Every year we take our family vacation in October.
This was our 3rd annual family trip to southern Florida. It's hard to believe that Rilo was only 6 months old on our first trip down, as a family of 5. And it has become the highlight of the year for all of us. My sister travels with us, (so that we can have at least one date sans kids while vacationing) and this year, Levi's mom had the opportunity to travel with us, as well. Double bonus!
Every year we have something crazy that happens from flat tires, to misplaced baggage, viruses and this year, Levi's back went out for a good portion of the trip. Though, we found a chiropractor in the area and an adjustment did the trick for him. We still managed to enjoy ourselves and had the most fun, yet, for one of our family trips.
Every day we got to enjoy a mostly deserted beach and the kids will never forget how many different kinds of wildlife that we encountered on the island.
It was incredible.
I am so far behind blogging. Between work and all of the responsibilities of raising 3 kiddos, this post has been back burnered for months. Not to mention, I had over 4,000 photos to sift through and it was really difficult for me to narrow them down, as it always is. A lot of people think that shooting on vacation, when photography is my full-time job would not be actually enjoying my vacation. Trust me, I put the camera down at times and definitely relax and even take turns, sharing the camera with Levi.
Though, truly, it never feels like work to shoot on our vacations, especially when I'm taking photos of my kids. They have always been my primary inspiration for my work and probably always will be. I love them to death. The way they play, explore, interact with us and with each other. Their little, ever-growing, ever-developing bodies are so precious and they literally are changing every day. Documenting these special and rare trips that we get to take as a family is part of my inheritance for them.
My kids are bold, daring, quirky, curious, adventurous, passionate, full of wonder and zest, not only for life's mysteries and but also for it's blatant existence. That which is there but maybe has not been questioned. They see the world differently. They challenge it. They challenge me. I am so thankful for each one of them and the blessing of being they are to our family.
Document your kids, guys. On vacation. At the park. Hell, document them tinkering around with crap they aren't supposed to touch in the garage, in the basement, in the kitchen. They are going to do it anyway. Embrace their desire to learn and to be who they are, and use your camera all the time. You won't regret it. I promise.
One day, I know my little amigos will look back at the many treasures I have created for them and they will cherish being able to relive it with each other. They will appreciate it as much as I do. At least, that's always my hope.
Florida, we miss you so much. Don't ever change. We'll see you soon. ;)