Monday, December 29, 2014

Winston Watch-2014- The last week

So, how is this for funny?

I loaded the first five pictures ages ago with the intention of coming back, adding more pictures and actually writing the post.  I picked a date well into the future for it to auto-publish and then never came back to do anything.

I checked my blog last night at about 1:00 am and laughed out loud to just see random pictures with no text.

Let's finish this!

On Friday, December 19th Winston snuck into one of our bags so that he could come to Flagstaff with us.  It was genius, really.  He didn't have to wait all night in the car and we could move him around without actually touching him.  Smart move, Winston.

On Saturday the 20th Winston was playing hide 'n seek (really, he's doing that every day, but this day was even more so) with all of the Santas and snowmen at my aunt and uncle's house.  It took us a while to locate him.

On Sunday the 21st Winston hid in a container of Spencer's markers so he could make the journey home with us.  We found him in the kitchen, but he ended up in the back of the car. Once again, he picked a place where he could be moved around easily with no touching.  Brilliant!
On Monday the 22nd Winston needed to prove that he is not afraid of heights.  He was all the way up, on the top of our tree.

On Tuesday the 23rd we drove to Tucson.  It took a long time but we finally found Winston strapped behind the DVD case that Elliott uses in the car.  Smart and safe! 
On Wednesday the 24th Winston was once again showing that he is not afraid of heights.  He was zip lining with a candy cane in the living room.  It was also a perfect location to watch the Christmas Eve festivities without the threat of being touched. 

And finally, on Christmas Day Winston wrapped himself up like a present and added a bunch of bows to make himself pretty.  He was sitting close to the tree, probably so he could protect the presents after Santa left them.
Winston was gone on the 26th, but he did leave a note for the kids and a crisp $1 bill for each of them.  He promised to be back next year.......and maybe even sooner!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Family Christmas pictures: The struggle is real

When we first moved into this house two years ago I came up with a mental list of places around the house where we could take our annual Christmas picture.  In 2012 we all wore pajamas and sat in our bed.  In 2013 we sat in front of the fireplace with the stockings hanging behind us.  Other places on my list include in front of the front door after it has been painted red, on the bench on the front patio with a huge wreath hanging on the window behind us, and on the diving board.  Well, our door is still not red, we can't afford a huge $150 wreath and our children/dog can not be trusted to not push/pull all of us in the pool if we attempt the diving board.  So, I decided the best thing for this year was to sit on our front steps and incorporate some of our festive outdoor decor.

I took some practice pictures to make sure the lighting and the cropping would work.

A human subject was needed.

And now with a tiny human subject.
John and Maryellen were kind enough to come over on a Sunday morning in early December to help us out.  John took the pictures and Maryellen stood behind him playing maracas and jingle bells to keep the attention of the wee ones and the canine one.
Do you have any idea how nearly impossible it is to get a decent picture with two kids and a dog?  I think NASA has an easier time sending satellites into far off galaxies.

We'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

I think this is my favorite of the NO's.

We almost went with this one.

But I knew we could do better so we rallied one last time and got this gem.

Official.  Christmas 2014.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The 20th

For those of you that don't know the story, when Spencer was a tiny baby (3.5 months old) I would get really bored with him at home.  We couldn't go anywhere because he was still crying during nearly every single waking moment, plus we lived in Maricopa and there was nothing to do there anyway.  Michael was gone for 13+ hours everyday (10- hour work day and 1.5 hour commute each way) so sometimes I would do random photo shoots with Spencer to pass the time.  That year, five days before Christmas I put him in a little froggy sleeper and sat him on a blanket that had been a wedding gift, between a Santa and a bear and took his picture.  Then the next year I remembered that I had done that on the 20th the year before, so I did it again.  And it became a thing.

I almost freaked out and cancelled our whole trip to Flagstaff when I realized we were going to be gone on the 20th this year.  Then I remembered that I could take the blanket and the stuffed animals with us and do this photo shoot nearly anywhere.  Panic over.

Then, our camera broke, for the 3rd time in 3 weeks at the very end of the workshop tour.  It just freezes in the on position and won't do anything.  

Panic back.

I reminded myself that I have a pretty decent camera on my phone.

Panic over.

I set up the shoot.  All seemed well.
I took the pictures.  I took a lot of pictures, but you really don't need to see all of them.  They looked fine on my phone, but once they were on the computer they looked dark and blurry.  I even tried editing them and messing with the light, but it didn't help at all.

Panic back.

We'll get back to the panic that is back in a moment.  For now, let's finish the 20th.

We had happy hour and dinner at my aunt and uncle's house.
Then we went back to Little America (where you leave from to go to Santa's Workshop) to walk around and look at their Christmas light display.

We saw a family doing a selfie with lights in the background and we were jealous.  We wanted a cool family selfie.  But apparently we suck at it.

This, while not a selfie, was more successful.

Nope.  Not so much.

OK.  That's better.

So, we came home on the 21st and I downloaded 47.8 million pictures from the weekend.  It wasn't until I saw the pictures from the 20th on the computer that I really panicked because they were awful and I went back and forth on forcing myself to use them because they were legitimately from the 20th, or taking new pictures that would be better but were taken on the 21st and were, in fact, a lie.  I have never missed the 20th in 7 years so this feels like dark and dangerous territory.  If I allow a 21st to sneak in here, what's going to stop me from taking this picture on Valentine's Day in 9 years?

While I was having an actual existential crisis about the whole thing Michael told me I was an idiot and to just re-do the pictures because nobody really cares anyway.  Sometimes that's all that I need.

So, I give you, the 20th pictures from the 21st, but after this year we will all pretend they are from the 20th and forget that this unpleasantness ever happened. 

And now, a chronological flashback.

Spencer first.









And now Elliott.

2011 (he was 4! days old)




And now, side by side comparisons from their birth year to this year.

See, I used some flashy trickery and you've already forgotten about my deception.