Well this slideshow has turned me into a ball of mush.

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that big sister is one of my daughter’s best buds, and in fact reminds me SO much of my girl, so often. Watching her and her little brother become big siblings to another little guy is just too much for my sentimental heart.

Plus, I just adore this entire family. We have only known each other for…less than a year? But they are just the kind of people who make you feel like immediate friends. I couldn’t be more thrilled for them, and I can’t wait to watch this baby boy grow under the watchful and loving eyes of his older siblings.

Had a few free minutes this morning so compiled some photos of our second little summer vacation. It was such fun being together, even if only for a couple of days. 

Maybe I’ll make this a tradition…I’ll get around to blogging sessions right before I see said family the following year.

Kidding, but only slightly. I adore this family more than I can explain, and they are nothing short of a JOY to photograph. I couldn’t not share images from their last family session. They are some of my faves.

See you guys soon!

From the very first time we met, this beautiful mama was incredibly organized and efficient in her planning for baby. In fact, every single one of our three sessions ended up falling within two weeks of one another. Maternity, then two weeks later birth, then two weeks later newborn. Clockwork!

So, it was no surprise to me when her labor progressed at a relatively quick, steady pace, delivering her precious baby boy Whitten after just a handful of pushes.

Obviously this is a little tongue in cheek, as none of us can plan when or how we go into labor, but it was such a fitting day for this incredible family as they welcomed their first baby into the world. I am so grateful to have been a part of it.

I’ll preface by saying this post is photo-heavy, but you wouldn’t be here if you didnt expect that from me right?

We started our vacation this year by spending a couple days in the Hill Country to celebrate the 4th of July–and break up the drive. We visited the Texas White House and spent the evening eating and playing at a little celebration in my hometown. The next day we headed to the coast, and it was a relaxed, hot, sandy few days. We ate simple breakfasts and lunches at the condo or beach, played at the pool or fished during naptime, and went out to dinner most nights. We slept in, and sat on the balcony, and enjoyed going without much of a schedule.

There is so much in this group of pictures that speaks to my heart as a mother…in these is a visual record/encouragement that my kids are ok. That even though I feel I fail them sometimes, I can see here that they are having the kind of childhood I envisioned.  A trip to the beach is not a requirement to having a memorable childhood–don’t hear me say that. But what I can see in these images are that they are experiencing nature, learning about the history of our state, celebrating our country, living a simple summer filled with BBQ and live music and sno-cones, enjoying the sun, relishing the water, dancing after dark, getting sunburned, getting sticky, scraping knees…

And with that, on a personal level, I let go of a lot of my perfectionist desires to document our memories. Yes, I took a bunch of photos–that’s just part of me– but I promised myself I wasn’t going to be dragging around my big camera if it wasn’t convenient or kept me from doing something with my family (enter: my investment in a small mirrorless camera and a waterproof housing. Convenient and worry-proof).

So while I would love to use my nice camera on vacations, I think this was a perfect choice for me. There are photos that were taken with my big camera, but most were with my mirrorless, some with ON-CAMERA flash (gasp), some with the waterproof housing, some with grain, and even a handful of images that are blurry, but that I love. None of the conditions were perfect for perfect photography (heat, sand, salt, etc), but I tried to let go of my need to memorialize everything perfectly, and instead capture it so that I, and my kiddos, could perfectly remember it.

This was a really neat future of the little “museum” at the Texas White House. For preservation purposes, some of LBJ’s phone calls were recorded, and it was super interesting to hear him, as president, having these normal conversations with people. Ian and Benj are listening to him congratulate Coach Royal on Texas’ Cotton Bowl victory.

I can’t remember who took this^^ but it was one of my children and I thought they did pretty well!