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[since this blog also serves as a family journal of sorts, i’m playing catchup from the past few weeks…]

“Just ONE nice picture!” I begged my sisters, “that’s all I want! Just ONE!”

It had been nearly three years since we last had an official photo shoot with all of us. A new member of the family and three years make a big difference in the appearance of a younger family. Sure, we’ve had lots of pictures, lots of them. The guy who works on our computer from time to time can’t believe how many I have on my computer, but I just smile, knowing I’m not alone. :)

So we were visiting lovely Pennsylvania in the springtime, and it felt like a hug from Jesus that all the orchards began to be in bloom just when I was there!! I grew up surrounded by fruit orchards, so springtime was especially a favorite time of year. Now with living far away I don’t get to see it often, and when I do, it is so very special!

I had visions of beautiful relaxed pictures; the girls holding [homemade] pinwheels, happy, smiling, not making it a long affair but enough time to capture little kid personalities and a few of just Ben and me [so very rare].

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There was one PERFECT evening. Warm and balmy, lighting that was magical and every photographer’s dream, the orchards in full white blooming glory. That was the very evening that Ben worked late, so we just hoped for another nice evening….. in vain. It turned cold the next day, and began raining for the last several days straight.

[edit: Maybe it was a God-thing, because I had no idea what I was going to wear.  Meanwhile I went to Goodwill and found an adorable H&M dress just my size for, um $4? I was a little bit giddy. It paired well with my new cowboy (girl?) boots that I like so much, and well, I was happy. :)]

Finally, on the morning that we were leaving to return south, my very obliging husband and three children-just-rolled-out-of-bed and two kind sister-photographers trooped out to the orchards who were past their blooming glory, in 40* weather! It was freezing cold, and windy, and I knew these pictures were going to be different than I had thought!

“Just one good family picture!” I kept repeating to myself, and anyone who would listen. “It will be so worth it. And please, dear darling children, try not to look so cold!!” :)

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We had the speediest picture-taking time you can imagine with three children, laughing and making the best of it. My brother-in-law-to-be even climbed a tree to hold a blanket to block the bright sun and shadows from our faces – bless him. He’s got a spot in the family for sure. :)

And they got it – the one good family picture. I love it!

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The shoot was not what I had first envisioned, but it speaks of real-life family; where photo shoots aren’t perfect, where there are sweaters covering pretty dresses, where a little southern baby boy looks a little shell-shocked at being out in the northern cold, where my sisters and husband and kiddos obliged me by taking pictures on an early morning just because.

And because oh how it shows real life, I think I like the out-takes as well as the “good” ones. :)

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Even when little kids looks freezing cold. :) We already look back and laugh!

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Meet the family: where bliss and happiness meet real life challenges, and choose to love each other anyway. :)

Happy Wednesday!


30 thoughts on “A Family Photo Shoot.

  1. shelly

    That *just one* family picture is BeaUtiful!! I love the shades of pink ~ and everything about it! You’re so good about making the best of things . . . and what a great photo shoot as proof. :)

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Edited to include the fabulous find-of-the-century. ;) I love that you were with me in both of these memories! What fabulous sisters I have, to do photo shoots in sub-zero weather. xo

  2. vanessa

    yup. and again. this is why i love your blogging!! real. beautiful. messy. life. and that’s a beautiful dress you’re wearing. :)

  3. jana

    Oh my word, this is such a GORGEOUS photoshoot, you guys could be in a magazine!!!! & don’t tell me you found that stinking cute dress at a goodwill…now I can’t go buy one. I hate you!! ;) Love this post.

  4. amber~.

    you are so beautiful, my friend~
    it was worth the chilly temps to capture these!
    funny how it’s the not so perfect shoots that turn out some of our favs.
    love every stinkin one!! xox.

  5. Sherri Y.

    Love the pictures (and the real life-ness)! :) The trees are beautiful! There is something so wonderfully refreshing & life-giving about new blossoms on fruit trees…I too, loved growing up surrounded by orchards!

  6. Dawn

    Real life, aye! Aw, yes that was us on Sunday. My bird brained idea of a quick ‘let’s shoot a picture of us in our Easter outfits before church’ this Sunday because we have out of town guests who could quickly snap a picture was just that…..REAL LIFE. So I have a less then perfect picture of my ‘precious’ family but I have a very real reminder that this life indeed is less than perfect. Thank God for precious reminders in the form of a photo shoot!

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      I laughed at your Sunday morning photo shoot, because ours was a Sunday morning too! Definitely NOT the prime ideal time! But yes, precious reminders in the form of a photo shoot! :)

  7. Shannon

    Ohhh my, I know all about “just one family photo!” There is just nothing that easy, is there? :) Beautiful all the way, even the “not perfect” ones.

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Sometimes I wish pictures wouldn’t be as important to me – I hear about these families that never take pictures of their kids, and I kinda wish I wouldn’t care either. But OH THE JOY of a good picture – where it’s an individual shot or one of the family!! :) You know, right?!

  8. Rebekah Martin

    Lovely! So glad you got some nice pictures. As a mother of four… I very well understand how HAPPY it makes your heart to be able to capture some of the sweetness of your children and little family all together. No small feat!:) AND so good to talk to you again the other day. If we could somehow shorten our conversations to less than an hour… well maybe we could make that happen more often. Ha. {hugs}

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Very very happy indeed! One day we’ll look back on these pictures of imperfect photo shoots and talk about the good ol’ days like every one else! :) And it was so good to talk with you too! Thank you! ♥

  9. Chels

    what beautifulness!
    LOVE the orchard, pink, and all that “morning glory beauty light”. ya’ll are STUNNING!
    and beautiful new website here too, btw…love it.

  10. Michelle

    Soooooooooooooooo much prettiness. And I’m so sorry about the cold! I smiled when I read “just ONE good picture” because I hear myself say it so often. Last year I set up the tripod and by some miracle, we got one. Literally, one. ;) I love your outtakes …. it says a lot about how beautiful your family spirit is that the outtakes are full of you smiling even when you’re children are cold and things aren’t going like you dreamed. Love to you!

  11. Elizabeth

    I LOVE this post!!! Your dress is so pretty! When I first saw the picture I thought Modcloth. But Goodwill? $4? What a deal! Your family is gorgeous. and you can’t tell at all that it is freezing outside!

    Happy Day to you! XxOo

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