Thankful

Thankful

This photo was taken last Christmas Eve, but it’s one of my favorite family photos. It felt like we were the only ones in the world that day. All the snow was fresh and clean, the air was chilly, but not too cold to be out and everyone was in a happy mood. I was able to use one of the posts to set up the camera with the timer, so yeah me!
When you work retail, it’s so easy to let the consumerism that takes over the holidays ruin it for you. It seems like every year, they start playing the music a little sooner, the Black Friday sales start a little earlier and it becomes more and more about, buy, buy, buy. If there is one thing I hope to teach my kids, it’s that the holidays are about family.
Don’t get me wrong, my kids get some fun things from Christmas! After all, they have grandparents! LOL. They get so excited about their new toys, like all kids do, but they are so excited when we are spending time with each other, and actually focused on each other.
I do try not to judge how other people raise their kids, and when I can’t help it, I vent to Tony in the privacy of our home, but so many people are worried about showing their kids how much they love them with things, or society is teaching our kids that they HAVE to have this or that to be cool. I’m so afraid that my kids will ever develop that attitude.
Thankfully, Tony and I both come from families with similar feelings toward the concept of family. You spend time together, you do things together, you experience things together. Even the day in the photo, it was chilly and obviously there was snow, but we had so much fun walking around, watching the ducks and playing on the frigid playground equipment. I think part of the reason I’m such a photo nut is because they capture memories. Once a moment has passed, it’s gone, except for the memory. I hope one day the kids will look back on these photos of their childhood and remember that we spent time together as a family. They may not have had the most stylish clothes or the newest game system, but they will always know how much we love them.
I am just so thankful all the time, but especially around the holidays, for my family, the one Tony and I have together and the ones we came from that allowed us to forge such a strong one of our own. Our friends who help enrich the lives of our children and us by sharing these experiences with us. Take some time this holiday season to step away from the commercialism and appreciate what you already have. Enjoy the moments before they pass you by. Snap mental pictures, or real ones, to savor the memories long after the day has passed.
I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the food and companionship and if you must shop during the insanity, or work as I do, please be safe, but don’t forget the real reason of Thanksgiving. It’s not the sales, it’s a time to slow down and appreciate what you already have.

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Christmas Kid Photos

Christmaskids
The holidays are coming and I get excited every year. I love the decorations, I love the food and I love watching my kids unwrap their presents like I have given them the keys to kingdom! Giving gifts is always so much fun for me! I usually try to start early in the year so I can get a little at a time. I don’t make enough to splurge right at the end! LOL!
Christmas cards are another thing I love about the holidays. I usually have an entire wall decked out with them before the holidays are over, and they stay up until New Year’s Day. I love devising our Christmas cards too. I thought, once upon a time, that I would create these wonderfully artistic, homemade cards for everyone on my list, but that has yet to happen. I do however, love taking the pictures that I use on our cards. If you’ve read any of my older blogs, you may’ve picked up on my love of photography. I don’t claim to be Ansel Adams or anything, but I’ve gotten some really great photos over the years.
This year, of course, I took my inspiration from Pinterest! Sadly, yet again, the link that for the picture was broken, so I can’t reference the original photo op. The original photo had a white backdrop, with two boys in red hats and plaid shirts, and the lights were unplugged and off. The kids also had duct tape over their mouths saying MERRY and CHRISTMAS. It was hilarious with the duct tape, and we did try, but I couldn’t get the words to show in the photo.
This was a great half hour spent with my kids, which at the end of the day is always my goal with photo sessions. They were giggling as I wrapped them up and stuck tape over their mouths. Before you start to get upset, I made sure the tape was barely sticky before I put it on their face. They ended up playing with it afterwards. I did try several outfits before deciding that pajamas worked best. I just loved the way they were glancing at each other too. Kind of a “this is all your fault” look. They were kind of sad to see me put the lights away, but we used them for other photos for our Christmas card.
If you try this, I would love to see your results! Keep the cords loose enough so it’s not hurting them obviously and have fun with it. I just cleared a space in front of my wall for a backdrop. Mainly because I don’t have a photo studio handy, but I do love the color we painted our walls. Try not to use your flash, especially if the lights will be plugged in for your photo. Play with the AV settings on your camera and bump up the ASO. It sounds really technical, but if I can figure this out, anyone can! Try to have a little bit of light coming from behind you when you’re taking the picture. That’ll ensure the photo is not too dark.
Happy holidays! Yes I know it’s not even Thanksgiving, but if you want to use this idea, you need to be taking these photos now for cards. So put yourself in a holiday mood!