Michelle & Kellan’s Wedding

“The garden where you sit
Has never a need of flowers,
For you are the blossoms
And only a fool or the blind
Would fail to know it”
― Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli’s Mandolinmichellan

michelle is like blood to me. kin. a sister. the best way to sum her up in that she loves people well. she is the most thoughtful person i have ever had the honor to know up close. she began, years ago, as our babysitter, then assistant to me, office manager and has traveled the country to be by my side at countless workshops, becoming my confidant of every thought within the corners of my mind. she’s seen me at my worst and loved me just the same. she gives openly. she does not judge. she never seems to think of herself and makes every person she encounters feel that they are the most treasured in all the world. these words seem insufficient and cheap even compared to how closely i hold michelle to my heart.

i didn’t think it would be possible for any man to be worthy of a love like hers. but then we met kellan. she brought him to our home last year for us to meet him for the first time during our workshop reunion. it was a busy weekend but i watched from afar as he and michelle would giggle and kiss when no one was looking, he did dishes with a smile, he danced with michelle in our kitchen, just purely exuding sweetness. i realized that he was her perfect match… the same soul existing in two bodies. when i attended their wedding in round top, texas at rachel ashwell’s the prairie last month, i listened to hundreds of their friends and family say almost the exact same thing about them. these two, they are pure joy. they are each wise and established on their own… they didn’t need to find another person to be complete, however, they make each other so much more alive for being together. they are a blossoming tree. and each of us that passes by their fragrance is left better because of it.

2

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”
― Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

m&k-102 m&k-103 m&k-105 m&k-111m&k-123 m&k-132 m&k-155m&k-162 m&k-176 m&k-182 m&k-186m&k-203 m&k-205 m&k-207 m&k-222 m&k-234m&k-263 m&k-2661m&k-293 m&k-303m&k-332 m&k-336 m&k-348 m&k-354 m&k-355 m&k-356 m&k-361 m&k-365 m&k-386 m&k-397 m&k-409m&k-413m&k-4_b&wm&k-435 m&k-436m&k-450 m&k-454 m&k-463 m&k-465 m&k-471 m&k-510 m&k-522 m&k-539 m&k-545 m&k-562m&k-12_b&w m&k-568 m&k-592 m&k-634 m&k-636 m&k-643 m&k-646 m&k-647m&k-22_b&w m&k-651 m&k-654m&k-743m&k-748 m&k-750 m&k-754 m&k-755 m&k-764m&k-7_b&w m&k-776 m&k-783 m&k-784 m&k-787 m&k-821 m&k-822 m&k-823m&k-946 m&k-947 m&k-948 m&k-987m&k-991 m&k-1068 m&k-1091

Posted in Weddings | 8 Comments

gardella family – a harvest session.

first, a video…

gardella-001

i have long admired the gardellas. michelle’s fierce passion and glorious artistry, thomas’ gentle, loving spirit and humble bravery as he leads his family, and their two little beautiful humans, lily and braedon, who themselves are filled to the brim with quirky creativity, tender daydreams and wisdom far beyond their years. i have the honor of calling them friends, although family would perhaps describe the kinship better. and i know that anyone who has met them feels their genuine warmth burning from their hearts right down to their toes and into every soul they encounter. i spent a day with them at their home in austin, texas; arriving just before they woke up to an unkempt house, messy hair and bleary eyes, as requested.

michelle told me, “i want my children to remember this: that they, and we, are enough, even in our most undone and real moments. we are beautiful even when things aren’t pretty.”

while these images speak for themselves, i did feel that since the gardellas are, themselves, so eloquent with words, that i would share some of their writings that i gathered from their online journals alongside the photographs.  you’ll also notice these are all in black & white, as requested by michelle. timeless and not a bit fancy.

these four souls, they just bleed love.

gardella-148

Thomas about Michelle: ”I have learned so much from her. How to love. How to be silly. How to open my heart to the world. But more than anything I have learned how to be a better dad from watching and experiencing her be such an amazing mom to our children.”

Michelle about Thomas: ”He always knows how to bring my heavy heart back into the light.”

gardella-169gardella-152gardella-103 gardella-106 gardella-120

Thomas about Lily: “I am certain I have known this soul for many lifetimes.”

gardella-122 gardella-126 gardella-128

gardella-134 gardella-142

Thomas about Michelle: “The little things about her I love… her side of the bed just after waking up. Her soft white blanket still warm while dreams slowly fade from memory. I cherish every moment with her.”

gardella-143 gardella-144 gardella-146

gardella-157 gardella-164 gardella-167

Michelle about Thomas: “If you were to throw a pebble in a lake it might make a tiny ripple, but if you happened to be super mini and sailing on an ant-sized ship, that tiny ripple would feel like an enormous wave. I am living this life on an ant-sized ship. Most days I see my highly sensitive nature as a huge blessing. Especially when it comes to my art. But somedays, my goodness it just feels like too much. And on those oh-my-goodness-my-heart-is-breaking-every-second-because-this-sunset-is-reminding-me-of-my-third-grade-lunch-lady-who-had-cancer-one-year-and-wore-orange-days, he is my anchor. He keeps my boat from capsizing or swirling out to a sea filled with pirates.”

gardella-173

gardella-178 gardella-184 gardella-189

gardella-191 gardella-195

Michelle about Braedon: “ Me: I will always love you with every inch of my soul. Him: Well, I will always love you from here to the ends of the universe, therefor, it is always expanding.”

gardella-198 gardella-202

Thomas about Braedon: “He is more perfect than I could have ever imagined. Every time I look at him I am so grateful. Grateful for the amazing times I have spent with him over the years. He has such a huge heart… just like his incredible mom.”

gardella-204 gardella-208

gardella-210

gardella-211 gardella-217 gardella-221 gardella-227 gardella-228

Michelle about Lily: “Her sweetly spun fairytale, her messy hair, backwards Goodwill dress, arm resting on my leg… I don’t want to let this go. I need to hold on to the seemingly simple moments like this, that, on every birthday since I can remember, I blew out the candles, and wished so hard for.”

gardella-231 gardella-236 gardella-238

Thomas about Michelle: ”No matter what comes at us I know that she will always be there for me and our family. Never have I met someone so brave and true. She amazes me every single day.”

gardella-240

gardella-246

Michelle about Thomas: “I crept in on his nap so I could smell his neck.”

gardella-253 gardella-264 gardella-271 gardella-274 gardella-277

gardella-279 gardella-281 gardella-283

Thomas about Braedon: “At some point he went from cradled in my arms and rocking him to sleep to building and giving presentations on oscillating water generators.”

gardella-287 gardella-297

Michelle: ”I follow their freckles like sailors look to the constellations, when their ships are lost at sea.”

gardella-303

gardella-304 gardella-305

Michelle about Lily & Braedon: “She called out asking for someone to help her button her sweater. He came running over. I don’t know much about previous lives, but I do know, without a doubt, their bond is millions of lifetimes strong.”

gardella-321 gardella-339 gardella-340

Thomas about Michelle: “Hearing her blow dry her hair with Lily singing and dancing around her always makes me smile.”

gardella-342

gardella-346 gardella-352

gardella-359 gardella-370 gardella-376

Michelle about Braedon: “He has the kindest, most forgiving heart I have ever witnessed. I have seen him angry twice. The love I have for this human being is otherworldly and swallows me whole. Every freckle on his shoulders. Every sound effect he makes while playing. Every comic he draws in his notebooks. Every dance move. Every huge hug he gives his sister. Every morning snuggle. Every single second that I get to be his Mama.”

gardella-378 gardella-381

Thomas about Lily: “This girl has my heart. Always.”

gardella-384 gardella-389gardella-400

Michelle: “Me- Lily want to do my daily meditation together? Lily- Sure! (giggles nonstop for ten minutes.)”

gardella-402

gardella-416 gardella-420

Thomas about Michelle: ”Everyday she works hard to live her truth and balance family and passion and art and income. We are so honored and blessed to have her as a mom and wife.”

gardella-422 gardella-427

gardella-430

Michelle: ”My children know what it is like to be loved right up close, and to have parents who, by ungraceful but passionate example, live to nurture both the wilderness within, and afoot.”

gardella-441

Posted in * Family Sessions, Harvest Sessions | 9 Comments

wildflower. mother. wife. believer. artist. farmer. writer. dreamer.

instagram

features

favorite sessions

farmlifebutton2
simplelifebutton1
roadlifebutton3
trailerbutton3
workshoptab
prairietab

search the blog