It all started with volleyball.  A last minute call for who could come and play.  And then when Facebook reminded us that it was our good friend Danny’s birthday, it turned into a mini celebration of him and his fourteen years as well.

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Christian has basically grown up with Danny.  They shared many classes together in elementary school and in the more recent years have connected more through sports and youth group as well.  Of course he picked out the “Get ‘Whale’ Soon” balloon for Danny, because he’s funny and why be sensible with a mere Happy Birthday one?

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I made a card with pictures that I had dating seven years back to First Grade.  I often joke that besides their parents, I probably have more pictures of our youth group kids than anyone, and especially of the ones that come around the most.  It’s the photographer in me as well as the desire to continually want to capture these moments because we all know how fleeting they are.

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I made them take a few more pictures.

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Thankfully, they haven’t refused to be in them quite yet.  There may come a day, and that will be okay too.

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And then we played volleyball.  I can’t stress the importance of physical activity throughout these tumultuous teenage years.  Everyone’s a bit happier when they are being active, at least in my mind.

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And one of the best parts of the night was seeing hundreds of fireflies all around as we played.  They lit up the grass, flashing their pretty patterned lights as though they were in on the celebrating birthdays and capturing moments as well.

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When it finally got too dark to play, we came back for cake and a few rounds of Mafia.  It’s crazy to think that I’ve been playing that game with teens for over twenty years (from the time I was a teen and all throughout my years of working with teens).  Sigh.  Things like that make me feel old.  That being said, this group made it still quite fun.

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There are so many of these moments that I want to remember as the days keep flying by. It’s why I write and why I capture pictures and sometimes I think that maybe in sharing it might even touch just one heart to consider the beauty of stopping and taking in the pure and simple joy that these amazing and wonderful moments will bring.

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Written by lauraherr8

I love Jesus, my Youth Pastor Husband and our two beautiful children. I'm a professional photographer and I love people, especially kids. My best days include time with my family, Hot Yoga and a Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream cone.

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