I’m gonna be super awkwardly honest with you guys here and say, money makes me uncomfortable.  There are certain spaces that I just don’t see myself in, spaces where I just feel that I don’t belong.

I know it’s just a lack of experience in those spaces that I’ve deemed elite.  I once literally teared up in a fancy restaurant with my husband because I felt so overwhelmed.  It’s nothing against the people in those spaces – I know that I can love all people.  It’s something about the actual physical space and the expectations that come with it.

So when this family requested  their first session to be at their country club pool (oh, and no jeans – what?), I immediately felt that old pang of unease seep in – that feeling of going to a space where I didn’t belong.

But I was CRAZY PANTS to be worried.

Because if there’s one thing that can unite people all over the world – in all socio-economic classes, all cultures, all backgrounds – it’s parenting kids.

Parenting is hard and magical and exhausting and confusing and really, truly amazing.  Though we may disagree on how exactly to do it, that experience of parenting kids unites us. It’s the same thing that makes a mom say “Oh we’ve all been there” as someone else’s kid is melting down at the grocery store, or that makes us make silly faces at a stranger’s baby (ok, maybe that one’s just me).

And so it was with this family.  Kids are pretty rad, and these ones are so, so great!

Summer session: at the pool

family's year photography family's year photography Kids splash in any amount of water.  They have trouble putting on goggles in the most beautifully hilarious ways.   family's year photography Sometimes they’re a little hesitant… …and other times, they jump right in. family's year photography They pretty much ALWAYS want two popsicles.family's year photography

Day in the Life session: a neighborhood walk, then bedtime

It’s so dang cute when kids get up on those tiptoes to reach you. When they’re SO hard to find for hide-and-seek…family's year photography And what kid hasn’t shown that belly off a few times?family's year photography family's year photography They MUST climb on every ledge they see. family's year photography If one is having fun with mom and dad, the other is immediately interested. family's year photography And they’re just FUNNY.  Kids are so dang funny.family's year photography family's year photography I’m not sure what this one’s all about, but they really, really, REALLY love to ring doorbells.  Multiple times. family's year photography family's year photography They are quite proud of the sometimes-dangerous things they do all by themselves when no one’s looking!family's year photography family's year photography They generally love books. family's year photography family's year photography And bedtime is almost ALWAYS a struggle.  

Fall session: Playing in the leaves and carving pumpkins

Sometimes you give them a fun new experience,family's year photography and they’ve just decided that on that particular day, they’re not a fan. family's year photography Things don’t always go as planned with kids.  Sometimes you want to carve a pumpkin, and they want to decorate the pumpkin with the carving utensils instead.  And really, that idea is awesome!

Winter session: Ice skating

family's year photography Sometimes you really nail it as parents.  I mean, ice skating while holding kids and holding hands?  That’s a feat of incredible proportions.  family's year photography family's year photography family's year photography

Spring session: The garden and the golf course

family's year photography Sometimes your kids share!  All on their own without any prompting!  And it feels like all this parenting work has paid off. family's year photography Sometimes the simplest things bring kids joy – like ‘baby coffee’ (hot chocolate).family's year photography

I just love these kids.  And I’ve found that the experience of raising kids pulls us together unlike anything else.  Even though each kid is so different and unique, there are still these aspects of parenting that are so very universal.  I appreciated that so much with this family, and I have had so much fun getting to know them over the year.  Their parents have always welcomed me warmly and always make a point to ask about my kids, too.  Because this parenting experience SO unites us!

They won a Year in the Life package at the Free to Smile (my favorite charity!) gala.  Because it was already March, and their twins’ birthday is in the summer, we decided to shift the year a bit and start with summer.

If you’d like to do a Year in the Life with me, I would love that!  Let me know here!

For another Year in the Life story, head over here!

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