It's true I absolutely adore chasing kids around, and the victory of capturing their true spirit and relationships between each other, and their parents. But there is also something special about spending time focusing on the two people who created their family. I've known Tiffany and Shanon for over 5 years now, and I'm pretty sure if you've been following this blog for more than 5 minutes, you know them too, along with their brood. We decided this time around, for their fourth and final babe, but first-ever maternity session, that we would try something new: no kids (except, you know, the one still baking). So just before Valentine's day we met on a beautiful sunny morning in a gorgeous public garden and captured these sweeter-than-sugar belly love photos.
The icing on that extra sweet cake? This feature on Let the Kids today. Click on over there and show me (and them!) some love. And after you do that come back here, I've got more to say! (Please and thank you.)
I can't sign off on this post without sharing that after years of talking about it, my girl T finally launched a blog all about her adventures in parenting, and beyond. You can find her and her "hoodlums" here. I've gotta be honest, although I love the way she writes, my absolute favorite column over there is "sisterly small talk" in which she reports complete conversations between her two daughters. Those girls are too much; I laugh till I cry every time.
Alright that's about enough out of me today. But come back here tomorrow, okay? I've got something extra special to share with you, or rather, someONE (hint: 2+4=6!).
I am totally down with thoughtfully outfitting the family, conjuring up dreamy locations, planning, primping, and prepping, as long as everyone is on board with all of that flying out the window when we add kids and Mother Nature to the mix. Children stick out their tongues. Busy parents forget to pack diapers. Potty accidents happen. Newly walking babies refuse to sit down. Sibling kisses lead to wrestling matches. Vintage dresses rip. Controlled chaos is the name of this game, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I mean, how boring would these photos be if everyone was just sitting and smiling at the camera, right?
What I mean is this: Do not be fooled by what appears “composed and collected”; remember the saying “there is more than meets the eye” exists with reason. Go ahead and plan your photo session, pick your style, give it thought, but please let go of your expectations for perfection. Real life is all about MacGyver-ing a diaper, re-fashioning ripped dresses, rolling with grumpy moods, looking beyond bumps and bruises, avoiding looming wasp nests (yup, that happened!), and children running wild and free. It’s the daily grind of being a parent. And I hope you can see in these photos, the great beauty in the mistakes and mishaps. Because when the sun sets at the end of the day, it's all about making memories.
There are six Grays in these photos.
Tiffany, Shanon, Memphis, Odessa, and Raleigh are thrilled to be adding another location to their family map! And I could not be more honored to be spreading the big news right here on my blog. I have loved watching this family grow in the almost-five years I've known them, and I am so excited to witness and document more of their change.
We hit The Island this weekend for the Gray's annual fall photo session - there are many more gorgeous images to come- Tiffany thought up this cute idea for announcing their pregnancy, and well, how could I not get down with this?! So dear loved ones of this gorgeous gang, in case the photos and words have not already made it abundantly clear, here's the official announcement: come March there's gonna be a new Gray in town!