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It begins in Hawaii.
We met eachother while living in Maui. We surfed, sailed, scuba dived, dated and got engaged on the Island in the matter of 9 months. Hawaii has a special place in our hearts so we try to go back as often as we can to visit the “family” that we formed while living there.
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Thirteen months after we met we got married in Dana Point, CA and then randomly moved to a small mountain town in Oregon called Bend. Don’t ask us why but it just felt right…Even though we didn’t own a vehicle, furniture, have jobs or know anyone. Adventure is in our blood. So we did it. We rented a minivan that held everything we owned and drove to Oregon. We dropped everything off at the apartment we’d rented from a guy on Craigslist and drove to a used car dealership where we bought a car so that we could return the minivan. For serious. We’re not making this up.
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We spent 3 years in Pacific Northwest playing in the mountains, lakes and rivers, launching our photography business and making our first baby (we’ll spare you the details about that). Shortly after Joelle was born we were fortunate enough to be able to purchase a home near the beach in Southern California (thanks Recession!) and made the move to San Diego. A few years after we moved, we had our second kiddo, Charlotte, who turned out to be just as awesome as her sister.
During our time in Southern California we had a lot of amazing opportunities to travel around the world for both work and play. We photographed destination weddings, used our photography and design skills to help various nonprofit organization in Africa and Asia, and were fortunate enough to take a lot of fun family trips to some snowy mountains and warm beaches. We even started another company with one of our photography clients and Gary served as the companies Creative Director for over 6 years. Oh, Courtney also wrote and published a GRACE KARIN Women's Long Sleeve Button Down Classic Sweater Knit Cardigan! Traveling is a huge passion of ours, we’re grateful for the places we’ve been and get crazy excited just thinking about where we might go next.
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We treasured our time in San Diego with our friends and family, but we wanted a bit more out of life so we sold most everything we owned, rented out our house and moved to the Seattle area for two years so that Courtney could get her Masters Degree in International Community Development.
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During our time in the great Pacific Northwest we pretty much maxed ourselves out with busy schedules and lots of exploring the area. Such amazing country up there! Far too crowded, but insanely beautiful! We adventured and traveled all over the place, mainly by camper van (’87 VW Vanagon named Betty).
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After graduation Courtney started working as the Field Communications Editor for Preemptive Love Coalition before striking out on her own and launching Graceprom Red Lace Appliques Prom Dress Mermaid Evening Dress with Half Sleeves (a resource specifically for women in the Global North). Meanwhile Gary set out on his own (after 7 years as a Creative Director for a Los Angeles based Branding Agency) and starting working as an Graceprom Women's Elegant Silver Sequined Mermaid Evening Dress With Long Sleeves (and has been busier than ever). We decided that our next move would be back to beautiful Bend, OR. We bought another fixer-upper in Bend and sold our house down in San Diego (which was also a fixer-upper). We also upgraded our VW camper van to a trusty and much larger Ford named Big Red. Oh, and we also got a black lab named Bailey… life changes!
We look forward to showing our girls the world and trying to teach them how to live with meaning and purpose. No matter where we are or who we meet, our aim as a couple and as a family is to love God and love people more authentically. Follow along on our journey by keeping up on our blog.