Mike & Nancy Wipf

I’m playing catch-up on the blog… There are changes coming to the blog soon (good changes) and so I’ve been focusing my attention on that in my spare time rather than actually taking the time to keep posting the photo sessions that I’ve been working on lately.

1J4P6161Meet Mike & Nancy and their five sweet children. I met up with them at a beautiful park in Pennsylvania for a late afternoon session in October. Enjoy the pictures!

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1J4P6606These boys kept the session lively and fun with all of their laughter and antics.

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Baby Mia

This was one of my favorite newborn sessions to date. Everything from the light, to a warm afternoon in October, to this little doll of a girl with her long lashes and delicate ways; it all worked together to make for a beautiful photoshoot… 1J4P8505

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Wedding Day: Johnny & Melissa

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Our story might be different then most people are used to. We met through an accidental friend request on Facebook!

On Tuesday morning July 23, 2013, I got this friend request from some guy I had never heard of. I noticed that we had a lot of mutual friends so I decided to message him and ask if I’d met him before. He said, “No, I’m sorry, somehow I mistakenly sent you a request.”

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We are both pretty outgoing so it didn’t take long for our facebook conversation to turn to our mutual interests; volleyball, family. Over the course of the next couple days we realized that we definitely want to meet sometime and hang out! We first met in Laurel, Maryland. Johnny was taking a family of Amish to Chincoteague Island and he invited me to come along to the beach. It was a fun day of hanging out and getting to know each other a little better.

There was something so different and special about this guy. He was four years younger and that made me feel a little hesitant. But we after that day, we both decided to pray about pursuing a deeper relationship. I went home and talked to my family about it and he did the same.

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Looking back, we can so clearly see God’s hand in how everything happened. Especially in how quickly our relationship progressed.

We started dating August 24, 2013- one short month after we met! Six amazing months later, February 14th, 2014, we were engaged! Then we set the date for the best day of our lives: September 20, 2014! God plans the best love stories if we let Him.

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Wedding Day: Michael & Celine

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046O7183Their Love Story: We met through a friend at a Korean restaurant called Peppero.  I was living in DC at the time, and my friend and I were on a roadtrip to Charlotte.  I was also checking out the area because I wanted to move down here for grad school.  I already have plans to move down during roadtrip, so I figured I keep in touch with some of the friends in Charlotte so I can get to know more friends once I move down — Mike was one of them.

It wasn’t love at first sight. Celine thought Mike was some immature adventure seeker because he was talking about skydiving all the time. Mike thought Celine just wasn’t his type.

Our attraction developed slowly over time.  Celine was first attracted to Mike because he was a very reliable, helpful friend in general.  She was able to see that he has a very kind, gentle, and a servant’s nature.  These are the traits that drew him to her.  Mike was attracted to Celine through all the conversations they shared, like the silly ones, personal ones, spiritual ones.

We started talking more and more online through chatting and a couple times on the phone.  Mike made the first move by telling Celine through texting that he has a crush on her.

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Why wait?

Why do I wait?
Till storms threaten and tempests rage,
till dilemmas pull me in all directions?
Till it feels like everything good is taken from me
and I’m stripped of what I knew and loved?
Why wait till my comforts are gone
and I’ve hit rock bottom,
and I’m broken and barely holding on?

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Why do I wait?
Till the end of the day
when tired eyes droop from a long day,
or till everything goes wrong in a day’s time
and then I finally remember to call on God for help?
Why wait till I fully understand Him
till I can grasp with my finite mind,
this infinite God?

Oh my soul, why do I wait?

Why do I wait to rely on Him
to fling myself into His strong arms,
to entrust to Him this life that I can’t handle on my own?
What holds me back from giving in to blind faith
to trust this God that I can’t see,
but Who sees and knows everything about me?
What hinders my ability to hear and to know,
that He is with me?

Oh my soul,
wait on God.

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But do not wait to go to God.
Go to Him daily. Hourly. Moment by moment.
Till I am full and overflowing with Him.
Till my life is so wrapped up in Who He is
that onlookers will only see Him when they look at me.
Wait on God, because in this waiting
you will learn His character. He is good.
Creation will blend with the Creator. He will call it “good.”

Here, you will find Him.

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This waiting is not restless, useless waiting.
It is useful. It is restful.
Because in choosing to trust, in giving in to faith,
in letting go and surrendering, you will discover His life.
Abundant. Free.
You will find absolute peace in something
so much bigger, so much better,
so much wiser than me.

This waiting does not wait to turn to God.
This waiting runs to God
because this waiting knows that without faith
it is impossible to please Him.
This waiting relishes the moment
and does not fret about the future- shaky though it be.
This waiting does not control- it frees.
This waiting has hope.

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“When I wait, You strengthen my heart.” Psalms 27:14

Jamaica

Two weeks ago, I joined a team of thirty people to help with a VBS in Jamaica. The trip was a week long… It wasn’t nearly long enough to take in everything about the culture, the people, the food and the countryside that I would’ve liked to, but it was just enough time for me to get a brief introduction into the Jamaican culture. Just long enough to miss it dreadfully when I landed back on American soil…

I was so excited about going. Initially, I didn’t think I could go because of work and a few other schedule conflicts, but those conflicts vanished one by one and I bought my ticket less than a month before we were scheduled to fly out. I was excited and confident about going up until my bags were packed and I was tossing and turning the night before I left. “I have no idea what I’m getting into, God…” Once again, I felt dread creep over me. This wasn’t the first time I’d signed up to do something so much bigger than what I could do on my own. I breathed a prayer to God about it and He calmed my fears. “Do not be afraid, I will be with you.” And He was. Every moment of the trip. When things were going fine, He was with me. And when things spun out of my control at the end and I ended up losing my passport. Even in the middle of that chaos, He was present with me. 

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Join me as I give you a little tour of the island… 

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|| Caribbean blue ||

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So long, Jamaica.  

George & Jenny {wedding}

1J4P0734I’ve known Jenny for more than half of my life. We went to the same church for several years and then after my brother died six years ago, we started corresponding… She had lost a brother too. Our Dads had also died within three weeks of each other, back when we were both just three years old. Needless to say, we have a lot in common.

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1J4P1204Three years ago, at a mutual friend’s wedding, she caught the eye of a fine young man from New York. 

George says, ”I immediately knew she was completely different from any other girl I had ever met… Not only was she the most uniquely beautiful redhead I had ever seen, but I could sense that there was so much depth to the person she was… Not to mention that we had that strong attraction and chemistry that I had only heard about in stories and often times I had made fun of, not believing it actually existed. But I knew right away I had it with this spunky redhead. :) I was completely smitten.”

Jenny says, “I was completely intrigued. Those serious big green eyes had me wondering, and wanting to find out what went on in that mind of his… They spoke volumes to me. He was so good at everything he did… Intimidating and yet so impressive. Not to mention we seemed to connect on every level when we talked. Conversation was easy and depth came naturally. I could tell he lived life with passion and pursued everything he did with his whole heart and mind. He had this way of making me completely lose myself when he came around. I started hopelessly falling…”

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They waited patiently for three years before the time came last summer when they could finally start dating.

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It hardly seemed believable when their wedding day arrived in the beginning of May. For so long, dating seemed impossible; much less getting married! Now here they were rehearsing lines to their vows and getting ready to promise their love to each other forever.

Dreams do come true.

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I was a part time bridesmaid and full time photographer. Honestly, it couldn’t have gone smoother than what it did. Jenny is a photographer, so I felt hugely honored to photograph her day.

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“Mr. George Rutler
…all those times thinking this day would never come.
You’ve defined true love to me. Never giving up, even at the impossible.
Protecting me,
being my best friend and a strong leader at the same time…
Loving me in a way I have never felt loved.
I am SO excited to spend the REST of my life with you.

Love, I promise to honor and respect you and to always value your opinion above my own.
To give you the best of myself and not take you for granted
To stand by you in the good times and the bad,
when we’re laughing or crying, whether with friends and family,
or when it’s just you and me.
I promise to keep myself open to you, to share my happiness with you,
and to trust you with my pain.
I promise to never leave you.
You’re home will be my home.
Your children will be my children.
Your God will be my God.
I vow to be your wife.
Your partner and best friend.
Your comfort
and your lover.
To live within the warmth of your heart and always call it home.

I love you darling.”

046O4896“My love, Jennifer Yoder…

I choose you for life. I want you to know that I love, cherish, and adore you more than words can express. I promise you my deepest love, my fullest devotion, and my tenderest care. Through the pressures of the present and the uncertainty of the future. I promise to be faithful to you. I promise to love you, to commit to you, and to support you. I promise to respect your unique talents and abilities. And to help you pursue your hopes and dreams. Babe, you have shown me what love feels like and You are everything I need. And everything I have ever dreamed of and more. At this moment I know all my prayers have been answered and all my dreams have come true. I praise God for you. For all of your love and friendship that I am so unworthy of. I promise to be here for you forever and always. I promise to always be there by your side when times are bad and to love you unconditionally no matter what. From this day forward babe, I will always be with you. To care for you, and to love you unconditionally. My arms will always be a shelter and home for you. Jen, I’ve been falling in love with you for three years now, and I can’t believe this is happening but I can finally call you mine…

Jennifer Yoder, You are my girl… And I’m smitten to the very core. I love you sweetheart.”046O4936 046O4957 046O4968 046O4978046O5002 046O5003 046O5004046O5019

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