I honestly don’t even know where to start with this family. As a Chattanooga family photographer, I have the opportunity to fall in love with so many different families… and that’s exactly what I do…I fall in love. And it’s amazing, every single time. But sometimes there’s just something extra there…and that’s what I experienced at this session with the Singleton family. Lulu, Jesse, and their ridiculously lovable offspring wormed their way deep into my heart during our time together…and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to document their love for each other.
I met this amazing family a little over a year ago when I photographed a group of amazing kiddos for an Emily’s Power for the Cure fundraiser. I’ll start this post off by quoting what I said in that post about Tater and his family.
Here are some of the facts that I have about Tater. 1. His real name is Gabriel. 2. He’s been fighting since 2011. 3. He just relapsed. Okay. Those are the facts and some of them suck.
Here are some of the things I learned about Tater by watching him interact with his family and the other kids that day. 1. He’s so so loved. His family is like a brick wall of support for him. They will protect him at any cost. 2. He’s a silly kid…with a bit of maturity tossed in the mix. All it took was a couple of absolutely ridiculous jokes, and he lost the “say cheese” face, and replaced it with a perfect sardonic grin. A grin that said “I know you’re trying to be funny, and it is *kinda* funny, but mostly it’s just ridiculous, and I’m totally laughing at you on the inside.” 3. He’s determined. Maybe he’s not focused all of the time, but in the time frame that I had with him, I saw him work diligently on his art project. He had something to accomplish, and he worked hard until he had created something beautiful.
I fell in love with Tater and his family, even during our brief interaction at this event…and I’ll be honest…it might be these shirts that created that love at first sight feeling ;) Love!
I was so excited when I reconnected with Lulu about doing a family session. They were going to spend a weekend at a cabin by the lake (which was wayyyyyyyyy out in the middle of nowhere, but was so lovely!), and I was so excited when it worked out for me to head out there to capture a little snippet of their family retreat! I spent a couple of hours with Lulu and Jesse (who have been married for 13 years!!) and their amazing kids, Kaylie, Layla, Gabriel, and Aliyah! It was wonderful, and I’m not going to lie… I didn’t really want to leave :)
We started off with a rousing game of Bingo…and as they played, I realized that I have never played this game! I’m going to have to remedy that soon!
(Tater won, and I loved the pure excitement on his face as a result!)
After the game wrapped up, Lulu headed to the kitchen to make some popcorn for the family to indulge in during movie time…and I snuck the girls aside so I could grab quick portraits of them. So… introducing Kaylie (otherwise known as Cakie, age 12), Aliyah (also known as Mo-Mo…or just Mo, age 6), and Layla (code name Fuzzy, age 10.) And for the record…this family wins the award for best nicknames in the history of ever!
And I guess you should meet Puppy, too. He’s a pretty important family member :)
Mo should be in commercials. She’s seriously the cutest child I have ever seen. I’d buy anything from that face. I hope she never comes after me with Girl Scout cookies…I’ll go broke!
We enjoyed relaxing for a few minutes while watching Wreck-it Ralph. If you haven’t seen it…you should definitely watch it. It’s so great!
Movie time ended, and we headed outside. Let me just start by saying that I want to live on this porch…I want to curl up in the hammock and read. For about 3 days straight.
Tater informed me that this is called a Butt Bubble. And then he made me promise to credit him with that name….while his sisters chanted “butt bubble! butt bubble!” for the next 15 minutes ;)
This porch swing is calling my name too… (Cakie totally has the right idea…she’s a reader [as evidenced by the book in her hand]…we might be soulmates.)
Lulu is a champion bubble blower. This mom has skills ;)
So much love for Puppy. Be still my heart.
Love this so much.
Jesse and Tater and I walked down to the dock…which was a VERY long walk, down a VERY steep hill…but SO worth it for this goodness.
Tater needed a short rest after our “hike” (and lets be honest…so did I!), so he spent a little quality time in the aforementioned hammock. I was jealous.
It was time for me to head out…but I couldn’t resist a few last images of Lulu and Tater having a bit of cuddle time. Warm and fuzzy overload :)
There is so much that I could say about this family…but I think I’ve rambled on enough…
Lulu and Jesse… you guys are amazing. Thank you for allowing me this glimpse into your family’s life…and love. I’m a better person because of the time I spent with you guys. And I mean that. I know it sounds cliche… but it’s completely true.
Enjoy your slideshow. Hug your beautiful kiddos for me, would ya?
chattanooga family photographer