No two are the same. Each operates as a function of it's own tradition, teachings, experiences. In light of the Thanksgiving holiday that was approaching soon after this session, I began thinking. It's so important to approach Thanksgiving with an open heart. Sure, there are the relatives that drive you nuts. There are more delicious side items and desserts than you've probably had at any one point during the year. There is travel, stress, imbalance - but, most importantly, there's another year's opportunity to spend time with those who mean the very most to you. It's a chance to be thankful for the clothes you wear and the food you eat and the days you've been given. It's the gift of spending time with those you love, whether that's friends, your spouse, your kids, your grandparents, or your church. Family knows no strict familial structure. It exceeds the cookie cutter idea of a mom, dad, and a handful of kids. It's dynamic and always moving. It changes as time marches forward, it has a way of mending, even when it loses an integral part of it. The family you build around yourself is the most precious circle of support you will ever build. It is unfailing, ever-supporting, and should be guarded with all that you have.
As Rock and I looked forward to our first Thanksgiving as husband and wife, I looked forward to spending it with both of our families. I've recently adopted a beautiful new family and am so grateful for the love they have shed on me. I was looking forward to another year of Honeybaked Wednesday (my family members and I are not really turkey people...) and our traditional fondue Thanksgiving with my parents and grandma, Mish, and now my husband. By the end of the day as we migrated to Nashville, having meal # 2 (which meant three and maybe even four with extra servings if we were really bold... eh hem, Rockwell...) and spending the day with his family was the icing on the cake.
So, what am I thankful for? My family that never fails to support me in every choice I make. My friends who have stood by me and value me and our friendship. Our pupper Bristol, never ceasing to amaze me by the ever-developing personality that only gets better as she gets older. The people I have a chance to meet and grow with, through my business and in my personal life. The gift I am given to give back to all of those who seek me out to show them how beautiful they truly are. The experiences I have been granted, and the lives that have touched my heart along the way. And, my husband, who has always been my family even before we were married.
As I was working on these images, it just so happened this post fell on the eve of the holiday, and, appropriately so. Rock and I were invited to see the heart of this beautiful family a couple of weeks before by a sweet, new friend of mine and fellow photographer, Abby. Upon arriving to Flowery Branch and introducing ourselves, our hearts were warmed by the unshakable bond between them all. We chatted, we laughed. And we felt right at home with this crew. So very thankful to feature this sweet family, especially as we were gearing up for Thanksgiving. It couldn't have fallen on a more perfect day (because everyone knows Thanksgiving is for rest and zero working!) and I'm excited to honor this precious family today with just a few of my favorites from their gorgeous, Fall session.