It’s always a thrill to meet new people that you instantly click with and I just loved these guys. They’re fellow northerners who love their cats and their adorable daughter. Their adorable daughter loves whisking eggs (an all-time favorite hobby of hers) and painting (sometimes a canvas, sometimes her face). Her parents sent me a video of her wandering around the kitchen crying “Carolynnnn” after I left because she couldn’t find me and I apparently made quite a good impression. It was the best. Also the best: being busy photographing a toddler cooking breakfast but then turning around to find that the mom just came around the corner holding two enormous fluffy cats for me to also photograph. The cats are named Chunk and Rhu Rhu and we were best friends and I love them and they love me. It was a great day, ya’ll.

THESE GUYS! We have become fast friends with this family through our mutual love of horror movies and rock music and cats and fun clothes and cheese and skeletons and 28 Days Later. We love them very much. Their children are A TOTAL BALL OF ENERGETIC FUN that could probably power a small country if someone could figure out a way to plug them into the power grid. They’re fast. They’re wild. They like Andrew WK dance parties and they’re obsessed with the movie Labyrinth. There has never been anyone in my entire life that’s ever been more excited to see me than Oz. Spoiler alert to my own self-esteem: I think maybe Oz is excited to see everyone, but I’m going to keep pretending that he likes me the most.

Both Vera and Oz launch straight into 10 minute overlapping monologues when I see them, and then once I’ve been whirlwind updated and usually assigned a pair of sunglasses or a specific spot that they’d like me to sit, they will usually take turns sitting with me and telling me about Pokemon or Peppa the Pig until they go to bed. They are absolute sweethearts and totally wild and I hope they never change. The entire family, like myself, loves what Christie calls “aggressively patterned” colorful clothes, and I think this is the best description ever. There are also 2 cats: Eggroll, who is my best friend forever orange boy, and Jayne, who is a beautiful white cat who also likes me but really also loves her sleeping spot in the closet. There are also 2 dogs: Butters and Klaus, both Corgis, both love eating hot dogs that Vera accidentally drops on the floor. I love them all and want to scoop up this entire family and give them a giant hug or live with them forever in a bounce house.

Ohhh, friends of the blog will remember Jessie and Dan’s wedding at the Pittsburgh Aviary in 2018 where I met a really lovely little penguin named Disco who pooped on my shoe and it was the best cocktail hour ever. I also met a very small adorable owl. It was the best. Anyway, it was also the best because Jessie and Dan were there and they are absolutely two of the kindest, sweetest people in the universe. I like them a lot. I’m sad that we’re far away from each other, especially since I developed a strong, undeliable, and presumably lifelong bond with their cat Lola in the 1.5 hours I was at their house. Lola is an *extremely friendly!* cat. I’d like to assume that she only loves me, but I don’t think this is the case since she seems to also really love Jessie, Dan, their dog Charlie (also very sweet!) and their lovely little toddler Lilli (also VERY sweet!). Lilli is extremely close with Lola and Charlie. She hugs Lola a lot, and Lola is totally cool with it. Charlie also accidentally hits Lola in the face with his wagging tail a lot, and Lola is totally cool with it. Lola recently went to the groomer and came away looking like a small little tortie lion, and she is totally cool with it. Lola is cool with a lot of things and I am totally cool with Lola.

I love toddlers who love animals and treat them gently and lovingly and I know that Lilli will grow up to be a sweet and kind person like her parents. She offered both of her parents her crackers. She offered both of her parents her ice cream (!!). She even offered Charlie and Lola her ice cream (we intervened). I can’t say that I’ve voluntarily offered anyone my ice cream ever, and maybe I think I should take some notes on sharing from Lilli. It was so much fun to see this family all together – cats and dogs getting along together, toddlers and cats getting along together, world peace and harmony. I’m so happy to have gotten to work with Jessie and Dan again and to meet their amazing little crew!

toddler sitting on couch holding a book
parents sitting next to toddler on couch reading a book
parents reading a book to a toddler in front of fireplace
parents holding toddler in living room with black dog
portrait of a toddler holding a book
toddler walking through a babygate
toddler standing in a hardwood floor and smiling
mom holding laughing toddler upside down
toddler feeding a dog treats and cat with lion haircut
family portrait with pets at home
dad tickling toddler and laughing
dad and daughter at home with black dog
smiling toddler on couch
mom handing juice to her daughter
toddler standing in a kitchen
cat doll on fireplace
parents helping toddler walk on the couch
mom and daughter sitting on a chair
girl hugging baby bunny doll
girl carrying around bunny doll and black dog
girl carrying around bunny doll
parents playing blocks with young girl
dog photobomb
girl laughing as blocks fall
girl stacking blocks in living room
dad crawling after baby girl
toddler photobomb
family portrait with pets
mom reading book to daughter
parents reading a picture book with toddler
toddler climbing to look out window
toddler looking out window in pittsburgh
pittsburgh family photographers
little hands on windowsill looking out window
mom and daughter looking out window in pittsburgh
toddler running around house
mom laughing with daughter
parents trying to get little girl to dance
smiling toddler reading book in a chair
mom reading a book to her daughter
mom reading a book to her daughter
parents reading book to little girl in chair
parents reading book to little girl in chair
parents reading book to little girl in chair
dad reading a book to his daughter
dad reading a book to his daughter
little girl carrying book around house
little girl and bunny doll
toddler meltdown
toddler meltdown during family photos
toddler smiling during family photos
toddler looking at stained glass in house
mother carrying daughter down the stairs
little girl eating crackers
little girl eating crackers
little girl eating crackers
little girl eating crackers
toddler hugging cat
toddler and cat with lion cut
toddler and cat with lion cut
parents coloring with daughter
parents coloring with daughter
parents coloring with daughter
black dog and tortie cat with lion cut
girl holding ice cream cone
girl offering ice cream cone to dad
toddler gets cold while eating ice cream
toddler eating ice cream next to cat while holding cat doll
toddler eating ice cream next to cat while holding cat doll
toddler offering ice cream to dog
black dog smiling