Alex surprised Ryan with a photoshoot in California for their 9th year anniversary! Usually Ryan comes up with the anniversary plans but this year, Alex did the honors and did not disappoint...especially because they flew out from Arizona to celebrate without their two little ones (Thanks Mom!)
We announced on Facebook that Kelly and I will be moving in a few short weeks to become the College and Young Adults Pastors at The Church of Rocky Peak. We are so excited about this new chapter of our lives. Kelly and I have been praying for a full-time ministry position for quite some time now and an opportunity arose for him at his former home church in Chatsworth around where he grew up.
Working full-time at a church means less midweek flexibility so we were stoked when we found out that Kelly booked a DJ job in Kauai before his start date. AND I was able to join him! We extended our trip and experienced our first time in Hawaii together. Kauai is so gorgeous and lush. We are so thankful to have had the opportunity to enjoy paradise as a celebration of his new position!
4/4 Creative Marriage couple from the Great Love Getaway!! I am particularly excited about this one because not only are Gerard & Jessie a repeat CM couple, but they are also the reason why GLG even happened in the first place! The Peppers are our forever friends and we are so thankful to have been a part of such an epic trip. Here are some of my favorite photos from their session.
Midwest is truly the best. Everyone we meet from the midwest is always so cool and down to earth. It's no wonder that Grant & Jennifer would be no exception. They created an incredible product called Sacred Ordinary Days, a journal that walks you through finding the holy in the mundane. Um, yes. All about it! We hope that you enjoy the third out of four Great Love Getaway shoots!!
Remember the Great Love Getaway...that trip that consisted of three other couples that Kelly and I would not know and eventually have to vacation with? Well, Neil & Megan were the first couple we met upon our arrival to Puerto Vallarta and we fell in love. Neil is an engineer and Megan is a yoga instructor/doula-in-training. We clicked right away! They were also the first to volunteer for their Creative Marriage shoot slot and we had such a great time. Enjoy the first of four CM shoots from the Great Love Getaway!!
Although we focus on married couples, ever since we developed our "Creative Marriage" style, we've been getting a ton of engaged couples who want to shoot with us! We still shoot engagement shoots the traditional way on the beach, in fields and with natural light but we've loved exploring this new way of shooting couples and decided we would open our CM tribe to engaged couples as well! Jess is also a photographer and specifically requested to shoot the way we photography our married couples. Here are some of our faves from their session!
Kelly and I just arrived from back to back trips in paradise. We'll talk first about the first one in Puerto Vallarta for the Great Love Getaway with our favorite married couple Gerard & Jessie Pepper of popular podcast, Marriage is Funny. It's hard to believe that we have only been "married friends" ("married" because Jessie and I were insta-friends prior to including our spouses into the mix) for less than a year. Jessie and I already knew we liked each other but we did not foresee how much Gerard and Kelly would click. And click, they did. Before we knew it, the Peppers asked if we would be willing to go to Puerto Vallarta for their first Great Love Getaway, which is basically a vacation for married couples. Kelly and I glanced at each other, looked back at the Peppers and gave a synonymous "YES." The Peppers told us to think about it and we told them we didn't have to. One thing they didn't know about us at that point was how "down" we were for anything. When it involves the both of us, Kelly and I are a total "YES" couple. We say "YES" to anything fun or adventurous because we're just stoked we can do it together! We officially announced that we would be joining them on their podcast. You can listen to our guest episode HERE. The rest was history.
The Great Love Getaway was open to five couples, only one of which we knew -- Jessie & Gerard. That means we would be vacationing with four "stranger" couples. We had no idea what to expect but we knew that it would be a good time. We met with the first couple, Neil & Megan at the PV airport and connected immediately. Alright awesome, we can guarantee that three out of the couples are somewhat normal (including us haha). Upon our arrival at the house, we were greeted with the rest of the crew! Jessie & Gerard, of course, Sandon & Angela and Grant & Jennifer. Everyone seemed cool and I am so thankful to let you all know that they were beyond cool...they were AWESOME!!!
The house we stayed at was amazing. It had five rooms, a massive pool and overlooked the ocean. Plus we had our own house staff who were so kind to accommodate us overenthusiastic American tourists.
Not even 10 minutes passed when two massage therapists roll up to give free 10-minute massages. Kelly and I were the first to take them up on their offer.
My favorite part was the in-house staff that provided us with a homecooked meal EVERY day! I know. Sweet Lupita was a magician in the kitchen and I will forever be grateful to her for blessing her with her incredible dishes.
Each day consisted of breakfast, coffee chats, mad relaxing by the pool, some fun activity whether we were by the pool, at the beach, downing margaritas, eating the freshest guacamole, rummaging through stores downtown and watching street performers. The sunset at the end of the day didn't suck either.
We attempted to work out each day but that didn't happen (at least on my end). We did practice yoga on the patio the first morning but after late nights of food, margs and too much laughter, we were exhausted!
One day was dedicated to shooting Creative Marriage sessions for all the couples which was a complete blast. I can't wait to share with you the photos from all four!
Thank you to Gerard & Jessie for making this trip possible and to Grant, Jenn, Sandon, Angela, Neil & Megan for bringing the party to life!
PHOTOS + VIDEO BY KELLY
We love the Scottis. Coming from a rare combo of photography and ministry, the Scottis and us are cut from similar cloth. Daniel is the tech director at Saddleback Church and Lauren runs a successful photography company in Orange County. We had a great time photographing them in their home and getting a few tips and insights on how they keep their marriage fun and exciting!
ON BEING EACH OTHER'S TEAMMATE:
Daniel: We try our best to be patient with one another and most importantly champion each other on.
Lauren: Daniel always calls us a team. It's our business, our finances.
Daniel: Yeah, we try to be very intentional with our words. There's not mine or yours. No my money, your money, my car, your car. It's our money, our cars. Little things like that keep our values as a team in tact.
ON IMPROVING YOUR MARRIAGE:
Lauren: We read separate daily devotions.
Daniel: Yeah, we love "She Reads Truth" and "He Reads Truth."
Lauren: It doesn't necessarily apply directly to our marriage but when we are in the word, we are better parters.
Daniel: It's the same content just geared toward toward men and women separately. I think we also do a good job of getting away and doing 'staycations.' Rick Warren says that in order to prevent burnout: Divert daily, withdraw weekly, retreat monthly, getaway quarterly. We were inspired by the Dluxes (that would be us, Kelly & Michelle) to take a weekly sabbath. We make sure we have a day to each other once a week...not to get stuff done but simply enjoy one another.
ON WHAT YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE:
Daniel: I love Lauren's heart for others. She treats me, her friends and her clients with so much love.
Lauren: I love Daniel's kindheartedness. I have never met anyone who doesn't love Daniel and it's because he is such a kind soul. He is also very helpful. He never runs away from a problem. When I get stressed, he stays positive and helps me figure out how to solve the thing that is stressing me out.
ON DATE NIGHT:
Lauren: We basically like to eat food that we can't afford.
Daniel: Also, adventures!! Our last staycation was glamping in San Clemente state beach at a trailer park called The Holidays.
Daniel: We battle the phone attention issue so we have to be conscious when we use our phones around one another so the other person feels valued.
ON SLEEPING TOGETHER:
Lauren: We've never not gone to bed at the same time. It feels weird if we don't. I can probably count with my fingers how many times we didn't sleep at the same time in our four years of marriage.
Daniel: Also, we try to pray together every night.
ON SEPARATE SINKS:
Daniel: Have separate sinks
Lauren: No, have separate bathrooms...so you don't have to do your makeup while he's pooping.
A special Valentine's Day photography showcase of the beauty of what "Love Is" based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 featuring Creative Marriages.Read More