I tried so hard.

Yoga.
Hot yoga.
Red light therapy.
Counseling.
Volunteering.
Happy Lamps.
Salt Lamps.
Essential Oils.
Massage.
Chiropractic Care.
Traveling.
Meditation.
Infrared Sauna.
Eating clean.
A Million Different Supplements and Medications Taken Religiously.
Pursuing Community.
Reading.
Gratitude Journals.

I gave it my all. And it was never enough.
For 9 months out of the year here, I have battled for my very life. It turns out that when I can’t see the sky, my soul dies. And not in a way that produces fruit, but in a way that makes it difficult to keep living.

Which leads to this bittersweet announcement: later this summer, our family is moving to Raleigh, NC.
We are thrilled, excited, terrified, unsure and yet completely sure – all at once. We will miss friends and family with our everything – but I also know that to stay is a death sentence for me – no matter how much I love our people. (Trust me – I don’t say that lightly and I also have had the help of medical professionals and my closest people in this realization)

We will take your prayers, your virtual hugs, your information on Raleigh, your packing recommendations and prayers for our house to sell quickly here.
I am forever grateful for the people I’ve met here, and one day I’ll be grateful for the lessons I learned here…I just may need a month of blue skies first.

PS: For clients here in Grand Rapids – I will still be taking sessions while we’re still here. I’d suggest starting the conversation soon so we can get you on the schedule!
PPS: Live in or near Raleigh? I’d be FOREVER grateful if you’d say hi and if you might let friends and family know I’m headed your way. Starting over your business is challenging and those recommendations truly mean the WORLD.

Look at that courageous – empty girl.  She tried.  She gave her all.  Though I ache over these past two years – she survived.  And today – that’ll have to be enough…

There’s a heart drawn around his 6th grade yearbook picture.  Though life would take them down different roads for a season – her 6th grade self was right – he was the one.

Sometimes our hearts know their home long before our heads do.  And slowly – they realized that they were always and forever the one for each other.

When Ryan’s eyes locked with Alexa’s while the ocean brought wave after wave – we all knew: sometimes our 6th grade selves are wiser than we know.

Ryan and Alexa, I think the hardest part of compiling this post has been this: WORDS FALL SHORT.  I go to try and describe how grateful we are for you, how much we love you, how you two light up a room with your kindness and love…and it’s never enough.  There aren’t adequate words to describe our love for you.  I witnessed it all day as your family and friends gathered to celebrate.  We’re all transformed by your presence in our lives.  Knowing you has made us better.  And we’re forever grateful for it.

We love you to the moon and back.  And if y’all want to do a yearly reunion – just count us in anytime…

 

No wedding day is possible without an incredible team.  Here are the amazing vendors who helped celebrate Alexa and Ryan:

Wedding Dress: Lazaro
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Adrianna Papell
Bridal Makeup: David Frohmberg
Bride’s Hair: Marek
Videographer: I heart utopia films
 

 

You don’t know how much I love this family.  ALL THE MUCH.  And when her dad walked in and saw her in her wedding dress – they weren’t the only two with tears…

CANNOT EVEN….

Just so you know, the band Society Hill is AMAZING.  Times infinity…

Did this happen?  Oh yes it did.  Not once – but TWICE.

 

 

 

She walked down the aisle and called his name.

He turned, unable to utter words, but a smile that said more than words could ever capture.

He wrapped his arms around her and there, in this quiet moment, the world stopped.  There, at the altar, they prayed and thanked God for this day and this moment.

This sacred ground…

An hour after their vows had been exchanged and the church guests had left for the reception, I walked back to the nursery of the church and found the two of them.  I watched as they practiced their first dance in the midst of baby toys.  I lifted my camera to my eyes and tears accompanied as I prayed that they would never forget this moment…twirling around the nursery room with clouds painted on the walls, laughing and grateful to have begun their life as husband and wife.  And there it was again: sacred ground.

Karalyne and Reed, your day and your love will forever be written on my heart.  Your friends…your family…your love and your humility will forever be a part of my life and I am better for it.  Thank you for giving us the privilege of documenting this day for you.  We love you…

 

When family formals leave you all misty-eyed…

Also – I am NEVER getting over this little flower girl…Grandma couldn’t make it – so they FaceTime’d her.  Once again – teary eyes…Let’s just pause and talk about their GORGEOUS RECEPTION.  SOOOOOOOO stunning…I’m not crying…you’re crying…Are there a million dancing pictures?  Yes…  Yes, there are.  Because I couldn’t resist.If you’d like to see more from their wedding, CLICK HERE to view their slide-show.

 

And here are some of the amazing vendors…

Dress Designer: Pronovias
Bridesmaid’s Dress Designer: Revelry

Sometimes, there are people who have the gift of making you feel home.  They create a space where you can immediately be known and loved.  And the Theobald’s are those people.

From watching their giggles when mom and dad got the chance to sneak up on them, to the moment when their middle man looked up at his mom and said, “Now I get to tell you something I like about you!  Mom, you’re BEAUTIFUL” – I just couldn’t thank God enough for them.

Thank you, Theobald family for braving the attack mode mosquitoes on the most imperfect of nights – all to make it stunning and sacred just because you were there.

And PS: if you haven’t connected with the ever so amazing Peg over on her blog, let me just go ahead and introduce you – CLICK HERE.  You’re going to love her.

 

To see more from our time together, just CLICK HERE to view their slideshow.

Laura and Mac – I remember the early days of parenthood.   The lack of sleep.  The overflowing diaper bag.   The entire encyclopedia of differing opinions on how to BEST raise your little one.  The joy of it all and the desire to JUST FREEZE TIME.  (After one really good night of sleep though…)

Just in case you were not aware – you are doing a BEAUTIFUL work.  You are LOVING your girl to the brim.  You SEE her.  For the joy that she is, hilarious facial expressions and all.  And you will keep SEEING her.  And reminding her all of her days of WHO she truly is.

That’s the work.  And you all are doing such a magnificent job.

Little Miss E…one day, you’ll be a grown woman.  You’ll hold these images, and you’ll know the full story: your parents loved you with their entire hearts.  They always have.  And they always will.

I’ll treasure our time together ALL MY DAYS, love.  Every last giggle.  Every last skeptical glance.  And every last moment where your heart filled with so much joy, your face couldn’t begin to hide it.

To see more from our time together, CLICK HERE to see their slide-show.

 

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