Thursday, May 8, 2014

Our Mothers Day Tradition

Mothers Day (or is it Mothers' Day?) is coming up this Sunday, so I thought I'd share one of the ways our family observes it each year.

When Sly was a baby, Tom told me about a nice tradition from his family.  His paternal grandparents had fourteen children (!).  Every year, the family all gathered out on the front porch, and had a photo taken.  Tom remembers visiting his grandparents' home as a young child, and seeing years' worth of those yearly family photos, all framed and lined up on the wall chronologically.  He talked about how neat it was to see the family grow and change each year.  We immediately decided that we should start up the same tradition ourselves.

We put our camera on the tripod, set the timer, and snapped our first photo right then.


We realized that we'd have a better chance of remembering to take the picture each year if we associated it with a specific date.  Since Mother's Day had occurred a few days earlier, that became our official family photo day.


(These might look familiar to the five or so people who have been following this little blog since its inception, since these are all my past header images.)

I love that we're taking these pictures each year.  And I think there's something appealing to the "homemade" aspect of them - we don't have to worry about dressing up or hiring a professional photographer each year.  We just set up the tripod and go - come-as-you-are.  And having my family indulge me once a year and sit down for this photo (okay, I won't lie, we take about ten shots, and I choose the one I like best!) is truly one of the greatest Mothers Day gifts I can think of.

My only wish is that we had thought to start it our first year together, when it was just Tom and I.  That would really kick off the photo series well.  I may just print out a wedding photo in the same size, and add it at the beginning of the line. 

I'm so excited to see how this year's picture turns out.  We'll have a new front porch and a new addition to the family!  If anyone likes this idea, feel free to steal it and start the tradition in your own families.  It's never too late!  And I'd love to see how your picture turns out :-)


  1. Looking forward to this year's picture! We should start a tradition like this ... we took pictures at Christmas, both this past one and when I was pregnant with Michael, but I don't think we have one of the year in between. (Well, except for us all in our pajamas, heh.) And I think we have "just the kids" pictures from both Easters.

  2. It's so funny you posted this now, we're planning to do the exact same thing at our new place because we saw the pictures at your house! Maybe Mother's Day will be our photo day too : - )

  3. We have been doing this since we were married, every November and it's been awesome to look at each year for the same reasons you state. I have become more thankful, as there are more little people, for the studio photo...they have some magic that gets everyone to not only sit, but also sit and smile! I always wanted the yearly picture to come from the family blessing with the Bishop but we only seem to get there every other year :0(

    1. Yeah, I'm already wondering how on earth we're going to get three kids to sit still and not be crying for the photo this year! I bet you're right that a studio photo might produce more success in that area...though I like that we have our picture taken in front of our own home, which in a lot of ways, is part of the identity of our family.

  4. I love this idea, Christine! Can't wait to see this year's!

  5. Great idea! The only thing I have with any sense of regularity is the first day of school pictures of my boys. When I went back in 2009, we added me-but most of those are individual shots. I think it's a great tradition-and one I will suggest to newlyweds and new parents. :)

  6. Adorable! We only started this last Easter (well, we have one from the Easter before but not on the porch), but I know we'll keep the tradition going :)

  7. We have pictures of us on our anniversary... maybe I'll have to make sure we do that every year, and that can be our "family photo day".

  8. Hi Christine! (I followed you over here from your comment at Catholic All Year!) I love this Mother's Day photo tradition! What a great idea!! God bless your lovely family! -Theresa