The Jesus Family

Sep 25, 2013
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We asked:

What’s your best family memory? 

When Ari (short for Aurelia) was three and a half months old, we took a trip to NYC to visit family.  We met a friend one day at the Met, cautiously optimistic that Matisse’s bright, bold collages would be entertaining enough to prevent a public meltdown.  After a few successful, reasonably happy-baby hours, we thought we’d pushed our luck enough, and we started making our way to the parking lot, through the hallway of European statues.  We have no idea what initially set her off, but Ari suddenly burst out in the sweetest purr of a giggle.  We of course smiled broadly and laughed in response, which only encouraged her to laugh more enthusiastically.  We had only gotten a few, short chuckles in the past, but this giggle-fest lasted several minutes and the entire length of the hallway of sculptures.  Visitors and staff were turning toward us, smiling back, encouraging our behavior; some looked among the statues as if searching for what could possibly be amusing our daughter so much.  John and I were in tears by the end!

What’s your favorite thing to do as a family? 

We love taking passeatas in the evening as a family whenever possible–we live just across the street from a small liberal arts college that is also an arboretum, which Ari adores!

What is your favorite family tradition? 

It’s still a bit early for us, and we don’t have many traditions – but sitting together for dinner is simple but meaningful, and we love it.

What’s the best thing about your family? 

We try to include Ari in as much as we can.  While there are certainly times when it’s beneficial to our marriage and other relationships to leave her with someone we trust for some outings, we love traveling with her, introducing her to the people and places we love, and allowing her access to new and varied experiences.  For example, this summer has been filled with weddings, for which we wanted her to be present to a reasonable extent.  How wonderful will it be, years from now, when she can say that she helped perform a reading at Uncle Leo and Aunt Jen’s wedding ceremony when she was seven months old? (Or maybe she won’t care at all :)) Since she turns into a pumpkin at around 7:30pm, dragging her to the reception would be no fun for anyone.  So for several weddings we were able to bring her to the ceremony, then one of us would take her to a friend’s home who was kind enough to have her for the evening–it worked out beautifully!

What do you think makes a happy family? 

Intentional, regular contact or communication with family and friends, blueberries, bananas, frozen yogurt, avocados, crossfit with babysitting, running strollers, loved ones willing to host us in awesome destinations, airlines that offer bassinets, non-mind-numbing children’s literature, pandora children’s indie station, butterfly and eskimo kisses, joyous celebrations, lots of dancing, quiet spaces, play dates, and qualified, loving babysitters for date nights.

What three words best describe your family? 

Passionate, loving, inclusive.

1 Comment

  1. Elizabeth
    September 25, 2013

    Julie, beautiful pictures! I have been impressed with your photography since you did Anna and John’s wedding and have been following you on FB.

    Katie, I have always admired the love you and John clearly have and express for each other. That has translated well to a solid foundation for Ari. I wish you and John a lifetime of strength and happiness together!


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