I’m going to be honest, making photos of this family is like making photos of my own family. Mostly because this IS my family. These are the people who raised me when I wasn’t being raised by my flesh and blood. Jill, second daughter of Jan and Jim, is my best friend. If you’ve been around here for longer than 10 minutes you know that, and you probably call her Best Friend Jill. Jill is my person. We have know each other since 2nd grade. Sure, we had some rough years but let’s be honest, if middle school was easy for you I probably don’t want to be your friend. But we came to our senses at the end of those middle school years and we have not let anything – distance, husbands, insane schedules – come between us since. We joke that we share a brain, but let’s be real, that is not a joke. Jill is my best friend because she gets me, and even when we don’t agree on things (like how freaking awesome pumpkin spice anything is) we still love each other. The same can be said for her amazing family. Jill’s family was my surrogate family growing up. If I wasn’t at my own house I was probably at hers, or at the very least with her wherever that might be. Her older sister drove us around occasionally, her younger sister yelled at us to stop singing Les Miserables at full volume ALL. THE. TIME. , her younger brothers were the little brothers I always wanted but never got, and her parents were usually kissing in the kitchen while we ran around like crazies. There will never be words to express how grateful I am that a huge chunk of my childhood was spent in the home this family made together. There was never a moment of feeling unwelcome, there was just love and total acceptance. It was one of the safest places I have ever known. It is with incredible joy that I get to photograph this beautiful family that had grown so much as they years have moved on. All the kids are married now and have kids of their own. Those little brothers are dads, that little sister is now yelling at us to stop singing Hamilton at full volume, and that older sister sometimes drives my kids around when he’s hanging out with her kid. It’s a beautiful thing to have a friendship this old. To have people in your life who have known you since practically the beginning. I loved making these photos! I loved capturing this family who means so very much to me – all one million of them.