This past weekend, we had family pictures taken. The true intent was to get my immediate family (Mom, Dad, sisters, grandkids) pictures taken, but we snuck in some family pics for our Christmas card, too. While I am always pleased with the end result, taking family pictures stresses me out more than anything on the planet. As my family can attest to, and I've confessed to previously, I turn into a maniacal, raging lunatic who screams at her children, sweats like a marathon runner in the heat of summer, and in general, am just a wretched person to be around for the duration of the photo shoot. It doesn't matter how much I "prepare myself" for the chaos that will ensue, I am unable to control the anxiety that comes over me every time. And to make matters worse, this time my mom was around to insert comments such as, "Stephanie, just take a deep breath. The girls and Burke can sense your anxiety. They'll calm down if you calm down."
You can only imagine how helpful statements like these are in the middle of my wrath.
That evening when I saw the
miracle of photoshop final results, I was more than pleased with how sweet my children appeared, and how un-sweaty I appeared. I couldn't help but laugh, however, at the irony of this moment captured. Allow me to illustrate the events that transpired just moments before this picture was taken:
1. Burke screaming like crazy because he is approximately two hours overdue for a nap. I plucked out his paci and hid it behind Kyle about .2 seconds before our amazingly patient photographer snapped this.
2. If you super zoomed into my head here, you would see that my hair is actually wet on one side due to my anxious perspiration and attempting to manhandle all of my children into their proper positions.
3. Campbell face down on the blanket crying because she is just plain mad at the world and wants
n-o-t-h-i-n-g to do with taking pictures.
4. To her credit, Sophie is just a rock star when it comes to taking pictures. She loves nothing more than being the center of attention, and absolutely eats it up when people try to make her smile. Especially adoring strangers.
5. Kyle telling me that I'm "acting crazy again" and need to chill out. And also, "are we almost done?"
I know that when most people look at this picture, all they see is my adorable children, and two parents that are pretending to love taking family pictures. When I look at it, I see Campbell's whispy hair in her eyes and still red nose from a carpet burn 3 weeks ago, Burke being more fascinated with his hands than the camera lens, the excess weight I'm still carrying in my face from having three children in two years, and Sophie's neck of her dress stretched out because she insisted on pulling on it all morning. A lot of imperfections that sum up our family pretty well.
So at the end of the day, I suppose I'll take our imperfect family, our messy hair, sweat, and double chins.
In fact, I'm not sure I'd have a family picture any other way.
Happy Holidays, friends. :)
P.S. If you're looking for an awesome family photographer, check out our friend, Kat. She's amazing, sweet, and so patient with crazy kiddos.