When I was planning on writing the blog post, I was hoping to just tell you how we got engaged, but now since it has almost been a year since we got married I think it might be better for you to meet the Killmers.

This is Andrew. My husband, and favorite person in the world. This is Chewie (our first born) attacking Andrew with kisses.

This is normally how we act when we are around each other. We are complete goof balls and I hope that never changes.

I cannot believe it has almost been 10 years since I met this guy. 10 years ago I was hanging out with my future husband, just casually, not having any idea what God had in store for us. To tell the short story, Andrew and I met when we were in high school. We were both going to Belize on a mission trip where we became fast friends. He ended up going to college in Boston, and I stayed down here, but we remained pretty close for the first two years of college. We would talk every night, and I would see him when he would come home, but we never talked about us as a couple, or dating, or anything romantic at all. We were simply friends, even though I know I liked him at some point, and Andrew tells me now he has pretty much liked me since day one (oh how timing is everything). Junior year of college is when we really began to lose touch, and life just continued on as he was teaching up North and I was starting my business and doing graphic design work down here in North Carolina. It wasn’t until almost a year after we graduated college that we both were invited to a mutual friend's wedding. I had no idea he was going to be there since he had been living in New York at the time and had just recently moved back down to the Triangle,  so when he came in I was so happily surprised. We ended up dancing the whole night, and I told him to call me so we could catch up. I ended up getting a text, call, and facebook message from him the next day (haha he gets slightly embarrassed by that) and we just went out to dinner to catch up.

It didn’t take long for us to realize, after we had started to officially date, that we were both all in. To simply put it, he stuck around through so much more than I ever thought he ever would. I have terrible anxiety, and when I would run into doubt in our relationship I would just blurt it out. I would carry my loaded “what ifs” and talk about every crazy scenario that my fears and worries would trick me into thinking. He would simply smile, take his time to answer all my questions, kiss me, and we would move on. I felt safe with him. He was confident in us and eased my panic so easily. I couldn’t believe the patience he had with me. I never thought someone could handle my flaws so beautifully, but he did, and did so often. And when he told me, he wanted to marry me, I couldn’t believe how easily I could answer yes. He first told me that he was "sold" about a year before we actually got engaged, so we still had our time to grow, ask questions, pray, and fall more in love, but both knew we were all in.

After being friends since high school and dating almost two years, when we got engaged, we were both very ready to be married. Being the planner I am, I thought it would be fun to make our engagement 15 months....worst idea ever. Sure it’s great for planning, but it was the longest year and a half I have ever had to wait. If you know me well, I was not gifted with patience and I was SO ready to marry my man. Then it finally came. September 17th, 2016, our wedding day. Or as I describe it, BEST. DAY. EVER. According to us it will be a day that will go down in history. More on that later, but seriously, it was great.

After the wedding was done, and we got back from our honeymoon, real life followed. It was so weird finally living in the same space and starting our new life together. It was hard. It was tricky. It was fun. It was a easy. It was all these things at once. Just like any average human, we had our good days and our bad days, but if I sit here right now and tell you the truth, marriage has been the biggest joy I have ever known. I have had my fair shares of anger and frustrations, but they are always easily forgotten with forgiveness, laughter, and more love. In our first year we have settled into our house, we took a financial class to get out of debt and officially will be by September (talk about adulting), we have traveled to new places together and apart, have figured out I will fall asleep instantly if Andrew wraps me in a blanket burrito, learned how to take care of our lawn, adopted our tripod dog Phoebe, been through countless Netflix shows, found we both really like cooking together, and so much more.

The biggest struggle we are working on constantly is our communication. Our communication about what is important to us, how we feel on certain subjects, and how we need to feel loved by the other person. We sometimes CRUSH IT, but other times we fall flat on our faces. Andrew and I have different vocabularies, so when we talk, some things get lost in translation. Then our expectations we have in our heads don’t match up with reality, which ends up leaving us frustrated. But we are growing in this, and learning to talk in ways so we understand how to set expectations correctly so neither one of us gets hurt. It’s a process, but we are learning, and we are getting better. Why am I telling you this, because we aren’t perfect.  My worst fear would be for you to think that we are. As much as I want to just celebrate the good times, I also want to reveal the not so great times as well. I want to be transparent in our growth, and celebrate our progress in hopes to encourage others that life and marriage aren't always perfect, and that’s OK. We both know we are in it for the long haul, and this journey so far has been my favorite adventure yet. I love Andrew more now than I did when we said our “I DOs” and I know with confidence he feels the same way.

As a photographer, I am always hoping that my clients will share the good, the bad, and the ugly with me. So when I stand with them on their wedding day I can capture the most precious moments of two people promising to work hard together andto stay together. For better and for worst, you know. It won’t be easy at times, but it is always worth fighting for! Andrew and I are going to continue to work on our short comings, and relax in the grace of it all. Thanks for letting us share our lives with you, I will forever be grateful for this journey.

Photos taken by our dear friend Jordan Maunder. All photos were taken before we had the Phoebster (our second dog), just to make that 100% clear!