CHARLOTTE : easter 2014.

all of my people were in charlotte for easter this year, and it hit me a few weeks before that being all together is a rare thing. i never would have guessed that when i grew up, having my family all together at once, especially for holidays, would be a special occasion, and not just a given. i guess that's why i feel the need to point it out every time. we were all together! all of us!

we decided to go to the saturday night easter service (or, worship experience as they are called at elevation) because J volunteers and he wouldn't be able to go with us if we went on sunday. which, his willingness to volunteer is also the reason that photo ^ is the only easter photo he is in. part of me is sad that he wasn't there for our photo shoot, but the other part of me is proud because he chose to serve instead. and honestly, i'm not sure i would've been able to make that same choice.

i was pretty excited about experiencing easter at elevation, but i think i would've been just as excited if it were any normal weekend. i've mentioned before that i often listen to the messages online, but it's not the same as actually being there. elevation is definitely on the "pro" list whenever i think about maybe possibly (but not actually) moving to charlotte.

but also, that guy in photo behind me and H.

and then, with the photo shoot. an easter tradition that will continue as long as T and i are around. i mean, it's basically wedding status with this shoot. all of us together, then just my parents, then each of us with our parents (since they lose interest the quickest), then all of us together, then each of us with one another, and on, and on. we also took test shots and moved the lamp around to get the best lighting situation. it's so much fun, in my opinion, but we get a lot of eye rolls–mostly from the boys–about, "another one?" yes, another one. and maybe another.

this one, and the other one, are the two best shots we got of all of us. and there were many. because that's the other thing. these shoots are not about the "one and done" concept. in fact, at one point i actually said, "just keep taking them. don't wait for us to be ready." because candids are sometimes better.

i'm pretty sure i'm the only one who got a 'just me and dad' photo. as you can see here, he is half way into the kitchen (or at least, not in our photo spot) and the only reason he stopped for this photo was because i bear hugged him until he cooperated.

my mom, on the other hand was more than cooperative. and i took off my sweater so our greens wouldn't clash and then i made it black and white. of course.


for some reason, T and i both held our hands out like we were going to dance in our photo. so random, and i couldn't even tell you why i held my hand out, but we both did it.

lee was VERY cooperative with all the photos. i'm talking, ready to go with smile and no complaints. i was very impressed. T said that's because she warned him beforehand, there will be photos. but i don't know why he doesn't know that already. there will always be photos.

even bailey got in on the action!

the thing you have to know about these photos is the amount of effort we put in trying to get them. in typical boy fashion, luca was done after about three photos, and wanted his dad–and
only his dad. he did so well with T and lee, but then when i wanted a turn, he was done. i mean not even just uncooperative, but big, sad, crocodile tears. if i didn't know any better, i would've burst into tears too. T kept reassuring me that even she can't hold him when he gets like that.

so we let him be and continued with our shoot until suddenly he was okay in T's arms. then we thought, maybe if i held him with his back to me, while he was still looking at T, we could snap a photo. the one on the left is what happened right after T let go and he was only in my arms. no fooling this baby! he turned his head right around and looked up at me and i gave him my best PLEASE DON'T CRY I LOVE YOU smile, and it worked! we snapped a few photos in the kitchen until we thought maybe moving a few steps into the dining room, where our prime lighting situation was, we could get a better one. which we did. as you can see on the right.

and then, we put him on the floor and took advantage of his spontaneous good mood and snapped ALL the photos. easter photos, but also nine month photos. this boy is nine months old, y'all! which also means we got a lot of photos, but none of which are him sitting nicely and looking at the camera, and certainly not with that cute little chalkboard saying, "9 months old."

but more on that later. i'll save all the cute for its own post.