A Day in the Life of the Hamiltons {2014}

It seemed like the toddler days of naps, scuffles over toy cars, brushing every person’s teeth and the whole crowd around me 24/7 were going to last forever.  This last week, Theo and I have been rattling around the house on our own, getting after projects that have been on the back burner for months and doing activities to keep him from being  lonely without his siblings.  Things are changing and I can’t believe I’m in the last phase of this stage. I just took a peek through some of my “Day in the Life” books from the last six years and it’s shocking how different our lives look.  It also is surprising to me how closely I look at and enjoy the details.

So this is my 2014 edition and this year I didn’t wait until the end of December!  I wanted to capture a summer day so I waited pretty much until the end of summer, when I could find a day that was about “average”.  In the end, the day changed and instead of going on a date with Ben that night, I stayed home with the boys and he took Ruby to help his parents do some moving.  We also had a bit of a melt down with one son by the end of the day so he just sort of disappears from the pictures.  And so is our life, flexible and changing, not perfect, but there are a lot of blessings tucked in every corner.

Sleepy bug.

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Jasper and his jokebooks.02-day in the life-303-day in the life-404-day in the life-505-day in the life-806-day in the life-907-day in the life-12

In for a cuddle with daddy.08-day in the life-1309-day in the life-1410-day in the life-1611-day in the life-21

Making his bed.12-day in the life-2213-day in the life-2814-day in the life-26

We’ve been loving overnight muesli and fruit.15-day in the life-2916-day in the life-31On call.17-day in the life-3218-day in the life-34

In the summer, we get in as many swimming lessons as we can.19-day in the life-35

20-day in the life-3821-day in the life-4023-day in the life-43Psyching out his teacher.25-day in the life-4826-day in the life-50

He passed his level. Hal-le-lu-jah!27-day in the life-5228-day in the life-5529-day in the life-57

Usually after swimming we play on the playground.30-day in the life-5831-day in the life-6432-day in the life-6533-day in the life-66

Calling Oma and Opa to let them know about passing his class.34-day in the life-69

When they pass a skill we whoop it up, when they pass a level, they get to choose donuts for the whole family.35-day in the life-7036-day in the life-72
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Home to bang out chores and get everyone through showers.38-day in the life-7539-day in the life-7640-day in the life-7741-day in the life-79Then donuts, compliments of the boy who passed level four.42-day in the life-8043-day in the life-8444-day in the life-8545-day in the life-86

After lunch is quiet play/reading/napping for those who need it/an hour at my desk for me.46-day in the life-8847-day in the life-9048-day in the life-9349-day in the life-9650-day in the life-9851-day in the life-100

Ruby and I head off for our back to school date, off for a new outfit, a chat and a treat.  Happy to have girl time!52-day in the life-10253-day in the life-10354-day in the life-10455-day in the life-10656-day in the life-10857-day in the life-109

Ben ran off with Ruby to help his parents and the boys and I had a chicken salad for dinner.58-day in the life-11059-day in the life-11160-day in the life-11261-day in the life-11462-day in the life-11563-day in the life-11664-day in the life-11865-day in the life-119

A Slice of Beach and Some Smiley Littles

It was just about a year ago we were sitting on a deck in Friday Harbor chatting after our friend’s wedding, and Rachelle told me she was expecting number two. I was excited to meet little Miss Margot in June and we planned to do some family beach pictures at the end of summer.  I was looking forward to seeing their family.  Rachelle and Kevin are awesome and I absolutely adore Brandt, who’s outgoing, all boy and totally hilarious.  Add to that a baby girl who beams and smiles when you look at her.

Apparently every one else was thinking beach that night too and the area that were were going to meet was slam jam packed….as in people every ten feet or so.  I put in a call as they were driving to meet me and Kevin came up with an amazing plan B where we had a lovely little slice of beach all to ourselves. Rachelle and Kevin are so fun and engaging with their kids, and were more than willing to play around, which creates my favorite kinds of family pictures.

Thanks, friends, for a great night!


Six Kids are Growing Up

It’s not the quietest house on the block but I’ll bet it’s the most fun. Six kids means things are not boring. I was so delighted to walk up to the front door of our friends’ home and see the three youngest boys with their cowboy guns pointed at me down the driveway.  I had such a fantastic time, chatting with Christy, and photographing their amazing family.  As always, Christy had some fun ideas about things that the littles were into which might be fun to put in some pictures. The cowboy duds, a chess game on the patio so we could really milk those mustaches, pictures of Ellie in her clubhouse where no boys are allowed but her hamster and dog are….it was fun to play.  We had a good time and someone may or may not have lost their pants in the mayhem but I promised no pictures of that!

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From our family pictures a few years ago, this canvas was hanging over the kitchen table!28-Abbey2014-9229-Abbey2014-9430-Abbey2014-10231-Abbey2014-10432-Abbey2014-10633-Abbey2014-10834-Abbey2014-11035-Abbey Family3

Project 365 {August 2014}

{We’re All A Part}
So grateful to be a part documenting this wonderful week with our kids and so very proud of Meghan’s leadership. (Thanks to the friends who spent literally HOURS putting up this display in our church foyer!)


Love that sweet little face grinning at me.


{Cracker Barrel}
Perfect place to eat breakfast while roadtripping! Theo got his own bottle of syrup and used EVERY DROP.


{Jumping Cousins}
Nine boys and two girls, lots of cousins to play with.


{Girls Night Out}
We left behind the 13 boys and Nana, the aunties and two girl cousins went to the nail salon, ate ice cream, smell tested candles, looked at accessories and gave some hair styling products a whirl. Good times.


{Garden of the Gods}
We had a fantastic hike around this beautiful place!


{Jumping Rope}
Uncle Mike and Auntie Sara had the best yard for a batch of cousins to play in: carpet ball, go carts, basketball court, sandbox, trampoline. Here’s Uncle Mike giving the jump rope a try. (Those Colorado sunsets were gorgeous!)


{Penny Arcade}
The concentration and competition between Nana and Tymen was fierce.


{Home Again, Home Again, Jiggidy, Jig}
One of our many gas station stops on our 21 hour straight drive home from CO. Many thanks to Meghan for being a road warrior.


His laugh begs us to torture him more.


{Ninja Tymen}
Ninja Tymen tells us he plans to fill his bag with money, bring it to church, and give it to all the poor children of the world. this boy.


{School Supplies}
I had a "date" with each of the kids. Hot chocolate and packing school supplies into their new backpacks.


{This Boy}
He’s the cherry on top of our family.

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The reason we don’t wrestle frequently is that it ends like this….every time.


{Red Fish, Blue Fish}
Off for a weekend of beautiful food, flowers, shopping, sleeping uninterrupted with my sweet friend in Victoria. This fish was a perfect beginning.


I had such a lovely time with my dear friend in Victoria. We talked for hours (and hours and hours) on this trip and ate some terribly good food. SO nice to have some girltime.


Love finding portraits of myself at my desk.


{New Duds}
During these couple weeks before school I’m taking each of the kids out on a date for a new outfit for school and a treat. Jasper told me what he was looking forward to the most about second grade was making friends with Mrs. Nelson. SO thankful for a great school and wonderful teachers!


{Berry Picking}
They were all thrilled to find berries but Theo was ecstatic about our "abenture" (adventure!)


From the time Ruby was a baby, I’ve always instituted quiet/reading/downtime in the afternoons that we’re home together. Some of the kids need it more than others….but I definitely need it most of all!


{Doughnut Reward}
When our kids pass a swimming level, they get to pick out doughnuts for the family. Level 8, check! I told her when she passes level 10 she can choose a friend to take out for dinner….a nice little carrot.


{White Rock Beach}
The beach is our happy place. Mum and I swooped into Superstore and grabbed a bunch of clearance sand toys and then we drove out to White Rock where the tide was out and the kids happily leapt around in the sunshine, sparkles and water. We finished off our day with big boxes of Moby Dick’s fish and chips. Yum!!


With Oma beaming from the deck above. Three girls, three boys.


{Two Tymens}
We visited Uncle Tymen and Auntie Tasha and the kids. Our kids were in awe that Uncle Tymen put in a zipline in their back yard.


Swimming teacher: Good job, Theo! Give me five!!
Theo: High five! (turn his hand in a tricky move) PSYCH!!!!
Teacher and mom laugh like crazy.1-tashatymen-1

{Time to Play}

After swimming lessons.


It feels like it’s been a busy and noisy last few weeks. I had a night just with Theo in the office and thoroughly enjoyed his company. He drew, I edited, and we chatted and kissed.


{Birthday Girl}
Off to the Norwegian town of Paulsbo to celebrate Auntie Meghan’s birthday. (I owe my father in law for letting me pressure him into the viking hat which he clearly wasn’t loving! Maybe some pie will heal the memory!)


The wind blew them out before we got the peach pie to her but she gave the candles a mighty blow anyways!


Perfect thing to do on a rainy night.


Don’t know why but I love this one.


A Wonderful Family in Their Squeaky New Home

One of my very, very, very, very favorite parts of family photography is growing up with families.  I think it’s my fifth time with Ashleen and Gord and their family and I really look forward to spending time with them!  I feel like they know how I roll with kids and they are laid back and let me just do my thing.  The kids are truly happy and so easy to engage with and Baby Violet is a dream.

Case in point of how easy they are….they let me come photograph them in their brand new home that they just moved into a week before.  A week of living amongst some boxes with three kiddos….. that’s flexible!  Their home is just gorgeous and I love their taste.  I’ve been kicking myself for not taking a few shots of some details that I especially loved for remodel ideas down the road.

Even though their home isn’t completely set up, it was a lovely backdrop for our pictures.  The open huge windows, white, and fresh light made my heart sing.  Add to that a family that is crazy about each other and I was one happy photographer.

Enjoy a peek of their gallery!