After planning what seemed like an undercover offensive strike deep in enemy territory, we were finally able to finagle schedules, decide on a destination and gather the family for a professional photo shoot. I know you’re thinking, “California has really gone to their heads!” but it’s really nothing like that. Kurtiss is friends with a great photographer at work who was looking to expand his portfolio so I immediately offered us up to be guinea pigs, test subjects, whatever he needed in exchange for some family pictures. The last family portrait we have was done before Sidney was born and she’s 5 now. Honestly, pictures have not been very high on my priority list (or budget friendly) so this seemed like a perfect opportunity to have some fun and capture our life out here in CA before we have to move to the likes of the frozen tundra (not sure where we are moving yet but the possibilities don’t include the beach).
Last Friday was the big day and, let me just tell you, there were dark forces at work all week, striving to derail our Kodak moment. Thursday was the last day of school so all of you parents know that the final week is filled with monumental scheduling demands. Every award ceremony, school program, certificate presenting assembly and graduation must be attended joyfully and with camera in hand, wreaking havoc on any personal schedule you normally maintain. Don’t get me wrong, there were moments of prideful clapping, “I can’t believe they’re growing up so fast.” comments and happy crying but there was NOT time to get everyone’s clothes picked out for Friday. Jeff, our friendly photographer, had told us no prints and no black (that is everything I own) and that neutral colors photograph best when shooting outdoors. The girls live in pink, all of Jaron’s t-shirts have junior high school quotes printed on them, my wardrobe has been eliminated and Kurtiss has one collared shirt that isn’t part of a uniform. OMG! What are we going to wear!?! This is our once in a decade chance for photos and I want cohesion, theme, some kind of color scheme at least! Sitting amidst the colors of the rainbow I decide to take Kurtiss’ blue shirt, the one thing we can use, and base a theme on that. I was resigned to the fact that I was going to have to buy something last minute and pray for the best. We weren’t meeting Jeff until 3pm so we would leave early and hit Kohl’s on the way. Big risk but I was out of options.
Mid morning Friday, Kurtiss and I were discussing our plan of attack for the day and for some reason we got the idea that we should combine our picture taking trip to Los Osos (over an hour away) with a trip to Morro Bay or Cambria (further north along the same road) and take the family to Hearst Castle tomorrow. Yes, let’s find a hotel room on Friday morning for that night in a small tourist town on the first weekend of summer! We’re nothing if not dreamers. I have a new task. Need I say that my entire morning was spent on this new task, reviewing customer comments, mapquesting locations, balking at hotel prices, and trying to decide if it was really worth it to stay in this quaint little seaside town or just head home. I finally committed and made a reservation after cutting into my “must find something at Kohl’s last minute shopping” time and went to take a shower. Oh boy, if I only knew…
Since it was picture day I decided to take the extra step, go the extra mile and primp and preen like a princess (in the less than 30 minutes I had to get ready). I was frantically scrubbing this, buffing that and scraping things that should not have been allowed to get so far out of hand. In an effort to bring out my youthful glow hiding somewhere beneath the surface, I rubbed the gentle exfoliating beads in circles on my cheeks, my forehead, and somehow, directly into my right eye. OMG! Really?!? The stream of water in the shower was too scattered to effectively rinse out my eye so with one eye open, I rinsed, dried, dressed and headed to the sink. For 20 minutes I flushed it out from every angle possible to no avail. There’s no telling how many microbeads were at work exfoliating my inner eye, you can’t tell because they’re MICRO! You can’t see them! I cried, mostly because I was distraught at how the day was going but also in hopes that my tears would carry the little offenders away. No luck. I pulled, pushed, prodded and tried not to rub. I even ran to cut onions and breathe in the eye-stinging vapors, but for some reason, the onions were not offending my senses at all; not one tear shed over the cutting board. By this time the skin was irritated, red, inflamed and pretty much everything you don’t want to see in a picture!
I was a little beyond distraught at this point and Kurtiss gently offered to cancel the pictures and try again another day. Are you kidding!?! He obviously did not appreciate the monumental effort it took to bring everyone together and I was not giving up yet, plus, we already booked a hotel room for that night so we were going to Morro Bay! If worse came to worse, I would don sunglasses and just look movie chic in the photos. Thankfully, he did call Jeff and push back our appointment by an hour. So, with a tank top and jeans on, my eye conveniently disguised behind sunglasses and not a stitch of make up on, I loaded everyone into the van and set out to find a comfortable, yet flattering, fitted but not frumpy, no scoop neck, some color of blue outfit in 30 minutes or less.
Well, I’ll have to say, things turned around at this point and the rest of the day went much better. I found a shirt that fit most of my categories and was able to find shirts for the kids in the same color palette. My eye was still watering but I was able to cover most of the redness with my last minute make up. The puffiness? Fortunately, it was an hour drive to the shoot so it had a little time to recover. When we got to the cove, the kids had a blast posing for pictures and the true hams came out, mostly by the name of Kurtiss. The experience was refreshing and fun and a good end to a horrible beginning of a day.