Family Pictures on Cedar Mountain in Southern Utah

It was 2010, and we were on a trip down to St. George, Utah for our ward temple night at the St. George, Utah temple. Ryan and his wife, Tiffany, were carpooling with us and the beginning of a deep friendship took root. Ryan had swam with my husband and I in high school, and although he was a few years older than the two of us, he was always kind to the younger class-men.

We didn't know his wife very well, but conversation soon began to flow and we immediately connected over our taste in books. Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and C.S. Lewis were some of the authors we discussed, and I knew that Tiffany was a cut above the rest. We quickly became very good friends and spent a good deal of time together as newly-wed couples.

Over time, I have been blessed to stay in contact with Tiffany. Even when an entire country apart, we were able to communicate via modern technology, and for that I am so grateful. Tiffany is what I would call a "kindred spirit." She understands my perspective, sense of humor, and life philosophy. We have been through different trials, and yet, we can still connect with and understand the other person. There have been many times when I needed to talk to someone with an objective perspective, and Tiffany was the one I turned to. She is logical, and brilliant, and straight-forward, all of the things that make me feel secure and safe in our friendship.

And now, to see her use her many gifts and talents to raise her amazing children, is truly spectacular. She does everything well, so well in fact that I often envy her tenacity and self-discipline. And then I look at Ryan, who is so good to her and their children. He is kind, helpful, and he works very hard to provide for them. They both live their various roles with integrity, humility and grace.

I am always so humbled that I have an opportunity to capture the love that a family shares. There is something magical about seeing how they interact with one another, and this family was especially magical. After spending time with this incredible family, I feel a desire to be better, to love more deeply, to be more consistent and reliable, and to practice more gratitude. I also pray that I can leave others feeling the same way about me and my family. Family is, after all, the center of everything; and I'm all too happy to take pictures that express that.