Today is Kevin's 30th Birthday!! We always joked when we were dating that I was a cougar because I am 6 months older than him. But now we are both 30 so we are even! I wanted to celebrate his birthday by sharing 30 of my favorite memories that we have shared together. Some of these photos you probably have never seen before because I had to dig them up from the archives!
We started dating almost 9 years ago in 2009, but knew each other for a few years before that. And this year we will celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary! Kevin, I have loved every year with you and each one gets better and better. You are an amazing dad to Payton and I can't wait to watch you chase two little girls around after Hallie is born. Thank you for encouraging me, making me laugh, and loving me through the ups and downs of life. And most of all, thank you for pursuing Christ and growing in your relationship with Him year after year.
I love you babe! Happy Birthday! I hope you aren't too embarrassed by any of these pics haha!
30 Wonderful Memories
ONE ~ Taking Our First Photo Together
The top photo was our first photo together! I met Kevin through my best friend Claire who also went to Virginia Tech. When I would visit from JMU, we would always hang out with Kevin and his friends. We still joke about the bottom left picture because we hadn't even told each other we liked each other and weren't dating yet, but we look like a couple! It was so fun getting to know Kev as friends before we started dating. We both also had some growing up to do those first few years of college before we starting dating senior year!
TWO ~ Melrose Dance | Our First Date!
JMU InterVarsity used to throw a Christmas dance called Melrose that Kevin came to with me in December 2009. I was so nervous to go to the dance with him because it was the first time we hung out just the two of us! We had such a good time and I knew I wanted to date him after that dance. We started dating a week after the dance!
THREE ~ Video Chat
Being long distance for 4 years almost our whole relationship before we got married was tough! We used Skype almost every night while we were still in college and it was always one of the highlights of my day. We would also mail each other gifts sometimes and I sent Kevin cookies for Valentine's Day one year. Unfortunately, by the time they got to him, they were a little stale, hence the bottom left picture. Hey, it's the thought that counts right?!
FOUR ~ Suzy
This is a more somber memory, but it was the moment I knew I wanted to marry Kevin. Two months after we started dating, Kevin's mom passed away from breast cancer. Thankfully, I was able to meet her which meant so much to me. When Kevin spoke at her funeral about his mom, her relationship with God, and the hope of heaven, I knew I wanted to marry him someday. Going through that hard time with him bonded us together in an unexplainable way.
FIVE ~ JMU Visits | BDUBS Date on the Roof
Kevin and I were long distance from JMU to VT for two years so we tried to visit as often as we could! Thankfully our schools were only two hours from each other. This was one of my favorite dates that we had at JMU. We got takeout BDubs and ate it on the roof of the house I lived at. We drank Bud Light Limes and stargazed all night. It was so much fun!
SIX ~ Saying Those Three Little Words
The top picture is from when Kevin told me he loved me at Virginia Tech. He made me this adorable scrapbook with photos from our relationships and the last page said, "I Love You". It meant so much to me! A few months later, Kevin was visiting Baltimore and we went to a Tenth Avenue North concert with my family, and during the concert, there was a song that played that made me realize I was ready to say it back. I didn't want to say, "I love you" to anyone else unless they were going to be my future husband, so it was a big deal when I told him! I lit candles in my parents' basement that spelled it out. Such sweet memories!
SEVEN ~ Passion Conference
Every year in Atlanta, there is an amazing college conference called Passion and their mission is to encourage and equip college students in loving Jesus on their campus's and after college. I went a few times while I was in college and it was life changing! One year Kevin and I went together which was an awesome experience. There is a part of the conference they set up where you could give money to specific global causes. Kevin gave to clean water in other countries and I gave to end human trafficking. It was so cool to share that experience together!
EIGHT ~ Two Trips to Lake Travis, TX
Our family vacationed in Lake Travis, Texas growing up over the 4th of July every year and while we were dating, Kevin got to tag along twice! It was a blast for him to meet my cousins, aunts, and uncles. Such a fun time together!
NINE ~ Weddings, Weddings, and more weddings!
Being in and attending so many of our best friends weddings over the years has been a blast. Each one was unique and fun in it's own way! It was great to get to know Kevin's friends at his friends weddings and also have him get to know my friends as well. He was always my hot date!
TEN ~ Melrose in Leesburg
This was by far one of the most romantic things Kevin has ever done for me. We were able to go to Melrose the year after our first date, but the year after that I graduated so we weren't able to go. So instead, Kevin created our own private Melrose in his parents' basement in Leesburg. He cut out snowflakes and hung them from the ceilings with string lights. It was such a fun surprise and SO sweet! We danced just like we did on our first date. One of my favorite memories!
ELEVEN ~ Graduating College
I am so thankful we were able to experience each others graduations together while we were dating! College was where it all started with us, so it was fun to celebrate each of our accomplishments and encourage each other in our first jobs.
TWELVE~ First Trip to Maine
Growing up my family also traveled to South Addison, Maine every summer and the first year Kevin was able to come it was really special. My great great grandfather built the cabin we stay in that is right on the water and it has no electricity or running water. It was fun to be in that environment with Kevin and have him spend time in a place so special to me. And little did I know, he would propose there the next summer!
THIRTEEN~ First New York Trip
We had the chance to travel to New York for my cousin Evan's wedding and it was Kevin's first time in New York! The wedding was so glamorous and it was a blast exploring the city together.
FOURTEEN ~ Christmas in California
Another fun family trip! Exploring California together was a blast and continued to connect us closer together. I quickly realized that I loved traveling with Kev and knew we would have a fun life of traveling together in the future!
FIFTEEN ~ Shooting our First Wedding Together
I NEVER thought that when Kevin shot that first wedding with me back in 2013 that we would still be shooting together 5 years later. We have shot 80+ weddings together and I can't imagine doing it without him! He makes the day so much fun and I am beyond thankful that we are a team in my business. He has become an amazing photographer over the years and even to this day sometimes we fight over who took what image because we aren't sure!
SIXTEEN ~ The Proposal
After four years of dating and feeling so ready to get married, Kevin proposed on July 18, 2013. It was the most gorgeous July day in South Addison, Maine on the water, with the sun setting in the background. Hands down one of the most amazing days of my life!
SEVENTEEN ~ November 10, 2013
Our wedding day!! One of the next best memories, saying, "I do" and becoming one. Celebrating with our family and friends was incredible. We had the best day of our lives! And I was beyond thankful to have Katelyn James photograph our big day!
EIGHTEEN ~ Our Honeymoon in Jamaica
Top left picture was us getting Taco Bell right after our wedding haha! The next morning we flew to an all-inclusive Sandals resort in Jamaica for our honeymoon and it was a dream come true! Having a week together after the craziness of the wedding was amazing. We snorkeled, at delicious food, had a lot of rum, had ridiculous on-site photos taken, and may have gone to a nude beach (haha!!) It was a gorgeous place to start our marriage together.
NINETEEN ~ Adopting Sadie
We decided to get a dog a year after we got married and sandy Sadie pup was the one! We rescued her from adoptapet.com and she has become apart of our family. Kevin isn't always the biggest fan of her since she is pretty needy as a rescue pup, but we love her anyway. The bottom photos are from when she ran away the first week after we got her and we found her in the rain hiding in a bush in my parents' neighborhood. It was so sad when we lost her and I was so thankful Kevin went on the hunt with me to find her. Payton loves her so much and we love our little rescue pup, even though she is a handful sometimes!
TWENTY ~ First Married Anniversary
Along with the Melrose date, another favorite date of mine was on our first married anniversary. Kevin surprised me with a hot air balloon ride around DelMarva and it was a once in a lifetime experience. Being so high in the sky, yet not in a plane, was both scary and amazing! It was gorgeous and so much fun. The next day we also did an anniversary session with Natalie Franke which was a dream of mine as well!
TWENTY ONE ~ Living & Moving Together
Since we have been married, Kevin and I have lived in three different rentals! The first was a tiny 700 sq ft apartment, then we lived in a townhouse in West Towson, and now we rent a townhouse in Loch Raven Village! We are hoping to own our own home in the Timonium/Lutherville area in the next few years, but for now we are thankful to be renting a 3-bedroom house with enough space for our growing fam. Poor Kevin had to move all of our crap 3 times in 5 years and I love him for it!!
TWENTY TWO ~ St. John
I will never forget the moment I got a text from Bryan asking if we would take their engagement photos in St. John. Kevin and I had the best time traveling to their condo with them and spending the week in paradise with Bryan and Taylor! It was a tropical vacation of a lifetime and I was so glad Kevin was able to come with me!
TWENTY THREE ~ Destination Wedding in Mexico
That same year Kevin and I got to shoot our first destination wedding in Mexico. It was so fun shooting in Mexico and also enjoying a little mini vacay together!
TWENTY FOUR ~ Finding out we were pregnant
Finding out we were pregnant with Payton was another highlight memory. We have always wanted a family and the fact that our dream was coming true was such a blessing. I always knew Kevin would be an amazing dad!
TWENTY FIVE ~ February 13, 2017
The day Payton Ruth Paulovkin was born was one of the top moments of my life and favorite memories with Kevin. To see the face of a precious gift from God that we created together was indescribable. Little P changed everything and made our relationship so much stronger!
TWENTY SIX ~ Christmas with our Families
Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year and I am so glad that we are able to see both families each year. Spending time with our families is one of my favorite things to do and I look forward to it every year!
TWENTY SEVEN ~ Virginia Tech Games
The top left photo was an oldie from college and the top right photo was from last fall! We always have a blast when we visit Virginia Tech and go to the football games together. We may have our differences in NFL teams (Kevin is a Steelers fan and I am a Ravens fan) and college teams (I went to JMU and Kevin went to VT) but I love that we can still enjoy games together. It was also hilarious when the VT Football Twitter retweeted Payton in her headphones that made her cheeks pop!
TWENTY EIGHT ~ Watching you Be a Dad
The past year and a half the greatest joy has been watching you be a dad to Payton. You make her laugh everyday and she loves you so much. I can't wait to see you with both of our girls and continue to make memories together as a family of four!
TWENTY NINE ~ So Many Beach Trips
The beach is one of my favorite places in the world and we have enjoyed so many trips (including our engagement session!) from when we first started dating until most recently a few months ago. Going away and relaxing by the shore will always be one of my favorite memories with Kevin and I look forward to our family trips each year.
THIRTY ~ Hallie Rae Paulovkin
Continuing to grow our family makes me so excited for our days ahead. I love our little family and am so glad you are the man of the house! I know both of our girls are going to be daddy's girls and I am totally okay with that. You are so loved, Kevin!
Happy Birthday babe, I love you and am thankful for you. Happy 30th!!