenting a traumatized child. I’m in full on nesting phase.

We have his pictures all over our house and the kids talk about him all the time. It feels like the most natural thing in the world for us to becoming a family of five like this.

Thank you to all who continue to ask about our adoption and who continue to pray with us. Please pray for God to split the seas so we can walk right through!

Brenda and Craig came to East Tennessee for a vacation at Blackberry Farm in the Great Smoky Mountains, and they wanted to celebrate with some pictures at this iconic retreat. It was stunning as the leaves were changing and we had the mountain landscape as a backdrop. Couldn’t ask for anything more beautiful!

When I pulled up to Blackberry, I was greeted by the most amazing staff that included one of my former students from my days as a teacher. What a fun surprise. She drove me around the property pointing out some special spots where the Fall color was really showing, and she told me all about the Blackberry state of mind.

Craig carted us around in the golf cart and it was a joy to spend the hour with them hearing about their travels in France and beyond. There is something special about witnessing couples interact during their photo shoot, and it was apparent just how much these two adore each other.

Thank you Craig and Brenda for rearranging your fly fishing to get this photo shoot in! I hope you feel the Blackberry state of mind each time you see these pictures!

Makeup: Claire Balest

Sarah McAffry specializes in family, senior and commercial photography in the Knoxville, TN and surrounding East TN areas. Use the contact button above or email for booking inquiries.

What an honor to be asked to come back to photograph another #blitzbuild for Knoxville Habitat for Humanity! With the help of 1,000 volunteers they are building 6 houses in 7 days! The blitz ends on April 17th so they’re close to finishing up these homes!  Over the past 30 years, they have built almost 500 houses in Knoxville alone.

I photographed the 2013 Blitz and seeing the owners who have made their houses a home over the past few years was a powerful thing. Many were outside mowing, planting flowers and gardens and the neighborhood kids were riding around on their bikes, enjoying the perfect Spring day.

You might think that Habitat for Humanity gives these homes away to people in need. But that is not the case. They sell these homes to the owners at no profit with zero percent loans to make them affordable. Each family contributes 500 hours of sweat equity before moving into their new home, so they are personally invested and they work side by side with the volunteers. The people in purple Habitat t-shirts are the home owners, and you’ll see them working hard in the photos!

Sarah McAffry specializes in commercial, senior, family, photography in the Knoxville, TN and surrounding East TN areas. Use the contact button above or email for booking inquiries.