Our Happy Family

Our church directories were handed out this past Sunday. I knew this day was coming because we had our picture taken sometime in the fall. In fact, I expected this day to come a couple of months ago, so the wait was just a delayed sort of gratification.

You see, I remember that day very well. Millie was still firmly in the midst of her “I hate group photos” stage and she wasn’t willing to play along that day. Before I go on, take a look at how we will be seen by anyone from our church trying to find our phone number for the next 18 months (thankfully, the number in this one is correct):

Our Happy Family

I have a pretty good feeling parents on the ultra-strict side will look at this and tsk tsk us for allowing our daughter to behave this way. I’m okay with that – tsk away. I’m particularly thankful for this photo, and for its place in the Memorial church directory. Why? I think it gives a much better representation of who we are than the standard quick smiles most folks are capable of mustering for the few seconds of waiting for their photo to be taken. I’ve seen photos of some particularly rascally kids before – they look like angels for those 3.4 seconds in time. But just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a family by their church directory photo, either.

I was talking to a new mom the other day and happened to mention one of the stupid things I do as a wife, parent, pseudo-homemaker. She sighed in relief – I became real to her at that particular moment in time. Before, she said she’d seen us around, but just assumed we were one of those families (that is, the kind that has it all together). Somehow on Sunday mornings, I must have just managed to give off the impression that we’d arrived.

Obviously this gal has never joined us for the wiggle fest in our pew that is Sunday morning worship; if so, we would have blown our cover long before. But having spent an afternoon with us in our home, she needed no more reassurance. We’re human. We struggle, we fail, we cry. We pray. We forgive. We try. This happens again and again.

So for this reason, I’m happy to be represented in the church directory in this way. I love my Millie. And I thank her for giving everyone a true picture of the realness of our lives. Maybe for the next directory, we should invite the photographer to join us at our home two hours before going to church – *that* would make for an interesting photo.


15 thoughts on “Our Happy Family

  1. RT says:

    I never assumed you were *that* family, but this post still made me let out a deeply held breath. It’s so good to know real people. (I can laugh at that last sentence for multiple reasons… I feel like I know your family well!)


  2. Anne says:

    Ha!! I love that picture!! I hope you’ll save it for E4 and give it to her when she has children. 🙂
    We just had our church directory pictures made, and my son (who is 2 years older than his sister, but unfortunately shorter than she is right now) stood up on his tiptoes so that he’d appear taller than she is. I haven’t seen the picture yet, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to be the shortest one in the photo.


  3. JoAnne says:

    You are awesome – and that photo is awesome! Speaking of strict parents, and having it all together, etc. I know this was four years ago now, but what “parenting/sleep philosophy” did you and Craig follow? Attachment? Ezzo-ish? In-between? Make it up as you go? … just curious!


  4. Megan says:

    Oh, Jo… there you go opening up that can of worms here on my innocent little blog! How about I send you an email? If I’m going to post all that here, I need to think carefully about how I’m going to word it all. 🙂


  5. Angie says:

    I had to laugh out loud just because I can so easily picture the scene. I’ve had a little experience trying to take pictures of your E4 and I know how delightful and amazingly cute she is until you get a camera in front of her. I love your authenticity and I just love you guys! How did the tree situation work out?


  6. kateortiz says:

    i’ll have to post our recent family church directory photo when it is published. my 2 yr old elisha would get along great with your youngest at photo shoots. several other families with little ones were in the room at the same time and i thought it was a great/humbling/humorous-yet-maddening experience that it was the pastor’s kid who was beyond freaking out and all the other kids were pleasantly smiling for the camera. i agree with you – it’s a real photo. and that’s good.
    funny thing is – the guy tried to actually sell us the photo! not so much. in the end we just picked the picture where omar and i looked the best 😉


  7. Angie D says:

    That’s awesome. Your church’s website says something about “…authentic relationships..”, this will be good practice for the tsk-tskers!
    Seriously, the Sunday morning drive to church usually helps our family to remember exactly why it is that we need Jesus! (Or at least, SHOULD help us, heh heh.)


  8. Lindsey Kate says:

    I love it! When my kids were younger, it always seemed like picture day brought out the worse in everyone. During one particular session, my then 2-year-old caughter crossed her arms and put out her lip. The photographer seemed willing to wait patiently for the mood to pass, but I encouraged her to go ahead and snap a few shots. To this day, they are some of my very favorites because they show life as it really is!


  9. Bethany says:

    That’s awesome. When my (now 21 year old) sister had her kindergarten school picture taken, the cameraman tried incessantly to coax a smile out of her, but she refused. The resultant photo of her blank scowl is a family favorite (she even recently used it as a Facebook profile picture). Be sure to save this photo – I am sure E4 will think it’s even more hilarious when she gets older.


  10. Lyra says:

    I LOVE it, Megan! Hilarious! Hey, sorry I missed you at the picnic. Gage told me he saw you guys! It has been so busy around here and Jared had just gotten home from an overnight trip. We’ll have to catch up sometime soon.


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