My Grown Up Christmas Wish

For years, I have tried to capture a nice family portrait of my family.  I have plenty of lovely photos and snapshots with a variety of combinations of each us, such as just Allana and Emmalynn or Allan and the girls or the girls and me.  But trying to capture a family photo of the four of us has seemed like an impossible task.  Something always seems to sabotage our family portraits.


At every portrait sitting, Allan refuses to smile and remain quiet during the photo shoot.  He also loves to annoy me by repetitively saying, “CHEESE!” which causes him to squint and look like he is squeezing out a shit having a bowel movement.






Then, there’s Emmalynn’s inability to cooperate and her compelling need to make silly faces.




And then at some point, Allana begins acting like a drama queen in the middle of picture taking.




All of this leads to me becoming incredibly pissed off angry and completely ruining the mood.




Now Christmas card season is upon us and once again, we strived for I wished for the perfect family Christmas portraits.  But this year, I had a new approach: Wing it


See, I am not a fly-by-the-seat of your pants kind of gal.  I meticulously plan every detail and constantly roll over each decision in my head.  For each photo shoot, I run around town searching for the perfect outfit.  I try to squeeze in a hair appointment to color and cut my hair.  Everything has to be perfect.  After all, we are I am trying to create the perfect family portrait.  However, all this emphasis on the perfect family portrait has created very opposite results.


This season, I decided to not allow myself to stress over the small stuff.  Facing two marathons in the next couple months, I can not stress over nonsense, because the anxiety will leave me vulnerable to illnesses.  So in keeping with my “wing it” philosophy, I avoided running all over town to buy a new outfit and I didn’t color or cut my hair. 


My sister bought beautiful Christmas dresses for the girls.  I purchased the girls accessories during a regular weekly visit to Target.  Allana wore her Christmas shoes from last year, which surprisingly still fit and Emmalynn’s shoes were found on a quick trip to Payless.  We also included the American Girl style petticoats, a gift from my MIL, because snapshots of the girls wearing the coats will be one of our Christmas gifts for my MIL.


On the day of the photo shoot, I still hadn’t decided what I would wear, which as mentioned before is not my usual style.  Following my new “wing it” last minute motto, I decided to wear jeans and a red blouse to match the girls.  I knew Allan would happily wear jeans as well and I didn’t care what shirt he wore.  I swear.


Then, just to be a thorn in my side, Allan wore a UT baseball cap to our photo shoot at the University of Tampa.  Maybe he wanted to show his school spirit for his alma mater or perhaps he thought hat head would be a nice addition to our family portrait.  More than likley, it was his attempt to frazzle my cool composure.  Fortunately, Kelly, our fabulous photographer, discouraged Allan from wearing it.


As usual, Emmalynn wouldn’t cooperate.


Allana complained about being hungry, but I skirted her hunger pains by bribing her with hot cocoa and ice cream for dinner if she smiled.


During the whole process, I just breathed and hoped it would all work out.  After all, Kelly is a very talented photographer magician.


Thankfully, the results were perfect.




  1. morethananelectrician says:

    How absolutely perfect. The photographer looks like she was able to get everyone relaxed and it showed. What a wonderful family you have there…it nice to be able to show them off AND have them all smiling at the same time!

  2. tanyetta says:

    HaHa! I love your husband’s facial expression in the first photo. That’s something my husband would totally do!

    Sounds like your photos turned out AWESOME!!!

  3. littlejessiw says:

    First of all, as a mom, the photographs and the music made me want to cry. They are so sweet.
    Second of all, as a photographer, you got some awesome pictures. I love it when mine turn out as good as yours. Happy Holidays!

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