Read a good book lately?

My oldest. He arrived 2 days ‘late’ and weighed less than 6lbs. For those of you that are tired this morning because you were up all night tending to the cries of a newborn – it’s true what they say. You blink and they grow up. Granted he is only seven, but I must have blinked because he is not that tiny bundle I nervously carried home from the hospital yesterday. He’s seems big now. In a few years, I will look back at this time and realize how small he really is. I don’t post a lot of stories about him because he is older. His stories are his to share. It is easy to photograph his youngest siblings because they are constantly making faces or doing crazy things. He is serious and only sometimes lets silliness surface. He is a lot like me. I want to be sure I capture him too. I want to remember my big 7 year old in his normal ways.

He loves to read….I love to watch him read. These are a pretty accurate picture of my son. Despite crazy going on around him, he is lost in a good book. My tiny son that has somehow grown into a boy that daily teaches me what it means to be a mom beyond the sleepless nights of a newborn. He was my introduction to parenthood. He’s the oldest…so the one that endures all my ‘trial and errors’ as a mom. Soon he’ll introduce me to middle school and then the teen years….and we won’t go further down that road!

All the photos below were shot with my 85mm lens

ISO 100, f/1.8, 1/640 (he is very still when he reads, so I could get away with using f/1.8)

That last picture….I will treasure.


Photo tip: think about the things that make up your days that don’t always seem “photo worthy”…and challenge yourself to capture those things. Change your angle and try a new perspective on a normal event/item.

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  • andy - oh i love your post. you boy is precious, i love the pic of him looking right at you. reading is one of my favorite things to do. i keep a tally of what i have read for the year and post it on my blog (at last i think i have done that the last 4 years.) i was looking at my books this year and i think there were only 6. my 2 capture most of my time and energy but it is well worth it. thanks for your beautiful pictures and words

  • Brittaney - Love it! I was a reader too. What a sweet way to look at something simple!

  • Jes - WOW! I love these photos! How wonderful to beautifully capture a moment like this. I love your comments, too.

  • Kirsten - love this – but i have to admit, now you’ve got me curious…what’s he reading? πŸ™‚

  • Michelle Z - What is he reading?

  • Celia - Such a sweet post. Don’t make me cry…. my oldest is only three right now, but seven tomorrow, right??? WAHHH

  • Ranee - nice. they do grow so fast. my oldest is three, but i’m always wondering how he has gotten so big.

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - So handsome! And you’re right! That last picture is priceless.

  • Jenny - Just beautiful, Ashley. What kind of books do 7 year old boys read these days? My oldest just started KDG, I’m excited for him to discover the joy of reading (well reading all by himself that is!)

  • lyn - This post is what I needed. Thanks Ashley! My almost 2 month old and almost 4 year old had me up too early! I am glad I am reminded it won’t last and yet treasure this time!

  • sarah - wow. looks like such a ‘big boy book’!! it’s so great that he loves to read!

  • Kimberly Dial - What a handsome fellow you have there! My oldest son (who is now 31) loved to read as a child as well. Enjoy him because you’re right … they grow up all too fast πŸ™‚

  • Kelly Moeller - My 14 month old is beginning to sit a little bit longer with me now to read books. I guess the textures and colors are finally interesting to him for more than 2-3 pages!
    If you really want to know about the miracles God grants, read “Heaven is for Real”. Its a little boy’s story about how he met God, but came back to talk about it…at 4 years old. It brought me to tears, but in a reassuring way.

  • Andrea - Ashley,

    You have inspired me to try and capture the wonder in everyday life. I have loved following your blog for about a year now and look forward to checking it each morning.

    I just purchased my first dslr camera and hope to take your snapshop soon (as soon as the funds allow). I love the way you capture life through your photos.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Carol V. - I love your reminders to capture pictures of the everyday. I was not good at this when my children were young. My kids are teenage and beyond now, but I still want to remember them at this age as well. I will follow your lead and take pics of their everyday (although, they may not like it too much.) Funny, though I feel like I get the same amount of sleep staying up late to help them study for a test or get up early to finish homework. The work and joy of being a mom never goes away, it just looks different. Have a great day!

  • Jamie - I love those pictures. I am making a goal to capture more ‘everyday’ moments.

  • Rebecca - Its so nice to see him dive into the other world a book brings. The pics make me wonder if its a good book. πŸ™‚ Keep on Reading, Big Bro!

  • Julie B - My oldest is 8 and the thing I love most about this age is that I can still see him as a baby and yet I can see him as a man. I think one of the best things about having so many kids is that I get to see his interactions with his little siblings. He will make some woman incredibly lucky and some child the happiest child in the world. Beautiful shots as always.

  • Cindy steffan - Such a sweet post. Bryan walked in on me crying. I’m sure he thinks I’m silly but it does fly by and I can’t believe my baby is big. Big. He’s in kindergarten. That’s still little. Love your posts and I am so excited to get to know your family!

  • Valerie - Love those. He does seem really into his book.

  • tracy a - chris and ashley, you made some beautiful kids. i’d love to be in a parenting group with you two! (i miss having one of those from our previous town)

  • cailan - Thanks for the tip – these are beautiful.

  • Caroline - Beautiful photos of your son. You will treasure those simple moments!

  • Laura - well done!

  • Tonya - Wonderful post! What a great reminder to never look past the “ordinary” moments in our days πŸ™‚ My eldest son, almost 11 wow, did I really say that!) is also an avid reader…never gets in the car without a book for the ride. I often have to utter the words, “put down the book – you need to watch where you are walking!”

  • Yolanda - I love the little blurs caused by the little legs continuously getting into your shot. They tell the story as much as that sweetly curled pinky your Oldest Boy is tucking in his mouth.

  • Krystina - When I was reading this, parts of me felt like I was reading about myself. I was just like him with books when I was little. My mom has pictures of my blurry little brother jumping over me, dancing around me, and trying to distract me, while I just read. I was always so into my books that the world just disappeared around me. I’m still that way.

    I love the way you capture such a simple moment. So beautiful.

  • Robyn Lee - Love these photos… how special!

  • ria - As I was looking at these pictures, I kept thinking of the song “Beautiful Boy” from Mr. Holland’s Opus! πŸ™‚ Amazing pictures!

  • Anna Joy - These pictures make me so happy. I pray that my son will love to read this much. It was all I did as a kid and I hope he wants to do it too! And yes, the last picture is one to treasure forever!

  • Love and Lollipops - I really really like these pics and I love your tip and challenge! I’m definitely going to try and apply it. Thank you so much for sharing this.


  • Emily - I love this. What is he reading?

  • tara pollard pakosta - I just posted this today, that the things that i would love to share about my daughter on my blog, are not my stories to tell, but hers. and as much as I want to write from my heart, it’s hard sometimes because the things I want to write about aren’t just about ME. people with children older than 6 understand this! if you have babies it’s easy to write anything you want, but once they start to have their own “life” personalities etc. you can’t just write whatever you want. especially when your 11 and 10 year old girls read your blog HA HA!!!
    LOVE LOVE LOVE these photos of him!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh, Ashley, that last picture is precious

  • Rachel T. - What a wonderful series of photographs… as an English teacher, I get so excited by the seriousness and concentration with which he is reading. That’s so wonderful. I sincerely hope he keeps it up as he gets older… so many boys in my school keep telling me how much they hate to read. I’m trying to change their minds one at a time… but it would be wonderful to come across more boys like your son, who are so obviously enthralled with books. <3

  • amber - He is precious. From what you’ve shared about him, I hope that my trials & errors turn out as well on my first born! It’s a tremendous job to be a mom…thanks for reminding us to be grateful for it all!

  • Monica - As a teacher and an avid reader, these photographs tug at my heartstrings.

  • Elisa @ What the Vita - What a beautiful boy! I agree, he does seem “big” compared to your other kids and I always forget he is only 7 years old! πŸ™‚ Am awaiting my oldest in a few weeks and looking forward to these sleepless newborn nights and eventually watching a 7 year old read! Have I ever told you that I just adore your blog and YOU?

  • Kat - Oh I know exactly how you feel. My two youngest are 7, but my eldest (all boys) just turned 12 and I just dont know where all those years have gone. Life is so hectic that its only when you stop to reflect that it hits you. It is nice to enjoy them as people when they are older, but sometimes you just want to press pause!

  • Sarah Pratt - What a sweet boy! Treasure every snuggle. They are worth it!

  • elizabeth - i could copy & paste this entire post…the details are exact, only my oldest is 10. his life has truly flown by! he is SO much like me. sigh. i continually pray that he is covered in grace as i learn “how” to listen to The Father through my mistakes.
    i feel like i’m always buying a book for him & joke that i should make his room into a library! thanks for sharing your beautiful life.

  • pinksuedeshoe - Just as I read this post (linked from Rachel Denbow) my 2 year old daughter walked into the living room wearing her rainboots, three purses slung across her body and pushing a shopping cart filled with toys, books, babydolls and kitchen dishes. She told me she was going shopping and she’d be back soon. Then she grabbed a headscarf, wrapped herself up and proceeded to pile everything in her cart on the couch. And I snapped away. Thank you for this absolutely perfect reminder!

  • Mary M. - You have a way with writing that communicates the sincerest of moments and thoughts. I love that about this blog. It’s why I keep coming back. I don’t have children, but this post made me tear up. I can only imagine the love of a momma, because of the example from my own. Thanks so much for these moments that you are willing to share with all of us.

  • meg duerksen - beautiful.
    truly beautiful.

  • able mabel - I love the one where he’s looking up, still in a daze from reading. πŸ™‚

  • Courtney Connelly - Go C with all of the reading! Can’t wait to talk to him about his favorite book right now.

  • fullertonregan - My god, your son is so beautiful. Does that sound weird? Some boys are just so striking that cute is not right and they’re not old enough to be handsome… But eee-yow will he be a looker! Too bad he’s not a year or two older for my daughter. πŸ˜‰

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  • Una - the photos look so great and I like your comments!