A DESTINATION SHOOT: Keith & Alli at the Crane Estate | Ipswhich, MA

 

It was two days before I was supposed to arrive in Maine that I first spoke with Alli on the phone. A mutual friend had connected us and the description matched the reality: Keith and Alli are that adorably artsy, free-spirited couple up for any kind of adventure - including a random photo shoot with a complete stranger.

You could say it was love at first hear when that good ole Boston accent came out of Keith. Not to mention that he proposed to Alli in a hot air balloon, has an incredible testimony about Jesus, and doted upon Alli during the shoot in picking her flowers and dipping her often to steal a kiss. Their genuine love and joy for each other left me speechless and longing to live in the New England area just to be every-day friends with them. They were also kind enough to write out their love story - friends, you are in for a treat!!!

“Keith will probably tell you we met at a hockey game, but I have no recollection of him on that night...”

Alli and I met in high school. The first time I saw her I was on my way into a high school hockey game outside of the old Boston University rink. Seeing her for the first time I definitely thought she was cute but then again I was girl crazy in high school and so I thought her best friend was cute too. But Alli was weird like me. She listened to cool music and wore weird clothes and said kind of weird stuff like me so, naturally, we became good friends. The only way that we really differed was that she loved Jesus and I really loved getting completely out of my mind on whatever drugs and alcohol I could get my hands on. Though we didn’t hangout very much because of our two totally different lifestyles, every once in a while I would get sober and we would hangout for the evening. Usually that night would end with me professing my undying love to her. By “usually,” I mean every single time we hung out. Alli would always brush me off and told me we were just friends.

Alli went on a long mission trip with YWAM to Germany and India (...she kissed me before leaving...). And while she was gone I went right back to getting high and things got really out of control. I started using heroin and my habit was really bad...

 "Keith messaged me on Facebook while I was gone and told me he had relapsed again. I never wanted to be home more. I just kept feeling like I was cheating on America and the issues I had in my own back yard. There I was in India “saving the world” when my best friend was killing himself at home."

Alli brought an adorable dress she made and Keith beamed as he told me he chose his clothes to compliment his "smoking hot wife." I nearly lost my marbles when Alli said that there was an estate (that the beach was part of) she had in mind for a second location. Hopefully I maintained my professionalism, but let's be honest, when we drove up and when I saw their classy style I squealed like a 7 year old school girl. Hullo Crane Estate and hullo beautiful people!!!

I still had a huge crush on Alli and she was totally on fire for God – especially after traveling the world experiencing her faith. She wasn’t scared of who I was or who I had been and she just started showing me this love that I had never really experienced before. God showed me His character through her love and grace and mercy for me and my messed up self. Plus I had swagger on a trillion so she was pretty much head over heels for me right from the jump.

"Last year he proposed to me in a hot air balloon – a dream of mine has been to ride in one forever and he knew that, so he made it come true. But that’s how it’s always been - I dream these detailed dreams and Keith makes them come true. I always tell people it’s like a movie because I don’t know how else to describe the perfection my life with Keith is."

I wish I could say that after we started dating that I never picked up a drug again. Alli had every reason to leave and to give up and to move on with her life but she didn’t when I relapsed again. She fought for me and I can’t thank her enough for it. I still to this day haven’t met a person who has loved the way that she loves and I doubt I ever will.  She’s a little bit cray and has a ton of guts and that’s why I love her.

Alli has done exactly what she did right from the start; she loves me, she shows me grace on so many levels, she cares about my life and my heart, she makes me want to be a better man and most importantly she fights for me. We’ve since celebrated my three year anniversary without a drink or a drug and the best day of my life was when we got married on March 20, 2015.

"Five years ago I could not talk about marriage without dreaming of divorce. Today I promise it’s the best decision I’ve ever made because our God is a God of hope and renewal. It hasn't been easy but our relationship, our marriage, is about choice and putting each other first..."