I love, love the more formal portraits that I have of my children. Clothing chosen, faces wiped, environment purposeful. However, I have to admit, I love the portraits that I have of every day just as much. There is something about these ones that twigs memories and makes my heart overflow when it captures part of our reality, whether it is a fussy face on time out, baking together with one person sneaking dough, or wrestling with Daddy.

On this day, I asked Ben to take some pictures of bathtime with Theo. I know that I will treasure each one. The chubby rolls. The "helper" brother. The way all the siblings crowd in for a look. The way I smooch this baby boy every single chance I get.

Theo either smells divine...or like the Stinky Cheese Man. On this morning he smelled like stinky cheese. Tymen got to be my helper. They all take turns so that Theo won't be smothered, as he often is. Here he is, looking a wee bit concerned as I briefed Tymen on his role.

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Tymie did a great job, rubbing and scrubbing, and pausing to kiss his baby on the head.

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The rolls! The double chin! Those fleshy, squeezy parts!

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Tymie was crooning to his brother the whole time, and sang, "Twinkle, Twinkle".

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That transition from warm bath to towel is never much fun, even when we try to go quickly.

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Ruby stepped in for a peek. She adores that boy.

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She was allowed to help brush his hair.

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Couldn't help pausing for a kiss as we got him ready for his rub with lotion.

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Love how Tymie's feet are by his brother as they all help hand over the necessary items to get him dressed. Theo looks like, " Will this ever end?"

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He gets dressed and then his brother gets to hold and kiss him. By the way, I love this warm, cozy outfit, Jessie!

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And my FAVORITE shot of all is when the big helper takes a break at the end and takes care of his own personal grooming in the background. This is the reality of the boy who is told by his mother many times a day, "Do NOT pick your nose!!" This is my life :).

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I recently got an email from a new friend who had discovered my blog and told me she spent a good chunk of time reading it, and that she felt like she had a bit of a connection to our family through it. What a huge compliment that is to me and I love to hear it. It reminds me of that part of the movie, Shadowlands,where C.S. Lewis is talking to a student about books. "We read to know we are not alone." This is what I have found, too, through reading and photography. Finding the connections that are universal to all of us which reminds us to step back and look at our own lives with a little more wonder...a little more grace...and a little more appreciation.

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