Stephen Family | Gainesville Family Photographer

We treasure every opportunity to witness your lives from behind our camera lens. Capturing and preserving your stories, moments, the love you share, and this moment in time so it will never be forgotten.

I met up with Erik & Courtney late this summer. During our time together, we spoke about what community looks like for their family, given we are in the middle of a pandemic and they have a small child. They shared with me that community looks a lot like choosing the people in their circle in the mundane and everyday moments of life. They talked about the value of friendship with another young couple that has a child around the same age as theirs because they can relate to one another and go through similar experiences around the same time. This led us to talk about how important it is to choose your people, as in show up for them, and allow them to show up for you. 

People say that it takes a village when it comes to raising kids, but I would argue that it doesn’t. There are plenty of people that go about raising kids alone. What I will say is, it takes intentionality to live in community. It takes allowing people into your life so deeply that they become your village. This conversation reminded me that even in the midst of a pandemic, we need each other for little moments, big moments, hard moments, and the simple moments. It is a big part of the health of your family.  

Tell us a funny story relating to parenting!
Samuel was 4 weeks old when we took him to the beach the first time. It was a quick decision we made to go and see the sunrise as we were already up at 4:00 am with no hope of falling back asleep! We got to the beach as the sun was rising. It was super windy and cold that morning as we rushed to get the baby into his carrier (which we were trying to figure out how to use for the first time). We stuffed him in, made sure he was all bundled up, and were halfway to the sand when suddenly we smelled something terrible. We contemplated for a moment, settling on the responsible thing to do- to change his diaper back in the car. Upon unsnapping his tiny outfit, we realized we were experiencing our first explosion… there was poop everywhere. The poor little guy, less than 9 lbs, laid there shivering vigorously as we attempted to wipe his excrements from the various parts of his body. It was the funniest thing, the saddest thing, and the greatest memory. Our boy’s first day at the beach. 

What is the most honest thing you can say about being a parent?    In our 13 months, we are learning that each stage seems to become more complex, yet each stage also brings something new to treasure and enjoy. 

What is the best thing you’ve learned since becoming parents?
You are your child’s coach, not a referee.” As our little guy begins to toddle, we find ourselves saying “no, noo” more than we have likely said in our entire lives to date! It is easy to feel as if we are always on high alert, on standby to interrupt any looming disaster or danger. Learning to have a “coach’s” mentality reminds us that for as many redirecting “no’s” our boy needs, he requires a purposeful “do” to follow. A referee enforces the boundaries, a coach teaches the game.  

What is something your families did as they raised you that has shaped how you plan to raise and disciple your little one? 
Something my (Erik) family did each night growing up was gather to pray. At a designated time each night, each family member would stop what they were doing to gather together, read scripture, and pray. From a young age, I understood the magnitude of our dependence on the Lord for every good thing. I grew up knowing how to give thanks to the Lord for what he had done for me and how to ask for what I need day to day. This is a simple discipline yet is so powerful and formative. 

Thanks for allowing our team to capture your family!
For Him and because of Him always!

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