There were a couple years in there where getting family pictures was hard. It means a lot to my parents to have the pictures with them and the girls, but the stuff like going through a divorce (and the subsequent very noticeable change in the family composition on top of conflicting emotional shit like "memories") made it hard for me to particularly enjoy the experience at the time.
(Sorry, sometimes a little bit of just being human sneaks through all this awesomeness.)
This year was better though. A lot better. In fact, this year was actually sorta *gasp* fun!!
(As I have now immortalized that sentiment on the Internet, I'm sure it will be another ten years at least before it happens again.)
Family portraits came with the usual challenges, of course.
Details like how my plan to just have Adrianna wear the big sister hand me down Hanna Andersson little red dress while getting Kristina this years version in her this year size to easily and somewhat economically make them matchy went horribly array when Hanna Andersson suddenly and inexplicably stopped making their little red dress which had been a yearly catalogue stable for all time remembered.
Or the epic moment when I asked the children to get closer together for a mama-photo-op just before we left for our picture appointment and Adrianna burst into tears at the horror of me making her stand next to her big sister.
(Do you see the torture I'm putting that poor child through??)
But once we were there, all was good.
Sure Adrianna's dress shoes were too big and kept falling off, and Kristina's puffy slip skirt was far too long for the dress she was wearing it under so I was constantly hitching it up, but those are truly negligible footnotes to the day.
The kids were happy and accommodating, and as I had remembered to grab some Halloween candy, the few moments where cooperation wasn't immediate by the children were instantly smoothed over by the promise of fun size m&ms as soon as pictures were done.
The photographer was one of the old veterans of the business and totally on top of it for positioning and speed and getting laughs out of the kids. She even knew about reminding grandpa to smile!
Kristina was incredibly well behaved, and Adrianna didn't even try to pull the stunt of refusing to sit with her grandparents like she did last year.
Ok, Adrianna did get to hold a little Cinderella doll during half of it, but it was an endearing moment of the age of 3 and a half, much like Kristina's gap toothed smiles that are so quintessentially capturing of what it means to be 6.
We even made it through brunch at Ihop afterwards with everyone still mostly happy.
(There was a brief incident in the pancake house bathroom where I was trying to do the things one does in a bathroom and had some door opening children, but that's just how motherhood goes most of the time.)
It was a good day, and made for some good pictures. But the memories that go with them are even better.