This wedding brings so many tears to my eyes for so many reasons. I have watched Sarah grow up in front of my camera since she was 16, and in a lot of ways it felt like watching my own little sister get married to the love of her life. This family has come to mean so much to Stephen and I over the years having photographed Sarah’s brother’s weddings as well, and family portraits in between. The most beautiful part of a job as a photographer is when clients become friends and even more so like family.
This wedding also brings tears to my eyes because this wedding closes out my career as a photographer. As I now focus on motherhood, this wedding was the last shoot I took on and moving forward I will be hanging up camera for good. But what a beautiful chapter and season it was in my life, and I will forever be grateful for the adventures and relationships it allowed me to create the past decade.
Sarah & Parker have one of those love stories that just makes you smile. From the time they met on a trampoline at 12 years old, their love for each other has endured through all the important milestones of growing up together. Though life sometimes took them down different paths, they always found their way back to each other, and they ultimately got their happily ever after. When you look at the way these two look at each other, you just feel their love and you can’t imagine their lives without one another.
Their wedding day was a such a joy to celebrate along their families as we all watched these two begin their forever. Here are some favorites from their day below!
And it was a pleasure to work alongside these amazing vendors:
I saved my favorite room for last in our farmhouse tour, and that is my daughter’s nursery.
Oh the long awaited nursery.
This nursery was prayed for for so many years through so many tears. In previous homes, I would literally sit in a ball curled up on the floor of the chosen empty room that I was believing God would one day turn into a nursery, and just cry out to Him to make me a mother. I remember sobbing such an ugly cry on various occasions because I never knew I could miss someone so much who I had never met. Through all our many moves over the years, we always had “that” room that would sit empty because He gave me a promise that it would one day be “her” room, and I was holding Him accountable to His promise.
So now, as I rock her each night in my arms, I look around this nursery giving so much thanks that He has fulfilled my heart’s desire as a mother, and made all my pink dreams come true with this nursery.
This sign that hangs above the rocker was one I bought in faith many years ago from Hobby Lobby.
My amazing Lifegroup girls created this darling custom sign for my sweet girl. I don’t know what I would have done without my prayer warriors standing by my side.
These roses. Oh these roses. The Mother’s Day before we decided to adopt, Stephen said he had a dream and in the dream, he saw Bara Faith and she told him to give me roses for Mother’s Day to let me know she was coming to us soon. So he did. And I cried. And I saved them to hang in her nursery one day as a constant reminder of dreams come true.
This armoire y’all is one of my favorite things in the nursery. It was part of a Disney Princess collection from RoomsToGo.
The day we found out she was a girl and that God kept His promise that He would create a baby girl for me.
A girl’s hairbow and shoe heaven. Bara Faith’s latest activity she loves is standing at her armoire rearranging her shoes. It’s the cutest thing ever.
I often joke, the bigger the bow, the closer to God. For this girl it’s true.
Do they make these in adult size?
A collection of other things I collected over the years. On the far right, the charcoal drawing was a beautiful gift a friend hand drew with a bible verse around a photo of the first time I held my daughter. Thank you Kristen Wheeler for your beautiful artistry and love.
This was the dress Bara Faith wore when we dedicated her to God 22 years later to the day of when I was baptized in the same church. A day that the church chose both times, not us. Only God could orchestrate that, I tell you what.
This chandelier was an antique piece that was left with the house. It was previously in another room, but I loved the vintage feel of it, and thought it would be the perfect mobile over her crib. haha!
Another handmade beautiful gift from another beautiful prayer warrior. Thank you Jamie Koluch for the love you poured into this. How much I treasure this bible verse.
I did lots of shopping in faith over the years. When God told me He would create a baby girl for me, I took it serious and stocked up on all the tutus I could find throughout my 5 year wait. (And I course died when I discovered shiplap waiting for me in the closet.)
Another treasure from one of my old rooms as a little girl.
Another beautiful gift from a beautiful friend. I thought this bible verse was appropriate in the closet that I shopped in faith for many years. I’ve seen this at Hobby Lobby.
From a little boy’s dream to a little girl’s one, what a transformation this girly room has become from what it once was with the previous owners. Here is the BEFORE photo.
One year ago today you surprised us with an early entrance into this world, and from day 1, you’ve shown me a fighting strength through your tiny 5 pounds 7 ounces that though she may be little, she is fierce.
As we celebrate your first year of life, we are so grateful that your story begins with choosing life. From the moment God created your life, He has loved you and He has set you apart so that you can fulfill His beautiful plans to be a world changer. In just one year your life story has already touched so many lives and made so many people cry tears of joy alongside us, and we are so grateful for the circle of love of people all over the world who celebrated with us your arrival into this world. Through their generosity helping us to fund your adoption, through home made gifts, through meals brought over, through breast milk donated by so many loving mommas, I am humbled by the amount of people who have loved you so fiercely through their acts of kindness.
You are everything I never knew I always wanted. Though you and I share differences, such as different blood, and how you so very vocal while I am so very quiet, I love that we can come together to learn from each other on this journey and allow our different gifts to complement each other’s strengths. And strength girl, you have that. You have such a determination and drive that shows me it will carry you far in life. You are going to be a leader not a follower, I just see it. When you pull yourself up to stand up, your proud smile radiates from your soul and shows me that you will never let anything stand in the way of accomplishing your dreams.
Sometimes you make an expression that reminds me of your beautiful birthmom, and though I wish it was reflecting my own expression, in those moments I’m reminded of how grateful I am that our Heavenly Father brought an angel into our lives to help heal my broken heart and allow me the honor of becoming a mother. Through tears in my eyes, I will always be grateful for not one, but two of that angel’s heartbeats who she has trusted me with to raise as my own, and both whom I have vowed to love with all my heart.
Bara Faith, you will always be my promised child. Your life story will always be a reflection of how our God loves to surprise us beyond our wildest imaginations. And just when all hope feels lost, just when we think He has forgotten us, just when we can’t imagine to wait any longer for our heart’s desires, your life reminds us all that He isn’t finished yet. Jesus always has one more move. And then sometimes another, as your younger brother’s life forming in the womb right now has shown us all. What a good good Father we serve. That is the foundation of what your life stands for. Carry that with you deep inside the core of your confidence as you grow older, because it’s a strength that will never let you down and it will carry you through the challenges you encounter.
A year ago today, I poured tears down my face the first time I saw you because I just couldn’t believe you were here after all these years of waiting. And now your giggles and smiles brings me so many tears of joy. As hard as the wait was, you were absolutely worth every second of the wait.
Never forget you are so deeply loved.
Happy Birthday my sweet girl! This is just the beginning….
A special thank you to Meredith Black for this joy filled Mommy & Me session. I am no longer taking on new photo shoots myself anymore as I prepare to welcome on Bara Faith’s baby brother soon, but I highly recommend you using Meredith Black for all your Jacksonville area family portraits.