I have a large extended family. My mother is one of 4 children, and there are 11 cousins in my generation. My cousins, my sisters, and I have started the next generation. So far, there are 12 in the group of second cousins. Add in the significant others we’ve all picked up along the way, and that’s a lot of people when we get together as a family.

Not only are there a lot of us, but we tend to be loud and energetic too. It’s a wild party. When my family traveled back to the Chicagoland area for a visit this summer, the entire Unger family met up at my aunt and uncle’s house for a reunion of sorts. And since it turned out to be a lovely summer day, we put out the hose, the baby pool, and the sprinkler. Add in some water guns and water balloons, and there was loads of water fun.

This all happened back in July. And as I look through these photos now, I love that I can see my sister Cathy’s cheekiness with the water guns she brought along, especially as she encouraged all the kids to spray the adults. She is the fun aunt known to all of her nieces and nephews as Auntie Bubbles; can you tell?

My Uncle Mark has been a huge baseball fan (St.  Louis Cardinals, but nobody’s perfect) for as long as I can remember. So the picture of him pitching to his grandson Seth while his son Andrew helps means more than just a three generation photo.

That gorgeous woman in the yellow shirt? That’s my Aunt Jen, my mom’s youngest sister. I have photos of her and I from when I was little having just as much fun as she’s having spraying my Auntie K above. Yes, she’s an adoring and loving grandmother now, but she’s still just as playful and funny as she’s ever been.

This is what I want my children to remember about summer and visits with family. Lots of fun, lots of laughter, and lots of really great people. This is the gift that photography keeps giving. My next step is to get the album of our trip printed so my children can enjoy these memories whenever they are missing these special people.

Who are the special people in your life? You know, those people that you see a picture of and just smile? I am now taking bookings for October and November, so please get in touch so we can get photos of your special people in your hands before the holidays!

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