Thoughtful & Thankful ▌Fort Huachuca Photographer, Arizona

As a military family, we have grown accustomed to celebrating holidays far from loved ones, with empty seats at our table and often times a little empty feeling in our hearts. This year we were blessed. It was the first year in our married lives that we had both my husband and his twin brother home from Iraq for the Thanksgiving feast, and not only home, but in one home celebrating together! I have very fond memories of Thanksgiving as a child: a sparkling clean home, my mother's wedding china decorating the table, amazing smells from the kitchen, and a house filled with youthful voices as my three girl cousins and their parents visited from Virginia. Billiard tournaments would last late into the night, as would movie marathons, board games, and then the race downstairs to call "shotgun" on leftover pie for breakfast. I want so badly to recreate these special memories of bonding with my cousins for my own children. We are well on our way to creating Thanksgiving traditions that will be cherished, with four boys under age four and one more baby boy still baking in my "oven", there will be no shortage of chaos and fun. This year we played it quite relaxed, vinyl tablecloth, a candle that never got lit, the special Japanese dishes staying safely packed away in the cupboard. The 7 month old slept through dinner itself. We spent a fair amount of the weekend constructing various Thomas the Train layouts, taking walks outside, reading Curious George, and laughing over the woes of parenthood. When the visitors pulled away I think my husband and I both agreed that the weekend was short lived and passed much too quickly, and we'll continue to be thankful for the moments we were able to share! We wish our most heartfelt Happy Thanksgiving thoughts and prayers to all of our family who could not share our fun this weekend, and to all of the military men and women who serve away from their homes during this special time of year, may God Bless You and keep you in His loving embrace!

I think our mother's will be proud of that bird! I can't believe with so many little helpers under foot we managed not to burn any of the food!

The infamous "Cousin Shot" my Mom is hoping for - youngest is 7 months old, then The Baby turns 2 next week, my nephew will be 3 in January, and The Boy will be 4 in February. Just wait until they learn to work together to create mayhem...

And to think we wondered where the children inherited the "ham it up" gene?!

A quiet moment for The Baby, who I think was overwhelmed much of the weekend by the concept of sharing.

A truthful, honest, family portrait. Can you guess which one is soon to turn 2 years old?!

My sweet nephews, whom I could not wait to photograph!


Holly said... at November 29, 2009 at 5:49 PM

LOVE the merry-go-round photo. LOVE it! It shows all the fun, all the "bad boys" and all the excitment of having family together.

Julie Rivera Photography said... at December 3, 2009 at 8:58 PM

Who invited the blonde kid?! :) Seriously, I looked at the Thanksgiving dinner picture and wondered which child didn't quite match. Yes, number three needs to be a red head! I love the cousin pictures and particularly like the jeans that are all mid calf when they are seated. Such a childhood image, at least to me. And you rocked the merry go round! Not sure how long you asked them to spin and spin, but you definitely got the shot!