Archive for August, 2012

August 26, 2012


August 27th, 2011 will always be one of the most memorable days of my life. I got to walk down the aisle of St. Xavier Church towards my best friend and partner for life. We were surrounded by our closest friends and family members, and everyone had such big smiles on their faces. I knew in my heart of hearts that we were right for each other, and that God had placed us on the paths He had in order for us to meet and become husband and wife.


Most people say that the first year of marriage is the most difficult. I am proud to say that we had a pretty smooth year! One would think that’d be a hard accomplishment, given that we were also adjusting to being new parents, living together, and sharing financial responsibilities for the first time. But life with you has proven to be the best journey I’ve ever been on.


We both adore Peyton, and work together to share parental responsibilities. I love that I am married to a man that takes such a hands-on approach to being a dad. During my dating years, I always told myself that one of the most important characteristics to look for was someone that would make a good father for my children. I figured that if he would treat his children with love and respect, he would do the same for me. I always knew you’d be a good dad, but even I was impressed when the time came and how you stepped up. It was comforting to walk down the aisle on my wedding day already KNOWING that you’d be a good dad. How many people get to say that?! I can’t believe that we will have been blessed with two children by the time we celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. While many people look at us like we’re nuts for having another so soon, I take comfort in knowing that we make such a great team. I know things will be very busy and challenging at times, but I also know how much more love will be poured into our hearts. I can’t wait to experience that with you! I am so excited to see you FINALLY become a “boy dad.” You have proven to be a great “girl dad” to Peyton, but I know how much you are dying to teach a son baseball, take him to Reds games, and be a male role model. While having a boy scares me a bit (HAHA!), I know he’s in good hands and you’ll make sure he learns all about sports, getting dirty, and everything else that little boys need to know. I can’t wait to meet him and see him in your arms!


Living with you has also been a fun journey. I know you thought I was crazy when I built my (now our) house, and I had to have everything match and coordinate “just right.” But now you appreciate my OCD and I (think!) you like how we have turned our house into a home. I am so excited to build our “forever home” on our lot in a few years, and all the memories that we’ll make there. But I will also be sad when we have to pull away from our current home for the final time. I remember how proud you were of me when I wanted to build this house by myself. You encouraged my independence, which not too many guys would’ve done! It would’ve been way easier for you if I would have just moved into your house, but you let me follow my dream. I remember picking out the kitchen floor, cabinets, and counter tops, and how I made you come with me to help. At first you said no, saying that it was my house and my decision. But then you saw how much I wanted it to eventually be “our” house, and you came along (even though I know decorating isn’t really your thing!). Of course I already had in mind what I wanted, but you gave me your seal of approval and made me feel better. Now we love our kitchen, and always talk about how we want to take many of its qualities and put them in the new house. This house will always be so special to me. It’s where we brought home Peyton (and will soon bring home #2), and where we began our married life together. It’s where we sat outside around the fire pit and talked late into the night about our hopes and dreams for the future. So in other words, I’m not ready to move yet, no matter how little storage space we have! 😉


I could not ask for a harder working husband. You have such a drive to be successful and provide for our family. Many might take that for granted, but not me. Your drive to succeed and help others is inspiring to me. I am so thankful that you understand my desire to want to stay home with Peyton more. You were nothing but supportive when I wanted to go part-time this school year, and caught my tears when it didn’t end up working out. You then went along with my crazy “Plan B” of having another baby and taking half the school year off to be with both kids! I KNOW not too many guys would’ve agreed to THAT! But you know how important being a mom is to me, and once again, you have allowed me to follow my dream of being home with the kids as much as I can. I know financially that’s a lot of stress and pressure to put on you to be the sole provider of our family while I am not working. I know things will probably be a little tight, but we’ll make it work. I’m thankful that you understand that money can be regained eventually, but memories cannot. I know our kids will be thankful for the time you are giving to us!


Jason, this year has been the best one of my life. Our dating years were great, too (obviously…or else we wouldn’t have gotten married!), but there is something extra special about being your wife and the mother of your children. I am so glad to have you alongside me through the good, the bad, and the average days of life. It meant so much to me to have you rub my back during my Grandpa’s funeral services this weekend when you knew I was upset, and talk to me about him. It’s little things like that that mean the world to me. I can only hope that one day Peyton will bring home a guy just like you. I really think that will be the case, since I picked someone just like MY Daddy-O! 🙂


I truly am the luckiest girl to get to spend the rest of my life with you. I am excited for the MANY more years of marriage we will celebrate down the road!

I love you, J!



I was going to put some pictures from our wedding up here, but I had too many favorites to choose from! So instead, I will share the link to some videos I made last year of our wedding pictures. The password is “Ruwe” for those of you who may not know my maiden name! Part One is of us getting ready, and Part Two is of the ceremony and reception. As always, I have to thank Annie and Toby Varland of Varland Photography for documenting the most important memories of our lives! If you ever need a wedding photographer, they are the cream of the crop as far as I’m concerned!

August 21, 2012

Let me start this off by saying how much I HATE goodbyes. I was the girl that cried every year as I drove away from OU, sad about leaving my roomies and friends. Death is the hardest goodbye there is, as it seems so final. The thought of never seeing someone again breaks my heart.

I have learned over the years that death is not something to be feared or mourned. With each family member that has passed away, I have gained a little more understanding about how GOOD death actually can be. While it stinks to be the ones left on Earth, our loved ones get to go to HEAVEN! So instead of looking at it as a negative, I have tried really hard to approach the death of loved ones as a celebration instead of a time to mourn. Reading the book Heaven is for Real really helped me wrap my brain more around this. I have always believed in Heaven, but hearing details about it from a child gave me even more faith that there is so much more to look forward to in the next life! If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend it! 🙂

My Grandpa Bob passed away around 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 21st. He had been suffering from a very aggressive form of Alzehimer’s. We knew he was rapidly going downhill mentally, but he had been relatively well physically. Recently he began refusing food and drink, and hospise came in to help make him comfortable. We knew it was a matter of time before he passed, since one can only survive for so long with no food or liquids. While I am so sad that he had to suffer in this way, it was nice that we had some warning to say our goodbyes. Two of his daughters that lived out of town were able to make it to Cincinnati to spend his last few days with him. My parents, Jason, Peyton, and I got to spend two evenings with him and watch him rest peacefully. And of course my Grandma could hold his hand, kiss him, and be with him before he left.

Enough about the typical sad stuff…on to the celebration! 🙂

My Grandpa and Grandma had four daughters, ten grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren (#9 on the way!). It always amazes me how two people in love can create such a large family and multiply that love! When we were younger, most everyone lived in or near Cincinnati, and we would get together often. Eventually my grandparents moved to Florida, and we enjoyed going down and visiting them there. They moved back to Cincinnati last summer, just in time for my wedding. When I did my dance with my dad, I also invited my mom to dance with her dad. I knew how much that would mean to her, but I had no idea he wouldn’t live to see my one year wedding anniversary (he was 6 days short!). I am SO glad I gave my mom that memory, and now we have wonderful pictures from that dance to look back on. That was the last time I remember him fully healthy, and is the way I choose to remember him. I’m sure he’s dancing away in Heaven! Well, probably not…he’s probably playing golf, eating pretzels, or taking a nap in a big lazy boy chair! 🙂

It also means the world to me that Peyton got to meet him. As most of you know, Peyton was the biggest and best surprise of our lives! 😉 I knew God had a reason for giving her to us when He did. I think part of the reason was so that she could meet her “GG Bob,” and that God knew she would help everyone through the tough times that were to come. My Grandpa truly lit up around Peyton. Even when his mind was going and he had a hard time remembering who people were, he would see her and smile. When my mom would visit him alone, he would often ask where the baby was (as she would visit most Friday’s while my mom babysat). And when he was in his final days, I got many phone calls requesting a Peyton visit. This time not so much for him, but for everyone else in his room. She sure knows how to provide comedic relief and get people’s minds off things! I am SO grateful God blessed Jason and I with Peyton early. He sure knew what He was doing!

Grandpa, I miss you so much already. I have missed you even before you were really gone. As sad as we are to see you go, we also rejoice in knowing you are in Heaven and restored to your happy, healthy self. No more suffering, no more confusion. We now have another wonderful angel to watch down on us, and I already feel your presence. I know you are probably hanging out with my Grandpa Vern and Grandma Ginny, because you always got along so well here on Earth. Give them a big hug for me! I also honestly believe that you will get to meet the lil’ boy growing in my belly before he decides to come and join us. We promise to continue to honor your legacy and grow our family!

And finally, I will always remember our little secret. I loved how you would pull me aside, ever since I was a little girl, and whisper in my ear, “Do you remember our little secret?” Of course it was that you loved me! I cracked up that you still did that even when I was a grown adult. That is such a special memory for me, one that I will always remember and cherish. Perhaps I need to tell my Daddy-O to start that with Peyton. I’m sure it will make her feel as special as it did me!

Have fun in Heaven, Grandpa, and we’ll see you when we get there!




Here are some family photo’s of the legacy my Grandpa built, my favorite pictures of him at our wedding, and a few of him and Peyton.

The above picture is my favorite, taken when we went to visit him on Christmas. <3

August 15, 2012

I was lucky enough to photograph Ava when she was a baby, and you can find some of her pictures in the baby section of my gallery! She has always been such a photogenic little girl, and I am so glad her mommy has let me watch this cutie grow up!

We took pictures for Ava’s 2nd birthday. We had fun walking around Pine Hill Park and coming up with silly ways to get her to smile. At one point I even had her pink tiara on! 😉 Ava LOVED seeing the ducks and geese in the lake. She had no fear, and would walk right up to them. Luckily, we all escaped unharmed! Finally, we had to get some shots of the birthday girl eating a cupcake from her party. I love how the blue icing looked on her face as she devoured it. Too cute, and perfect for a newly two-year-old!

Ragan, Steve, and Ava, thanks for coming to the park and playing around with me! What a cute little girl you two have on your hands! 🙂


August 15, 2012

Cute lil’ Owen was one of the MANY teacher babies that was born last summer with Peyton! I have loved getting to know his mama at school and beyond. While we wanted to make sure to get some one year photos of the birthday boy, we couldn’t leave out the rest of this beautiful family! We got some great shots of big sister, Campbell, and even some with everyone smiling and looking at the camera!

I LOVE the clothing choices Christine made for their session! Everyone coordinated so well, and the colors were super easy to “pop” in the pictures.

Thanks for having me to your house, Christine and Roger! You have such a sweet family, and it was my pleasure to do these pictures for you! 🙂


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