The Giving {Family} Tree

When I went to Florida to join my family on vacation earlier this month,
my mom seized the opportunity to book family pictures on the beach.

You know the type,
where everyone wears white or khaki pants
& some sort of coordinating shirt.

While this isn't exactly my scene, 
I am happy to oblige my mom 
by throwing on a shirt & straightening my hair.

So out to the beach we tromped like a special unit of the JCrew army.
where we spent the next two hours flopping around in the sand,
screaming and the kids to get them to look at the camera...
and having our own fun while the photographer siphoned off family members for pictures.

As I look back over the pictures I took during the shoot, 
I feel really fortunate to be a part of this silly family.

While we may appear overly-confident & fling sarcastic comments at each other freely,
the truth is that every last person in my family has a really soft-heart.

Each of them continuously makes themselves vulnerable to others,
keeps themselves open to new relationships,
& deeply cares about how others perceive their actions.

Today, we are constantly fed the thought 
that it doesn't matter how what other people think of us.

We are reminded that we shouldn't live our lives to please others.

We refer to someone who is "sensitive" in a negative light.

And while I agree with that to an extent,
I love that the people in my family 
still care so much about others.

I appreciate the fact that they care about me enough 
to put up with nonsense that they probably have no real interest in
other than the fact that they want to support me.

{e.g. they sometimes read this little blog}

And that's why I ( along with my siblings & our spouses) 
am more than happy to put on matching clothes
and take a million pictures while my hair flaps around like a windsock.

Honestly, it take so little to make others happy,
and usually ends up pretty fun.
I wish I could remember that more often.

Now it's your turn,
what simple thing can you do
to take care of someone else today?

*All images original to Aspiring Kennedy
**Somehow I didn't get any pictures of my sisters. Luckily, the photographer got some good ones.


  1. Lauren,
    Great post and photos to go with. I love how you took the time to do the little thing to make your Mama happy. I think as a Mom it is indeed the little things that make us most happy. My kids know when they get the evil eye, they do the little thing that makes me smile. I guess each day, all the little things add up to make big things.
    These photos will be a big thing to treasure for years to come.

  2. Too wonderful for words.

  3. beautiful and oh so touching. i am itching to get back to my family next week for the whole summer, and i'm thinking we need to arrange something like this too. :) thanks lauren.

  4. Amazing photos! I can't wait to get our own little family of three's pictures taken later this summer.

  5. im sorta obsessed with this and all of its jcrew matching family goodness.

  6. these are absolutely gorgeous pictures and i think that is such a great idea! will definitely try to remember that for when i have a a family. the beach looks absolute perfection! xx

  7. Looks like so much fun! This is so fitting today. My husband and I are hopping on a plane this afternoon to surprise his parents. We live in the same city as my parents and see them a couple times a week, so we decided it was time to visit his and to make it better, not tell them. I cannot wait to see their reaction when we walk in the door. My sister in law is in on the plan to make sure it works out. Hopefully, I will get some pictures! :)

    Have a great weekend!

  8. Love the picture of you and Tyler jumping- adorable! One of your nephews looks so much like you... and his mom, I'm assuming, since your sisters look so much like you, too! What a fun celebration of your family!

    1. Oh, and love the guys in pink and girls in blue!!

  9. These are amazing! I love hearing about your family- there is so much love between you all it's inspiring me to build relationships with my family. Well, I mean... It's not that I don't love them or anything. We've just never been the frolic on the beach with matching outfits kind of family. But why not? It looks pretty awesome to me!

    PS... that little red headed girl is too cute!

  10. I love these! You have such a handsome family. Love all the guys in pink. And those dresses the little girls are wearing? Omg, adorable. I want one.

  11. Could you guys be any cuter?! And can we talk about Tyler's vertical reach...NBA look out! We've taken those same pics (with white shirts, love the color much better!), and I'm glad now we have them. thanks for the sweet post and reminder. My son has a very sensitive side and it's sometime's viewed as a negative...but I think that's what makes him so kind and special.

  12. How pretty love the filter..or look of them hah

  13. Looks like such a fun day! And what a beautiful photo of you and Tyler. I love the jcrew-ness of it all :)

  14. Gorgeous images that you will treasure for a lifetime. Fabulous!

  15. I love this and how sweet of you to join in the fun. My mom did something similar last year, and at first I was really not keen on donning the all white ensemble, but it made her happy and we had a great day in a gorgeous park. If she gets the idea again, I'll have to recommend a beach for sure! Great photos - thanks for sharing!

  16. You have such a beautiful family! And I love your reminder about doing something to make someone else happy today - it doesn't take much to make someone else's day brighter so thanks for the reminder!

  17. Love the photos! We took family photos in the same color scheme as you guys & I love having those memories. Though none as fun as these- next time!

  18. The pictures turned out so cute... I think that the "J.Crew army" look can be a little much sometimes too.. but the pictures are adorable... and years from now you will look back and smile!

  19. aww these photos are really fun (and not jc penny-ish at ALL. promise). you'll love having these -- its not everyday that you get to run around on the beach with your fam :) xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

  20. absolutely love the jumping picture of you two! So fun :)

    And having a supportive and loving family is definitely a blessing :)

  21. Im not going to say much, these are AMAZING!

  22. Magazine-worthy!

  23. What kind of editing did you do to give the pictures this glow??? I'm obsessed!

  24. What are you using to edit your pictures?? How do you get them to look like this and be so light/glowy?? I'm obsessed!!!


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