I know it seems silly, but this picture will always mean so much to me. To you it’s boring—there are no faces and no foreseeable emotion to it. All you notice is a necklace. But there’s so much more behind it.
The most obvious part of the photograph—the necklace—was a gift given to me by my sister, Devlin. It will forever be one of my most cherished items. The delicate rose gold chain holds a dainty charm reading the letter b. B for Blackburn—my new last name in less than a year. It’s such a crazy concept to think about—changing your last name. A name that you and your family have built up for years—so quickly replaced as a societal norm. While I am excited to no longer be the one millionth Rachel Smith in the world, a part of me is sad to give up that piece of my life.
It’s going to seem like I’m reaching for this one, but it’s honestly one of the first things I thought about when I saw this photo. A blurry ring to be exact. It takes me back to the night James proposed to me…which was also a blur. (No drinks involved.) It seemed like one moment we were all sitting around enjoying New Years Eve then the next moment James was down on one knee in front of me with tears in his eyes asking me to be his wife. I can’t tell you what happened for the rest of the night, but I know my heart was the fullest it has ever been.
My soon-to-be sister-in-law, Stephanie so graciously offered to take our engagement pictures. She perfectly captured all of the awkward, goofy, and romantic moments that James and I so often share. Her talent and passion for photography will allow us to look back on these memories for the rest of our lives—a gift I can never repay her for. It speaks volumes about the family that I am joining. I have so much love for her and the entire Blackburn family. It warms my heart knowing I have two wonderful families I can turn to. Check out her work: Sunlight Exposures Photography.
Finally, the hand that I’m grasping. My once boyfriend, now fiancé, and soon-to-be husband. Sometimes I feel like we are still two 18-year-old college kids figuring out life. And in some respects we are. We learn something new about each other every day. He’s made me a better human in more ways than one. Can’t wait to hold that hand for all my years.