Monday, November 24, 2014

Family Pictures & Why Marriage Is A Miracle

A few weeks ago Cory took some quick family pictures.

The main thing I want to call your attention to in this photo: Ruby appears to be a teenager.

The second thing is: We are ALL rocking at least partially-thrifted outfits!

I never want to go too matchy-matchy for family pics. It always looks contrived and if you're not careful, people start to blur together into one giant blob of khakis and denim.

This was my inspiration photo. I loved the casual, colorful vibe and their mix of prints.
In usual Shannan fashion, I didn't give it much thought until two days before, at which point I realized Calvin and Ruby were both in dire wardrobe straits. They have plenty of stuff, just not anything that would really work together for the common good. I wanted to find a flannel or plaid shirt for Calvin, with something floral for Rubes. There was a time when I would have run to Target or Old Navy. No more! So I did the next best thing and crossed my fingers for a hot streak of luck.

Lo, an angel appeared at my door the very next day with two garbage bags full of clothes for Calvin, all of which appeared to be next-to-new, including this shirt. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then I hit up a new Goodwill in a neighboring town and scored dusty pink Gap cords for Ruby, along with this *perfect* shirt, which still had the original tags attached.



{Cory's sweater came from my fave consignment store in town a few months ago, Silas is rocking hand-me-downs from his brother, and I'm wearing old Target jeans, a sweater I've had for 7 years, and a gray tank from my trip to the thrift store during Camp Create.}

All of this required minimal cash, next-to-no time, and Cory took exactly two photos. Boom. Don't over-think it.

Speaking of not over-thinking it...

This is the first family picture we've had on my parents' side in roughly 8 years.

We hauled the tripod over to the woods on a windy day. Voila.

This is so us. It makes me laugh.
And honestly, we KNEW this was happening. This was actually planned, people.
My niece is wearing a beautiful dress, Ruby is in tie-dye, Silas is dressed for Summer, Calvin for Fall. I'm wearing my mom's cardigan because I was chilly, along with a ponytail.


And this is Cory's family - of collected, coordinated, pre-scheduled fame.

Both families are equally rad. Both are full of good, caring people.
But these pics might hint at some underlying familial modes of operation that don't entirely align.

Cory and I grew up in shockingly similar families with values and traditions that were almost universally the same. His parents and mine get along like old mates. We're all fairly roll-with-the-punches people And still, given all of that, there are deep differences and subtle shifts in structure and ideals and tendencies that amount to these two very different photos.

This is why marriage is a miracle!

Two people come together knowing only what they know, and they somehow take some of this, a bit of that, and cut a brand new path, together. They raise their kids with old traditions and new philosophies and mash-up hybrids of everything that matters.

And then their kids grow up and do the same.
(Am I the only one humming Circle of Life right now? Because it feels positively croon-worthy up in here.)

Generation after generation, there are slow shifts and turns that measure in single degrees. Things begin to look different, but take a closer look. I don't think my little family operates profoundly differently than the families from generations before us.

Does this strike you as amazing as it does to me?
Or is it just my Earl Gray-and-Midol cocktail talking???

My family is basically a hydroponic tomato.
(So is yours.)
A gradual morphing of what always was.
Grown differently, but basically the same.

And to that, I give a rowdy, rebel-rousing, "Viva!"

Happy Monday, Beefsteaks.

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