64 years together. 61 years of marriage. 8 children. Still in love with each other just as much as the day they said "I do."
My grandma and grandpa somehow still manage to make living their vows as husband and wife after all these years.
After 61 years of marriage I would say my grandparents have lived through every bit of their wedding vows, especially in raising 8 children, 7 of them being girls! I can't even imagine what kind of trials they faced during the teenage years of their children! But here they are, all these years later, with 21 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren (and more to come!) still going strong. They've faced illnesses, cancer, loss of loved ones, and all the ups and downs life can throw at a couple. They have learned that life isn't always easy, but it is always worth it and there is always a purpose to every struggle in life. They have always been a wonderful example of Godly and Christian living and values, encouraging, loving, and guiding their entire family through all phases of life.
I think the most incredible thing that I was able to witness while photographing my grandparents, was the way my grandma lit up every time she looked at my grandpa and even more so when she gave him a kiss. She looked exactly like a young bride in love with her groom on their wedding day all over again, it was seriously the sweetest thing ever! I think it's safe to say that when a woman lights up like that after all those years, it really must be true love. I can only hope that I still gush over Brandon after 61 years of marriage that way!
We had a really great time wandering around the gardens for their photos. We had lots of breaks to rest and chat about the goings on of our lives. We also were able to enjoy the beauty of Keithan's Bluebird Gardens in their full and glorious Springtime bloom. One of the things that I always think of when it comes to my grandma is how much love and attention she always put into her gardens over the years. She passed this passion down to my mother, who passed it down to me. Being able to sit and watch the bees pollinate the lovely blooms was a so fitting for our time together.
While grandma was quite excited to have some fresh photos of her and grandpa, grandpa in typical guy fashion, was not as excited over the process. As with all my portrait sessions, I had to be a little extra creative in getting some genuine smiles out of him. His best smile came out when I asked him for his "just shot a big ole gobbler" smile. It seemed the most fitting since it was Spring turkey season too, and boy did he smile when I told him to think about that!
I'm so very thankful to my grandma and grandpa for putting up with me and allowing me to take some updated photos that focused on just the two of them. I think it's important to have photos in every stage of life, and not just some quick photos at someone's wedding or sitting around, but some real, beautiful, dedicated portraits together. Sometimes we forget about the love that started it all, and it's good to focus on that and remember that this whole family exists because two people fell in love and stayed in love for all these years.
Grandma and Grandpa, I'm so thankful you allowed me to capture these photos of the two of you. I know that these photos will hang on our walls and be treasured for years to come. You are both a most beautiful example of what life can look like when two people love the Lord and love each other with all their hearts, and I am thankful to have you as my grandparents.