The Porch Swing

While were engaged, we met with our priest periodically to discuss our plans, future, relationship, etc. in preparation for our upcoming marriage. I remember he asked us, “Where do you see yourselves in 10 years.” Immediately I told him, “Sitting on my front porch, swinging on our swing, while the kids play in the yard.” That has always been my dream when I envisioned my future. I can remember telling that to my friends in high school.

One Christmas (last year I think?) the kids were opening all of their presents that Santa brought. When the excitement died down, Seth said ” I think Santa left one more present on the porch.” I had no idea what he was talking about.  I walked outside to a swing hanging on my front porch. How “Santa” did this without me knowing, I still have no idea. It was the sweetest and most thoughtful gift ever.

That swing has heard some funny stories, listened to some tough conversations, and rocked many kids to sleep. It has welcomed a porch full of friends, but also serves as a good quiet getaway when we need a minute.

It’s the audience during the fashion show, the wait for the bus stop, and (sometimes) the time out spot! It’s the “OMG what a day” relaxation chair. It’s the music playlist, the weather watcher, and the UPS greeter. The perfect spot for morning coffee or a good glass of wine…it’s all of the above.

It is one of my favorite places. It is a symbol of my dreams come true <3

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Engagement Pictures – Brandie & Dylan

My cousin asked me to take some engagement photos of her and her fiance this past weekend!

We started out very traditional. We went to my brother’s deck in his backyard. I never realized how pretty his setup would be in pictures – I will have to take my girls here for a photo shoot one day!

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Our next location was at the end of the bride’s street where she grew up. Since they live on a lake, the edge of the water was the perfect scenery.

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The couple also wanted some pictures that represented their lifestyle. Their first clothing change was into Dylan’s work clothes (he works on a tugboat). His fiance wore his life jacket.

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Another feature they wanted to use in their pictures to represent their lifestyle was the groom’s four-wheeler. They both enjoy riding and wanted some pictures to capture one of their favorite activities as a couple.
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It was fun to take pictures of adults – haha. My camera roll is usually flooded with my girls.

Congrats to Brandie and Dylan, and we cannot wait until the wedding. I know it will be beautiful!

Don’t Click It!

As I’m browsing around on Pinterest, I come across this article on ways to boost the romance in your marriage. So I click on the link and literally start hysterically laughing at some of these tips. Are the people that write these things actually married!?

“Create a ‘grateful jar’. Consider writing down things that you are grateful for with regards to your marriage and designate a special night to open the jar and read them aloud to one another.”
I am grateful I did not get electrocuted when I had to fish my straightener out of the toilet.

“Be attractive to each other.”**
You mean this cellulite, poorly groomed eyebrows, and these bunions aren’t attractive!?

“Start taking showers together a few times a week.”
Seriously!? I NEVER take a bath or shower alone…and my company is not Seth…it’s my kids crying or talking to me until I get out. If you are married with kids and take showers together a few times a week, please tell me the secret. I don’t know anyone who does this (successfully).

“Write down and share goals together. Give life to some of the goals you have for your relationship and your family by voicing them and writing them down. Then map out a plan so the two of you can start working toward them.”
Dear Seth, my goal for the night is to get Jules in and out the bathtub before she craps in the water like usual.

So in conclusion, I don’t believe in all those “ways to do this, ways to do that” articles.
BUNCH. OF. BULL!

A Sappy Love Story

Seth and I have been married for 4 years. We dated 6 years before marrying, and have known each other even longer; to say we know a lot about each other is an understatement.
When we first started dating, it was BLISS. I would have notes on my windshield when I walked to my car after class, I would have long stem roses strategically placed in random places, and I would constantly get comments on the way I looked or dressed (later did I learn this was all in his plan to “hook” me).

So as time went on, I not only fell in love with this man, but I fell in love with the gestures, and the notes, and the spoiling. Of course over time, this dwindled away – the new love excitement died down into the “routine” of a relationship. I remember thinking it was ME. Why did it stop? What am I doing wrong? Of course now I realize that is a common in all relationships… we have come to EXPECT things.

Nowadays we are FAR from roses and love notes.

I had to work one Friday while Seth was off and stayed home. Before leaving, I put a batch of clothes to wash. In the middle of the day, I texted him, “Can you please put the clothes that are in the dryer into the washer?” His response was, “Did it already.”
WHAT!? He noticed they had clothes in the washer and independently put them in the dryer without anyone telling him to do so?! That was my rose.

A couple of weeks later, I decided to go walk down our street for exercise. Kennedy came ride her bike alongside of me, and Seth kept Jules in the house. When we returned 20 minutes later, Jules was bathed and in her pajamas. Without me asking him to do so, he bathed Jules. That was my love note.

Of course it is still essential to have “couple” time, and it is still important for us to spoil each other. We just don’t expect it anymore. It’s now a pleasant surprise. Our hot dates have now turned into a quick lunch break (we work near each other), but it’s still mom and dad time we don’t get often.

It took me a LONG time to realize how this worked. How to transition from the make believe into the ACTUAL FAIRYTALE.

So to conclude this sappy post, here is a montage I made for Seth for our fourth anniversary. It highlights our wedding day – one of three best days of our lives.