I can solidly say that no other assignment has had us listening to this much Men Without Hats. I think we listened to the Safety Dance at least a dozen times, each time accompanied by Finn doing the Wheels on the Bus circular hand motions while bouncing up and down for completely inexplicable reasons. He was thrilled. This child CANNOT GET ENOUGH Men Without Hats. On vinyl, no less! He went right to the record shelf and picked out the record, promptly dropped it, then picked it up again and ran to the record player because he is a hipster child. I say this with love. But he is an audiophile, has impeccable wardrobe choices, is in possession of several vintage childhood books, and drives an unusual-shade-of-green-colored Jeep. His popsicles are also made out of things like bananas and kale. I’m just saying… he’s an adorable hipster of a 2 year-old.

In addition to Men Without Hats, he also enjoys this one song that came programmed into his Jeep. It’s super strange, oddly somber for a child’s toy, but sounds kind of like a teenage version of Journey’s Faithfully. Definitely a breakup song. And when he’s done with the Safety Dance, he cools down to that one, accompanied by slower, sadder Wheels on the Bus hand motions. When he’s done feeling sorry for himself for whatever imaginary breakup he’s going through, he heads straight to his kiddie pool to pick up a cup and then literally pour a ton of water straight into his eyes. He does this repeatedly (always aiming for the top of his head but not quite having the rotator cuff range yet so landing directly into the eyes) and then shakes like he’s about to explode with joy. I think he’s cold, but it’s a delighted cold, so it comes across as enthusiastically explosive.

So basically, Finn is one of my all-time favorite children. I also love his parents, Heather and Garrett, whose maternity session we photographed back in 2016 while Finn was still in utero. They have a beautiful house that’s adorably decorated because Heather is an incredible designer and also because they, too, love Invader Zim. They have two flufferistic doggos, Mabel and Castle, who like to follow Finn around and look for food he’s currently dropping, and do zoomies around the house. When we left, Finn pressed his entire face up against the glass like I’ve really only ever seen in television shows because he’s the most amazing kid ever. He also blew me kisses immediately upon my arrival and departure. He did not blow kisses to Geoff, but rather stood super close to him while doing the Wheels on the Bus hand motions and staring directly into his eyes. Not sure what this meant but it was also great. YOU CAN DANCE IF YOU WANT TO.

 

In 2012 we photographed a lovely wedding at Duke Chapel of an even more lovely couple named Eun and Matt, and now we’ve reunited to photograph their family! We got to meet their incredible kiddos Evan and Madeleine, and we played around their backyard and then spent some time at the NCMA. When we got to their house, Evan walked us around and gave us a detailed tour. This included him telling us that it was impossible for him to accidentally go down the drain while taking a bath because he’s too big, but that bacteria and germs and other things in baths CAN go down the drain, but you can only see those under a microscope (where you can also see allergies). He also told us all about how washers and dryers work, except his instructions included filling the washing machine with milk to make the clothes clean (he quickly backpedaled on this information). Interests also include rockets, spiders, singing songs from the movie Cars, picking and identifying spiders, and his new striped belt. He also adores his little sister Madeleine. Madeleine just turned one, and her interests include her stuffed sheep, apple juice, applesauce, and getting pushed around in a blue plastic car. They are both pretty great, as are their awesome parents whom we adore! It was so nice to see them again and meet their great kids – love seeing our couples again! Thank you, Eun+Matt!

This was a wonderful reunion for us with Abby and Matt, whom we first photographed in 2009 when they were just dating! Abby was my beloved coworker when we were both elementary school teachers. Her classroom was connected to mine and she was my go-to if I needed anything. She was a fabulous teacher and all the kids loved her, and I loved her too! Then I did a major career change and quit teaching, and she became my lovely model along with her incredibly nice boyfriend Matt. And ::SUPER LIFE FAST-FORWARD MONTAGE:: they are now married with two kids and have relocated up to Rochester, New York! And WE were gonna be in Rochester and they found out and we had a lovely chance to see each other again and to work with their adorable kiddos! Olivia is the oldest clocking in at 3 years, and Amara is the youngest at 3 months. Olivia enjoys her sparkly light-up Crocs, covering her mom in a barrage of pillows and then jumping on her, and reading books with her dad. Amara enjoys sleeping, eating, sleeping, eating, eating, and eating. They are CUTE KIDS!! who have FABULOUS PARENTS who enjoy hanging out with each other and making things fun for their children (not surprising as Abby was such a great teacher, and Matt is one of the kindest and friendliest people on the earth).

Together we hung out in Olivia’s room (where she, like many CSP child-clients before her, discovered to her delight that she was somehow, for an unknown, mysterious reason, suddenly allowed to jump on the bed without being reprimanded and took full advantage), and their light-filled living room before heading over a near-and-dear park in their neighborhood. Olivia went down the same slide repeatedly and showed off her mad soccer skillz with a giant rubber ball (that at one point was stolen by a 2-year-old playground thief and I had to show some strong muscle to get it back), and Amara and her mom hung out on a blanket. We had a lovely sunny afternoon with none of that NC humidity that we were all accustomed to living down here, and it was so nice to see our friends again. <3