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Gleaton Family

Remember how there was always one kid in the family who’d eat up all the good stuff that was supposed to last all week in lunches on the first day your mom brought it home from the grocery store?  Yeah, we all had that kid in our family.  Now imagine a family of three little girls who all had the foresight, discipline and trust to divide up the cookies and ice cream to make it last all week.  And they all actually stuck to it!!  You know those little girls are going to accomplish whatever they set their mind to.  These

And that’s exactly what those 3 sisters did!  I always say I get to meet the most interesting people through my portrait creation.  Teresa certainly falls in this category.  She is a powerhouse of ‘get it done’ and a visionary who will have you cracking up the whole time!  She and her sisters formulated a plan when they were little girls, that they would all open a day care center together.  That was about the time the rest of us were making plans to be oceanographers, doctors and rock stars! Only they actually all stuck to the plan!

In college, Teresa started off as pre-law, figuring that would compliment her sister who was working in the admin end of running a daycare.  However, she changed her major to business management which meant all her pre-law courses would only count as electives.  Teresa’s other sister went to study culinary arts and her cousin studied dance.  Their dancer cousin is the director of their dance studio today.  These sisters had a vision for the day care they’d open one day and they kept their eyes on the prize. The Gasaway girls are a force to be reckoned with.

Teresa and her sister’s determination was astounding, encouraged on in their dreams by their single mom who cheered them on to excellence every step of the way.  Teresa met a boy in college who captured her heart, but did not derail her plans.  She could envision fulfilling her dreams with Oji by her side.  When she realized that she and Oji were expecting their first child, she knew more would be required of her to make her dream a reality.  She spent her senior year carrying for their newborn Adam while carrying 24 course hours and attending classes 6 days a week.  Most of Adam’s first year photos have him resting on his mom’s chest or hip with a text book in her hands.  What a model of perseverance they have set for their children!

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Aliyah, Teresa and Oij’s 2nd gorgeous child who is an accomplished dancer and full of grace.  Blog followers may just be seeing her in a future dance portrait session!

Fast forward to today and Theresa and Oij are expecting their 5th child.  Teresa hasn’t managed to slow down one bit with the first 4 and there’s no signs #5 will be any different!  Teresa and her sister’s dream of owning a daycare did happen, well actually, two day care centers and a dance studio to date! Teresa’s not done though.  She’s mentally kicking around expanding to own a hotel with a water park!

Teresa wanted to have me mark down her family before they welcomed their next blessing.  What captured her heart were all the in between moments that she’s never seen recorded of her family.  This family laughs and enjoys each other tremendously.  They embrace the crazy life of a big family and do so with smiles and joy.  Adam, Aliyah and Noah were incredible with their little sister Bella who they adore as we tried to coax her into set ups with the family.  Like just about every toddler I’ve ever photographed, Bella had different plans and she was too busy exploring, climbing and snacking on fruit to care about portraits.  Bella is a tiny package of constant motion who has the kind of determination that nothing is going to get in her way.  She was asking to go to dance during the session, following in the traditions of the women in her family!  She is eyes on the prize!  Something tells me her mom was probably very similar as a child.  And that’s exactly the kind of personality needed to make childhood dreams into a adult reality.

Adam, an accomplished football and baseball player who has given his parents lots to cheer on over the years. 

Noah is an avid gamer with a smile that lights up the room!

Bella perfecting the climb over the sofa!  😉

This…this is the kind of moment I cherish in family portrait…a caught moment of dad looking so proud at his boys!

Every parent knows these are the priceless BTS moments that characterize our days…mom and dad trying to create a couple portrait and Bella goes sliding by across the floor.

These two…they know how to make each other laugh and everyone around them!

And I am regularly stopped in my tracks by the power of a moment like this as well. To be so fiercely loved, protected and supported through this life by your family is a blessing that is far to rare.  I guess this is why it stands out to us as precious when we see it.

Bella back to climbing. 😉

And if every little girl could know the love of a father like this…what a changed world we would live in.

Teresa and Oij, you have made a beautiful family and I am grateful to have captured many moments that will make you laugh, tear up and cause you to stop and count your blessings!  Such a pleasure to mark down this time for you!  Can’t wait to see these on your walls!

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