I definitely cried when Jen texted me asking if I’d take their pregnancy announcement photos. I’ve known these ladies as teachers, and then as friends, and in every stage of our friendship I have been genuinely moved by their love for each other.
These are two of the kindest, warmest, most courageous humans I know, and I am so excited they are going to be parents!! Here are a few snaps from our session in their front yard.
(They called the babe their “little dragon”!!)
They used a sign from their wedding for the announcing – because their last name is pronounced “cook” it sounds out like “cooking for two” – except now it will be three! And featured in these photos are their darling dogs, who are about to be big siblings.
I’ve known these two beauties for a long time – like, since the middle school blue-eyeshadow-to-my-eyebrows-phase long time. Thankfully, they’ve stuck around! We all met through a combination of school and youth group, and our lives have been these beautiful intersecting collisions ever since, not least of which was Sarah and I being classmates in seminary together.
Over the weekend, central North Carolina had our semi-annual snowpocalypse; despite it being a balmy 60 degrees on Christmas, temperatures plummeted into the teens and below, and the roads were slick with ice. Our road still hasn’t melted.
Four inches is hardly enough to compare with my first winter in Massachusetts; I remember the first significant snow fall being something close to four or five feet. And admittedly, it’s taken three winters away from New England for me to love the stuff again. But this time around, I couldn’t wait to strap on the dusty ski pants and venture out. Bonus: Sarah and Gabe wanted to do the same!
Thanks for playing in the snow with me, y’all! And for sticking around for so long.
I was sitting in an all-but-empty theatre when Ashley sent me a message asking if I’d be around the week of Christmas to take some pictures. I will! I replied, darting up a quick glance at the previews before the film started. And to my query “what kind of photoshoot are you thinking?” she replied, “Josh and I are going to the courthouse to get married!”
The phone all but fell out of my hands!
As it turns out, the courthouse would be closed the day before Christmas Eve, and so through a flurry of texts Ashley told me they had relocated to Duke Gardens. It was bright, and cold, and a gorgeous day to get married.
Ashley met me at my car, a little breathless from the walk and the excitement, and we trod over to a little stone-stepped spot overlooking the gardens where her parents, grandparents, colleague/officiant, and soon-to-be husband awaited. I couldn’t stop grinning. Everyone was so calm, so centered. Ashley told me they’d found a wonderful woman at Lowes Foods to do the boutonnière and bridal bouquet, and they’d had their rings engraved on Black Friday. I had never been surrounded by so many peaceful people on a wedding day, in that sparkling almost-Christmas sun.
After Nana helped affix the boutonnière, the ceremony began. John 15 was read and vows were made.
All was calm, all was bright.
Ashley’s parents signed the certificate and everyone posed for a few portraits. Then, Ashley and Josh and I took a little stroll about the gardens.
After we wrapped up the photo-taking, Ashley and Josh headed back to their car. They were heading home, for a wedding luncheon of her mother’s lasagna (a favorite) and to put on their coziest flannels.
What a perfect day.
I first met Brenna when I all but smashed into her our first few weeks of college; I went through a phase where I wore vintage green roller skates to all my classes.
Miraculously, Brenna still talked to me then, and still talks to me now some six years later! A few months after I met Brenna (thankfully having shedded the skates) we were like glue. She was, and remains, one of my best friends. I like to brag now that I was there when she and her fiancé, Colby, first laid eyes on each other, at an inter-college Christian pizza party. I knew he was a keeper when, several years later, he and I were enrolled in the same Feminist Theologies class.
Ah, true nerd love!
We had a blast taking some snaps around the more wooded parts of Durham!