I definitely cried when Jen texted me asking if I’d take their pregnancy announcement photos. I’ve known these ladies as teachers, and then as friends, and in every stage of our friendship I have been genuinely moved by their love for each other.
These are two of the kindest, warmest, most courageous humans I know, and I am so excited they are going to be parents!! Here are a few snaps from our session in their front yard.
(They called the babe their “little dragon”!!)
They used a sign from their wedding for the announcing – because their last name is pronounced “cook” it sounds out like “cooking for two” – except now it will be three! And featured in these photos are their darling dogs, who are about to be big siblings.
I don’t know about you, but my social media has been clogged with people lamenting how horrible 2016 has been. And, I feel those feelings too; there has been a lot of global-wide fear and harm done. Celebrating the good does not diminish the impact of the wrong, but I want to take a moment and choose to look back at some of my cherished memories from this year. My most favorite moments were largely not photographed by me, or photographed at all. But for the ones I have, I cherish.
So, 2016, in closure:
Wishing you all a safe and rejuvenating New Year’s, and let’s get ready to spread more love in 2017!
I was sitting in an all-but-empty theatre when Ashley sent me a message asking if I’d be around the week of Christmas to take some pictures. I will! I replied, darting up a quick glance at the previews before the film started. And to my query “what kind of photoshoot are you thinking?” she replied, “Josh and I are going to the courthouse to get married!”
The phone all but fell out of my hands!
As it turns out, the courthouse would be closed the day before Christmas Eve, and so through a flurry of texts Ashley told me they had relocated to Duke Gardens. It was bright, and cold, and a gorgeous day to get married.
Ashley met me at my car, a little breathless from the walk and the excitement, and we trod over to a little stone-stepped spot overlooking the gardens where her parents, grandparents, colleague/officiant, and soon-to-be husband awaited. I couldn’t stop grinning. Everyone was so calm, so centered. Ashley told me they’d found a wonderful woman at Lowes Foods to do the boutonnière and bridal bouquet, and they’d had their rings engraved on Black Friday. I had never been surrounded by so many peaceful people on a wedding day, in that sparkling almost-Christmas sun.
After Nana helped affix the boutonnière, the ceremony began. John 15 was read and vows were made.
All was calm, all was bright.
Ashley’s parents signed the certificate and everyone posed for a few portraits. Then, Ashley and Josh and I took a little stroll about the gardens.
After we wrapped up the photo-taking, Ashley and Josh headed back to their car. They were heading home, for a wedding luncheon of her mother’s lasagna (a favorite) and to put on their coziest flannels.
My favorite thing about church on Sundays is sitting on the back pew with the wriggly kids and best of parents. Founding members of the back row antics is this squad – Brock, and his dads J and Phillip!
These cuties and I met up for a fall morning walk around Duke Gardens. Brock is, obviously, a total ham and had me in stitches the whole time – from both running to keep up and from all the giggles!
There really are few things more beautiful than deep, tender, tackle-hug love from parents to children. Thanks, y’all, for letting me witness your love!