We first moved to North Carolina six years ago. (Steve has been here nearly seven but we wouldn’t get married for another year). With the exception of our nine month PCS (extended vacation!) to Destin, Florida, we’ve been right here. This has, without a doubt, been the best, craziest, most wonderful, rewarding years of our lives. North Carolina will always have a piece of our hearts. I would be lying if I told you I didn’t have a wild hair that wants to PCS to Hawaii or Japan, but we also may be staying right here for another five years. And I’d be perfectly fine with it. I’m doing my very best to enjoy the season we’re in, because a year from now this family picture could look a whole lot different! (Maybe not, but again, who knows). Cotton fields just make me want to sing Wagon Wheel and drive the back roads, and I’ve always wanted a picture here! We took a little adventure out to the cotton fields of North Carolina – and now I can update all of our frames with some North Carolina sunset, fall family goodness!
I make it a point to get one good, coordinated, family picture every season. Usually we end up with a whole lot more than that (thank you pre-church Sunday morning pictures when everyone looks more put together than we normally are), and sometimes less because Steve is missing (no thank you military deployments). So much changes in a year, and I can’t wait to put together a book someday with pictures from every season of our life. I can just picture flipping through those pages and seeing our family grow year after year. Twenty-four seasons of married life behind us, and hundreds to go!
Julia stole the show a little bit in her little boots and her fluffy cotton ball vest. She fell in the ditch about ten times and needed help when she got herself stuck in the cotton, but she was 98% adventure and only 2% it’s past my dinner time. Win.
Y’all, here’s a little full disclosure. I drove around for two hours with Mitchell trying to find the perfect spot for pictures. We forgot to feed Julia lunch (she napped from 11 until 3:30!). We bribed the kids with five packs of fruit snacks. We only got ONE usable family picture. It was super cloudy and the sun only popped out for about five minutes. I have a huge pimple on my chin that I had to edit out of every picture. This is actually in the back of a gas station parking lot, where we watched a drug deal go down while we were taking the pictures. (I swear it’s not a bad area and was totally not planned!) I set the camera up on a tripod and used my remote, which I would 100% recommend getting a photographer and saving yourself the trouble. It was hot and we were sweaty. Mitchell decided to stomp in a pile of ants in the parking lot on the way back to the car and thus got ants all over his “big boots,” which in turn resulted into a backseat emergency strip down of Mitchell and killing the ants all over the backseat. And then he peed in his car seat on the way because we totally forgot to take him potty. I promise our little photoshoots are not always as glamorous and easy as they appear, but they are always worth it. I started this little photography journey with an entry level DSLR and a super cheap lens shooting in jpeg because I didn’t know what RAW files were. By no means am I a photography expert, but I am so grateful for this little photography journey and how it’s captured all of these seasons of our lives! One of my biggest pieces of advice to any mother (or father) is to get a DSLR camera (doesn’t have to be super fancy – you can get them pretty cheap now!). And then USE IT! Learn how to use it. Watch endless YouTube tutorials and stalk your favorite photographers Facebook pages. Because I absolutely treasure these pictures of our family! Oh, and make your husband learn how to use your camera so you can jump in the frame every once in awhile. Shout out to my good lookin’ second shooter, AKA husband. So go out, take pictures, enjoy fall. Here’s to crossing fingers for snow in our winter pictures this year!