A Reflective Holiday

Photographs by  Anna Laero

Photographs by Anna Laero

Twelve years since we met. 
Nine years since we started dating.
Seven years since we went separate ways.
Four years since being reunited in love.
Three years since being engaged. 
Two years of marriage.
“It was, and always will be, you."

We are in a season of life that is full of content. While the world is pressuring us with questions of the next big thing, we are loving being right where we are. 

These years of artful living without children are so good. Being able to stop and love on each other, celebrating the life we are leading, is so precious to us. While we love the peace and serenity we are saturated in, we know this season won’t last long. We know we ultimately want our family to grow. But this place of peace in the present is something we don’t want to just pass through. We want to breathe it in, savor it. And pause long enough to truly celebrate the only time we will be childless newlyweds. So we asked our kind friend, Anna Laero to to enter into our sanctuary that we have created. We wanted photos to capture this season of in-betweens. Not quite newlyweds and not yet parents. The freedom and joy that lives in finding our art. Not longing for the next, but fully invested in the present. And through her work, we can have this time of life forever paused. And when better to capture memories being made than in one of our favorite seasons of all - Christmas.

The holidays are a time when the heart gets to slow down and be mindful of all the good around us. Although we may be physically busy with all our to do’s, our souls find rest in being surrounded by loved ones. Its so important for us to be able to care for one another through quality time we may not usually have, but also be intentional to have our home be a place of community and gathering. We come alive in getting to love on our people and make our home a safe place for anyone. It’s an unusual time where I can create for my people rather than just my client’s people. And it means a lot to me to have each detail something of meaning. 

From my grandmother’s silverware to heirloom recipes from generations ago, each piece presented had a story to offer. My family’s story, my husband’s family story, and our story. The linens were cut and sewn by us in preparation for this day. The table runner carefully scripted by hand sang of the holiday joy.

After scripting and rolling paper scrolls for each guest’s place setting, I took advantage of my wet nib and added few lines to a present I was working on for my husband. The end result would be my marriage vows to him, calligraphed and framed with pressed flowers from our wedding day. In the next room, serenading me while I work, Donovan filled the air with acoustic melodies.

“Our love will never fail because I will treat it like the God-given gift that it is. 
I am so thankful to God for giving me everything I ever dreamed of when giving me you.” 
I let the lines dry and the words linger in my heart.

We foraged for inspiring organic elements on the winter grounds. I clipped some greenery and laced it between the spokes of the old wagon wheel chandelier above the dining room table. Taking a clay pot and floral sponge, I designed a wild and nature inspired centerpiece that spoke of winter’s story. 

Adding in the yuletide details, I placed tiny sprigs of pine on each plate and topped it with the finished scrolls.

While I became captivated in the art of styling the table and eagerly anticipating what it could look like full of family and friends, Donovan lingered nearby, teasing for my attention and some time to sit together. After a few more details were cared for, I gave in to a few moments to breathe him in.

Twelve years,
nine years, 
seven years, 
four years, 
three years, 
two years, 

I want these little, between the “big things” moments to be moments that are savored. Pressed in time to be forever cherished. This moment is our present. This time is what matters. And until the next thing comes, I’m grateful to be right here.

A Reflective Holiday now on cottagehill.co15.jpg
A Reflective Holiday now on cottagehill.co1.jpg
A Reflective Holiday now on cottagehill.co2.jpg
A Reflective Holiday now on cottagehill.co4.jpg
A Reflective Holiday now on cottagehill.co5.jpg
A Reflective Holiday now on cottagehill.co8.jpg
A Reflective Holiday now on cottagehill.co3.jpg
A Reflective Holiday now on cottagehill.co6.jpg
A Reflective Holiday now on cottagehill.co11.jpg
A Reflective Holiday now on cottagehill.co10.jpg
A Reflective Holiday now on cottagehill.co9.jpg
A Reflective Holiday now on cottagehill.co20.jpg
A Reflective Holiday now on cottagehill.co17.jpg
A Reflective Holiday now on cottagehill.co16.jpg

Full Gallery of Images

Full Story Details

Wife, Calligraphy, Linens + Styling, Wood + Grace Husband, Guitarist, Donovan Photography + Styling by Anna Laero Photography Dishware from Leslie Freeman Pottery Ceramic accents from Latara Ceramics Farmhouse table by Humble Hands Woodworking Bakery, Mediterra Bakehouse