Black and White Wednesday - "It Never Turns Out As Planned"

December 15, 2010

Gosh, has it really been an entire week since I have posted?

Between adjusting to life with a new little one, just returning to work, and Christmas only days away, I am failing miserably at keeping up around here.

I feel horrible because I don't think I have even taken a picture of Reagan or any of the kids in almost two weeks. Reagan is changing so quickly and I really need to make sure that I keep taking photos even though I am back at work.

Most of the time, I can squeeze in a little photoshoot over the weekend, but this weekend, I didn't even have time for that. We had two things that were at the top of our "to do" list. Addressing our Christmas Cards and putting up our Christmas Tree. I am happy to say that both are done....FINALLY! Those Christmas Cards seem to hang over my head every year, but this year was extra stressful.

Usually at the very least, I have outfits in mind or purchased by Halloween, but because of the trip to China and not really knowing Reagan's size, I was totally unprepared and rushing around at the last minute to find something for all of them to wear.

It was the weekend before Thanksgiving when I finally got everything together and knew it was going to be now or never and I had to stop wasting time and being so picky with the outfits. It was really one of the last weekends that we had warmish weather and I knew if I waited any longer, I would be forced to do something indoors, which I wanted to avoid at all costs.

That Saturday morning, I prepared both Nick and Sarah and asked them to please cooperate because I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me with Reagan.

It took me almost two hours to get everyone dressed and everything packed up and ready to head out. You forget all the things you might need with a one year old. I had even packed little noisemaker toys, stuffed animals, and rattles so that I could use them to get Reagan's attention.

We arrived at the park and I start unloading the car and I see out of the corner of my eye Sarah starting to skip around the car. I walked over to her and told her that she should not skip or run beacuse if she falls, she will ruin her outfit. Cream leggings, cream skirt. I know, what was I thinking?

I had Reagan and my big bag of tricks loaded up in the stroller and we found a spot to try a couple of pictures. Reagan starts crying becuase she does not want Nick to hold her, she wants me. I knew this was not going to be easy..... I took about 5 frames and said to the kids, this is not working, let's try something else where we can put Reagan in a different position.

I turn around and start walking with the stroller when I hear "SPLAT"

Sarah decided to RUN down the hill and fell down on gravel. As soon as I heard the sound, I knew it was not going to be good. She stands up and the knees of her pants are black and basically RUINED. She was fine, thank goodness. Luckily the leggings were made out of a sweater material and were super thick and spared her knees of anything more than a few scratches.

UGH!! I don't know who wanted to cry more, her or me! The thought of packing it up and going home and having to do this all over again was not appealing to me, so I had to think fast.

I got her calmed down and cleaned up and told her we were going to go back to the car to fix her pants. We turned them around backwards so all the dirt was in the back and you would not see it from the front.

It worked and we made our second attempt to try to get something.

I was losing my patience and was really just not in the photography zone whatsoever. I just kept snapping in hopes of getting something. Looking back, I probably should have packed it up the minute she fell, but I just wanted to get it over with.

I did get a few usable shots. They are not what I wanted or what I had planned in my head and they are in no way creative, but they are my kids and I think they are pretty darn cute(Biased I know)so I guess that is all that matters!!

The dreaded shoot bw cropped BLOG2
Next week I will post our actual Christmas Card, but for today, I thought I would post one of our outtakes in black and white because it perfectly captured the mood that afternoon! I think the only person who did not shed a tear was Nick. He did a wonderful job of trying to get the girls to cooperate and also gave his Mom some moral support when she needed it:)


Unknown said...

I loved reading about your picture taking adventure with the kids. I remember last year when you had all those issues with your card too : ) Like the paper was wrong or something? I think it turned out so adorably! Really. Your kids are the cutest. Brilliant about turning the pants around. I don't know if I would have thought of that. LOVE their outfits.

Kristen said...

Your kids are the cutest! I totally hear you about how hard it's been to keep up with everything pre-holidays. Good luck! Can't wait to see the Xmas card photo.

Everything Beautiful Shay said...

How brilliant to turn the pants around! This photo is beautiful and Can't wait to see your final pick!!! My husband Scott was just asking about you tonight! :) I am so glad I will be able to give him an update tomorrow!!! You are amazing to get all that done with all you have going on! So thankful you are doing well back at work.

Wanda said...

Oh Jeepers - it is so true. I think the harder we plan (and get our expectations set on something)the more it goes in the other direction. I waited to do ours as long as possible because we had one malady after another and Milana has been sporting a really nasty black eye for 3 weeks now. Last Saturday it was do or die. And like you - not how I wanted it to turn out at all. But.........we will live with it, right?

I can so imagine how you must have been feeling after all the preparation and one mishap after another. I am sure we will love the final outcome though.

And though it's been hard, returning to work with everything else spinning in circles - I know you have joy in your heart too. Take a deep breath and remind yourself when you need to.

Big hugs my friend!!

ellieshine said...

yay for Nick. oh I could feel your frustration. We did our card photo in mid Nov. because of moving in late Nov. The kids were not in the mood that day! It is marginal at best :(

I can't wait to see yours - and truly you are capturing the memories and that is what matters - right?!

Thanks for your honest post - I'm thinking of you as you get adjusted to being a mom of three - and working!

Dita said...

Oh, I pictured it perfectly from your words. I remember the day you did that. I swear you were completely grey haired by the end of the day and in need of a very LARGE glass of wine.

We had similar events here and I only just tonight finally ordered my cards. You may be looking at a Happy New Year card instead of a Christmas card. Why do we do this to ourselves??

I received your GORGEOUS card in the mail and I can tell you as a recipient....all your stress and hard work paid off. It is perfection. And yes, your kids could have all mooned and it would have been perfect...because they are YOUR perfect children.


Nick looks so grown up here with the girls. What a great young man he is growing him!

Gail said...

Well, I totally here ya about having the best plans and then things not quite going the way you thought they might. Lisa you really made the best of it. And since I have seen your card in person, it turned out beautifully!

I actually think this picture for today is adorable. I love Nick's concern for Reagan, you can see what a great big brother he is.

Looking forward to next week's black and white Wednesday!


Kayce said...

It's never perfect is it?! But it really is!! Your card is beautiful and looking at it I never would have thought otherwise! LOVE the black and's adorable!!

Julie said...

You know...even on frustrating days...I end up with pictures that are priceless! This one is beautiful! and REAL!

Anonymous said...

So cute. Love it! I think the card is going to be beautiful even if it wasn't what you were expecting.

Mimi said...

Nick is s fine boy!
don't know if this is any consolation, but you're way ahead of me, my tree is up but decorations are still in boxes all over the place, and of course the ripple effect, every room is a mess. And it's my busiest week at work!

Your picture looks beautiful, Lisa, I can see why you wanted outdoors. It must be a mother thing, I could see the back-to-front solution the minute Sarah fell!

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

aw, what a sweet boy Nick is!

this picture is sensational from where I sit.


Love Letters To China said...

I think we should all post our outtakes on the day after Christmas. I know I have more of those than the final outcome. :-)

I love your final card and think you have, yet again, managed to produce an amazing group of photos. Even though you felt like you were defeated, you managed to make it through and come out shining. Maybe these cards we fret over for so long wouldn't be so good if they didn't have some great stories to go along with them.


Steffie B. said...

It would only be fitting to have that first Christmas card with all 3 be you not remember my attempt with all 3 in 2007? Emmie holding Daniel who was arched back in her arms SCREAMING.....Fia looking over at him like Oh boy.....I'm just going to sit here and be good and hold the ornament Mommy said I could year will be much better! ;)

Looking forward to seeing what you came up will be precious I'm sure! There was nothing creative about mine this year either....I was just happy to get four kids looking my way, eyes open and smiling! lol

Have a great week.

Jodee said...

Thank you so much for the Christmas card. It turned out fabulous! Even though things didn't go quite as planned, you still got some great shots of the kids! Love this picture too!

paige said...

oh friend i've been there too!!
we probably all have been.
surely our kids won't be scarred by the 'it's for the chirstmas card damnit" comments? right?


paige said...

teasin...hope i didn't offend anyone with my holiday cursing

merry christmas

Jo said...

The level of perfection we all strive for during the holidays always gets the best of us. Truth be told, it's the outtakes we remember and the stories behind them. Never the perfect photo we mail off in masses.


Kam said...

Your card came yesterday and it is just stunning. I absolutely love it! We are way behind...waiting for some One Less Orphan shirts to come in so we can even do a card this year...but wanted to drop by and say thanks for yours. It made my day. I'm still here btw...I check in with you often. Just been kinda absent in bloggerville. But I'm here and so grateful this year for all that has happened in your sweet family. God is good!
Merry Christmas my friend~

Unknown said...

Oh Lisa - I'm so sorry!

I understand having one of those days - sure wish I was smart enough to think of that trick. GOOD ONE!

Your photo is funny and cute. I like the outtakes too because they are real - sometimes all the smiles don't really show the true moment or phase a child is in. That is why we used a photo with Noah being Noah last year on our card - he just didn't smile ever during a photo. But he does now all of the time. Reagan will grow out of this phase. I'm sure it is hard for both of you to be away from each other during the day. Praying for you!

Lots of love!
Who just put up her very 1st Christmas tree EVER! WAHOO!

CM said...

Oh don't feel bad...I too posted an outtake from my attempt to get a decent pic of my boys in front of the Christmas tree. Kids are so unpredictable!

Hey, I linked up today!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Omg the cutest picture.....Nick looks so old next to the girls. Can't wait to see the shot you used! Have a great week!

Lori said...

Oh Lisa, goodness gracious, this is beautiful....really!! It brought a tiny tear to my eye reading this.....somehow knowing what you went through makes it even precious! :)
Nick looks SO tall next to his tiny it!!
Hang in're an awesome mom! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Lori said...

oops, I meant to say "even MORE precious"!! :)

Debbie said...

Hi Lisa,Im looking forward to seeing your Xmas card photo, after your shinigans! Have no idea how you managed to concentrate on getting your photos done. Nick is sooo grown up.
Am having a lot of fun with my one year old this Xmas... I know you are too...arent they just wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Yep! I feel your pain! Three different days.... three different photo shoots and finally I settled on the one picture! I was not about to go out again and stress myself out (or the kids) on trying to get the perfect picture! =)

Marla said...

Hahaha!! The tights, the looks on their faces, all of it just makes this shot priceless. And someday you'll look back and laugh too. :)

I love the card, it's just gorgeous and you'd never know looking at it how much trouble you had that day. Happy Wednesday, my friend!

Buckeroomama said...

Nick looks like a very mature boy from what I've seen in his pictures... and I could just picture him trying to help you through the session. :)

I half-heartedly tried to take some photos for a more personalized Christmas card from our family, but after a few failed sessions, I gave up! Good thing I still have commercial cards on hand. Not ideal, but there's always next year. =)

likeschocolate said...

It seems like that is the story of our photos every year. This year my littlest fell in the pond while I was taking a picture of his older brother. Can't wait to see the real photo!

Jboo said...

Love that outtake! It is so hard to get a good photo of one for a Christmas card, let alone three! You did awesome! Beautiful card!


Kelly And Allison said...

This is a really cute story. picture looks adorable!

Laurie said...


I'm Laurie from High on the Rock Photography, and I found this challenge thru Ramblings and Photos. I had a lot of fun editing my photo to enter!

Reagan is just adorable, and it sounds like you had quite an adventure getting some family photos! :) Your black-and-whites are so pretty. I hope to be back next week!

Happy shooting,

Maddy said...

Seriously, Lisa...I hear you loud and clear!! When I "attempted" to take my family's holiday pictures, it was a disaster! I also wanted to let you know that I received my card in the mail and all the pictures were stunning! You seriously couldn't tell all this "chaos" you described was going in the background :) I would say you got more than just a few "usable" shots. They are simply beautiful!! Thank you for thinking of me this holiday season! I would send one back, but I'm forgoing cards this year. Too much going on, plus, I have no cute kidlets of my own to photograph ;o)

Courtney said...

This image is perfect for b&w. Sometimes the outtakes are the best ones in my opinion. Happy Wednesday!:)

M3 said...

Oh sweetie, sorry it was so trying! I'm sure the pictures are gorgeous and you'll laugh about it in years to come. We did a massive photo shoot last year and I designed a beautiful card, and this year, well this year I grabbed a snapshot that was taken one morning as the girls were on their way to school and popped it on a postcard. That was it for our Christmas cards. Yikes. Maybe next year I'll go for the big beautiful again. Hey, maybe it can be an every-other-year thing?! Big hugs, and can't wait to see the final images.

snekcip said...

Oh boy the dreaded Christmas photo! I tried last year capturing a pic of my sweet girl and her beloved schnauzer together, and I wound up with the dog licking her in the face or her totally looking off, or the dog Christmas sweater twisted, turned or bunch! So I took off the sweater and said forget it! A few mins later, I noticed a quietness coming from the playroom *any mother of a toddler KNOWS a quiet room PLUS a toddler PLUS a dog=TROUBLE! I walked in and they were both peering out the window at the newly fallen snow! I ran (ahem) BOLTED and got my camera and SNAP!! Perfect Christmas card! I actually you that pic as my profile pic here on blogger! I LOVE IT!!!

Megan said...

Hello! I love your photos, they are simply amazing! I found your blog via Ramblings and Photos and I'm not participating in Black and White Wednesdays! Thank you!!

Susan said...

Lisa, you don't know me but I really would like to talk with you if you have a moment. My family just returned two weeks ago from China getting our new daughter. My email is Thanks so much! And you have such beautiful children!

Michelle R Photography said...

Oh my! I would have never guessed that when looking at your card. It was BEAUTIFUL!!! Seriously, Reagan was even working it!! I gotta love the outtake, too, though. SO CUTE!!!

Heidi said...

Love this, I applaud anyone who has the perseverance to get a Christmas card done!

The 5 Bickies said...

Every Christmas card has a story, doesn't it? I thought your card and photo were gorgeous and just perfect for your beautiful family. I would have never known all of this happened! I still have to do the outtake post too :)

Bridget said...

Oh the dreaded Christmas card photos! Why do we do this to ourselves I ask myself?! I loved reading about your Christmas card outing-it made me tired just thinking about it. Ours was not as bad but pretty close and unfortunately for our newest daughter who despises the cold it was not a fun event. Let's just say I am glad it is over and look forward to just getting the cards in the mail! Your out take is even cute and your card is adorable! Hope all is well and you are enjoying the season -all the craziness and all! The kids are adorable. Sarah looks so much older and so pretty, Nick is so handsome and Miss Reagan is an absolute doll!!

Enjoy and relax.


Hot Hot JJ said...

Haven't we all had days like that? Especially when you throw kids in the mix. Yuck. Sorry it was not so fun.

I did black on white Wednesday too!

Missy said...

Doesn't it always end up that way when we have "Great Expectations?"
I am impressed with how creative you were on the fly, regarding Sarah's tights. I don't know I would have thought of that (you still have it, my friend :) I love the outtake, but I ADORE your Christmas card. My mom, Paige and I did a lot of ooohhing and aaahing over it!!! I am out of school for 3 weeks starting this Friday...LET'S TALK!!!!

Freckles & Dimples Photography said...

hey! i know that place! :)
i know this is an outtake, but I think it is adorable. wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday...

Me said...

I loved reading your post! SO many beautiful photos today!

Football and Fried Rice said...

i couldn't even stand how darling your Christmas card was this year. And I think you captured this time in your lives perfectly. You are hard on yourself - cause you are amazing! And juggling an awful lot if I can say so!!

Merry Christmas, Lisa!

Robin said...

Oh Lisa ... I totally understand what you're talking about. There was just no way I had the patients to take our own pictures this year ... paid someone else :) I'm sure the pictures are just beautiful as your family! Love Nick's look in this B&W picture ... what a sweet big-brother! Every Christmas picture has a great memory behind it that you will forever remember!

xoxo Robin

Rachelle said...

our holiday card shoot went pretty similar... Yadon (2) refused to stay in the camera's viewfinder. The remote refused to take the picture without the 3 second delay. And Chi (7) was searching for diversion... So fun, so typical

DiJo said...

Well, you know I can relate!!!!! I have seen your card, and I LOVE it!!! They are all so precious together Lisa!

I am so impressed your cards are done.. I have had mine for weeks, and they are just starting to get mailed... Why is that my story every year?

Oh well, so much to be thankful for!

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the best photos are the outtakes.

Merry Christmas From my family to yours!

Unknown said...

Love your site. I always find it enlightening!! Lovely photo

Briana's Mom said...

I got my card and it is absolutely GORGEOUS! I would have never realized that you had such a hard time getting those shots. You are a total rock star. And your kids are pretty dang cute. :D

Galen said...

They're precious, skinned knees, tears and all. Nick, so dear. Beautiful family.

Faith Hope Love Photography said...

I bet they are just beautiful. I love, plain and simple ;) Sorry I have been missing in action lately...hopefully after the holiday's I can catch up. Can't wait to see your card!

Sharon said...

Sarah looks so big next to her baby sister! Can we just freeze time already?! Our kids are growing too big ! I can't believe I have a teenager now.

a Tonggu Momma said...

I never would have guessed all that looking at your card! I'm guessing you'll laugh at it all by this time next year. Unless it happens again. Then you just might cry. Or drink a really, really BIG glass of wine. (((hugs)))

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