Little Family Fun
The Little Family: Established June 10, 2010. Jon and Maria met back in college while both attending Eastern University. He proposed to her at the sweetest place on earth (Chocolate World!) seven Christmas's ago. Six and half years and three kids later and there are few things that parallel with the life, love and joy that these five humans bring to our lives.
Many couples have nicknames and pet names they call one another. Nazari and I have for many years endearingly referred to one another as "honey". Aurelia, Jon and Maria's almost three year old middle child, picked up on this exchange and Nazari became "Uncle Honey". If I ever go visit without him, she looks up at me with her big hazel eyes, and says "Where's honey?"
It is appropriately adorable and melts our hearts in away that only a two year old niece can. The irony is that if you ever refer back to her as honey, she immediately spouts back, "I'm not honey! I'm Aurelia!"
These kids are full of personality, wit and creativity. And there is no doubt it comes from their extraordinary parents.
Maria gets to stay home with her three incredible children and experience the joy and exhaustion that comes from that endeavor. Somehow, she still finds the time to radically love on all those around her. She has an incredible gift for design and decor and has completely revived their old home and made it like new. And she is remarkably skilled at hand lettering and has recently begun sharing that gift with the world.
Jon is a firefighter in Harrisburg. Their son, Asher, loves all things firetrucks and firefighting and tells us that he wants to grow up and be a hero, like his dad.
His dad is a hero for many reasons. Some of them are obvious, like rescuing others from burning buildings. But many of his heroic traits are much more subtle.
Years ago, Jon worked at a fire station that had a lot of raunchy posters hanging around. Among the posters was a "sexy" calendar that was wildly inappropriate and objectifying to women. The decor did not make it a desirable place to bring his wife or children. For Christmas, Jon found a calendar of macho men posing in risque fire suits, and glued his own face to each month's photo. He presented it to the firehouse for that years new calendar. It was hilarious. And it solved a problem in a way that was neither condemning or judgmental.
These pictures capture this family exactly as they are in my mind and how I remember them all the days we spend much too far from one another. Laughter and joy radiate from them and they remind us to slow down. Be present. Spend intentional quality time with your people. Play. And Laugh. Too often I get confused about what life is really about. But looking at this family and these photos, I am humbly reminded of the point of it all. People. And I thank these wonderful Little people for that beautiful reminder.