There is a funny story behind this family photo.
Several months ago one of the dads in the preschool where I work preciously offered to take some professional photos of our little crew. I was stunned and ridiculously excited because we didn’t have any good photos of our family since Zion arrived and also it would hopefully give me something to mail to the relatives for Christmas.
We had to reschedule the photo shoot twice because someone in the family was sick. October for us was basically spent in a sea of tissues and antibiotics. We had not one, but two hospital trips between Zion and Ryan, and then there was the stomach bug that hit all 3 boys at once and I had to throw away 3 of our carpets in the aftermath.
We finally nailed down a date and, as it approached, I realized that everyone was not on their deathbed, but we didn’t have coordinating outfits! Pinterest had of course convinced me that we had to at least all be in the same color scheme. I wasn’t even sure that the big boys owned anything other than basketball shorts, so I spent 3 hours in Old Navy trying to put something together for the boys that would compliment my dress, which was the only thing I was sure about >> naturally. This is no easy feat given that Jethro has panic attacks in collared shirts and Noah is funny about tags and Zion is so chubby that the 18 month tops fit but the pants might as well be sausage link casings.
On the day of, I had the outfits, I bribed the boys with screen time to wear them, I got my nails done, and then my sweet friend, Jessica, came over to curl my hair. I am a one trick pony when it comes to hair. I have my blow dryer and my flat iron and my center part and that is the best I can do. I have bought all of the curling wands and hair equipment and still have not figured out how to curl my hair. If I think about it too long I start to wonder if I am even qualified to be a woman. After Jessica finished her magic, I seriously contemplated if I could sleep sitting up so that I could preserve what she had done longer than an afternoon.
As we got down to the final hour before the photographer was supposed to arrive, the cloudy skies gave way to rain sprinkles and I thought “Yup, seems right,” given how long and how much it had taken to get to that very point. The photographer called and asked what I wanted to do and I literally said,
“If we don’t do this today, it will never happen. WE SHALL CARRY ON.”
So the photographer graciously showed up and we ran outside and took turns holding umbrellas over one another – who am I kidding, I was the only one hogging the umbrella because my hair was a very critical part of the photo taking process. The whole thing was over in 10 minutes because that is how long the Lord kindly held back a full-on shower.
As the photographer drove off, I wondered how in the world do the Instagram girls post perfect family photos every single day on their feeds. In order to make our family photo happen it took us 2 months and 10 minutes of fighting nature and yelling at the boys to stop wrestling in the grass-now-mud and wiping the baby’s snot and wishing that I had gone to the dentist and had my teeth bleached or regretting that I had not put on a different bra because nursing bras make my boobs look weird.
In the end, with the magic of Photoshop to edit out the polka-dotted drizzles on Ryan and Noah’s shirts and glasses, we miraculously got the photo above and I couldn’t be happier. I love that this sweet capture came right in the middle of a whole lot of chaos.
And that is what I like to write and share here at Happy Home Fairy. We are messy and life is messy and sometimes it rains on our best intentions, but we keep on carrying on. My hope that in telling you these stories, it helps you feel a little less alone in your own mess and gives you the grace you need to keep carrying on, too.
At least you probably know how to curl your hair. 😉
Happy New Year, sweet friends!
Your story about the photograph made me smile. Although my children are older now, I can relate to all of those times and trials. It seemed every year when we’d want to take a photo to send in Christmas cards, someone would have a black eye, clothes were half-untucked, hair was messed up, etc. plus, my husband would set the timer on the camera and the flash would not go off. We literally sat for over a half-hour and took 50 photos before we got one decent one. Try keeping three young ones in position with a real smile that long! Your photo is beautiful! Cherish it – and the memory associated with it. It will mean even more as you look back on it in the years to come. Happy New Year!
My daughter’s hair is naturally magnificently pre-Raphaelite. But will she rejoice in it – Ha! She straightens it, or if she hasn’t time, puts it into pigtails. Even when she went to an art show, and the rain on the way undid all her straightening, and at least 3 artists wanted her and her P-R hair as a model, she was not convinced.
Probably super cheesy that this post made me cry but man, you nailed it. Even though the story of our rain filled stories may be different this was such a sweet overwhelming reminder of how the blessings come in the things we choose to look for. You’re so right Julie. And what an example you are to your boys to model this to women like us and to them. You’re beautiful inside and out and the overflow makes mamas in Kansas sitting with snotty nosed, Christmas candy filled, cabin fevered children remember that it’s all worth it. I’m excited to share more stories like this in heaven with you.
Also. May I please have your dress? But seriously. Where did you get it?
Gorgeous dress! Beautiful family! Wonderful picture!
I always love your honesty — you are such a good writer — and I love this story. It’s true life in all it’s imperfection! But what a beautiful photo! Your boys have grown up SO FAST!! Happy New Year to you all!
Beautiful family picture! Wishing you lots of sunny days in 2020!
I love this so very much and needed it today! Our life is so very chaotic, but the pretty pictures don’t always so that! I love your refreshing authenticity.
Just one word: PERFECT!
These are the times you will cherish!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE
I don’t know how to curl my hair either, Julie! 😂 Solidarity Sister!
That is why God made us the mother of boys! 😁🤗
I loved this post about your family getting pictures taken! I laughed and laughed! So true how hard it is getting everyone together for a picture! The more people, the harder it becomes! Thank you for the laugh!
I relate to this whole thing so much – the guy who cuts my hair about died laughing when I told him my hair routine involves using a hairbrush to hold my book open while I haphazardly blow it dry. I burn myself whenever I try to curl it and usually end up putting it in a weird half-curly ponytail because I can’t only do the left side. lol!!
Honestly it’s Pinterest-Perfect!!
Love this Julie! I, too, have the naturally “curly” hair (that is just frizzy in my opinion) and the only thing I can master is straightening it. When I get it cut my stylist gives me the most beautiful, defined curls! But even though I watch her do it, I cannot recreate her magic. You look wonderful! Love you happy home fairy!