November 1, 2016

Every year, Nick and I take anniversary pictures. We got the idea after we took our engagement photos, because they were so much fun to do and because they turned out so great. When else do you get such gorgeous, perfect pictures? Usually we take selfies or take turns taking pictures of each other, so professional pictures are extra special. I love that we started this tradition because it’s a lot of fun to look back on the different places we live and see how we have changed.


We took our photos a few months ago, while we were still living in Connecticut. Because we were living close to where we got married, we knew that we wanted to have our wedding photographer, Basia, take our third anniversary photos. She feels like an old friend and she is just so incredibly talented. We didn’t want to make Basia come all the way out to Connecticut. Plus, we took our engagement photos in New York City about 5 years ago, so we decided to go to New York City for the weekend and take our photos there. Basia met us in Central Park and we had so much fun wandering around.


This year’s pictures pictures are by far my favorite. We only lived in Connecticut for a short time, but now that we are gone, I realize how important these pictures are. We don’t take as many pictures as we used to, so I don’t have that many from our time in Connecticut. Every time I look at these pictures, I think about how much fun we had during that time. Now, it feels like a blur, but it was the best 6 months we have ever had together, even though it was really hard with the mold from the movers.


I can’t get Nick to dance with me at parties, but he likes to dance in the streets or in random places.


I recently asked Nick when he was the happiest in his entire life. I thought for sure he would say living in Hawaii. Because Hawaii. Or maybe he would say on a vacation or on our wedding. I left it open.


Ready for his answer?

The 6 months we lived in Connecticut.

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When he said that, I smiled, because I agree.


He said that he was happiest in Connecticut because he had the best work-life balance he has ever had. His work hours weren’t too long and sometimes he even got to make his own hours. The way that work affects the rest of your life is really apparent when you have a career like Nick’s. Sometimes, he works an average amount of time. Then we will move somewhere new and he will have a job where he works 12+ hour days, every day. So, Connecticut was so great because we made dinner together almost every night (okay, okay, he made dinner every night). We were the healthiest we had ever been, going to the gym together and going on lots of walks. And, we got to see family and friends as often as we wanted.


There wasn’t much to do in the little town we lived in, but we made our own fun. We went for walks, spent too much money in bookstores, and went to every single coffee shop for miles.  We had a few restaurants that we loved to go to and that was all we really needed.


But wait, you are probably thinking— wasn’t it in Connecticut that you lost all your stuff and had to live with nothing but an air mattress for 6 weeks in the middle of winter in a house with no insulation?  Didn’t you have to go out to Target to buy clothes because you didn’t have enough to get you through the next time you went to the laundromat? Didn’t you survive on Panera and pizza because you didn’t have anything to cook with?



But it was also where we learned what really matters to us in life. It’s not having the most stuff or even the newest, best stuff.



What those 6 months taught me is that happiness is less about where we live and what we have. It’s more about being together, having time to enjoy being together, and not being stressed. Don’t get me wrong, I love Hawaii and I am so glad we are here right now. It really is perfect. But whenever Nick retires, I will remember this conversation, look back on these pictures, and I’m sure that it will influence where we end up living and what kind of jobs we get.


Cheers to 3 years of love, learning, and laughter.

finding-ithaka-anniversary-pictures-20-of-22See last year’s anniversary pictures here!

What are your favorite family traditions?

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34 responses to “3rd Anniversary Pictures”

  1. Jenn says:

    That’s such a great idea, getting professional pictures for each anniversary 🙂 Happy Three Years!

    • Carolann says:

      Thank you Jenn! I’m so glad we do this. Especially with moving around, it’s so fun to look back. And I can’t believe we’ve been married for 3 years! Time flies.

  2. This is SO CUTE! And your photos are amazing. Such a nice idea to stick with the photographer who did your engagement photos, too. I’d love to do something like this but we’re 6 years in now and I feel like it’s a bit too late! Plus my husband hates having his picture taken. Thanks for sharing these photos and the memories that go along with them. Happy anniversary!

    • Carolann says:

      Thank you so much! Nick is such a ham which is a lot of fun. I don’t think it’s ever too late to start a tradition!!

  3. Cait says:

    this adorable! so glad you took them 🙂

  4. HeidiCrisp says:

    So sweet!! I love this tradition. 🙂 Happy Anniversary!

  5. Audrey says:

    These are ADORABLE! I love all the b&w ones! And the one by the pond with the goose in the background. And that jumping one is perfection!!
    Sometimes when life FORCES you simplify (no household things, nothing “fun” to do in town, no complicate work hours) you realize how good you have it. I know that happens to us in the ‘quiet periods’ when K’s business is in its off season. I’m so glad you guys were able to capture your Connecticut joy in these anniversary pics!

    • Carolann says:

      Thanks so much. Black and white photos are my favorite. I’m obsessed with all of the pictures. Basia gave us over 100 and it was so hard to narrow them down for the blog post! I have to figure out which one I am going to frame. I really do think that the simple times are the best and I’m so grateful that Connecticut taught us that. Less distractions, less to worry about, means more time to just enjoy life!

  6. Jen says:

    These photos are beautiful!!!! 🙂 Happy Anniversary sweet friend.

  7. These are so beautiful! I love them all but especially the dancing one. Love your perspective too. It’s not where you are, but who you’re with.

    Happy anniversary! We just celebrated 3 years in October.

    • Carolann says:

      Thank you so much! And Happy Anniversary to you too! I might have to frame that dancing one cause I don’t really have any pictures like it!

  8. Sophie says:

    Aww, such lovely photos. Happy Anniversary! X

  9. Sarah says:

    You guys look SO happy together in these photos. I can feel the love! And Basia is really talented – the exposure on the photos is perfect, and she got you to be so relaxed and natural. It sounds like Conneticut was the lesson you needed. I wonder what things you’ll get from Hawaii when you’re looking back on anniversary photos on the beach in a couple years? 🙂

    • Carolann says:

      Thank you Sarah! I do wonder those same things and that’s one of the main reasons why I love anniversary photos. It always blows my mind to look back, think about what we did, about what we learned, about what we looked like. Things will get even crazier when we have kids, I’m sure. Can you believe I found Basia because she is my friend’s friend?? She is from Poland and taught herself everything she knows. I don’t know anyone quite like her, talent-wise or personality-wise.

  10. I really wish that we had started to take professional anniversary pictures because it really would be so much fun to go back and look back on those pictures and remember a certain time in your lives. I love Nick’s answer for why Connecticut was his favorite! You really don’t realize how a busy job can really effect your balance in your life! All of your anniversary pictures turned out so perfect, and that’s awesome that you got to use the same photographer too!

    • Carolann says:

      Thank you!! I think you can do the same with looking pack on all of your travel photos, too! Now that Nick and I are going to be settled the same place for 3 years, I want to go through alllllll of the pictures and try to hang them up somehow! It really is crazy how work takes up so much of your life and can affect so many other areas of your life. I’m glad that Nick had a little bit of a break in Connecticut. I’m also really glad he has good opinions about Connecticut because I hope to move back to New England one day and that’s always been a hard sell on my west coast husband!

  11. Janet says:

    Beautiful! The photos, your story, your relationship!

    • Carolann says:

      Thank you, Janet, for your kindness and for reading along here. I’m really glad that we’ve had the chance to meet.

  12. Julie says:

    Happy 3 years!! Love the photo of you two dancing!! So sweet!

  13. These are so beautiful! I love this tradition!

  14. It is such a fun idea to have pictures done for every anniversary. I’ll admit that we didn’t have engagement pictures done. Neither one of us is a huge fan of having our pictures taken but it would be nice to have something other then selfies all the time.

    • Carolann says:

      I’m not sure how I got my husband to love taking pictures so much! I think it’s because whenever he is deployed, he loves having pictures to look at. Whenever I ask him what to put into his care packages all he says is pictures. It’s so fun to have different kinds of photos! I highly recommend it once in a while even if you are not the hugest fan of getting your picture taken!!

  15. Amanda says:

    Happiness is less about where you live and what you have. Love that! These pictures are so perfect 🙂

    • Carolann says:

      Thanks so much! When we first moved to Hawaii two years ago, I was a little bit worried that we had “peaked,” that there was no way we would ever be as happy as we were as newlyweds going to the beach every weekend. I’m glad that Connecticut proved me wrong. Moving around so much for the military has taught me so much.

  16. These photos are just the absolute most gorgeous Carolann!! One of the things that gave me the inspiration and courage to book the one in Santorini recently was after I saw the beautiful photos you’d shared earlier from NYC and I think it’s such a lovely, special tradition that you’ve been doing these anniversary shoot ever since. Your love and relaxed, casual, happy smiles shine through brilliantly and how perfect is Central Park for the setting for it?!

    • Carolann says:

      Thank you!! I adored those photos of you and your husband and it makes me so so happy to know that I might have encouraged you to take them! Those pictures of you two are so special and you will cherish them forever. Now you gotta get yourselves back to NYC for your own Central Park photos:))

  17. Rachel G says:

    Happy 3 years!! So glad you took these great photos and that your memories of life together in Connecticut are some of your most precious. We’ve also always taken anniversary photos–so far, not actual professional photos, we usually get one of my siblings to take them for us. Twice we’ve propped up the camera and set it with the self-timer to take our own, haha! I would like to do professional photos one day.

    • Carolann says:

      Thanks so much! I think that whether you get our a tripod or enlist a professional, it’s so great to get some kind of anniversary picture each year. Even now looking back to our first anniversary I see how much we’ve changed and grown. Especially since we move around all the time, I love to be able to look back and see where we were in our lives.

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