If you haven’t had family pictures taken in the past year, promise me that you’ll find someone to take them for you.

It doesn’t matter who takes them or how or where.

Whether you ask a friend, whether you use the timer on your phone’s camera, whether you hire a professional, you need to do it. And you need to do it now.

We have no guarantees in life, but you know what having family photos proves? That you were here, you were together, and you were happy.

I can already hear you, friend.

“But, but, Christi, I need to lose 20 pounds first.”

NO, YOU DON’T. Do your kids care about your extra weight? No. I promise you, they don’t.

They care about the way you hold them on your lap, the way you smile at them, the way you show them every day how much you love them. Take my word for it. Don’t wait.

(I get you, though. I would rather stab my eyeballs than be in front of the camera.)

We’ll call this another installment of #preachingtomyself. 😉

P.S. Want to know more about what a photo session with me is like? My documentary-style way of capturing your family makes it easy. All you have to do is be yourself and carry on as you typically would with your family. And I’ll take care of the rest.

But don’t take my word for it. TAKE THEIRS.

As the inauguration aired on Friday, I stood and watched in disbelief that Donald Trump is now our President.

While we’ve taught our kids to respect the process and the Office, all I kept thinking was, how do I best explain to my kids that the leader of our country is this man that we disagree with on so many levels?

And then I remembered this quote by author L.R. Knost: “It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”

President Trump doesn’t decide what kind of adults our sweet babes become. 

We do.

For our family, we will raise our kids to love Jesus, to love ALL people, to be kind, to be open-minded, to choose to always see the good, and to serve others with love.

In the end, all we can do is LOVE. And love well.

To my sweet friends of color, to my girlfriends who have felt degraded and belittled, to any of my friends who have felt like you’re less-than because of our President’s words and actions,

I see you. And I hope our love for you is louder than any other noise you hear.

Happy New Year from us to you, friends. It’s been a good year. Not an easy year, but a good year. Because when you’ve got these 5 as your crew, it’s good even when it’s bad.

The team players:

  1. My main squeeze, who never, ever asks anything of me. He gives and gives until I think his giver has to be worn out. He epitomes selflessness. I love him with every part of my being (he still puts toothpaste on my toothbrush at night. I’m not even kidding). I want my daughter and my 3 boys to recognize what it looks like to be taken care of, watched out for, stood up for, just like their daddy does all of that for me. And then strive for that. He’s the best part of my life.
  2. My oldest, my like-minded (but funnier and cooler than I could ever be) child. My charismatic boy who keeps me laughing with his antics and his sarcastic humor. He’s always been the one who takes charge and finds a way to fix problems, whether it’s talking his little brother down from a meltdown or rushing to pick up the stroller that has tipped over with the baby strapped in it. Oh the hilarity of raising a child who is more rational than you are. 😉
  3. My girl, the light of my mothering heart. She has a heart of generosity and a will that’s strong as an ox. She’s kind and wise and determined and strong. She’s honest and generous and she loves Jesus with her whole heart. She makes me a better version of myself, and for that I’m so grateful. Oh the irony of raising your firecracker twin. It’s so good being her mama.
  4. My middle boy, oh how I love that one. He’s a quiet thinker and as sweet as they come. Really. He loves symmetry and building and coloring (precisely, might I add, or he thinks its rubbish). He comes down the stairs in the mornings and says with a smile, “mama,” and curls up in a ball in my lap. Seriously. I can’t get enough. Just being around him, he brings me calm. That’s the only way I know to describe it. Oh the beauty of raising a 5 year old version of your husband. <3
  5. My baby, the heart of my heart, the one whose cheeks I can’t stop kissing for fear that I’m going to blink and he’ll be grown. He loves to sing Yankee Doodle in the car (Winkee Doodle he says) and he still takes a paci at night. Ask me if I love it. I do. This boy is just silly and fun. I mean, look at his cheese face. He makes me laugh out loud daily.

[Photo credit: Jonbob. We love seeing him every year. He’s awesome.]

This final photo is with our bestie bestersons. What we would do without them, I don’t even want to imagine. Life surely wouldn’t be the same. They’re our people, and I think they would say that we’re theirs.

I hope 2017 is off to a great start, friends. It surely is going to be a good year.

P.S. Here’s a side note: Rarely do we all look this good. As a matter of fact, I’m sitting here right now with sweat pants on and dry shampoo in my hair. So. Don’t be expecting anything more the next time you see me. 😉

Well, hi there, you.

It’s so nice to be around here again. Lately I’ve hardly been here on the blog (or on instagram or on facebook).

I’ve needed to give myself and my head and my heart some space to just be. 

Sometimes doesn’t the hustle feel so exhausting?

Especially when you’re a mama (whether you have 1 tiny babe or 10 crazy kids chasing each other around the living room).

Especially in a world that tells us we need to do more, be more, have more.

Especially when you’re a perfectionist who doesn’t give herself as much grace as she should.

This is my permission slip for us today, friends.

I give us permission.

Me.

You.

I give us permission to rest. And to be who we are, where we are.

If you feel freaking amazing today, get on with your bad self, sister. Embrace it!

If you feel like you’ve been slapped around by life, be there with it. Feel it.

If you feel sad or lonely or like you’re the only person going through some really hard stuff, be there, too. It’s okay to be in a hard place and it’s okay to be mad about it.

Life is all about balance, isn’t it?

My friend, don’t feel like you need get it together or whip yourself into shape or try harder, do more, be better. You don’t.

Embrace who you are, where you are. It can be a beautiful thing, if you let it.

#preachingtomyself

You will never meet a sweeter family. Really.

How the two of them interact with each other and are a united front for their family. The way she nurtures them gently. How obvious it is that he loves her well.  And don’t even get me started on these kids. Gah.

I wish we were neighbors. 

I would bake them vegan cookies and hold the baby daily and tell the kids they could ride my goats anytime they wanted (PETA, I’m kidding).

What a privilege it is that these families welcome me into their lives. I’ll never get over the fact that I’ve gotten to do this for the past 9 years. I mean, really. These families that I get to meet.

The things I learn from them.

The relationships that form.

It’s pretty much the best thing ever.

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This was a quick mini session we did at Timberwind Tree Farm.

The next one is tomorrow, and I have two spots left. Email me for details?

Happy Friday, y’all!

xoxo