Tag Archive | "Christmas Card"

The Christmas card that almost wasn’t- featuring my son the axe murderer

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I tend to go to extremes when doing certain things.  Christmas is one of those things!  I go way overboard for the Elf on the Shelf, I deck the halls as much as I can afford to, and I make sure my Christmas Card is awesome even though our list is rather short.

When thinking of ideas I decided the ’57 Chevy Bel Air that was in our possession, temporarily, would be perfect!  My head was swimming with amazing ideas, like putting the tree in the ginormous trunk and having the family in vintage attire next to the car.  Or posing next to the car with tons of shopping bags, wearing one of the vintage hats I found at an estate sale.  Or one shot IN the car with the kids’ heads sticking out of the amazing window.  All of the ideas involved trying to create a “period” photo from the 50′s and using the car.  Then… poof.  Car was already being shipped out to my Father-in-Law by my husband while I was attending ABC Kids Expo 2 months ago.

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I still had my heart set on something with vintage flair and since I would see the car again, I was going to try for a second time.  I found the perfect outfits from a thrift shop to wear and had Instagram vote on which to wear.  Then, when we were in NC for Thanksgiving, the car was in the shop.  We had hours to come up with a new plan- the next few days were all rainy and by the time it cleared up we would be back in Florida.  I was loving the cold weather opportunity to take photos and didn’t want to take them in Florida.

The next idea was to head out to a tree farm, pretend to cut a tree (since we didn’t actually need a tree!) and use them as a background.  I was going to buy a wreath there in order to not feel guilty.  Closest farm was 45 minutes from our location and we only had maaaaybe 2 hours of light left for photos.  Had we left earlier we would have been OK but someone (I won’t name names) didn’t get home when he said he would.

Hormonal me (it was THAT time) started breaking down in tears.  All of my plans were ruined.  I take these things very seriously.  My Father-in-Law promised to drive around to look for a spot to take photos but I was not thrilled.  It wasn’t the theme I wanted, we would look so silly wearing our “period” style outfits in a random place.   I was definitely, definitely hormonal and irrational.

We packed into the car and first went to a park.  It wasn’t suitable and there were no evergreens that made for a nice backdrop.  So… we made due because there was NO time.

Next hurdle?  The kid.  The 5 year old kid to be exact.  He had cried the entire 5 minute drive, and insisted he would not be participating.  Yeah right.  ”Taking pictures is SO BORING!  I don’t want to take pictures.  I want to go to Chuck E Cheese.”  I’m not above bribery when it comes to photo taking.  I know it sucks when you are a kid to be dressed and asked to sit still or not look goofy.  The bribe?  A donut.  He favorite thing in the world.  Still, he was not happy… so… we let him hold the ax we brought in case we could find a place to pretend to cut trees because it was the only thing that stopped his crying.

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I set the camera manually and made sure the aperture was wide open (This is why learning to use a manual DSLR is so, so handy!)  My Father-in-Law, a former photographer in his own right, took our photos.  The thing is… my son wouldn’t put the ax down… so we have dozens of family photos with my son the ax murderer in them.  Eventually we got a few without.  I was satisfied with the outcome, but still sad that they were just normal family photos.

On the way to eat donuts my husband redeemed himself.  ”What if we go downtown and do a few street photography shots?”  OK!  We went to downtown Pineville, found an empty street, and took about 10 photos of the family walking together up the sidewalk.  There were no modern cars parked so it has the illusion that it would have been from any time.  I still wish we had the Bel Air parked on the street but it was not available.

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With the street photos and the family shots in the park we had a card.

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It wasn’t until Facebook got involved that the card got more interesting.  After the family session on the park I took some photos of the boys, then a few of my son posing with the ax for giggles.  I posted the ax shot and friends were commenting on it.  One friend, Marisa, said “Have a Merry AxMas!”  Another friend, Maria from Change-Diapers, said “You received my list, right Santa?”  These were too good not to steal for my card!  I added this photo to the back right before ordering and used both of their ideas.  They get total credit, they’re both genius ideas.

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This is the first year we had someone else to take photos for us.  Our last 3 Christmas Cards were all taken with a tripod and a remote.  If you’d like to look back at other cards, here are the 2012 and 2011 versions.  We used Minted.com for our cards this year and I’m annoyed that they include their logo on the back but oh well.  They turned out very nice.

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Merry “Fluffy” Christmas 2012!

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Wishing your family a Merry Christmas this year! Perhaps Santa will bring your little ones some new cloth diapers! I’ll be taking more time away form the blog to spend with family during the holiday. The diaper in the photo is currently being reviewed and is a Moraki, in case you are wondering.

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Getting in the holiday spirit {even if it kills me}

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Moving to Florida has been the best thing for our family and we are feeling so lucky to be where we are.  Of course one of the drawbacks of the amazing winter weather is that it doesn’t exactly put me in the Christmas Spirit when I’m going to a WinterFest in a sleeveless tank top and shorts.

December 3 at SeaWorld.

Things as simple as decorating the tree, decking the halls, and even the chore of taking a Christmas photo and designing the Christmas card all seem out of place.

To combat this and ensure that my family and I make the most of this holiday I’ve been laying it on a little thick around here.  My children need to have this holiday in their life.  I know that most of my fondest childhood memories revolve around the holiday season and just because it is currently 80 degrees outside it doesn’t mean that Christmas isn’t coming in 2o days!  Starting a few days after Thanksgiving I started decking the halls.  This year nearly every decoration was utilized including the extra artificial trees.  We have 4 trees in our home.  You read that right…  Everett has a mini tree that used to he his father’s and that has tiny little german wooden ornaments.  Fletcher has a leftover tree from our apartment days that is really by design an ornament tree.  He got to pick his favorite ornaments from our lot and hang them up.  This was incredibly exciting for a little boy and I’m sure we will let him have his own tree every year now; he really does love it!  The third tree is in the entryway and is the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree that I bought from Urban Outfitters when I was in college.   The fourth is out artificial 7.5 foot tree next to the fireplace.  We considered a real tree this year but again talked ourselves out of it even though we could definitely fit a taller tree here.

For heaven’s sake, I even decorated my mailbox and dressed my lions up in doggy Christmas sweaters.  Yes.  I.  Did.

The rest of house got the holiday treatment while I enjoyed the sounds of Christmas carols, because nothing gets me in the spirit like Christmas music.

We are also fully in the swing of our Elf on the Shelf adventures already and this is the first year Fletcher is “getting” the story behind it so I have to be very careful!  I had to hide my computer and photos of butchering the poor elf for his “hacks” to spare Fletcher the truth.  Despite being an atheist family we do enjoy the traditions that come with Christmas such as Elf on the Shelf and I think it drives me even more towards the deep-end to make sure the kids have pleasant memories of this time in their lives.

Oh boy… then there is the Christmas card photo.  My husband and I were near divorce over this, as it seems to happen every year that I want an elaborate set-up.  With no family or friends to take our photo we have to DIY with a tripod and a wireless remote (such a necessity that is more than worth the minimal cost.  We have used ours dozens of times).  This year I had an entire scene to create complete with props.  Since my cards haven’t been mailed out I won’t share the final image but here is a sneak peek:

 

Update:  Here is our Christmas Card.  I can share it now that they are mostly in the hands of our family and friends.  I’m entering it in The Paper Mama’s card contest.  There are so many fun entries and lots of inspiration.  It might be too late for this year’s card but next year go back and check it out.

Christmas Card "Not a Creature Was Stirring"

Christmas Card “Not a Creature Was Stirring”

Even my husband got on board and put out the Christmas Lights on our house over the weekend. We are nearly dead but it seems like Christmas is coming and by going the extra mile hopefully it will actually feel like Christmas when the time comes. The boys are getting a very large gift so I am hoping we won’t go overboard on the presents like we did last year. I read somewhere that when you grow up poor you tend to overbuy gifts for others and that rings true for me.

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