My neurosis. And at least one perfect picture.

You’d think I’d have figured it out by now, but sometimes I forget to lower my expectations. In some cases, I do really well. For instance, when we went to California last spring, I mentally prepared myself for NO sleeping in whatsoever, for a moody and challenging toddler while I single-mommed it for a few days, and for possibly an unimpressed or cranky kiddo at Disneyland. These lowered expectations helped make the trip very enjoyable. The first two came in as expected, the last one exceded my expectations so I was pleasantly surprised.

But this last week I did it again. I had my hopes set on a new family picture at our annual trip to the pumpkin patch with my family. I managed to piece together matching outfits for the whole family, with much preparation and planning and care. I envisioned the PERFECT family picture taken by Mike, one that would adorn our Christmas cards and the joy of the Pumpkin patch day would shine through our gorgeous little faces.

Everything was falling into place, even though GETTING to the pumpkin patch was already a comedy of errors, including one stop by the side of the road for Carson to pee on the guard rail, because I wouldn’t allow us to go as far off the freeway as a gas station. We miraculously were right on time, but I knew I needed to feed Sydney before we met up with the extended fam, so as we’re getting out of the car for a quick feed and onto the fun, I go to get my little birdy out of the car seat and suddenly, my hand is soaking. In. Poop. Her poop. Which has soiled her from thigh to neck. Stiffled the cuss word and the tears but allowed my vanity to flare while I announced that she WOULD be wearing those jeans and the vest because a little bit of poop is not going to RUIN MY PICTURE! If you need details, just know that the long sleeve onesie was destroyed, the jeans were only slightly affected, the vest had not been put on yet, so we forced the issue with pj’s under the jeans, even though they were pink.

Everything is back on track….this story is getting too long…yada, yada,yada…get to a break in the action, grab Mike and his camera, the lighting is not very good because the sun is too bright but we’ll deal with it and of COURSE Carson is not at ALL interested in looking anywhere near the camera. Thanks to all the other children and adults who tried their darnedest, but he just wasn’t having it. He didn’t get the memo, evidently, of the importance of this one picture. And although I knew that this was the one chance we had, and I knew that they probably weren’t going to turn out like I had hoped, I made a choice. I decided to–wait for it! LET. IT. GO. I’m quite proud of myself. I decided to not stew in my frustration and just try to enjoy the moment. I have no idea if any of the shots turned out. I’m sure I’ll see them sometime. Part of what is helping me is that we had a great day with our family and friends and also, I did get one shot that is just perfect. (Please enlarge to bask in the cutest little tongue you ever did see.)

Here are a few more from the day. I’ll post one of the family pics after I get them from Mike.


  1. You gotta love the poop clothes! I have had a couple of those, “please don’t be poop on my hand” kind of experiences!

    The picture of Sydney in her vest with the tongue hanging out is adorable! Looks like a good day was still had! Good job to let it go…I need to remember that too..

  2. Funny, I had that same experience at the pumpkin patch (minus the blowout) Our 20 attempts at a family picture resulted in one semi decent looking one…The more kids you add the less your odds of a good one 🙂

  3. Syd is the cutest little pumpkin ever!

    I’m glad about your decision to enjoy the moment…but man that’s hard to do!

    I can’t tell you how many times a blow-out has altered plans/outfits. I’m still learning to turn my attitude around!

    Great post!

  4. We’ve yet to send a family photo at Christmas because it is almost impossible to get a family shot. I get your frustration. Impressed you let it go….sort of. Hope there’s a shot that surprises you.

  5. I can’t believe how big Syd is getting. She’s adorable! Thanks for being so honest about expectations. Sometimes I have a hard time with that, especially when I feel like I’m not asking for much–JUST A GOOD FAMILY PIC!:) I went through that with Elisha’s 1 yr. pic, and in the end we ended up with a photo of her SCREAMING her head off at the studio. At the time it wasn’t entirely funny, but now it’s one of our favorite pics. We sent it to all our family and friends and it’s one of the most true to life pics we have.:) And I agree with one of the comments above. The more kids you add the harder to get a good pic!

  6. Love the story. And I LOVE the pic of Sydney with the pumpkins. TOO CUTE!

    Also – I can honestly say my FAVORITE Christmas card ever was from my friend Lori who had her two kids sitting on Santa’s lap. Her daughter was sitting peacefully looking at Santa while her son had an absolute look of horror on his face and was obviously screaming his head off… I think the caption was “May the Peace of Christmas be with you this Season.”

    Sometimes, the best cards are the not so perfect ones. 🙂

  7. I SO feel your pain on this one as I embraced a similar disappointment at the patch yesterday.

    We got family pictures – my sweet friend Laurel (Baker Press Box) is like the best photographer ever took some good pics. But unfortunatley no perfect ones.

    I like Kristi’s comment about the Santa pic. I think that’s the route the Goble family will be taking from now on!

    The pics you posted were awesome!

  8. You are amazing. I would give you a piece of chocolate if I could. And your doll baby is just precious: I want to poke her tummy (especially knowing she has nothing more to dump :)).

  9. Hey!
    Yup, I’m planning on making it to the sale tomorrow between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. It would be SO much fun to see you guys! And Syd and Carson? Woo-hoo! I’m gonna have to bring my camera for this colliding of many blog worlds!

  10. Oh my gosh Jen, that picture of Syndey is sooooooo cute:) It is so hard to let things go when you have your heart so set on it, good job enjoying the time instead of getting ticked:)

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