Nick+Gina {The Marriage Chronicles V.7 }

Allie Harrington
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I’ve had the joy of photographing Nick and Gina through so many different seasons of life…first their engagement, then their wedding, and I even got to do their maternity portraits. Then, they welcomed their baby, and I got to do this session afterwards. They have a special place in my heart, and I’ve gotten to watch them begin their journey and now thrive as parents. Marriage has a way of bringing out the most vulnerable characteristics in each other, and gives the opportunity to love someone even in their raw, unattractive moments. You have to commit to loving each other on the days when liking your spouse can seem hard. Nick and Gina were some of the best people for my latest chapter in the marriage chronicles…although they aren’t a veteran married couple, they are wise and kind, and thoughtful. They are intentional about their marriage, and they know it’s not about being “perfect”. Even though they are young, they have weathered obstacles already, and they are a beautiful team. I think you’ll find their answers to our interview really encouraging!

How has your spouse changed you for the better?

Gina: Man, in every way possible! When I re-met Nick I was in my late twenties, just living my life in Portland. Spending my money on going out, super trendy outfits, and karaoke bars 🙂 Nick saw our future so clearly before I could and he so quietly yet confidently showed me that. To me, there is no Gina without Nick. All that’s good about me, he has brought out. I pictured myself as a beautiful piece of stained glass in a cathedral and Nick is the sunrise that shines through to really bring me to life. He has taught me to love everyone, smile often, to be spontaneous, make the most of life and most importantly, that it doesn’t cost anything to be kind.

Nick: I think everything is better with Gina in my life, because she is the best thing that ever happened to me! She makes me a better man. Her hard work is contagious, and you’ve helped me with your work ethic and attitudes towards life. She has created a desire in me to be better every day. And I think this is represented by a song we recently heard, that I don’t need a lot of things to feel like Kings and Queens… She has made me a king!

What makes you proud of your spouse?

Nick: Gina’s love for our son and willingness to give him everything, makes me really proud of her. When I choose her as my wife, I knew I had chosen a good mother for our future kids, but did not completely understand how good of a mother she would be. Better then I imagined. She is loving, caring but also challenging and strong with our child, and when she holds our son, it takes my breath away and makes me so happy. Second is seeing her passion for teaching! She cares about every single child and has more patience then imaginable to help each kid. The impact she has is amazing. And the kids are so special to have her as a teacher. Lastly, she supports my crazy ideas, and is openminded and accepting of me.

Gina: I am so proud of him for choosing such a noble profession, where he makes tough decisions, saves lives while risking his own, and managed to make the captain’s list at a younger age. I could also say that while doing all that, he studied for 8 months to earn his realtors license and I am proud of him for that, but most importantly I am so proud of how he wears his heart on his sleeve. Everyone knows Nick, and those who know him love him. How could you not? He would literally give not only the shirt off his back to a stranger, but his pants and shoes as well. He is so kind and just too good. Too good to me, his family and his community and we are all happier when we are with him. It makes me proud to be with someone who people can depend on.

What is something you had to overcome as a couple?

Gina: The move to Southern Oregon was very difficult. We were madly in love so it made sense, but I missed the city, I missed my friends, I missed my old life, and in a way I began to resent Nick for “making me” (even though it was a completely mutual decision) leave Portland. There were many nights I cried, we cried, I wanted to run and hide and sleep in a different room, but Nick didn’t let me. He taught me to not shut him out, but let him into my heart and once I did, it was so magical. Our love grew deeper and I felt for the first time that a man had allowed me to be completely vulnerable and he was there to hug and love me. It was the most difficult year for us to date, and I remember both of us admitting to each other that “we thought this would be easier” but as difficult as it was, we made it through because we had each other.

Nick: I think we have been very blessed and have so much to be grateful for. We have been very fortunate to not have had to overcome anything huge, but do have our daily struggles with financial restraints and debt and my personal go-go life style and wanting to fill every minute of the day – FOMO personality. But we manage those together and take them head on. We have truly been blessed.  It is like the bible verse stated today in church, Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us. And I truly believe God has blessed us.

What’s your favorite thing about your spouse and how do they balance you?

Gina: Nick is the calm to my storm. Sometimes I can get anxious about new and different things and I want to back out before we try them. I’m so good at talking myself out of trying new things. He forces me (in a healthy way) to break out of my comfort zone and try new things. Wakeboarding, new bands and music, musical festival experiences, hiking to new heights, paddle boarding, zip lining, hosting big dinners, and even camping with an infant!

Nick: It is my wife’s love. Love for me, love for our family, love for teaching, love for life… On our wedding day we choose a bible verse that still represents her love for me and what love is!