I lived with Michelle in college when she first met this man. He was tall, he had a truck and he made her smile like nothing else. It was love. Then to top it off, Stephen went and bought a puppy. An adorable blue-nosed pitbull named Koda who cuddled us to pieces in our little college home and made everything even more perfect. But perfect doesn’t always last. After college Michelle moved to Boston for several years of grueling grad school, and Stephen stayed behind in Oregon with Koda and the rest of us. It was hard. The two of them spent hours on the phone and skype as Stephen lent his emotional support to his girlfriend from the other side of the country while she finished her program. When she returned home with her doctorate, he was there waiting for her. A few years later he proposed on a mountaintop in Vermont, and the rest is history. When we were planning their engagement session, Stephen told me that his uncle had a house in Oceanside and that it was one of his most favorite places in the world. I had never been there before but oh boy was I pleasantly surprised. Michelle’s mom made her bouquet and Koda’s bow-tie, and despite the cold and the wind it ended up being one of my favorite sessions ever. Michelle and Stephen, I love you guys like family. I cannot wait to photograph your amazing wedding (and be a bridesmaid!) next year!! Congrats!