When Haley Jones, 22, finally decided to move out of her parents' house she wanted to take a picture outside her new apartment complex after signing her lease in March to commemorate the milestone. But her mother, Amy English of Pontotoc, Mississippi, had a better idea.
"I told Haley, when it gets closer to you actually moving, let's do an empty nest photo shoot," English told TODAY Parents. So on a sunny day just before Haley moved out, Jones, a full-time nanny who recently started a photography business, took some photos of her parents and the results are hilarious.
In them, English and her husband Randy are smiling and holding up a chalkboard sign that reads "empty nesters," which also shows their daughter's move-out date. In a hilarious nod to the "due date photos" expectant couples take, Amy holds up a sign that reads "Expecting 0 kids June 2019" while her husband holds a mylar "zero" balloon.
In another photo, the couple are clearly having fun with the concept, holding a sign with a broken heart on it that reads "So sad...." and in the next picture, another sign that reads, "hahahaha just kidding." The couple's glee is so relatable that it's easy to see why the post has been shared over 200,000 times since it went up last week.
Jones and her parents were shocked when the photos, which she posted on her professional Facebook page, Haley Marie Photography, went viral. She even teared up when she saw that her photos were getting such intense media attention.
"I have loved photography for years now and I just started this business in January," Jones told TODAY. "I had 286 followers on my page Tuesday before I posted the pictures and now I’m over 14,000. I put into words how truly thankful I am for all of the shares and sweet messages."
This funny photoshoot is right in line with what Jones calls her family's "warped sense of humor." The couple's two older sons have already moved out, and Amy says that she has a talent for talking her husband into "all kinds of adventures." It can be sad for some empty nesters when kids move out to start their own lives. It can also be a time for parents to reconnect and have some fun of their own.
"The first thing we've decided to do is to put a pool in our backyard!" said English. "That's so terribly backwards from how it should have been, but we typically don't do things the 'normal' way."
And while Jones will only be 30 minutes away in Oxford, Mississippi, she says she's ready for the next "exciting adventure." Her parents are excited for her, too.
"I hope that the positive feedback she has received from people literally all over the world gives her a sense of confidence that she's 'got this', and she pursues her passions and dreams relentlessly because of it," said English. "I'm so very proud of my baby girl."