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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!




How Marriage Changed Caleb’s Life | Marriage Monday | March, 2016.

March 27, 2016

Hey guys — Caleb here : ) This week, we are really excited to share a special post in our Marriage Monday series. We really love these posts because we get to explore, learn, share, + grow our marriage alongside all of you! Maison + I really love marriage + we believe wholeheartedly in it. I think most of you know that by now : ) Since our wedding day, we have experienced first hand what it means to become united as one person in our marriage. Our lives, futures, + ultimately our legacy no longer belong to just me or just Maison. These things are now ours, + we can accomplish so much more together than we can apart.

We have shared a lot about marriage over the course of these Marriage Monday posts, but we recently realized that we haven’t shared our WHY. Why marriage is actually so important to us + how that reasoning has shaped our views on marriage. Today’s post is from my perspective.

I’ll take you back to a confusing day in an awkward 11-year-old’s life. My parents somberly herded my sister, brother, + I into our living room for a family discussion. Something was off. Before anyone could get out a word my mom started crying. I don’t remember much else except that the discussion was about my parents divorce + me running upstairs to hide behind the comfort of my hockey equipment. From that day forward, my family changed forever. I saw first hand how the two people I loved + respected most in my life at that time were no longer going to be together.

The next chapter of my life saw my mom enter into an abusive relationship, become an alcoholic, + eventually die traumatically as a result of it all. Maybe I’ll share more of that back story in an upcoming post, but in this one I’m more interested in the beautiful things I’ve learned as a result of my parents marriage + how that has shaped my deep love + respect for couples committed to their marriages.

As kids, it seemed that everyone, including my siblings + I, thought my parents had the “perfect marriage”. They had 3 children, were active in their church + church community, had great jobs, + wonderful friends. But, their marriage obviously wasn’t “perfect”. And this is one of the reasons I love marriage.

There is no such thing as the “perfect marriage”.

No one has a perfect marriage. You have to realize this. Marriage is hard work. It’s a daily commitment to putting the needs of another human being above your own + choosing to do so even when they aren’t giving back. I’ll be the first one to admit that loving someone who doesn’t seem to reciprocate the same feelings in a given moment is hard work, but all of a sudden, this transformation happens inside of you when you do so anyway. Your heart grows. You see that this world is so much bigger than you and that putting the concerns of someone above your own, no matter how silly they seem, allows you to feel and show the love of Christ. Just try it.

Once Maison + I started experiencing these types of interactions with one another, we were able to dive deeper. We were able to see that our marriage can be used as an example — an example much larger than Maison or I. That if I could just resist the urge to get mad when I felt my love wasn’t being reciprocated, + instead turn that into unconditional love no matter what, I was showing the love of God to her (+ possibly those around us) in a tangible way. We were also able to start experiencing the plans that God had for our lives together. We were able to dream + grow TOGETHER. All because we put our own wants + “needs” aside, + chose to love first, no matter what.

You guys, marriage can be messy. But I truly believe that because of the challenges of marriage, I have also been able to experience levels of joy that I have never felt before. I have been able to feel connected + loved despite my shortcomings. I have a tangible example of God’s love for me (a good-looking example!), + that’s why I believe so strongly + will advocate for marriages for as long as I live.

Photo from our wedding day by Molly Jo Collection


  1. Amy Kiefer

    March 28th, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I love the message + the perspective Caleb! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Maison Engel

    March 28th, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    You’re welcome, Amy!

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