Our Family of 5 // Family pictures 2014

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We are celebrating the holidays with my family in Michigan. We’re always thankful the twelve hour trek to Detroit is more manageable with a cozy, warm break at Daniel’s mom’s house eight hours in.

I wanted to share our family pictures before the year was over.

When I first saw our family pictures my eyes filled with tears. I am so thankful we took the time to have these taken this year. The hope that I see in between the frames stirs my heart – Grace caught laughing, Daniel relaxed, and at peace, Ralphie genuinely happy in my arms.

We arrived thirty minutes late, fought the fading sun, and were severely under dressed for the chilly evening. It was dinner time, neither of the boys had napped, and I really just wanted to pack up everything and leave before we had even begun.

But we didn’t, because I should know more than anyone that a photo shoot isn’t supposed to be perfect. What I love about these images is this: when I look at them I know how messed up and frustrating the day was. I remember Ralphie’s tantrum, and Simon’s somber expression, so uncharacteristic of my perpetually happy baby. I remember how Daniel was frustrated because I made us thirty minutes late. And, I remember how Grace said it would be better for everyone if she didn’t even come.

Yet, when I look at these images I see beauty. I see joy and love. Most of all, I see hope.

The brokenness is there, still very fresh in my heart. But even amidst that there is goodness, and that fills my heart with gratitude.

Ashley, it takes talent to capture real beauty like this. I’m so thankful you were the one there that night with your camera. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you.

(P.S. Fair warning – there are a few breastfeeding pictures towards the end of this post.)

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