by LYDIA COBB | photos by Spark Photography

Their Own Adventure


Martha and James Madigan are middle school sweethearts. They met in church youth group in Sterling, VA. James played trombone and Martha was a vocalist. “We got married when we were 21 years old,” mentioned James, “and it has been the best journey one could hope for.”


The Madigans moved here in 2012 with two young children. Their littlest joined them a few months ago. James has a B.S. in Business Management from George Mason University and works for AVI Systems as a Project and Relationship Developer. He helps clients implement communications solutions utilizing audiovisual technology. Martha has an associates degree from Northern Virginia Community College. She’s a “pro-mom,” according to James. They both love to photograph portraits and events when time allows. “We enjoy capturing the beautiful and fleeting moments of life,” stated James. It’s the passion behind Martha James Photography.

“It’s tough out here in San Diego but somebody’s got to do it!”


James puts baby Ryder in his chest carrier for family walks at Torrey Pines beach. Brynley, six, and Asher, three, search for seashells and other beach treasures. James added, “The ocean is good for our collective family soul, and individually as well.” Brynley loves first grade and is “making a hobby of losing her teeth.” She dances, paints, writes, and is a kind big sister. Asher is full of energy. “Asher loves beating up his dad and cuddling with his mama,” added Martha. Brynley and Asher both started gymnastics at the YMCA. Everyone plays with Ryder, who laughs, smiles, and now recognizes his loving family.

Parents: James and Martha Madigan
Children: Brynley Chord (6), Asher James (3), Ryder Wesley (4 months)
Community: Carmel Trails since 2012
Hometowns: James – Leesburg, VA; Martha – Born in Missouri and raised in Palm Desert, CA
Professions: James – Audio Visual System Sales;
Martha – mom and Martha James Photography

Favorite Places in 92128: Community pool, great parks, In the Mix Yogurt, Chick-Fil-A

family_madigan6 family_madigan5 family_madigan4They are members of C3 Church and volunteer on the Worship and Creative Arts Team. This time, James is on drums, while Martha is vocal director. They feel blessed by the relationships they’ve made. Martha, who grew up in Palm Desert, is closer to several aunts, uncles, and cousins, yet they deeply miss their families and friends in Virginia. This is the adventure they needed to call their own. “Whether we stay and raise our family here in San Diego or back in Virginia,” explained James, “our time here is important, necessary, and has been full of adventure, heartache, tears, happiness, and joy.” James likes to say to his loved ones back east, “It’s tough out here in San Diego, but somebody’s got to do it!” And they’re doing it with gratitude for every day.