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We met over 8 years ago at church as Shaun was walking in and I was walking out. The few words exchanged sparked an interst that kept Shaun coming back. When we FINALLY began dating 4 years later we soon knew there was something special here. Our first year quickly flew by and we both decided we never wanted to spend another year with anyone else or without each other. We married in the place where it all began on January 1, 2011 (1/1/11) and gave birth to our beautiful daughter Ava Marie on September 22, 2011 our next little one, Clara Rose came 16 months later on February 11, 2013. This blog began with our preparation with our wedding and has entered into recording the days and events of our newlywed life and new motherhood.

The Happy Couple...

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Ava Marie

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Clara Rose

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Awkward Family Photos

C'mon now... ALL I want is a really nice family photo that is recent, where everyone looks nice, is looking at the camera, has a pleasant "real" expression, and it's not blurry or fuzzy or too dark or too light and all are dressed semi-alike (like, not some are dressed down, some are dressed up or colors are completely clashing).  Is this too much to ask???  I realize this is sort of a pipe dream with a one year old and a pregnant body and hair that I STILL can't figure out how to style.

I love our one from the pumpkin patch, but Ava's in a pumpkin costume (not exactly Christmas-y). 

I like the family ones from her birthday party, but she's covered in cake (and they're not exactly Christmas-y). 

I love the ones from the date Shaun & I went on recently, but He's in a suit, I'm in a dress and she's in pj's ...and screaming. 

I like the ones from Thanksgiving (especially because this one's graced by a particularly lovely blondie!) except Ava's outfit is hiked up, she looks more miserable than she was and I don't think I even look like "myself". 

I'm still regretting not getting even ONE photo from the recent wedding we went to when we were ALL dressed up nicely and the day was beautiful. 

I like the ones from a couple of weekends ago, but had to do some serious editing to get them less blurry.

I don't mean to be complainy (and yes... I know I am), but I'm SOOoooo picky and after all the photos I take, I just want a really good family christmas photo!

Is that too much to ask???

OH... and I don't want to pay an arm and a leg to have professional do it.  We just can't afford to do that right now, ya know?

My friend "Miss Kelly" came to happily oblige me last night and was SOoooo patient taking our  family photos, but a SUPER DUPER EXTRA fidgety one year old and parents who didn't know which way to look (we were more distracted by Nana ringing jingle bells over Kelly's head than Ava was) ...didn't make for a great combo.  It simply wasn't our night and even Miss Kelly couldn't work her miracles... but the photos do lend for some great laughs!

These?  We were just prepping for the baby to wake up HAPPY and COOPERATIVE from her nap (yeah... that didn't happen)

Here's the HAPPY-COOPERATIVE girl!!!

This one with the candy cane in front of Shaun's face?  It's actually the best one!  And look at who's the culprit?  WHO's holding the candy cane?  NOT the baby!


At least Daddy had his act together...
 Ok, Daddy AND Ava...

Let's play... WHERE's the CAMERA!

(Ava's thinking: "Uh... or we could NOT play that game")

I'm outta here!

I love her expression...

My mommy is related to cousin IT...

Nice diaper shot.


(We actually considered this one being our Christmas card and saying something like
"Merry Christmas... we tried")

Well, I guess we could enter them in the "awkward family photos" files along with these ones...

 Is anyone else like "what's with the men and their cats?"...

Oh... a man and his chicken... much better...

...ok, maybe they're not all THAT bad, but they were pretty "unflattering".  So I started to look back through the photos I'd begged any passer by or visitor to take lately.

And I realized that over the past few weeks I've gotten a few that just MIGHT actually work.  Here are my top picks for a "Christmas Photo Card" so far:

These are the best we could do... What do YOU think?


  1. Aren't photo shoots with little ones (and parents lookong down at said little one) so difficult?? There were a few good ones but my fave is number 3.

    1. It was really funny... sort of. We knew it was pretty much going to be a wash. Sometimes' she's great for pictures... other times ...not so much.

      I love her facein #3, but unfortunately she doesnt' always look like that. I was only reluctant because I wanted her to really look like "Ava". But I do love her teethy smile!

  2. Oh, my gosh, I love the last 3 pictures...any one of those are perfect!!

    This was so funny and so true...just wait til you keep adding children, it gets worse, much much worse!!!

    You could do a 2 picture card, and if you are ordering from like Sam's club--like I did, it takes one day, sometimes less, depending on how many your order. I got 130 cards for about 30 bucks. Anyway, if you do a 2 picture card, then you could pick one of those last 3 pictures (see how I threw that in there) and then try to get one great shot of just Ava. She's cute no matter what, smiling, talking, screaming....

    Best wishes on getting that perfect photo!! I finally got some...had the kids dress Christmassy on St Nicholas day and took pictures by the tree and fireplace and finally got one, but not without bribing candy.

    1. That's what I was thinking, Jamie! There are a few of just her that came out lovely, but even for her (who's usually photogenic), she was just moving SOooo much that night.

      I'm so glad you finally got some of your own kiddos! I can't imagine with 6.

      Actually, I can. Teaching 25-3yr olds for years, we'd do the "class pictures" and I remember more than once telling the photographer (who would take like THREE and say, Ok, all done!) "Nobody move!" and then tell him to take about 15 more... he'd laugh, do it and thank me when the proofs came in!

  3. I hear ya on this one! While I love to have family photos or my children years down the road to look back on, they rarely happen. Or not everyone is happy/thrilled about them. More than half of our family years our Christmas card photo included only the kids. Not the way I'd like it, but the only way to manage. Mom as photographer and dad as my sidekick who does everything and anything to get the kids to look and smile :)

    Hmmm....I think all of those could work. I like Ava's scrunched up nose in the third one. Too cute. But any of the last three are good too. What about two photos? A Christmasy one and another??

    Best of luck choosing the perfect photo! Whatever you choose, it will be the perfect photo reflecting your family in this moment, this year.

    1. I'm thinking of a "multiple photo card" like you and Jamie suggested. I knew you'd understand!

      Your little ones are SO sweet, Sarah! I could just kiss them all up when I see pictures.

  4. Marijanna, with the exception of the hair in your dace picture - you still look gorgeous in ALL of them! Must be nice ;)

    1. Uh... but you've seen me in real life! From one gorgeous mom to another all I have to say is: "Takes one to know one" *mwah*

  5. This was hysterical! I like the last one best :).

    1. Stacy! Thank you so much for visiting. Life IS funny, isn't it? She makes it very interesting. I like that one too!


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