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Everybody say cheese!

Every year, I set goals for myself and our family. Some get done, a lot don’t, but one I try to insist does get checked off are family photos.

I take plenty of everyday photos of the kids (yay cell phone cameras!), but there’s something extra special about asking someone (thanks, Charley!) to come to the house and coax the best smiles out of the kids using a really, really nice camera.

I mean, seriously. Look at that toothless, whole-faced baby smile. It’s absolutely priceless and is one for our wall!


We made sure to get the usual, posed photos with the cheesy grins, tucked-in shirts, and perfectly coiffed hair, but c’mon. With seven kids all waiting their turn to have their pictures taken, it’s only a matter of time before their hair gets messed and knees get grass stains on them.

Sometimes, it’s bittersweet to look through the photo album when it’s sent back. Every year, I barely recognize the children. I still see their squishy baby faces when I look at them, but somehow, they’re growing faster and faster. Look at Evelyn! She’s a little lady already and she’s not even technically a teenager.

I love that our photographer knows our kids well enough to catch their personalities when she happens upon them. The candid ones are by far my favorites because they catch the joy of our family life. Everything might not always be perfect, but in that moment, we have glimpses of perfection.

And, of course, we always make time for fun photos. Yep. That’s my smokin’ hot lumberjack. That’s another one for the wall, I think. 😍

This past year, we asked Charley to come for a longer session so we could get some photo setups that we don’t always have time for. Like one with the men of the house. Look at those sweet, yet strapping boys. They’re incredible!

Naturally, I had to surround myself with all my lovely ladies. We are so, so blessed to have such amazing children who have the whole world ahead of them.

And, since Jack and I almost never get photos of the two of us together, we shooed the kids out of the way so we could get some with just the two of us. I think we clean up alright.

As animal lovers, it’s only natural that animals would also make their appearance in our photos. This year, I had everyone snatch their favorite pet, get comfy with them, and smile for the camera. Some, like the cats, were sort of hesitant.

Aww! Claire and Fawn, the kitten.

Raven, however, is a complete natural. That dog hasn’t ever taken a bad picture. Kate and Raven are two peas in a pod and I adore that the photo captures the essence of their friendship.

I thought about pulling the horses out, but we got too engrossed in taking photos of…the cattle. 🤣 We had two brand-spankin’-new babies. Our herd is very eclectic–horns, no horns, black, red, tall, squatty, chubby, thin…whatever they are, they’re easy to photograph.

Hashi’s one handsome dude.

We are so pleased with how the pictures turned out. Yes, I give myself a headache every year trying to coordinate outfits (design and decor and matching colors is not my forte), and yes, getting seven kids to all smile and look is infinitely harder than herding cats, but it’s so worth it in the end. The photos capture moments in time, but they represent so much more. The love, happiness, and joy that come from family life that we’ve worked so hard to secure.

Loving our 2021 family photos!


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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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