A year ago we moved into our current rental. My cousin let us borrow his horse trailer to load up all our belongings out of the One Bedroom Wonder, and man we stuffed that thing to the gills. Cameron had called ahead to church members in our new place and asked if there would be one or two men who would be willing to come help us move the heavy items into the house. Little did we know that that day two other families were moving in! We still feel a little bad about that!
One of the men to show up to help us move in our stuff was our new neighbor from down the road, Adam. He was happy, friendly, and got right to work helping us move things in. It just happened that he ended up being the one to carry in Cameron’s homemade yucca didgeridoo, and he got excited! First off, he knew exactly what it was. Very few have looked at it and known what it was on sight. Most don’t know when Cameron tells them (it’s that awesome long hollow stick/log instrument from Australia in case you’re wondering). Second, the fact that he was excited about it was a good clue that we’d click well.
Finally the unloading finished and the helpers all went home. We started to unpack and figure out what we were going to make for dinner when Adam and his family came walking back. And, I kid you not, these were his words: “We figured since you had a didgeridoo that you liked weird food too! So we brought you some of our dinner!” And we’ve loved them from that moment on. I still can’t say or spell the name of the Thai soup that Laurie made and brought down, but it was delicious! We’re always up for trying new food!
We love the Stradling family to pieces. They are some of the best people we know! I always come away feeling happier and better.
This photo session was extra special for me, and I hope for them as well. This was their first official portrait session with baby Eve. And getting baby Eve here was quite the ordeal! After early pregnancy complications calmed down some, everything seemed like it would go well until just before Thanksgiving when Laurie was flown out (a 4 hour drive away) for premature labor. She was on bedrest in the hospital for a while until she was released to stay with friends in the valley where she could be close to help. In the meantime, Adam and the kids were home or with family trying to keep a semblance of normalcy with the school schedule. Just before New Years Eve, Eve decided that she’d had enough and was making her debut at 31 weeks. The family spent Christmas and New Years in the hospital together, but beyond that they only had random weekends together. After a month and a half in the NICU Eve got to come home and put everything right again.
The first weekend after Eve was moved to a closer hospital, Laurie was able to come back home and make the daily drive to see Eve. Laurie and Adam were walking with their kids down to the wash when we saw them go by our window (our yard is the town path to the wash, and it’s totally cool). We stepped out to say a quick hello and welcome Laurie back, and it was such a sweet visit. The whole time Adam had Laurie wrapped up in his arms, and Laurie would let out such content and happy sighs. I told Cameron I wished I’d grabbed my camera because it was the perfect portrait, the perfect moment. The complete joy and feeling of home I saw in those two that afternoon was amazing.
So when Laurie asked me about setting up a family session, I knew that this emotion of finally being home and being complete was exactly what I wanted to capture for them. I felt so incredibly honored to get to freeze these memories and this time in their family after so much turbulence. It was such a beautiful evening through and through.