August 9, 2012

It’s Worth It

We walked through the airport towing our bags behind us. I double check our boarding passes, and we started toward the security line for terminal A.

When we rounded the corner a couple stood off to the side, right in front of the criss-cross maze of plastic bins and metal detectors that would take them apart.

She buried her face in his chest, and she cried.

He cradled her head to his shoulder and brushed strands of hair away from her forehead. He whispered soothing words that only they could hear. She silently brought a hand to her mouth, and the tears came even harder.

When we walked past them into the first queue of the security line, he was rocking her quietly back & forth. And I reached out for Justin’s hand and gave it a squeeze.

It was clear that we were witnessing a goodbye. I didn’t know for what reason or for how long. But when we brushed by those two people, when we came into orbit of their little world for even just a couple seconds, my heart ached right along with them.

And I was reminded to be grateful.

Grateful that we get to go through the metal detectors together. Grateful that we get to eat bad airport food side by side. And grateful that wherever it is that we happen to have to go that day, I’m still always home.

The past few days we were in Chicago speaking on the Married Couple’s Panel at Skip’s Summer School. Alongside Bob & Dawn Davis , Vicki & Jed Taufer , and Kevin & Clare Kubota, we spoke for two hours about the challenges and rewards of building a life and a business side by side with your spouse. Which let’s face it….is not always easy. My favorite line of the day came from Vicki when she said, “It’s really hard when the shoulder you want to cry on is also the neck you want to wring.” Wives of the world, how TRUE is that?! It is true….it isn’t always easy.

But as we walked to our gate together….I was reminded yet again, that it is always worth it.

And this life that we lead it turns out, is a really, really lucky one.

**HUGE thanks to Genesis Photography for grabbing these shots of us during the panel!

Ok, whew. That was really heavy. Since it’s been a while since we’ve had a contest, I say we have one to help lighten the mood! Just leave us a comment in the box below letting us know how your summer is going & one lucky winner will receive a $25 Starbucks card. And….GO!!

  1. Annika

    Well that post made me sentimental…in a good way. My summer is certainly going…quickly…but filled to the brim with traveling, making a difference and making memories. I’ve likely been away more than I’ve been home, but Europe for vacation and cancer research for a career make it worth it. Now I just need to squeeze in some time with my love because he’s what I’m most grateful for this summer.

  2. Abby Grace

    I’m hoping, praying that I get to have this kind of working relationship with my husband someday. I’m convinced he’s going to be a brilliant photographer, he just hasn’t realized it yet :). Oh, and my summer is going swimmingly! Thanks for asking!

  3. Kim Kruer

    L O V E D seeing you all at Skip’s Summer School 2012!

  4. Alicia Candelora

    I love the way Justin is ALWAYS looking at you. :) Not the fact that he’s always looking at you but the WAY he does it.

  5. Katelyn James

    gosh I would have loved to have been there for that conference!!

  6. Elizabeth (Beth) Kaye

    I’m bawling. That was touching. Man, I love you guys. xo

  7. Kate

    Oh my goodness, had I seen that actually happen I’m pretty sure I would have burst into tears!

    My summer has been great so far– lots of sun, very warm, lots of great weddings– I’m loving it!

  8. Tricia

    I probably would have cried too seeing that, because I am that girl. Lol. But now I think you should try to see a welcome back, maybe some military coming home from leave. We saw one coming back from Hawaii and it was awesome ( and I cried then too). My summer is going great as a newlywed! :)

  9. KTUN

    you guys are so cute together! i’m so happy your marriage is so strong behind your business! and my summer is pretty fabulous I must say, although I endured one of those holding-back-the-tears-because-I-don’t-know-when-we’ll-see-each-other-again goodbyes yesterday. that was stinky.

  10. Paul

    It is so beautiful to see you two together! I wish I could work with my best friend. But he is a national trainer and he helps make our awesome lives possible. He flies off to the corners of the U.S. and I get to stay home and edit 37 events! LOL I love that you get to be together!

  11. Spring McKenney

    BEST SUMMER EVER. The perfect wedding and a honeymoon in Scotland! Good timing my dear as my Starbucks gold card is dangerously low ;) ;)

  12. Cristal Veronica

    Beautifully written… I wasn’t even there & I’m tearing up. I feel incredibly blessed to have found the one I am going to share my life with. That said, our summer is going by too fast, but I’m grateful for each & every day.

  13. Naomi Elle

    my summer is aahhhmazing! just celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary. :D can’t get much better than that! ;)

  14. Rebekah Hoyt

    I wish I could’ve heard this conference – such wonderful insight! After recovering from a hard drive failure, I’m getting back into the swing of things today :)

  15. Lauren Wakefield

    Ugh…I hate goodbyes. But I love that you and Justin get to do this together. :)

  16. Lisa

    Way to get me all teary-eyed at work! What a sweet, personal, touching moment you were witness to.
    My summer is going really well here! I’ve had a lot of new opportunities for pictures, and it hasn’t been too hot! Thank goodness – I hate the heat! :)

  17. Ashley Scobey

    This was EXACTLY what I needed to read today! We are so incredibly lucky. Thank you for the reminder. xoxo – Ash

  18. Michelle

    My summer is going great and a Starbucks card from J&M would make it even better!

  19. Sarah Wamuhiu

    Having a great summer working with my hubby…how challenging and rewarding it can be. We are just getting geared up for our big wedding season here in Kenya!

  20. Meredith Harris

    Being a husband and wife team is definitely a wonderful challenge. My summer has been an unexpected journey, and you guys have been a part of it!

  21. Jessie Emeric

    We’re having a great summer with our family, but it’s Vegas and it’s HOT, so ready for the fall :)

  22. Tiffany Alexandria

    My summer has brought a new meaning to my life this time around. My dear and I (not married.. Yet!) have been blessed to be able to work together now for 1 full year. We are traveling to different cities and states filming weddings. In our young lives, this has brought so much joy that when I sit back and think, my heart can barely stand it. Needless to say, this summer journey has been beautiful! Thank you for the wonderful read!

  23. Tiffany Deming

    I can relate to the ‘shoulder vs. neck’ conundrum! This summer has been a challenge as we have both made the leap to full time and are shooting more than we ever have…it’s been rewarding as we know we too are the lucky ones as we get to work together and chase this dream. Here’s to keeping the faith and taking time to recognize the moments that trigger those much needed reminders! oxo

  24. rich

    oh you know how to speak straight to our hearts! it’s such a blessing to work with our significant others =). our summer is going great! we’re super excited for our new hampshire wedding this weekend!

  25. Tiffany Alexandria

    My summer has brought a new meaning to my life this time around. My dear and I (not married.. Yet!) have been blessed to be able to work together now for 1 full year. We are traveling to different cities and states filming weddings. In our young lives, this has brought so much joy that when I sit back and think, my heart can barely stand it. Needless to say, this summer journey has been beautiful! Thank you for the wonderful read!

  26. Lindsey

    My summer has been a crazy whirlwind! I had two jam-packed months getting ready to move to Buenos Aires and BAM now I’m here! I totally get that story, I was that girl crying in the airport. I love and miss my family but I’m excited for the adventure I’m having!

  27. Jen Aray

    Justin SOOOO has googley eyes!! You both adore each other it love it!

  28. Emilia Jane

    Awww I am so happy you two get to do what you love together. Chasing dreams is so much more fun when you’re next to someone you love. Big hugs!!!

  29. Kari Jeanne

    Love this! I JUST wrote a post about how, since we move a lot, home for us is always where we are together. Thanks for the wonderful reminder today :) PS. Summer is crazy busy but so so good.

  30. Jil

    that last pic put a huge smile on my face. summer has been crazy, but good. got an offer from the big firm and can’t believe how quickly law school is flying by!

  31. Chantale

    It was SO awesome to see you again and to hear you speak at Skip’s Summer School. Always inspirational. ♥
    And thanks to Justin for helping me out with my camera issues! Big hugs to both of you! xoxo

  32. Evangeline

    First of all I just want to say how grateful I was of the whole Skip Summer School experience…from Skip to Melissa’s…and Scott (I cried) and with the couple’s panel. Never in my life did I feel like I fit right in until I went to SSS. To be honest, I was hesitant to attend the couple’s panel…being just a single photographer and all. But I learned so much from all of you and now I have a goal to reel in my husband in the business. I know we’re going to argue (more) and fight (even more) but I know it’ll help either solidify our marriage (or ruin it – worse case). Either way I knew that I tried and that’s what is important right? And that’s what summer has been for me…trials and errors…heartaches and laughter…and in a few days a major anxiety as my soontobe 4 year old start pre-school. I dont know what the future lies for me, my marriage, my husband and with my child but I do now that I’ll always cherish this summer because of all the trials and tribulations I went through. Anyway, to end, I just want to say cherish each other (even more) because though I know you two argue…you also make up like its no one else’s business ;)

  33. Jessica Frey

    Hey guys! Well, it’s 108 in Bakersfield today! Summer has been fantastic and full of adventures and travels with brides in Northern CA, Texas and a trip up to Alaska to see some epic whale watching and lumberjacks! Safe travels home – great post :)

  34. Kasey Loftin

    My summer is going awesome. I attended your Lighting Intensive workshop and in the past couple of weeks purchased the remainder of what is needed for my one light setup! I even practiced the other night while it’s still fresh. As of this week I’m 32 weeks pregnant (which doesn’t stop me from enjoying Venti Mocha Light Frappachinos on hot days) and today I put in my official resignation to my day job to do photography full time after the arrival of Little Loftin. It’s a great summer …er year for that matter.

  35. Elizabeth Langford

    Your post today was a great reminder to to stop and have true gratitude for the little things… like not having to say goodbye. Today I am grateful for a wonderful summer spent with family and friends… and at the risk of sounding a little stalker-ish I’m super excited and grateful that you’ll be at t the P31 Conference in October!

  36. Emily Crall

    First off, I can’t even believe summer is almost over! Secondly, unrelated to photography, my husband and I have taken up bicycling and tennis…so it’s been a really fun, sweaty summer outside!! :)

  37. Kaitlyn Smith

    OK, so this made me start sobbing at work. Beautiful.

  38. Everardo Keeme

    Thank you two for coming out to speak, it was a pleasure listening to you two and chatting with Justin. I still keep thinking how much better life is with exclamation marks!!! :)

  39. Carly

    This summer has been nuts – my husband and I own our studio together (he does the business side of things) and we also have 2 kids. But everything has been turned upside down – he took a job out of state for the summer so I’m here juggling kids and work and just trying to make it all work! It’s been crazy but honestly, very good and fun. And exhausting… hello Starbucks, I think I need you… ;)

  40. Caitlin

    Summer has certainly flown by! But I’m excited to extend beach season a bit more this year with trips in September and October.

  41. Marcie S.

    My summer has been hectic, but wonderful except for the fact that I couldn’t make it to Skip’s Summer School this year (went last year & LOVED it!) Sorry to have missed you!

  42. Lani

    I always love your "inside peeks" at life! I’ve been enjoying more summer advantages at home like the market and the lake. I’m realizing that sometimes adventure is right out your back door and we go across the world to find it!

  43. Tira J

    My summer has been great! Ya know, having great sessions with amazing clients, heat and earthquakes! xoxo

  44. natalie mcnichols

    My summer has been yucky and I’m sure my three little boys would agree. My husband broke his foot after dropping a manhole cover on it(long story) and needed surgery. While he was out of commission, I needed surgery to remove several large cysts in my abdomen. We haven’t been able to do anything fun this summer, and school starts in a week!

  45. Kerri Deatherage

    loved meeting you both this week at Skips- what a great surprise! It was wonderful to hear you BOTH speak as I am a huge fan. I introduced myself as the girl who also met her husband on Match, and Justin, you took a wonderful picture of our group with my cell phone. So thank you, for doing what you do and being who you are.

  46. Sydni Jackson

    my summer has been great! seems like it’s been going on for so long (which is how i like my summers..but it’s weird because we haven’t gone as many places as we usually do). i started a new job and i love it! and i’ve been to the pool a lot :)

  47. Justine Cirullo

    i love this! having a husband that is currently deployed, i know how important it is to be grateful for the moments we have together. your story of that sweet couple in the airport made me cry. but in a good way… i think. summer is good but October couldn’t get here soon enough. can’t wait for hubby to be home!

  48. Faye Bernoulli

    My husband and I shoot together, and we also use each other to sound off ideas about the business. And of course I want to wring his neck when he asks what I bought at Paper Source THIS time. ;) Summer is going fantastic! Hope to see you guys on the west coast soon!

  49. Joe Don Richardson

    Love the new hair do. Ok so I think it is after the four inches went goodbye but if not it doesn’t matter cause you’ll always look wonderful.

  50. Heather Holleger

    My summer has been CRAZY busy! Seems like you guys are crazy busy too! :) Thats SO fun that you get to travel all over with each other! Enjoy the rest of your summer! :)

  51. Jessica

    While my husband and I don’t work in the same career together we both work from home so establishing boundaries regarding what needs to be talked about immediately or what can wait until we get "home from work" is important. In other news our first summer in FL is going very well! We can’t wait to see you here in the Sunshine State.

  52. Jen Jar

    Awww you guys are so cute! I love those photos of you :) This summer has been absolutely crazy for me! Lots of amazing changes in my life and in my business…I feel SO lucky! I also just acquired two new kittens a few days ago…which brings my cat count to 3…I’m officially on my way to becoming a crazy cat lady ;)

  53. Jimmy Moncrief

    Summer has been great! My wife and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary in Bali!!!!

  54. Jimmy Moncrief

    Summer has been great! My wife and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary in Bali!!!!

  55. Karen Bonar

    Summer = drought. Trying not to look at my strawberry patch, overgrown with weeds, and instead look at our new son, who does something new every day! :)

  56. Grace

    This summer has been awesome. I’ve worked a lot in preparation for my first year of college…getting ready to spread my wings! I’ve also had the opportunity to capture some awesome memories with my camera and spend time with my family. Love life! :)

  57. Mia Bjerring

    This post made me cry! I could almost feel the emotions that couple were going through! You write so beautifully Mary, it was almost like I was there looking at this couple feeling their pain and that is what an amazing writer can do with words!

  58. Mark and Tiffani Dhooge

    Justin and Mary –

    Thank you so much for your inspiration and advice during Skip’s Summer School. It was such a pleasure to meet you – even during a moment. Thank you so much for the shout-out. When you roll through South Florida give us a call sometime – we would love to take you out for dinner somewhere in our backyard.

  59. Jamilla

    My summer has been going great, and the highlight was being a summer school and meeting you both. Beside that I am soaking up every minute with my kids before school goes back in session. They are having a blast.

  60. Ciiku


    Plus you guys are super cute!

  61. Becky

    Wow that brought back all the tearful goodbyes that went into my long distance relationship and especially the one before I went to Germany for a semester. I am so thankful that I get to be married to him now and take him with me =)

  62. Megan Lesley

    I once was this girl. I cried all the way through the international departures area and admitted to staff that I would be back in the country in 3 weeks. It was the holiday of a lifetime but I wish I had packed my boy in my suitcase!

  63. Christy Tyler

    SO – SO true!!! Love that quote too! haha I’m sure James would agree with it as well. :) Thanks for the reminder to be grateful!

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