Once Upon A Time: 13 Years Later | Valley Falls | Fairmont, WV

Updated: May 4


Recently, Rich and I had the opportunity to take our kids out to Valley Falls in Fairmont, WV. We were there for a client session, but it's pretty typical for Rich and the kids to come with me. We've been to many interesting places over the years both for leisure and for work. Since we were all there, we thought it'd be fun to take some impromptu photos. It wasn't planned and the kids ended up covered in mud, but it'd been a while since we'd taken some family pictures just for the fun of it.


Since I haven’t blogged anything other than client work in the past year or so, I figured it might be due time to make a blog just about us. If you’re new to this website or to following along on social media, you not might be familiar with our story. Here's a quick breakdown about us and our lives.


RICH

Rich (or Richie as I fondly call him) was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. He lived with his parents and two younger brothers in various houses and apartments throughout the suburbs. He spent many days at his grandma's house enjoying her legendary stew and biscuits. His grandma worked for many years at True Value and knew just about everyone in the area, and because of that Rich wasn't able to get away with anything. His late mom worked as a bartender at the bowling alley near their house, and he and his brothers would go there often to bowl and play pool. Between the Davis men, there are countless stories about their days at that bowling alley. Since it was such a huge part of her life, the celebration of Deedee's life was held at the bowling alley after she'd passed.


When he was around eleven years old, Rich attended vacation bible school (VBS) at a local church and he gave his life to Christ. That was the start of his devotion to ministry. As he grew in his knowledge of Jesus, Rich felt a distinct calling to be a teacher and--maybe one day-- a pastor. As a teenager, he led a group of his peers in a home-based youth led bible study. Today, he is a youth pastor, education director, and avid supporter of VBS. Outside of his church ministries, Rich often gets called upon by other churches to guest preach.


Rich attended Agua Fria High School, where he dabbled in a number of extra curricular including drama, choir, football, and JROTC, which was his favorite. In fact, JROTC was one of the reasons joining the Air Force was his goal for the future. Being an honors student, he was looking at full-ride scholarships to multiple universities. He planned to go to college so that he could join the Air Force as an officer. His plans drastically changed when he was 17 years old and watched his girlfriend and her family move away.


CYNTHIA

I was the girl who moved.


I grew up in an Air Force family. We moved a lot and because we moved so often, my parents decided it'd be easier on us kids if they homeschooled us. All eight of us. I am the second-born and the first of two daughters. The moving life didn't bother me much until I became a preteen, and then moving was the worst ever. I missed my friends and I didn't see the bigger picture.


I was born in Washington State, lived in Japan for four years, and then we lived in New Jersey, and then Utah, and then Arizona...multiple places in Arizona. From the Grand Canyon to Phoenix and the plains in-between, we saw so much and met so many people. Yeah, moving around a lot made it seem like I had no roots, but the places, cultures, and people all helped me become who I am: an adventurous eater with stories to tell and the desire to see the world and spread God's love.


When I was twelve years old, having just moved to Phoenix, I attended VBS and met a boy who liked to Pokemon. I had no idea that he was my future. Even before we started to develop feelings for each other, my mom knew that Richie was my future husband and she began to pray for him.


Eventually, Richie and I did start dating, but another move put many miles between us. My family was relocated to Follansbee, WV and a new chapter began...one that laid the foundation for the life that Richie and I now lead. He and I stayed committed to our long-distant relationship for a year, but at eighteen, Richie made the decision to give up his dream of joining the Air Force and instead leave his friends and family and the life he knew to start one of his own in the Upper Ohio Valley.


He followed me.


That had never happened before. I was always the girl who left. That friend who moved away. The one who couldn't keep her friends.


But he didn't let go and followed where I went.


This May marks our thirteenth wedding anniversary. Life is not at all how I expected it would be, but that's totally fine because it's even better than I could have dreamed. We have three beautiful crazy kids, a wonderful church family, jobs that we love, and the ability to travel and meet all sorts of people. Yeah, we've seen our share of hardships and struggles, but those are the things in which we grow and become stronger. I can't imagine how life would have turned out if Richie had decided to stay in Arizona. I'm so thankful to have him in my life.


THE MONSTERS

When I was twenty-two, doctors told me that I wouldn't have kids unless I sought the help of a fertility specialist. Well, I know the ultimate specialist and He still does miracles. Lana is the first of our miracles. She is seven going on eighteen and is the brightest, kindest, and sassiest kid I know. She is currently in first grade and taking enrichment classes. She absolutely loves learning and her straight A's prove it. Lana is a movie buff and avid reader. She dreams of being an artist when she grows up.


Aria was our happy surprise. She is about to be six years old and is my little elf princess (even though she hates it when I call her that). She is the type of kid who skips everywhere and always has a big grin on her face...unless she's telling you a story, in which case she has the most serious and concerned look in her big tear drop eyes. And if she does start telling you a story, you better get comfortable. Aria loves to dance and all things mermaids. She dreams of being a rock star when she grows up...and so do I.


Blake was exactly what we needed. I have to admit I wasn't the most thrilled when I found out I was pregnant with him, but life wouldn't be complete without Blake. I knew deep down that our third baby was a boy and his name came to me so easily. He has always been my little sunshine. Blake is a very happy child. He plays independently very well and loves putting things together like legos and puzzles. He is incredibly smart and friendly. Dinosaurs, batman, and Super Mario are among his favorite things. Blake talks about being a doctor when he grows up.



We are Rich and Cynthia, Ohio based wedding photographers capturing fairytale moments in OH, WV, PA and beyond. Get to know us even better, contact us to set up a coffee date. We'd love to hear all about your love story.


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