I’ll just sum up this blog real quick for you: it was fantastic! Puppies and rainbows! Everyone cooperated and there was no tears or yelling!
Just kidding. Like, I’m just kidding BIG TIME.
So the first time we attempted the family holiday photo shoot was during a beautiful early snowfall St Louis experienced. Everything was in place: outfits ready to go and kids ready to go. Except that morning Aspen had her 2 year old photo shoot and had an epic meltdown. And then my step kids, Landon and Sutton, didn’t get home from school until 4 and the lighting would be iffy at that point. Plus Aspen spontaneously developed a runny nose and no… just no. I cancelled it.
Fast forward several weeks. For the first time in my relationship with my husband he created a schedule a month in advance for when we have my step kids (hooray! now I can actually plan and prepare!) so I finally found a weekend when we had them that they were available before the “good light” disappears around 4:30pm.
That infamous Saturday finally arrives.
That morning I woke up at 6am to mitigate the hectic schedule for the day. I showered, washed and dried my hair, did my makeup, laid out outfits from head to toe for each of my people (Jimmy, Landon (12), Sutton (9), Aspen (2), Hayes (6mo), Hart (6mo), Girly Girl, and me), and packed diaper bags for the twins and Aspen. Then I did my morning routine with all three babies while Jimmy did something (like go to the grocery store) but wasn’t around to help with the kids. Mid-morning I noticed one of my twins was struggling to breathe. Sure, he had a cold, but it seemed worse. I got him a last minute Saturday appointment with his pediatrician and took both twins for a sick visit check-up. Turns out Hayes had RSV and my healthy one, Hart, had an ear infection from his leftover drainage from his cold. So that was a fun surprise to add to the day.
After this I straightened and curled Sutton’s hair and determined that she could not wear the teal sports bra she wanted to wear, but she also needed some kind of support so I gave her a pre-baby tank top of mine to borrow then loosely talked to her about how she feels about training bras (because why not make body changes a part of daily conversation versus a big huge official talk?).
Aspen went down for her nap and reinforcements soon arrived. My assistant, Cassie – who basically is an extension of me – and a babysitter were prepared for battle. Aspen overslept from her nap and the twins had to be woken up so I took the twins and the dog in my car (we’d all dress once we got there). Jimmy took Landon, Sutton, and Aspen. Jimmy still hadn’t left the house (I have his location) when I was a minute away from pulling up to the studio when Landon calls and says “We are all hungry and are stopping by McDonalds.” MCDONALDS IS NOT ON THE WAY. I call Jimmy in a sheer panic about how we have to get the pictures before the lighting disappears and how he can’t go to McDonald’s (gross btw). He gets frustrated and starts raising his voice about how hungry he is since he and Landon just got back from his soccer game. I respond with a louder voice about how this has already been planned and he should have anticipated this. Meanwhile, everyone is hearing this loving exchange.
The scene: downtown loft.
The door was locked, they couldn’t buzz us in. I’m standing outside in the freezing cold with my twins. Once we get in I have Cassie wait at the front door to let Jimmy and company inside (update: he has made a game time decision to avoid McDonalds in favor of preserving his marriage). So man down while Cassie waits for the other half of The Edmonds.
We arrive at the loft. My incredible photographer has an array of beer choices for me to imbibe in – so so so so smart! We furiously begin changing into our beautiful matching tartan printed silk rompers, dresses, and skirt by the up-and-coming talented Hello Dobson while Girly Girl tried to eat the dirty diapers from the twins. Jimmy and company arrive and Sutton has a baby immediately thrust into her arms, a common occurrence if she is within arm’s distance of someone with a baby (plus a beautiful photo was snapped of this. Sutton was wearing the hair tie I told her to take off but who cares. Not me, no, definitely not me.) but then I remember I still need to put a bow in her hair so can someone else please take this baby and hopefully he doesn’t spit up on his beautiful outfit (which was made for when they wore a smaller size so thank God they still fit).
Aspen is running around the loft like a wild banshee who’s just escaped from the zoo, Landon can’t be peeled away from his stupid phone, Girly Girl needs anxiety meds, and I feel like the excorcist with my head spinning 360 degrees. Jimmy is surprisingly calm. (Again, I’d like to thank Christina for the beer.)
Fancy photos complete. My husband said he’d never allow me to dress our boys in knee socks and rompers but that’s exactly what they wore. He said he couldn’t tuck his shirt in but he did. And Landon wore jeans for probably the second time in his life. The girls, on the other hand, were perfectly cooperative as long as we don’t include Aspen and Girly Girl.
Pajama time! This is going to be so chill and laid back. It kinda was, actually. Jimmy didn’t complain at all, Landon said his pants didn’t fit right (they did), but Sutton, Aspen, and I didn’t mind and had already broken in our matching pj’s while at the Polar Express. The twins and the dog were also very cooperative. Other than Jimmy not being able to properly bend his knee due to baseball injuries and me kissing him and getting red lipstick all over his mouth the shoot went great.
We packed up and left and the whole thing took less than an hour! I was so proud of myself and my family. And I was so convinced we didn’t get one good shot. Boy was I wrong.
Just give me 364 days to recover and I’m sure I’ll be back at it again.