15
15

I get paid to take wedding photos. The wedding day is where it’s at. Your dress, the cake, flowers, flowers everywhere. All of it points to that day. And I get it. Weddings are important. Your wedding day is a big deal. But can I be honest for a minute? My favorite weddings, my favorite couples, are the ones that understand that the wedding day is the beginning of the journey, not the destination.

Today my Bride and I have been married 15 years. We knew we didn’t have a fat clue what marriage was about when we got married, but man, looking back on it now. We really did NOT have a fat clue was marriage is about. :) For us, so much of staying married has been about navigating the changing seasons of life. So take a little trip with me if you will… and let’s see what the past 15 years has thrown at us. (To all you newlyweds out there, this could be you by the year 2032.)

2002: Finally. After 4 years of begging and trickery and shenanigans, I tricked Danielle in to marrying me.


2003: This moment perfectly captures what this year was about.
So many things:
1. We have a kid. (What up, Joseph?)
2. That is our $10 dollar Christmas tree that he pulled down on himself. (We could not afford the $25 one. We still own that tree.)
3. VCR!!

2004: This is when we officially became a family.  When we were photographed on a beach in khakis and white.

2005: Another kid. True story.  I was FURIOUS that Sara would not look at the camera.  I ended up photoshopping her face to make the picture good.  Ever since then, this has been our favorite photo from that day.

2006: Snake Attack Day.  We bonded as a family and it was the beginning of so many inside jokes that continue to this day.

2007: Well it’s been 2 years, so here comes another baby. (Hi, Luke.)

2008: This is when the things started to get easier for us. (How could more kids make life easier?)  Well it started with Danielle and I both learning to trust each other more and lean into each other’s strengths.  Little by little, we had been figuring out how to parent and be married and run a business.  These are the days of costumes and laughter and kids putting their shoes on the wrong feet.

2009: Introducing Eli (Left) Like clockwork. (Hello, vasectomy.)

2010: We finally started to travel a bit and see the states.  Our trip out to Atlanta was one of our favorite vacations ever.  Little by little we were building a family history and it was pretty great.

2011: When you have a house full of humans, life is not always tidy and full of vacations.  Sometimes it’s just day after day after day of endless people, talking and needing and crying and watching tv, while the couch cushions come off. With changes of clothes on the floor, and promotional wedding products leaning against the wall. (You really should go check out Angela & Spencer’s wedding.)

2012: 10 years. (Just getting started.)

2013: Our favorite thing about having a pile of kids is they have friends and that leads to more kids.  Having 10-13 kids over on any given day is not uncommon, and those days fill our hearts.  They are exhausting and draining. But even now as some of those kids are driving and working and “growing up”, we already miss the lightsaber battles and nerf gun fights, the water balloon contests, and messy games that we’ve had over the years.


2014: Enough is enough. Our house was a great starter house, but we needed more space. (1,500 sq ft. fills up fast.) Time to pack up and move. So we did. We packed it all up and put our house on the market and started looking. We found all kinds of houses. Big houses with pools. Bigger houses with creeks. Medium houses with upstairs and downstairs. Houses with a bedroom for each kid. The possibilities were endless. And through it all we learned something. We didn’t need a bigger house. We liked only having 10 years left on our note. We moved back into our house and have never looked back. (Best decision we have ever made, and I’ll gladly talk your ear off about it if you are interested.)

2015: We were chosen as Family of the Day at the Magic Kingdom.  Mickey asked up to help him open the park. (I may hold this day in higher regard than our wedding day.)

2016: My favorite part of our kids is watching them grow up.  Seeing their personalities evolve and their opinions form.  We have loved getting to show them how beautiful and sad and messy and hopeful the world is at times.  Trips to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, stories of refugees on YouTube, art galleries in Washington D.C.  Stretching their little minds has been the best part of parenting.

2017: Through all that chaos and life that you’ve just seen, think about this… Danielle has been homeschooling our kids.  Year after year after year after year after year after year with NO END IN SIGHT.  Seriously.  She’s got another TEN years to go before she is finished.  (And that’s assuming the 2009 procedure worked.)  Just like I’ve loved seeing my kids grow and stretch, my most favorite thing of all has been seeing my Bride grow and stretch over the years.

Weight, that sounds bad. Oh no… I mean… Anyway, you get the idea.

There is no way in the world back in 2002 I could have known who she was going to be today.

She gives when I think there is nothing in her left to give.
She teaches in a way that makes them curious to learn more.
She dreams big and pulls us all along for the ride.
She loves with a full heart that knows no limits.

I’m honored that she calls me her’s.
I’m amazed that she still chooses me.
I can’t imagine a better partner for this journey of marriage that we are on together.

Till death do us part.

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Charity Water | Mini Sessions
Charity Water | Mini Sessions

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The past 5 years our family has gone on mission/humanitarian trips overseas. The thing with going to these places is that you always go intending to help someone and the reality is that you come back changed. Little by little, year by year, OUR hearts have changed. They have grown more and more open towards others and specifically towards those less fortunate.

One of the things we decided to do this year was not spend money heading “over there” but instead look for ways to help right from where we are. We’ve found ways to serve, give, and grow our hearts without having to take a plane ride. One of the ways we are doing that this year is by partnering with Charity Water.

Charity Water is an AMAZING organization that just celebrated 10 years. Every single dollar you give goes towards clean water. Not one penny goes towards payroll, paying rent, maintaining a website, or donuts for their break room.

To understand just how important water is watch either of these videos.

If you have 2 minutes, watch this one.

If you have 20 minutes and a box of kleenex watch this one.

So today is my birthday and I am turning 39. And here is what I’m asking you to do:

I’m asking you to give.

It’s that simple. I’m asking you to give a one time donation of 39 bucks. (That’s like buying two Blu-rays.)

39 bucks gives someone clean drinking water for 1 year.

39 bucks give a woman her dignity back.

39 bucks gives a young boy a chance to go to school.

39 bucks gives a young girl her future.

All of these things and so much more happen when people have access to clean water.

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It literally takes less than a minute to go online and give.

I’m convinced every single person reading this has 39 bucks they can spare.

Maybe you wait another month on that grill you’ve been eyeing.

Maybe you don’t buy those “essential” oils.

Maybe you don’t go out to eat this week.

Maybe you dip into that wedding account.
(Trust me, you can’t buy anything wedding related for 39 bucks, you ain’t gonna miss it.)

Maybe you are a college kid and your parents gave you a credit card.
Use that bad boy without even asking!!!! (I’m looking at you Beckie.)

I’m daring you to give.

I’m daring you to change a life.

I’m daring you to do the one thing this week you can look back on and be absolutely sure it was the best thing you could have done with 39 bucks.

Go give. I dare you. https://donate.charitywater.org/alexm/best-birthday-ever

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Oh yeah… about those mini sessions…

Anyone who donates $150 bucks or more gets a mini session. You can’t beat that.
(Once you donate, send me a copy of your receipt and you’ll be signed up.)
Donate here: https://donate.charitywater.org/alexm/best-birthday-ever

You get amazing photos of you and your people…

5 people get clean water because you decided to get your picture taken.

Mini Session locations & dates:
Austin: October 8th
Dallas: October 15th
Tyler: October 16th

One more thing…
My beautiful bride has a birthday coming up 2 days from now. All of you people who are always telling me how amazing and how wonderful she is… this is your chance to let her know that… by donating 74 dollars.

Nothing would fill her heart more to see this campaign reach our goal of $5,000 bucks.

Give 39 bucks. Change a life. It’s that simple.

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danielle, jo, sara & i are going to belize. wanna help?
danielle, jo, sara & i are going to belize. wanna help?

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A few years ago I was able to go on my first mission trip to Haiti, the very next year I brought Jo along.  He was 10 at the time.  I loved seeing him connect with kids from the other side of the world and I love how he came home understanding that there is a bit more to life than video games and new Lego sets.  He’s since been to Haiti and Belize and this year Danielle and Sara are joining us on our trip to Belize!   We will be helping build a basketball court in a village as well as teaching vacation bible school during the week.

(This is the part where you come in.)

We are funding the trip ourselves and are still a bit short of the full amount. (Plane tickets are expensive yo!) So I thought, why not see if anyone out there is interested in contributing?!? As a little thank you for your gift, I’ll shoot a mini-session of your choice. Family, baby, maternity, senior, kittens? You pick it and I’ll shoot it. (These will take place in the East Texas area on selected dates.) I’m only offering 10 of these so get em’ while they last.

10 mini-sessions, $150 bucks each. All proceeds go to getting Danielle, Jo, Sara & I to Belize.

Two more things…

1. If you don’t need photos, but still want to donate. That’s allowed. (Email me here: alexmphotography@gmail.com)

2. If you don’t need photos, and don’t want to donate. That’s also allowed, passing this post along to others would be a HUGE help.

Ready… Go!

(Email me here: alexmphotography@gmail.com if you want to book a session.)

Here is a little video I put together from our trip last year.

And… if you still want more Belize goodness, you can click here to read about our trip from last year.

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Jo & I are going to Belize. Wanna Help?
Jo & I are going to Belize.  Wanna Help?

belize-mission-sessions-01

UPDATE: ALL THE MINI SESSION SPOTS ARE SOLD.
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO SPREAD THE WORD.

Last year my 11 year old Jo and I were able to take a mission trip to Haiti.  By the end of the 1st day Jo was hooked and could not wait to go back.  I loved seeing him connect with kids from the other side of the world and I love how he came home understanding that there is a bit more to life than video games and new Lego sets.  This year we are planning a trip to Belize.  We will be helping build a basketball court in a village as well as teaching vacation bible school during the week.  Jo loves basketball and playing with smaller kids so this will be right in his wheel house.

(This is the part where you come in.)

We are funding the trip ourselves and are still a bit short of the full amount. So I thought, why not see if anyone out there is interested in contributing?!? As a little thank you for your gift, I’ll come out and shoot a mini-session of your choice. Family, baby, maternity, senior, kittens? You pick it and I’ll shoot it. (These will take place in the East Texas area.) I’m only offering 10 of these so get em’ while they last.

10 mini-sessions, $150 bucks each. All proceeds go to getting Jo & I to Belize.

Two more things…

1. If you don’t need photos, but still want to donate. That’s allowed. (Email me here: alexmphotography@gmail.com)

2. If you don’t need photos, and don’t want to donate. That’s also allowed, passing this post along to others would be a HUGE help.

Ready… Go!

(Email me here: alexmphotography@gmail.com if you want to book a session.)

Here is a little video I put together from our trip last year.

 

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Tagged:  ,
Jo & I are going to Haiti. Wanna Help?
Jo & I are going to Haiti.  Wanna Help?

UPDATE: ALL THE MINI SESSION SPOTS ARE SOLD.
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO SPREAD THE WORD.

Last year I had the honor of traveling to Haiti. It was an amazing trip and one that confirmed so much of what Danielle and I have been dreaming of since we were first married. It was my first overseas mission trip and I knew the minute I landed in Haiti that I needed to come back. Over and over. But coming back alone was not enough, I needed to bring my family along on the journey. This year we are hoping to take one step closer in that direction by having our 10 year old son join me on the trip. We are both super excited about the possibilities and can’t wait to see what God has in store for us.

(This is the part where you come in.)

We are funding the trip ourselves and are still a bit short of the full amount. So I thought, why not see if anyone out there is interested in contributing?!? As a little thank you for your gift, I’ll come out and shoot a mini-session of your choice. Family, baby, maternity, senior, kittens? You pick it and I’ll shoot it. I’m only offering 10 of these so get em’ while they last.

10 mini-sessions, $100 bucks each. All proceeds go to getting Jo & I to Haiti.

Two more things…

1. If you don’t need photos, but still want to donate. That’s allowed. (Email me here: alexmphotography@gmail.com)
2. If you don’t need photos, and don’t want to donate. That’s also allowed, passing this post along to others would be a HUGE help.

Ready… Go!

(Email me here: alexmphotography@gmail.com if you want to book a session.)
Here is a little video I put together from my trip last year.

If you wanna see photos from last year’s trip take a look here.

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