I've been meaning to take family pictures for MONTHS now. In fact, that's what I made the girl's dresses for, so very long ago. It was supposed to coincide with Easter or Mother's Day or something like that, but things always happened to prevent us from dressing up and getting it done.
So today, even though it was blazing hot and dripping with humidity outside, I insisted that we needed to do this. No more procrastination allowed. And even though, on our way to the park, Eliza and Hyrum decided to wrestle over who got to hold the tiny bubble container that was left in the van (the spilled contents of which are all over the front of Hyrum's shirt), we pressed on.
I knew I had to work fast because it was UNBEARABLY hot and muggy outside, even in the shade. So I did my best to arrange the family and did the ol' tripod and timer trick on my camera several times. Taking a self family portrait is no easy task, let me tell you! I was going back and forth (I don't have a remote, which I regretted today) from camera to cheesy pose and back again, and since I didn't have anyone telling me to keep my head straight I was exhibiting my characteristic huge head tilt in all the photos. Argh. By this time the family was begging for mercy and pleading to stop, and sweat was literally rolling down my face. It was great.
Here you can see me squatting down so my head is relatively close to everyone else's. That partly explains the head tilt too, by the way. Guess I should have brought 2 chairs! So I'm curious, of the 2 family pictures you see here, which one do you prefer? Photo 1 (the first one) or Photo 2 (the one directly above this text)?
I quickly gave up on trying to get a perfect family shot and focused on getting some good ones of the kids. I can't believe how old Hazel looks in these pictures! Where on earth is my baby?
Despite her flushed face and discomfort from the heat, Hazel pulled through with some extremely endearing expressions. She's thinking about the ice cream I promised them after the photo shoot is over. This is the dress that I made for her the same time I made Eliza's aqua ruffle dress. I'm going to made a pattern for it, but it will have to wait until I can earn enough money to get large pattern pieces printed en masse.
By the end of the session (you can tell how far along we are in the photo shoot by how dark (or light) the bubble spots are on Hyrum's shirt. Grrr. :-) By this time the spots had dried a bit, but with close to 100% humidity it didn't happen very fast. So here they are, looking like they're going Off to See the Wizard, except that is obviously not a yellow brick road.
At least we remembered to apply bug spray before venturing out into the wild and ferocious mosquito territory. Thank goodness for that! And thank goodness for air conditioning in our house...I simply cannot imagine what life must be (or have been) like for all the people throughout the world in steamy climates who don't (or didn't) have AC. I can't even think straight - and I'm a complete grouch - even after being outside for a few minutes in this weather, and yet there is no escaping it if air conditioning isn't an option. Yikes. Another thing to be grateful for.
And most of all, I'm thankful for my family. When I'm at home with my kids all summer and it's too hot to go outside and I literally feel like I'm on verge of insanity because of how crazy and loud and often contentious my children can be, I try to stop. And remember. That without my kids, my life would be pretty darn boring and pointless. There are times when I am just desperate for a break, for some quiet time to myself and the opportunity to work on my huge list of things I'm dying to accomplish, but if I were to lose my kids all that other stuff would be empty and hollow in comparison.
So I pray that I can be more patient and loving even when they're running around screaming and yelling at the tops of their lungs, and my Built-In Chaos Meter is completely buried in the Danger/Overload Red Zone. Or worse, when they're teasing eachother and trying to make somebody else cry and scream without getting caught doing it. Oh, man, that really pushes my buttons. My kids have all inherited at least portions of my hot temper and willful personality (which proves that God really does have a sense of humor...or is it justice?) so it is going to be a lifelong journey for all of us to learn how to be calm regardless of the circumstance.
I'm grateful beyond words for the opportunity it is for me to be their Mom, though. Parenthood is definitely the most challenging and yet the most rewarding thing I have ever undertaken. So I guess I'll keep my darling little rugrats, chaos and all (wink).