Dichotomy is one one my favorite words.  Especially as defined here:

division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups: a dichotomy between thought and action.


Perhaps the nerdy English lover in me, or perhaps how it seemingly, perfectly, describes my life.

I am torn between wanting to get through this emotional and tiring season of parenting, and grappling with the desire to soak in every single moment, without squandering even a second.

Time is a thief.  I want it to only steal away the memories of the tough times.  Lovingly leaving me the sweet and beautiful moments.  If only I could control it.

The silliness, the smallness, the friendship, the singing, the love, the beauty that is our little family...
That is what I am holding on to.  Through the training, the sleepless nights, the tears.  Because all of it, the happy and the sad, it is all, incredibly, wholly, absolutely, worth it.

Drew gave us the ability to freeze time.  She captured so perfectly what I want to hold in my heart, today and for all the days to come.  When time tries to thieve these moments, dim these memories, we will press play and be back in our little campground by the stream.  Where everything stands still.  Everything but who we are as a family.

Drew, thank you for this gift.  There are no words or actions that could adequately convey how thankful we are to have you in our lives.  Thank you for being a part of our beautiful story.


100 Comments

  1. DUDE!!!!!
    Literally sitting at my desk crying with chills up and down my spine. Your words, the music, the video with the photos. Everything about this is perfect.

    Now I need to find someone to do this for us PRONTO.

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  2. SUPER DUPER awesome... AMAZING... beautiFULLY blessed!

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  3. I'm in tears, too. What a beautiful family and that Drew sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing your journey and your strength. Happy Birthday to Joy.

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  4. Absolutely perfect! Thanks for sharing. The video images are priceless and the photos are gorgeous! If I had a video like that of my family, I would probably just sit and watch it all day.

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  5. the video is beyond amazing!! what a gift and treasure! you captured my feelings about this season of life {i have a one year old and two year old} in beautifully "spoken" words and i am in love with the video that shows those sweet moments you hope you never forget!
    happy birthday joy...

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  6. So beautiful! what a blessing to have such an amazing gift to treasure. And can i just say I had to smile seeing the VW bus...we had that same exact bus growing up. We called it the pickle wagon (don't know why, it was red not green, but I guess the shape). So many good memories in that van. Happy happy day to you sweet lady!

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  7. amazing & beautiful. what a treasure. and i love your use of dichotomy (isn't it fun to say too?) -along with your description:

    "I am torn between wanting to get through this emotional and tiring season of parenting, and grappling with the desire to soak in every single moment, without squandering even a second."

    yep, that pretty much sums it up.

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  8. Amazing, beautiful...I too am crying at my desk. Bless you.

    P.S. What is that song?

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  9. just completely & totally awesome!!

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  10. absolutely beautiful! Love the words, pictures, video. Blessed family!

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  11. the pictures, the video, your words... all beautiful!

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  12. I don't even know you and I'm crying right now. What a great reminder, I am looking at the normalacy of my today, and my sweet sweet kiddos in a different light. Thank you for sharing these sweet pictures and video.

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  13. What a beautiful way to capture your memories - your family is gorgeous!!!

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  14. No words for how perfect that is! What a gift!

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  15. And then I cried. Absolutely beautiful!

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  16. How beautiful! I'm crying and I don't even know you. What great memories.

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  17. Well that was just perfection! And yes, the dichotomy of my life trips me out too. Just never put a name to it. I also feel a lot of cognitive dissonance as well, do you? ;)
    Xoxoxo

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  19. Love, love, love YOU Julie. You touch my every day but today, was extra fabulous! Thank you!

    The Rawlings Family!

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  20. What an amazing bit of captured time you have here. And how did little Shane change from baby to little man all of a sudden?!
    Thanks for sharing with us Julie:)

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  21. aw beautiful!!
    so amazing...
    i want this for our little family. :D

    you're very blessed... very blessed indeed.
    keep praising the One who gave it all!
    xo

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  22. Oh Julie! Absolutely beautiful and priceless! I got teary during happy birthday to Joy. What a priceless gift. And that Shane is going to be a heartbreaker one day! He's absolutely edible!

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  23. Your creativity simply amazes me....how can a person's creativity bring a stranger to tears...You're amazing! SO beautiful! I look SO forward to your sessions with Drew B.

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  24. Your family is so beautiful!!! I love this!!

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  25. I. Love. Your. Family. You seriously could not have more adorable children if you picked them straight out of movies or magazines! The video is beautiful, definitely some great memories captured! :)

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  26. This is incredible!! What an amazing gift from Drew. She truly knows how to capture each and every one of you. I'm pretty sure I just sat here and cried through the entire video. Love you sweet friend!

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  27. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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  28. Why do you insist on making me cry??? I love your beautiful words and your video is amazing. We had our 4th (we have 3 girls and a boy like you!) a year ago and it has been such a ride. I totally know what you mean by dichotomy.

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  29. Beautiful! I love how you celebrate Joy! As much as my beautiful Braxton is talked about in our home, I am sad that we don't celebrate his day more.

    You're an inspiration to all of us who have had a baby that was just to precious for this earth.

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  30. absolutely lovely! you are so beautiful!

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  31. Oh wow, that video is AMAZING!!!

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  32. Stunningly beautiful; captures so much of what childhood is about! Thank you for sharing with us.

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  33. Such a testimony to God's goodness all wrapped in one super cute family package. Thanks for letting us share in the sweetness of those moments.

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  34. dude you totally just sneak-attacked me with emotionalness. i did not see that coming. but the song. then the lanterns. sheesh. sniff. so bittersweet. (see how i threw in a dichotomy?)

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  35. I'm smitten. Such a beautiful family. You are such an inspiration.

    And please do tell...what is that song?!

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  36. I don't usually comment, but this is so amazing. I've seen Drew's work a few places over the past few years and I'm so obsessed– but combined with your style and talent for setting these things up. Wow. I'm so jealous. I do a lot of photography and probably have more decent photos of my kids than most people, but I'm rarely in any of them. It's such an incomplete picture of our family and I love how you're so good at capture and remembering the whole of your story, not just individual pieces.

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  37. Amazing! I am inspired. We have only had family pictures taken once...and my kids are 5.5 and 2.5. We need to make it happen more often. Thanks for the reminder.

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  38. So lovely. Thanks for sharing your life.

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  39. Beautiful! I had tears before Happy Birthday, after that it was bawling! You have an amazing family!

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  40. your video is lovely. such a great memory. thanks for sharing!

    patti - urban bundle

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  41. smiled. cried. smiled again. pure joy this is. such a sweet family you have julie. and drew, this is priceless. absolutely wonderful!!!!

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  42. Ahh, this is the best, ever. Love.

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  43. Oh my GOODNESS!!!!! Perfect. Beautiful. Amazing. Wow.

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  44. JULIE!! this is so beautiful. so, SO BEAUTIFUL. i was in love with this from the first 10 seconds and then when you started singing happy birthday to joy, ohmygosh girl you got me cccrrryyyiiinnnggg. i love it all. such beautiful little souls. i'm totally doing this one day! love you friend!

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  45. So, so adorable! You have a beautiful family!
    Happy Birthday Joy!!

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  46. So special!
    And I love that Chik-fil-a is on the sign post.

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  47. So... I'm at work watching this with tears forming in my eyes... trying so hard to hold them back so I don't scare the next customer who walks in.

    Love this!!!

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  48. What a beautiful family. And thanks for making me cry beautiful tears at work! Wish we weren't 3000 miles from each other because I would live to meet your amazing family. Everyone of you has such a beautiful soul!

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  49. oh, what a beautiful video. love.love.love! Where can I get my own Drew? ;)
    Seriously, beautiful post, beautiful family - thank you for sharing!

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  50. Cute kiddos! Shane's hair is coming in quick!

    Kristina
    Nook & Sea

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  51. So beautiful! I love the girls holding hands by the creek. So reminds me of my two girls who are best friends. I just want it to stay that way!

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  52. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! So precious! : )

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  53. I was okay until there was a Happy Birthday song to your sweet angel, Joy. *sniff* (Okay, it was more like a *weep*.) Thank you for sharing all of this. Thank you.

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  54. That was unique and so heartwarming and magical. It reaches in way down deep. xoxo

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  55. This is one of the neatest things ever. *tears* So sweet and precious.

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  56. Love, love, love what you wrote. I think that's one of the main reasons that I do my project life album ... because time goes by so so so so SO fast and while I am exhausted and tired and crabby, I really don't want it to go away because my babies are getting too big, too fast.

    Well said.

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  57. AH-MAZING. What a beautiful piece to have forever.

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  58. My youngest is now walking around the house singing "na, na, na na na na, na, na, na na na na!"

    Love this. What a great snapshot of today.

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  59. oh my good gracious. i could not love this more. what a precious treasure you have there.

    p.s. where is janey's dress from?

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  60. I don't have words to express how precious this is and how full my heart is after seeing this... thanks for sharing. that was beautiful!!

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  61. the singing around the campfire, that bit got me all choked up...beautiful!
    tara

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  62. I LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!!!! What a beautiful film!! It is amazing!! The kids are so adorable!!

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  63. I LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!!!! What a beautiful film!! It is amazing!! The kids are so adorable!!

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  64. Wow, I finally had a moment to sit down and watch this... I'm in tears. What a beautiful memory to have. I am in awe

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  65. loved the video! i cried and cried. such a special keepsake. :)

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  66. so sweet. great photo shoot, i can't get over the creativity between you and drew!!! i dream about these images after you post them!! i was bawling at the first movie of the three girls wrapped in the granny blanket. gorgeous!!

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  67. Wow, loved that! What a precious and perfect capture of a family memory. xoxo You will treasure that forever! Can you please tell me what song is playing in the background? It was perfect. Thanks! Have a great weekend! xoxo

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  68. Wow. I am left speechless by this post. That is exactly how I feel everyday struggling with that dichotomy. Great word. And your pictures are stunning! You have a beautiful (inside & out) family and are so amazingly creative with your portrait shoots! Happy birthday, Joy!

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  69. BEST. FAMILY. PICTURES. EVER.... I think that every time I see pictures by Drew B. But I must admit something... I must read your blog too much! I had a dream that I came to your camp out uninvited, so I could hang out with your awesome family. Then you lectured me on the courtesy of a phone call before dropping in. :-) I Should stop reading blogs before bed! BUT if you ever make it to COLORADO(Just moved from Kansas) Look me up! It is BEAUTIFUL....

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  70. Love that video!! Amazing!! What song is that??

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  71. there are no words for how beautiful this is....thanks for sharing.

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  72. Joy & Drew.....the deep love of family, beautifully captured. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  73. I am new to your blog. I love the colors and the happiness! I thought you might like to see a challenge I recently posted on my blog.

    Check it out if you get a minute.
    http://www.thevocalsokol.com/funnest-30-day-challenge.html

    Thanks for being so BRITE!!!

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  74. pure delight - thank you for sharing the beauty!

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  76. Your family is beautiful and I just love all of your family photos you've taken over the years. So fun and unique - something those kiddos will treasure when they get older to look back on. You're an amazing mom!

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  77. tears. you have a beautiful family. i love that you keep joy such a part of your lives. she's a lucky girl!

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  78. Love, love the video! Can you tell me the name of the song?

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  79. Tears. For reals, so beautiful.

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I love sunshine, happy people, and the power to delete. Sparkles! Rainbows! Unicorns!