They first met over breakfast at the Blue Plate Cafe in Memphis, Tennessee. She was living in Mississippi at the time; he in Memphis. They have now ended up in Iowa City as she is finishing up her PhD dissertation at Iowa. When I asked her how she knew he was “the one”, she responded, “When he was willing to let me quit my job to become a full-time student and move in with him. He went from being a bachelor to carrying most of the load for both of us and our feline children. I respect that.”
While Iowa most likely won’t be their home much longer (she presents in October and he owns his own business and works from home), I had the pleasure of photographing them earlier this week while they’re still here. I met with Ellen & Jason at the Terry Trueblood park area for their session and, though we had some gusts of wind, we truly had the most beautiful weather to work with!
When I asked Jason the same question about knowing Ellen was “the one”, he said, “I just never got tired of being with her. We could do things together well that I couldn’t do [before with anyone else], for example, travel. I can travel with her for any length of time and I enjoy it.”
They recently got engaged and Jason told me, “Ellen was hinting pretty hard so I just booked a weekend for us in Las Vegas. We went out to dinner and saw a show the first night. I had flowers, champagne, and chocolate-covered strawberries delivered to our room while we were gone. Well, the flower delivery showed up early, but oh well. I asked her to marry me in our room at the Venetian.”
She adds, “I knew he had the ring way back in November so I was very patiently waiting until May. He planned [the trip] so I knew it was coming, but it was still a very nice and awesome trip to be remembered.”
Both of them list traveling as one of their favorite things to do and they’ve got big dreams of places they’d like to go: Thailand, river cruises through Europe, Mexico, and exploring the Canadian Rockies.
Ellen describes Jason as being driven, fair, and introverted, but she most admires, “His tenacity. He’s driven, passionate, focused. I’m a little more ‘all over the place’ and could learn a lot from him and his approach to life and work.”
Jason says he admires many things about her, but specifically, “She’s caring. She really loves her family and her nieces and nephews. She’s smart. She’s smarter than I’ll ever be and I’ll have to start calling her doctor soon. She’s thoughtful and determined. I could go on and on.”