When Craig and I first met and began dating, I absolutely hated taking pictures. No really, I clearly remember having a few arguments about it. Even back then, he loved taking photos and so when I didn’t want to, he took it as me not wanting to be seen with him or just take pics with him. But, that wasn’t the case AT ALL! You see, I grew up with parents that didn’t care about taking pics much and they themselves just couldn’t stand being captured. My mom still does not enjoy taking pictures. They have been very self conscious about it and just didn’t like that kind of attention and was awkward. So, I automatically just became that way. But, life does bring changes, doesn’t it? Now, I can’t take enough photos of my family! Through a lot of inner, spiritual healing from my heavenly Father and through my husband’s true love for me, I found myself beautiful and now love and enjoy being in front of the camera. I don’t want to miss any stage of our family’s growth. Most families take pictures once a year, but for us, I plan one for every season. hehe I think Craig sometimes may feel annoyed by all of the ideas, but he happily does it for me because you know… “Happy wife, happy life.” I seriously have at least a year of ideas for every season planned ahead at all times. It’s become a personal hobby of mine… although it can get a bit stressful with outfits and all, but I enjoy that kind of stress, if that makes sense. And, because we are in the photography business, it benefits our business too, so it’s a win-win!
Well, this fall, I totally was going to do an all out boho style for the fam. I am not good with changing plans, but the plans changed when I went shopping and found a dress for myself I didn’t mean to find. I just loved it…. Because my mind was so set on loving the dress I already purchased, I gave up the original idea and revolved the rest of the fam’s outfits around that dress. I’ll be honest with you…. Anytime I shop for our portrait outfits, I always buy mine first. hehe Because you know… “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” I don’t know about you, but in our household, that’s kinda true. And, that is one time when I get to buy something that’s not groceries or things for the kids, so I just go all out. Gosh, I’m sounding a bit selfish in this blog, aren’t I? That’s not the intention, so forgive me, if you’re taking it that way.
Anyways, so once I decided to postpone the boho style to spring, everything started rolling and the shopping finally got done thanks to my mom who helped me so much… (Yes, she is the best!) If you’re a parent with multiple children, you know that each child is different, so as we advice our clients to show off their personalities through the way they dress, we do that for our fam as well. We started off in our studio this year to get some shots of our Christmas Card idea (will share soon!) and then went to Stone Mountain for our outdoor pics. Because the style of the outfits changed, I let the hubby choose the location in what he thought best. His heart was set on a unique place he found at Stone Mountain, so as I tell our clients to trust him as their photographer, I did the same, and boy was I glad that I did! (Here’s a blog that we wrote titled, “What to Wear” to your family portraits if you want to check it out!)
Here’s our first little lady…. She loves fashion. She is the fashionista in our home. She loves details, notices details in others and is very observant. When I put makeup on or do anything “girly”, she is right there asking me about every step. I can totally see her growing up to be a fashion designer or something creative in the fashion world. She is spunky, sassy and a clever little girl whose intelligence and speech level will surprise you. Her academic level is already so impressive, and we are very proud of her. She will beat any adult in Monopoly Deal and other card games that are beyond her age… She loves taking photos and is such a great poser. I got the vest for her and she put the rest of her outfit together. When I showed her the headband I got, she asked me to put her hair in a bun with sparkles all around it… Here she is… our little Ms. Elli.
Here’s our sweet first born, Emma. She is our dependable one… she deeply, sincerely cares for everyone around her. Her style is simple and elegant, so that’s what she got! She doesn’t need much to be content and she doesn’t need much to feel beautiful… She picked out this dress herself and she was good to go. She is so easy to please and is a great decision maker, and we appreciate that about her very much. She doesn’t ask for much, yet she loves to give. Her heart is full of compassion… Even when we watch Planet Earth and she sees an animal die, she cries… When she hears moving music, she can’t help but be moved and say, “Mommy, that song is going to make me cry.” When she hears of a problem, she wants to immediately do something about it, but it humbles me the most when she says, “Ok, well then let’s pray about it.” She takes care of her brother and sister as much as she can to help us and it touches me when she does it without me asking like offering them food, cutting her brother’s piece of meat or making them breakfast all on her own. She is so excellent in all she does especially in school. Her maturity level has always been beyond her years… She impresses me with her grades and how quickly she can learn things.
Oh, and here’s our most cuddly, affectionate child, Ethan. Have you been around him? He is one irresistible little boy who is so charming in every way. This boy melts my heart not just on a daily basis, but ALL DAY LONG. He comes to me probably every 15 minutes to just say, “I love you, Mommy…”, “You’re the best Mommy.”, “Thank you for cooking me food.”, “Mommy, you’re so beautiful.” I’m not even kidding you, he does it all day. He gives me a gazillion kisses and hugs and charms me with those beautiful eyes. And, he’s quite funny and so articulate especially for his age. He recently stopped sucking his thumb (Woot woot! Thank you, Mavala!), so he now officially feels like a big boy and is proud of it. He loves to dance and will carry on a conversation with an adult as if he’s been knowing them for years. He definitely gets that from his daddy and we love that about him. My fav time is to sing our “playlist” of worship songs every night. It’s now 7 songs long and I have to sing it to him in order exactly the way we do it every day or he won’t have it. It’s the sweetest when he sings those songs word by word during the day as he’s playing. These songs are straight from scripture and I love hearing that coming out of a babe’s mouth. There’s just nothing like it. This little boy loves to dress up and look “handsome.” Getting suspenders for him was a must for me, so when I finally found it at Dillard’s, I was so happy. He was all smiles when we tried it on him and it perfectly fit!
And, here’s us… We’ve been married for almost 11 years now… How can that be? Wow…. there’s just no word. I love this man more now than ever and am so proud to be by his side and be his wife. My dream is to support him and uplift him in all of the gifts that God has graciously given him. As I’m writing this, I’m getting a bit emotional… I know that there’s no other that will ever love me like the way he does. No one… No one else will be able to understand and forgive me the way he does. No one else on earth can make me laugh and bring me so much joy and happiness on a daily basis. No one else can bring me closer to the Lord and cherish and value me as he does. I am so thankful that he is my best friend… that we are blessed with a life where we are able to do EVERYTHING together. I am thankful that I still have butterflies in my stomach when I see him or when he says sweet things to me. I love that he loves me the way I am… bad hair day, no makeup day (which is almost everyday), PJ day (which is almost everyday), my grumpy and moody days (you know…). He loves me unconditionally, and I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for him. He is my everything!
I grew up as an only child, so to see the sibling dynamic and love is still so new to me. As an only child, my home was always very quiet and peaceful. So, I’m still honestly not used to the chaos and loudness that three kids can make in a home. And boy, can they fight or what? And don’t even get me started with the mess… Gosh! But, despite those crazy moments, I know they love each other, and I love how the pictures below show that love.
We are the Obrists… We are here today because of God’s grace and love. Our home in most days are a hot mess. That’s how I describe my motherhood, “A HOT MESS…” You should see our home in the mornings as we all frantically try to get everyone dressed and ready for school, yelling and at times screaming at each other, “I DON’T HAVE SOCKS!” “WHERE’S MY BOOKBAG????” “OH MY GOSH! GET IN THE CAR! WE’RE GOING TO BE LATE! AGAIN!!!!” It’s chaotic and there are many times when I feel so inadequate as a mom… as a wife…. I feel like a complete failure, but my Father in heaven provides for me in so many ways. When I do feel like that, he reminds me of how that’s not true and that it’s ok that everything is not perfect. It’s ok that I don’t have all the laundry done and that my house isn’t in perfect order. It isn’t my job to be perfect and things can’t ever be. He reminds me to lean on Him every moment and to cast my fears and worries on Him and that like a good Father, will always take care of it for me. It is amazing how I look back at my life and how everything happened was for a reason, how everything happened for my own good and how He always provides enough for me. He knows what I need and what’s good for me and freely gives it to me. I am saved by His amazing grace and that is sufficient for me.
This smile from my hubby is my fav… I’m grateful that I get to see it everyday! His style is very simple. Jeans and t-shirt is all he needs and wants. You’re probably used to seeing him in dark, blue jeans, so he compromised by wearing these light, tan jeans for me this time around. He actually likes it now, so yay! I love how his green eyes turn blue when he wears blue, so I love dressing him in that color!
What would I be without my family? Pictures like these are priceless… it makes me tear up to see that our kids are growing up so fast and that we are all in this journey called life together. What did I ever do to deserve this? Nothing…. absolutely nothing. This right here is the greatest gift I’ve ever received. This right here is my dream come true… I am living the happily ever after.
Thank you for reading, guys! It means so much when I meet someone in person and they tell me that they love reading our blogs! Without you, these blogs would be meaningless, so thank you, thank you, thank you… As we do every time we take family portraits, we hope that you’re able to reflect on how beautiful your family is too… And… special thanks to our friend and one of our second shooters, Hailey Leonard, who helped us so much with this shoot!