Throwback Thursday ~ When They Were All 13

In our house we have tried to mark becoming a teenager in a very specific way. We hate the whole just-wait-until-they’re-a-teenager attitude that is so pervasive even within the church as if we have no choice but to have deep rebellion and bad attitudes from our kids.

Obviously, the teen years are at times tumultuous and emotional because there is a whole lot going on. Growing up and growing pains are par for course but that doesn’t mean it has to look like defiance and sneaking out of windows. We can set an expectation and lay ground work to help our kids know that they are not at the mercy of all the boiling emotion and changes they will experience during this time.

One of the ways Rob and I decided to mark this special time with our girls was to actually carry on a tradition my father did with me and my sisters. The girls are each given a ring as a reminder as the approach the age of boys and relationships that their father is there to guide and help protect their hearts until the right time for them to wear another ring placed on their finger by a young man as they prepare to marry.

We also wait for the girls to get their ears pierced so after a special dinner and getting their ring, Rob takes them to have that done. My part in all of this has been to take some formal portraits of our daughters. We choose to do formal dresses to mark the transition from girlhood to young womanhood in a way that is feminine and special.

Claire turned thirteen in November and it marked the end of this era in our family. It was a bit of a moment as my last child entered into her teen years. She wanted to wait until after her ears were pierced to do her pictures and we finally got the window of time to do them last weekend. Tomorrow I will share more of hers but today I thought it would be fun to look back at all four girls’ 13th birthday pictures.

To say my skills behind the camera have improved through the years is an understatement.

Be that as it may, it was bittersweet to look back at such a significant day in the lives of our girls and remember the innocence between girlhood and womanhood.



Emily loved horses and some dear friends let us come over to their place and include one of their horses in her pictures.



Abby turned thirteen the year that Frozen came out. We were doing her pictures in a local park when this little girl came running across the field with her mother trying to catch her. She was convinced Abby was Elsa and was all starry eyed.




Man, the mix of it being the baby and the official close to a part of life had all the feels.

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Four daughters. Four. Daughters.

Rob gets ribbed a lot about those four daughters…the emotions, the drama, the weddings! And sometimes the weight of raising four women to image God in a world that hates all that God would have for women as good is heavy.

But it is a heavy blessing rich with joy.

Throwback Thursday

I got my first real camera almost twenty years ago in 2001 and as best I can tell around 2007 friends started letting me take their pictures. It’s almost embarrassing to look back and see what I am sure, in that moment, I was so proud of. Almost but not really, because it’s really fun to see how I have grown in my skill but what I really love is looking back and seeing the people, my people, that we have walked a lot of life’s road with together. We’ve rejoiced, we’ve grieved, and done all of the mundane in between living alongside one another. Now, that is a blessing.

Not sure yet how my friends will enjoy seeing themselves immortalized through the years but…

This is not only one of my earliest efforts but it is also one of my first secretive sessions. I think I suggested we do it as a Mother’s Day surprise for my friend. The three girls are all grown with multiple children of their own and Jerry graduated from college this year. We should definitely recreate this is everyone if everybody is all home in Florida again!



More sweet friends from that same general time frame. This was right before they moved to Texas. They’re the kind of friends that stay with you when they come to town and it’s like you’ve never been a part.


Gaaaahhhh, this just makes me smile to consider how much their family has grown since we took family pictures for the first time. They’ve added two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, and eight grandchildren!


I didn’t take this picture, obviously, but my dear friend Lori did. We look a bit of a mess but man, I love seeing my babies back when they were little people. Life was simpler then it seems, at least  in retrospect, but I am sure that, Lord willing, if I look back at pictures from today in twenty years I will probably feel the same.

Geez, there’s a crazy thought for you! It will be the year 2039. I cannot imagine that far ahead.


Throw Back Thursday ~ Halloween Edition

This is my all time favorite picture taking at Halloween. It just makes me laugh.

Ode to the old movies!

We used to get good use out of costumes and they would be worn for months and months after the big night. One year Sam was Spider Man and as you can see in the following photo Claire put her own twist on the ensemble and became Spider Girl. Please note the shoes and the jean jacket…the child has always been into accessorizing.


I love pictures of Rob with the kids but there is something particularly sweet to me when I come across pictures of him and Sam. The Bat Man devotion is still strong between the two of them. (Even though we all know IronMan is the best.) Pretty sure Sam’s hat came from a trip to the circus and this was not even taken in the month of October but it fit the dress up theme of the post and I love it.


A Throwback Thursday Post

When I did that amazingly easy merge of my previous blog to this blog the process brought all of the old pictures with it. Amidst all of the spot the grammatical errors through the years chagrin I was delighted to see some old pictures. Today I am going to share a few just for fun.

First up…Claire wearing a red wig, a cowboy hat, and a whole lotta sass. We no longer have the wig or the hat but she still has all that sass.


The three oldest when they were a whole lot closer in height than they are now. They were having a race on the beach and if I remember correctly it was New Year’s Day and we were visiting friends who had a beach condo.


Oh my goodness, this makes me laugh! I still remember Claire running up to me, “Mama, did you see that funny face I made?!” It has always been, and still is, very difficult to get a good group shot of my offspring. But at least we I have ones like this to love.


One of my absolute favorites of the girls!


And one of my all time favorite sessions with Abby. She and I had such fun that day deciding to slip off to the beach and do so pictures.


I could just keep adding pictures to this post but I think I had better stop for now but you want to know what’s crazy? I can recall the exact day and the exact moment that I took the picture. I can remember bits of conversation and still hear the echo of giggles. Photographs are very powerful things.

Ahh, it feels good to get behind the camera again and know that I will be making more memories to store up and revisit later on down the road.