Most couples, if they do a newborn photo shoot, schedule it pretty soon after the baby is born. Rebecca Jensvold Hayes and David Ward waited 21 years.

The pair got pregnant when they were young — just two wide-eyed high-school sweethearts. By the time their son, Clay, was born, they had broken up.

Both found their way into love with different partners. Life moved on. And things were good.


But those early days of being a family together had sailed away, including the chance to ever capture on film their earliest moments together with their son.

"There was no burning desire to have had [newborn photos]," Hayes says. "Just a little mild sadness that I never did."

When the couple reunited years later, their son a grown man, they saw a unique (and hilarious) opportunity to recapture the past.

[rebelmouse-image 19530254 dam="1" original_size="1200x801" caption="All photos by Duffi/Chaotic Perfection Photography, used with permission." expand=1]All photos by Duffi/Chaotic Perfection Photography, used with permission.

Hayes and Ward both saw their partners tragically pass away far too soon, and though they had stayed in touch as co-parents over the years, life's strange design brought the couple back together again as adults.

Naturally, the first step was to organize the newborn photo shoot with Clayton that they never had.

Hayes says the family was all in as soon as she had the idea. It hardly took any convincing at all, even for 21-year-old Clayton, who could potentially be a little embarrassed by the whole thing.

"I think the ridiculous idea of it made us laugh so hard that we couldn't help but try to make it work," Hayes says.

Hayes downplays the emotional significance of the shoot, but the family's story has touched thousands of people all the same.

"A lot of people understand that we have had some really rough and difficult times, and us coming back together really touches people," she says. "This is just a dorky way to celebrate that."

It just goes to prove that there's no right way — or right time — to make a family. The only necessary ingredient is people who love each other deeply.

A little sense of humor doesn't hurt either. Like Hayes says, "There's so much ugliness in the world, especially now, why not have some fun?!"

This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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Images from Instagram and Wikipedia

It’s true that much of our wildlife is in danger. Like, an alarmingly large amount. In 2021 alone, 22 species were declared extinct in the United States.

And globally, Earth is facing what scientists refer to as its “sixth mass extinction,” primarily thanks to human activity. You know, deforestation, climate change, overconsumption, overpopulation, industrial farming, poaching … the usual suspects.

It sounds like dystopian science fiction, but sadly, it’s the reality we are currently living in.

But today, there is a silver lining. Because the World Wildlife Fund recently reported 224 completely new species.

From a snake who channels David Bowie to a monkey with ivory spectacles, there are a lot of newly discovered creatures here to offer a bit of hope to otherwise bleak statistics.

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"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) and actor Peter Dinklage.

On Tuesday, Upworthy reported that actor Peter Dinklage was unhappy with Disney’s decision to move forward with a live-action version of “Snow White and the Seven Drawfs” starring Rachel Zegler.

Dinklage praised Disney’s inclusive casting of the “West Side Story” actress, whose mother is of Colombian descent, but pointed out that, at the same time, the company was making a film that promotes damaging stereotypes about people with dwarfism.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on, I've gotta say, from being somebody who's a little bit unique," Dinklage told Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast.

"Well, you know, it's really progressive to cast a—literally no offense to anybody, but I was a little taken aback by, they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White," Dinklage said, "but you're still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you're doing there.”

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