my sister and her family live in Alaska. we don’t see them often but when we do, we make every minute count. they were recently at my house for a few weeks. their visit fell right in the middle of a busy ‘work’ time for me; I flew to NC for a destination wedding, I had sessions booked to shoot, edit. my camera was busy with ‘work’ and it never emerged during our visit. driving home to spend our last evening together I had an internal conversation with myself (you do that too, right?) ;) I was tired. I had one child sick with the stomach flu and dinner to prepare and a very messy people-filled house. I didn’t want to shoot. But as I thought about it, something occurred to me. I think part of how I love people is with the images I create. I love finding a way to show them themselves– to show them who they are and how they live and how they love. It’s not a gift I have, it’s a gift I GIVE; I love others through those images! And I wanted to love my sister and her hubby and my niece and my nephew. And I wanted us all to remember this last night of our visit… how Elias ate watermelon and Rainey woke up from a late nap crabby and then instantly silly. How we played inside and outside and watched Elias take some of his first steps. How we watched my blond boys run around with Rainey in constant love–fight–love mode. How my red-head was sick and we missed her (even though I took a few, posting those sick-y pictures would embarrass her). How we grilled carne asada and drank cheap beer and ate watermelon popsicles in the front yard in the last bit of light. Then just when I thought I would put my camera away, Uncle Eric brought out cans of shaving cream in what has become our ‘last night shaving cream battle’ tradition. and everyone was covered white and happy. It was a good last night with the cousins. we made every minute count!