And I do mean "catch"...there's nothing quite like wrangling 10 kiddos in for a shot when there's *no one* behind the camera. Basically, we're all shouting things like "Sit up straight!" "Look at the camera!" "Turn around!" "SMILE!" through gritted teeth while we ourselves struggle the take our own advice.
We're very profesh.
There's always something a little wonky about the final result. Last year, Cory "accidentally" positioned one of his BILs almost entirely out of the photo and now he just looks like a lonely creeper.
I think it's obvious what the problem was this year.
I'll give you a hint: Cory apparently wore a XXXL puffy shirt and none of us realized it until we saw final edits.
It's a true conundrum, because he wore the same shirt around the same people yesterday and we all agreed it fit just fine. As stated by the photo-bombing brother-in-law, "Did you gain fifty pounds since family pictures?"
It was a valid question.
Since you don't know him or anything about his day-to-day life, you don't know what a big deal it is. I almost didn't even ask him! WHAT???? It's so interesting, parenting a grown-up. He's got a job and kids and bills and "things ta do." I catch myself thinking he probably doesn't value the same stuff we do, or that he thinks we're just dorky.
In reality, he DEFINITELY thinks we're dorky.
And he keeps choosing us anyway.
Part of the deal included a bribe to buy him something to wear, and when I went to Wal-Mart with him and his brother, well, I wasn't sure I would make it back out with my sanity intact. At one point, the two of them were goofing around and put on those face-mask hats and I almost lost my business. It seemed...unwise. But they didn't get it. And honestly, this is a whole 'nother story for a whole 'nother day.
I tried to steer him toward a plaid button-down and he said, "What year do you think this is? 1973?" Somewhere in the midst of ALL the very popular plaid shirts, we found the cartoon T's. It was optimally important to him that we find shirts that matched his shoes, and when all was said and done, I also bought him a Joker shirt, only after making him promise he'd never wear it around the little kids because IT IS TERRIFYING.
Anyway, I'm immensely proud of him and his Dickie's pants.
Me: J Crew pinstriped button-down circa 2009, J Crew cords circa 2010, my weirdest TJ Maxx impulse buy vest, circa 2008-ish. (Does anyone but me find it interesting that my favorite stuff is also some of my oldest stuff and probably some of the stuff I spent the most $ on? Stay tuned for further thoughts on this...)
Cory: Puff shirt via the consignment store in town.
Ruby: Sweater, skirt from the same consignment store. Tights and shirt were here own.
Si: Flannel from the same consignment store (holla!) and his own jeans. (It's a big feat to get him into "hard" pants.)
Calvin: Plaid shirt from Goodwill, his own jeans.
I thought we all looked pretty good together. We made it work.
There was a time when I would have convinced myself it was warranted to run out and buy brand new outfits. Or even just drive over to Old Navy and fill in the gaps.
Those days are long gone, and we're all better for it.
We tried to do shots of each couple because, hey, kids shouldn't have all the fun. Spoiler: it was a giant bust. The leaves weren't as swoony this year. We didn't have a glimmery back-drop. The main problem was, we're all afflicted with a certain level of awkwardness.
I had the bright idea to try to copy a cool shot I saw on Pinterest...
BUT MY CLAWS.
Why the giant hands, God???????? And why didn't I just be regular and keep my hands down at my sides? Cory kept insisting it wasn't "that bad" but when he was editing these a few nights ago and I said, "It looks like a monster hand reaching up between us!" he died laughing and now it's all either of us can see.
He's the sheriff and I'm that unstable celebrity who got busted doing something terrible then smiles and poses in the mug shot. With one of my heels raised fashionably in the air. It's like I don't even grasp how serious the situation even is!
And that pretty much sums up our entire life.