Saturday, November 29, 2014

Family Pictures 2014

One year to the day from the last time I dragged my family out into the wild for family pictures...I did it again. We didn't manage to leave the house until 2:30 PM, but this time I double checked to make sure Historic Stagville was open (because it was closed last year (even though I checked to make sure it was open)) so we didn't have to find an alternative location at the last minute.

Things turned out pretty well.

I should tell you, though: I'm terrible at coordinating outfits.

I have friends who, like, plan what everyone in the family is going to wear weeks in advance. They go out shopping to buy coordinating pieces, and post things on facebook for feedback from their stylish friends. And, uh, that's just so not me.

I wouldn't even know what to post? I'm Paris from Gilmore Girls.

RORY: Ok, let’s just see what you got.
PARIS: I brought everything just in case there was some sort of hidden potential in something that I just didn’t see. So?
RORY: Well you’d be one well dressed widow.
PARIS: Forget it. I’m not going.
RORY: Yes you are. Come on now. This is your entire wardrobe?
RORY: Nothing’s left at home.
PARIS: Nothing but my Chilton uniform and my bat mitzvah dress which has menorahs on the collar.

Indeed, I'm Paris Geller (but maybe nicer? I like to think that I'm a nice Paris Geller).

So, being the kind of person that I am, I just told my kids to go ahead and get dressed.

Rachel got dressed first. She wanted to wear a tunic she'd picked out from the non-sale rack at Target when we took her clothes shopping. Ideally, we only ever look at the clothes on sale and ignore everything going full price but this shirt caught Rachel's eye and she just had to have it (and since nearly everything going for 50% off was pink and she hates pink I caved and got it for her).

Miriam saw what she was wearing, said, "I'll be right back!" and emerged a few minutes later in a similar little ditty. The girl has a gift of throwing matching outfits together.

Miriam put on her jean-style leggings. And I was wearing jeans, Andrew was wearing jeans, and I had pulled a pair of jeans out for Benjamin. Only Rachel was not wearing jeans.

Rachel was wearing regular leggings. I asked her to go put on her jean-style leggings so I could see what they looked like. Just, you know, for consistency's sake. But then I got busy getting Benjamin ready and doing hair and cleaning up from lunch that I forgot to look at her. By the time I noticed that her jean-style leggings are still far too big for her she already had her shoes on.

"Rachel, you should put your other pants back on," I said. "They looked nicer, I think."

"She already has her shoes on," Andrew said, waving his hands to dismiss the idea. "Just get in the car. We need to get going!"

"But, but, but..." I whimpered mostly to myself.

So, I'm not thrilled with Rachel's pants (sorry, Rachel). But the rest of her is super cute!

Having a seven-year-old is a pretty amazing thing. Rachel cooperates for pictures now—looks at the camera and everything. She can put her hair into a ponytail by herself. She can play games other than UNO and Snakes and Ladder. She understands what the words, "Clean up your room," actually mean.  She's one of the best big sisters in the world. And she made German pancakes for dinner tonight—by herself (mostly). I think we'll keep her.

Miriam is one of the most photogenic children on the face of the planet, but she got a little bit pouty (even though I brought candy along as bribery) so we didn't catch quite as many pictures of her as we did the other two, which is fine because you only need a few good ones. But she's beautiful inside and out, this one. If you ever need sympathy, she's the girl you need. I can't even count the number of times in the past few months that she's rubbed my back or stroke my forehead while I was curled up in a heap somewhere or another—and I didn't even tell her why I felt so awful all the time (she probably thought I was dying...but really I was just incubating). We'll keep her, too.

Then there's Benjamin. All of his pictures were so adorable that picking which ones to keep was torture. He was, by far, the most uncooperative of the kids today, but he's only two so we'll forgive him. He looks so much like his father it's not even funny. And he finally admitted today that he loves "both mine daddy and mine mommy." So, I suppose we'll keep him, too.

Even if he can't cooperate for pictures all the time...

And then there's this guy:

Andrew was a pretty good find, I must say. It'll be our ninth anniversary in just seventeen days (and I'll be on a plane without him) so I can get a little mushy now, right? Of course right.

Right now I'm especially grateful that he's so good at picking up the slack because I've left him a lot of slack to pick up recently. He's been so good about making dinner when I just couldn't face food and was fully supportive of cereal for dinner when he didn't have time to make dinner, either. He's been patient when that one load of laundry I got done on Monday is still in the dryer on Friday. And he's gotten up with the kids every morning that he possibly could so that I could have a few more minutes to sleep.

I hope that sometimes I'm the slack-picker-upper, too. At least, I like to believe we take turns with that role. Right now I feel certain that Andrew's the one holding the short end of the stick (because all I do is cry about food and beg for naps).

He's handsome and smart, hardworking and kind, and I really don't think I could have found anyone better suited to me. He still makes me laugh every day, partly because he's witty and partly because he's just a goofball. I still love to hear him play the piano and clarinet. I still love to edit his papers and be amazed with just how articulate he is.

I really can't believe how much we've grown up since we got married. And I really do mean that we've grown up because we were just babies when we got married...

But here we are, nine years later, and he still has me convinced that I'm the same 20-year-old bride I was in these pictures. And I suppose I am—or at least, a part of me is, somewhere deep down inside—but with one huge change: I love him so much more than I did nine years ago.

I'm glad I get to keep him!


  1. Thank you! I haev been hungry for a post, and that was a really nice one!

  2. You watch Gilmore girls...oh day it isn't so!

    1. April said that I had to watch Friends in order to understand her but Friends isn't on Netflix until January. But April is watching Gilmore Girls. So I thought that maybe THAT would help me understand her. I blame April. ;)

  3. Oh, you have a great new cover photo! (You need a page where all the past cover photos are posted so I - I mean your readers - can see how your family has changed. Just a suggestion for your free time. HAHAHA!)

    I enjoyed all these pictures, and your words are really sweet. I'm sure if the children and Andrew were writing this post, they'd say they are glad they can keep you.