I met Cati Teague a few years ago, we debated whether it was 3 or 4 exactly, but I know it’s been more than a minute. We were both doing a brief stent at FirmDesign when we met. I really didn’t know if she even liked me a first, more like tolerated my always over caffeinated personality, as we are in many degrees opposites who share a passion for photography and the colors green and purple…and Mexican from Elmyr. Over the last several years, Cati has become one of my close Atlanta friends. We even shot a wedding together – at night – outside with loooooow lighting coupled with some stress- so that bonds you and we shot the Embracing Your Beauty Project together. When she asked me about shooting her family reunion back in November, I thought that would a nice change of pace to through into wedding season madness mix. When she mentioned there would be a dessert contest and jumpy things, I was sold. I’m clearly a hard sell.
Walton is nestled right inside the perimeter on the Chattahoochee with a beautiful view of the water and some patos. Me gusta mucho los patos. Ellos comen el pan.
This dessert contest was legit. Ratings, winning ribbons, prizes and judges. My favorite didn’t place. I think it’s because all the judges were male. Women LOVE chocolate. I will say I loved the strawberry cake, the chocolate peanut butter balls, the strawberry shortcake ANNNNNNND the butterfinger cake. I may or may not have tasted them all.
Watching children play is a great reminder that simple things can bring great joy. In the pursuit of a career or a new range rover, I like being brought back to bubbles, popcorn, chasing balls, lollipops in the sunshine and summer breeze.
I love this shot. This is pure unadulterated sugar happiness.
Cati has a photograph of her mom in her living room. Her sister has the same lips. Great lips. Cati has them too.
The only pet that came. I loved this little furry. In and out and under things and quickly scampering about.
Carol Watson Teague is Cati’s mom. Last year, the family lost Carol to cancer. At the reunion, they gave these beautiful photos that Cati restored. I love the purple flower she is holding.
The blessing and prayer was partly from Carol’s journal. What an amazing woman who left a compelling and enduring legacy. It’s something I felt tangibly there. In a strange way, I feel like I have known her even though we never met. Cati has this photo of her father on a bike her mom standing on the front bike wheel in sheer exuberance and energy. She also did a dance with a boa for her husband’s 60th birthday and I personally think that is quite amazing. Carol and Barry would have celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary this year. I remember when Carol passed and I was at a friend’s house the following week whose father is a pastor at Church of The Apostles. He was speaking of a man who had lost his wife just a few days before serving communion and how much that had built and encouraged his faith. At the time, I had no idea that same person was Barry all the time texting with Cati leading up to that day. And I remember thinking how deep a person of faith this man must be to serve out of that much grief. What I realized is those who rest in God find hope even in those times that are most trying in life. I love the words Carol writes below.
No, it’s not Bill Clinton. A slight resemblance however, no?
I think this bunny is seriously giving me the please help me look. Sign of distress.
This little one asleep in Daddy’s arms for the first time. “Would you mind taking a photo of this for me,” he asked. I would love to because I love family legacies and moments that I am privileged to enter into. That may sound cheesy to you but it’s real. Most of you probably don’t know that I didn’t grow up in a “stable” home, a broken one actually – a few times broken and families over. And, there are moments that is is hard for me to be around healthy families if I am transparent and honest. Mainly because I feel inadequate around something so unfamiliar and on some level uncomfortable and out of my element. I have realized that God has really used my interaction with families and my experience to shape the way I see interaction, to highlight what’s loving, and in that way that God does - being placed in uncomfortable situations yields a lot of growth and healing. To see what I am capable of building is encouraging and I appreciate all the families that let me into their lives most especially the Teague Fam for this entire day.