Fourteen

Every year on this date, I have to take a deep breath. Because I cannot believe we’ve lived another, gloriously blessed–and altogether crazy–trip around the sun together. It seems like it’s only been minutes. And yet, it seems so very full. If that makes sense. And each year seems to fill up with more adventures, and yet pass by so much faster than the last. If that’s even possible.

All I know is that with every passing year, I find myself falling deeper in love with you than I’d felt before. And though I loved you with all my being 14 years ago, when we read our vows, I love you with an entirely different kind of love now. A love that only comes with time, with trials, endless joys, and lots of tribulations.

Last night, you and I ate at our favorite restaurant in Vail, with our biggest blessing to date: our 5 year old son, Eli. And we talked about all the hard times we’ve endured and the few valleys we’re still walking through today. During out conversations, I shared a story with you. About living through the hard times and not trying to hard to avoid it, so as not to also deny us inevitable joy. And I wanted you to know something…

I told you a story about a woman who’d lost her husband way too early in life, when his three children weren’t much older than Eli. I paraphrased from memory, but she’d been asked if, knowing what she knew now, in how difficult that time of his illness and death would be, and how difficult it’d be to raise their children alone, if she’d choose him again, knowing full well how very hard life was about to become and how much pain she’d have to walk through again. And her answer brought me to tears, because it wasn’t a simple “yes, I’d choose him again.” It was a resounding YES I’d choose him again, and then she elaborated in saying that even though she knew she’d have to relive debilitating pain in heartache and loss, if, given the chance to do it all over, she would choose him again and love him again, and then bury him again. And then, if given another chance, she would choose him and love him and bury him again and again and again, for no amount of pain & sorrow was worth denying her the joy she had with him and the children he gave her–no matter the size and physical strength of the pain she’d have to endure later. <3

When I’d heard her story, it took me awhile to catch my breath. And when I retold it to you, tiny tears ran down both our cheeks. For that story helped me vocalized something I hadn’t been able to put into words with us. And I haven’t even had to endure a fraction of her specific heartbreak and sorrow… But. Given the chance, knowing what I know now, I’d choose to relive every minute we’ve had to live together over and over again. And no matter how many things we’ve have to face and how much heartache and loss of our own we’ve endured, there has been immeasurable joy & love that covers it all like a blanket of snow.

So yes for me. Because though I have no idea what our future holds, I do know that no matter what, I’d choose you. Over and over. Times fourteen.

Happy Anniversary, my Love.  

Fourteen Von Eschen Family 094 resize

(more…)

Jessica + Keith | Featured on Brides

Her hand in his, he became her tomorrows. – a t t i cu s

Jessica + Keith | Featured on Brides HartiganWed ShannonVonEschen 012

This stunning, real Aspen wedding, was planned & flawlessly designed by Bluebird Productions in just three months! It was a dream to photograph, and their love story was as heart-stopping as it gets. With blue skies and purple mountains, dusty white Aspen trees, a long list of award-winning vendors, a couple who was madly in love, a wedding party that consisted of only tiny nieces & nephews, a sparkler exit, and the Bride’s stunning Inbal Dror Gown, this wedding…was sheer perfection.

Jessica + Keith | Featured on Brides HartiganWed ShannonVonEschen 004

Jessica + Keith | Featured on Brides HartiganWed ShannonVonEschen 003 1

Jessica + Keith | Featured on Brides HartiganWed ShannonVonEschen 002

Jessica + Keith | Featured on Brides HartiganWed ShannonVonEschen 006

(more…)

Emily + Patton | Featured in Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine

Montana is a treasure that money cannot buy.  / Let the rivers rest my soul underneath this great big sky. / And may the mountains be my headstone and in the meadows may I lie. / Bury me Montana when I die. – Mike Murray

For the rest of my days these words will resound within my heart. They were being sung in perfect harmony among the guitar strums of Mike Murray while skirts twirled, hands clapped, and hearts beat along in perfect rhythm. It was one of the most breathtakingly beautiful, genuine weddings I’ve ever witnessed. Truly. And I hid behind my camera as my eyes shed happy tears of gratefulness while the melody echoed throughout the walls of the prettiest, big red barn. Montana does this to me every time! Especially when I get to work with the most amazing couples and the endlessly talented Greenwood Events. It’s such a privilege to capture wedded love under this great Big Sky. And I’ll be forever humbled that one of my biggest dreams to date came true when this wedding graced the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings this Spring. If ever there was a love story I could re-live over and over again, the Penhallegon wedding–that was full of magic & true, authentic love–would be it. ♥

Emily + Patton | Featured in Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine PenhallegonWedding ShannonVonEschen 01

Emily + Patton | Featured in Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine PenhallegonWedding ShannonVonEschen 02

Emily + Patton | Featured in Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine PenhallegonWedding ShannonVonEschen 03

Emily + Patton | Featured in Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine PenhallegonWedding ShannonVonEschen 04

Emily + Patton | Featured in Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine PenhallegonWedding ShannonVonEschen 05

Emily + Patton | Featured in Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine PenhallegonWedding ShannonVonEschen 06

Emily + Patton | Featured in Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine PenhallegonWedding ShannonVonEschen 07

(more…)