Christmas Card Chaos

Each year, I send a cute Christmas card to all 10,000 of my closest friends and family members.

{Yes, I exaggerate.  Maybe I get confused because I spend $10,000 on stamps.}

The first year we sent cards we didn’t have a ton of time or money to find a photographer so our card was a hodgepodge of candid pictures through the year.  Christmas Card 2011

Super cute, inexpensive, got the job done.

Then the hubs we raised the bar.

My hubs is a classic overachiever.  Bachelor’s degree + TWO Master’s degrees = super-smart.  He didn’t get to where he is now by being average.

And I love that he pushes me to rise to his level of over-achievement.  I appreciate this about him very much.

HOWEVER, the reason it takes him pushing is because I know that once that pesky little bar has been raised, it’s hard to shove it back down.  Believe me, I’ve tried.  A lot.

{“Wow, E.  You birthed a 9 lb. baby boy with a head the size of a bowling ball for my birthday!  That’s the best present ever!”  Dam.}

“Hey, E, we need to have family pictures taken.  Like the nice ones we see all over Facebook.  Not the ones that we take ourselves.”

{He has a point.  But I must tread lightly.  One misstep and by the time the kids are in high school I’ll end up with no place to go but the Kardashian Kristmas card.}

Kardashian Kristmas

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Yes, we should send all of our enemies friends a 3-D Christmas card!  Should we include the glasses???  No, I’m sure everyone has the 3-D app on their iPhone 10.

Surprisingly, I am a perfectionist.  I want everything I touch, ESPECIALLY our Christmas card, to be perfect.  A beautiful representation of my sweet little family on our best day.

BUT, I realized early on that I didn’t want to die of a heart attack by age 15.

Because I know I can’t control everything and everyone, I step back.

I have to “Let it Go” in order to get anything done.  Otherwise, I’d work on my hair for 3 hours, spend 3 hours ironing my pants, another 8 hours scrubbing baseboards with a toothbrush, 10 hours organizing bills and stuff, 5 hours folding laundry perfectly… you get the idea.

So, when I take a picture of my family at home there may be a pile of crap in the background:

Crap in background

In my defense, we were renovating… that’s why the bed’s not made.

My clothes sometimes look like this:

Wrinkles

All the wrinkles will keep each other company!

My hair sometimes looks like this:

Gross Haire

Just. Gross.

I’ve learned to let things go for the sake of sanity.  Once I learned how it was like a thousand butterflies lifted the dumb bells off my shoulders and angels embraced me.  Aaaaahhhh.  For my tightly-wound friends I highly recommend trying it.

{Luckily, I don’t live in a town that will put me on the prayer list if someone “calls” on me and my bed isn’t made.  I’m just on the prayer list because I have the mouth of a convict sailor, drink alcohol on occasion, and have tattoos.}

Now, back to Christmas cards (You were wondering, weren’t you?)

{Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for riding Tangent Airways.}

The second year we sent out Christmas cards we used a picture from our first family experience with a professional photographer.  Shameless plug, if you’re in Atlanta, Claire Elise is amazing.

Christmas Card 2012

Bar.  Officially.  Raised.

The third year we used the same photographer (she really is awesome).  This time we were dressed up a little more, all color-coordinated, on location at Piedmont Park.  Our card was breathtaking.  Especially when I MISSPELLED OUR LAST NAME.  Ooops.  Ma bad.  (I snipped the name part out of the card for the post so it’s like it didn’t really happen.  I’m still perfect.)

Christmas Card 201

What I love about this picture is that no one would have any idea that Bella decided it was hilarious to honk my boobs during much of the shoot.

{Bar raised, then lowered by half on account of the spelling mishap.}

So began our descent.

I knew this year the pressure was on.  All I had to do was nail spelling our last name correctly.  I got this.

I made the appointment with Claire in October, carefully taking into account my hubs’ call schedule, kids’ activity calendar, and any miscellaneous events I’ve over-committed to.

Every detail was planned.  Claire was going to meet us at the square and we were going to be all dolled up in our best holiday attire.  Heck, I was feeling so sassy that the cray-cray dogs were even going to be included!

I felt very prepared and accomplished… and then it rained.

Part of me was relieved.

The hubs wanted the opportunity to buy clothes specifically for the occasion and he hadn’t had the chance.  Maybe this would give him the window of time he needed to find the perfect Christmas outfit.

{Isn’t finding the perfect Christmas outfit top of mind for every man???}

Reno 911!

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Hi Officers!  Just on my way to have my Christmas pictures taken.  No big deal.(Really I just wanted to reference “Reno 911!”)

 Plus, I found a corduroy blazer for Roman but the store was out of his size at the time I needed it for pictures.  Maybe now I had the chance to put my little guy in an old guy blazer!

{I love to see little boys dressed up like old men.  It’s like watching a Hallmark commercial.}

I also needed a “perfect” bow for Bella’s hair.

AND, I was looking a little pasty.  SPRAY TAN TIME!!!

Only none of those things ended up happening.

Instead of investing in the perfect family Christmas pictures we had to have our hardwood floors replaced because our furnace leaked.

We lived in a hotel for a week while our floors were being fixed.  Sooooo, that chunk of time was out of the question.

And then the kids started karate twice a week which narrowed our opportunities for free time even more.

But, around the middle of November I thought, “No big deal!  Our first Christmas card was totally adorable {“totes adorb” for those under age 25}.  We can revive the candid pic card!”

MM-MM.  Nope.  Not so cute.

We rarely get the chance to take a family picture.

When we do, chances are one of us has a wonky eye or a runny nose, someone {Roman} is crying, a random dog is pooping in the background, or I decide, “Today is the day I choose to not wash my hair.  I’m not doing anything important today.”

Joke’s on you, E.

Today is the day you will take a memorable, candid picture with your family during an impromptu ice skating adventure.  Today is the day everyone is adorably cute and perfectly poised.

And your hair will shine like the Star of David.  Your friends will ask why they just purchased cooking grease from the store when they could have harvested it from your head.

Also, today is the day your face decides to retain all the water you’ve been drinking for the past year.

Ugh.

I’ll take one for the team.

However, as the days ticked by, I thought, “Maybe I don’t have to use the swollen-face-dirty-hair picture.  I’ll dress the kids up in their cute Christmas pj’s and get a beautiful picture of them by the tree!  Who needs a pro??  I GOT THIS.”

Nope.  I attract jokes like a magnet.

I dressed the kids up and positioned them in front of the perfectly lit tree.  I got out my professional DLS Nokia phone.  AAAAAAAAAND our new black lab puppy who weighs 1,000 pounds photo bombs our picture.

What the face, Georgia!  MOOOOOOVE!

Bella, who is terrified of Georgia when she acts like a puppy (which is all the time), freaked out and just about pooped her pants.

Move Georgia

{The look on her face says enough.}

Roman decided it was time to tackle Georgia because all he’s ever wanted to be is a Football Player Boy.

Lola, our Chihuahua, was laid up on the couch with her eye hanging out.

{Different story for a different time.}

Sometimes in life (especially where kids are involved) you just have to say “at least we’re pretty”.  Or “shudda called Claire”.  But then I wouldn’t have this horribly transparent blog post.

So, without further ado, I present our 2014 “Swollen Face-Dirty Hair-Black Lab Bombed-Oops I Crapped My Pants” Christmas card:Christmas Card 2014

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Here’s Proof that We’re All Beautiful

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” –Dita Von Teese

I’m convinced God made beauty subjective so that every woman has the capacity to feel beautiful; for everyone who doesn’t think I’m beautiful there is someone out there who does. God did that to make up for all the shat we have to deal with (ammarite, ladies???).

It doesn’t matter if you are single with no kids, single with ten kids, married with no kids, or Michelle Dugger. Sometimes women get shat on.

{Yes, I’m sure men do, too. But I’m not a man so I can only speak for my kind. If you are a man and want to talk about it, start your own blog.}

Por ejemplo (See! I AM fluent in Spanish!):

I usually wake up at 5:30 am (ACTUALLY… I hit the snooze a time or two or three so it’s more like 6 am by the time I roll out of bed. Seriously, I ROOOOLL out of bed. Not a morning person). Anyway, by 7:30 am I’ve been an alarm clock for two kids, a stylist for 2 little rock stars, I’ve been verbally accosted several times by both a three and six year old (in true rock star form), I’ve been a cook,

{GAH! Stop looking at me that way! Ok, ok, you got me. I don’t “cook” breakfast. I’ve been a pop tart warmer (that’s what she said)… FINE! I take the pop tarts out of the bag and plop them directly on the table. Not even on a napkin… HAPPY NOW???}

I’ve been a (I don’t know what you call someone who feeds dogs), a chauffeur, and I usually get to work around 7:45. At this point, I sit in my car and put on my makeup (yes, that’s me), wipe dog slobber and sticky hand prints from my suit (I’ve stopped trying to guess what the sticky is from… I think it’s best I not know), and try to pull it together enough to look like I know what I’m doing for approximately 9 hours.

{Mostly, it’s 9 hours of listening to employees bitch about not getting a raise or wonder why their $50k bonus check wasn’t $60k. #firstworldproblems}.

Then, I pick up my two little love nuggets, endure more verbal abuse as they scream at me from the back seat of the car (AND maybe Roman throws a shoe) after I’ve informed them that I’m cooking dinner and not taking them to Chick-Fil-A for the third night in a row, and try to contain the chaos as much as I can until my hubs gets home so he can stand in the kitchen and wonder why the refrigerator door is open, a chandelier is falling down, and the back of our house is missing.

All of this to say that no matter what shat gets thrown at me, I know that at the end of the day I can shower it off, stand in my closet wearing my skivvies after everyone is in bed and in certain light the cellulite and wrinkles go away and I KIIIIIIIIND OF resemble Nina Dobrev. That’s when I feel beautiful: standing in my closet by myself in front of the mirror with one tiny light on pretending I’m on the CW hit show Vampire Diaries. Stop laughing. The circumstances don’t matter. I can say I feel beautiful. That’s what counts (for the purposes of this post, anyway).

Slight Tangent Alert: ever sat on your couch on a Saturday night after a break up and wonder how the Mama Junes and Snookies of the world find love and you haven’t? (Yeah, no, I’ve never done that either… I was just checking to, um… Never mind.)

STOP IT. Seriously, no one likes a whiner.

{Just kidding. I’m no good at the tough love thing. I will ALWAYS lie to you and tell you what you want to hear (that’s what he said). I love you. Please don’t leave me.}

We should ALWAYS feel pretty knowing that there will ALWAYS be someone more unfortunately proportioned, less attractive, meaner, dumber, more annoying, and with more sticky hand prints on their suit. So put a smile on your pretty face and go conquer the world. I’m gonna start with Roswell… or at least my house.

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