Chris’ parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year….part of that celebration was a family trip to Colorado. Chris is the youngest of 4 and we don’t get to see his family nearly enough. My boys have 3 cousins close to their ages, which is so much fun for them. My girls get spoiled by their older girl cousins. Time with Chris’ family is such a gift for all of us. I’m incredibly thankful that Chris and I not only get along with both of our families, but we genuinely love being around them.

During our week together, my in-laws renewed their wedding vows. It was a beautiful night. Seeing them surrounded by all of their kids and all their grandkids was pretty wonderful.

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Little One thinks it is hilarious to close her eyes and smile when we are trying to take pictures now.8.14CO4-07

The rest of the kids ran off and then she decided she’d open her eyes for photos. Stinker.8.14CO4-108.14CO4-11

Happy Anniversary Campbells! I am so thankful for the love you shower upon me and my family. I’m thankful that marrying Chris also meant I got to join your family. What a gift you all are to me.

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  • Bird - This little girl of yours makes me laugh laud so hard… she is so cute and smart and beautiful!

    I am glad, that you show her smile to the world!

    Love from Germany and the -fatcatconnection-
    http://lasagnolove.blogspot.de/2014/08/where-do-you-have-best-ideas.html
    Bird

  • Monica - Beautiful pictures! Your family is a precious gift from GOD to you.

  • Ashley - Little One praying… so precious!

  • Ashley - Also, where did you find her adorable denim jacket? Looking for one for my two year old!

  • Ashley - how incredibly special!!! you are so blessed to have such a strong couple witnessing to you two!

  • Olivia - Primavera Kitchen - Gorgeous photos! Your family is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing ;-)

  • Jennifer - Such a beautiful post! My in-laws have only shown me how much love can grow when two families are joined together. They are such a beautiful blessing to me, as yours are to you.

  • kimberly oyler - what a beautiful setting for a vow renewal. and girl your hair is so long!

  • Amy Espinosa - Ashley, these photos are just breathtaking! I hope that my 50th is half as beautiful!

  • Sprite - What a blessing to have such a sweet family! Congratulations to your in-laws! Also, I love your yellow dress, Ashley. You look beautiful!

  • Christina - Little One praying! So beautiful

  • AshleyAnn - Ashley – BabyGap

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - That last photo = heart melted

  • elizabeth H - Your boys in their blue shirts + little flowers are super cute!
    i too hope to share a 50 yr anniversary w/ my love!
    so very sweet & encouraging…

  • ellen patton - what a nice post.

  • Diamend Bianco - Oh my goodness! I’ve been following your blog for a while, but I just saw this photo and realized I know your brother-in-law! I grew up and went to college in Illinois and also worked as an Admin at the Illinois Baptist Convention – I know Charles Campbell. What a crazy small world that I’ve been following you and your story and praying over you and your family and now I feel even closer to you!
    Always praying for you and your family.
    Diamend

  • AshleyAnn - Diamend – that is so crazy and fun!!

I spent two weeks at home this summer – two weeks. That is just nuts for me. I am a HOME BODY. Surprisingly, I did pretty good with all that travel. In fact, if I could convince a travel company to sponsor this blog I might just take this crew on the road for good (hint, hint…anyone, anyone?:)). Well, not for good (the grandparents wouldn’t let me), but for a while at least! One part I love about travel is observing the culture of the places we visit. I’ve mentioned that before, but it really is such a fun part to me. We just spent a week in Estes Park, CO with Chris’ whole family. My youngest son – Colorado suits him well.

I’ve got a ton of pictures of all the kids from our trip, but as I scrolled through all the images, the ones of him stood out the most. He has so many layers to his personality – my contemplative, yet so goofy six year old. I love seeing the various parts of him in the images from our trip.

8.14CO3-018.14CO3-028.14CO3-068.14CO3-038.14CO3-058.14CO3-078.14CO3-08He told me his favorite part of Colorado is the water….the rivers in the summer and the snow in the winter. The Colorado water. Smart kid….

***Just a reminder registration for the final 2014 SnapShop courses begins today. Click here for more info or to register.

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  • Jes - Lovely photos, as always. Love all the expressions on his face! I also love Colorado, it’s one of those places that touches your soul and makes it hard to leave.

  • Birdy - He looks so happy near the water, it seams like at least your kids aren´t home bodies … every post I saw from your vacations, your kids look amazingly happy! We all should travel more and leaner more about the world!

    I wish you an amazing monday
    Love from Germany and the -fatcatconnection-

    Ps: Where do you have the best ideas?
    http://lasagnolove.blogspot.de/2014/08/where-do-you-have-best-ideas.html

  • danielle - It does seem to suit him :) I would not mind living there myself!

  • Jenn - my husbands favorite part is the rivers and water too. we gave him a shirt this year for his birthday. Advice from a river.
    it has been years but when we moved to wa state we visited estes park and it was fantastic. one of our favorite places. we are now back in the south but loved our time traveling. can’t wait to take our kids.

  • Carson - Hi, Ashley. We are a National Park family; spent the first part of August 2013 in Estes Park. We are planning our only Disney World trip this fall, so no NP this year. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed living vicariously through every second of your travels you found worthy of sharing. And, for that, I thank you, my dear. My only son starts pre-k this year, and we recently decided we will be homeschooling him (officially beginning next year). Y’all have been on my mind lately. Simply wanted to stop by and share well-wishes for a fantastic year. Prayers that you not only fill their hearts with love and knowledge, but that they teach you a thing or two, as well. Fondly, Carson

  • Amanda - Hi -

    Given your family’s love for CO, you should check out Camp Timberline. Christian sleep away camp in Estes Park. Modeled after Kanakuk Camps. Life changing camp for our sweet kids!

    Best,
    Amanda

  • TheDenverPack - I agree with your son. We moved here 4 1/2 years ago, and after 13+ moves in my life, it was like coming home to a place I’d never been. Absolutely love our new home.

  • Jenny B. - I read Meg’s post this morning about her family’s trip to Estes Park. :) If you didn’t plan to be there at the same time, that’s pretty funny. Great minds think alike! ;)

  • Laura S. - I so wish a company would sponsor you. I loved seeing the travel pictures and places you and your family went. I still want to see more!

  • Kelly - Awww I thought that was Estes! I met my husband at a bible school in Estes Park. That town holds a very special place in my heart :)

  • Michele - I loved the Charming Campbell Travel Series which you shared with us this summer. It reminded me of the television series, Brady Bunch when they all go to Hawaii and Family Affair when Buffy and Jody go to Europe. It was fun to think about where your next adventure led you and your sweet family. Unfortunately, I have no connections with Travel Channel or Samsonite but I will endorse your excellent idea!

  • Kelleyn - Glad you and your family are having so many adventures.

  • Ashley Smith - Hi Ashley. I found your blog last summer while I was planning to begin homeschooling and I check in regularly. You have a gift for capturing the beauty the Lord has made and your blog has been a regular uplift over this past year. I don’t think I’ve ever commented but I just had to. We just got back from Estes Park too! I would have been so surprised to see you there. It would have been so nice to meet you! We made the trip from MN and were there for a week. My husband’s family has been going there (the YMCA of the Rockies) since the early 1930s I think! His Nana celebrated her 88th b-day while we were there. In fact the outdoor chapel there was set up about 10 years ago in memory of my husband’s mom who passed away unexpectedly when he was in high school. We were there for vespers and our 8 year old took communion for the first time which was really special. Anyways, it’s such a small world! I should have said thank you a long time ago, but thanks so much for sharing your gifts. Your writing/photography really is a blessing. I told my husband on our way out to CO that after seeing your post on your RV trip I totally have the desire to do that someday. You made it look awesome and doable with little kids :) Thanks again!

  • Katie - Hi Ashley,
    I am really interested in your DSLR course. How long do we have to register? How many people do you take? I love looking at your pictures. I hope to be able to capture my daughters lives like you do. Thanks!

  • elizabeth H - welcome home!!

SnapShops

Both August SnapShop courses are booked and begin this Sunday!

August SnapShop Students (DSLR & Phone) – Over the weekend, you should have received an email with information on how to log into the course. Both courses begin this Sunday. The email was sent to the email account associated with your PayPal account. If you did not receive your email, please check your spam folder first and then email me if you still cannot locate it. I want everyone to be able to log in when they are ready!

The next SnapShops will be:

Phone course: October 5 – October 25, 2014 – registration opens August 11, 2014 8:00am US Central

DSLR course: October 5 – November 1, 2014 – registration opens August 11, 2014 8:00am US Central

You can find more information and register for either SnapShop on the course website, click here

flourishSince I’m talking about SnapShops today, I thought I would share a few photo tips using a couple recent pictures. These aren’t so much tips, I suppose, as just more information on how I got the shots with my iPhone. If you are interested in a SnapShop course, it will give you a glimpse into what the courses are like.

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I asked my middle son to take the photo above of Chris and I. I began by taking a photo of Chris and walking my son through the process – how I wanted the shot composed and where to tap the screen to get the best exposure so Chris wasn’t too dark. After I walked him through it, I stepped into the shot and asked him to mimic what I showed him. I owe my son a huge thanks…this is one of my favorite pictures of us!

8.14co2-02I was climbing some rocks and the beautiful light coming through the trees caught my eye. My boys were playing chase among the trees and rocks with their cousins. I knew one of them would soon run past where the light was shining down. I positioned myself where I wanted and got the light at just the right angle….then I waited. It was just a few seconds before my son ran by and I snapped the photo just as the light outlined his running body.

8.14co2-03I was actually taking a photo of my oldest and youngest walking together. When my son realized what I was doing, he said he had a better idea for a photo. He suggested I use my timer (I use the one in the Camera+ app) and get a shot of us swinging her. I propped the phone against a fence post on the ground and set the timer. We swung her as the phone camera took the shot. Sidenote: I’m learning my kids’ willingness to be in front of my camera is often reflected in my affirmation of their suggestions and my own willingness to be in front of the camera.

I’m sitting here trying to figure out a way to wrap up this post and it just isn’t coming. So…”yay, for iPhones and kids”…that will have to do!

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  • Natalie - Such great tips! thank you!

  • Sarah - I’m so excited to start your course on Sunday!

  • Carrie - Yay for iPhones and kids!!! :) Awesome.

  • Jess Z. - Hi Ashley…do you think you’ll have another DSLR course before February? I’m due with my 3rd baby then, so wondering if I should try to sign up for the October course, or if I can wait for the next one…thanks!!!

  • Urska - I love taking pictures with the timer. It is the only way I can get myself in pictures with the family. Recently a friend introduced me to CamMe app. It is a timer but you activate it with hand motion. You can stand wherever you wish and then activate from far. You should try it out and your children will have a blast with it.

  • Donna Thompson - HI- just wanted to share with you today- I volunteer at the Naples Zoo twice a week and today a family came in with 5 children. The youngest reminded me of yours- I asked the mom if she was adopted (taking a chance) and she was from China. Had the same surgery, etc. Also her other children were also adopted. I mentioned your blog. I thought it was so fun to talk with her and wish she could have stayed longer. It’s a small world sometimes :)

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - That is an AWESOME shot of you and Chris! Thank you for sharing it with us!

  • Molly Quigley - That ending is just fine by me. :)

  • O'Neill - So excited for the dslr class! I took your phone class and absolutely loved it, it really inspired me, thank you for doing them Ashley. :)

  • Cassidy - It’s beyond adorable that your kids get involved in the pictures beyond simply smiling. That last picture is just precious. (:

  • amanda - love these beautiful captures.

  • Nicole C - I’m almost embarrassed to even ask, but have you tried the Joby GorillaPod for your phone? I use it all the time with my iPhone!