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Welcome to our blog! We are a husband & wife photography team based in Madison, Wisconsin who document weddings & anniversaries for joyful couples who believe in marriage. This blog is a journal about real love stories, marriage & our own adventures along the way! We are so glad you're here — please stay awhile!




Love Lessons| Marriage Monday | April, 2015.

April 27, 2015

Happy Monday everybody! Today we are rolling out our third installment of a series we are VERY passionate about: Marriage Monday.

If you missed the first two you can check them out here: How We Love, Discovering a Beautiful Waltz.

We love this series SO much because it is another chance to share with you just how much we love marriage! We want to be advocates of marriage, but in order to do this, we need to really dig deep to understand–through our own marriage + education–what elements help create a healthy marriage. Now, we aren’t marriage counselors + we don’t claim to be! Ha! But that’s not what this series is about. Rather, it is a chance for us to share some of the things we are learning about marriage + to encourage you as you do the same! We can’t wait! 🙂

*Warning: it’s about to get real*

I can barley remember it now because I’ve spent so much of my life trying to move past that day. So much so that I can’t even remember how old I was when it happened. My dad slowly corralled my brother, sister, + I into the living room + sat us down on the couch. We could instantly tell something was wrong. Our parents sat on opposite sides of the couch + started to cry. “What was happening?” I thought to myself as I glanced around the room at all of the teary eyes.

Then it hit us.

“Your father + I are getting a divorce,” my mom whispered. I lost it. I ran upstairs + for some reason started to put on all of my hockey equipment while screaming, “I’m never taking it off!”

Looking back on the situation now as a newly married man has shed a whole new light on this traumatic experience in my life. To give my parents credit, they handled the situation very well, but even the best of a crappy situation is still a crappy situation.

Before Maison + I got married, we had a handful of long, painful talks about my views on divorce + how the one thing I knew about marriage was that I wasn’t getting divorced. Now, I know that probably sounds naïve, but I truly want a marriage that stands the test of time. I want to devote myself to someone in a way that grows. I want a FOREVER marriage. Because of this, I know that I need to devote a lot of hard work into making my marriage the best it can be.

In the book we are currently reading, How We Love, the authors dissect the idea that we start learning how to love at a very young age. We are shaped by the relationships we are exposed to + by our interactions with touch, listening, + relief. Can you remember a specific memory of being comforted? Believe it or not, the book states that approximately 75% of the adults they surveyed did not have a single memory of receiving comfort from a primary caregiver when they were children.

For some reason, in the early stages of our engagement, Maison + I would always find ourselves arguing about the same thing. At the time, it never seemed like we were arguing about the same thing, but the underlying issue was always there. I kept comparing her to my mom. I kept thinking that no matter what, she was going to leave me at some point, just like my mom left my dad. The real problem is that if we don’t understand how these problems we experienced when we were younger have affected us now, they will wreak havoc in our marriages as well! Until we take that bold step of reliving those painful memories, they will remain chained to you + the worst part is that you won’t even know they’re there.

The good news is there is hope! Once we figured out the underlying pain behind our arguments, we were able to recognize when this was the core issue + then choose to face it head on, TOGETHER. The problem hasn’t gone away + I’m not sure they fully ever do, but it has been something we were able to turn from a very ugly part of our relationship into one of trust + admiration for one another.

No matter what your situation was growing up, if you take the time to reflect with yourself first, + then your spouse, you will be able to break free from those chains. You will experience a freedom + love like never before. Believe us when we say this. It is hard work. I guess it’s true that nothing good comes easy. But you reap what you sew + if you invest hard work + time into understanding how YOU love, your marriage will flourish. This is our prayer for your marriage:

2 Timothy 4:7 – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

That no matter how your marriage is at this current moment, you would join us as we fight for our marriages. So that they will flourish + encourage others around us. We love you guys + we are here to encourage you whenever you need a friendly voice. Enjoy your Monday!



  1. Lisa Borchardt

    April 28th, 2015 at 12:54 am

    Thank you for sharing Caleb. It is refreshing to hear about people’s real experiences and I appreciate your honesty. I really enjoy your posts and Maison’s on Instagram. Although we have never met she seems like a true gem and the kind of person you want to be around. God’s blessings to you both and I hope our paths cross in the future!

  2. Maison Engel

    April 28th, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Aww, Lisa!! You are SO sweet 🙂 Thanks for such a kind note 🙂 We definitely hope our paths cross in the future!! xoxox!!

  3. Mel

    April 28th, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Love this!! Your honesty and vulnerability are beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Caleb! We’ve learned so much about those arguments that are rooted in things we don’t even realize, and I only wish we had picked up this lesson so early on in our marriage. So glad to know you both!! Hugs!

  4. Maison Engel

    April 29th, 2015 at 2:37 am

    We love you, Mel!!!! So much!! xoxo!

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