six people | twelve times | july 2010

the fabulous tara whitney started a personal project on her blog. i love her work. i love her family. and i love this project:

the idea behind the project is to photograph my own family (all six of us) once a month and post an update. at the end of a year, i'm going to make a book. i'm really excited about this great way to document our lives~
and i need the push to take a picture of all of us at once and actually BE IN IT myself.

this project would have been ideal to begin in january. and actually, i wanted to, but it's july now and finally i'm getting around to starting. oh well.
let's just say, i'm doing it  a bit behind style.
so. here we go.

july. 2010
i don't often make all of us take a picture together.
it's honestly a lot of work and people i live with get grumpy about it.
i usually like to keep things natural, so thus, i'm typically following everyone around with my camera, and never in the frame myself.

when i asked brian if he would go along with this project, he was more than willing.
on this day, he asked what everyone should wear.

i said that i wanted everyone to look exactly like they did right then.
like on a saturday morning.
or going to the park.
wonky hair. mis-matched clothes. no posing.

i just wanted us all squished together on my bed.

i begged and begged years ago, through all of those pregnancies
to get a king sized bed.
finally, before we had elliot, brian and i took the plunge and purchased one.
my last pregnancy contained much more comfortable sleeping...
and now we have so much room for wrestling, reading, and snuggling on our bed.
ironically, now we have that big bed
in the smallest master bedroom we've ever owned. ;)

i felt that our 6|12 project had to start on our bed.
here we are.

nic had a really huge birthday this year... TEN.
his birthdays will always feel big to us because he is always entering into uncharted territory.
and amazingly, that also summarizes who he is in so many ways.
always marching off into what's next.
thrilled for an adventure, a change, something new.
like a scout.
but as our family scout, he has a kind soul to his siblings... and a (sometimes) willing hand
to his mom and dad.
we celebrated over him big for his birthday and we still do.
i've decided that ten is one of my favorite ages.

oliver turned nine this month.
his birthday always sort of sneaks up on me.
he bounces around between one and two years younger than nic... 
i think he prefers one as he definitely finds comfort in close proximity to his brother.
oliver is energetic and playful... and can be really loud at times.
but when you flip that coin, 
he softens into a sentimental wise beyond his years type.
he is always shocking us with a question or statement that stops our logic right in it's track.
i love this about him.
i know he will always say what he thinks and what he thinks is worth listening to.

abigail is six now, 
and just completed the monumental year of kindergarten.
she is PROUDLY sporting her first wiggly tooth
which makes her mama sorta sad.
(i love little baby teeth.)
she is an independent and happy soul.
comfortable with who she is.
she loves to play with elliot or her big brothers (if they'll engage her)
and her friends are dear to heart,
but she also happily shuts herself in her room to play alone many days.
often she comes into our bedroom in the morning and gives us a good morning hug,
and then says, "now i need to go hug stella."
she softens and changes all of us for the better.

elliot wants to be four.
but he is three. and i will not let him rush things.
maybe this will be our forever battle:
him wanting to keep up, me wanting to hold him back.
i still call him my baby (might forever) and he always protests, "NO. i a BIG boy."
i often "rest with him" at night as he is drifting off to sleep
and while sometimes i begrudge it, i mostly think it's a gift.
my favorite part is when he finally settles and is still.
i could stare at his face forever.
those sweet little lips, the cheeks i like to bury my face into, and those thick dark lashes.
so still.
and dare i say it?
he's also hit a MAJOR mile stone.
he is now POTTY TRAINED!!!

which brings me to what i refer to as our family's "sweet spot."
our four kids ages three (no diapers) to ten (still wants to be around us).
we can get out more and go.
and man do i want to... 
who knows how long this will last?

wait. there is one more thing i want to say.
and that is about the man i married thirteen years ago.
it's been a weary(?) year in the life of our marriage~ 
perhaps it's just moving and starting over
and his big important job and me working and having a family this big
and our selfishness and laziness or whatever.
but it's been sorta like the gears are tight.

but recently.
everything changed.
and i feel like there is this big huge umbrella held over our heads
by someone who really knows and really cares enough
to keep us out of that storm for a while
and i am so.

and so in love.

(i think it would be awesome if some of you want to do the project too... you can link up with tara w., but please also leave a link to your blog in the comments here!
i would love to know and see what you do!!
i already can't wait for next month.)