Category: Life with J&M  |  View all recent posts

Mon. Oct 13, 2014 by Mary    Life with J&M

Our 7th Anniversary!!

Around this time seven years ago, I was getting my hair done when a bellman brought a grande Starbucks up to the suite where me & my (nine!) girls were getting ready. On the side, written in a familiar handwriting were the words "I love you a latte."

And right then, for the one millionth time, I was reminded of how I was- and continue to be- the luckiest girl on the planet.

See I started to type right there, "I was reminded of how I was making the best decision ever," but the truth is marrying Justin was never really a decision. At least no more than the earth decides to rotate around the sun or we decide to let gravity have a pull on us or two magnets decide to snap together with a force that makes it impossible to pull them apart.

The truth is, I was born to love this boy. As if it's coded in me, right down to my DNA.

Every part of me is happy just to be in his orbit. His is the kind of gravity that pulls you in and makes you feel rooted, but still lets you know what it is to fly. And the forces that snapped us together to begin with seven years ago, just get stronger over time. I'm pulled to him. Anchored to him, like a ship that's safe in the storm. And sometimes when we sit on the couch together and I press the side of my face against his, I get what the magnet was going through.

It's like you always want to know what it is to be just a little bit closer.

I know a love like ours is rare in this world. I get that. And I know that not everyone gets to have it. So that is why with every breath in me I am grateful. So, so, so grateful. And that makes me feel like the luckiest girl on the planet.

With all the gravity and orbiting and forces greater than us that entails.

Here's to the first seven of seventy.

Love you more,

**After seeing my friend Katelyn's anniversary recap for her & Michael (theirs was on 10-10), I thought it would be fun to go back through some of our favorite photos from our wedding day! Photo credit goes to our own wedding photographer David Jay, second shooter Becker, and our friend Amanda who also grabbed some fun shots!

Fri. Oct 10, 2014 by Mary    Life with J&M

Happy Birthday Justin!!!

Happy HAPPY birthday Justin!!!! You are the pumpkin to my spiced latte, the caramel to my apple, the color to my world. You are the tin man who stole my heart & October will always be the BEST month because it brought you to me. I can't wait to celebrate all day with you!

Love you more.

**Will you all join me in wishing Justin a VERY happy birthday!!! Leave him some love in the comments below!

Fri. Oct 3, 2014 by Mary    Life with J&M

Lights Will Guide You Home

We sat together in the close quarters of seats 25 A&B.

You had already put our bags up in the extra small overhead compartments, fighting them, willing them to fit in.

The seat belts were buckled. The tray tables were stored. The seat back was in its upright position.

I stared out a fishbowl window and took in the world outside. One more flight. One more 10,000 foot mountain in front of us to climb. We were world wearied. Suitcase fatigued. Unintentional gypsies facing one more flight delay. And more than ready to be home.

But as we taxied to the runway, you put the Bose headphones around my ears and pushed play.

An all orchestra rendition of "Lights Will Guide You Home" (You found it on iTunes, you've been obsessed ever since) washed over me in waves, and just like that all of the chaos disappeared. And rest filled the space in between.

The wheels lifted up just at the perfectly timed crescendo in the chorus (but you already knew that, you had planned it that way), as the pink and orange of a Chicago cotton candy sky rushed by us in parade. And just as we burst through the clouds to the golden sky on top, I couldn't help but smile at what had become the soundtrack to our lives.

I didn't need the lights to guide me, with you beside me... I was already home.

Fri. Aug 8, 2014 by Mary    Life with J&M

J&M Summer Bucket List Update

Happy Friday friends!

Can we just talk about how not only is it now August, but we're almost already 1/3 of the way through August at that! Whew! This summer sure has been flying by!

It makes me extra grateful that this year we decided to do our J&M Summer Bucket List to keep us accountable to actually having a summer for ourselves in the midst of busy season. It can be so tempting for photographers to just work, work, work their whole Summer & Fall away, and then we find ourselves in December wondering where the year went! This year we wanted to be more focused on making memories for us rather than just sitting behind a computer & I'm so glad we did!

Now that we're entering the home stretch of summer, we thought we should do an update on where we are on the list. So far, I'd say we're doing really good! We've gotten to do a TON of stuff, a lot of which we shared here on the blog like our trip to Maine, going to an O's game, sailing in Seattle, VooDoo Donuts in Portland, and our fun 4th of July. And then there were smaller adventures that didn't get a post of their own (but we posted over on Instagram), things like going to a speak easy while we were in Chicago, laying out on a blanket & reading books, going to our own beach by us, kayaking a bunch, and cooking while pretending we're gourmet! :)

Thus far, we've marked 15 official things off the list!! But there are still 22 more left! {Insert that bug eyed emoji guy right here! Eeee!}

The good news is that August is our most bucket list packed month yet with trips to Ocean City, Assateague Island, Nantucket, Buttonwood Farms and Rhode Island planned. So we already have it planned to mark off a bunch more of them. We may not end up getting to ALL of the things on the list and you know what...that's ok. Because just having the list & remembering to chase adventure was the prize in and of itself

But I sure do love marking off a you never know, we may just get to all of them yet!

Stay tuned!

*Go to Assateague Island & see the ponies
*Got to Ocean City, MD & eat blue crab
*Attend a clambake
*Go to a speakeasy & get a signature drink
*Go berry or peach picking
*Oysters at the Matunuck Oyster Bar & sit out on the deck
*drive around Charlestown & Misquamicut
*Movie or jazz on the green
*Project a movie in our backyard
*Go to a drive in
*Go to Voo Doo donuts in Portland
*Go sailing in Seattle
*Go wine tasting on Long Island (look for the Graysons :)
*Check out the Montauk lighthouse/ walk around Montauk
*Play bocce & badminton
*Go somewhere fun for the fireworks on the 4th
*Spend a day exploring Kennebunkport
*Lobster & popovers in Bar Harbor
*Brunch in Portland, ME
*Eat almond joy ice cream in Watch Hill
*Have dinner/drinks/go to an event at the Ocean House
*Go back to Nantucket
*Spend a few days on Martha's Vineyard
*Spend a few days on the beach in Stone Harbor or Ocean City, NJ
*Ride bikes at Hammonasset
*Kayak a few different fun places
*Grill out good food....act like we're gourmet! :)
*lay out on a blanket & read books
*spend a bunch of days at our own beach
*rent a house on a lake & take Cooper swimming
*Go to the Mystic aquarium
*Go see an O's game & walk around the Inner Harbor
*Justin to get a hot lather shave at the Quintessential Gentleman in B'more
*Go to lunch/dinner at the Golden Lamb Buttery farm
*Go to the Buttonwood sunflower fields in August
*Go to an amusement park
*Eat clam chowder on a rain day

**And a HUGE congrats to the winner of our "Wifey for Lifey" giveaway, Miss Erin Sennett!!! Just shoot us an email Erin & we'll get you all set up!

Fri. Aug 1, 2014 by Mary    Life with J&M

Our Germany Trip Part II: Vienna & Neuschwanstein Castle

Happy Friday!!

Today we have Part II of our Germany & Austria trip! After the tour ended, we said goodbye to Philipp, Jennifer & Conrad and rented a car to try out the adventure of driving ourselves around the German countryside. We decided to rent a zippy little BMW (because, when in Germany!) and I'm so glad we did because we needed something with some serious giddy up for driving on the Autobahn. And here we thought I-95 drivers went fast! :)

From Munich, we drove down to the very southern part of Germany to see the Neuschwanstein Castle. Now here's the crazy part about that! The summer after I finished college, I spent a year studying in England and traveling all around Europe. That year, I had a travel book of Europe with me that had this gorgeous castle on the cover & I always said it would be a DREAM to go there. But I never made it there during my study abroad. And I just never forgot about that always made me a little sad that I didn't make it happen to go see it. So when someone suggested we go see Neuschwanstein Castle while we were in Germany, I thought "oh cool, maybe it will be something like that castle on the book" ....but when we got there, it turned out it WAS that castle on the book. When we got back home, I dug through the boxes we have in the basement to find that old travel guide, and sure enough there it was! How crazy is that?!

So we obviously had an amazing time driving up and first seeing it on the hillside, then having lunch at the base of the mountain, and then going by horse-drawn carriage up to the top of it. They call this the "fairytale castle" and supposedly the castle at Disney World is based on it....I think you can see why! It was incredible! SO beautiful!

From there we made the what probably should have been a 6 hour, but we got there in 4 thanks to the Autobahn, drive to Vienna. One of our favorite things to do while traveling abroad is to watch the type sites for the city we're going to, to look for crazy good deals on nice hotels that we wouldn't otherwise want to spend the money to stay at! We found a pretty amazing one that allowed us to stay at the Ritz Carlton for what a normal hotel would be & it also included this sweet gourmet breakfast every morning! That is one of my favorite travel tips to tell people to do! You have to be willing to not know exactly where you're going to stay until the day before, but it just makes it that much sweeter when it turns out to be something like the Ritz! :)

I have to say, we absolutely fell in love with Vienna! I think it just might be the most underrated city in Europe! We joked that it was like Germany, Italy & France all had a baby and named it Vienna! It was clean & efficient like Germany, it had the architecture & beauty of Italy, and it had all of the amazing cafes & people watching of France. We LOVED it! We walked around to all the major landmarks like Hofburg Palace, Schonbrunn Palace (in Vienna, it was all about the palaces!), the City Hall, the Opera House, and all the cathedrals. We sat in cafes & sipped cafe melanges. We climbed to the very top of this HUGE church on stairs held up by nothing more than one inch scaffolding bars....which at the top about 100 feet up started SWAYING. And we survived. But maybe my FAVORITE part of Vienna was seeing the Austrian National Library. It is this insanely beautiful library with the rolling ladders and secret doorways. And the whole ceiling is painted with the prettiest frescoes I've ever seen so the whole room just lights up in color. The whole time we were there, I just kept thinking "is this REAL?!"

And that's pretty much a good way to sum up how we felt on this whole part of the trip! We couldn't believe we were lucky enough for it to be real!

Enjoy! And Happy Friday!

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