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The Richardsons: A Year in Paris {Paris, France}

As I considered how to best approach this blog, admittedly I was overwhelmed. How could I describe our trip to Paris in a succinct manner when my thoughts about our time there are so broad & the memories, vivid? The more I thought about it, I realized it may be best to get the perspective from our friends, The Richardsons, who we traveled to Paris to photographed. Thankfully, Lindsay, wrote a post called “Big Ben Strikes in Paris” on her blog, Au Revoir Ya’ll. I love her ability to write & tell story so I thought I’d pull some of the content from her post. Here’s how it all went down, as described from:

“A few weeks ago Parker shared a big surprise with me that for our 10th anniversary, Ben and Joy Finch would be coming to stay with us the last week of January, my birthday also happens to fall in that weekend! Part of this trip would also be dedicated to taking family pictures in and around Paris because Ben is the genius behind Finch Photography … a studio in Athens, Tennessee that he started over 4 years ago…

We met the Finchs in Olive Branch in 2004 at Hope Baptist Church where Ben was the Minister of Music. Parker absolutely loved this church the first time we went and much of the reason was due to Ben and the musical environment he created in the place. In 2006 we were sad to learn Ben and Joy would be moving away from Olive Branch and to Athens to be near Ben’s family. Important to our adoption of Daniel, Ben wrote a letter to the social worker describing Parker and I and the home we would be trying to establish for Daniel. You know our story, having gone on to tally up 3 kiddos, but the Finchs have been busy lately too, and now have 3 of their own ages 4, 3, and 18 months. Neither the Finchs nor the Richardsons had children when we met so for us to reconnect at this point would be great just to have time to swap war stories!

I have always loved the thought of having family pictures and really enjoy seeing everyone’s seeming effortless perfectly coordinated family shots. But the thought of getting my family of 5 captured in a photo was daunting to say the least. I would rather potty train 12 babies at the same time than to pick out clothes for a picture… and hair… make up… shoes… poses… smiles. Parker tells me this is part of the reason he kept it a surprise and secret for a while. That man knows me.

After talking to Joy on the phone and telling her not only did I hope her husband was patient and a miracle worker, that SHE had the task of coordinating and picking out outfits upon arrival. With their help and 3 hours later we were out the door for our first day of photo shoots in dreary Paris. The snow had mostly cleared and we were headed out into the breezy 40 degree weather.”

When we arrived, I quickly realized that I had been given a nickname, “Big Ben.” We hung out around the loft for a bit before heading out for our first photo shoot. Here are some shots from around the house.

RichardsonsBlog-2_WEBAlly = cute.
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RichardsonsBlog-4_WEBDaniel… Big Ben misses you buddy!
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RichardsonsBlog-8_WEB RichardsonsBlog-9_WEBThe view from the Richardsons’ apartment (L). An old Metro assistance terminal (R) . RichardsonsBlog-6_WEBWe started at the Champ de Mars with the Eiffel Tower as the backdrop of the photos. Unfortunately the tower decided not to show it’s top as the clouds were pretty heavy before noon. Here are some shots from day 1 of the family photos. From left to right, The Richardsons: Parker, Ally, Daniel, Kennedy & Lindsay.

RichardsonsBlog-11_WEB RichardsonsBlog-12_WEBI love this family! -Big Ben
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RichardsonsBlog-14_WEB RichardsonsBlog-15_WEB RichardsonsBlog-16_WEB RichardsonsBlog-17_WEB RichardsonsBlog-21_WEB RichardsonsBlog-23_WEBOver the past few years, Parker has taken up photography & did a great job of capturing some photos of Joy & I throughout the trip. I’m indebted to you my friend!

RichardsonsBlog-24_WEBAlthough it was cold, we stomped all over the streets of Paris. It was a blast!
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RichardsonsBlog-26_WEB RichardsonsBlog-27_WEB RichardsonsBlog-29_WEB RichardsonsBlog-30_WEB RichardsonsBlog-34_WEB RichardsonsBlog-36_WEBJanuary was Parker & Lindsay’s 10-year anniversary as well as Lindsay’s birthday. I’m so grateful we were there to capture this season of life. Parker was so kind to ask us to travel over & he put on a clinic in hospitality… thank you my friend!
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RichardsonsBlog-38_WEB RichardsonsBlog-40_WEB RichardsonsBlog-42_WEB RichardsonsBlog-43_WEBI was eager to get some night shots so Parker & I headed out after Lindsay & Joy put the kids to bed. We photographed both sides of the Eiffel Tower as well as the Arc D’ Triomphe. 
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RichardsonsBlog-47_WEB RichardsonsBlog-49_WEB RichardsonsBlog-51_WEB RichardsonsBlog-52_WEB RichardsonsBlog-53_WEB RichardsonsBlog-54_WEB RichardsonsBlog-56_WEBFrom Lindsay’s blog: “Sunday was my birthday so Parker surprised me with my favorite pastry cake, a Frasier gateau, made of strawberries and some sort of cream. He also got me a ceramic knife, just like the one from cooking school that I had raved about. Is he secretly hoping that I will start cooking one day?!”
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The Eiffel Tower from Trocadero.
RichardsonsBlog-65_WEB RichardsonsBlog-67_WEBOh yeah!!!
RichardsonsBlog-68_WEB RichardsonsBlog-69_WEB RichardsonsBlog-72_WEB RichardsonsBlog-75_WEBAlly, my dear, you are so cute.
RichardsonsBlog-76_WEBThe best sunlight of our trip… thankful for this pic of the Richardson crew!
RichardsonsBlog-78_WEB RichardsonsBlog-80_WEB RichardsonsBlog-81_WEB RichardsonsBlog-82_WEB RichardsonsBlog-83_WEB RichardsonsBlog-85_WEB RichardsonsBlog-86_WEB RichardsonsBlog-88_WEBLife in Paris means many rides on the metro & buses, as well as loads of walking. I was blown away at how well the Richardson kids did. They were troopers & I don’t recall ever hearing them complain as we marched all over the city.
RichardsonsBlog-89_WEB RichardsonsBlog-90_WEBLindsay had us in stitches the whole trip. My favorite memories include Lindsay’s pronounced southern accent trying to speak French. I can hear her now, “Paaaaaardone Meee!”
RichardsonsBlog-91_WEB RichardsonsBlog-94_WEB RichardsonsBlog-95_WEBTaking photos atop the Eiffel Tower.
RichardsonsBlog-97_WEB RichardsonsBlog-98_WEBJoy has never been a huge fan of me taking her photo. However, I talked her into this one & she said she loves it! I do as well… my beautiful wife!
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Happy 10 years Parker & Lindsay!
RichardsonsBlog-99_WEBKennedy… you are so fun!
RichardsonsBlog-102_WEB RichardsonsBlog-103_WEBOn our last morning in Paris, we hung out around the house. After 6 days of running all over the city, the break was welcomed.
RichardsonsBlog-106_WEB RichardsonsBlog-107_WEB RichardsonsBlog-110_WEB RichardsonsBlog-113_WEBRichardson family, we are so grateful to share life with you for a few days in Paris. It was amazing! We have loads of goodies coming your way… can’t wait to see you again! Thank you for the opportunity. And as in the words of Lindsay, “Au Revoir Ya’ll!!!”

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  1. Kate / Ben, these are beautiful!!! Come take some photos in New York sometime!3.07.13 / 2:16 pm
  2. Kay Simmons / I'm sitting at my desk smiling after scrolling through all these photos. Such happiness going on in each of them! Beautiful family, precious children...especially love the sweet relationship between father and son caught in them. The Richardsons and you guys make Paris look like the most fabulous place to be this side of heaven! Thanks for this glimpse of God's grace!3.07.13 / 2:20 pm
  3. Courtney Stokes / These pictures are stunning!! And your wife is beautiful-- Paris looked good on y'all!!3.07.13 / 4:10 pm
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