I know, I know. Lots of the same pictures up above! But I just love this beautiful barn!
I remember when I was in Texas, I was flipping through Pinterest one day and I saw this photo of a bride and groom in front of a beautiful white barn with a huge American flag hanging down. I loved it! It was so crisp and clean and I loved the patriotism and country roots it added to this monumental life ceremony. I pinned it to my secret board and moved on.
I remember that one day while we were dating, I went to see Greg in Park City (where he works) and then we drove to a different part of the city. I was looking out the window and I saw the barn! It didn't have the flag up, but I definitely recognized the white barn with the trees around it. I got so excited! Who knew the barn was in Utah?! Perfect.
I asked Greg where the flag was and he said they only put it up around the 4th of July and then they put up a wreath for Christmas. Equally adorable.
So I begged him to come and check when it was around the 4th of July holiday so that we could come up and take some pictures. When the time finally came around, things were pretty busy. We were meeting each other's families, deciding if we were going to get married, and trying to figure out our summer as a couple. All good things of course, just not much time for photo travels.
When we got engaged at the end of August, I thought it would be perfect to have our engagement photos at the barn. But our photographer lived down south and so I didn't want her to have to trek to Park City. I'm way too sentimental for that. I wanted to do our engagement pictures at a place that had more meaning. But my friend and co-worker, Martha offered to take some for us, which was so sweet. So we trekked up to Park City, and alas, the flag wasn't there! I was super bummed out but we took a lot of fun pictures anyway.
When winter time rolled around, I told Greg that we had to go up to the barn while the wreath was on display because it would make a great Christmas card photo. So he brainstormed Christmas sweaters we could wear and had all the plans for it. Tripod was ready!
On our honeymoon, we planned to swing by on our way home (we honeymooned in Midway) but I got sick mid way through (pun intended) and we ended up coming home early. :(
A couple weeks later, we stayed the night up at Sundance for my work party. We went to church in Heber but planned to stop at the barn on our way home. It would be perfect- great lighting in the morning and we would have our Sunday best. Great photo opportunity! But then while we were at church, Greg got a migraine. His migraines and terrible. Well, all migraines are terrible. But Greg's are especially bad. He can't see, he can't eat, it's hard for him to walk, and he becomes taken over by his headache. It puts him out of commission for about 8 hours. So we hurried home to get him taken care of before it got any worse.
(Side note: Luckily, we have some prescription medication for him now but it still doesn't seem to do the trick. We've found that for him, there are definitely certain triggers: if he doesn't get a full 8 hours of sleep, is in the sunshine for a bit of time without sunglasses, or when he is dehydrated. Of course, combining any of those variables makes the risk go way up! He doesn't drink caffeine and he hardly ever has sugar. We try to be super diligent with prevention, but it seems like once he gets it, there is no relief for several hours. He got one in March that was so bad, I almost took him to the emergency room. Rough times, folks. So any advice out there would be super appreciated!)
Fast forward to this July! At the end of June, we were planning our calendar one day and Greg said, "This is the day we go to the barn! We will take those flag pictures!" I had totally forgotten about the flag barn! So I was so glad he remembered.
We drove up and finally got to see the flag in all its grandeur!!(In that first picture, I am literally shouting with joy that we finally got there!)
Usually it's packed with people and photographers in the surrounding area, but that day we had the place all to ourselves. In those small pictures, you can tell that clearly we don't know how to pose. We thought we were real fancy with the tripod but when it came to figuring out what to do in 10 seconds on self-timer, we panicked! Greg always opts for the classic back-to-back pose. But there are only some of those I can handle. Ha!
I think my favorite picture of all the bunch is when Greg is just sitting back looking at the big flag. I didn't tell him to pose, he was just like that. I feel so grateful that I found someone who loves and appreciates my country as much as I do. I bought a huge flag years ago and he's the one who put it up in our tiny living room. He wants to buy a flag helmet and he's always asking me if we can use more bald eagles in our decor and clothing. We love to travel, but we never want to live anywhere but the U.S. of A. His love for country is deep.
When we were at church on June 28th (the Sunday before the 4th) we all stood up in the middle of the meeting and sang "My Country Tis of Thee." I didn't even get through the first verse without tearing up and I could barely sing the words and Greg put his arm around me and sang louder. I can't believe that I was born here. That I get to be an American and that I've had the amazing life I've been lucky enough to live. I've been to a few other countries with security check points and lots of required documentation, and I just don't know how those people do it. Sometimes I get a little worried about some of our politics and how divided we're becoming, but when the olympics happen or a tragedy happens, or we get the chance to celebrate our independence, I'm always go glad that we have a chance to cool it with the debates. A chance to stop and take a look at just how blessed we are. And even though we don't have everything figured out, we sure have a lot of it figured out. It's a great place to live and I wouldn't want to be anywhere but here.
So as they say in the song, "I thank my lucky stars to be living here today." God Bless America!
On a lighter note, if you now have that song stuck in your head, we did too!
Here's a little video of singing the song on the 4th of July. My family history goal is to take more videos, because who doesn't love family videos? In this day and age, I think we should be making them more.