Saturday, July 28, 2012

Family Portraits

We had photos taken for Rachel's 19 month birthday and received them back today....on my birthday. ♥ 

I understand some might think it's a little morbid to take family photos at the cemetery, but the truth is that even the thought of family photos is painful since I will never own a photo with my entire family in it.  The ones with Rachel are missing Asa - and any future children - and the ones with Asa are missing Rachel.  And when I see either, my heart feels it.

So for me, I can think of no better place than where my sweet little girl's body is to take our photos.  It's the closest we can be to her on earth - and so it took some of the sting out of our first family portraits without her.

A couple of weeks back I was getting my hair cut and mentioned we'd be getting photos taken.  She asked where.  I was a little unprepared and just blurted out "At the cemetery my daughter is buried in".  As soon as I said it, I saw a look of disgust come over her face.  I can imagine she was thinking I was off my rocker and she probably felt bad for my kids.  In that moment I knew... my life is just not normal.  I was kicking myself (and crying over that) for days... "Why didn't I just say a friend was taking them outside??  Why do I always have to tell everybody everything ??" 

But you know what, I don't actually care what she thinks.  Two minutes before that she told me I needed to get my kids some socialization cause I told her I homeschooled.  She just doesn't get people like me and she never will.  I'm okay with that.  I know the truth about how 'socialized' my kids are just the same as I know that they are not bothered at all by taking photos where we are close to Rachel.  The cemetery has become a place of solace for us and I'm thankful for that.  I pray that one day, when they have to visit our graves there they will find comfort in the memories we have created there together - and they aren't mostly sad... actually, they are mostly happy.

Thank you to Luke Smith from Living Proof Studios for taking these photos - and his wife Sara for coming along to help get everyone laughing...  I can't thank you guys enough for how you have supported us along this journey though the gifts that God has given you. 

At one point, when we went to move to another location, Sara said "Oh, I gotta grab Rachel" and she reached down and picked up her picture frame.  From my pregnancy photos with Rachel (See '32 weeks' - on sidebar), to my pregnancy photos with Asa and trying to include Rachel in that - and now our first family photos... at the cemetery... they have rolled with all our needs and helped us to create memories that speak of the beauty in our often painful -yet deeply blessed - reality.


  1. Loved all the pictures. Great way to include Rachel. Beautiful pictures, beautiful family.

  2. Beautiful pics stacey ur the last person I expect to leave anyone out i wish we did a family pic at my brothers grave but i have the kids with their uncle everytime we go. <3 ur kids will grow up strong and well adjusted as well as amazing followers of Jesus

  3. Stacy, ALL of the pictures are just perfect! I found myself smiling the entire time I was looking at them. I, for one, think it was a great idea to have the pictures taken in the cemetery. What a great way to include Rachel and what great color it added to your pictures. You have a beautiful family! Way to go, Mama! (And you too, Matt!) =) BIG hugs to you all!

  4. Beautiful family and pictures. The setting is wonderful!!! Asa is getting so big!!!

  5. Beautiful photos!! I love this idea. Wish our cemetery was a bit prettier. Too hot and dry out here in Kansas. So Glad that you were able to take such great photos with each of your family members included!

  6. I finally was able to look at the family pictures and I love, love, love them all! Your family of 7 (wow!) is so amazing! I really love the way you included Rachel in every single picture. Thank you for sharing!
    Hugs and love, anja


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Thank you! ♥ The Aubes