I love each one in their own personal way. Each one is so deep and special in a way that is their own.
Julianna. The middle of us five girls. The thoughtful one. The methodical one. The dreamer. She was always the princess in our games. She was always draped over a chair with her eyes glazed over...dreaming about her prince charming. She was a hopeless romantic and the cutest little serious thing you've ever seen. You would often find her in some sort of silky night gown dancing around the house and singing her little heart out.
After watching our parents go through a heartbreaking divorce and not having a dad around, I watched as Julianna's belief in romance and happily ever afters dissipated. After a few years it was gone. She had no hope in men. I remember hearing her go on and on about how physically sick thinking about loving a boy would make her. She would express disgust in the prospect of marriage. I told her time and again that when she found the right person, she would change her mind. "No! Never!" She would say. She grew up so beautifully but part of her heart was so protected, and there was a hardness there. She wanted to be independent and make her own decisions. She didn't need a boy to make her happy.
Then Drew happened...
In the past year and a half I have been witness to the most beautiful process of Julianna falling in love, finding forgiveness, finding grace and mercy and compassion. I've seen her be transformed and made an even more beautiful creature simply by opening her heart. I know it sounds cheesy but it seriously has been like watching a rose bloom. I emailed and talked with her for hours and hours about her fears and concerns and worries. But in the end she decided to trust not only Drew, but God.
Last Friday I snuck down to Charleston SC to photograph this man of her dreams proposing to her! I felt like I was the luckiest girl in the world as I secretly watched them walk out to the ocean, arms intertwined. I squealed with joy as he got down on one knee and even from so far away, I could just FEEL Julianna's heart beating as she danced around with happiness.
Today I watched as my beautiful sister tried on wedding gowns. One in particular brought out a sweet, shy, exuberant smile. Her eyes glistened with romance and she was jumping up and down on her perfectly pointed toes. I just cried as I saw that sweet little girl I have loved for her whole life, overflowing with gratefulness and love.
God is so good.