In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Family Pictures

Family pictures tomorrow, 10 am.  Sounds easy, right?  Just get all five of us to smile in one direction at the same time without someone looking goofy, whiny, half-asleep, or high.  No problem!! 

Typical cheap portrait studios are out.  Not for any fault of their photographers, but because they are rushed, and they don't photoshop.  Quickly in, quickly out.  And simply put, our family of five just doesn't do "quickly."  We have tried, believe me.

Someone will inevitably lose his shoes between his room and the front door.  Someone will have poopy pants (hopefully the two-year old) just as we are putting on seatbelts.  Someone will find a marker and decorate his "perfect for the picture," jeans.   We will likely show up late, and late = "appointment over" at JCPenneys.

"Quickly out" is the larger problem.  Two-year-olds ALWAYS decide that they would rather play than take pictures, and when you "encourage" them to behave (hold them down) they scream and cry.   Can't imagine why.

Meanwhile, four-year-olds find it funny to stick out their tongue, or do double- fingered fishhooks just as everyone else is finally smiling.  And, of course, the more you try to dissuade them by claiming "I AM SERIOUS" the more they make faces.

 Five-year-olds cooperate somewhat, and if it was just you and them, you'd be home free.  But they are quite prone to distraction.  When brothers are screaming, crying, laughing, and putting fingers in their mouths, five-year-old boys are not going to "look at the camera."  Instead, they will (of course) join in the "hilarity" and increase the chaos.

Parents, meanwhile, in an effort to make sure that at least one of the six measly shots is decent, wear their plastered-on, frustrated as heck, talking through their teeth, hopeful with each flash, desperate for relief smiles while strong-arming their wiggly children.  All while trying to look "relaxed and natural." Not especially convincing, or attractive.

So, we are splurging on a private photographer.  We are hoping for patience.  We are PAYING for patience.  We are paying for PHOTOSHOP.  Hopefully, by taking her time, she will catch the right moments;  perhaps when the two-year-old is playing and not posing; when the four-year-old is obviously proud of his humor; when the five year old is sweetly smiling at the distractions; and when the parents' plastered smiles are replaced with genuine ones. And,if worse comes to worst, she can take each one of those faces and paste them onto one photo.  Cheating? Who cares.


  1. Love the photo. Looks very natural. ;)

  2. True. There is something to be said about the take it yourself living room shot. Very real. :)


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