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My First Tattoo

It was a pretty fun day, getting coordinating tattoos that symbolize our love on Valentine’s Day. But before I dive into that awesome day here’s some of the story behind it.

When Justin and I were dating I was full into my art life. Paint was always on my hands and stuck in the cracks of my nails. I was part of a series at our church that included live painting on stage during the sermon. My days and nights were basically about art stuff. Justin was a part of that and helped me with certain projects in the evenings.

Justin told me in the midst of that season that he felt like God was going to use me as the paint brush to help restore his life. That meant a lot to me and I decided to look for that happening as we got married and moved forward together. That was about 12 years ago and I can say for a fact that I’ve sent this to be true. The thing I wasn’t necessarily paying attention to or looking for was how much Justin was going to used by God as a brush in my life to restore ME. God has used Justin to restore, grow and change me equally as much as I’ve seen change in Justin.

We’re coming up on being married for 11 years in May and the art we have been a part of in each others lives is pretty incredible. Being an artist in someone’s life involves intention, patience, gentleness, pain, struggle and Joy. It’s been a ride, but we have both never been as beautiful to each other as we are now!

The idea of a paintbrush naturally fit into our ideas as were we’re talking about getting coordinating tattoos. After tossing a few ideas around we decided on the same paintbrush on both of us, but a different design behind it. We’re really different people, but also the same in so many ways. It’s perfect for us.

Our Valentines tattoo appointment was at 12pm in Oceanside, CA. We got our four kids settled into school and babysitting for the day (worth mentioning because a kid-free day is vacation status). We started our adventure with coffee and pre-breakfast scones at our favorite local coffee place, Arcade Coffee Roasters. Then we followed it up with breakfast in Temecula at a joint called EAT Marketplace. Both amazing! Food is pretty much our favorite and you’ll want to try ALL of our recommends at some point in your life. Haha! (Srsly tho.)

We arrived at Arcade Tattoo and I met our talented tattoo artist Jordan Brill. Justin has had tattoo work from Jordan before and in talking to him I was super impressed by this guy because it was immediately apparent that he is an artist of his craft. An artist considers all the details and variables of a project. He went above and beyond to do that. He knows how tattoos behave on the skin over time and helped us make decisions to have our tattoos look the best they can for years to come. He also knew how to create that watercolor look I was hoping for and I was super happy with his ideas and how it turned out.

I went first. It was also my first tattoo and I always wondered how it felt. Well, now I know. It feels like getting stung by a bee while the needles are on and no pain when the needles are lifted. Very weird.

Then Justin went. This is his fourth tattoo. His was a little faster since he went with no color. The whole experience was totally fun.

Once our tattoo art was done we celebrated with more food art! Don’t judge, but we went to three more fine food establishments. We went to Local Tap House around the corner from the tattoo shop. It was the best. Get the deviled eggs (trust). We got in the car and headed back to Temecula and went to 1909 and got a few more appetizers. Delicious. And we finished the evening with dessert and drinks at a local joint called Wolfskill. It was one of our funnest Valentines days yet!

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