Our “Secret” Engagement!! | Post 1

this is such a weird post to be writing right now, mostly because know one even knows we’re ENGAGED yet! i can’t believe we didn’t tell anyone today, in a way it’s so romantic and exciting because it’s this little secret between us, but it’s also crazy hard not to get to talk about it with anyone!!! our goal is to keep it a secret until we get married, but we’ll see how long that lasts;) either way, we came up with this awesome idea of how to share our process and excitement with the world in real-time as it is happening by me writing this blog series… so here we go, the first one! i wanted to give a little backstory of the behind the scenes of our relationship. some of this may be a little raw to post on this public forum, but i wanted people to understand that this is more than a fairytale of happily ever after. this is a work in progress, a choice every single day, and real, mature love that i am forever grateful that i get to experience. i wanted to be extremely candid in this whole series so that it may act as an insight for those of you who may relate to any of this, so here we go:)

our relationship, like every relationship i am learning, has definitely had it’s ups and downs, and i’m sure that will continue for our whole life together. we have gone through some pretty rough patches that i’m honestly so thankful that we made it through, and everytime we have, we have come out stronger on the other side. ever since that day peter told me he was ‘falling in “like” with me’, he has told me that i was the girl he was going to marry. at that time, i didn’t even know if i believed in the concept of marriage (that might sound crazy coming from a wedding photographer, but being previously married and divorced at such a young age, i went through a phase where i was convinced that maybe marriage just wasn’t for me). we had been dating maybe 2 months when he came over after work one night, we were listening to music talking about our day and he told me a story about how he saw an elderly man and woman sitting on a bench outside his restaurant that night holding hands. he looked right at me and said all he could think was that we don’t ever have to get married if i don’t want to and that was okay, he just wanted to be old with me one day, holding hands on a bench, and he didn’t care about any of the other stuff as long as we were together. the conversation may have been short and seemingly insignificant, but as someone who had come out of a series of difficult relationships and a divorce it was the most romantic and inspiring thing anyone had ever said to me. all the pressure was gone and i remember in that moment thinking, maybe i am too focused on the idea of marriage and if it works or if it doesn’t, maybe i just need to focus on the relationship, that’s what really matters.

i’ll be honest, peter put up with a lot from me in that first year (and he had his moments too, of course;)). i was just getting my feet back on the ground, figuring out who i was again and somewhat re-inventing my entire life. i was lost and cautious of getting hurt and over-sensitive about almost everything. i had an idea in my head that things have to be perfect or they will never work.

peter has always said to me since the very first day, i’m not anyone you have ever met before so don’t think i will react the same as anyone else in any given situation. it was such an important lesson for me to not project previous relationship issues and insecurities on to him as if he would be the same as anyone else, and he has proven time and time again that he is own person and one of the most kind, caring, thoughtful and loving people i have ever met. we went through a year of ups and downs, and it was 6 months ago when we came to a cross road and i really wasn’t sure what was going to happen. i had got myself into a rut of thinking and had put up so many walls, i struggled with trusting someone with my heart and trusting him not to break it, which ended up with me keeping everything and everyone i cared about at a safe distance away in fear of getting hurt. it wasn’t until i left hawaii in the most uncertain state i had ever been in and went to canada to clear my head that i figured it out. my best friend jackie recommended that i read ‘daring greatly’ by brene brown and it turned my life around. i learned so much about myself and how i was hiding from vulnerability, and i’m so grateful to peter who was so open to conversation and understanding. he flew out to see me and stayed for the rest of the summer and my heart felt so much more open and our communication with eachother improved ten-fold. a few months passed and i woke up one morning feeling so much joy. he was laying there looking at me, softly brushing the hair out of my eyes as he so often does when i wake up and i felt so happy that i actually wanted to cry. i decided right there, in yet another seemingly small insignificant moment, that we were going to make this work, and that for the first time since my divorce, i wanted nothing more than to commit my life to him.

i’m really proud of how far i have come in the last 10 years. when i was younger i believed you could just float through life on a cloud of rainbows and nothing ever should go wrong, but i now know that things do go wrong, and that commitment means that when they do, you have to sit there and figure it out. it’s not saying ‘i love you and i will always love you’, it’s saying ‘i love you, and in the times where i feel like i don’t, i promise to stay, and i promise to do everything i can until we’re back in this place, slowly opening my eyes to you brushing the hair off my forehead as the room fills with morning light and being filled with so much happiness that i could cry. i promise to always work our way back here, no matter how hard it is, or how far away it seems. i promise to never let it go.’

fast forward to now, and of course we still have days where we drive eachother insane no matter what we do, nights where we say things we don’t mean and the odd hurt feelings, but we always work our way back. what an incredible gift. my mom told me a few months ago that the world puts so much pressure on ‘the checklist’, but in reality, if someone makes you happy, then nothing else matters. i love having her and my dad as such incredible examples of love. they make eachother laugh and smile all day long, sometimes it’s amazing that their cheeks don’t hurt at the end of the day, and that’s exactly how i feel when i am with peter. i have never felt more sure of anything, and as i read peters sweet words in the most beautiful journal that he gave me this morning, when i saw will you marry me at the end of it my heart could have almost exploded. OMG WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!

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**just to answer some of your questions and for clarification, we aren’t married yet and we have only been engaged for just over a week… turns out i just really suck at secrets, haha!! thanks for all the love everyone!! xox**

 

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My best moments of 2016

i’ve been so inspired to write lately but i never have any idea of what i want to write about. the end of december always gets me in a reflective mood, and as i see everyones #bestnine photo grids pop up on instagram and facebook i can’t help but try and think of what mine were. i have never believed in defining your “best nine” by which photographs got the most likes and comments on instgram, and as i am getting older i am realizing that sometimes the best and most impactful moments in my life are often the small and seemingly insignificant, perhaps photographs that didn’t even make it to instagram in the first place. i need to remember that a picture is only worth the truth it holds, pretty pictures are just pretty, but photographs that mean something are so much more powerful. so here it goes, my best 19 moments of 2016 (because let’s be real, i can’t narrow these down any more than that;))

in the mist of chaos i felt so much peace and happiness in that moment of just being still under the shade of a palm tree and not saying a word.bradyhouse media and meg courtney

when the weight was lifted off of my shoulders after facing my fears and i learned the true meaning of grace.

meg courtney wedding and elopement photographer on kauai hawaii

that moment i knew my mom could do it, and then she did.hanakapiai trail

my feet in the sand underneath a cotton candy sky and finding my first sunrise shell knowing it was a sign i was exactly where i was supposed to be.

sunrise shells on kauai hawaii

that spontaneous 8 hour detour through the rocky mountains filled with good music and better company.canadian rocky mountains icefield parkway

standing there i could feel the cold mist hit my skin in thick droplets. i closed my eyes and took in the sensation of the cold water covering my face, the sound of the falls hitting the ground and i was overwhelmed with gratitude that i was able to be standing there – and just like that, the shivers subsided, i exhaled and i realized that this was what it feels like to be fully present.skogafoss iceland

that silent moment away from the crowd where my head was filled with daydreams and my heart ached for kauai.vik, iceland self timerwhen i found strength in vulnerability and opened my heart.
bradyhouse media portrait photographymy entire family was packed into the car, and for a moment it felt like we were little again, 5 hours that flew by with hysterical laughing fits and good conversation with my 4 favorite people. my heart was filled with so much love i could have cried.

tofino, bc canada drone photography

sore cheeks from laughing so hard, this sunset boat cruise dance party with my family in bikini town

canadian girls on a boat on shuswap lake

when a gloomy day turned into magic because we decided to go anyways.full rainbow koke

a sky full of stars, music softly playing in the background and that late night conversation about life.night photography beach camping on kauai hawaii milky way

that time we got lost in the forest, in the dark, on one of the most epic enchanted elopements of all time. that moment we heard the car alarm go off and we knew we were going to make it.

kauai adventure elopement wedding. hike-in ceremony na pali coast

new friendships formed over yet another “best day ever”.meg courtney on the na pali coast kauaigaining a new appreciation for the place i grew up on a roadtrip with my sister. there was a very specific moment while we were driving that i felt so thankful for how close we have grown to be. im so grateful for her beautiful mind, humor and insight and i really cherished this time we got to spend together.banff national park canada in the fall roadtripthat time we watched the stars fade into sunrise on the top of mauna kea with the perfect soundtrack. it felt like it should have been straight out of a romantic movie.sunrise at mauna kea

the most romantic christmas, and that moment where my eyes welled with tears while we stood under the most magical rainbow that seemed to last forever.

wiamea canyon rainbowhappy new year friends! i have a feeling this next one is going to be the best one yet 😉

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