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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!




Smoke & Mirrors | Marriage Monday, September 2016.

September 19, 2016

Happy Monday everyone! I (Caleb) am going to start this post off with a confession: the busyness of our lives has taken a bit of a toll on our relationship lately. Being such strong advocates of marriage makes this a really hard thing to share because of the temptation to want to seem like we have it all together, all of the time. But we need to share it because, one, perfection is not a reality + ultimately, I’m a firm believer that it is better to be proactive than to be reactive, especially when it comes to your marriage.

Maison + I are wedding photographers in Madison, Wisconsin. This means that for us, our busy season runs from May-October. To be honest, we weren’t prepared for the amount of growth our business has seen this year. It has required us to put in very long hours, resulting in very little free time. Now, don’t get me wrong, despite the days when we sometimes feel lost because of how crazy things have gotten, we REALLY love our job. We love every single person we get to work with …. so, SO deeply. These feelings, mixed with our perfectionist tendencies, push us to strive to provide the best experience we can for our clients. Which is a very good thing — we would want nothing less for the people we work with!! But, the caveat is we often find ourselves working too much! And then we wear ourselves down.

By now, you are probably wondering where I’m going with this post. Haha! Well, up until today, we had a little lie that we kept telling ourselves: at least we get to spend time together everyday. This was a true smoke + mirror situation. We have gone weeks where we don’t have a single, intentional conversation about our marriage. Instead, “Have you finished this?” replaces “How are you feeling about our relationship?”. At church yesterday morning, a friend of ours told us about how when her + her husband first had kids, they invested all over their time into their children, but thought that because they were together + working towards the same goal, that was good enough for their marriage. But it suffered. The truth is that without intentional time invested, our marriage isn’t going to grow. Furthermore, we need to prepare for these busy times by investing heavily in our marriage in our off-season, along with discovering ways to build when we don’t have a lot of time.

So for now, Maison + I have decided that it’s better to start somewhere than continue on as if everything is 100% okay. Our resolution? It’s simple: spend five minutes every day. NO excuses. Just talking about our marriage. Is it going to be weird the first couple of times? I think so (Maison would probably say no, haha!). I live in this false pretense that conversation should always feel really natural, but the reality is that natural conversation takes practice. I can’t expect to have this without being willing to put in the work, + I truly believe it will pay dividends in our marriage. So here goes nothing. I hope you will join us in dedicating five minutes per day intentionally discussing your marriage or relationship with your spouse/partner (especially if you find yourselves in a busy season of life + not getting a lot of one-on-one connection time together!), + comment below on your experience if you’re feeling bold! Happy Monday, everyone!


  1. Oriane

    September 19th, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    I love this ! so much truth ! My husband is the same and isn’t a "natural" when it comes to discussing feelings and relationships but with the birth of our baby boy, it’s very easy to get caught in "logistics" and not focus on building our marriage. Thank you for sharing. It’s not easy being honest ! love to you both, Oriane

  2. Maison Engel

    September 20th, 2016 at 3:22 am

    Sounds like your husband + I would get along! Thanks for the kind words Ori! Maison + I miss you!

  3. Rachael

    September 19th, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Caleb, this is so great! Such a challenge for us as newlyweds being thrown into parents of 3 tweets. Ahhh! We’re realizing that our situation and marriage is unique and will require a lot of open dialogue and communication. Thanks for your honesty.

  4. Maison Engel

    September 20th, 2016 at 3:24 am

    Thanks Rachael! Unique but beautiful! If anyone can make it happen it’s you + Jon! 🙂 Praying for you guys!

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