Paychecks + Valentines | Salt & Sunshine Series

I used to think that a successful holiday meant BIG presents, flashy, WOW-I-can’t-believe-you-bought-me-a-car/diamonds/etc … in order to be a good holiday. I thought if I could nail the holidays and do things that looked like perfection on the outside, the inside of me would feel better..but it’s NOT how it goes. I know this now and have ever since we moved to the Outer Banks. A walk on the beach at sunset with my family is better than the most amazing diamond or car or big tangible gift. Time with the girls laying on blankets under blankets on the floor laughing and tickle fighting. A sunrise coffee-making, breakfast-cooking, all-together-at-the-table with the ones I love. Seaglass and whelks and conchs from the shore. Mike’s arms around my waist while I’m busy doing something making me stop to hear him say how pretty I am when I have no makeup on, chocolate somewhere on my body (like, NOT in the sexy way..hahahaha) and my hair in some sort of a bun thing that’s struggling to look cute.

This Valentine’s we proved this perfectly.

Every year on Valentine’s Day..we have no money. We have enough for bills and rent, hardly..I’m usually scraping because I’m getting ready for taxes and I’m not shooting because it’s winter. This year, we were on maternity leave AND it was winter so we went through the savings very fast. For as long as we can remember, we haven’t really had money around Valentine’s Day to go “all out” — and this year, we had recently gotten a big paycheck we were waiting on and we could have truly gone all out for one another…but we didn’t. We finally had THAT CHANCE to make it “big”..but neither of us did.

I actually thought we would, but neither of us did..and it was the best Valentine’s of all. Mike got me chocolate dipped strawberries and a Front Porch cafe gift card, the girls balloons and little heart shaped boxes with chocolate. I went to Henry’s and picked up breakfast, and used the Front Porch Cafe gift card to buy us two coffees. He drew a little love cartoon on the chocolate box and that was it, and I have to was the BEST one yet. I walked on the beach in 19 degree weather to see the sea in the morning, hung out with the fam, answered some emails while they napped, went to Yoga, watched Netflix with was nothing financially “special” but it was so incredibly wonderful in so many ways.

You can get a big paycheck before Valentines and go all out, but if you don’’s okay, that’s not what matters. You’re told that your whole life and you know it deep down, but hopefully there be a point in your adult life when you feel that way. When you aren’t just saying “it’s not what matters most to have big gifts” but a point when you are actually feeling that. I will say that there were several times in life, in the beginning of me and Mike’s relationship…where I knew it didn’t matter to have expensive gifts and luxuries, but I still wanted them. I still thought it would make life better somehow, happier somehow. I pray that others can reach this point we’re at when we truly don’t feel that anymore, because it’s incredibly freeing. Living in the Outer Banks raising my three daughters alongside Mike, doing what I love by shooting these weddings for couples I adore..I can’t ask for more.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S from the Mermaid Mafia, Mike and I! XOXOXO

12711221_10101719646047667_3487436361008284224_o 12733387_10101719739006377_7762644932041177988_n

IMG_2343 IMG_2381 IMG_2385 IMG_2398


AH_Grey_Logo copy

Want to keep up with the Outer Banks mama of three little girls running a wedding photography business while making time for the things that matter most? Click on the links below!



3 Comments Add yours

  1. bmariephoto says:

    We didn’t do “gifts” this year either and it was wonderful! My husband ordered my favorite pie from a small company in California and had it shipped to Texas – and that was the perfect gift for me! Mostly because it was so thoughtful 🙂

    1. I LOVE that!!! I swear, food is the best gift ever and him doing that is so thoughtful and delicious so that’s a TOTAL win!! 🙂 XOXOX

  2. Happy Valentine’s to our sweet friends.

Leave a Reply