So…we have news. There feels like so much finality to it that I wanted to share the news in some big way but I don’t know how to do that so all I have is my words. Just a warning, it’s a lot of words. If you know me at all, I’m sure your not surprised.
Ryan and I decided to go on a little mini vacation for 2 days to Galveston this past week. It’s only a 5 hour drive from Cleburne so it was perfect. Even though it was only 2 days, we had such a great time together and had so many great conversations. If anything made me feel even more at peace about the changes that are happening, it was this trip. We were blissfully happy and relaxed together and I realized I needed more of that in my life.
Just to put some photos in this post since there are so many words, here are a few of our favorite iphone photos from the trip
I probably don’t need to go into great detail about the pat 6 years to close this chapter in our lives. Essentially, half of it was exciting, happy and full of love and the other half was heartbreaking and painful. We are starting a new chapter in our life, work and marriage so we are happy to let the painful parts go. :)
So before I get to my news, I want to close out this part of our life by talking about the big things we have gone through: marriage, ADD, GAUPERphoto and then to our future.
// MARRIAGE & ADD //
It’s a very unknown kind of pain to be losing your best friend. In my case, I’ve never had a best friend that wasn’t my mom so losing Ryan was never something I thought would happen… but then blamo, there it was, happening and theres nothing you can do to stop it.
However, looking back, I have realized how blessed we are to have gone through something so hard early on in our marriage and to say we survived. We are happier now than we were when we first started our relationship. Things are more honest and we know what failure feels like. In the process of rebuilding life after a couple really hard years, God made himself very clear to both of us. He was there and His timing was incredible. I remember my sister in law, Lacey, saying the timing of the events that took place Easter weekend of 2012 was proof God was real. We felt so hopeless one week prior to that but then something just clicked and Ryan drove all the way to Michigan from Texas on a whim and our lives changed that day.
Ryan has been working his tushy off to get his life back for the past year and it sure shows. After he made the choice to exercise regularly and clean up his diet A LOT he was able to get control over his brain again. I KNOW that the Adderall he was taking is the primary source of our problems in our marriage. I do not know if we would be together and happy right now if he would not have gotten off it it and cleaned up his body. It completely changed him.
I say this to caution other wives and mothers. You are the gatekeeper of things like this. People with ADD tendencies don’t exactly like to do research so it’s your job to protect them. Do the research, talk to people. There are so many ways to cope with this stuff naturally. Ryan is not ultra focused and endlessly motivated now that he is eating clean but you know what, he has control now. Ryan can focus because he CHOOSES to focus. He has control of his brain and is making better choices now because he is learning how to cope a little more every day. It will always be a struggle for him but intentionally fighting through struggles is what shapes us into great people.
Ryan has been on and off Ritalin and Adderall since he was 5 years old. It has done him no good. There is so much information out there now compared to 30 years ago so there is no reason to blindly accept the opinion of a teacher or one Doctor and then put your child on these incredibly harmful drugs. Ryan’s life has been made so much more difficult because of this. Being labeled as “ADD” as though thats a problem, being pumped full of drugs for all those years…none of this was helpful. If you want to chat with us, we would be more than happy to go into detail about what we’ve been through.
I feel incredibly passionate about this topic because it almost ruined our lives forever. I love Ryan just the way he is, that is who I married and almost lost because of this drug that seems harmless because it’s so common. Not figuring this out earlier is one of my biggest regrets in life. I failed to protect him because of my lack of knowledge.
In the end, we were lucky, if thats what you want to call it. I say it’s a miracle. It’s undeniable proof God wants us together and will do whatever it takes to ensure the longevity of our marriage.
// GAUPERphoto //
We started our photography business pretty much the weekend after we got back from our honeymoon in 2008. It was originally “Ryan Richard Photo”. Some of you may have been following us back then and stayed with us for the long haul. We applaud you for your loyalty :) Eventually we changed it to GAUPERphoto since I was just as involved in everything as Ryan. We were able to travel all over America, Hawaii and China. We have worked with so many amazing people and I’m so proud of every wedding, album and wall display of our work out there. We have given every ounce of our strength and creativity to this business and although it has been hard, we loved it. Every wedding was just as important as every other even when we were feeling burned out.
After 6 years, GAUPERphoto is changing. Change is hard sometimes but this is one big change that we are extremely excited about.
// THE FUTURE //
After moving to Texas 3 months ago, my heart was heavy over being so far from family and the thought of starting the business over again just felt like we were repeating old patterns. Ryan and I talked about it and just prayed about it for a while.
While we were separated, I got a job with Making the Moment as a freelance photographer and eventually, Ryan was brought on as well. Oddly enough, about a week after talking about my concerns being in Texas with Ryan, we had a chat with Brett, the owner of Making the Moment. The timing could not have been more perfect.
So the big news is that he offered Ryan a full time job starting in 2014 as a part of the Making the Moment team. It’s a dream job for him. He has always loved the photography and the people, not the business end of things. So when this opportunity came up, there was no way we could turn it down even though it meant leaving Texas.
So that means that we are moving to Ohio for the long haul. We are leaving Texas this Monday. I know, I know, hearing that we are moving feels very much like the boy who cried wolf. But this time it’s for real and it’s long term. I could look back and regret so many things but really, everything that we’ve done and worked for led us here. Being able to work with such a creative and amazing team at Making the Moment is a life changer. I think Ryan’s work will grow so much now that he will be able to focus on just that and not all the other things that come with running a business. Ryan is brilliant and I know he has not even reached his potential yet. Most of all, I know he will be happy and I can’t tell you what that means to me.
I’ve watched him struggle and go through so much. Being given this chance for him to have this job that is so perfect for him, gosh I’d go anywhere to make that happen. He deserves it. He has worked so hard in the past year to pull himself up and I’m so proud of him. I cannot wait to see what the next 6 years bring.
You might be wondering what happens to me and GAUPERphoto. Well, as of 2014 Ryan will be a full part of Making the Moment and can no longer be a part of GAUPERphoto. It’s kind of sad but not really because he is going to do such amazing things at Making the Moment. So you all can still have him shoot your wedding in 2014 and on, it would just be through Making the Moment.
I will be staying on as a freelance photographer with them, just shooting a smaller amount of weddings. GAUPERphoto will be changing into just my work. My focus will be Portraits and Projects. I’ve had a lot of things on my heart for a couple years now that I wanted to do but never had the time. Now that Ryan will have a full time job of his own, it gives me a little more freedom to focus on the things I’ve been putting off. I could not be more excited,thinking about it makes me want to squeal like a piggy. I feel so much weight lifted off of me and so much more joyful because I get to do what my heart wants again. I am excited to challenge myself further and grow my skills as a photographer and artist.
Alongside that, I plan to work less and to enjoy life more. After starting my journey to getting healthy 2 years ago, life has changed a lot and I’ve learned so much about what is really important. In the past few months God has placed some incredible people in my path who have just solidified that feeling I had about where I placed my value in life. By working less, I can focus more on my artwork and focus more on my family and gosh, I might even be able to focus energy into having friends, haha
So with ALL of that said… We are so grateful for the 6 years we have had and even for all the struggles we have gone through. We have been tested, humbled and came out so much better than when we started.
God knew just what we needed right when we needed it. It so much work to move again but I’m so grateful for my time I’ve had in Texas. It’s beautiful out here and I’ve loved every moment I was here. Knowing how all of this ends up, looking back at the past 6 years, I don’t think I would change anything.
The Making the Moment Office: http://www.makingthemoment.com/blog/2013/our-new-diggs
Stuff about Ryan :) http://www.makingthemoment.com/weddings/photographers/ryan