Family Picture Day, Tighe Style

We’ve been trying to get our family photo shoot done since…shoot…late October maybe.  There was a weekend of wonderfully warm weather that would have been perfect for a late fall outdoor session, but our photographer was out of town (how dare she go visit friends on fine-weather days?!).  Then there was Thanksgiving weekend where the weather was also warmer than normal, but we were out of town (how dare we go to Michigan to see family on Thanksgiving?!).  In between the days of sunny and warm, there were the days we’d scheduled to have our pictures taken.  Those ended up being rainy.  Or flash flood warning-y.  Or both.  Did you know that Lexington had one of its rainiest Novembers on record?  And most of the rain came on the Mondays when we scheduled to do pictures?!

In any case, since time stops for no man–or family, apparently–and the leaves were all not only off the branches, but also halfway to next season’s soil, we figured we’d better get it done.  Finally we settled on this past Thursday.  The weather forecast looked chilly, but clear.  The race was on.

A while back, we’d driven by a church in town and I instantly knew that was the setting I wanted for our pictures.  I loved the outside and the doors, and thought it would be perfect for our group.  Todd agreed.  Although he liked that setting, he also wanted to find something else that fitted his idea of the perfect place, so we put quite a bit of thought into it.  We also had to figure out what we would wear.  Somehow we came up with three (count ’em, three different outfits for everyone to wear).  I wasn’t sure how long we’d have before children would start rebelling against standing still and smiling, but we prepared for all three.  For us to be ready, it meant ironing.  A lot of ironing.  Not that I’m complaining.  ….well, actually I am.  I really don’t care for ironing, not one little bit.  I did it with gritted teeth when I lived at home, and by God’s grace, I found a friend in college who loved to iron  (but, by all other accounts, seems normal and wonderful…).  She volunteered to do my ironing when we roomed together.   Perhaps she couldn’t stand to be seen with me and my wrinkled shirts….

Today, however, more than 350 miles separate my dear friend and I so the ironing falls to me.  Here’s part of what I was up against:

In addition to school, laundry, baths and showers, putting dinner in the crock pot so we could eat as soon as we got home later that night, and sending everyone to find their shoes, socks, and anything else they were hoping to wear,  ironing took up most of my free time that morning and afternoon.  Somehow we managed to get dressed and pack the car with the other two outfits and get over to the church to start our shoot.  (Speaking of shot…. I was)

It wasn’t five minutes into the shoot that one of our prayed-for and rejoiced-over sons elbowed another one of our prayed-for and rejoiced-over sons, who fell into the still damp grass and got a grass/mud stain on his jeans.   Hadn’t planned for that.  As much as we prepared their shirts and sweaters, they only had the jeans they were wearing.   After resisting my urge to have an all-out apoplectic fit, we reorganized the kids, pleaded with them not to fall down or do anything that might cause anyone else to fall down, and tried to get back to business.    I suppose someday it will be funny, like the memory of the Easter when Hannah and Patrick were our only two kids and I gussied them all up for church, only to have Patrick run out to the car and trip and fall on the sidewalk, landing right in a muddy puddle   (On second thought…that’s still not funny.)

I bet photographers see a lot of “interesting” family dynamics.  I’m certain our photographer got an eyeful that afternoon, but she was incredibly gracious.  On the whole, the kids did a fine job: there were no more incidents of dirtied knees, and even though Chloe started out with a mini fit of “I don’t want to smile for the camera, Daddy!” she did manage to change her heart and when she did, she cracked all of us up with her tilted head poses and cheesy grins.   It will be a long two week wait to see if our pictures came out as well as we hope!

We changed locations for our second outfit, but after taking the second round of shots, it became evident that daylight was fleeting and the kids were reaching their end.  We decided to nix the last change of clothes, which just happened to be the one with all the ironed shirts.  At first I was kind of irritated with having spent all that time working on something we didn’t end up using, but then it hit me:  I’m way ahead for my ironing for Christmas!  I’ve already prepared the boys and announced that they are all wearing blue shirts for our annual Christmas Eve service.   They knew better than to argue with their Mama.


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