As tradition would have it, one of my best friends who just happens to be an amazing photographer, once again took our family pictures this year. It's hard to believe this is the THIRD year Kendra has taken the pics--- it sort of blows my mind that we have been a family of four for that long. It's amazing to look back at those first year pictures, when the babies were just 6 months old and could not even sit up on their own. Now they are almost 2 1/2 YEARS old (ughhh, I hate even typing that - if I had my way, they would be just 2 until the day they turn 3 : ) ) and full of energy, words, and personalities. Of course, that doesn't translate to the easiest photo session, but Kendra once again was amazingly patient with our family.
"Aunt" Kendra, we love you and are so grateful that you again captured all of these special moments. You did a wonderful job and we will treasure these forever. And I have to tell you, your already incredible talent has just multiplied since you became a Mommy. I think you see things through a different lense now (how's that for a photography pun??!! lol), and your recent photo shoots show that newfound joy and love for all things family. We all are so thankful to have you in our lives - couldn't imagine you not being by our side. xoxo
(And by the way, if anyone is searching for an awesome wedding or portrait photographer in H-town, check out Kendra's work here. She recently left her full-time job to be a stay-at-home mommy and to fulfill her dream of also being a full-time photographer. We are so proud of you!!!)
Here are just a "few" : ) from our day --- which incidentally was probably the least stressful shoot we've ever had. I always get so worked up about these things - mostly because I hate having my picture taken - but I really just wanted to enjoy the moment this time. Of course, the babies (ummm toddlers) were pretty much done about halfway through so my idea of second outfits didn't exactly go as planned but we still got some fun pictures.
And because we are a real-life family, I've included a few meltdowns towards the end - hey, that's our life these days : ) Full of tender, sweet moments, hilarious expressions, exasperated parents, and the ever-present tantrums. Enjoy!
|So serious but still love it.|
|Ry's face just makes me laugh :)|
|This was an impromptu prop but I think it made for some sweet pictures.|
|Blessed by our little family|
And the out takes
Still love them. So us.
|Quinn is usually all about daddy but was getting particularly restless with the shoot. This just makes me laugh because it is soooooo her. When she is done, she is DONE.|
|Oh, the humanity of having to dress up in cute clothes and take pictures! Daddy is trying to talk sense into a 2 year old. haha.|
|This followed the incident above. She wasn't much about her individual pictures then.|
|Now, wait just one minute! I'm busy!!!|
|They were both soooo serious on their individual pics. Still precious but reaching their breaking point.|
|And outfit change for all of us --- hahaha, Quinn is turned b/c she was crying at that moment and Ryan's pants would not stay down to save his life. Good call on the olive green socks, mommy.|
|YOU are sitting on MY stool!|
|Here, y'all can stand together! Great idea, Daddy!|
|Or maybe not : )|
|And this just makes me laugh out loud.|
|I just wanted to attempt one more family shot in their outfits. Ryan is HATING the sweater/shirt combo right now. He wants one or the other, but not both. Sigh. I thought I only had to worry about wardrobe crisis with Princess Q.|
|Remove the sweater, still no go - they are finished!|
|Yup, done. But Matt was on beautiful behavior the whole time : ) Isn't he handsome?|
|Later - and so ends family pics 2012. This is our life and I love it!|
Looking through these again, I am once again reminded of how blessed we are. I know I use "blessed" a lot, but I don't know any other word to adequately describe the grace-filled lives we have. Just a few years back, we weren't even sure we would have children. Now, looking at these pictures, I can't believe how immensely God has poured His Love upon us. It is more than I ever dreamed, and way more than I deserve. My heart is full in ways I never thought possible. The man in these pictures in no doubt my partner for life. He is EVERYTHING to me. The best husband, partner, best friend, father to our children, provider, spiritual leader, that I could ever ask for. And it doesn't hurt that he's pretty easy on the eyes too : )
And these children? Well, I could go on and on - but they have enriched my life like I never thought possible. Even on the most stressful of days they can bring a smile to my face. They remind me of what is truly important in this life. Not "stuff", not possessions, fancy things or the best clothes, but raising children who will love Jesus with all their might and serve others with compassion. And when I see the love between the two of them and how they are so respectful of each other and sensitive to the other's needs, (ok, it's still real life, so it's definitely not all the time but it's there!), my heart could burst into a million pieces.
I love you, my sweet family. Happy days for 2012 - and prayers for even happier ones in 2013!