This post has only one photo and for a photographer that might seem a bit odd. But often times a story only needs one photo to make it special. For my story this is that photo. Who is he? His name is Ryan and eight years ago today I was lucky enough to marry him. He is my real love story.
We had both been married before. He had no kids, I had three. He knew we came as a package deal and yet it didn't scare him off. I am honestly still amazed by that fact!
From the moment I met Ryan I knew something different was going to happen. Something shifted in the universe. Sounds silly I know, but all of you who have met that one special person know what I am talking about. There is that moment, that split second when you know life is about to change forever. My moment was when I met him. Oddly enough it was a quiet moment, much like him. Thunder didn't boom and lightening didn't strike but yet the world was different.
We are alike in so many ways but yet different in ways that compliment each other. Many people say marriage is two becoming one but for us it was two people coming together to celebrate what we each of us brings to our life together and working to make that life the best it can be. Not only for ourselves but for our children.
He is quiet, I am not so much.
He thinks everything through and I tend to shot from the hip a bit more.
Ryan is an AMAZING cook, me, I burn grilled cheese. But I love to eat everything he makes!
Family is incredibly important to both of us. He took on three kids and allowed them to come to him. He never forced anything and sometimes had to put up with some crap. But in the end the relationship he has with all three is strong and loving. We even added another little one to the posse!
We both have a rather dry, sometimes sarcastic sense of humor and we laugh at things easily. Our daily life is filled with lots of laughter and love. Much of the laughter is about our daughter whom we appear to have passed on our sense of humor too.
Neither one of us believes that you have to fight. We talk things through and sometimes agree to disagree. Though not very often. In the 11 years since we started dating we have never fought. Some people don't think that can be true but it is really a matter of how you choose to deal with your issues. We chose to work through them and then let them go.
We don't believe in keeping secrets from one another or hiding things. Life in our house is an open book ( except for Christmas and birthday presents. Even those are hard to keep secret with an 8 year old around!)
We both believe in helping others but we often times do it in our own way.
We are both just crazy enough to leave financially secure and stable jobs to change the way our family lived. Although we were successful in those jobs they took a great deal of our time and time away from our family and each other. So we picked up and moved here, to the beautiful Black Hills, and made family and each other our biggest priority.
Ryan has seen me through the death of my father, which was extraordinarily difficult for me because I was very close to my dad. He even said sure to my mom moving into a cottage in our backyard.
He found me a new puppy the year after my companion died even though I said I wasn't ready for another dog, He knew Mason was the one I needed. ( He is my old black lab).
We have been through long separations due to military deployments and job changes.
He puts up with my crazy ideas (and I have lots of them!), although he has plenty of his own!
He bought me a camera and told me to live my dreams. He knew that being a full time wedding photographer was what I really wanted to do. He has supported me every step of the way of this crazy, amazing journey.
When I asked him what he liked most about our life and the last eight years he said, "US. I just like us". I get what he means by that because us encompasses everything about our life and sums it all up in that one simple word, us.
Our life, much like everyone else's, has had it's ups and downs. It is really no different than anyone else's. But the one constant is that we both know our love is real and here to stay. There is no insecurity, no questioning. Just a constant knowing that this is what God and the universe meant to be. That our stars aligned on that special day because our lives were meant to be lived together. I am so thankful for that day and for May 23, 2009 when we said our vows like so many of you have or are about to do.
My hope is that you all have a life long real love story that is unique and beautifully yours.