Avia Photography

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Columbia, Missouri, United States
Warning, the following ramblings are those of a sometimes sidetracked photographer avoiding accomplishing tasks on her list. All we ask is that if you use one of our photos from here or elsewise, you kindly give us credit. = )

Thursday, April 15, 2010

.:lindsey & guy:.

I love weddings. I love meeting new people and being thrust behind the scenes of some of the most exciting and intimate days of their lives. I can't really put into words nor explain the connection that normally happens between the bride and I on her wedding day. Often we seem to become instant friends even if that is our first day to meet. She understands me, I understand her. We share knowing looks throughout the day and our smiles are infectious. There's a camaraderie that happens that I wish I could articulate. Lindsey was no exception.

Lindsey and Guy found us when Lindsey saw another of our bride's profile pictures on facebook. You may have seen it before:
Emily & Ky

Lindsey tracked us down from there. They even decided to move their wedding date back several months when they discovered that we were booked on the day they wanted!

Lindsey met Guy when she was still in High School. He was creative and artsy whereas she was the organizer. He wasn't like the other guys she had dated. Guy was different. He cared. He worked to put her first instead of himself. He was tender. He pushed her to aim high and dream big. Though he was several years her senior she had always acted older than her age and so, naturally, their courtship blossomed quickly. They had already been talking marriage seriously when they were surprised with Layla. Lindsey thought for sure with the addition of Layla to their now growing family she would obviously have to wait for some time until he would be able to propose since, as many of us know, babies are expensive. But she was wrong! Guy saved and worked more hours than Lindsey realized and one beautiful summer day, much to her excitement and surprise, he proposed!

During their engagement period (and with the addition of Layla) Guy and Lindsey started sorting out what was important in their lives. They decided God needed to be their primary driving force and love; that Layla needed to grow up with them in a creative, loving environment; and they decided they wanted all of their family to be around them on their special day. They went through ups and downs in the process. There were tears. There were times of uncontrollable laughter. There was hesitation, but, greatest of all, Guy and Lindsey worked it all out together, hand in hand.

Only a few months before their wedding, Guy and Lindsey found themselves in the lap of God. The two (separately) experienced God and His love like they never had before and knew that they needed to make some changes in their relationship with one another to honor Him in their few months left until marriage. They were both afraid to come to one another but were overjoyed when they learned that God had taught the other the exact same thing at the exact same time. They knew that God needed to be bigger, to be overarching, and they needed to allow Him to take His place as the head of all of their lives.

The day we arrived Guy was working on spraying glitter on the final decorations and getting little Layla fed. Lindsey was driving around bridesmaids, getting to hair appointments, and making sure all things were gathered. The driftwood with photos of them, the seashells in netting, the bubbling fountain, the purple flowers everywhere, Lindsey's bouquet she made herself complete with seashells (that we later discovered were perhaps a little too sharp as Brian accidentally cut himself on one!). Their wedding was absolutely Guy and Lindsey! The men helped set up the chairs outside in front of the gazebo despite the warnings that light showers were expected. Guy and Lindsey had decided long ago that rain or shine they would be getting married outside! As the bridesmaids scattered to walk up the aisle, Lindsey and I were left alone. I looked at her and gently asked if she wanted to pray. Her eyes lit up and we shared a sweet moment of offering to God as we prayed for a few moments before her father came to get her.

Lindsey and Guy bless our socks off. They love one another. Brian and I have talked so many times about how privileged we feel to have met them, known them, and captured the celebration of their wedding.

















Friday, April 9, 2010

.:for the love of all that is wonderful:.

There’s a scenario repeated in the Taulbee household at least a dozen times each day. For those of you who haven't spent much time with Brian and I, I will try to describe it in third person for you. It goes something like this:

Mallory is diligently working on something on the computer or elsewhere when she notices Brian staring at her out of the corner of her eye—he has a huge grin on his face. She slowly swivels her chair around and looks at him, working to hide a smile. There is a long pause as the two look at one another, he with a growing grin, she maintaining a half pursed smile. Mallory generally breaks the silence as she stares at Brian who still continues to grin as wide as he can, “Yes?” she asks slowly and purposefully. Brian then responds with something like, “You’re pretty,” or “You’re just so beautiful, I can’t stop staring at you,” or “You’re gorgeous!” Brian then somehow manages to place an even bigger grin on his face, one that notes that he is proud of himself. Mallory then usually shakes her head, rolls her eyes slightly, and smiles. Sometimes she tries to say something deflecting or witty, sometimes she rewards him with a kiss, but often she just smiles and simply turns around to continue working on whatever it was she was working on when Brian interrupted her with his looks of awe.

Today Brian and I were perusing a local hardware store after our Chinese dinner. We haven’t had Chinese nor eaten out for a very long time so it was a treat for both of us. (Thanks, Mom, for giving us this for Easter!) On a side note, Brian is still amused at my womanly need to browse without purchasing anything. I tell him it’s part of my inspiration as an artist. I need to see what’s in the world, the possibilities, and then draw my creativity in part from that. New things spark new ideas.

Back to the Chinese. We’ve had a history of having some of our most profound and deep revelations while sharing good, half-cold Chinese buffet (maybe it’s the MSG overload?). Though tonight’s revelations weren’t profound, they were good.

A man I do not know personally but whose heart and character I deeply admire (some of you are familiar with John Piper) recently decided to take a leave of absence from all public speaking/duties/jobs/books/etc. He’s a rather important man in the life of contemporary evangelicals so the fact that he’s taking a leave of absence has created quite a buzz. The reason, you ask? Adultery? Lust? Alcoholism? Some other dirty scandal in the church? Thankfully, no. It appears that his leave of absence is due in large part to the fact that this important man has decided that he needs to learn to love his wife better. They’ve been married for 41 years but he still won't settle with a mediocre marriage. What a man!

As I was reading some of the blog commentaries and thoughts, I came across a list someone somewhere wrote out. The blogger realized that he himself had become too wrapped up in his work and the "things of God" and needed to learn to love his wife, too. He wrote out a list of questions to ask her that would, hopefully, lead to revelation of deep things and perhaps uncover wounds in his wife's heart he never knew were there. So Brian and I, over our partially cold and dried out Chinese buffet, went through this list of questions. The questions are simple but have potential to bring so much reconciliation and redemption when asked and answered thoughtfully. So much so that I felt it important to share them (or, well, a partially edited version censored for the innocents and unmarrieds) for those of us who realize that there is always room to improve and always a way to love and serve our spouse more:

Questions to get to know her better
1. What are some ways that I can demonstrate my love to you in a meaningful way?
2. When do you feel most appreciated?
3. How do I make you feel emotionally distant?
4. How can I pray for you?
5. How can I help you to know God better?
6. In what ways have I sinned against you?
7. What would help you to be more satisfied emotionally & physically?
8. How could I help us to reconcile our misunderstandings better?
9. In what ways could I help relieve physical stress?
10. What is one way I could tangibly serve you?

So in the middle of this mostly empty Chinese restaurant as Brian and I asked and answered these questions of one another I was struck again at how incredibly blessed I am. Thankfully, these questions didn’t bring up for us a myriad of issues that have been buried or almost forgotten and are painful to the touch, but served instead as reminders of how great it is to walk through life with another and give your life to them. There were parts of previous relationships in which if I had gone through this list of questions it would have undoubtedly provoked a crying/shouting match that could have lasted for days.

Over our cold Chinese I reminisced about all of the young men I have admired and had crushes on over the years. I listed my old dream guy out to Brian and reminded him (and we laughed about it) that he somehow fits little to none of my former criterion of who would make my perfect husband. However, the realization I came to over my dinner tonight though was that the list I had made and agonized over so long ago only focused on deeds and not really on heart. I realized that the “perfect man” I had put together so many years ago would never have loved me the way I wanted him to because he would have been way too busy and stubborn. He would never have treated me the way I needed him to. He would never have appreciated me the way I need to be appreciated.

That’s the beauty and charm of Brian. He loves me in ways I don’t even know yet that I need to be loved in. He is my biggest cheerleader. He is my encourager extraordinaire. He bends over backwards each day to find out what he can do to serve me better. He never yells, never sets out to hurt me, is always gentle, is always kind, always hopes the best of me, forgives my wrongdoings, forgets my faults… and yet still knows exactly who I am and loves every part of me. Despite the fact that my dear, brilliant husband doesn’t have a prominent position at Fortune 500 company, can't teach to save his life (I always wanted to marry a Bible study leader), refuses still to sing in front of an audience (I had my eye on a few worship leaders...), hasn’t written influential books, still forgets that I like surprises, takes four hours instead of 20 minutes to wash dishes by hand, and generally appears rather quiet and aloof when you meet him in a group of people he will likely never have to take a leave of absence from his job to learn how to better love me. He won’t have 41 years of marriage pass him by to realize he hasn’t been listening for my needs because he asks me every day. He has shown me, already, in our almost three years of marriage that no job or task is more important than I am. And if the job is threatening to come between him loving me and serving me in a way that makes me feel special, he decided long ago that it wasn't worth it.

He loves me. He loves this short, bossy, stubborn, sass-mouthed little girl. I still don't get it, but it's an amazing gift of mercy. I am blessed.


If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.

Love never dies. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8

If we only knew...