Two small, smiling faces greeted us at the door, welcoming us to the Craig’s new home. Kaden and Karis were absolutely ready for their close-ups. Their dad, Joel, explained that his wife Kristie was still working on Karalina’s hair. The Craigs have been in their new house for about a month. Originally from Illinois, the family moved to Central Florida several years ago when they took a job with Journey Christian Church in Apopka. After some time there, Joel was assigned to lead a new campus of JCC in Mount Dora. They commuted a short distance for the first couple of years, but quickly knew they wanted to move to Mount Dora. For Joel, he is most excited about being close to his church community. Their house is sure to have frequent visitors, so the first room to be finished was the dining room. They’ve hung an heirloom chandelier above a beautiful, wooden dining set which belonged to Kristie’s grandmother. One newly painted white chair sat in the corner. Kristie explained it’s still a work in progress.
When all three children were ready they eagerly led us up the stairs to their rooms. They have a loft, two bedrooms, and a bathroom just for them. There is a third bedroom upstairs that will eventually be a guest room but is currently holding an art station. Karalina and Karis share a room with bunk beds. The girls cuddled on the floor while they discussed their room. Karalina said it’s her favorite space in the house. They both like sharing a room. When asked about her favorite thing of the new house, Karis said she loves the laundry chute. Joel joked that they love it too because the kids take care of their dirty clothes, a parenting win.
Next, Kaden showed us his room and told us it’s his favorite part of the new house. He has a set of bunk beds of his own so he’s ready for sleepovers. He also told us that he sleeps on the bottom bunk when it rains so he doesn’t get wet, of course. The three also enjoy their loft space with a couch, toys and a TV for playing video games. Karis showed us her cooking skills and made us breakfast. Despite being plastic, our imaginations told us it was delicious.
After we had seen the kids’ rooms we all went outside for some traditional new home shots. All that standing still made the kids eager to play so we headed directly out to the backyard. Kaden found his monster truck to play with while Joel and Karalina flew a remote control TIE fighter. Karis proudly showed us a stick that she found which was perfect for digging in the dirt. Kristie stayed back and told us that the yard is her favorite. She loves that the kids have a wide open space to have fun, and the beautiful view is a wonderful backdrop for making memories.
We decided to go back inside to take a few more family poses. The family dog Wrigley joined. She is a thirteen year old Yorkie named after Wrigley field home of their favorite team, the Chicago Cubs. After posing in the dining room and on the couch the kids unsurprisingly became a little antsy. We decided to let them return to their usual Saturday morning feeling grateful that they were so patient for so long.
Before leaving we decided that we should take the time for a few couple poses. As any parent with young children knows, it can be difficult to make time for each other. When Joel is asked to say something sweet to Kristie he just laughs and lovingly says, “You’re crazy.” That’s the great thing about the Craig family though, they embrace the crazy. The kids are young, so progress on the house is a bit slow. There are still boxes in the garage and walls to be painted. Adjusting to their new home may feel like a crazy time for them, but to us outsiders, we only saw a close, loving family excited about this new chapter in their lives. We wish you all the best!