Photographer, wife to my college sweetheart, mama of 3, sushi lover, ADVENTUROUS-HOMEBODY, and believer in unconditional love.

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Roger Williams Park: Erin and Chris 5 year Anniversary

Photography

The sunset shined perfectly through the beautiful trees at Roger Williams Park, where Erin + Chris decided to capture their little family in honor of 5 years of marriage. It was so sweet seeing them with their son Parker, as he is such a joy + gift to their lives.
Chris + Erin met in the fall of 2008 at Toah Nipi Christian Retreat Center for InterVarsity :). Erin was just a freshman in college, when she sat down next to Chris at a table by the fireplace in the dining hall. Chris happened to be a junior, so Erin in her head thought, “wow, he’s soooo mature and artsy.” She definitely learned in time that “artsy” was NOT the word to describe him, but  they had really rich spiritual conversations. The funny thing is, Chris does not even remember meeting her there at all (LOL).

One of their most embarrassing moments together was on their wedding day. Just minutes after they said their vows at their wedding, they walked away from the ceremony to a cliff where their photographer met them and while waiting for her, they BOTH had nose bleeds at the exact same time!! Erin NEVER gets nose bleeds + of course she was in a WHITE wedding gown. So Chris had a tissue scrunched up his nose from his suit pocket, and they had to SHARE IT! While sharing that tiny tissue and laughing their butts off, they looked over and saw the shocked face of a teenage boy who was mowing a neighborhood lawn next to the path. Poor kid! haha

On a lighter note, their favorite restaurant to go too on just an ordinary day is Mussel Mondays at Loie Fuller on the West Side ($5 for a bowl full of delicious mussels on frites!). Apsara on the south side is always great for any occasion, but for a fancy date they like to go to Oberlin in  downtown, PVD.

They expressed the toughest part about marriage is meeting each others expectations.  Both have them, and they have had to learn how to uncover the hidden entitlements and expectations they  have of one another. They then have to figure out what is reasonable and what must die to itself, and extend constant grace and forgiveness (which is the hard part).

They keep their love alive and fresh through lots of PRAYER. Even though that sounds so “Christian,” they have noticed that. the parts of their marriage that were stale and seemed dead, once they were given over to prayer, they came to life. And yes, that includes prayer for their sex life! They are very nostalgic and love looking back at old photos, and when they do that together they realize how far they’ve come and how much affection they have for one another.

“Destructive to marriage is the self-fulfillment ethic that assumes marriage and the family are primarily institutions of personal fulfillment, necessary for us to become “whole” and happy. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us to marry and that if we look closely enough we will find the right person. This moral assumption overlooks a crucial aspect to marriage. It fails to appreciate the fact that we always marry the wrong person. We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change. For marriage, being [the enormous thing it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary challenge of marriage is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.” + Stanley Hauerwas. This is their favorite quote that has inspired and helped their marriage tremendously. I found it very profound + so true.

Their biggest surprised about marriage was realizing the “bigness” of it. “The fact that you make those astounding vows when you’re still kind of infatuated with your person, and as that special season of new beginnings transitions into the every day normalcy, you start to realize “Wow, this is a forever commitment.” Other than my unconscious commitment to breathing in and out of my lungs, this commitment is the next one on my list of things I do every day. Every day I wake up next to Chris and commit to be his wife and to press into our marriage together. That’s insane,” Erin said. She also expressed how she didn’t realize on her wedding day, when she said those vows, how powerful, challenging and sanctifying it would be to wake up every.stinking.day and be commited to that one man.

For the soon-to-be married couple, this is for you to read! Erin + Chris wanted to advise you that, “your wedding day is a wonderful celebration of the MARRIAGE to come! And to please, please, invest significant time in your preparation for marriage. Hire a therapist, sit under the authority of a couple whose marriage you admire who have been married for a long time, take a course- anything! We prepare for marathons and speeches, please let’s prepare for such an important life decision as this. newly married couples: Grace, grace, grace. Grace upon you during this transition, grace for your new spouse, grace to enjoy this season, to put off certain responsibilities for a while, to focus on building a great foundation. Give yourself grace! Enjoy God’s grace. I heard it said that in Jewish culture they would send the newly married couple away from the community for a year to build their new relationship without distraction. Don’t spread yourself too thin and enjoy all of the new rhythms that are shaping your life together.”

Well I hope you had a laugh + gained some new insight + wisdom about marriage. I absolutely love the richness + authenticity of this couple. I guess that’s why we are friends 😉 Now you get to admire how stinkin’ adorable they are + how cute their blue-eyed little boy is!

Ugh, just look how precious!!

These two melted my heart!

This fam. 😍

Well, I felt it was only fitting to keep to the authentic, rawness of them sharing their love + marriage with us, than showing a beautiful little feeding time. Erin’s face while feeding Parker encapsulates her new life of motherhood perfectly.

So precious.

We made sure to have some time for just the two of them. Between their smiles + that sunset glow, my heart leaped. ✨

5 years, and so many more to come.

Now back to reality; a little one year old ready for some mommy + daddy time!

So sweet.

Ahhh! That face. He LOVED this.

Ow ow! Mamma + Daddy still got it. 😘

I LOVE this. Infatuated parents at its finest.

So beautiful.

Parker Corry, you are so loved. 💕

Erin + Chris, thank you soooo much for letting me capture your love! It meant so much to me to be apart of this season of life, but not just as your photographer, as a friend too. I know that we will forever be cheering each other on as we continue to learn how to live life authentically, in genuine love, + holy conviction. I adore you all so much + am so thankful to have you all in my family + my life!

Much joy,

Charity HOPE

P.S I had to add this funny pic that seemed like it came out of a movie. Chris running for dear life to save Parker from this solar eclipse! 😂

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  1. Sue says:

    Wow, Charity, these are so beautiful! But such great subjects! And your telling of their story is so compelling. Wonderful!

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