Welcome to the RLP Family
This page is a hub for all RLP Couples, past and present. Here you will find resources, links, and special announcements!
Josh + Malia | Still Waters Ranch
Kevin + Erika | Moody Mansion
Dillon + Marissa | Mansion at ColoVista
Kenny + Victoria | Addison Woods
Daniel + Katherin | Out Under the Trees
Felix + Samantha | Lagoon at Lago Mar
Eugene + Megan | St. John Vianney Catholic Church
Keanea + Therese | Lynn's Ranch
Evan + Megan | Shirley Acres
Steven + Carrie | Lynn's Ranch
Gavin + Ashlynn \ The Homestead
Clark + Leslie | Iron Manor
The RLP Blog
15% Off All Items
A Journal by Ashley Rivers
The best way to do life is together, so here is my ongoing story of faith, love and family.
I can hardly believe summer is almost over. Even more so, I cannot believe how much has transpired in such a brief time. We have celebrated new beginnings, such as my brother's marriage, baby announcements, and the sweet weddings I've gotten to photograph. But today, I want to share with you about all the tears I have shed this summer and how we have navigated through them in our marriage.
GRIEF | Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my paternal grandparents (Mommo + Poppo). I have so many fond memories at their house as a child - late night ice cream with Poppo, shopping with Mommo, and family gatherings at their house. When my family moved to Texas from New Jersey, they followed us shortly after. I've had 19 years of them being here for all the little and big moments of my life. Additionally, David has known my grandparents for many years having been so close to my family.
Last year, I mentioned mourning the loss of Mommo's memory. If you've had a loved one suffer from dementia, you know that it's a gradual fade until they no longer know who you are. It's heartbreaking but you make the most of the moments they're with you. Over the past several months, we've known my grandfather's health was declining, but I didn't anticipate attending his funeral this year. Over the past few weeks, I've been processing this grief. As a Christian, I do take comfort in believing that he is with Jesus but it still hurts.
The hardest part, is no longer having them here. You can no longer hug them or eat with them. You can no longer tell them about what is happening in your life or share in new experiences with them. If you were close, you have videos and photos to look back on when you miss their smile or the sound of their voice...but it's not the same. Sometimes you just need to cry. I am incredibly grateful for the memories I've been able to share with him. I have also been focusing on the impact he made on me and so many others. His legacy challenges me to be more intentional with my time, attention, and relationships.
When grieving, it can be easy to shut down. As a couple, it's important to face grief together. David was grieving too, even though his looked different than mine. For me, I needed David to hold me me as I cry, to pray with me, and listen to me share. For David, there were times he needed my to comfort and talk to help him process it all.
HEARTACHE | Did I mention we have had SO many baby announcements this summer? This is beautiful and exciting, but when you're having difficulty trying to conceive, announcements can be hard to process. David and I have been trying to conceive for the past few years. Unfortunately, I have PCOS and Endometriosis.
One of the announcements we received was Josh and Meg's surprise honeymoon baby. Let me first say, we are incredibly excited about this baby and becoming an aunt/uncle. This baby will be greatly loved by us. Still, the heart aches for us to have our own. As an oldest child, I always anticipated being the first to have children. I didn't realize how deeply set those expectations were until now.
We have hope that it will happen for us one day. We believe the new doctor I'm seeing is the right next step for us, but that doesn't mean we won't feel heartache, anger, longing, and disappointment. It's what we do with these feelings that matters. For me, I need open communication with my husband, prayer, and times where I allow myself to feel/process these emotions. I have core friends I can talk to about what I'm going through. I need to continue celebrating others, but with healthy boundaries for my emotional/mental health.
I also want to say, I've been so grateful to the friends who considered reaching out to warn me that they would be announcing pregnancies. I am grateful to those who still ask me to capture their baby announcement and maternity photos because I love to. I'm also grateful for the friends who constantly send me reminders that they are praying for us in this area.
LONGSUFFERING | Being a small business owner is HARD. This summer, This summer I've really felt the pressure of it and one day I cried to my husband. He said, "The times where it's most difficult, those are the times we are forced to think creatively and where the best ideas come from." Y'all, having a supportive spouse is priceless. Even though David doesn't work with me or know a lot about the industry, he is there for me to brainstorm, pray, encourage, and challenge me.
Tears reveal a lot about our heart and mind. We need to feel these emotions, but we must also process them so we can grow. When we can identify our obstacles and frustrations, we can look for solutions. I can't say I know what 2023 has in store for my business, but I know that I am not giving up.
GRATITUDE | Sometimes everything hits at once and it feels like too much. Learning to express gratitude has been a huge help for me in this season and it impacts our marriage. It reminds me to find another perspective to the challenges I'm facing and it allows my heart to be more receptive of David when is trying to help me.
I don't know what you and your significant other are facing, but if any of this was relatable, I hope it was also encouraging. The challenges of life are also opportunities for intimacy to grow so I encourage you to face them together.