i am not sure how or where that phrase came from, but there must have been a family a long time ago that had it all goin’ on with the last name of jones, and someone wanted her family to be just like that family, and so she started saying that she had to keep up with the joneses so she could be as cool as they were. this family would never make you feel like you needed to keep up with them, but they for sure all have it goin’ on: 

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i met the jones years ago, sitting in church, actually. danielle was holding the smallest baby i think i had ever seen. i knew i wanted to hear the story, so being me, i asked if i could hold that littlest thing and in the meantime asked danielle about her baby. meredith was born prematurely, like super ultra tiny prematurely. considering the thought of holding her when she was that new and that early, and that fragile, and that miraculous is making me a touch emotional. seeing that baby now all grown up, healthy, and dancing is making me even more emotional:

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meredith is a tender heart; it’s obvious. she is still, quiet, and a gift to her family and this world. 

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i remember distinctly how danielle held her small frame so close to her heart; as her mother she knew early on she was going to be something special. and she is.

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they aren’t twins, but are asked if they are all the time …trevor is a step up from me-me:

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he is all boy! i think he adds such a distinctive, spunky dynamic to the family:

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he might not believe me now, but he will be so happy to have come from a home of sisters some day; his wife will be so happy too. 

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madeleine and her sister mackenzie don’t like the fact that they share a room; i think that is one of the luckiest things in the world. they have someone to cry with, laugh with, and share their secrets with. they are close in age, and i think that is a blessing: having a sister who is also a friend. not to mention they will be able to share their fabulous wardrobes with each other. they love their imac, itunes (even though they differ in opinion of music), and each other, that was obvious. they made me want to move in with my sister, and share a room with her. i wonder what our husbands would think of that.

Madeleine is third from the bottom. I think she is enchanting:

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and that pretty light fades in jealousy when compared to miss madeleine’s beauty:

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i asked mackenzie and madeleine to ride with me in my car while we journeyed from location to location. they were such great conversationalists, were super fun, and made me feel like my future is in a good place. i also had wardrobe envy…big time…

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and hair and eye color envy… (ps didn’t touch those eyes in photoshop…gorgeous right?)

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and shoe envy…you can’t see them, but i wanted them for sure! they were orange…so cool. mackenzie is the quintessential first born.

she is basically, well, perfect, and so unbelievably gorgeous.

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together they really do make the children everyone hopes to have one day: respectful, kind, happy, obedient, and good to look at. if keeping up with the joneses assures me that type of child, i’ll keep up, no problem.

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one from the blooper reel; he just wanted to watch the kissin’ that he was magnetized to and grossed-out by all at the same time. typical. funny. i loved it.

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what about mr. and mrs. jones? 

danielle is an outstanding mom who devotes a lot of time to all her kids’ activities; she is present in their life and that is inspiring. she also is full of great stories like surviving plane crashes, and embracing different family dynamics. and she is a reader who is great to have around on book club night; i always enjoyed her thoughts and commentary on what we had read. she is also a tremendous party thrower…i guess she is a lot to keep up with. ;) 

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ryan is genuine and nice. he is always interested in our family and the comings and goings of our life. they welcomed us into their home on occasion and i always felt comfort and love.they really are two people who love each other and their kids the most in this life. once again, if that’s what we need to do to keep up, i’ll do it.

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i loved this image. it is a perfect reflection of who they are as a couple and parents:

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you can’t have gorgeous kids without a beautiful original team:

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it was a pleasure spending some time with this family. i loved catching up with them. if the phrase is true and we do really find ourselves keeping up with the joneses, then these joneses are good ones to keep up with.

ryan, danielle, mckenzie, madeleine, trevor, and meredith, thank you for the opportunity to spend some time together; i have missed your family. may the only people you really care to keep up with be the ones found in these photographs. :)

i think your family is as beautiful as the light we chased that afternoon. thanks again, kj

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