Cakes by the ocean

This week, my family is spending time together at a beach off the coast of South Carolina, and we’re already having the time of our lives. Things got off to a rocky start, but I’ll spare you the details on that. Yesterday, we did something that we will remember forever. We had our very first professional photo shoot on the beach with our little ones. It was like a dream.

Of course in a group with 8 adults with competing good sides, 3 kids under 3, and a dog who hates wet sand… there was bound to be a little mayhem, but honestly, it was pretty much smooth sailings. It sounds like something so simple… a family picture at the beach… cool. But it was more than that. It was a family who has survived intense tragedy, people who have overcome extreme differences, a woman who waited a really long time to finally be called “Mom”, a man who hailed from Canada and fell right into place in our Southern family, 2 little piece of heaven running around with the sweetest giggles, and 1 little guy who’s waiting for his legs to move that way too.

It was more than a picture. It was a moment. It was a collection of moments. It was my younger brother walking hand in hand with his beautiful wife, and them swinging their first born in the air as she squealed in delight. It was my oldest brother running around with his 1 year old daughter strapped to his shoulders laughing so hard. It was my mom taking a step back to admire the family that she and my dad so gracefully built together. And it was my husband taking one last picture for the day, and it was of my dad and I walking away from the camera because that’s our signature shot.

It was better than anything we could have been doing on a casual night at the beach. It was bliss, and it was the beginning of new family photos – where our family of 5 went to 8, and now to 11, and one day to 12 and 13 and maybe even 14.

The photographer who shot our family portrait is phenomenal. I’m absolutely dying to see the images, and like all good things in life, it will take time. Here are some far less swoon-worthy photos in the meantime!

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