*Plus one husband this year.
It’s that time of the year again. The annual L-O-V-E picture debut. This year’s image, our 15th, includes our newest family member–my son-in-law, Kody. I’m pretty sure that being in these pictures is the highlight of his time as an official member of our family.
I was nervous that we wouldn’t be able to capture these annual images since Stef and Kody live in Northern Virginia, but a conveniently timed trip to South Hampton Roads solved the threat.
I love our L-O-V-E pictures…not because they’re the best pictures I’ve ever taken or because they are always unique and awesome. I love them because they mark time for me. They show me how my girls have grown up one year at a time. And each year, the session is unique to where we are in life.
This year, our session took about three minutes. We took them after church last Sunday in between lunch and when Taylor had to run off to her Young Life leaders meeting and Stef and Kody had to drive back to Arlington.
When we first started this tradition, Stef was 8, Taylor 6, Kerri 5, and Madison 3. Today they are 22, 20, 19, and 17, and Stef is married.
While I can’t go back and relive those younger days, these annual pictures help me remember. They help me remember what they looked like, what they liked, and who they were in younger days. They help me appreciate how quickly time passes and hopefully they inspire me to appreciate each day a bit more because time really does fly and they really do grow up quicker than you can imagine.
So to all my friends with young children, take pictures. Have pictures taken. Put them in your homes and share them with your kids. I think our annual L-O-V-E pictures actually made my girls feel loved.
2016 L-O-V-E Blog Post:
I love Jon Foreman’s music. I find myself connecting to his lyrics in a way that helps me sort out my often confused thoughts and emotions. For Christmas, my daughter Stef bought me four of his EPs and I began to binge-listen to them. I love the song “Inheritance.”
My favorite line from that song is, “I want to be rich in memories not money, our love is our inheritance honey.” That line reminds me of George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life” and it reminds me of my husband, Brian.
My husband Brian and I have always needed to make choices between having things and doing things. Doing things always wins. Our life is rich in memories.
Brian has always been the kind of dad who has sacrificially provided experiences and opportunities for his daughters more than possessions. He has found ways for them to play travel soccer, AAU basketball, travel the world (literally) to compete in Irish dance, go to concerts, go camping, go to professional and college sporting events, go to Disney World, visit family regularly, learn to play golf, read great books aloud together, go to plays and movies, learn to play instruments, have their friends over for countless overnights and meals, and go bowling, among other things. He has led the way in making sure that we build lives rich in memories.
When I think of our inheritance, the thing that we’ll pass on to our daughters, I think of all of our shared experiences, all of our deep and silly discussions, and all the people we’ve been blessed to know and love. Our inheritance is laden with memories, and it’s a rich one.
In honor of those memories, I’d like to post our annual L-O-V-E pictures which began back in 2003 with a photo shoot my friend Bethany did for us. Through the years we’ve done all sorts of Valentine’s sessions…in ice cream shops, eating Hershey bars, in downtown Norfolk, studio backdrops, snow…. Each photo shoot carries its own set of memories and each is special in its own way.
Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!
These are arranged in chronological order from the oldest to the most recent.