Doing at-home lifestyle family documentation is normally a very fun thing to do, but it becomes even more fun when the family is British and have fun accents, and when their 3-year-old daughter makes you tea. Clare and Dan live in a phenomenal old neighborhood in Durham that reminds me a bit of my old ‘hood in Pittsburgh. And their house is adorable, bright, fun, and 100% complete with KISS Mr. Potato Head dolls. They moved from the UK to America several years ago and first landed in Los Angeles, and then hopped across the US to land in Durham. From across the pond they bring with them their wonderful senses of humor but also the knowledge of this British kid’s television show involving a cute monster-looking guy whose name currently escapes me but was reminiscent in the best ways of My Pet Monster (which was brilliant). Harper likes this monster, but also Daniel Tiger and Peppa Pig, and also occasionally snacking on goldfish crackers straight off the pond on top of the dollhouse that Clare painstakingly made her. Baby Lyla is happy and sleepy, and not yet appreciative of all of Clare’s household crafts (of which there are many fabulous ones!). I had a great time hanging out with this family and learning such phrases like being “duffed up on the nugget.”
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.