That was Courtney’s first impression of me. Accidentally ramming into the back of her car with my own.
There I was, driving along Clayton Road in Chesterfield when my oldest, Lily, complained from the backseat: “I’m hottttt!”
I looked down to turn on the A/C. I look back up, and it turns out I missed the memo that everyone was slowing down.
I hit my brakes as hard as I could, buuuut I knew it was gonna happen: CRUNCH!
We pulled over, and Courtney was just the sweetest as I walked toward her apologetically. “They call it an accident for a reason!” she assured me.
But hey, a jumbled Prius turned out to be a blessing in a really ridiculous disguise.
World, meet Courtney — and her adorable family:
Somehow, me rear-ending this complete, but so, so sweet stranger — led to me taking her family photos!
We met this Saturday at Castlewood State Park. Courtney brought her crew — her husband Ryan, her son Chase, and her daughter Ella.
Amazingly, our children are literally the same ages! I foresee playdates in our future!
Ella was such a good smiler! She’s 2 — and loves Skittles. I know because that was her reward when she would give a big ol’ cheeser for the camera!
One trick I always do is ask what the kiddos favorite shows are. If there’s a character that has a name that makes you smile when you say it — welllll, have them say it! Ella loves Minnie Mouse. So, when she was so over me asking her to say “cheeese,” I asked her to say “Miniiiiiie!” It has the same effect, and makes them smile when saying the word!
You said the words out loud, didn’t you? 😉
I’m pretty sure Miss Ella models at home — how perfect is her cute little self?
And then there’s older brother, Chase. He’s 6 and a big ol’ first grader.
Chase is really into sharks and any kind of ocean life. He actually loves to watch ocean documentaries! He also digs race cars and basketball. Actually, the same day as the shoot, the Hubbard family was headin’ to the races that evening!
Chase had this really cool ring he wore on his thumb. I wanted to make sure we showed it off!
And then the lovebirds (and former high school sweethearts) themselves — Courtney and Ryan!
They dated for a little while in high school, and then re-connected a few years later. Can it get cuter?!
As for this photo below — there’s a fun story. We were walking along one of the trails at Castlewood. As soon as you enter (before you even park your car), there are signs that say: “THIS RIVER KILLS! DANGEROUS WATER!”
Then, as we walked farther on a trail that actually led down to the water, there was a big gate that blocked off the beach. The same “IF YOU GO HERE, YOU’RE PROBABLY GONNA DIE” signs were posted in both English and Spanish outside of the gate.
Since we didn’t have any plans on actually swimming in the Meramec River that the fence was guarding, we thought it would be ok to … go around the sign … and the gate.
So, we did.
I knew I liked them.
On our way back up the trail, Chase spotted this huge tree in the picture below. He was pumped, and went right off the gravel and into the grass to get over to it.
We definitely needed to get a shot of him in front of it — he went off-roading to get to it he thought it was so cool!
Toward the end of the shoot, Ella had decided her modeling fee was more than a few Skittles and asking her to say “Minnie Mouse.” But she hung in there for this precious shot with her dad and brother.
I am just tickled pink I was able to connect with this cool family in a much more positive setting. ‘Cause you knoooow, my first impression was … in the back part of their car. A literal impression.
Thanks again, Courtney, for being so chill about everything!
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