Our merry Christmas family photos (a guide to self-timers)

Friends, I did it.  I actually mailed out a handful of Christmas cards today! Woohoo! This is only the second time I've accomplished this since becoming a mom.  I'm thinking next year I'd better start in October or something, to make sure they're done on time.  You may be wondering "why bother?"  I know, I get it.  We hear the message in America to take things off our to do lists constantly.  Yet in a world filled with too many texts, emails, and social media platforms, mail is so very nice.  Isn't there something just wonderful and old-fashioned about opening up the mailbox and peering inside, only to be delighted to see you've got mail.  Real mail with a real envelope you can excitedly tear open.

Not much beats that in my world.  Along with a handful of other strong favorites of mine (wasabi and soy sauce anyone?!), if you know me really, really well then you know I love checking the mail.  So this year felt like my turn to give back a little, and send some love via snail mail.  Or personal delivery. 
I took our Christmas card photos myself, on a VERY cold day using the timer and tripod with my camera.   My top tips for doing this yourself is first, be quick!  This is hard for me.  I see a photo a certain way in my head sometimes but nobody wants to be in the family photo that never ended.  You know what I mean-millions and trillions of retakes.  So in my opinion, make it quick and then let it be.  Second, let your kiddos have fun! I took a couple individual shots of the girls.  I had them quickly take off their coat, I snapped 4 or 5 shots of them each, and then had them put their coat back on.  

Last, for our family photo below, I set the camera up on the tripod and got the self-timer ready.  Last I pressed the shutter and ran!  The key to getting a great self-timer shot of course has to do with lighting, focusing, etc. but mostly for me it has to do with choosing not to be a perfectionist.   The picture below absolutely delights me.  Is it perfect? No.  But it tells our story and I adore it.  

Afterwards Brett captured a few of me, just being me. 

So this is us. 
Beautifully imperfect, flawed in so many ways, not as put together as the photo makes us look, but oh so happy together.  This is real life us.  Bonded together with God's gracious love. 

From our family to yours, I'll say an early Merry Christmas! 


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