August 18, 2010

We Are [Big] Family


we share
We always bring enough to share.


When I'm running late for the park, microwave popcorn tossed into paper bags is a perfect treat. (PS I'm almost always running late.) (Also, if you're
really running late and forget your water bottles, McDonald's drive thru doesn't charge for large ice water. The kids might not be too happy about only getting water but they get over it.)

kids five
we also go barefoot sometimes.

My kids get sticks in their shoes, or they run faster with them off, and so, I let them take them off. My friend and I take ours off sometimes, too. We get dirty. So what.

We also love each other. (See Gray's tender touch on Bianca's head? And some sweet hand-holding in the photo below?)

mayem on the slide

I was thinking about my kids and wondering how other big families "do the friend thing". Are siblings enough? I've found I prefer to be together as a group with other families vs. just a one kid from the class type of thing, where you might never really know the parents. Or the kid.

We don't all go to the same churches, or live in the same neighborhoods, but we love raising our kids together, to be loving and know love.

Friends that blur the line with family and you kind of forget

that

you're not really related.

But to me

we are.


kid family
we are a big friendfamily


I'm breathless at the beauty of these children.



smashup




42 comments:

  1. I also prefer whole family friendships. I think that encourages the kids to be as respectful of the other family as they are of their own. Also, having a larger family I like to spend a lot of time with other big-ish families because it is encouraging to me and my kids. That being said, there are of course smaller families that mesh with mine so well that it is like we are one anyway. I just think family togetherness is very important, especially in this culture.

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  2. Gah, I wish I lived closer!

    Such beautiful photos & memories !!

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  3. I'm glad I have my box of tissue handy. I find this post so moving and so true. We are all a part of the family of God.

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  4. I have friends like that I basically consider them family anyway because I can just be myself completely and my family can be its chaotic self and no one minds, cares, or thinks anything less!

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  5. This is simply the best blog post ever. Oh the pictures... yes, family, big and awesome!

    Nell

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  6. My kids are all grown now, but we still are very close with a few families that we have loved since we were all just married and raised our kids together. The kids are still the best of friends and we parents are too. It's a wonderful thing after all these years. You are definitely doing it right.

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  7. oh that second picture....loooooooove.

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  8. They are beautiful kids, what a great post and great photos!

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  9. i love doing life with you and your fam.

    [the hand holding and head patting is almost too much sweet to handle. and they all made sure every person had been hugged as they left. love. family.]

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  10. You are all so very blessed to have each other. I know I've said this before right? Yes, me the broken record of 'obvious' songs... ;-)

    such fun photos too!

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  11. those images are just beautiful, really.

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  12. We have friends like that....whose kids are just as much our own as ours are theirs. I'd trust them with my life & love them like they're family....cause they are....they're just the family that we got to choose. :)

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  13. Steph, I've been a long-time reader and I don't comment (I'm a lurker I guess) but I love this post! It deeply resonates with me, but it's something I don't have yet at the moment. These friendships you say that blur the lines between kinship and kindredness..I so want that. :) You are a blessed woman. And all these children are hopelessly beautiful.

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  14. I wished that Ian could join in playing with a group like this.

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  15. I have heard somewhere that friends are the family we pick and I think that is very very true. You all look so beautiful and happy together.

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  16. We spend the most time with other families and their kids--both family and friends. Now that my oldest sons are getting thisclose to their teen years they are branching out a bit (plus we just don't know many families whose kids span large age ranges like ours) but I always prefer hanging with a family I love to one kid here or there that I don't know that well. And I find that it doesn't matter if the ages match up just so; the kids still play together great with kids older and younger. We are considering ourselves very lucky that we moved in two doors down from a family of four boys. What fun they will have growing up in the same neighborhood!

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  17. Yup. Us too. We love the family friends, where the whole families are all friends with each other, mix and match ages. In some cases, my 4yo's favorite is the dad from the other family. It doesn't matter. Like you said - it's families.

    Great post, Steph. The pictures are beautiful.

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  18. I am moving to your town ASAP, I love this so much.

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  19. Such. Sweetness. :)

    I think I love your friendfamily, too.

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  20. Friend families are so wonderful, aren't they? And when they stand the test of time, or the many tests life throws at us, the bond becomes unbreakable. Love this post. And wish I could be part of your friend family :)

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  21. SOOOO beautiful! You are ALL so blessed!!! SO very very blessed!

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  22. I love this post. Growing up, we were considered a decent sized family with 4, but often our family friends had 3-5, and the big groups were always more fun. This day looks like it was a blast!

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  23. its a lovely post! when i was a kid we only had cousins no other real friends. I am trying very hard to get to know ppl with kids right now so I can provide my kids with such an opportunity :)

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  24. So cute!

    Unrelated...It's funny you commented on my blog b/c I was JUST talking about you at a babywearing knowledge share yesterday (GREAT!)... telling folks that you had a good summary with lots of pics :)

    http://www.mybutterflynest.blogspot.com

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  25. Beautiful post!

    And our McDonald's charges for water, like 10cents, but they cahrge :)

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  26. I agree. I would rather get to know the whole family. And the more kids the merrier. It makes parks, pools, zoos or anything else you do MORE fun! And less fighting I feel like.

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  27. See, I still don't consider 4 kids as a BIG family, so it always takes me back when you say that!

    I prefer families that we can all hang out together with for lifetime friendships. Those are the ones that have a chance at lasting beyond the early years, you know? But there is something to be said for the kids making and continuing their own friendships. I still want to know the parents and siblings, but it's nice when one child has a friend over and they can do their thing, every once in a while.

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  28. FUN!!!! I need more friend families, couldn't you always use more?

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  29. That *is* beautiful! I only wish I had friend/family nearby. :(

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  30. this looks amazing. as an only child i can't even begin to imagine that kind of life. i wish we had more families of friends around for the jude. this was so lovely it actually makes me a little sad.

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  31. amazing and beautiful. all of them. and you both.

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  32. But if you WERE running a day care, I would totally send my kids to you. These pictures are fabulous.

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  33. Oh gosh! So lovely!
    What a big happy group of loves!

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  34. love this post! gorgeous friendfamily pictures!

    Ps we are almost always barefoot over here and loving it!

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  35. Beautiful blog post! And such beautiful and darling children too!

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  36. what a sweet post. and i love all of your photos. and i agree, the sight of those amazing little people leave you breathless for sure.

    xo,
    erika

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  37. I just read this quote the other day: Family is more than those who you are related to. Family are those who loved you when you needed it the most, and didn't ask for anything in return. I think you'll agree. :)

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  38. You know what? I totally love this post.

    Someday when we have a big family, I hope to hang out w/ other big families exactly like this. :)

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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