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Opening a door to the past

PUBLIC WARNING: This post is really just a giant loving mush fest about my husband, our life, and a HUGE public thank you to his mama for taking such beautiful photos of my family. Most of you won't care about this post. But for me, it's beautiful.

There is a simple door is that transports me to a different time. Different times in fact. There is a door in a small town that has seen my family grow, change, love. There is a door in a small town that has been witness to snapshots of my family's life. I'm thankful to have a door captured in film by a woman that loves her family enough to start such a visual tradition, one that I cherish.. I want to show you the story of my life as told by the door. Step through the door with me and visit some of my story.

When the door first opens you might be confused. That boy looks familiar but it isn't one of my tiny tots. No. It's older than that. The door opens first to a boy that would grow into a man. A  good man. A loving man. A man of God. A good husband and father.  A man that was captured on film by a mother that knew how important moments are. How important memories are. The door first opens onto a boy that will someday move & shape my whole world. A boy that will help write our story. My husband. (Isn't he a cutie?)

As we open the door again we have jumped forward 9 years,  and that sweet young boy has grown into a young man, a man that asked me to be his wife. The door brings you now to our engagement photos. This time, as we step through the door we see a couple in the easy moment of young love.  Unaffected by life. Over joyed at the prospect of a life together. Eyes only for each other.

When I look back at these photos I literally can not stop myself from smiling. These pictures capture it all. The love, the joy, overflowing so much that ten years later it still causes me to smile. For those of you who know us now, it probably seems as though we were babies, shoot, we were! But we were babies about to embark on the most amazing journey together.

I look at these pictures and I feel like I am 18 and falling in love all over again. It's a heady feeling.  Falling in love, oh it's wonderful, and beautiful, and magical, and everything fairy tales tell you it is. But this abiding love, the kind of love that carries on after 10 years and two babies, the kind where I'm still wrapped in those same arms. That is the dream. Thankful doesn't describe it. I wonder if these two kids knew how blessed they were going to be.

When again the door opens we catch up with the young couple after  4 whirlwind years of being being married. They are family of 3 now and still growing.  Little O has joined the fold and Little C is on the way. I'm living in a world full of cute ties and sweet books. And diapers. Let's not forget the diapers.

This time in my story is precious. We became parents just a few short years after marrying and I don't know who I am without being mom. I look at these pictures and I can feel the happiness, and the tiredness, and the anticipation of what is about to come. There was no way that we could fully be prepared for what life would look like when C came bursting into this world. It's beautiful chaos. And I loved every minute of it.

The knob on the door doesn't turn again. Not yet. Our journey through time has come up short. There are more chapters in that little family's life, but they haven't been seen by the door. I can hardly believe that my C is going on 5 years old and we haven't revisited the door. There have been other family photos, sure, but not here, not in front of the door. I have a very funny feeling that will change before the change of the calendar year. In fact, let me put a place card here so I can update this post when it happens.

As long as I have known her my mother-in-law has said that her memory is awful. Terrible. So she documents things, and one of her methods is with a lens. She never became a professional photographer but  her artistic soul and intimate knowledge of our family has captured so many precious moments of us in time. Perfect snapshots to remember forever.

Some people believe that family photos are unrealistic. Fake. Color coordinated perfection when life is anything but. Oh I disagree. I may bribe my children with ice cream to smile at the camera but it is not because they are disagreeable, naughty children but instead simply because they are children and don't see the value in taking one.more.picture. They do not understand my need for these moments frozen in time. She captures our essence as a family. Our love as a family. Our silliness as a family. The smiles are real. The happiness is real. Color coordination optional.

What may be seen as a weakness, a faltering memory, has proven to be one of the greatest gifts to my family because it created a desire in my mother-in-law to capture the moments to reflect back. She has captured the good, the beautiful, the crazy, and those memories last forever. The bribing and bickering can fade with time and we remember the sunlight instead of the shadows. We remember the love. The door. The camera. The woman. They capture our love. They remind us of the joy we have in our life.

Bonus picture:
The alley is always featured in these photo shoots and while not technically the door that I focused on today, there are always sweet shots that happen here too. These are two of my favorite. Now I just need to get one of C.


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