Our Story: Surviving to Thriving

It’s been awhile since we introduced ourselves. So we thought we’d take a moment, get a little sappy, and share our story.

The Beginning

We met through Marks older brothers. Mark SWORE he wouldn’t date Nicole. But the following weekend we ended up on 5 accidental first dates. We went on a REAL date a week later. We took pictures on disposable cameras, shared a bottle of wine, and a nice dinner, it was perfect. After that night we both knew it was meant to be.

5 months later we were engaged and 10 months later we were married. Truly, when you know you know. When we met it felt like we were both running and looked over and someone was running with us. It was so natural and felt just right.

Then it Got HARD

About a year later we had our first daughter, Amelia, and that sweet girl ROCKED OUR WORLD. Labor was long, Amelia was colicky, breastfeeding did NOT go well. PPD sunk in and it felt like we were BARELY surviving.

5 months in we found out we were pregnant with Ruthie. And while both our girls are so wonderful, adult life really hit us hard. Our marriage, Mark’s business, and our family were really suffering.

Something Had to Change

We sat on our front porch one night and made a decision that we wanted to stop reacting to life and be proactive in creating a life we LOVE. We started with a lot of little changes that made a BIG impact and slowly we started to flourish.

When we had baby girl number 3, Elizabeth, we were hitting our stride. She was the sweetest, easiest baby and she gave us the confidence to dream bigger! Our wedding photography business grew, Mark pivoted his business, we were fighting less, and we had a handle on how to run our family.

Then in May 2021, our lives got even sweeter when we welcomed our sweet baby boy, Joey. Yes… poor Joey with 3 older sisters!! With baby number 4 we knew how to prep and we were ready.

Now we are THRIVING

Now, we can honestly say we are living the LIFE OF OUR DREAMS! Our marriage, family, and businesses are THRIVING and it is so sweet. We support each other, we spend lots of quality time with our kids, we run successful businesses, we take MULTIPLE vacations, and we’re saving 100k a year.

We’re excited to be here not only sharing photos of beautiful brides, but sharing some of the things we’ve learned along the way. We remember looking at couples like Chip and Joanna or Sara Blakely and Jesse Itzler and wondering how they do it. We saw the dream but didn’t know how to get there.  HOW did they do it? How did they run businesses, and have kids, and manage it all?! We certainly don’t have it all figured out, but we have found strategies to make our life THRIVE, and we can’t wait to share them with you.

We want to help YOU live the DREAM.

So, here we are, THE PASTERNACKS! We’re excited to share our life with you! Comment below and let us know what you can’t wait to hear!

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