This is month 36 that I’ve been posting Project 365 updates….and it’s my last.  It’s time for me to take a break from this project, though by no means am I done photographing my family.  This project has grown me more as a photographer than anything else.  I’ve had to learn to shoot in less than ideal conditions, to compose differently and to think about expression in ways that have stretched me.  After all, I couldn’t do 60 of the same shots of my kids building things on the floor from the same angle, even though this happens almost every day.  Not every image is a work of art, to say the least, but all of them point to us. As I’ve been looking through these images, I’ve been ever so grateful that this project has heightened my awareness of the details that are in my life every day and it’s given me pause from the humdrum of every day life to the beauty of the ordinary.  The connections, the quirks, the expressions are forever etched in my mind and heart and these are what I’ll still be on the lookout for.

I’ve been so warmed by the affirmation of many of you who have been watching my crazies grow in front of my lens.  Your encouragement and support has been true and appreciated.

When I talk in my photography classes about photographing the ones you love, I talk about the value it expresses.  I hope that these images will always be a gift to my kids, to know how loved they were and are 365 days of the year.

Here is December.

{O Christmas Tree}01-tree-1-2

{Boys in Bowties}
Crazy about these guys.02-journey-1-2

{Advent Calendar}
Auntie Meghan has filled each day with fun activities for us to do together. Some are simple, some more time consuming, but all help us focus on what is important.03-journey-1-004

{Journey to Bethlehem}
This was a wonderful experience for our family as we went through a living nativity. We petted camels, heard the angels singing, listened to the story and at the end when I saw "baby Jesus" sitting on his mother's lap, grinning at us, tears filled my eyes. What a precious gift, that the Saviour of the world would come for us!04-journey-1-3

Serious crafting with candles and cookies and music. No brothers allowed.05-journey-1-005

{Date with Mama}
Tymen and I went to a movie together which was the special activity we found in the advent envelope for the day. So fun!06-movie Tymen-1

{Snowflake Lane}
Overnight shopping and eating date with my love. It's so fun to hear the music and see the "snow".07-journey-1-003

{All Day}
What a treat it was to have all day to talk and shop and be together. He fits me.08-journey-1

{Christmas PJ Treasure Hunt}
For tonight's advent envelope, Auntie sent the kids on a pj treasure hunt. They found six bags. By the looks of it, Jasper can wear his until he's 15 and we were laughing at daddy who was jumping up and down to get into his like a sausage getting into a casing (not really that bad but it made the kids laugh!).09-journey-002

{5th Grade Band}
She's just loving trumpet this year, and often plays around in her room trying to pick out tunes. Definitely her father's daughter here.10-5thgradeband-13

{5th Grade Band}
She's just loving trumpet this year, and often plays around in her room trying to pick out tunes. Definitely her father's daughter here.11-performance-25

{Children's Museum}
Theo and mama had a great date out.12-museum-1

{Ice Skating}
This may well become an annual tradition.13-performance-1-4

{Baking Day}
That double batch of boterkoek was coming right out of the mixer!14-bake-4

{Christmas Present Buddy}
Papa and Tymen work hard on Ruby's wood box.15-papatymen-2

For book time, everyone's favorite place to read was by the tree.16-christmas-1

{O Happy Day}
I pounced on the UPS man.17-papa birthday-25

{Papa's Birthday}
Cards and gifts from the kids.18-papa birthday-21

{Theo's Gift}
Theo's gift for Jasper was a giraffe mug and a batch of hot chocolate spoons, hand dipped. He was pleased as punch.19-bakingpresents-60

{Cousin Love}
That Livy is a sweet one.20-bakerxmas-43

{Jingling Cuzzies}
Six children can make plenty of noise.21-bakerxmas-23 copy

{Nana's Birthday}
The whip cream dispenser was being used liberally.22-bakingpresents-1-2

{Blanket Making}
Auntie and Jasper were hard at work, making a blanket for Theo.23-bakingpresents-47

{Away in a Manger}
Christmas eve service.24-christmasday-1

{Christmas Day}
The reaction Ruby was hoping for!25-christmasday-41 copy

{Clean Up}
Day after Christmas and it came down. Auntie had all the help she needed...and more.26-christmasday-115

{Big Boy Bed}
He's one of the big guys now.27-potd-1

Oh, how I've loved getting cards in the mail. The rest of the house is very cleaned up but the cards will stay up for a few more weeks!28-potd-002

{Wee Hula}
Gotta burn off boy energy. Love how even the kids who aren't on the board, do the motions too.29-potd-1-9

{My Cozy Bug}
This boy. Ben's been running them hard outside and with some late bedtimes, Tymen has tucked himself in for an afternoon nap or two.30-potd-1-8

{Walk in Paulsbo}
Family day trip to eat yummy pastries, walk by the water and be together.31-potd-1-4