Not long after I got back from Italy…like…3 days later…I was whisked away to yet another time zone, but this time, I stayed on U.S. soil. The destination was my favorite favorite U.S. city (as of yet)… San Diego. (I was just about to use the nickname that good ol’ Ron Burgundy bestowed upon the city, but then I realized that could lead to some very odd hits from Google…)
Anywho I would live in Southern coastal California if it weren’t so darn cost-prohibitive for us folk who start our lives in the “cheap” Midwest. I have been there several times, the first time was when I was 12, and ever since, it has held a place in my heart. I mean, who could NOT love the flora, fauna and fabulousness that is the Golden State?
(These pics were taken when we stopped at La Jolla for breakfast. I adore La Jolla.
Now I’ve made even more memories in this gem of a city thanks to Kristin & Mike, who twisted my arm oh-so-not-hard to get me out to the West Coast. (I hade my trusty sidekick Courtney Tompson (from Moberly, Mo.) as my travel companion and shooting assistant, so a big thanks goes out to her!!!)
So how did I end up, a photographer from Kansas City, shooting a wedding in San Diego? Well, that’s easy. I was hired. San Diego-native Kristin contacted me last summer after having followed my photos for quite some time (she is a fellow MU grad, though our paths never had crossed in the Show-Me State.) Woot for social media bringing lovely coastal brides to Midwest photographers!!! She has been teaching science and health at an elementary school on Coronado Island for the past 2 years.
Between then and now, we’ve exchanged about 40 emails — so even though I’d never met her, I felt like I knew her. And because she apparently likes to type/write, I learned lots about her groom, too!
Mike is a gentleman with a penchant for saying heart-warming things that get an “Awwwww!” from anyone within earshot. He is originally from Maryland and currently is a Lt. Commander in the Navy, where he’s been serving for more than 10 years. Leadership comes naturally for him, having been the oldest of five children.
Online dating can be applauded one more time for bringing these two together. Kristin usually cringes at the cliché of “love at first sight”… but she admits there definitely was something beyond special when she met Mike at the ferry landing on Coronado Island and found herself enthralled in what would be the first of countless great conversations. The first few dates were followed by several get-togethers with Kristin’s family, and she says she knew he was the one after he fit so perfectly with the ones she loved the most.
Apparently, that feeling was requited. On Independence Day, about a year and a half after Kristin first knew Mike was different than any other guy she’s met, Mike carried the ring around in his pocket all day, waiting for that moment when his courage exceeded his excitement. That moment came as they were walking toward the waterfront to watch the firework display. After flattering Kristin with all the reasons he loves her (seriously, this is every girl’s dream to hear….) he got down on one knee. Kristin’s YES response was met with clapping from strangers who were watching it all go down. The rest is pretty much history!!! And one week after they were married, the two moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where—and warning, I really have no idea what this means–Mike will be qualifying on the P-3 Orion, in which he is a tactical coordinator. But Jax-ville will only be a temporary home–they are headed from there to a permanent honeymoon location–HAWAII!!! Sigh. Sigh. And one. More. Sigh.