On Saturday April 16th, we had the privilege of witnessing the wedding of two people who feel like family to us! When you grow up in a small town like Crystal Springs, Mississippi, your childhood friends always have a special place in your heart. For me, Landon McPherson is one of those friends. I remember playing cards and going fishing on Saturdays. I remember we used to put flowers on every grave that had been neglected at the cemetery. We also encouraged and supported each other's dreams, no matter how impossible or out of reach they seemed. Landon was one of the first people to help me get my photography career off the ground. He came to assist me with almost every shoot when I was first starting out, and I would "pay" him with lunches from Chopsticks. I used to find these really neat, but heavy chairs that I thought would be perfect for a particular session. Then I would ask Landon to load/unload it into my two-door mustang and carry it across huge fields or thick patches of woods just to get that perfect shot during a session. He would also hold my light reflector in the air to cover clients until his arm started burning. To say Landon is loyal would be a great understatement about his character. He also came to the Downtown Market every time it was open to help me set up my photography booth and later got a gig there playing guitar and singing. I have only gotten to know Sarah in recent years, but it doesn't feel that way! She came to me for a portrait session years ago, and I remember it being a lot of fun. Even though I haven't known her for as long as Landon, I feel like I have gotten to watch her grow as well. I always instantly like a person more if they are compassionate towards animals - I think it shows a lot about their character. I remember us driving to Port Gibson with another friend, and we brought Sarah's dog, Tucker, along with us as we explored the Shaifer House. I remember when she bought gifts for my dogs, Sam and Roxy, on their birthday (haha, yes - we are crazy dog people in case you were wondering).
I could list a ton of other special memories about these two, but today I add their wedding day to my memory bank. I will remember how Landon was able to make Sarah smile even though she just wanted to cry when things didn't go as planned. I will remember the look on Landon's face when he saw Sarah coming up the aisle to marry him. I will remember how emotional Sarah got while she was pouring her heart out into a letter she was writing to Landon before the ceremony. I will remember how proud their son seemed to be when he watched them dancing together.
Landon and Sarah both have big hearts - and it is evident through their love and sacrifices for each other and for their son. I am so happy that they found each other, and I pray God blesses their family and extended families immeasurably in all the years to come. Here are some thoughts they shared with me:
What makes your relationship unique, and what do you like most about each other? "We can talk about anything and nothing at the same time. For hours. I love that she is always here for me no matter what. She's always been by my side. Had my back for everything. (-Landon) He teaches me new things every day. He makes me a better person. (-Sarah).
How did Landon propose? "We knew we planned on getting married, but he still hadn't proposed. One day, we all (the three of us) went on a walk at the park. After being kind of tired, we sat down to take a break. He then got out the ring, got on one knee and asked me to marry him."
What is your advice to other couples who want to be committed to making their relationship work? "You have to work at it. My favorite quote is "A relationship is like a house. If the light bulb breaks, you fix it. You don't buy a new house." You'll know when you want to spend the rest of your life with someone. Landon always says "you can't name reasons why you love someone because it's like saying if those reasons go away you won't love them anymore."
How have your lives changed since your son was born? "Since Keegan was born, we grew up fast. Faster than we already both had. Life isn't about us anymore. It's about him. Even though we give up things like our alone time, to watch him grow and learn a new word or phrase makes it 1000 times worth it. Seeing something you completely created.. It's amazing. We want to raise him to be a decent human.. Seeing him learn manners and obedience is great because it's like the first step."
What are your hopes for your son as he grows up? "We just want him to be happy. Regardless of what that means. If he wants to be a trash man, great! They make awesome money! If he wants to start at a low level job and work his way up, great! If he wants to be the next huge movie star, great! Whatever he wants to do, we're behind him completely. Having an honest, loving support system is one of the best gifts."
What is one of the most important things you want your son to know? "We want him to know he's never alone. We don't care if he's 50. If he needs something, just ask. If he's upset, even if we think it's nothing, it's something to him and we will treat it as such. Whatever problems he's going through, we'll be there."