Family Post – March 2018

Last year, in Grayson’s first year of life, I took photos of him every single Wednesday. I documented his growth weekly, and I did a year end blog post of all of those photos. After that, I decided I wanted this to be a regular thing. Even though I wasn’t necessarily taking weekly photos anymore, we still had tons of adventures that I knew we would take, and I LOVED having it all in one place to look at. I also put together a 2017 family book, which will definitely be happening for 2018, too.

In March of 2018, Dustin won a trip to Charleston, SC with his region at his job because they were the top selling region in the US. Last year, March was a slower season for me so I decided to ride along with Dustin and go visit my cousin Kayla who lives there. Grayson had JUST turned one, and I thought it was going to be warm in Charleston for some reason. I think beach, and I think it must be warm. It was actually frigid the whole time we were there, and I didn’t get to use ANY of the shorts I went and bought him before our trip. ha. Regardless, we had so so so much fun and got to spend a lot of just me and Grayson time :-).

In April, we played on the front porch because, hey, it was FINALLY getting warm enough to sit on our porch in the mornings and drink coffee again. Grayson was playing, and the sun was coming in through our make shift baby gate so I HAD to get my camera. It seems like between 12 and 13 months he had a growth spurt and went from a baby to a toddler.

We got zoo passes in 2018. Our first trip was in May when Grayson was 14 months old. I’m still not sure if it was the right decision, but we went at least twice so it would pay for itself lol. Grayson was still kind of too young to really enjoy it though. Also too young to fully grasp what the splash pad was, and why it’s awesome. Too young to have a long enough time between nap times that we could really enjoy ourselves. I really feel like it’s going to be great this year, and we are really going to enjoy it. Especially that splash pad…bring on the summer heat.

June brought our family vacation to Anna Maria Island. Every year, I take my camera. We do family pictures for the Christmas cards, update family pictures of the Houks who live in Oklahoma, and try to get a couple of the three of us all cute on the beach. Grayson was 15 months on our beach trip this year and LOVED it. Like really really loved it.

Then, one random trip to the Market Square splash pad in July that is really small and meant more for littles. It was perfect. We had a picnic with my assistant Beth and her daughter Scarlett. I took exactly 6 photos and three of them actually made it to the blog lol. Also in July, we took a day trip to the mountains. We first stopped in Elkmont where we let Grayson explore and play in the creek. Then, we went to Clingman’s Dome and made the short but very steep hike to the top only to find fog so thick you could barely see the trees 20 feet away. It was gorgeous in it’s own way, but we definitely want to go back to see the clear views up there. Grayson was 16 months in these photos!

In August, we took another trip to the mountains. This time it was to Cades Cove. I actually went to photograph a family at sunrise. So, Dustin and Grayson came with me, and afterwards, we did some family adventuring around the park and the campground. Grayson was 17 months here!

At the end of August, we took a trip to Oklahoma to meet the newest addition to the family and Grayson’s cousin, Braylee. We really had a blast while we were out there, and Grayson did SO SO good with Braylee. Except one time, and I have to share because it’s kind of funny. Well, at least we thought it was funny. When we first got there, it was Grayson’s nap time. So, we didn’t even see Braylee before we laid him down for a nap. Fast forward 2 hours later, and he wakes up. Dustin goes to get him because I’m holding Braylee, and when he comes out and sees me, he points at Braylee and starts SCREAMING crying. Like BAWLING his little eyes out. It was funny, and also, really sad. After that, he was good. He didn’t mind me holding her the rest of our trip lol.

In September, we went to Chattanooga for a newborn session. Afterwards, we took a trip to the Tennessee Aquarium and ventured around Coolidge Park. Grayson was 18 months in these photos!

A short week after our Chattanooga trip we decided to go camping. I actually had a weekend off, the weather looked decent, and it was time for Grayson’s first camping trip. We imagined it was going to be a lot of running around trying to catch him. Yelling “no” and “come here” and “stay with us,” but he actually did so good! He stayed with us the whole time. Thankfully, they were calling for rain that trip (which it never ended up raining) so the campground was empty. When he woke up in the middle of the night, it didn’t wake anyone else up. I don’t know why, but that was my biggest worry. Him waking up crying and waking up the whole campground because those cries are LOUD. I think of all the stuff we did, the creek is always a favorite, but he also LOVED jumping on the air mattress. We bought the air mattress specifically for this trip. We’ve never used one before, but it was genius. We were really confused as to why we hadn’t done it earlier when we went camping with just the two of us. He thought it was a trampoline though and played on it while Dustin pretty much set up our entire campsite, which I thought was a blast and super cute until it was bedtime, and he thought it was play-on-the-air-mattress time. My favorite part of this trip was going to Max Patch. We were supposed to take our family photos that weekend, but with the rain forecast, we ended up postponing. Thank goodness that happened because it was still blazing hot up on top of that mountain, and there were bugs literally buzzing EVERYWHERE. I was terrified that one was going to crawl in my or Grayson’s ears. They were tiny little gnats, but there were so many you could hear a hum at the top of the mountain from where they were all buzzing at the same time. So gross. Regardless, the view is epic, and we hadn’t been there in years so it was still awesome.

In the month of October, we took a trip to the Oakes Farm Corn Maze with our friends, carved a pumpkin with Gray, took an out of town trip to Charleston, SC for a pretty EPIC wedding/weekend getaway, played with bubbles in the backyard sunset light, played with our friends from Nashville in the middle of our little side road, had our 2018 family photos taken at Max Patch by the amazing Brittany Sidwell, AAAAND had one of my all time favorite family halloween costumes. I also shot 15+ portrait sessions and 4 weddings. Here is where having a team really came in clutch because Fall is my FAVORITE time of year, and I refused to let it pass by in 2018 without soaking in all of it’s goodness with my boys. Grayson was 19 months in all these photos!

At the beginning of November, I took Grayson on a walk down our little side road. We didn’t get far though because the light coming in through our neighbor’s trees got me, and I ran back in for my camera for a little impromptu Grayson session. Also, at the end of November is something everyone can relate to. Thanksgiving! We always go to Somerset to visit Dustin’s family for this holiday, and they have a HUGE get together with lots and lots of food. This is where we take another group family photo just in case the beach one isn’t good enough for the Christmas card. Grayson turned 20 months in the month of November!

Then, finally…last but not least…December! 21 months old and fully capable of shredding into some Christmas presents. Only, he refused to open the next present until we got the first one out and played with it for a total of 60 seconds. Gosh, I really do love this age and all it’s quirks. Also, the second photo down of G standing beside a reindeer is what Dustin’s mom used to do with Dustin, and now, we have all the same pictures of Grayson doing it. It’s so cute.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks. I can’t believe what a crazy fun, adventurous, amazing year we had. Now, with baby #2 on the way. By the way, we find out the gender on Feb 14th!! I think that’s a sign it’s going to be a girl, but also, I’m TOTALLY fine with it being a boy. I LOVE being a boy mom. One more year in the books, and now, it’s time to put together our annual family book!! woot woot!

I’m a Knoxville Wedding Photographer that loves to travel… I shoot anywhere! If you have any questions about pricing or booking with me, click here to contact me now! If you liked what you saw above, go ahead and follow me on Facebook or Instagram to see my daily updates of the latest sessions!

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Knoxville, TN wedding photographer

I'm Amanda May and I'm pretty stoked that you're here. I'm a three on the enneagram, a smiler when things get awkward, and I would love for you to get to know me more over on my about page.


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