Back in February John had the honor of photographing his little sister Ruth’s wedding. It was beautiful.. in a little gazebo just off a gorgeous Florida beach..
I had the incredible joy and honor of standing next to Ruth as her bridesmaid, watching as she promised herself to the one she loved. I’ve always felt very protective of her, and it made me so happy, knowing the guy she was marrying, I could trust him to cherish her forever. Yes, I cried.
often our trips are best expressed through our iPhone photos.. the little moments and the little joys. so excuse the poor quality of some of these photos.. but i just couldn’t leave them out because they so perfectly expressed those moments.
house of joe. we found this coffee shop at the beginning of the trip and frequented it during the week. the owner is friends with our very own bald guy brew of blowing rock and goes snowboarding there, so it made a rather quick friendship. besides the coffee and smoothies were superb and the atmosphere wonderful, so who could blame us for going there every other day?
most of the days were overcast and a bit windy.. but gorgeous none the less. and hey, we didn’t have to worry about sunburns. i actually love the beach when it’s chilly and breezy. when there’s clouds and dark skies. it’s more wild somehow.
ruth’s 21st birthday actually fell on her wedding day, but they threw her a little party at the crab shack we went to a couple nights before. it was overlooking the bay and quite a charming little place with delicious food. she was pretty delighted when they brought her a chocolate brownie for her birthday.
i love storms on the beach. the incredible strength and power of it all makes one feel so small and awed. the howling wind, surging waves and lightning striking on the horizon is enough to make you realize this life isn’t all just about me.
during our spa themed bachlorette party for ruth, the guys went out and got sushi. mmm. look at that? so beautiful. yes i’m jealous.
and the wedding day dawned beautiful with our first real sunrise of the trip. for real. how special is that?
i have too much to say about her wedding.. so maybe i will just not say anything. it was beautiful. and i almost cried during the entire ceremony.
coffee shop again, yes!
goy and i had pinky promised to go and try to see the sea manatee while we were there. so the night after the wedding goy and daryl, andrea, rob, john and i went to this park that was supposedly the best place to sight them. we watched a beautiful sunset, laughed at the clumsy pelicans and admired dolphins lithely dipping in and out of the water around us, but no sea manatees. maybe next time..
afterwards we went to this delicious restaurant with the most curious of names.. “the yellow dog”. i admit we were turned off by the name at first as it revoked images of shaggy yellow dogs shaking off ocean water.. but we got over it and were delightfully surprised at the incredible dinner we ate. i can honestly say i had the best tilapia i’ve ever enjoyed in my entire life.
and with that, the beach trip came to a close. i was sorry to leave. i always am. the beach, as all wild places, is so refreshing, so healing, so rejuvenating. i never want to leave places like that. and for some reason God feels closer. i don’t know why.
we headed over to “the jungle” where john’s parents live to spend an evening with them before heading home. they work at a boy’s camp in the middle of a jungle, complete with alligators and wild pigs and all! it’s an incredible place.
i sat in front of the fire watching the sparks fly around and feeling the warmth against my face and pondered. how this was one of those moments where i realize life will be different from now on. not in a bad way, just different. change. letting go.
embracing the moments that i’m living. with the people i’m living them with. to never take those moments for granted. because they’re gone so quickly. there’s more beautiful moments around the corner, yes, but what of the moments i lived and did not enjoy? they are lost to me. so i resolve to enjoy ever moment. every person.
It makes you feel happy just watching them together. The type of love that goes between two people who truly mean the world to each other. The love that shows they like just being together. That type of love that makes you wish everyone could have.
Their wedding was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever witnessed. I’ve never felt such exuberance from a newly married couple as they left the altar, finally one. Yes, I cried.
The air was crisp and cool and the long warm rays of autumn sunshine kissed the day they said, I do. One year ago, October 16. To see a few more pictures from their wedding day click here. I hope your first year together was the best you’ve ever had, and the next year will be even more wonderful.