The best word to describe Smarty mom Jen Hunt is inspiring. We met several years ago when we were neighbors (and laughed when we realized how we’re connected in one of those six-degrees of separation things that happens quite often in Charlotte!). Jen’s style is like Martha Stewart, Anthropologie and Etsy all wrapped into one beautiful mama. She’s crazy talented.
She and her husband, Chris, are amazing photographers – their blog jen+chris (we are photographers) highlights their photo shoots of families, babies, couples, and weddings all over North Carolina and beyond – phenomenal. Jen’s personal posts on the blog are a breathtaking view into their lives (I’ve cried on more than one occasion reading her blog – Jen is an incredible writer).
After trying for several years to have children, Jen and Chris started the adoption process. They found out they would be parents to 3-and-5-year-old sisters Hannah and Hailey in August 2011. And on June 1, 2012 they officially (by law) became parents to the sweet girls.
I am so overjoyed for Chris and Jen AND for Hailey and Hannah. They are a beautiful family whose love for each other radiates from the core – just see for yourself!
Smarties, meet Jen Hunt!
Smarty Mom Jen Hunt
Mom of: Hailey (6) and Hannah (4)
Married to: Chris for 10 years.
Years in Charlotte: 15
Hometown: Syracuse, NY
What is the best part of being a new mom? Goodness, I don’t know how to pick the best part but I’ll give some highlights. Climbing into their beds at night for snuggles and pillow talk is one of my favorites and watching the girls learn how to swim, ride their bikes and learn to read has been incredibly fun. But, I think the thing that never gets old is hearing a little voice calling ‘mama’ from down the hall and realizing that it’s me they want.
What is the most surprising part of being a new mom? The most surprising thing to me has been the seemingly effortless job of toothbrushing. They are little people with very little teeth and yet after 20 minutes in the bathroom there is blue toothpaste on the toilet, cabinet, counters and the front of their pj’s and their teeth are no cleaner than when they started. They have toothpaste all over their lips so I’m certain they are aware of where the toothbrush is supposed to go but in the end, it’s still baffling to me.
What advice would you give to couples going through the adoption process? The best advice I can give is to pray and find a community of people who will pray along side of you. Adoption is beautiful and so, so hard. There is so much gain and so much loss wrapped into the journey that it’s clearly not made to travel alone.
Favorite place to go as a family? We went to Hilton Head Island over the summer and so the beach has now topped our list of favorite places to go as a family. We also love outdoor live music anywhere we can find it and little sister likes to end any family outing at Dairy Queen so her ice cream can have a curl on the top.
Favorite date night spot in Charlotte? Soul Gastrolounge in Plaza Midwood. I have dreams about their fried goat cheese bruschetta, it’s that good.
Favorite place to take family pictures in Charlotte? My heart feels drawn to photographing families in a different way than I have in the past. I’m longing to do Day In The Life type sessions. I want to capture families living life together – sitting around the kitchen table in their pj’s eating stacks of syrupy pancakes with sticky fingers and faces. There is so much beauty in day to day life and so I want to photograph families for at least part of each session, in their homes.
Who is your celebrity crush? I wouldn’t say that I have a crush on him, but I wouldn’t mind photographing David Beckham if given the chance because ya know, that’s my job and all.
You’re very crafty – what are some of your favorite web sites (besides Pinterest) to find inspiration? I love the DIY projects on Under the Sycamore and I always find the BEST and FREE holiday printables and party ideas at Eighteen 25.
What are some of your favorite blogs (besides CSP! :-))? My favorite photography blogs are http://tarawhitney.com/justbeblogged/ and http://wearethebloggers.com/ The blog I feel most inspired by is http://www.chattingatthesky.com/
What is your family’s favorite homemade dinner? Over the summer we did a grilled cheese cook off. Each family member got to create a sandwich and we kept rotating until the summer was over then took a vote on whose was the best. The only requirement was that it had to have bread and cheese. The favorites were 1. Sourdough bread, brie, granny smith apples and cinnamon 2. Italian bread, shredded chicken, buffalo sauce, celery, mozzarella and crumbled bleu cheese and 3. Sourdough bread, homemade guacamole, bacon and cheddar cheese.
Thank you, Jen, for sharing your time and your sweet family with us!
love sitting down to charlotte smarty pants and finding you here, jen! SUCH a smarty mom. noah just asked me yesterday if i would “tickle him in his peach pits” — which i picked up from you guys, of course — so you’ve been on my mind extra over the last 24 hours. love your grilled cheese cook-off — such a fun & yummy idea (and love the photos :). xo
Not planning on crying tonight – but oh well (blog post: give me jesus). Wow. What an amazing family. I kinda want to go to one of those weddings. They all look like so much fun 🙂
Jen and Chris took our family photos a few years ago and I’ve followed their journey to parenthood on their blog jenpluschris. Jen is an amazing writer and photographer. The stories she tells with her pictures always make me cry. Loved seeing her featured as a smarty mom.
Somehow I missed this post. So glad you were featured and as others said I love reading your blog and your story. Your sweet girls bring tears to my eyes. God has really blessed you!
P.S. You’ve been in Charlotte a little longer than 15 years, right?
Oh how I love Jen Hunt. What a wonderful friend she was to my daughter Amy Patwa. She knew Amy’s heart like no one else, except Adam, maybe. However, as you know, she can talk about someone and the words sound as though they are from THE FATHER’S heart. She has that wonderful gift. God knew Jen’s heart and the love she had that continued to build for a child. He knew EXACTLY what she needed. OH how everyone rejoiced (and sobbed) when The Lord gave her Haley and Hannah to love. Her heart was so fulll of love He had to give her two beautiful girls. Watching them, for me, from a distance, is the most beautiful thing. Knowing the long awaited love that continues to pour out of her, brings tears to many eyes. Even mine, and I’m just her friends mother. But Jen did so many things for Amy, Adam and Charis that it makes my heart fill with joy, pride, sorrow, and more joy. I find that through the deepest sorrow, comes the sweetest joy! Only our precious Lord can do that. Thank you so much for this blog. Yes it brought tears but so much joy. God bless you!
What happened to Jen?? Her website and blog and everything are gone. 🙁
I am also wondering where Jen’s blog went. As my heart contemplates adoption, I was yearning to read some of her touching posts again.