Jeff here – I’m hijacking the blog because today is Erin’s birthday, and I was thinking today about the first birthday that I got to celebrate with Erin, 8 years ago. After a lot of convincing and wooing on my part, we started dating and we were so new into our relationship that I was at one of those “what-am-I-supposed-to-get-for-her-birthday-to-not-seem-too-excited” phases. You know what I’m talking about. I was crazy for her (head-over-heels), but I didn’t want to let on because I thought I’d scare her away at any moment.
So what did I get her? A disposable Kodak camera.
Being a city boy, I was fascinated with the stories Erin would tell me of growing up in Idaho – riding her horse through the fields adjacent to her house, cutting down Christmas trees from her backyard, riding sheep (yes, seriously), and playing with her dog, Maggie. The country life she had growing up was something that intrigued me, and to this day when we’re on road trips I make Erin tell me stories of her growing up. So I thought what better way for me experience her life back home than to have her to tell me the story of Kimberly, Idaho, in 36 disposable frames or less.
This isn’t a post about me being proud of how far Erin has come with photography – this was, after all, about 2 years before she’d ever shoot a photograph on a SLR – but rather this is a post about how grateful I am for all the things that have helped shape Erin into the woman she is today. All those things she experienced in small-town Idaho from birth to age 18 shaped her foundation – a foundation that is solid, true and unwavering.
But it’s been that period from age 18, where Erin moved to San Diego for school and I got to spend that first California birthday with her, to today that I’m the most grateful for. In the years since then, Erin went through college and made some of the best friends in the world – women who would challenge her and help her to grow and become who she is today. She found her passion and began her career, and she became the amazing, thoughtful, caring, kind, funny, and adventurous woman she is today.
And the fact that I get to spend my life with her – celebrating her past and how it’s played into who she is now and will be in the future – is amazing to me. Year after year, we’ll get to celebrate birthday after birthday, and reflect on all the blessings that we get to experience because we’re together.
I love you today sweetie. More than yesterday, and not as much as tomorrow.