I am so thankful for this blog…for many reasons.

But one of the biggest is that it has forced me to take so.many.pictures of my family.

Well. I guess “forced” is a strong word.

But, for years, I was the girl who hid from the camera and grimaced awkwardly when I did have to be in a shot. I was the girl who didn’t even own a camera (and this was before phones that took great pics) until I was 25, and even then, I forgot to bring it with me to important events or have it out ready to use at home at any given moment.

But since blogging, I’ve really stepped up my camera game and discovered that, not only am I oh-so-grateful to have captured literally thousands of sweet,memorable moments over the last 3 1/2 years, but I actually enjoy the process.

Which brings me to that Thanksgiving Miracle of this post’s title.

For the last 3 Thanksgivings/Christmases, I have bundled my family into coordinated outfits (always assembled pretty last minute from whatever we already had in our closets) and hustled us out to the pier on my parents’ pond to snap a few pictures. (You can see 2012’s and 2013’s if you like).

We’ve also done several other family photo shoots and lake pics that I’ve shown you here on the blog.

But in all of those attempts at cute, posed togetherness, I don’t think we’ve ever before achieved this:


That’s right. Every single one of us is looking and smiling. See? Miraculous.

I posted that shot to my Instagram and Facebook page the day we took it, and someone (a mama who knows what’s up) asked how many shots it took to pull this off. The answer? Um, quite a few. It was definitely sandwiched between many wiggling, sneezing, half-closed-eyes shots. But it happened, darn it!

So did this:


Could have been worse, right?

Oh, and, perhaps even more impressively, THIS!


That would be all 13 members of my immediate family (yes, I’m counting the little boy in my belly) looking pleasant and aware that a camera is pointed in their general direction.

Even my ridiculously adorable little niece, Halleli, got the: Smile and Look memo.


{Although, I don’t think my brother got the “clean your shirt” memo. :)}

Nola was the least cooperative of our entire clan…


…but after a week of fussiness and digestive issues (hello 2-year-old molars), I was just thrilled to have the twins participating on any level.    thanksgiving8

Ezra, on the other hand, it always ready to smile and “do the right thing.” He is such a sweet, good big brother/cousin.

And these two?thanksgiving9

You’d never know from this shot that their similar personalities tend to produce a bit of–ahem–friction on a regular basis every now and then.

Oh, and in case you needed it, here’s proof that Nola wasn’t the biggest fan of family photos.


This shot makes me laugh so hard because of how dramatic Nola’s expression is. She is alittle woman of high highs and low lows. And, according to her, this was a very low moment. I think this was the best shot we got of all the cousins, and it just went downhill from there.


I would have loved to have nabbed a few more shots that I had planned out in my head. But I have long since resigned myself to getting what I get when it comes to pictures with kids in them. And, with those low standards in place, I can honestly say I was thrilled with our results this year.

Of course, these pictures represent only a tiny fraction of our Thanksgiving weekend, which was full of food and family and fun.


Not to mention that this handsome little dude got to share his birthday with Thanksgiving for the 2nd time in 7 (!!!) years.

I hope that all of y’all had just as enjoyable a weekend and are still finding things to be thankful on the Monday after.

Oh, and anybody else a little freaked out by the fact that there are only 3 1/2 weeks left until Christmas??


I love hearing from you guys!