The Clark Family, Atlanta Family Photographer

Of meatballs, marshmallows, and a magic house

Several kids play on and around a playset while two dads push kids on swing

Magic. That's what happens when two brothers, two incredible women, and a group of cousins get together every year. It's always magic.

This is the third time I have been able to photograph these families together, and each time gets exponentially more fun as the cousins get older and a little more...magical. The energy and excitement the kids feel when they are together extends to the adults, and well, I'm not sure if it's the kids or the grown ups who are having the better time.

Earlier in the day, the brothers put together a brand new swing set, and the kids had a blast breaking it in before roasting (well, burning) some marshmallows. There were all sorts of shenanigans that made the day fun, drinks out of cups with the family crest, plenty of games of chase, flying toy cars, and some good old fashioned wrestling.  

The parents decided to have their own fun with a blind meatball contest this year. Tanya's meatball recipe was up against the family recipe. When it was time to eat, the meatballs were judged on categories such as tenderness and taste. I'm not at all surprised that Tanya's recipe won.

I hope we continue to make a tradition out of this. The times I spent with my cousins growing up are some of my favorite memories of my childhood, and I so wish I had more pictures of the times we were together. Plus, it's crazy to see year after year how much these kids have all changed. Not long ago, they looked like this and this. It's pretty hard to believe. 

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two pots of meatballs cooking on a stove
A toddler looks at the camera while laying her head on her dad's shoulder
A boy crawls on the floor after a car while a girl looks down it at her feet
A girl stands on a couch with one arm on her hip and one arm in the air and a smile on her face
A mother ties the end of a crown braid she has made on her daughter's hair
Man pours liquor into two cups
Two brothers grab arms, one grimaces, the other one laughs
A girl jumps on a couch with a smile on her face
A father wipes his daughter's face while a mother holds her son's face in his hands
A boy chases another child through a hallway
A man points to an owie while a boy holds his hand and looks up at him
Cousins play together on a new swingset
a toddler sits on a swing with her tongue out
A mother and father look at their daughter as she swings in front of them
A boy blows on a burnt marshmallow with others around
a boy bites a roasted marshmallow off of a stick
A girl screams while holding a marshmallow and a boy stands behind her looking mischievious
A mother smiles at a boy who is eating a marshmallow while a father looks questioningly at his daughter who has the whole marshmallow in her mouth
A boy laughs while being held by his mother as his father, brother, and sister look on
A girl cries while her mom pushes her on a swing
A boy has his mouth open while getting ready to go down a slide
Little girl opens mouth wide to eat spaghetti
A boy opens his mouth wide to fit a large meatball in it
Boy eats spaghetti and has noodles sticking out of his pursed lips
two women hold a plate with a meatball on it together and one woman points to it with excited look
A score card sits next to a plate of meatballs on a kitchen counter
A woman raises the roof in her kitchen after winning a meatball contest