One of the wonderful benefits of living on the west side of the state is the proximity to Lake Michigan. It’s a really gorgeous body of water with expansive sands and dunes and quaint lake towns. Within 45 minutes, we can be out our door in Grand Rapids and sitting on the beach at the Lake. It’s absolutely delightful. Last night, on our weekly date night, Jonathan and I decided to adventure to the water. We opted for dinner via Butch’s Beach Burritos and ice cream from Dairy Treat before we walked the pier to witness the beautiful sunset.
Spending a few hours out there together as the day ended reminded us both of the very first time we experienced Grand Haven. It was the last Saturday in August, in 2005 and I had just moved in to the dorms at GVSU a few days before. Determined to know my surroundings and convince myself that there was more to West Michigan than cornfields, Jonathan drove me around all day. We found the city, the mall and eventually decided that if we drove straight west, we should be able to find the water. We stumbled upon Grand Haven State Park shortly before sunset. As we sat on the beach together that evening and took it all in, I realized, I was gonna be ok. I knew I was eventually going to like West Michigan… even if I only liked the Lake.
…Now, almost 7 years later, I’m still here in West Michigan, enjoying the short drive to the lake, the awesome little city of Grand Rapids and everything in between. Amazing how life works out!
Here we are, from that evening in 2005… lookin’ like little kids:
And here are a few iPhone frames from last night!
Excited to share my last few June weddings with you soon!
Posted in Blog
Tagged personal, wedding
Today, June 4, is a really, really important day. It is the day my parents vowed forever to each other… and this year, marks their 35th wedding anniversary!!
To say that I am grateful for their marriage and their love for each other would be an understatement. It has truly been a blessing to grow up with parents who are committed to each other and their family, who strive to be the best spouse they can be, the best parents they can be and the best examples they can be in their faith, their love and their lives.
Growing up, I never had to think twice if they loved each other. It was a fact that they lived out and reassured us of often… “Do you know I love your Mom, Jennifer? Because I do and I always will” (and then my Dad would typically give my Mom a kiss which would TOTALLY gross me out as an 8-year-old ;)). It took me a while to realize how important that was to me: to know without a shadow of a doubt that I had parents that were committed to each other forever. In a world where pain and hatred seem to be greater and people give up on each other and a lot of marriages end, my parent’s love has instilled a confidence in me that true love DOES exist and it is truly worth fighting for daily. But, they never promised me that it would be easy. I’ve seen them walk through many challenges – and at the end of the day, they still hold true to each other and to a God who provides an undying hope when all seems lost.
In our short 2.5 years of marriage (officially celebrated last week – woo!), it is evident that I have learned a lot of good from my own parent’s marriage and I’m thankful for the example that they have been and continue to be to Jonathan and I. They are patient with us, allow us to make mistakes, encourage the both of us and cheer us on in our marriage and dreams. I find joy in watching them continue to grow and learn from each other, from their kids and grandkids, and from their friends and colleagues. In the last few years they have become “empty nesters”, but have filled their time by caring for their neighbors and friends and taking on the role of “grandparent” with much excitement and joy… it’s so awesome to see!
Mom + Dad, thank-you from the bottom of my heart for continuing to love each other and instill truth in our lives. Thirty-five years of marriage is no small feat and I’m proud to declare this milestone! Enjoy celebrating your marriage this week! I love you!!
Last summer, just before my younger brother tied the knot, we were able to have the entire family together in Michigan for a little photo session. There’s another sweet baby girl on the way (no, not from me ;)), but here’s a little snapshot into my family!
35 years of marriage = 4 children and 4 weddings! Here are my three brothers and myself with our own spouses:Can’t wait to see how this “little” family is going to continue to grow over the years!
Posted in Blog
Tagged marriage, personal
Kevin + Meg absolutely adore each other and being a part of their wedding day as a photographer was a dream. They were excited, nervous, so happy and so, so enamored with each other. But being a part of their wedding day as their friend was TRULY an honor. It’s been such a blessing to watch these two fall in love (starting at GVSU where they had their ceremony!) and plan to spend the rest of their lives together. They are gracious, humble and caring individuals and that is not only portrayed in the way they interact with each other, but the way they interact with their family, friends and others. There’s a lot I could say about these two and this day, but I’ll let the images do the talking. Oh, and if you can’t get enough of them, check out their autumn engagement session in downtown Grand Rapids. That was also a great, great day.
Kevin + Meg – I love you both and am so humbled that you would trust me with capturing your wedding day. It was such a wonderful celebration and a God-honoring beginning to your forever marriage. I cannot wait to see where this marriage journey leads you two. Thank-you for inviting Jonathan and I into your lives! Congratulations, again!!Brides, take note at the awesome light in this room. At this ceremony site, typically the guys get ready in this room, but this time, Meg claimed it for more space and better natural light. It made for some really beautiful images as she was getting ready! If you have the choice, always choose a room with big windows! You’ll thank me later ;)Because of the distance between the ceremony and reception, Kev and Meg chose to do a first look to take care of most of their portraits before the ceremony. That way, the guests could drive right to the reception and not have to wait long for the party to start! I loved these sweet moments from the first time they saw each other that day…Oh, the light! The trees! I felt like we were in a secret garden during these portraits. So magical!Then, it was time for the bridal party to join us for a little while!Oh, and that handsome best man next to Kevin? That’s my hubby, Jonathan. Just thought you should know ;) The ceremony was held inside the Cook DeWitt Center on the campus of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI.After the ceremony, it was off to the Midtown Center in Holland for the reception! First, we took a couple minutes to take a few more portraits downtown before we headed in for dinner…These two LOVE craft root beer. Of course, they had to have it on tap at their reception!Closing the party down with “At Last” by Etta James. What a perfect moment.
…I was in Seattle! I spent lots of time wandering, drinking coffee, hanging with some sweet college students and learning about how life is done in and around the different communities in the city. I’ll have a full post for you later this week, but for now, I gotta catch up on emails and editing! :)
Posted in Blog