Sparks Lake, Bend Couples session

Can we talk a little bit about marriage? Young couples, older couples … Whether you have been together for 1 year or 20. I recently read another blog post and the big discussion was “What Comes First? Your Children or Your Marriage” and that had me pause and really think … so here are my thoughts. (and then yes, there are some AMAZING pictures at the bottom)

I see a lot of families and I see a lot of couples in my work and I absolutely LOVE capturing special moments of connection. That little hand hold by mom & dad while they walk behind the kiddos, the little smirk a kiddo has when they are about to do something that maybe they shouldn’t, that look mom gives dad (or shall I say the Wife gives the Husband) when she sees him playing with their kids. There are so many tiny moments I see so much of and they bring me so much joy!

Now I will reverse those moments and tell you that I had my own photo session (maternity) done last Summer by a great friend and fellow photographer, Amanda Jae Photography. Now granted I had been a huge ball of emotions being pregnant but when I saw my images (which were everything I wanted and more!) and one in particular … I cried. What I saw was how I felt about my husband … PURE LOVE … we were so happy! But in the chaos of life, why don’t I get more of those moments? Sometimes it’s a couple of weeks in between us getting an actual hug that lasts longer than 2.1 seconds before a kiddo starts screaming or another one jumps on my leg. We are with our children a lot, as a parent should be, but we parent differently so that can cause a lot of friction between us and it does.

I have seen a trend though I don’t believe it is a new trend but I have friends and friends’ parents who after 5,10,20 years of marriage are calling it quits … 20 years and “they grew apart”. How!?!

I can tell you I get chills when I see this and I am so determined to not grow apart from my husband. I chased this guy all through elementary and middle school dreaming about the day we would be married and I will not be letting that go! We have to make intentional time to be together, the two of us doing what we like to do together and still learning new things about each other. We all continue to grow and change far in to adulthood and if you aren’t listening and paying attention to each other you will miss those changes.

If you put your kids 1st and above all else you will grow apart from your spouse or significant other. After 20 years of marriage, not only are these couples calling it quits, but they also have an empty home as their children that they have poured so much in to are off on their own. But you know what? My husband is going to be here far longer than my children will so I NEED to make intentional time for him, take random trips, have date nights, send kids to the grandparents so we can snuggle and watch an entire tv show or football game etc. We hold hands when we drive (until his hands make my hands sweaty … yuk), I wake up early on weekends to make his coffee … so many little things that are really BIG things for marriage and relationships.

Back to this photo blog though and one of the reasons this topic is on my mind. I had an absolutely beautiful session this week at Sparks Lake in Bend, OR. I drove 3.5 hours to shoot at this location and so did the couple. Justin and Mallory have a blended family with 4 kids but they only brought their youngest to the session… When they arrived they were like my husband and I would be … at each other over tiny things … “where are the babies shoes? I thought you had them? Why are you doing it that way? Grrr ...Grrr. Grrrr…. But you know what? When we started their session (the little 1 year old off on the side playing in dirt & sand) their eyes locked and magic happened …. Like really …. When you stop thinking about parenting, haha … and look at your spouse …. MAGIC! I wouldn’t talk about their situation if I didn’t know them well and if I wasn’t the same way and I am …. I love these two and you will see just how much they love each other also!