Welcome to the HMP blog, a journal to feature our couples and their love stories, our lives, travels, and ATX adventures! Stay a while and say hello!
Every couple has a love story, and one of our favorite parts of being wedding photographers is hearing new stories every day! Now we think it’s time for us to share ours. This is for you to get to know us – all about us – so that you can understand major milestones in our lives, and the impactful moments that have shaped us as people and as a team!
This is how it’s going to work: we will mutually agree on prompts, moments, or experiences to write about, and then we do it 100% separately. These are our totally unmitigated, non-agreed-upon perspectives on the various situations that have peppered our lives. We hope you enjoy!
I love dogs. Anyone who has ever met me is well aware. I stare at them on the street. I grew up with a couple of dogs, but only for six months to a year at a time. Through college, I developed a (slightly unhealthy) obsession with corgis, specifically. I loved their little stumps. I loved their big fat ears. I loved the way they waddled. As part of the love of cars, I loved daydreaming about my yet-unborn best friend, a corgi that I could name Turbo.
My junior year of college was a slow one – Holly had graduated and was living in Austin and I was stuck in a house 8 miles from campus – and I was really lonely. The house was surrounded by lots of land, and I was happiest when people brought their dogs over and I could run around doing nothing with them. Other than that, I was a little sad. Holly knew this and sympathized and discussed wanting to get me a dog, but I was adamant that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to care for it heading into my senior year.
So how did Holly help me approach that issue? Around April, she surprised me by putting down a deposit on a specific, 2-week old corgi puppy at Armnaleg Ranch Corgis. Holy crap. Oh my god. I was blown away. In tears. I had seen a picture of the real life Turbo. I knew what he looked like. But a couple things had to happen first – I had to make it through my Junior year finals, and we had a trip planned to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, and were supposed to drive the four hours to pick up our new nugget the day we got back.
Fast forward through the trip (story for another time), we talked about him, looked at pictures and videos of him, and waited for updates from the breeder constantly. Then, when we got back, we woke up at 6AM to get on the road to Palestine, Texas. We arrived at the very nondescript location on the address, and knocked on the door. A cheery woman answered and we told her the pup number that we were there for. She said “okay!” And disappeared from the doorway, reappearing seconds later with a small bundle of fur and stumps and ears held (rather unceremoniously) in her arms. I took the little eight week old Turbo and cried. I’d never been happier to see anything in my life. I knew immediately that he was going to be an absolute incredible addition to our little family. He slept the whole drive home, without peeing on a single thing.
The next three months were summer break – I was interning with a company downtown, and Holly was working from home, so a lot of the potty-training and puppy-entertainment duties fell to her (still forever indebted to you for that). Having a crazy, insatiable, barking, teething, peeing puppy was something that I’d never experienced, but I was grateful for it and loved it and enjoyed every single second spent with him. We did our best to take him absolutely everywhere with us, and when I brought him back to school for my final semester in College Station, I was seriously happier for it.
AJ and I have always been dog obsessed. It’s definitely increased in the past few years, to the point of us interrupting each other to point across the street saying, “Dog! Cute dog! Good boy 3 o’clock!!” AJ had a few dogs growing up but not for his whole childhood or even in high school. He bonded very quickly with my family’s dog, Eddie. While he loved Eddie and every other dog he met like they were his own, I knew when we got a little older he needed one of his own. Specifically a corgi, because his obsession is real. Everyone (still) tags him in every corgi video, he would send me multiple photos a day of corgi butts, and if we got to meet one it was an ordeal.
The summer before his senior year, it was like all the stars aligned. I had been looking at rescues and breeders, but everywhere I looked there were almost year long wait lists. But then, after weeks of checking up, our tubby little guy suddenly became available! I knew it was meant to be when I saw his little face. We got to watch him grow from less than a week to 2 whole months in photos. And then, after a long 4 hour drive to Palestine, Texas, we got to meet him.
I’m not exaggerating when I say he was the size of a potato. He probably weighed less too. He was so calm and sweet and wide eyed and just perfect. My parents came over to meet him when we got home and his little personality came out as he ran around the courtyard. We were on cloud nine.
And maybe it’s safe to say we’ve never gotten off that cloud. Even through his CRAZY puppy years of potty training, teething, and puppy kindergarten, we were head over heels. We took him on so many adventures and socialized him with so many people and other pups when he was young. We even co-parented when AJ had his final senior semester. The weeks where AJ had him were torture, but seeing his ears go back and his smile when he saw me again made it okay.
As I look over at him now, he is about 10 potatoes long and probably 10 potato sacks heavy. He’s certainly substantial compared to other corgis, but we wouldn’t want him any other way. Waking up to his funny noises and invasive sneezes, seeing him roll over all the way on his back when you walk by, having him walk right beside us after we take his leash off, watching him barrel roll across the ground when he plays with other dogs. I could go on and on. We are so blessed with our little nugget. There will never be another butterball like our Turbo.
Title alternatives: Turbocharging Our Love, Kiss from his Nose, All Dressed up and Nowhere Turbo
We are an Austin, Texas-based wedding photography duo committed to celebrating your Big Day by capturing every joyous, unscripted moment.