many of us are lucky to have those "family friends" who, in reality, are more family than friends - honorary sisters, brothers, "second" moms or dads. they are a part of every childhood memory, every "story" of that scar you have from " when i was little...", every embarrassing photo from that time your mom thought it a good idea to give you blunt bangs with colored rubber bands on your braces (or maybe that was just me?)... 

then we grow up. some of us move away. the everyday gets in the way of keeping in touch. life happens and i'm always told "its natural" but it doesn't make me any less sad to think about it.

that is what the defuria + andrews families are to me. i realize as an adult how really lucky i was to have not one, but two families that blended with my own. and this year the holidays felt even more magical because, for the first time in probably a decade or more, nearly all of us were together. 

it doesn't get any better than that, right? except i was able to capture my niece, poppy, celebrating christmas for the first time. honestly, thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes. these are the moments we live for! family, friends, amazing food, reminiscing and creating all new experiences and memories that we will never forget.

i remember looking through the photos on my camera later in the night and thinking about how much has changed. i mean, us kids are starting to have kids. we have dogs and significant others, we have homes and killer apartments. our moms look as radiant and lovely as they did when we were young but, in so many ways we look at them with even more love than we did when kids. there has been divorce and marriage and yet it still feels like home whenever we are together. 

and on top of that, a tradition continued - santa came - and even better, it was my own husband who played the part :) 

the love, the energy was so palpable that night. i hope everyone had the most amazing holiday. xoxo.

jennie bregande