Family Photos with Vanessa Velazquez Photography

It's been years since I've had professional photos taken with the kids, but this year I felt compelled to make it happen. After a number of hospital visits this past fall and just a heavy year in general, I wanted to be sure to take a moment and capture the joy of our loud and boisterous family.

We originally scheduled to take photos the weekend after Thanksgiving, but were thwarted when Amelia got a black eye playing in the backyard (we did make it to the Christmas tree farm though), and then it rained the following weekend. We crossed our fingers the third time around and the weather aligned and the magic happened!

Our photographer was Vanessa Velazquez, a wonderful friend, and we chose the park at Landa Library--we've gone there after school for years and it holds such fond memories. And it's a perfect spot for photos. My crew was as crazy as ever, but we had a wonderful time and Vanessa was excellent with the kids. So without further ado, here are a million photos that bring me all the joy. I hope you find the glimpses of joy over your holiday weekend no matter how heavy your year has been!

O Christmas Tree

I think we've discovered a new Christmas tradition. We've bought a real tree each year for a while now, but always from the hardware store or a roadside tent. And I've always been one to wait a little longer to put one up for the season, adamant about making a separation between Advent and Christmas. But life changes and I decided I wanted to soak up every moment of the holidays I could with the kids, so this year we made a trip out to Divine Acre Farms the Saturday after Thanksgiving. 

I don't recall ever having a live tree growing up, but I did have a childhood friend who always had one. I remember the scent and playing with our little toys in the pine needles on the floor. It's funny how simple memories like that make their way into our minds. But the memories we keep are so often about the emotions they evoke, aren't they? I think that might be why, despite the perceived hassle of picking out and hauling it home (let alone cutting one down--and then wrestling with the tree stand!), I've made it a point to buy a live one for so long now. And I've always read that it's friendlier for the environment, which pulls at my heartstrings, of course.
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