Our first anniversary we celebrated by taking the motorbike to Niagara Falls. I was 8.5 months pregnant. I was crazy! Our second anniversary, we celebrated with a delicious dinner, our almost one-year-old daughter was in attendance. Our third anniversary, we actually took two days away from the two kids we had and spent it at Niagara Falls, once again. Our fourth anniversary? No idea. After a few years, and several kids, our anniversary became somewhat of a normal day but with a special memory. We decided that this year that was not going to be the case; and thus came about this Whistling Gardens anniversary session.
To be honest, getting ready for this session was exhilarating, but also terrifying in a way. We’d never had an engagement session. We rarely had a photo taken of just the two of us, other than on our wedding day. When we decided that this was something we really wanted to do, it wasn’t hard to choose which photographer to use. Even though they use Canon and we’re Nikon-users (inside joke that only photographers will understand), I knew that Dylan and Sandra of Dylan and Sandra Photography would make our session everything I’d dreamed of. And they did not disappoint.
In the week since this session, I’ve had a lot of time to look at these pictures. I’ve thought about all the things that have changed since our wedding day. And I’ve been focusing more on all the good things that we share together. Our four children; from finding out that we were pregnant with each one to their deliveries, birthdays, going off to school, etc. Our inside jokes, and those of you who know my husband, Bertus, a little bit will understand that there are many. He’s got such a blunt attitude when it comes to saying the funniest thing at the most appropriate time, and it’s just one of the things I love about him!
Oh, where to start… I have, from the moment we met, loved the fact that Bertus and I agree on everything important in our lives. From faith to food, we rarely have something that one of us is against, while the other is for it. Now, when it comes to child discipline, things can get a little more difficult, but we all know how good kids are at using the one parent against the other, am I right? I love his smile. I love the way his eyes crinkle now when he does it. They didn’t do that when we got married, but with age comes wisdom and wrinkles. And grey hair (see pictures below). I have to say it’s also something that’s grown on me!
I love how he loves our children. He reads ten (if not twenty) times more books to them than I do. He loves being a jungle gym. He often has much more patience than I do, a quality that he’s had to learn as a teacher. He loves with all his heart. He doesn’t get angry quickly. He is fair. He is the most wonderful man I could ever imagine myself married to.
What would Bertus say? He’d probably just start by saying something silly. Maybe how he loves that I’m so good at sleeping in lately (don’t blame me, I finally figured out my alarm on my new cell phone). But deep down, he loves my giving spirit, my inability to keep secrets, and above all, my cooking! He hates eating out at restaurants because the food at home is much better. But I love not having to do dishes once in a while. A few years ago we really started to enjoy sushi, and I’m going to make sure that I don’t learn to do that well at home. Because then we’d never eat out anymore!
Four children, a teaching career and a photography business makes for a busy life. There isn’t often much time left to spend doing something like what we are doing this year. But we realized that it is so important, especially when life is so busy, to focus on the victories. Whether it’s your first or 25th anniversary, take the time to really appreciate what you mean to each other. I’ve thought so much this last week about how far we’ve come in the last 10 years. From an unsure teenager (I was only 18 when I got married) to a mother of four who owns her own business, there have definitely been struggles. We’ve gotten through those, but only with God’s help.
And with God in mind, we humbly acknowledge Him for all the things we’ve received from His hand. From four healthy children (one of whom was an absolute miracle), to a home where we’ve made so many memories; we try not to take it for granted. Growing from that teenager who I used to be into the woman I am today has been a journey. And we decided that it was a journey worth celebrating.
So here we are, telling you that it’s okay to take joy in the little things and to celebrate the big things. Any way you want, to God’s honour. It’s something that I could never have imagined when we got married, but it’s where we are now. And we get to keep these memories forever, with no small thanks to all the vendors listed at the bottom of the post. This Whistling Gardens anniversary session would not have happened without your help, and we are so grateful!
Get to know more about our family HERE!
The Vendor Team
Photography: Dylan & Sandra Photography
Planner/Designer/Edits: Dianne Velthove Imagery
Venue: Whistling Gardens
Hair & Make-up: Teased Bridal
Necklace: Le Chateau
Dress: JJ’s House
Florals: Van R Florals