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my family

Have you seen the June issue of Martha Stewart Living yet? I'm so excited to share that my family is in this issue, featuring one of our (now famous!) Hellewell family reunions. You can meet my cute mom and dad, my siblings and their spouses, my nieces and nephews, my kids, and even my sweet grandma.

I have great memories of attending family reunions with my dad's extended family when I was a kid, up at the Baxter cabin with all my cousins and aunts and uncles. Now we get together with my parents, and my kids get to run around with their cousins and enjoy the same traditions: the Hellewell Family Olympics, the grandparents walk, dinners outside, games of croquet on the lawn, and late night story telling.

(How cute is my mom? Can you tell her grandchildren LOVE her?)

We shot the story last September, when baby M was just 8 weeks old (so some of this shoot is a bit of a blur to me!). My friend Marcie McGoldrick, who is now the Crafts Editor at Martha Stewart, came out to Utah to help produce the story, along with fellow crafter Shane Powers. Marcie, Shane and I all worked on Martha Stewart Living together years ago, so it was a fun reunion in more ways than one.

Photographer Francesco Lagnese took some beautiful pictures, and even got to try his first root beer float during the shoot. You can see more pictures on his website, just look under the Kids tab, and then go to "Family, Friends + Apples" for a slideshow which includes several photos that didn't make the final story.

You can read more about all our traditions on Martha's site (like these shirts for the kids that show their birth order) in this little guide about planning a family reunion. You can even download the t-shirt and award certificate designs. And my dad is pretty excited that they included his recipe for homemade applesauce.

We are in the midst of planning our next reunion, which will take place this summer in Southern California. Looking back at this story reminds me that it's the simple traditions that make reunions special, not the grand gestures. We're planning on days at the beach, late night card games, outdoor movie night, and cooking s'mores on the bonfire. I can't wait to see all my family together, even if it's just for a few days!

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Reader Comments (35)

I only have a very small family. And we are not so close unfortunantelly.

I sure hope I will change that once I have kids.
I love those photos. So beautiful. I really like the shirts with the birth order.....

Love, love love all about it!


06.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterYvonne

Oh what lovely photos to remember such a lovely occasion. I love all those little touches like the t-shirts, the kid's PJ pants. Awesome. (and yes, your mum looks very much the adorable and adored grandmother!)

06.3.2011 | Unregistered Commenterkim

loved this story! glad you're blogging about it :)

06.3.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjane

How exciting!! And how wonderful that your family has such lovely get-togethers and so much family spirit. :-) Can't wait to check out the article and read more about it. (And those shirts are SO cute!)

06.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmmy

Oh wow, I love all your ideas here! Your family is an inspiration. Mine is getting together in a couple weeks... we aren't that big, but now I want to try starting some traditions for our get-togethers. Thank you for the ideas!

06.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

SO ADORABLE!!! This is so inspiring. I LOVE the last picture on Francesco's website of your dad (I'm assuming) reading to the kids... so precious!

06.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie

This is so great!!!!!! Congratulations =)

- Sarah

Beautiful images and ideas, I love this, think I'm going to pick up the June issue now!

06.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin

I saw this and immediately said to my hubby, "I read that blog!" I was so excited for you. What a beautiful family and tradition.

I was excited to see the article. I loved your games and crafts.

06.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterChrissy

How amazingly wonderful! Such a beautiful tribute.

06.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLori Anderson

My copy arrived today...I can't wait to open it and view the full story. Your family sounds adorable Brooke...like the family in Dan in Real Life. You are one lucky duck!

06.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Brooke, what a treat to finally see the whole fam. Really, what a treat!

What a lovely tribue to your family! Congrats!


06.6.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Hi Brooke! I saw this story in Martha and was so happy and excited for you! How fun to share your family traditions in such a big way!

06.6.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

Congratulations! Your family is gorgeous:)

06.6.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMiss B.

This is so inspiring. Such a beautiful tribute.

06.7.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

I loved this article! I just showed it to my mom last night as we are in the process of planning our next family reunion. Your family is darling!

06.7.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLynne

wow! how utterly exciting!! your family looks just lovely!!

06.8.2011 | Unregistered CommenterG.

I was loving this article, even more-so that it takes place in Midway! I live in Salt Lake and go to Midway often-it is sooo pretty!

What a gorgeous family you have.

06.8.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

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