Sunday, December 13, 2015

Tales of Christmas Cards Past

It's that time of year again.  On Tuesday I dressed the kids up and took them out to the backyard to get a picture for our annual Christmas card.  I can honestly tell you I'd rather string lights on 100 Christmas trees than attempt a Christmas card picture.  I'm sure my children feel the same way.  But I told them I'd give them a candy cane if they behaved and did exactly what I told them to do.  Not that they haven't had candy canes before.  And not that I even know what I'm doing when it comes to taking pictures!  I actually pulled out my "real" camera (you know, as opposed to my phone) for this one.  I haven't used it since I took pictures for LAST year's Christmas card.  That should tell you something right there.

I really, really wanted to have someone else (you know, a professional) take pictures of the kids this year for our card.  But I just wasn't able to make that happen.  So I did the next best thing.  I took a mediocre picture and then emailed it to my bestie, and she used her photo magic to make it Christmas card worthy!  She thinks I'm crazy.  Of course, she knows me well enough to KNOW I'm crazy.  But that just made my day!  So our cards are ordered and on the way.

It took all they had to behave while we were taking pictures.  Mason thinks it's necessary to have his tongue hanging out of his mouth in all of my pictures.  Hannah Kate wanted to have her leg kicked up.  And Ellie likes the duck face and all other sorts of crazy shenanigans.  So when we were done, I asked them to show me exactly how they feel about taking Christmas card pictures.  Yes.  My sentiments exactly!  (But somehow Mason's tongue stayed in his mouth this time.  Not so much for the girls.)

I've saved all of the Christmas cards we've received over the years, and we had the best time this week pulling them out and going through them again.  I've also saved all of ours.  Just for fun, here's a look back.

In 2005, I think our card was compliments of the photo studio at Target.  Mason was five months old.  I remember being SO EXCITED that we were finally parents, finally sending a PHOTO card instead of a generic boxed card for Christmas.  Mason's little outfit (much to the chagrin of my husband) had smocked Santas on it.

I love this little picture of Mason.  He was such a spunky little guy at this age (17 months).  It was also my favorite age with him. 

Since Hannah Kate was born December 4, and I really wanted her on our card, I had to do something really quick.  This is my least favorite card of them all.  But these are such sweet memories none-the-less.

And then came 2008.  I sweet friend of mine was offering Christmas mini-sessions that year.  Perfect!  Except for one thing.  Hannah Kate was NOT impressed at all.  The more pictures we took, the more the corners of her lips went down, down, DOWN almost to the ground!  I am so NOT KIDDING.  (And, please note the matching SMOCKED outfits.  The agreement was that Seth would allow Mason to wear smocked clothing until he was a year old.  And that was it.  I reluctantly abided by our agreement.  Until this particular Christmas.  I just couldn't help myself.  So Mason wore a smocked jon-jon with a Peter Pan collar shirt, white knee socks and saddle oxfords.  Be still my southern belle Georgia peach heart!)

I mean . . . turn that frown upside down already!  I still remember this day like it was yesterday.  She was just so, so serious that day.

Then we tried something a little different.  But by this time, Mason was less than cooperative.  Not that it mattered . . .

You know, maybe it was because she didn't have a bow in her hair!  What in the world was I thinking?!  Obviously, I wasn't!  So this is what our Christmas card looked like that year.  I have to say it will always be one of my favorites!

The following year (2009) we had moved back to Louisiana.  A friend took our picture that year, too.  That was probably the most stressful, most difficult photo session ever!  Neither one was very cooperative, and it was exhausting!  But we got some cute pictures.  Hannah Kate was quite a mess!  Yes, Hannah Kate!  

In 2010 it was my turn to take pictures again.  Again, my photography skills are seriously lacking, but I really enjoyed this card.  I mean, toile and a sweater vest!  And is Mason not the most handsome little man you've ever seen?!

The next year we were expecting Ellie, and I wanted her to be on our Christmas card.  So the kids were holding a framed picture of her first sonogram.  It took two different photo "sessions" for me to get this picture.  It had nothing to do with the children though.

And then came the year when I had to try to take a picture of three children all at the same time, one of which was five months old.  I begged them for just ONE good picture out of the 50 or so I took.  Mission accomplished, I think.  We've all enjoyed laughing about Mason's smile in this picture.

By 2013, I was so stressed out by all manner of things that I used a picture that had been taken that summer by a professional photographer.  It captured the kids so perfectly at the time.  Seth and I both agreed that this card is our favorite.  I love the back of this card.  It includes a verse from a Christmas hymn and also the words of Romans 15:13.  I guess I'd forgotten that I'd included that same verse the year before!  But it's perfect!

Last year it was up to me again.  I think Seth was relieved that Abbie went with me that time, and he didn't have to go and act crazy to make them smile.  All three are smiling (at the same time), all three are looking at the camera (at the same time), all three have their eyes open (at the same time).  So that was 2014.

I won't even tell you how long it took me to pick out our card this year!  Ridiculous!  

The theme of our card this year is JOY and includes a verse that has meant a lot to me during the past month.  It really sums up how I feel about 2015!

"The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy."  ~Psalm 126:3  

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