Some may call this a blog while others may call it a social platform. Here we call it our wedding photography journal since this whole business is a journey! Here we will update you with lots of photos celebrations, tips, and marriage advice! Thank you for stopping by and reading on! Feel free to journey with us in this place called marriage life.
Focused on LOVE
The wedding is just the beginning. The Focused on Love series highlights stories, interviews, personal experiences or suggestions that aim towards how couples not only fall in love and stay together, but also how they seek for ways to grow their love for each other. With each day we can choose to keep love alive through selfless acts of kindness toward our spouses and let it continue to grow. Respect and service are the two big qualities that deepens love so you will see a lot of that here. Because I graduated college with a minor in Marriage, Family, and Human Development, I have had the privilege to briefly peek into the human mind and find out why we feel the way we feel and act the way we act. Though I cannot categorize myself as expert as those who solely dedicate their lives in this field, I have been exposed enough to feel comfortable to acknowledge how couples in love tend to stay together and grow closer to each other throughout the years. We want to highlight what makes each story unique and what couples do to keep love going strong. The best thing about this series is that these couples are just as real as you and me and not made up stories. The couples we highlight will have gone through heartaches and will still be moving on. I find that the more we turn to each other (to our spouse) in such moments, we grow stronger, and the roots of that love we are cultivating deepens even more.
STORY 1: SAFIYYAH & JOHN- FALLING 70 MPH
Brief introduction of the couple:
I first met Johhny The DJ Quest from Your KC DJ in a Kansas City Networking event and shortly fell in love with their work and personalities!! Since then Josh and I have hung out, I “learned” to create a remix CD from records SO fun (I put learned in quotations because since it was my first time, and you could tell!) They both are amazing people who own a business, study, and run a not-for-profit organization in memory of Safiyyah’s mother, Laura E Mason, who is a missing person. I love how skilled and passionate they are in what they do and put their minds to. They recently celebrated their 10th year anniversary and counting! We are so excited to introduce you to John and Safiyyah Mills.
Mojica: I simply cannot believe how you guys met!!! Please share with the world the first day you saw each other.
Safiyyah’s condensed story: I had just returned from a vacation in Jamaica and decided to take a chance in what most would describe as a crazy situation.
John’s fuller story (I wish you could see his facial expressions when he first told us this story!):
It was July 4th, 2003 and I was about to get on my way back to Fort Bragg, North Carolina to finish my tour of duty from a much-needed vacation in Denver, Colorado with my family. Since my family lived in Rapid City South Dakota, we have decided to take one vehicle down to Denver and back to save money.
From Rapid City, I started my 26 hour journey back to North Carolina on the morning of July 5. Eight hours into my journey I end up stopping in a little college town called Saint Joseph, Missouri. After gassing up my car and grabbing some snacks, I’m back on I-29 speeding south toward Kansas City.
As I’m flying by all the slow cars I notice a little purple Kia putting down the road. I was preparing to fly passed and not give it a second thought. As I cruise by in the fast lane I glance over to see who I’m passing and THERE SHE WAS!! The woman of my dreams was in the car next to mine doing 65 mph down I-29!
As I reduced speed, I rolled my window down and started waving. After what seemed like hours, I finally got her attention. When she looked at me with those beautiful brown eyes I knew at that moment that she was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
So after a brief yelling match between hers and my car doing 70 mph down the interstate, we both desired to give it a chance and (for safety reasons) pulled into a well known heavily populated truck stop to sit and chat. We exchanged numbers and I called her after we got back into our cars to drive off.
Please keep in mind that I had just come back from a family vacation and Safiyyah had just that day returned home from a trip to Jamaica with her friends. So the fashion in which we met was way out of our character.
I went back to Fort Bragg, North Carolina to finish my tour. Safiyyah headed right down the street to Kansas City. For the next few months we stayed in touch and helped each other thru some rough times during our long distance relationship.
Mojica: I simply cannot believe how serendipitously you guys met-the thought that if you never looked over at her and that you were courageous enough to get her attention… I think your story deserves to be a short film! ❤️ After dating, how did you know that you wanted to get married?
Safiyyah’s condensed story: I knew that I would marry John on the day that I met him. At least that is what I told my best friend later that day.
John: For or me it was the moment I saw her driving her purple Kia traveling down I-29!❤️❤️
Mojica: I LOVE that I got to take your 10 year anniversary shoot at Powell Gardens, the place you said your I do’s! What memories do you cherish most about your wedding day?
Safiyyah: The most memorable moment was during the reception, stepping outside, looking into the sky and witnessing our very own shooting star. Turns out no one else saw it, but us. Interesting point around year 6, we saw one again.
Mojica: Safiyyah, what do you love most about John?
Safiyyah: I love how John challenges me to not take life too seriously. He keeps me grounded. He encourages me to go after my dreams. He is my number one fan. Even when I am upset with him I couldn’t see myself living a life without him. He is my best friend.
Mojica: John, what do you love most about Safiyyah that makes you grateful that she is the one who walked down the aisle to you 10 years ago?
John: She helps me focus on goals and achieve victories I never thought I could acheive. She gives me a sense of purpose that helped me become the man I am today. I don’t think I would have become a DJ if she hadn’t encouraged me to follow my dream. I love that she is my best friend and she gives me clarity thru the foggy times in my life.
Mojica: I cannot think about love without thinking of it being a selfless act and without thinking of it being a sacrifice you are willing to make for the sake of the one you love. Can you share of a time that you think that you noticed that (s)he’s doing this for you?
John: I remember a couple times I had to spend a few days in the hospital. Safiyyah NEVER left my side. She slept on that uncomfortable foldaway bed next to my hospital bed to make sure I was taken care of. Every time I get sick, she is there to get me back on my feet and well again.
Safiyyah: There have been many selfless acts committed by John. The one that stands out the most is right after we were married. I got deathly sick and he showed me that he took our vows very seriously. I knew in those moments as he cared for me that John would not scare easy and was dedicated to me and our marriage.
Mojica: What have you learned about marriage in the past 10 years from each other?
John: It has taught me that having the right person by your side in life is extremely important! Before we met, I wasn’t a goal or career oriented as I should’ve been. 10 years of being married to Safiyyah has taught me that communication is one of the most important ingredients in our marriage. If I tell her what I want to accomplish, she helps me plan and plot a course of action to help me become a better person!😘
Safiyyah: I have learned that marriage is both fragile and resilient. I’ve learned that if you nurture your relationship it will be strong enough to endure the toughest of circumstances and also reward you in the sweetest moments. Marriage is hard, but also fun, it basically requires you to be present and to do the work, but it is worth every moment.
Mojica: Everyone eventually reaches a point when disagreements and misunderstandings occur in a marriage, when you guys get to that point, how do you approach it in a way to avoid future arguments?
Safiyyah:Communication has been and will always be key. We talk it out and don’t go to bed angry.
Mojica: John how has Safiyyah strengthened you as a person?
John: Safiyyah haves me strength thru her support of my dreams and goals. Her love for me is my strength.
Mojica: Safiyyah, the same question, how has John strengthen you in becoming the woman you are today?
Safiyyah:John is my biggest cheerleader. He has always encouraged me to go after my dreams. Even when they have not panned out, he insists that we will be alright!
Mojica: What do you feel keeps you two together as the years go by?
Safiyyah: We keep God in the center and the ‘D’ word is not an option. We have decided to stay committed to our marriage through leaning on God in all situations.
John: God first, saying I love you everyday and keeping the lines of communication open.
Mojica: Because of your DJing experience, you get to hear a TON of toasts in weddings, if you were to give a toast to your best-friend in form of advice in creating a lasting marriage with their newlywed spouse, what would you tell them?
Safiyyah: We would tell them that marriage is not always easy. In fact, there may be times that you do not like each other very much. However, during these times take a moment and picture your life without your spouse and reflect on why you got married in the first place to help you turn your low points around.
Mojica: John and Safiyyah, I love learning of ways to show love and to see how others see love, I am SO grateful to be able to share about your lives and what helps you guys grow together as you continue to grow that love.