I have always taken a photo on Mother's Day.
I have long dreamed of having a framed photo of me and my children.
Smiling at the camera.
Coordinated (and yet not too matchy) outfits.
Love abundant in our eyes.
This is the first "Mother's Day" photo I could find.
It was taken in the days of "black and white film is so artistic and cool."
I look so, uh, happy.
I think I was pregnant.
I was always pregnant in the 90's.
I remember disappointingly getting the photo back, seeing my bangs hanging all greasy-like, and filling them in on the photo with a sharpie marker.
This was before I discovered Photoshop.
Or clothing outside of the local K-Mart.
We also used this shot as our family picture for a long time.
A super weird camera angle that seemed to stretch the poor people on the sides of the photo.
Sam is looking particularly good, with that sweet necklace.
And me in my denim overalls.
We had a lot of babies then.
And stockpiles of Mountain Dew.
I don't remember much about the next few years of our lives.
Just diapers, and Barney the #$^@! Dinosaur.
Next up...this was the best shot we could get that year.
Our lives were all about herding cats.
We were on zone defense.
We were lucky to get them all in the photo.
Everyone smiling at the camera?
I scoff at you.
But I pasted on a smile.
Was I really happy?
(Side note: green hose, zig-zag parted hair, and flowerbeds full of large sized weeds.)
Then I had Mikayla, our youngest.
This was the winning photo.
We took an entire roll of 24.
I also remember loving plaid for my boys.
The next year, I grew my bangs out.
I have a really weird forehead.
And even stranger kids.
We figured, "let's do an intentional silly shot, since we can't ever get a good one anyway."
It was really depressing.
The weight, and the craptastic annual (fail) photo shoot.
Just floating heads of Motherhood.
And Brendan looks constipated?
There is always at least one kid that makes the annual photo "special."
Fast forward to this year.
I thought to myself "hey, all the kids are older, maybe we can get a truly good picture this year?"
So I set up the pose, bribed the children, and instructed Sam on taking the photo.
Here is what we got:
Brendan and Mikayla uncomfortable.
Shayne, zoned out, staring at a place behind the camera, and mentally far, far away.
Shianne and I in hysterics.
Here is another shot:
And here is the background to achieving a shot yourself, JUST. LIKE. THIS.
But I warn you, it takes skeelz.
The camera person must be holding the camera completely still on top, while also getting jiggy with it on the bottom.
Like a high-end pole dancer.
Preferably just after church, while still in a suit.
And the neighbors should be driving home from church, witnessing it all.
That would be Sam.
I love him.
Doing what it takes to get a good Mother's Day shot.
"All I want for Mother's Day is ONE FREAKING GOOD PHOTO! IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?!!"
Sam, taking one for the team.
All pride gone.
Making the kids look at the camera, and smile real smiles.