MN to CA to MN to CA. And now you can never leave.

Life has a funny way of coming full circle sometimes.

Four years ago two of my best friends (Annie & Jamie) lived with me. We were in our late 20’s and life was taking crazy turns for all three of us. Just before Christmas in 2013 we decided to walk down to O’Hara’s Pub at the Orange Circle and have a drink together. We knew we were coming up on big changes in our lives. Annie was heading out on her own music tour playing in cafe’s across the states and then would be moving home to Napa, and Jamie was about to move home to Minnesota to help take care of her Mother who was suffering from dementia. I don’t remember who’s idea it was but one of us decided we should go around our little circle and tell each other what we saw coming for each other that following year.

I remember us all feeling this sense of pride and excitement for one another and fear for ourselves. We all saw each other accomplishing great things, but naturally feared these big changes for ourselves. Well, I should rephrase this… THEY had big changes coming. The biggest change for me was that my best friends were moving away and I was going to live with a bunch of stinky boys for the first time since I lived at home with my own brothers. So I was just throwing myself a pitty party silently while trying to send them off with all of the hope and excitement I could. Although big changes were coming for me too that next year, I didn’t know it yet – but somehow those two did.

I remember telling Jamie I was afraid she’d never come back because she was going to go home to Minnesota and meet the love of her life and leave me forever. She laughed and told me that if it was true love, she’d bring him back with her. But deep down I just knew she was leaving me forever… I already had a love-hate relationship with this guy she hadn’t even met yet. I loved him because I knew he made her happy, but hated him because he’d keep her from coming back and going on 18 hour camping trips where we “borrow” wood from other campers, pitch our also borrowed tent by car headlights, and lay on the picnic table singing with Annie while she plays the ukulele with a glass of wine, and pack it all back in by 6am the next day so we can get back to work…. or from sitting around on our living room floor together with wine in hand laughing until we cried… or from making up new epic dance moves in places where no one else is dancing with wine in hand… Or having therapy sessions together while we drown our sorrows and broken hearts in wine….(is there a theme here?) Ultimately I was afraid for her and what she was about to face going home to take care of her Mom, but I also felt excitement because I knew she’d find the love she deserved when she went back. And she did.

Within the first three or four months that she was back in Minnesota I got the call…. “I met a guuuuyyyy!!!!” I squealed with 50% real excitement and 50% fake excitement masking my broken heart, and asked her for all the details while wiping a single tear from my eye realizing that I might as well quit photography and become a psychic because I CALLED IT. His name was Aaron, and he was tall and so handsome, and so funny, and they were already spending every single day together and they had JUST met. That was it. She was never coming back to California.

I was thankful for Aaron immediately though. Jamie needed his love and he came into her life during one of the hardest times. He was there for her when her mother passed, and as most of her friends were thousands of miles away Aaron was right there.

As the year progressed and the gushing over Aaron continued, if there had ever been a doubt in my mind about this guy I had met over FaceTime maybe once, and there wasn’t – but if there was, it would quickly have been diminished. They came to visit once, Annie had come down to visit, and we were all together again meeting the love of Jamie’s life. We immediately saw everything Jamie saw and loved him too. Shortly thereafter they were engaged and enjoyed a long engagement.

As if I didn’t already think Aaron was the greatest gift on earth ever given to Jamie… he continued to prove what a loyal and devoted man he was. They hopped in their car and drove all the way from Minnesota to California so that Jamie could come to my bachelorette party. He drove her all the way here and hung out by himself for the weekend while she enjoyed her friends. Then they drove all the way back to Minnesota and all the way down to South Carolina for my wedding.

Then it came…. the cherry on the icing on the cake that is Aaron. He told Jamie he was ready to move to California and I fell out of my chair. I was so excited. They packed themselves up and drove all the way to California to begin planting their roots just one month before their wedding.

These two have hearts and smiles as big as the sun. They love BIG. They give without hesitation. So when it came to the task of driving to Lake Havasu for their co-ed bachelorette/bachelor weekend, and then from Lake Havasu onto Cave Creek for their wedding where I would be their wedding photographer AND a bridesmaid…. I couldn’t get there fast enough. Their wedding was perfect. Take a look:

So now they are officially planted back in California. And I will squeeze them and love them and never let them go.


For more information on Orange County Wedding Photography or destination wedding photography please visit our website at and drop us a line!

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