Meet Shivers. No, this is not a stuffed animal that I slept with as a child. This is a stuffed animal that I slept with as a teenager. A token of young love that was more precious to me than most things in the world at the time.

When I was 13 years old, I met the cutest boy in the world. At the time I lived in Iowa and he lived in Washington DC, but we fell in love as much as kids can and wouldn’t let the distance separate us. When we began dating he gave me the ultimate token of love. Yes, his stuffed penguin. His childhood friend. A piece of him that I held onto and cried into every time we had to leave each other to go back home.

Today I found him in our closet. The closet we now share. I married this adorable boy that stole my heart at 13 with his stuffed penguin. I married this boy who grew into a man that completely captivated everything that I am. When I look at him today I still see some of that boy I met 11 years ago and then suddenly I see all that we have become together. We have grown up together. We have chosen each other. He walks by me as I write this and touches my shoulder. I smile and put Shivers back in the closet. No room for him next to my pillow tonight. My husband gets that spot.


Kristyn Hogan is a wedding & lifestyle photographer in Nashville, Tennessee photographing the stories of beautiful people in Nashville, Iowa and around the world. www.kristynhogan.com

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Kristyn Hogan photographs spirited, fresh, timeless weddings in Nashville and destinations worldwide.