Growing up, I adored the relationship my mom had with my uncle, Ethan (my dad's brother.) Since my dad and uncle grew up in Auburn, my uncle Ethan was around when my parents were dating. My mom got to know him when he was still in high school and developed a close friendship with him.
I wanted a relationship like that with my future sibling in-laws. I wanted to feel close to them. I wanted to to know each of them from a young age and I am so lucky to have just that in each of my sibling in laws. I've known my brother's wife, Kristin, since she was a freshman in high school. I've gotten to watch her grow through high school and college. She has really become the sister I've never had. Love you girl!
Then there is Matt, Brad's brother. Our relationship is actually eerily similar to how my mom and uncle's relationship started and grew. I met Matt when Brad and I were just becoming friends during sophomore year...during the FOUR YEAR FRIEND ZONE (most of the pictures on THAT BLOG POST- Matt was there or taking them). Matt was only 16 (I believe) at the time and in high school (see - just like my mom and uncle). He would come up on the weekends to go to AUBURN GAMES WITH BRAD, just like my uncle would go to games with my mom and dad. While we didn't hang out THAT much, it was still fun to get to know another aspect of Brad's life!
Throughout the last ten years, I vividly remember several memories that included my now awesome brother-in-law. Because it's #TBT, I thought I'd share a few.
Matt is a Marine and I remember the exact moment Brad told me he was joining the Marine's right out of high school. Fear struck my core, not only for Matt, but also his family. The Strouse's are a tight family that support each other with vigor. I knew it would be hard on them, but I also knew he would be an incredible Marine.
I remember when Matt told us he was going on his first tour and then a year later on his second tour. The second tour was right when we were moving to Nashville. He made me feel like a part of the family before Brad and I had even gotten married. He wrote me, in addition to his family, letters from abroad. Those letters meant the world. Thank God he was brought back to us safely each time.
I remember when Matt and I got in a spat over moving my TV from one apartment to another. I wanted to put it in some box (even though the move was literally only 20 minutes away) and Matt just wanted to get the dang thing moved. (Note: I was the OCD ridiculous one.) I believe this situation finally ended with Matt appeasing me after I stomped off huffing and puffing.
I remember Matt bringing his puppy, Wesson, home for the first time. We got to see pictures via text message and eventually meet Wesson in person.
I remember when Matt would visit us in Nashville. There was one time he came and Brad and I thought it would be a good idea to just go look and pet some cute kittens at the SPCA. It would be a fun activity to do with Matt while he was in town. Wouldn't you know it, we left the SPCA with a dang cat and I think it's because Matt pushed us to get it. JUST KIDDING. He looked at us with skeptical eyes when we said - "let's just take this one". That cat came to be known as THELMA FITZGERALD STROUSE.
I remember Matt making sure to come to Virginia at least once a year to visit us and bringing Wesson when he could.
I continue to remember how lucky I am to have a relationship with a brother-in-law that is so similar to the one I've always wanted. I am lucky that whenever Brad and I decide to have kids, they'll have not only one amazing uncle (my brother, Conner), but two just like my awesome uncles.
Thanks for being an amazing brother-in-law, Matt. Love you kid.
Ok - now that all that mushy stuff is over, let's talk about the fun stuff!
Last week, Matt and his girlfriend, Samantha, came to visit us in RVA. Before they arrived, I asked Matt if we could do a mini photo shoot because we needed to practice some things from a recent workshop. He agreed without giving Samantha a choice. She was nervous. Ha. She did not want to have her picture taken until she realized how much fun it was going to be. Let me tell you, these kids are incredible and Samantha - girl. YOU ARE FREAKING GORGEOUS. They both were SO comfortable in front of the camera and gave us some of our favorite pictures!
Also, Matt helped us take a new photo for our website and social media sites and I have to say - I AM IMPRESSED. Photography must run in the Strouse House genes.
Thanks for visiting guys. We love you.
Here are some of our favorites from their shoot:
Thanks to Matt for our awesome new pictures!
Want to see more sessions like this? SEE THEM HERE.
| CREATIVE TEAM |
PHOTOGRAPHERS | Allie and Brad Strouse of Strouse Photography