Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Card Shenanigans

The holiday card: 
A Christmas staple that I obsess over year after year, always in search
of the perfect photo that best represents our family, pouring my heart and soul
into addressing each envelope as I send them off to family and friends.  In the early
years, Shawn and I usually sent photos of ourselves from our travels and adventures,
waving to the camera from some random road trip.  The only stress involved was
convincing my camera shy husband to smile pretty.  And then came the babies, the
adorable angels who make the holiday cards in high demand as friends and family
anxiously await yearly updates of our sweet little daughters.  As our family grows, so does
the tension involved in the quest for the perfect shot: convincing everyone to stay put, look
at the camera, eyes open, smiles big.  This year was no exception...

On Sunday morning, I announced to my little tribe that today was the day, today we will
be shooting the photo for our family Christmas card.  I must admit, my timing could not
have been worse.  Sunday is football day in our house, a day where family and friends come
in and out, the day I have a big pot of something good and spicy bubbling on the stove.
This Sunday we were also decorating our Christmas tree, nursing winter colds, and
prepping for Shawn's work trip.  But I was bound and determined:
TODAY was the day!
And so, during half-time of the Steelers/Bengals game, I arranged my pretty little family
in front of the tree, set the camera up, and had my cousin click away.  It took all of 10
seconds for the entire photo shoot to spiral out of control: more friends arrived,
Isabelle complained about how itchy her top was, Brees started pulling on my blouse,
whining and ready to nurse, and my cousin could not for the life of her figure out how to
press the button on my camera correctly.  EVERY SINGLE photo was out of focus, involved
a crying child, a frowning adult, and/or had someone's head cut off.  Shawn looked at
me lovingly and said, "This is probably not going to happen today, babe.  Maybe we can
try again another day".
And so I went to work calming the girls down, playing hostess to our friends and enjoying
the second half of the game.  Brees ate a big meal and immediately got happy again,
Belle changed her clothes and her smile reappeared.  After all our guests were gone and
the game was over, I decided to rally my troops, we were not going to give up, we could
do this!!!  "OK team, here's the game plan! We're going to revise the play, just go with me
on this!  Everyone stay in your pajamas, Brees will wear her Santa suit.  Have a seat on
the staircase and smile pretty.  This card is going to happen!".
They know me well enough to know that when I start talking like a quarterback, they
had better just go with the flow.  And so on the staircase we posed, my camera timer set, all
of us much more relaxed in our typical Sunday gear.  No fancy outfits, no stuffy poses,
just us.
After 3 shots and a lot of giggling at mama as I ran up and down the stairs to set the timer,
we got our "perfect" shot.  Perfect only because it involves all of us smiling REAL smiles,
it depicts a moment where we all pulled together and made it happen.  This photo will
always make me think of a cold winter day surrounded by love, our house abuzz with
activity, our family in a game day huddle.

Now I'm off to Shutterfly to complete this year's card!   Thank you to my
little family for putting up with my annual Christmas card shenanigans.
I owe you one.

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Caitlin said...

Hehehe I think it'd be hilarious if you used that first picture! But the last one is pretty perfect :)

deanna@delirious-rhapsody said...

i love this!

you can see our first ever family card with gage right here....


Indi said...

What a beautiful family!!

arielle @ a beautiful journey. said...

the picture turned out lovely!!! you have such a beautiful family :)

Jodi said...

Love it!! :) such a cute picture..

Little Gray Pixel said...

I love it. Our Christmas photoshoot went down pretty much the same way. There was only one photo that was OK, and it's not the best photo I ever took, but that's what we went with. :-)

Little Gray Pixel said...

Not to imply that your final photo isn't the best. I think it's MUCH BETTER than ours. LOL. I love that everyone looks so happy!

amy@agoodlife said...

it's so cute! good for you for stickin with it :)

Emily Lum said...

That's a great picture! Everyone looks so happy. I love your blog- it's so positive and loving.

Emily Lum said...

That's a great picture! Everyone looks so happy. I love your blog- it's so positive and loving.

pumpkinspatchesnpics said...

Very nice picture! Merry Christmas and I am happy you stuck to your plan. It turned out beautifully!