i was initially attracted to her deep blue eyes… and her extremely long blonde hair of course. but what did it for me was her laugh. i was a junior in high school on the choir risers and was drawn to this blonde soprano, not by her gorgeous voice or her beautiful face, but by the pure and uncontrollable authenticity in her laugh. more than a snicker or giggle, she would literally burst with laughter at something she found hilarity in. still to this day, i will hear her by herself in the other room dying from a silly cat video or a tina fey quote or some meme of voldemort making a noes goes joke.
i fell in love with jade on the phone in high school. we would stay up all hours of the night talking about the most random things. she feels things –beauty, love, sorrow, joy– so deeply and really ponders different aspects of life. so those early hour conversations would either be so genuine and rich with meaningful discussions causing me to rethink how i looked at life, or they would be so silly and fun that i was forced to bury my head in my pillow to stifle my laugh to avoid waking anyone up.
our life is fun. its a freaking mess too. managing two kids and two dogs and faith and a business and ministry and hobbies and health and life, all the while trying to keep our marriage on the up and up is a messy thing. but at the end of the day the struggle is worth it.
we believe in marriage. we believe in love. and not the fairy tale, magical, everything-is-perfect love that only exist in a land far away. we believe that love is a choice to accept the version of the person in front of us. and jade has taught me more about that than i could have ever imagined. she loves me in my most broken and messed up state, and i love her in her most broken and messed up state. and we choose to love each other. sometimes we get upset but mostly we laugh… a lot. and it is that laughter and love (and mostly Jesus) that binds us and holds us and sustains us.
i am so in love with this girl.
Kyle started at our first wedding from zero knowledge shooting on Auto, to now making amazing photos at every wedding. He’s one of those people. You know the kind. The ones that can pick up any instrument and learn to play it. The kind who just instinctively know how to create something out of nothing. His hero is MacGyver, if that gives you any clue of what his children and I deal with on a daily basis.
Before our first wedding ever, I was freaking out. My camera had gone crazy and so we bought a new one that I was unfamiliar with. I looked at him with tears in my eyes and said “I can’t do this.” And he said, “You can do this. You are good at this. I’ll come with you.”
These are some of the most important words Kyle has ever said to me. We’ve been together since I was a sophomore in high school, so he’s had a lot of time to say things. But sometimes when you’re in a moment, it just kind of hits you. You know what I mean? For some reason, in that moment, you can almost float up out of your body and see that this is one of those moments I’ll always remember. When I was unsure, anxious, afraid to even try to make photos of people, Kyle believed in me. It’s his greatest strength. He believes in people, when they can’t see the good in themselves. He sees the whole puzzle, when we’re all looking at just a few of the pieces.
Kyle imagined this future for us. The one we’re living now, where we make beautiful and lasting images for people on the most meaningful day of their life together. He saw this back when I could only see the small piece of our first wedding right in front of me. And I was terrified. But when he said “You can do this”, for some reason, I believed him.
Kyle is the person in my life who has taught me the most about how to connect with someone. Kyle is the first person I searched for depth in. He’s the one who I played first hand witness to becoming a husband and a father. He is the one who has taught me that just under the surface, there is such a large and beautiful story to be told, if only someone can be brave enough to help us tap into that story. If I am a guide, assisting people in creating memories they and their families will cherish beyond their lifetime, Kyle is my compass. Forever keeping me on the trail.
He’s my favorite person and my best friend. I am so incredibly lucky to share my passion of making images with my husband.