A little ditty… ’bout JEFF AND DIANEEEE (sorry guys, I had to. It pops in my mind every time I think of either one of you.) We became friends with Jeff and Diane through our other friends Beth and David! We knew them from little get togethers and what not, and then spent a week with them in St. John when Beth and David got married. We got sunburned and drank some tasty tropical drinks and played board games and hung out in hot tubs and gave zero $&#*s. And for those of you who hear my often-repeated warning story about how you should always wear a lifejacket when you snorkel, this is the “other Jeff” who was snorkeling with Geoff and me during my near-death experience! Besides being good at tropical vacationing, Jeff is really, really good at identifying lots of obscure bands and beer, and Diane is really, really good at making crafts and cookies. She can sew like a crazy woman, and her skills are much admired far and wide. Then we went to their house to meet their daughter Cora, and found out that all of Diane’s family can sew like crazy women and are ALL really, really good at crafts. Cora, while absolutely adorable in every possible way, is not good at sewing yet because she’s not even two and you shouldn’t given needles to toddlers. She is, however, really good at swings, riding in wagons, and applying sprinkles to cookies. It is Diane’s family tradition to go insane regarding the amount and variety of Christmas cookies they produce every year, and this year Cora participated happily with Diane’s sister and her kids (Toby the dog was also really happy about this because Cora’s fine motor skills are still developing so she drops a lot of food and Toby swoops in like the cutest little garbage disposal you’ve ever seen). We’re sure as she gets older that Cora will become most excellent at both crafts and craft beer, making both of her parents very proud.
Johanna and Brad don’t know it yet, but we’ve already submitted the paperwork for them to adopt us (no offense, Mom and Dad, but paying adult bills is expensive and we know you already took care of us for half of our lives so we don’t want to ask you to have to do it again). Surprise, Johanna and Brad! You want us, right? Please? We won’t make too much noise living in your basement, and we can provide free babysitting services in exchange for whiskey slushes and bacon tortellini. We don’t know how to work a boat, but we’re sure we could figure it out. If you don’t sign the adoption paperwork, can we at least pretend we’re the cool aunt and uncle to your kids who aren’t really related to anyone in the family but the kids grow up under the misguided assumption that we’re actually blood relatives? Or are Laurel and Sam too old to fall for that at this point? Okay okay, we’ll settle for photographing your family every once in a while and being friends on the side. We love you all. A lot. Thanks for bringing us into your lives, feeding us, driving us around on a boat, showing me the true wonderfulness that is Garden & Gun and Duke’s mayonnaise, and being awesome.
Oh boy oh boy oh boy. Fall is our favorite. And it’s even more our favorite when we walk up to a house to photograph a family session and a six-year-old werewolf answers the door. Meet Dena (mom), Richard (dad), Abi (Pocahontas), and Jacob (werewolf)! They spent their day-in-the-life family session carving pumpkins, doing dance routines in the living room, splashing in puddles, and exercising some serious restraint in not cuddling their cat Snickers too hard.
The first thing we noticed is that everyone was American except dad who had an awesome British accent. So naturally we asked how he found himself to be living in North Carolina with a werewolf and a Pocahontas and it turns out that him and Dena were pen pals when they were young! Legit pen pals! Anyone who’s probably borderline thirty and older remembers this… but you used to be like, “Oh hey, I wonder what it would be like to exchange letters with kids in other parts of the world and hear about their culture and country. Let me get involved in a group that exchanges addresses with other kids!” At the time this was completely normal and safe, but it turns out that you learned less about culture and countries and more just about how middle school actually sucks no matter what part of the world you live in. But anyway, that’s how they met, and eventually when they were in college they actually met in real life, and now they both live in NC with their kids and cat and this one other cat that isn’t actually theirs but comes around a lot. They like the Counting Crows surprisingly as much as we do (a rare breed).
Abi and Jacob are seriously good, polite, well-behaved children who actually seem to enjoy each other’s company despite being relatively close in age and a boy and girl (the only sign of dissent was a large poster hanging from Abi’s bedroom door that said “Unless Emergency DO NOT come in NOTICE NOW” that she informed me was directed at her brother). At one point Abi was using a suction-cup bow and arrow set while Jacob got out his rubber-band gun, and nobody aimed their weapon at the other’s head, which I found incredibly impressive. So A+ parenting, Dena and Richard! We enjoy your crew immensely.