Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Say Cheese!

Today is Church Directory Picture Day. Well, not nationally, I don't think. But here at our church it is. This is our first "official" picture as the new pastor and his family, so--no pressure.

What with setting things up for the photographer, and getting ready to check people in, not to mention trying to get my own family presentable for pictures (no small fete if you remember), I thought I'd take a few moments to procrastinate and list here all the things that are par for the course on such a monumental occasion.

1.  It is raining. Naturally. A drenching, everything's going to get wet no matter what you do or how you hold the umbrella rain.

2.  It's humid and cool outside.

3.  Our church is in an old building, and the furnaces have all been lit and the thermostats set for winter. So it's rather warm inside.

4.  My hair. Not good on the best days, but the combination of #1-3 means that my picture will resemble a portrait of Carrot Top without the red.

5.  Nick has a cold sore. I've been slathering him with Carmex for three days. I've threatened to break out the makeup if necessary.

6. I ordered new suits for the boys. Great deals on $400 wool suits that I got for $62 a piece.

7. They came in time.

8.  None of them fit.

9.  Nick has five white shirts. They are all dingy and ill-fitting.

10. I broke into Christmas presents I had set aside to get him a decent shirt for the pictures.

11. I realized two days ago that the boys all looked rather scruffy.

12. They're getting their hair cut today.

13. I'm sensing that today will be the day they get the Mad Stylist at Great Clips who will brandish the scissors with glee and they'll come back looking--you know.

14. I hate taking pictures. I always have.

15. The first photographer got here and she's very young and very pretty.

16. It will take forever for my boys to quit showing off and settle down to pictures.

I know I didn't end with some nice round number, but I don't usually have a list of 10 or 20 when I'm doing a list, so why start now?

I have decided that I will embrace this adventure with the following thoughts in mind:

1.  Presenting a perfect picture of us would be false and misleading.

2.  These people have known us for a year now. They ought to know that what you see is what you get.

3.  I've lowered my standards from "perfect" to "mediocre". I think we can hit that reasonably well.

4.  I've reminded myself that, once we're done, I never have to look at the picture if I don't want to.

5.  Lastly, I've realized that it's only natural to say "cheese" with all the hams we have in our family.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Blowing the Dust Away

Spring cleaning may be a rite in some places, but I've always been more of a fall-cleaning kind of girl. My reasons are simple--and shallow. I like to set out fall decorations, and it's embarrassing to set them out on the piles of dust that have accumulated over the summer months. (and spring and winter months, too.) okay so maybe I haven't dusted since last fall. At any rate, I enjoy looking at bright fall colors all over my house, and dust tends to dull those colors, so I end up cleaning.

It's always kind of neat to take out something that hasn't been used in awhile, blow the dust off and see how it brightens up a room, so that's what I'm doing with my blog. I'm blowing the dust off. My daughter has nagged gently nudged me for some time to start blogging again. She doesn't seem to understand that I have valid reasons for not blogging, so I thought I'd list them in a post for her. The rest of you can feel free to read along as well.

1. I've waited so long to blog that my decor was out of date. My background and header picture worked perfectly through the spring and summer (although I didn't actually write any posts then), but they didn't look right with the new fall weather. So not only did I have to take the time to write a post, but I had to redesign my blog site as well. Who has time for that?

2. I write great posts in my head. I mean killer posts. Roll-on-the-floor-and-laugh-until-the-tears-run-down-your-face posts. But when I look at the blogger new post screen, my mind goes blank. I can't think of a thing to write to save my life. Why else would I be blogging about why I don't blog?

3. What if I write something and people don't comment? My identity as a writer could be damaged. Of course, since I'm not writing at all, I don't know what that's doing to my writing identity either.

4. What if I write something and people do comment? Courtesy says I have to read their posts and make comments too. What if I can't think of anything to say? And I can't just comment "I agree" or "pretty pictures". I have a reputation for wittiness and occasional sarcasm.  It's hard enough to come up with snark for my own blogposts. I can't expect to be brilliant for everyone else's comments. Who needs that kind of pressure?

5. Successful blogposts have to have pictures. I'm terrible with pictures. I never have the right ones, or they're blurry. Or five years old. Then I feel guilt because I'm not doing a good job of recording my children's lives in photos, and really, who needs unnecessary guilt?

Now that I think about it, it's probably guilt that is making me go back to blogging anyway. I finally asked Stephanie why she wanted me to blog again. She said it was because she enjoyed reading my posts, and she hasn't had anything good to read since January. okay, so no pressure there.

So what happens when you dust after a season (or three)? You get a little dirty. You sneeze a couple of times because of the stuff you stirred up. And then you step back and admire how bright the colors look again.

At least, that's what I'm hoping.

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