I'm a writer, Youtuber, photographer. and old-fashioned romantic in love with celebrating the simple joys of daily life. I appreciate timelessness, the natural world, and a slow life lived with simplicity and intention. When I'm not photographing families or  slowly traveling the world and writing about it in a little notebook, I'm happily grounding myself in nature and cozying up with my sweet husband.

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In honor of Valentine’s Day and our first Valentines day celebrated as a married couple, I thought I’d share some insights on our first eight months as newlyweds.

We are still riding that high

They say the first year as a married couple is the most exciting, and we are still coming off that high from our wedding and honeymoon in Egypt. While we have seriously been together for 3 and a half years before being married, having lived together for a year and a half before that, it is all still somewhat new. We are still learning and discovering one another. Alex now knows not to have me in the kitchen unless he wants burnt food and a sticky mess. I’ve learned his unique cooking style: pasta…pasta…and more pasta (currently attempting him to try new recipes online). He now knows that unless there are snacks in the cabinet, I won’t eat (I hate cooking) and that the house will get thoroughly cleaned when I have a lot on my mind (which is often, I love cleaning). We’ve discovered some video games that we both enjoy playing together – me on a keyboard, him on a mouse (Tomb Raider reboot series, BioShock Infinite, myVMK)!

 

Dahan Egypt Honeymoon

Some Things Never Change

We still dance in our living room and play Above and Beyond, switching the light switch on and off, pretending like we are clubbing from our old New York City courtship days. We still travel and go on road trips like through Spain and with another newlywed couple through the Alsace region in France.

Disagreements are less frequent than in our first two years of dating, and when we do get pissed at one another, it lasts no longer than a minute before we erupt in a fit of giggles and kiss each other madly in between laughter. We know each other so well, knowing that we both can never hold onto arguments for long – something that took a few years to master in the beginning. I let go and move on quickly, he doesn’t overreact. From our first 3 and a half years of dating to now, there is just that silent understanding of one another. There is never a need to explain. We just…know each other.

An Easy Partnership

Our relationship, from day 1, has always been easy. There was never any drama, no chasing or games. We never fought or have ever broken up. The timing always worked out magically and effortlessly.

We liked each other as friends, and that admiration of each other as friends morphed into a slow and steady love. It was simple. We weren’t looking. It just flowed. Which, from a romantic’s perspective, I think it is the most fated, star-crossed lover experience you can get. We’re each other’s best friends. It may not be a Ross + Rachel type of relationship (we’re definitely Monica and Chadler),  but it is stable, it is good. A steady and stable friendship-turned-relationship is the most magical thing ever!

Alex and Helena honeymoon Dahab Egypt

Stability

Over the past six months, we have become an old married couple. We bicker occasionally,  and we don’t like going out as much as we used to. We enjoy being hermits in the winter, watching reruns of Friends and Gilmore Girls and playing endless games of Rummikub and cards. We enjoy hanging out and meeting new friends, but the urgent, desperate need to make lots of friends isn’t as pressing as it used to be when we were younger. We are more confident as adults, surer of ourselves with less of a need to constantly do. 

We’ve changed and grown up, watching each other rise and fall and morph into new individuals. That has been the most precious gift of all.

We’ve grown up together

Alex was 25 when he met me, and I was 20. I’ve changed far more drastically in my early twenties than he has in his late twenties. I was wild and a bit overly passionate, a bit insecure, always believing that I would be happily single and on my own forever – both of which I was completely fine with. But the timing couldn’t have been better. I was able to grow into a steadier person because of having him grow alongside next to me.

While I’m sure I will keep growing in my mid-twenties, I am more solid. My heart will always be free-spirited, but it is less wild, less dramatic, less angry and less attention-seeking. I seek inward. I seek quiet and peace, and I owe much of that growth and maturation to him and our marriage. I have grown to be grounded, thanks in part to his grounding nature. He has grown to embrace hobbies and passions because of his always watching me pursue interests and hobbies that I love. Because of one another, he has desired to dream more, and I have desired to seek gratitude and calm. We are each other’s counter-weights, forever balancing the other out.

Alex and Helena NewlyWeds

Today

They say to pick your spouse wisely, for that person will influence you more than any other. And I am grateful to have become a little bit kinder, a little bit wiser, and a little bit more understanding because of Alex. We have been married for 8 months now, and for our first Valentines Day together as newlyweds, we’ll be doing as we usually do: playing board games at a cafe and reading our novels side-by-side on the couch. It’s simple, fun and so very us.

Excited to read forever alongside you, Alex.

Alex and Helena honeymoon Dahab Egypt 

 

Newlywed Bliss and Our First 8 Months into Marriage

February 14, 2019

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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical, emotionally honest family and children's portraiture. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I photograph families across the world. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.

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