Oh. My heart is full of happy feelings as I write this post. Why? Well, Back in 2001, just after 9/11, I flew across the Atlantic and found myself living with a house full of Brits, and discovered that another American was coming soon. I was so excited, and hoping that the week delay for her would not discourage her from coming to do her DTS with us YWAMers (Youth with a Mission). The day of her arrival came, so we planned a party, baked some delicious goodies, and even made a “red carpet” out of red paper to welcome her, only to see that she was exhausted and practically ran over our carpet on her way to her room, all the while staring at us all like we had lost our minds. I don’t really remember what happened next, or even over the next few weeks… I just know she hated me. And I didn’t especially love her. She even had her family and friends back home praying about this awful girl she was living with! We finally had a talk where we got it all out there, and I remember that everything changed. I can’t imagine that year without her. In fact, I can’t imagine life without her. In truth, she’s one of my best friends in the whole world. When I have exciting things happen, I call Esther. When I am having hard times, I call Esther. She was my doula when Vaden was born, and flew all the way to see me several times. When she’s not off birthing babies in South Asia. Yes, she’s amazing. She is a midwife and a missionary and though she’s spent a lot of time all over the world, her heart is in Cambodia.
When Esther told me she’d met someone, I knew he had to be pretty amazing. You see, Esther didn’t date really. She was holding out for a guy she could actually see marrying. She had known Steven for a while, and they were good friends, fellow YWAM missionaries, and he’d taught her some dancing. (Steven is a dance instructor. And a budding photographer. And really, from what I gathered, he could probably do anything. He’s a missionary.) Anyway, after leaving YWAM’s main campus in Kona, Hawaii and being separated, Steven realized what a gem Esther was and wanted to have her all to himself. He was supposed to be in Switzerland for a while, but cut his time there in half in order to come back and plan a wedding.
So, on New Year’s Eve, we (Randy, Cana, and I– Vaden stayed with Mimi and Papi) flew out to Seattle, actually Puyallup, Esther’s hometown. The town full of people who knew that I was the awful girl she grew to love. And I got to meet Steven, and start to get to know him. I am grateful that he loves his bride with all his heart. There is no denying that these two are head over heels. I am so honored that I got to be there, and that we got to photograph the sweet beginnings of this sweet marriage.
To be honest, I am glad I am not a photographer in the Seattle area, at least in winter. The weather was not ideal for outside photos, but we managed to squeeze some in when the drizzle stopped for a few minutes. I am glad we did. I think Esther & Steven are, too.
To check out their slideshow, click HERE.
I love when the couple opts to see each other before the wedding. It’s such a sweet time to spend with just each other, and it’s always great to make sure you get awesome photos without feeling so rushed!