More than 30 balloons // The Barry Files

Steven and I have this little cute shoebox (it used to be an old climbing shoe box, but then that got full so I had to upgrade) and it’s full of memories. Mostly of the letters that we still write back and forth to each other, and special cards, and things like that. But mostly letters. While the letters have slowed down in the past year or so, I still love to keep them and look back through this box. It’s kind of like a time capsule from different points in our lives. I love to see the things we were going through, the things we were excited about, and the things we were looking forward to. I treasure this little box that sits on the shelf in our closet.

Well, recently I was thinking about doing a new blog series, and with a little bit of encouragement + permission from Amy and Jordan Demos, I decided to start my own version of their “pink slip files.” But Steven said we should change the name, so I bring you “The Barry Files”! This blog is multi-faceted for me. Yes, it’s to show my work, and to help educate other photographers and brides, but it’s also a place where I can connect with you on a personal level. To show you what a healthy marriage can look like. My hope is that my sharing these personal stories on this blog will impact someone’s life in SOME way.

But more than the fact that I created this blog for others, I also created it for me. I know that someday I’m going to look back on these posts and be reminded of things that I can no longer remember. Lily is going to read these posts someday and get a snapshot of different seasons of our life. That’s really powerful for me!

Anyway, The Barry Files… we write down a statement “I’ll never forget…” about something that has happened in our relationship together, and then we can pull those out and have those memories come flooding back! So, from time to time I plan to share these slips of paper with you all and the short story that is behind them! My hope is that not only that will this connect me to you, but also help connect you more deeply to the people in your own lives.

If you want to start your own “files” just get some colored paper and start collecting these memories together!

This photo is taken from my FB album in 2011, haha.

We had been officially dating for less than a month, so I didn’t expect anything on Valentine’s Day. I think it’s kind of a weird holiday anyway, so my bar was pretty low – lucky for Steven! I never in my wildest dreams expected to walk into my dorm room after classes to find over THIRTY balloons up against the ceiling and a fun arrangement of Nerds on my desk (my favorite at the time!).

“I’ll never forget about the time you filled up 30+ balloons with notes inside for our first Valentine’s day <3 “

I’m not even sure if I knew that Steven was coming down that day! I can’t remember. But Steven took it one step further. Inside each and every balloon was a little strip of paper that had a little note on it. And these notes fell into one of three categories: something he loved about me, something he was looking forward to in our future together, and something that he likes doing with me. I couldn’t even believe that he had taken the time to do all of that. He did a balloon for each day since the first night we hung out together, and to this day I still have every strip of paper in a scrapbook so I can still read all the things he wrote down and to see how many of those “future” things came true!

I was terrified to pop all the balloons, but I did it (I almost told him I wouldn’t pop them, haha), and it ended up being super fun to open them one by one! I think Steven was pretty proud of himself that night, and we went out to eat for dinner that night as well!

That was when I really started to picture us getting married and having a life together, and here we are, almost 8 years later and he still does sweet things like this for me! And that my friends, is the story of our first Valentine’s Day together.

Linda is a Boston-based photographer specializing in weddings and creating family legacies. You can see more of her work online at, on Instagram, or on Facebook. If you want to reach out directly: To sign up for the monthly newsletter full of encouragement and real life, click here!

If you liked this post, you might like these also!

The Barry Files // A personal series

comments +

  1. Kassaundra says:

    I love this idea!

Leave a Reply

You can usually find me adding books to my never-ending “to read” list; challenging myself to do things like not shop for a year; sneaking crispy m+ms from my secret hiding spot so I don’t have to share them with my daughter; and melting over seeing my children smiling at each other.

Oh and I guess I should mention - I’m a seasoned Portland wedding photographer who provides not only kick-ass wedding photos, but also a meaningful and laid-back experience from the time you book to the delivery of your final images. 

I share all things personal, business, tips, and life as a mom and business owner here on the blog!

I'm Linda!

hi friend!

i'm a mama of two, a razzleberry peace tea hoarder, and a photographer

let me tell yours

I Love
 Love Stories



Photos by linda barry


© Linda barry photography 2023

50 Market St, Ste 1A, #236, South Portland ME 04106