Baby, it’s cold outside. Really. Winter is upon us here in Grand Rapids! It has barely stopped snowing in the past 48 hours and I love the constant-snow globe that’s happening outside our windows!! Snow or not, I’m fully embracing the winter season this year. I’m embracing the slower pace, numerous cups of tea, Christmas lights and cozy fires. Also, with the winter season comes a quieter photography season and I’m excited to share previews of sessions + adventures from this past year that I haven’t quite had the time to blog until now.
Today, I would love to share a session from earlier this summer. During the last week of April, my husband + I had the opportunity to travel to Asheville, North Carolina with our best friends to celebrate their one year wedding anniversary. We spent the week in a lodge in the mountains – exploring nature + city life. We ate (a lot) of delicious food, took plenty of hikes + shared many wonderful memories together as we reminisced on their first year of marriage. On one of our last days in the mountains, we spent the afternoon photographing Jonathan (Jonno) + Rachel for an anniversary session and the results of that shoot are here today! Yay!
Standing next to these two on their wedding day (and likewise having them stand next to us) was one of the greatest honors of our lives. I’m so thrilled that they have chosen each other as life partners + teammates and I’m grateful to count them both as forever friends. Jonno + Rachel, here’s to many more adventures together and many more years [wonderful] of marriage! Cheers, my friends!
Sometimes, Saturday afternoons in autumn call for an adventure. The weather doesn’t always cooperate and you have to be flexible, but if you’re willing, there can be much beauty to behold. This particular Saturday, it was one of those unpredictable October days. The forecast kept me on my toes as I juggled a few shoots, but the colors were perfect and there were periods of sunshine – so we pressed forth. And I’m so happy with the results!
Emma is a sweet, joyful senior who is just about halfway done with her last year of high school. We explored together, laughing and chatting about high school and future plans. She is a beautiful individual – inside + out and it was a joy to get to know her more throughout our time together. It was super hard to pick favorites for this blog post because she was just so awesome, but I hope you enjoy the preview of our afternoon!
This day, four years ago, looked a lot different than today. For one, it was close to 50 degrees, sunshine, blue skies, and no snow for miles. There wasn’t a holiday meal to be shared – that had come + gone (and if I remember correctly, it was a pretty low-key celebration that year). We weren’t driving across the state together. We woke up in metro Detroit, in separate houses, and spent the mornings in different ways (you got to sleep in a heck of a lot longer than me that day ;)). I did blog that morning and we were going to spend the whole day with family, so I guess, in those regards, that was the same (ha!). Four years ago today, we weren’t celebrating Thanksgiving, but as I recall that day, I have much to be thankful for.
Jonathan, I am thankful for your constant care and integrity. I’m thankful for your honesty and your sense of humor. I’m thankful for your leadership and the way you strive to be a better man, a better spouse, a better friend. I’m thankful for your support and encouragement. I’m thankful that you choose to love me and be my lifelong partner every day. I’m thankful that you are my best friend – even more today than you were four years ago. This year, we share our anniversary with Thanksgiving – and I couldn’t think of a better way to enjoy the day than with you by my side, spending time with our families and celebrating gratitude + the blessings in our life.
Thanks for being you, hubs. Happy Anniversary and Happy Thanksgiving! I love you to the moon + back! ;)
a look back… YEAR ONE // YEAR TWO // YEAR THREE // ps, that wedding photo? my pal ABBY took that one, and all the other wedding photos you’ll ever see ;)
As I sat down to try and put words to Josh + Abbey’s wedding day, I couldn’t help but think about how much anticipation + excitement went into their wedding day… or more importantly, their first day of marriage. Josh + Abbey have been waiting to be husband + wife for a long time. They met in kindergarten, grew up together, fell in love and journeyed through high school, college, travels and more. For years, they had been anticipating their first day of marriage – the day that their lives could FINALLY be one. No longer would they have two separate lives that run parallel to each other, but one life – together.
Well, a few weeks ago, on a wonderful November day, Josh + Abbey got married! The day they had hoped for, prayed for, and waited for had come… and the celebration was perfect. Their loved ones traveled from all over (literally – many from other states and other countries) to celebrate with them. Everyone could sense the joy + love that was in the air – it was simply contagious. This wedding day was one of those days that remind me why I do what I do and I’m so grateful that Josh + Abbey invited me into their story.
These two… I don’t even know where to begin. Tina is a dear friend of mine. When our lives intersected several years ago, I would’ve never thought we’d have the relationship that we do now, but I wouldn’t change it. Tina is a kind, good-hearted soul. She is considerate + loving, an amazing artist + creative, and a beautiful woman inside + out. She happens to be engaged to a great guy named Dan. Dan is strong + respectable, honest + fun, and loves Tina to the moon + back. These two have been dating for a couple years and make one heck of an awesome team. This coming May they are choosing to step into marriage – to commit their lives to each other and spend forever as one. I am deeply honored to be able to be a part of their story in this way – to stand by their sides and capture their story as I celebrate with them. Their wedding day is going to be really awesome – and I cannot wait!
Tina + Dan – you two are completely wonderful and the love you share together is inspiring + beautiful. Never stop laughing, never stop dreaming and never stop adventuring together. Thanks for inviting me along for the ride. ;)