Friday, December 19, 2014

Tis the PLAN!

This year was our FIRST family Christmas picture ever.

No it wasn't.

It wasn't.

I just ACTED like it was.

Here is the situation.  There are many things that happen every single year.  I should rephrase that.  There are many things the I make happen every single year. :) For example:

  • I make birthday cakes for family members
  • I have to carve the pumpkin
  • I have to have swimsuits ready for summer
  • I plan an annual Memorial Day party
  • I have to plan Thanksgiving dinner
  • We take a family Christmas picture every year at Christmas time
  • We take a family picture at Christmas time
  • We take a picture of our family at Christmas
(I put that last one in there three times hoping it would sink into my brain)

The thing is, thoughts happen in my brain, but then there is not a lot of action in real life at the appropriate times.  For example, I KNOW the Christmas picture is coming up.  However, I don't ACT on it and plan it out.  

If we had  Elf on the Shelf, we would have had to turn his back so he couldn't see us.  It wasn't pretty. 

This year's picture had the most people in it.  So happy to say that our family grew on April 8th and we met Guadalupe Pilar.  She is a part of our family and we are so blessed to know her and to help her on her journey to a bright and promising future.

Her future didn't seem bright and promising, however, the night she joined us for the family picture.  My other family members have witnessed me become neurotic, insecure and stressed during our Christmas picture photo shoot.  I am hesitant to admit that they may have even seen me twitch a few times at sheer over-stimulation that I bring upon myself.

So Pilar appeared to be less than pleased, but she was a good sport! Since I had not planned any details, except for date and time, the whole affair looked more like an episode from The Simpsons and LESS like an episode from The Waltons.

I had the whole family following me around while I was waving my arms in the air for some odd reason.  I was looking for a location.  I think my arms flapping around helped me to picture the best scene for the photo.  Everyone else, I am quite certain, thought it was a bit neurotic. 

There wasn't a good location.  It was the absolute wrong time of day.  It was 3:30 pm.  The back of the house had too much sun and the front of the house didn't have enough sun.  The middle of the house just basically had...I don't know, I can't think of anything.  We went to my neighbor's and tried their sunroom and got one shot of Emmett, Carmen, and John.  Pilar was barely able to walk in her 9 inch heels and I had her trapsing around the whole neighborhood, practically.  Poor girl.  She was probably thinking..."This is my foster family?? What are they fostering, craziness??"

She and George made quite a pair in the back row.  Suffice it to say, they both don't exactly enjoy smiling for pictures.  It was like they formed a little club and decided to be best friends for the photo shoot and make the same exact faces to show their solidarity.  For some reason, knowing they are behing me making "blah" faces, that does something to my face and makes me feel like smiling like this to make up for their negativity...

Soooo...when all was said and done, we did get a couple of good shots.  Thank you to my niece, Millie, who was so patient with me and took all our pictures for us.  At one point she remarked how scared she was at the whole experience.  I believe it.  I was actually having a part out of body of experience and watching the whole affair from a cloud of fairy dust that was floating above the room.  I was a bit scared, myself.  

Speaking of scared, there was also a harrowing moment for John while George and I were trying to get a nice, romantic picture in front of the Christmas tree at the Natural Bridge Hotel.  To clarify, I was trying to get a nice, romantic picture while my husband obliged.  We finished and I started walking away from the tree.  I completely tripped over John and kicked him in the head which caused a chain reaction and I fell into Millie.  

I had absolutely no idea he was sitting there so quietly playing with a little puzzle.  What a scene that was in the lobby.  I just remember making eye contact with the woman who was working at the front desk.  Her face was priceless.  She must have thought I was three sheets to the wind or something.  It wouldn't be the first time (that someone THOUGHT that, not that I actually WAS). I know what you were thinking.  Bloggers can read minds.  

Without further ado (since I can read your mind, I know you want to see a few pictures from this photo shoot that I so aptly described), I shall present a couple of our shots from that fateful night not even one week ago...

George closing the blinds because the light was bad.  Maybe there is a heavenly vision shining down on us from the window that we missed somehow.  I am adjusting John's head because every time I told him to look up, he looked at the ceiling. 

I would have used this picture for the official family photo if you could see Carmen.  The thought of George photo bombing a picture makes me so happy in a wierd way.

John is being good at following directions and looking at the camera.  I should have a conference with his preschool teacher to brag about him.  

I don't really have a caption for this one. 

And here is John actually looking at the ceiling when I told him to look up.  Please take note of George's and Pilar's faces.  They are in the club.  It looks like they are actualy blood related.  

I ;love the idea of John standing next to me, but I hate the idea of my messed up pigeon feet.  I need to learn etiquette.  
And this is the one we are using for the Christmas card.  It was a no brainer.  We all agreed.

Well, in case you haven't guessed by now, this is actually just a sneak peak of our family picture and Christmas greeting. Thanks for stopping by!  

By the way, if you are anything like me and get a little neurotic while making happy family memories, let me know.  If there is enough of us who come forward, I bet we could get it named as an official disorder.  That way we can get help and insurance may pay for it.

Until our family Christmas greeting to you next week, hope the rest of your Advent is productive and fruitful!  May you not stress over all there is to be done before Santa arrives and may your children know the love, comfort and security of a happy home on Christmas.

Oh, and lastly, may I actually PLAN my family's picture in the future.  Last I checked, Christmas will be on December 25th next year, too.

Post update:
Shutterfly is AMAZING! Because I was so late with my cards, shipping info told me I wouldn't get them until after Christmas and they just came in the mail today (the 20th)! Shutterfly does NOT disappoint!  


  1. Thank you for sharing. It is so nice to see someone admitting their family is not perfect! For one of our first family photos, I was trying to be artsy and put a case on the hearth where we were sitting. Of course the vase fell over and Mary Alice was looking down at it and the dog had been scared by the glass breaking!

    1. Haha Karen! I can just imagine the scene for your picture. I'm glad you can relate, but I am NOT glad that your vase broke!