Friday, June 22, 2012

Gennadiy & Olga Engagement Session - Warwick Long Bay, Bermuda

Olga and Gennadiy worked together for nearly two years, but had never really taken tan interest in each other until a mutual friend had a birthday party where the pair didn't know anyone else but each other. They believe it was fate pushing them together for in the beginning, they felt they had to talk, but by the end of the evening, they could not stop talking. The whole night was spend talking, dancing and getting to know each other and a couple of days later, Gennadiy asked Olga out on a date. From that day, it did not take the two long to figure out that they were meant to be together and after seven months, the two were engaged.

In late December of last year, Olga was getting ready for what she thought would be a typical romantic dinner in the city of Philadelphia. They went to Parc, a face French Bistro which was nicely decorated with artwork and flowers. Throughout dinner, Gennadiy didn't drop any hints and the only thing that Olga noticed was out of the ordinary was that her love didn't eat much. She on the other hand, knew Parc was famous for their desserts so could not miss out on the raspberry tart. It turned out to be the best dessert ever, for when it was brought out, right next to the tart on another little plate was a box neatly set in the middle. When Olga opened it, to her surprise and shock, she discovered there was a diamond ring inside. Whe looked up to see Gennadiy had already fallen to one knee. He took her hand and told her how much he loved her, how she was the most beautiful woman in the world, and that he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. After all of that, he finally asked her to marry him and of course, without a doubt, Olga said YES!

Finding the perfect ring for Olga was a difficult task for Gennadiy. Her father is a jeweler, so Gennadiy knew he needed to make sure the ring was of the highest quality. After extensive research about the diamond industry, especially about the four Cs, he settled on where he would buy from. He spend many hours looking for a perfect diamond and finally settled on a beautiful round stone. The diamond is internally flawless, nearly colourless and is exquisitely cut. The setting also proved to be tricky. Since he is not a fan of a solitair set, he found a gorgeous platinum halo ring from a Danhov collection. The tiny diamonds around the principle stone make it all the more beautiful and sparkly!

When Olga and Gennadiy wrote to tell me all the things they love so we could find somethings to help make the shoot special, Olga's love for wine, strawberries and chocolate jumped out at me! They brought the wine and I brought the goodies.

Even though it might sound cliche, Olga feels she and Gennadiy fit together like puzzle pieces. Over the time that they have known each other, they have learned to finish one another's sentences. He is the most loving, caring and selfless man she has ever met in her life. Shortly after they started dating, she went back to school and he has been there for her through everything. Every long day he makes seem a little bit shorter just by calling to say hello. Every failure he makes seem like an accomplishment with words of encouragement . Every mistake Olga makes, Gennadiy helps make it into a lesson learned. Even in tim of hardships, he never doubts her bu t more importantly, never doubts their love. She knows that no matter what they face in the future, they will always have each other to lean on. He makes her feel like the luckiest girl in the world, but more importantly, he is also able to get along with Olga's mother, which apparently not many people can do!!!

The first time Gennadiy kissed Olga, he knew they had something special.He couldn't sleep at all that night thinking about how lovely that first kiss was and he couldn't wait to see her again. She has such an amazing and caring heart that he believes only a few people in this world have. He loves how her beautiful smile can brighten up a room, even in the darkest of times. Her sense of humour makes him laugh for hours and he says her intelligence can only be matched by a few. Gennadiy loves how they can spend countless hours talking about anything and everything. The small things she does - like stop by his work to hive him a kiss or decorate his car at 2am for his birthday - make him happy and feel so lucky to have her in his life. She is incredibly observant and loves to surprise him with a present or small getaway. She will always listen to his problems and gives him sound and honest advice. When Gennadiy's father was in the hospital, his father told his mother that seeing Olga was the best medicine he could have during his stay.

Olga and Gennadiy - congratulation on your engagement. You are both so lucky to have found each other and the way you speak of your love and respect for each other is divine. I loved our shoot for all the love you two exude, and despite the howling winds, grey skies and raindrops, I think we captured some of that magic you two share. xxx

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Ben

Today is my beloved hubby's 40th birthday. I can't tell you how grateful I am that today finally came as for the last year and a half (since I hit 40 myself), Ben has been joking about how there is a generational gap between us as I was in my 40s and he was in his 30s. This joke held on until last night, but I am thankful to say, I will not have to hear it again for another 8 1/2 years! Despite his wicked jokes, this man makes me happier than I ever dreamed possible. I recently reread some excerpts from my journals when I was young (I kept one from age 11 until I met Ben when I was almost 31) and I longed to meet the love of my life. I wrote about him often and even made a criteria list with 13 items which my friend Sarah cried for me (literally - with real tears) when she read it and said a man like that did not exist. She told me I would eventually have to settle and we both cried a little more. But a year or so after that, I did meet him. He had 12 of the 13, and he quickly rectified the one missing point to get himself a top score. And I was in love. We said the "L" word after 4 days, I told my friends I would marry him after 8 days, and we were secretly engaged after 23 days. Official engagement came a few months after that and the wedding bells rang a year and a bit after knowing each other. It all did feel so right at the time, but at the same time, it was pretty crazy and I did sometimes wonder deep down if we were not being swept up in things that were not as deep as they seemed. But almost 10 years and 2 kids later, I am more in love with this man than ever and my list has extended to 100 more characteristics that I never realised important before until he showed me. He has so many heavenly qualities that fit into my quirkiness like a missing zipper side that I can do nothing but count my blessings every day that I am lucky enough to share my life with a person like Ben.

For Ben's 30th birthday, I gave him Noodle and Bear, our two cats that were rescues from Battersea Dog's Home in London. They were our first babies and even though I had only known Ben for a couple of months at that stage, we knew we were going to be together and so our first experience as parents began! So in a way, today is the anniversary of the cats too!

And then came sweet Oslo, and then Indigo. It feels as though we have always been together

 Next, we added Cairo to our ever expanding family. I had never had a dog before and am a real cat person (cat lover was on my list!) but he has blown my mind and I cannot ever imagine life without a sweet soul like his in our family.

Most recently, two darling kittens joined our family from the SPCA. They brightened our hearts and Ben was inexplicably tolerant that there were now four cats in bed each night, along with my 5 pillows I sleep with. He never complains that there is barely any room for him and instead just snuggles in closer to me. Sadly, our beloved Bindi was not well and we lost her which broke all of our hearts.

What I didn't have on my list, and what I never expected, was the sort of father Ben would become. He is so incredibly involved and is always full of adventure and fun. He is creating the most magical and exciting childhood for Oslo and Indigo and his good nature and intelligent humour are such wonderful characteristics in a dad. There are loads more photos of what a cute papa bear he is on the daddy's day post I did last year too.

I love how he always has time to play the games the kids want to play, be it Playmobil, chess, checkers, cards or in the garden.

Indigo and I don't look great in this photos, but Ben looks cute and is such a cuddler that had to include.

One of my favourite things about Ben is that he is never embarrassed. He doesn't mind if he doesn't look perfect in a situation - he is all about the fun and the experience and who cares about looks - it is such a lovely freeing quality - no ego involved - just pure blissful spirit.

Sunblock all over his face and a yellow rope belt are all part of the cute package of him making it more about getting out and doing things than wasting time packing a belt or rubbing in cream!

And along the lines of not caring so much about image as practicality, you could have guessed the kind of car (toaster bus) we drive. Most weekends, Ben is on his own with the kids for part of the time while I am off shooting weddings so he is the master of adventures with Cairo and the kids. He doesn't like to sit home and do nothing so is always chucking what they need in the car (very very messy car) and dashing off on the next outing. It is often chaos but always fun.

Happy 40th birthday my Boo - you are such an amazing combination of qualities that no photo or description could ever sum you up but please know that you are everything to me, Oslo, Indigo, Noodle, Bear, Cairo, Po and all the ants and mosquitos - especially the mosquitos - they love you most. Can't wait to see what the next 40 years will bring us. xxxxx