We are not perfect, and that’s perfect.
This year has been such a year of growth for my entire family. I am so proud of both of my sons and the progress they have made both social and in school. As I nestle down for the holidays, I can’t help but grab a cup of eggnog reflect upon 2019.
On a business level, this year has been full of surprises. I had two successful blanket launches (Buzzing Beehive Blanket and The Gaudi Sidewalk Blanket), which was a surprise to me because I always said I wasn’t into making blankets. Once again I learned to not set boundaries, and if you do, step outside your comfort zone and break them.
It took some adjusting with both of my kids in school this fall and getting my oldest settled properly for 2nd grade with an appropriate IEP (Individual Education Plan). Shout out to all those parent advocates out there! I can honestly say I know the stresses, struggles, and hurdles we face each day. Keep your head up, and keep advocating!
And as the year comes to a close, enter that traditional family photo chaos. But this year I decided to do it a little differently.
If you have ever tried a family photo, you know all of the possible misery behind the scenes to get that smiling and happy family portrait. Looking at our end of year budget, I decided to go ahead and tackle this task again. I learned last year, in front of the camera is much harder.
I directed my sister as I gave commands and smiled through a tight jaw…and everyone was irritated. Uncomfortable in the heat, and not at all happy. I think I only posted one image lol.
So this year I decided to go for the memory versus the perfect photo. We would do an activity and build a Mario Gingerbread house and be genuinely us.
When my kids look back on taking holiday photos, I don’t want them to associate negative feelings. That kind of defeats the purpose, right? So I did what every desperate mom does, bribed them with candy. And for extra measure took the bold step of not adding limitations.
They could choose their outfit, no need to drive anywhere, and no time requirements. When the kids were tapped out, we were going to be finished with the photographed.
Santa shirts with sharks on it? SURE!
Rick and Morty socks? Why not?
There was only one quick hair check done by my husband. And we didn’t even ask the kids to pose, and this was all on their own.
Want to have a sword fight with candy canes? Not going to stop you, buddy. Because this is us, these are little boys using their imagination and being themselves. This is how I want to look back on this time and remember them. Not a stressed mommy is demanding they smile at the camera.
And guess what happened when I let go of control? Magic.
The camera was put on a timer, the ‘perfect’ image concept was completely ignored.
And perfection was achieved.
I mean how can we not look at these images with warm happy feelings. This was a fantastic afternoon with no tears or whining, or stressed parents.
For extra good measure, someone….eh hem me, decided to add our entire family into the photo, furry members included.
Our dog, Rocket, just wanted to participate in eating all the snacks. And the cat….well.
We laughed and laughed and laughed at us, trying to get one image of us all together.
My loving husband checked in with me a couple of times asking,
“Are you sure your okay with this?”
“Did we get the shot you wanted?”
“Do you want to try more?”
And I may have surprised everyone when I said:
To top off the magic for my children, we set a two-minute timer and let them eat whatever they wanted within those minutes. More fun images in the slideshow below. This is one of those memories I hope sticks.
And so I take this new lesson into 2020. It’s not always about the outcome of something, but the journey to get there. Don’t be afraid to take another path, the outcome may be better than anticipated.
Without a doubt, my children will look back upon these family holiday photos with glee and joy.
Wishing you the warmest holiday season and Happy New Year,