10 favorite family photos of 2013

The shutter button on my camera certainly got worn down this year! 2013 was our first full year home with Arie and subsequently was The Year In Which I Will Photograph Everything. I have entire gigabytes dedicated entirely to pictures of him sleeping. Sleeping.

I regret nothing. 

I adore those pictures and the thousands more I took in 2013. I could (and do) spend hours clicking through them. 

Look how little Arie was!

John you are hilarious here! 

Uh Jill- what's on your face?? 

After much clicking, scrolling, and carpel-tunnel acquiring, here are 10 of my most loved photos of 2013, in chronological order: 

10. Taken at Arie's baptism renewal. Infant baptism is a very important part of our family's faith and the fact that Arie was baptized into the Russian Orthodox church before we even knew he existed is one of my favorite parts of his adoption story. It reminds me that God knew him before we did. We remembered his baptism in February 2013:

9. From our first trip to the beach! It was March, still winter, and the Lake Michigan shore was frozen and snowy. Arie was home for four months at this point and I was still swimming in new "baby" bliss. This picture captures the joy and light of that season:

8. We went on a mini-family getaway last winter to Northern Michigan. It was our first family vacation and so magical. When I see this photo of Arie sleeping in our rented cottage, my heart swells. The diaper, the chubby thighs, the sweet little lips... I'm so glad I got to witness just a little of his baby days before he turned into the big boy who runs around my house today!

7. This photo is from a trip to a local farm/petting zoo. Arie was pointing at something, but it looks like he's disco dancing and subsequently always makes me laugh: 

6. My sister-in-law took this one at Arie's birthday party right after he blew out the candles. I don't even remember why we were laughing, but apparently it was quite funny!

5. I took this photo while we were camping in July with my family. It makes me laugh out loud every single time. Papa ducking out of the shot: fail
 4. From the same photo shoot where John looks like a creeper, but this time he looks like the wonderful dad he actually is! We have this one on display in our home: 

3. John captured this moment when we went to heaven Mackinac Island. The rocks were hurting Arie's bare little feet so I scooped him up and balanced him on my knees as we threw rocks into the lake. One of my favorite pictures and favorite moments of 2013.

2. This is a shot from our fall apple picking adventures. I love it because Arie is making a lion noise, but he is not at all intimidating due to the fact that his lion noise is, "LLLLLAAAAR!" No scary noises start with "L."

1. This photo is from my "day in the life" post. Because you can never have too many stuffies in bed.

0. (Okay I couldn't pick just 10. One more!) Arie opening a gift at Christmas. Way too much fun!

Wishing you and yours every blessing in 2014! 



  1. Since I was a child I would say that I was going to adopt since then the idea grew more and more. Im still too young to start a family but you blog just made me even more certain that that is what I want

    1. Adoption is a true gift! I also wanted to adopt since I was a girl and bringing our son home has been a dream come true. I hope you achieve the desires of your heart!

  2. I adore every single one of these pictures. What a year and what sweet memories to look back on.

    1. Yes- so sweet to look back on! Thanks Courtney!

  3. SO sweet! I love each of these photos! :)


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