Taking a family photo just isn't as satisfying as it should be. I'm not talking about the chaotic insanity of trying to get three small people looking at the camera, or about the near impossibility of finding somewhat complementary clothing for all family members, or even about the number of times I have to remind people to take their hands out of their pockets.
I'm talking about the sadness of posing for a group photo with the full knowledge that it's an incomplete snapshot of our family in this moment of time.
By nature-- due to our situation-- each and every photo is missing someone. That makes standing for the photos, loading them, and editing them almost too bittersweet to bear.
But here. We did it. Eight Blandings in one frame. Faces forward. Clothing clean. Backs (mostly) straight. Smiles on.
Missing one very beloved 15 year-old girl, but otherwise a complete look at who we are right here, right now. Loving Jo at 14 and that all-empowering half. Oli at 5 sweet years. Logan counting down the weeks until his decade mark. Atticus more 12 than 11, though he has a month to wait to claim the title rightfully. Mani-- gorgeous, beaming, Mani-- careening towards 4. Seven not really a baby (but still a baby!) at 19 months. And Mr. Blandings and I, in the prime of our salad days.