Just us, being us

It’s funny how I spent so much of 2012 hoping time would speed up. Now we are coming to the end of the year and I am wanting the days to move slower. Little One has her first surgery, her lip repair, at the very start of 2013. I know it sounds crazy to most people that I am dreading surgery, but I am. Of course, I know it is the best for her. And, of course, I am beyond grateful that we can provide our daughter with the very best medical care we can find. But, it is so hard to know the grin I adore I only get a few more weeks to enjoy…even though I know her new smile will be just as beautiful.

I wanted photos of our family just as we are right now. Before surgery. Not posed. Everyone in just our normal clothes. No bribery to get kids to smile at the camera. Just us. Being us.  I did buy new spatulas. I did set up the kitchen table for baking instead of the small counter. I did make a cute space for cookie eating. I did require the boys to wear shirts.

With 5 kids we aren’t usually all in the same room at the same time baking and crafting, so it was fun to do this together…to be captured all together in so many pictures.

A rare treasure for this mom!

Ann of Ann Bennett Photography came and spent a few hours with my crazy clan.

Just us. Having fun together.

Rootbeer….not drinking a beer in my family pics! 🙂

Oh my goodness, I LOVE MY FAMILY!!

Ann will be offering these types of session in 2013….I think she might be overwhelmed by the number of families that will be lining up to spend the day with her! Thanks Ann!

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  • Grace - Lovely photos. Funny…I had your daybed made of pallets pinned on my pinterest and until now didn’t realize what an awesome blog was behind the picture…glad to have discovered your blog:)

  • Barbara - great photos!! I am always amazed at how big your family is and how you still manage to find the time for such fun stuff and recording it!!! Really, I admire you!!! And it doesn’t look like total chaos!! 🙂
    I understand dreading the surgery… It will be a new step for little one and you all. I’m sure she’ll do great though, especially with such a loving family and mom to guide her through the tough times!!

    PS: How do you get little one to wear the headbands?? I made my 11month daughter some really cute ones but she pulls everything off her head within seconds! (and feet too, can’t get her to wear any socks or shoes!)

  • Eva Scott - These pictures are such a treasure. Thank you for sharing!

  • Lori - Oh my goodness. I LOVE the pics. Super casual and so pretty…it’s like peering through a wonderful lens into your world. Your kids will so love that you thought to do this…I love it. Really pretty. Totally funny that you bought new spatulas. You know me…I would have bought new everything…

  • Abigail C - That is a fantastic way to do a photo shoot! Those are really amazing pictures 🙂 I like the one with Little Brother pouting on your lap…

  • Kelleyn - Man, I wished I lived in Oklahoma. What great photos! How wonderful just to catch the ordinary moments.

  • andy - oh my goodness i just love them. they are so great. what a fun thing (just normal day) to capture and remember. love love love it

  • Nicole - Everyone looks so happy. I love these pictures.

  • Shannon Phillips - OH MY AMAZZZZZZZZINGNESS!!!!!!!! Ann did an amazing job and it is so so wonderful to see these photos with all of you in them together. Such a treasure.

  • Gerdine - wauw, beautiful pics! What a traesure!

  • Brandi - HOT DOG! These are lovely little snippets of your life with your family. Thank you for sharing. I have a few favorites – specifically the one with you kissing Little One’s head. Presh.

  • Angie @ http://hayshousemisadventures.blogspot.com/ - So Beautiful! I can totally understand why you would be sad to see that sweet smile go! 🙂

  • mary from tenn - So all the pictures are of course adorable but the very last one cracks me up. So funny!

  • Angela A - These are amazing! What a marvelous idea to capture the whole day.

  • Jen V. - I love all these pictures! My favorites are the one of you & Chris with your mugs, the last 2, the one of you all at the picnic table with the gorgeous linens surrounding you…well, I could go on forever 🙂

    But the reason I had to comment…is it just me, or did Firecracker grow up overnight?? Wow!

  • Ginna - These are amazing! There’s something about baking that brings a family together. I also love the “clothes line” picnic table ones. She did such a great job capturing every day life. Love it!

  • sarah j - absolutely gorgeous! as one of my dear friends always says, “real life is better.” i love the natural ease and nuance of a real day spent with the whole family together–it’s clear how dearly you all love one another!

  • Teresa - What a treasure!

  • Sharon @ Discovering Blog - These are just fantastic! I love Firecracker’s little apron – I have to look into getting my 4 year old a cute one like that. And the cookies and milk pics look nice and relaxed, and YUMMY!
    These are great because they really are relaxed. The kids don’t look too put together and stiff.

  • sarah k - These are just glorious!

  • Susan - Wow, the Campbell clan has some precious memories saved in these photos. I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite they are all so good.
    My favorites of my children and grands are the candid shots. They capture so much more of the personality of a child than posed studio shots.
    You are blessed! Thanks for sharing!

  • Gina - Great pictures!! I love the ones in your new studio space! I guess I haven’t seen Firecracker for a bit; she is looking older.

  • Emily - What a great day! I look at these and think “so THAT’S what a family looks like once you get out of the newborn-no-sleep phase.” I can’t wait. These are amazing images.

  • Lynn - Beautiful pictures of your lovely family.

  • amber - Those are amazing & it makes us all love your family too:). So great!! Now I want some… Also. Firecracker’s boots with her socks…I just can’t take it! And, your Little One. I would love to squish her. Thanks for sharing these.

  • amy - hi,
    I just popped over from Becky’s blog and wanted to say how much I have enjoyed reading your blog.
    I will be praying for your sweet girl & her surgery.

    many blessings,

  • Melissa - Where is your shirt from? I LOVE it!

  • Molly - Great pictures!! Beautiful family! And I really like your hair! So cute!?! Any styling tips to offer?

  • Jodie - I completely understand about Little One’s lip. At 8 months, my son had surgery to separate two completely webbed fingers. The morning of the surgery I took a million pictures of his hand. I knew that he would want 10 fingers instead of 9, but I wanted to remember the little fingers I rubbed to comfort him as an infant. They were a part of him.

  • stacey - these are breathtaking! are you just going to get one giant album? how would you EVER decide which one’s you wanted up on the wall?! too many amazing shots to choose!

  • meg duerksen - root beer…right? i remember those pics you let ton my camera.
    beautiful pictures ashley.
    so nice to see YOU in there too!!!
    miss you.
    come back.
    i am just waiting here….
    give that baby a kiss from me.

  • Rebecca - beautiful!

  • Daniela - what a sweet family!
    i don’t understand every word you write, but i feel the love and i enjoy to watch your pics!
    i wish you all the best for you and your amazing family!
    daniela from switzerlnad 😉

  • Lyn - I am doing this for our 2013 family pictures. This is brilliant!

  • danielle - So beautiful! I love these type of sessions!

  • Natalie - Amazing pictures! I love the one with FireCracker holding Little One’s hands… were they dancing? Such sweet sisters! Beautiful family and a great idea!

  • Eva - I just love these. So very real. I think you know how I feel about capturing the ordinary moments in our lives…it’s why I took your class. lol. Ann did an incredible job capturing your family. These images are so very special.

  • Tiffany - It’s good to see you in more pictures. I love the style of these photos. I wish to take some like this. I love the one of your son upside down under the stairs. So cool. lol

  • Sarah - i love that your whole family is in these pictures!! and i can’t get enough of the one where you’re all standing by the fence & chris has his arm around you- you can see the love without seeing anyone’s face 🙂 beautiful

  • jade - love them all! someone has to be the one to ask, where did you get your super cute green lace shirt??

  • Stoich91 - Beautiful! Thanks for sharing; lit up my day! xoxo

  • Sara Torbett - These pictures are just wonderful. Every single one! I love how she captured the true essence of your family (or what I imagine you would be like “in real life” anyway). Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Kristin S - So glad you did this! I love captured moments.

  • shadi - beautiful family and pictures! I love your top!! where did you get it?

  • Mareen - “being you” looks like a wonderful thing to be =)
    amazing pictures, ann did a wonderful job capturing your wonderful family. i like these kinds of pictures more than the ones with all the fake goofy smiles.

  • Hannah - Absolutely adorable photos! I have to know…where did you get your shirt?! It’s green and it’s lace…two things that make it a shirt I would LOVE to own!!

  • carolina - Beautiful, beautiful pictures. Firecrackers looks so big, is not a tiny girl anymore. Best wishes.

  • Crystal - Thanks for the inspiration and allowing us to let ourselves off the hook with the idea of “perfect” family pictures! These shots are so honest, authentic and beautiful!! On a side note I saw zulily.com today and thought of your boys. Lots of Star Wars stuff with awesome prices…check it out. 🙂

  • Steph - These are adorable! What a great family photo idea. Love the one of near the bottom of all seven of you…beautiful family!

  • karen - i love your family too!! love the pic of all of you crafting.
    ashley you look so good in that green.

  • Jenny Lynn - these are amazing! i love this idea!!

    where if your shirt from? i love it!

  • Amanda - What sweet memories you have captured!! Your kids will have to much fun looking back at these when they are older!!

  • Jeannette - Absolutely awesome!

  • Ashley - i understand where u r coming from about the surgery! my ds will be having eye surgery @ the beginning of the yr! he’ll be just over a yr old….i know how stressful it can be my 2 older children have been through surgeries my oldest had to have a heart surgery so believe my i know how worried u are….as long as u r calm so will your gorgeous daughter! lots of cuddling with mommy will help when shes in pain…

  • lindsey gail - i wish there were words to honestly express how much i love these! they are simply perfect. your family is beautiful, especially sweet little one, i know these will always be close to your heart. thank you for sharing, and thank you for highlighting the #1 reason photography can be such a blessing!! cheers!

  • Tracy a - Great photos! Love to see so much of you and Chris!

  • Jane in Canada - You have the most beautiful family ever! LOVE the photos.

  • AshleyAnn - Jade (and others) it is from Francesca’s

  • Victoria / Justice Pirate - ADORE all in this. It is good that you want to document the family before the surgeries begin for Little One. I adore the shot of your one son on your lap where you are talking to him as if he is whining or crying about something. Reminds me of my younger son.

  • christine - hello ashley and family
    i love your blog and your whole family 😉 your children are so cute and all the pics are full of love! be blessed!
    greetings from switzerland

  • Kara M - LOVE this! Your shirt is super duper adorable & cute!

  • Becky @ Farmgirl Paints - she did a great job. so natural and not posey:) lovin’ on that awesome chalkboard. the chalk graphic is amazing. you amaze me!!

  • able mabel - What a bunch of sweet pictures of a bunch of sweet people!

  • Melanie - Where did you get Firecracker’s boots? They are TOO cute!

  • Jennie Frake - These are all so great! My favorite is the one of you kissing Little One’s forehead. Precious. 🙂

  • AshleyAnn - Melanie – they are a sweet hand me down from a friend…they are Minnetonkas

  • Maureen - Your family makes me happy just looking at them, all so cute. Everytime I see your sons I chuckle, they remind me of a little Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon. Guess who is which??? Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with all your family.

  • Susie - Your family is very sweet and I just love peeking in on you every once in awhile. Thank you for sharing your story and how God is using you in the lives of others! Blessings!

  • Kristen - Beautiful photos! And, best of luck with the cleft surgery. My daughter was born with a “relatively minor” unilateral cleft lip. I completely understand your excitement to provide medical care but also the sorrow of losing that grin. Cleft grins are so special 🙂 One thing you will be amazed about is adaption your daughter will make to not having her arms/hands to use. Our daughter had to have her arms in braces to keep them straight for 3 weeks – she became very adept at using her feet for almost everything!