Thursday, November 19, 2009

Living in the Outtakes

A three-year old and one-year-old twins walk into a portrait studio.

The newly-walking 1-year-old girl says, "Wide open space!" and refuses to sit still unless bribed with animal cookies.

The 1-year-old boy says, "No, I'm not going to smile" and proceeds to look bored in all the shots.

The three year old says, "I don't want to take pictures!" and does everything he can to prove his point.

He says "cheese!" and grins like a goofball.
He sticks his hands in his pants and then hides behind mommy when told to stop it.

He pulls his pants up to his knees.

And when he finally cooperates, the twins start crying.
The final picture we'll send to family and friends (none of these here) just doesn't tell the real story.

It doesn't show the night before preparations--six pairs of brown and black shoes lined up across daddy's desk. Six little pairs of socks laid out with six precious outfits.

It doesn't show a devoted pair of grandparents waving feather boas and musical Santa dolls in the air behind the camera to try and get three independent children to cooperate. Or those same grandparents helping dress and redress squirming arms and legs.

It doesn't show a mother's prayer for just one decent shot of everybody looking at the camera...and for her to maybe look halfway pretty, too.

But these pictures that didn't quite make the cut...they're where my life truly is. My life definitely isn't found in three perfectly behaved angels or in perfect hair days.

It's found in loud shrieks of laughter, boo-boo tears, and many a child's pant-less (and shoe-less) afternoon on the farm. It's lived in tousled hair, dirt-streaked faces , and truck races to the back pine tree.

No studio portrait can show all that.


  1. Jennifer, I love the candid shots take of children. I love that they are honest.

    Yet, I truly understand the heart of a mother to have at least that one picture of her family all smiling--portraying togetherness. One that says we are a family, we love each other.

    I love these pictures because they are truly a picture of the personalities of your three children.

    And the second one of the whole family--is beautiful! You all seem to be relaxed and YOU--ARE beautiful! Know that your prayer was indeed answered!

  2. My brother and his wife sent out pictures last year, one of my nephew in a full tilt scream, the other looking really sweet with my nephew and nieces holding hands walking down a path. The shot was from the back and didn't show that he was still screaming his head off. Getting good photos of kids is nothing short of a miracle.

    Despite what was happening behind the scenes, these photos are precious and real. And your kids are adorable.

  3. I love the pictures you posted, and especially with the background story you put about each one. And yes, you are so right, no picture will ever tell the true story behind the scenes.

    I've read up on your recent sorry to hear your whole family has not been well. Hope you will all be fully recovered soon.

    The upside down Christmas tree being the latest fad? Methinks it's hideous and monstrous. And I agree with your comment that it has a hidden points downward, not upward.

    Look up in hope, dear Jennifer. We know we will soon be celebrating the birthday of our Savior. That is the real message of the Christmas season.

    I pray that God will give you time to recover the sleep your body has been needing these past weeks...and that you will have a meaningful Thanksgiving.