Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Christmas Traditions

Cutting down a live tree has been our family tradition for the last 15 years.  The weather rarely cooperates and the hunt to find a tree we love never seems worth it, but there's that memories making thing, and at this point, I get it and choose to play along.  This year, we had a new puppy and it felt like she needed to be a part of the fun.  So, we bundled up and headed out to Eckert's.

About 10 minutes in, our girl was running like crazy and our pup was shivering in equal crazy mode.  We soon realized that bringing a small dog out in the cold is exactly why people buy little dogs coats.

So, my son took on the role of dog watcher while my daughter ran the fields in search of the perfect tree.  After only a few selections, our family tree was chosen and OUR GIRL wanted to be a part of cutting down the tree.

And THEN, she wanted to help CARRY IT.  SO ... she did.  All the way to the end (with maybe a break or 2).

We got back into the shuttle and made our way back to the hot cocoa & restrooms.  When we first came in, my husband and I noticed that although it wasn't that late (2:45) Santa was in the parking lot walking towards the cars.  Sure enough, when we returned after our tree, Santa's spot was empty.  Most people were choosing to use the empty space to their advantage, so I decided to get a few shots of Nani and the kids.

Then off we went to load up the tree and go caroling home in my Jeep lit with Christmas lights.

Once home, we began stringing lights and garland. We took a break for dinner and pj's, then started back up with ornaments. How these kids of mine are growing so fast is beyond me, but what they say is true.  Don't blink.

We polished off the night by getting our tree slice from last year decorated to add on and topped her with a star, by my boy who is evidently able to do that task on his own.  It's definitely started feeling like Christmas around our house, which is good because there's less than ten days until the guy in the big red suit arrives.  Merry Christmas friends!!

Until next time,

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Fall Portraits ...

Portraits.  Ugh.  I have such a love hate relationship with them.  But every picture has a story, right?  And this set certainly has THAT.  I try to take boring portraits of my kids for family purposes every year.  Last year I failed, so I took them in the spring.  I like the fall though, so about a month ago, I wanted to catch the colors before they were gone.  I wanted my kids to look like they own nice clothes and their hair has seen a comb more than once a week.  But, my kids?  Meh.  My son, a typical teenager, doesn't own jeans or khakis, and wears athletic pants and a hat almost daily.  My girl, she will wear a fancy dress on a random Tuesday, and then sweats and a stained shirt the next day.  And since portraits are really meaningless to me, I get super grumpy and just want everything to be easy and done.  It just doesn't go like that though.  Instead, we had a fight in the middle of Walmart over pants my son would never wear, and I threw my own kind of fit right before we walked out and traveled home in silence, instead of going to the park for pictures.  Blech.  After a silent hour lunch, I came back to earth and got some clarity on what exactly we were struggling with.  I decided my kids should wear something they were comfortable in without holes or stains and grabbed my camera.  If they turned out terrible, we could try again.  And they were fine.  I mean, I could sit and point out everything about them that isn't perfect, but really, why?  The things that stand out as imperfections are a kind of cool piece of who my people are.

We walked around to a couple of different places and did a few different posed shots, and I just let them be done.  That's when everything got better.

There's a lovely, enormous downed tree at our local Rec Plex and my kids started counting the rings.  Then they wanted to climb and jump, which I felt they certainly deserved after all the junk I had just put them through, so I told them to go for it, and I just shot.

When I look at the first part of this set, all I can think about is how we fought and argued before we even started and that it was just miserable.  That I was not the Mom I want to be and in turn, my kids were not the kids they normally are.

When I see the second set, I catch my breath and I think, OH, my kids!  They are so grown and sweet and loving life.  I remember this sweet time in the park that felt so carefree and calm and like time had slowed down, if only for this brief few minutes.  Plus, that light behind my girl gave me allll the feels.

This is where my heart is.  Those portraits just made things bitter and robbed us of some of this goodness.  And I don't know about you, but I sure could use more goodness in my life.

Until Next Time,