This past Sunday Jeremy, Preston and I finally suited up (not literally in suits) and drove to Sammamish - I love saying that name - to Just Because Studios in an effort to get our first family pictures taken.
I'd been so uptight about everything - the perfect outfits, making sure Preston didn't fall and bust his lip open again, being careful not to break a nail, or break out for that matter- that Jeremy said we were never going to do this again if I continued to behave in such a manner. And I'm like, "Hi, did we just meet? No." This is just how I operate.
Besides a few squabbles (one because I stupidly forgot the dang sippy cup) on the forty-five minute drive to the studio, we were in fairly good spirits. I was nervous, but figured I'd done everything I could to prepare us. We were all in check. All I had to do now was to make sure none of us tripped and fell in mud on the way into the studio. :)
We landed safely, put on our shirts (we wore our tees on the way over so not to wrinkle our outfits), and the shoot began. Melanie, the photographer and owner of Just Because, was great! She had our pre-determined shot list out, gave specific and clear direction, and had a number of fuzzy animals and quirky noises to aid in helping Preston show off his pearly whites.
He wasn't in a bad mood, he just wasn't in a good one. It's as if he was completely deaf and his attention span had dwindled into nothing. He was looking at the lights, the stuffed animals, outside, the doorway...everywhere but at Melanie. He also didn't like the sound of the background paper we were sitting on - I think it reminded him of the stuff at the pediatrician's office. To make the situation even more difficult, Preston decided he only wanted to be with Daddy. He didn't want me to touch him or hold him. Brilliant!
Despite the challenging 14-month-old, we moved rather quickly through the set list. Before I knew it it was time for Preston's wardrobe change and a snack of Cheerios. After the much-needed break, and a mysterious grouping of scratches and welts under his left eye, we continued.
Melanie, being a mother of two herself, didn't even break a sweat. She just went with whatever Preston wanted to do. She was totally calm. Jeremy was a little concerned. And you know me, I was nearly in freak-out mode. Preston, he decided to cry.
We moved 'Operation Family Pictures' to a nearby park. A change of scenery, a change of pace, and yes, still sporting the uncooperative baby. He still wants Dad. He wants to eat his snacks. He doesn't want to look at the camera. He doesn't want to smile. He wants to be P'Dub...ruler of all situations, the center of our worlds. And, he succeeds. And there was Melanie, chasing around P'Dub as he zig-zagged throughout the park...kind of like when you drop an important paper in a wind storm. And she thought nothing of it.
Yesterday I received an email from Melanie, allowing me a sneak peak of three shots from the shoot. Admittedly I was anxious, but couldn't stand not to look. And I couldn't have been more pleased. They were ahhhh-mazing. The pictures of Preston were adorable. Like I said, he was pretty much a busy body. But Melanie captured him at creative angles. P'Dub never was a straight-on, centered kind of baby anyhow! :)
The family picture brought tears to my eyes. It was the first time I actually 'looked' at us as a family. We don't have many pictures of the three of us, as I'm generally the one taking them. Plus, I wasn't all that comfortable in front the camera when still carrying a lot of baby weight. But here we were. All polished and pretty. My family.
And somehow I didn't look like a linebacker? It's no secret I have broad shoulders. Usually I look like I could tackle and kick ass in pictures, but here I just look like a Mom. And that makes me very happy.
[Pretend I'm standing up on a grand stage in a beautiful gown]
And I have all of you to thank for this moment of happiness. For the 'aha-this-is-my-family' moment. First I must thank my readers, family and friends for their loyalty and persistent voting, which enabled us to win the cutest photo contest. I must also thank Melanie of Just Because Studios, for being an outstanding and patient photographer; and for not wanting to kill me as I sent numerous emails prior to the sitting about clothing, poses, styles, etc. And last, but not least, Jeremy and Preston - thanks guys for not blinking.
Being a family rocks.