On Friday my parents drove up to Phoenix to meet my sister and her one-year-old son. I followed with Skylar later in the day. We met up for a delightfully relaxed brunch at the home of our longtime family friends, who live in that area together with their three daughters' families. We've known them since I was Skylar's age. Their youngest was my sister's best friend until we moved to Maryland after they had finished first grade. And their middle daughter was the major crush of my latency period and even, when we would visit them briefly on trips up to Pennsylvania after moving, beyond. I just love the parents' manner. They create a welcoming environment that still bears the edge of ironic wit. At one point, the mother -- I still call her "Mrs. _______" -- volunteered to take a photo of my family. We have very few of those, so I'm extremely glad that she did:There's something to be said for this kind of composed portrait, as much as my own photographic inclinations incline towards candid shots. Of course, the atmosphere made posing feel like having fun, which explains why nobody looks that stiff. It's nice to have had a classic Thanksgiving for once.