Every year at the end of the summer we meet up with Sara Welch for a quick photo-shoot of my summery babes with their tanned bodies and sun-bleached hair. Sara comes to my dad’s house on the farm and photographs them in this familiar place as they pick vegetables from the garden, chase the chickens and play on the swings.
I love that we have these photos taken in the same spot each year and I’m always so impressed with how Sara manages to really capture their individual personalities in the quick hour she spends with us. Her photos this year are especially insightful, and I thought I would share them here along with some notes about each of the kids.
- Easton is still so innocent, adventurous and young in spirit. Though still the leader of the gang, this is the first summer I can see him starting to become more independent and taking a bit of distance from the others. He’s been very good this summer at reading and he does most of his chores and tasks without needing to be reminded (most of the time). He’s also been so responsible, always looking out for Marlow and making sure she’s safe and not getting into trouble. If he’s outside playing and doesn’t see her, he’ll come running into the house to make sure she’s with me. He has spent lots of time this summer with Marlow on his back, buckling her sandals and helping her whenever she needs help. It makes me really proud to see how caring he is with her. Those two have a very special bond! Easton has always required the most of my attention, often pushing buttons or testing limits. But summer is always so good for him — he really thrives in the outdoors and does so much better when he’s given independence and space to explore.
- Quin is, as always, very happy to be wherever Easton is. Their friendship is really heartwarming and I spent so much time watching them this summer, feeling grateful that they have each other. Quin is very easy going and will follow Easton’s lead most of the time and play nicely with all of his siblings. He has loved being near animals, and more than any of the other kids he likes spending time with the chickens and dogs. He also really loves being with my mom and sister. He’s the first one to ask if he can run errands with my mom, and he always asks if he can sleep in her bed. He is less social with strangers, but he is very close with the people he chooses to open up to. Though an eager student at school, I’ve found it surprisingly difficult to get Quin to read and focus on our educational activities this summer. I would have thought he would be the one to embrace home education above the others, but he has so far shown the most resistance.
- Ivy is such a sweet, happy girl and I love how these photos show this side of her. She has really enjoyed spending the summer with family — she loves spending time with me, and enjoys being in places where I grew up and listening to stories I share from my childhood. She enjoys being outside but she also loves sitting quietly inside, playing with my old American Girl dolls and playing dress-up with Marlow. She is very patient with Marlow, even when Marlow isn’t always so kind to her. She’s very tough and strong, but not in a strong-willed way, and I am always so impressed with her patience and reserve. She is also courageous and willing to take on any physically challenging or daring thing the boys want to do. This summer she swam out to our floating dock in the frigid Puget Sound, a rite of passage for every generation of my family.
- Marlow is a million things. She is very strong AND strong-willed. She is incredibly smart and spirited and is constantly surprising all of us with her knowledge, observations and quick wit. She is feisty and independent, needing very little help (until she gets tired of walking and asks to be carried). She is very much aware of her position in the family and enjoys being the baby. This summer she carried around a little basket and filled it with ‘treasures’ wherever she went. I loved watching her combing the beaches for sea glass, shells and any other treasure she could find. She would do it happily for hours, just like her mama. She even found four shimmery agates on the rocky beaches this summer (Michael has never even found one!).