Monday, November 9, 2015

Fall Family Pictures

Following our annual tradition, we met up a few weeks ago with Cory's whole family and our tripod to catch a few family pics.

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.

Also, Robert came for pictures. And smiled like this.

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.

Since we're already half-way on the topic, here's what the rest of us wore. In typical fashion, I didn't give it any thought at all until two days before, then had to scramble to find stuff that looked somewhat cohesive.

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...

Hahahaaaa!!!!!!!!!! I'm laughing so hard right now, alone at my desk. YOU GUYS > what is wrong with me??? For one thing, this shot was nearly impossible because I forgot I'm not a petite little thang. I'm almost as tall as Cory. We had to stand him on a slight incline and wish for the best.


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.

After that I tried to make us hold hands in the WEIRDEST WAY POSSIBLE and the end result is a photo where it looks like I'm being hauled off to jail. And not to do a book club or Bible study.

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!

At long last, we decided to try just being normal.
And that pretty much sums up our entire life.


  1. Your out takes make me laugh! THANKS FOR THAT ON MONDAY MORNING!

    We did annual family pics from the time I was pregnant with our oldest until the youngest graduated from high school. (I then turned it over to the next generation and NADA!) It was a total of 25 sets of pics. While some years were more painful and awkward than others, I LOVE having that record. The last 10 years the same friend/photographer did them and it was a hoot. One year the boys all turned their backs to the camera and it looked like they were peeing on the trees! (Lovely, I tell you. Makes a mom's heart glad! :-)

    Thanks for sharing your beauty and awkwardness! Happy Monday to you and your crew! Btw.... SOO glad that Robert joined you and smiled....FTW!

  2. The monster claw picture of you and Cory: I just kept hearing Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights not knowing what to do with his hands. Loooove it!

    1. Did you ever see the 30 Rock ep where Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) is filming the commercial and doesn't know what to do with his hands? It's my all-time fave. "Hand me two coffee cups!"

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  4. This is awesome!! Monday morning made. Thank you!!

  5. What great photos. I really 'loved' all of them of you and Cory.


  6. For some reason I laughed unreasonably hard at this :-) I love you guys and can't even wait to hang out!!

  7. I, too, laughed unreasonably hard. Hey, at least it's clear who your husband is ;)

  8. Whatever weirdness you are referring are my people! Thank you for giving me a belly hard out loud laugh again! You and your fam rocked this out! The family pics are next best....but still wishing I could spend any amount of time in front of you and your family! It's in my lifetime wish list. For now, thanks for making my Monday ooh so much more happy.

  9. Belly laughs over the you-and-Cory shots. Totally hilarious, my friend.

  10. oh my gosh stop it. the claw picture is adorable and not clawish at all.

    1. You're just buttering me up because you want me to make you tacos...

    2. am not! but okay fine I'll have a taco.

  11. I laughed until I cried. It wasn't even the hand, it was the slightly-seductive-but-also-strangely-innocent eyes you're giving the camera. Thank you for the gift of these pictures.

    1. Your comment cracked me up! These pics are the gift that keeps on giving!

  12. I mean ... I think I even pee'd a little!!!

  13. What a way to start my morning! Great pictures of the family, even in spite of the monster hand!

  14. Hard Pants! Bahahahaha! I have a 9 year old that feels the same way.

  15. The pinterest inspired picture reminded me of the old-fashioned, half naked models in the obsession and eternity advertisements

  16. Seriously so funny. Your commentary is the best. My outburst of laughter startled my baby, hahaha

  17. Oh my gosh!!! I just DIED laughing. I love this post. And every time you write about Robert, I love him more. I love the Wal-mart story. Oh, too funny. All of it. Thank you!

  18. This made me laugh so hard! Love it!!!

  19. oh how i've loved catching up with you tonight ;)

  20. "...result is a photo where it looks like I'm being hauled off to jail."
    Spittake. It's 1:08 in the morning and I just chortled loudly enough to wake the house. Thanks for being And, sharing that with us. (Yes, it's Dec 22 and I'm catching up on Fall posts. Sometimes I get behind and when I can I sit and catch up.)
    Merry Christmas.

  21. just found your blog. and wow, couldn't stop laughing at this post!