Country is the Best Place

8:00 AM

We spent our Saturday in the country. It reminded me of everything I love about Pennsylvania, the country, outside air and summertime. It's not technically summertime, but Saturday was the first day of actually feeeling like summer. It was glorious. A little sticky-hot. I like to dress to fit the wedding, but because I don't own cowboy boots, the closest thing I could get was knee-high boots that looked a little country-ish. They made me feel hot. Not hot-like attractive hot (just in case you were wondering), but hot like my feet are sweaty and that makes the rest of me feel sweaty. It made me wishing to return to my greenhouse-first-job days where I would spray off my feet with a hose. Or maybe jump into the little creek by the Spackmans' house. I considered it, for a brief moment. Everybody is glad that I kept myself together. :P

Anyway, I was shooting my first wedding of the year! BOOYAH. I sound excited, but really, I only get excited after the wedding is over. Before the wedding, I am serious. REALLY serious. Like stone-faced serious. This is kinda how it goes:
Night before the wedding: all lenses, cameras, batteries, etc. are put out on the dining room table. Brandon makes jokes about me being a sniper, getting my gear ready and cleaning my 'guns.' "You're a camera assassin! Gonna shoot that wedding dead!"
Morning before the wedding: I put all equipment in its proper place, I'm reviewing the day's timeline and remembering everything important. Somehow, my sense of humor is completely lost on the day of the wedding, especially the first wedding of the year. Brandon makes jokes and I am silent. There is no laughter. My brow is furrowed and I continue my very-serious train of thought about photographing this wedding. Thinking, thinking, thinking.... Brandon knows this so he just smiles at me.
Two hours before the wedding: My typical struggle with the 'hair dilemma.' I attempt an updo. My arms are already tired because putting my own hair in an updo makes my arms hurt. I give up eventually and end up with it all in a topknot. And not a very good one either. *shakingmyhead* But my hair does stay there for the entire day, so that's a victory. :D

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photo credit: Brandon
I love this photo It's so perfect.

That's me. And the guy leaning over to tell me something? That's my little bro, Zeph. He's funny and also probably the coolest 23-year-old that I know and one of my favorite people. We had a good ol' time being at the same wedding. He was the best man, rocking out at helping set up for the wedding (which was at his best friend's family farm), making a man-breakfast of bacon-wrapped steak (that looked GOOD) and in general being fun and handsome at the same time.... Oh yes, and his best man speech was awesome. He was funny (Princess bride humor!), authoritative (calling out the loud folks in the back who wouldn't shut up during the maid of honor's speech) and a loyal & supportive best friend who got a little choked up at the right time. What a man. :)

Here's some official wedding photos, which I already blogged because I have some 2013 photography resolutions that include faster blogging & image delivery turnaround. :D

Anyway, have I mentioned that I think the country is the best place?
Let me ramble on about this family farm. It was BEAUTIFUL. I had only been to the main house a few times + up to the barn to see some lambs, and so Brandon drove me back to the ceremony site... We were both in a little bit of a summertime dream state. "Oooooh, pretty land. Oh, pretty little road. OOOOooooh, those fields are nice. Is that the grandfather on a tractor a few hours before the wedding? LOL Awesome." We both love the countryside, the unpopulated area, the Pennsylvania rolling mountains, little rippling creeks, the breath of coolness in a valley, the soaring views from a ridge, acres of unpopulated land and the stunning difference of air breathed out in the country. We live in a small town while holding onto a house-in-the-country dreams. 

Our Sunday and Monday evenings involved walks through our town. Every time we step outside during these spring days that feel like summer (80 degrees!), the dreams float around our conversations. The misty rain falls as our steps sync. Warm evening light makes golden orbs on the sidewalk as we stare at these Victorian mansions and talk about why they'd be better farther away from the neighbors. We love our space.

Maybe it's because Brandon was raised in northern Virginia and spent most of his growing up years in a condo. Maybe it's because of the dramatic change of culture from fast-paced suburb-on-the-edge-of-city life outside of DC to small town in Pennsylvania. Maybe it's the many hikes of my childhood where my dad taught me to love the wilderness of national parks. Maybe it's my small-town childhood with the big green yard and trees for climbing. Maybe it's the rest we feel every time we head 'up the mountain' to my parents' house.

Maybe it is our hearts finding love in our dating days of walking around small towns. Our dating was almost always outside and we loved it despite the wintertime cold. As the weather turned warm, our love deepened... a ring sparkled on my finger. Warm summer days meant wedding planning with more walks outside.

Life is so much better outside. ;)
I love the country. :)

One more photo... Abbie, maid of honor & friend. Kelsey, sis-in-law and friend. And me. Don't we all look ridiculously happy? It was a wonderful wedding day.
 photo spackmanwedding-102_zps6336419d.jpg

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