David & Joanna | family

David and Joanna have the sweetest family of six kids.  We met them at Lake Habeeb last week and had the greatest time walking around, talking, and snapping pictures.

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Joanna was born in Georgia and she’s kept a bit of that sweet southern culture.  Our times together always feel happy but at ease.  I’m pretty sure she’d be one of those “stay for a glass of lemonade” kind of women even in Maryland.

And seriously, I think these may be some of the most polite kids I’ve ever encountered.  They were so sweet and respectful the entire evening.

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When it was David and Joanna’s turn, it was obvious how very much in love they are.  I love seeing couples who have so much soul connection, especially in the middle of these busy years of raising children.  Marriage is such a priceless gift; but good marriages don’t happen without effort.  When I see a strong marriage I want to celebrate it loudly!  David & Joanna, you inspire me!

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And then there is darling Miss Kelci who pretty much takes the cake.  Can you even imagine how adored she is with all those big brothers and sisters to love on her?  Joanna crocheted her little dress!

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Those blueberry eyes!

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Thanks for a great evening, David & Joanna!

Durlin & Emily

A tiny little brook feeding into a pond, lush green trees and grass, mossy stones. What could be better? All this and a fabulous family of five, that’s what.

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I was thrilled when Emily told me where she wanted to do their family pictures because David and I lived here for almost five years! It was so much fun to see how the place has changed and what has stayed the same. We ran out of light very, very quickly as it always seems to happen in the mountains so we headed down the road to catch the last rays.

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Demetrius and Alexander love exploring and all things boy.  They could hardly wait to finish with pictures so they could join grandpa to grill hamburgers over an open fire.

 

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And darling Miss Caroline just turned a year old. Isn’t she perfect?

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Every time I do family pictures my heart squeezes a little.  This thing called family?  It is such an incredible gift!  The happiness that sparkles in children’s eyes because they are loved, known, secure.  A few pictures.  A few moments in time.  But really, it’s a snapshot of something so real, so precious, so indescribable.  A snapshot of relationships that mean kisses in the night when little heads are feverish.  Of shared laughter over knock knock jokes and shared tears over big boos boos.  It’s a wink over top of the kids heads and fingers entwined on the drive to church.  So many undefined moments carving the strong relationships of family.

Grandchildren [a gift from God]

I am in the middle of motherhood and loving it, so it’s hard for me to imagine; but they say having grandchildren is even better.  If it’s true, this is one blessed family.  Just look at all these sweet kiddos!

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Living in the same community as your cousins is such a privilege.  Don’t miss those two little guys in the lower left corner.  Totally best of friends!

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Family is a priceless gift that touches parts of our lives we don’t always realize.  When kids grow up with parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles who all invest in their lives, they grow up knowing there is a stable support base for them.  They grow up with family traditions, family foods, and a shared sense of humor.

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And the lovely Mr. & Mrs. Hull themselves.

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The Woods Family

Often when we meet up with Eric and Jeannine, we laugh again at how we met.  David noticed Eric’s business truck outside a Subway when we were building our house and talked to him about doing some work for us.  Little did we know that one chance encounter would begin a strong friendship between our families.  I took Eric and Jeannine’s family pictures three years ago, a week or so before we moved to Maryland.

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Their family is much the same … full of fun, laughter, and energy.  I love the way play is so much a part of their family.  If one person is getting a personal portrait done, you can bet Eric and the rest of the boys are probably throwing football.  Or then they’re lighting fires with sunlight.  I love the way Jeannine celebrates the boys for who they are.  She teaches me so much about parenting well.

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Channing’s sitting on the chair we’re planning to use? Pick up both.

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It’s clear they have so much fun together.  While pretty much every Mama wants the perfect picture for her wall … you know, the one that’s perfect in our minds … I’m convinced some day we mamas will look back at the pictures like this one and love them most of all.

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Eric and Jeannine have five handsome boys.  

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Five handsome boys who love to have fun.

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Three years ago we did a photo of the guys making a pyramid with Jeannine tucked safely out of sight since Channing was just a baby and perched on top!  This year he wasn’t just perched on top.  He was standing up there!

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Eric and Jeannine, keep loving and living well!

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Darrel & Jo

Darrel & Jo were driving three hours to get their family pictures taken so we decided to make it a fun time together and not just a photo session.  We met at the Paw Paw Tunnel in West Virginia, a beautiful spot along the Potomac River.  The tunnel is an incredible feat of engineering built by hand.  It allowed the canal boats to shave off a few miles, but the building process was much more drawn out and expensive than anticipated.  No longer used today except by bikers and hikers, it’s a great place to explore and a magnificent back drop for family portraits.

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I love the mixture of personalities shining through these kids!  Evan and Elliot are twins …. great friends, yet very much their own person.

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The following day when we rafted down a different section of river, Elliot spent most of the day passionately fishing while Evan dived and swam.

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Cheers to many more years of exploring, rafting, and loving!

Baby Cari

Remember this darling newborn?

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Well, believe it or not, she is SIX MONTHS old.  My goodness, time flies when you’re having fun.  And this little girl is having fun alright.

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I don’t know when I’ve seen such a smiley baby!

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You look at her, she smiles.  You look at her again.  She smiles again.  It’s as if she’s got a million drops of laughter inside her soul and they come dancing out in thousands of crinkly eyed smiles …

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Baby girl, baby girl slow that dance.

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Your mama wants to soak up all that cuteness!

You can see more of Cari’s six month session here.