33 Years

This is my mother and father

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These photos were taken a few weeks ago on their 33rd wedding anniversary. I love how much my mom laughs at my dads terrible jokes!

         My parents met in High School, my dad was a paper boy and used to slip notes to my mom in with the news when he delivered to her house. She got near perfect grades through college, he worked 3 jobs and still went to college and after a few bumps in the road they were married. My brother and I came along after a while, and the once high school kids became my mom and dad. Growing up my dad taught me to never stop pursuing and sacrificing. My whole life I have seen my father lay down his own desires and even his own dreams to do what is best for God, my mom, my brother, and myself. My mother has been the most honest and loving critic I have ever had. Her love and desire to see me grow has pushed me to be better. Whether that was music, sports, photography, or school (took a lot of pushing in school), mom has always been there to help, motivate and encourage me. 

        Fast forward to October of 2013; I threw my parents a curve ball. My mother called me and asked if I was coming home for Christmas, I said yes, and that I was bringing a few friends along. A few really good friends of mine ended up not being able to fly home for Christmas, and needed a place to spend it! So I volunteered my family and I no idea how much we would all be blessed by each other.

       My parents took the Christmas bull by the horns, and made stockings for my friends. They even included them on our Christmas pajama tradition. We all put on a candle light christmas eve service, and we were so blessed by each others company. 

      After Christmas day, my friends and I were so thankful for my parents hospitality that we wanted to do something awesome in return. My parents anniversary is December 28th, so we decided to throw them a surprise dinner! We stared brainstorming, trying to figure out how we could pull it off. Thankfully all of my friends staying at my house are excellent in coincidentally perfect ways. 

First up Allie Anderson. Allie is a great friend of mine who happens to be an incredible chef.

Second John Dunfee. John transformed our living room into a candle-lit dinner for 2.

Third Mark Woodman, my brother arranged the flowers and helped keep the ruse alive. 

Fourth Madeleine Robertson. Madeleine is a professional photographer who helped me shoot photos (more on that in a minute)

Fifth Joe Greer. Joe put on a shirt and tie, and was the perfect waiter for the evening. 

Sixth is one of my best friends, Jared Whitney. Jared provided music for the evening, as well as logistical support. 

THE PLAN:

      A few days before their anniversary, I asked if my parents would be interested in going out and shooting some photos to celebrate their 33 years of marriage, and they agreed. The day before we bought food, and Allie prepared a menu. The day of the 28th, my parents (suspecting nothing) planned to go out to dinner after Madeleine and I took their photos. We went down to a river, laughed a lot, and shot photos:

     When we arrived home, The dinner Allie made was delicious, John's decorations were beautiful, as was Jared's piano skills. Joe served the meal and the reactions on my mom and dads' faces were priceless. There were tears (good ones) and lots of laughter. Operating on a 'new economy' is how Bob Goff puts it in Love Does. It makes sense to me to love people above and beyond what is expected.

Love you mom and dad! Thank you for all that you do. (I need to get better about saying that)