Monday, December 23, 2013

Then and Now Christmas

This is my all time favorite picture of my kids. 
It kills me because I don't have a high resolution jpg of it so I can't make it a large print. 
This picture actually brings tears to my eyes just thinking about that time. 
It was taken in 2009 Jake was deployed. We were going through some serious emotional "hell" with our oldest one. But for a moment in these pictures I took we looked normal, with no problems.
 Between Jake being over seas, me being a single parent, and watching my child go from a happy child to...just...not being who he used to be, and watch him struggle socially, physically, and emotionally... well it pretty much about destroyed me. It was the darkest time in my life to date. But, now, looking back at that time, 5 years now, I can honestly say, it didn't break me. I feel like I learned a lot about myself. And it made my oldest child, one resilient, and pretty amazing young man. 

So, this picture brings up a lot of emotions and naturally I wanted to recreate that pose so I could have a better high resolution picture of my favorite picture ever of my children. 

And well...
at first they totally were like: 
All kind of smart mouthing each other to do what I told them because we were all cold and wanted to go inside.
The husband came out and was like "Guys seriously the quicker you comply the quicker this is over. DO.WHAT.YOUR.MOTHER.WANTS.YOU.TO.DO."
okay that's better... but seriously they were totally on the "Stiff" side. Loosen up please!
The husband then says "come on guys, just act natural!"
And I don't have a clue what hand gesture or body movement my husband did when he said that...but what they all did at the same time was this:
Apparently that's acting natural? okay I guess i'll take it. 
In no way shape or form can I get my family to even in a picture pretend that we are a normal happy family. I guess I'll just be very happy that we are a slightly un-normal happy family. Which we are. And even though we are a family that has gone through a few ups and downs...we are very aware of our blessings. Even in the lowest points in our journey, we look at our experiences as blessings given to us to learn from.

The minute I sighed and said "Okay, I think, I got at least one. Guys, I think we're d......
...done. Guys???" 
I turned to the husband and he looks at me and asks "Did you really get one? Or do I need to get them all back out here."
"Yeah, I got it. It's not like the other picture, but it's okay." And then I was grateful for having him here with me. To deal with the boogers we call our children. Who bring us so much happiness, sadness, disappointment and pride. They are hard little things to take care of all the time.  But man I wouldn't change places with anyone. I love my Blessing of Life.
I'm grateful for snapshots of our past. I'm also grateful for our experiences that we leave in the past. They mold us to who we become today. So instead of trying to recreate a picture or an experience, I'm just going to keep moving forward, and be grateful for the wonderful little people they have and continue to become.
They're my special little people. And I love them. And we want to wish you all,  friends and family, a Very Merry Christmas from our very un normal and so far from perfect but trying hard to be a good family.
the Christensons. 

22 comments:

Beeswax said...

What a great perspective! Love the family pics. You are a lucky blessed lady!

handmadeby EvaRose said...

Lovely to have all the kids together. They will treasure the pictures in years to come too...they are just a bit young to know it yet. You are very blessed to have a beautiful family. Hope you all have a great Christmas together.

Pearly Queen said...

They're lovely! You must be proud.

Penny
x

Malini said...

Great picture! So true about what you said "You wouldn't trade places with anyone"...enjoy them.

Happy Holidays!

Gene Black said...

The last picture is my absolute favorite, but the "loosen up" picture is a close second.
Give them all extra hugs.

mom2three said...

This one brought tears to my eyes… in 2009 I was in the middle of my 5 years of single parenting. I didn't know then that I'd find true love and partnership, get married and have un-normal happiness… it felt like the darkness would never end. I read your blog then, and found so much courage in your stories. Thank you for your blog. Merriest of Christmases and Happy New Year to the Christensons!

Sandy D said...

Great Memories through pictures.The boys seem like typical boys acting funny. At least My grandsons would act the way yours did for some of the pics. Love it.Merry Christmas to You and Your Family.

Lori said...

As my husband would say...enjoy these years they go by soooo fast! We have twins who are deciding on colleges and will be gone in the fall and our "baby" is a HS freshman. We can't believe their youth has gone by so quickly. We are looking at many changes in the year ahead. For example...I have never had just one child at home since my "first" were twins! Enjoy your children! Merry Christmas!

Beth said...

Well written. The photos are pretty great, too. Merry Christmas.

sonia said...

You sound happy and complete! Merry, merry Christmas to you too

Sarah @ sarahquilts.com said...

You make me cry. But in a good way. :)

Merry Christmas!!

ChristaQuilts said...

What an adorable troupe. My 2 teenage boys and younger daughter are about the same age so I can relate to what you've mentioned. :-)
Count your blessings and Merry Christmas!

QuiltSwissy said...

I love it. I just love it!

gmp said...

Great family pictures - old and new!
Hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy, Healthy New Year.

Bennett and Graves said...

Its good to put the 'fun' back in dysfunction, that's what we do.
Merry Christmas!

Kathleen OGrady said...

Your children are absolutely beautiful! How wonderful they must be! I loved your thoughts, I feel the same way, just capture a bit of each moment and move onto the next but not forgetting each one. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Annalia said...

Aw! What good-looking kids!

charlotte said...

Wonderful post and the message is perfect. Your oldest son is so handsome and so grown up looking. You should be b=very proud of all of them.

Kendra said...

<3

Anna said...

Love this Vanessa, you guys are such an awesome family. :)

suel said...

From a family therapist's perspective: forget about "normal." Normal is mostly overrated and highly subjective. Focus on the happy. From these photos it looks like you've given them plenty of that! Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

I am 51 years old and have 3 yr old twins. I was single for a very long time. You would have a thicker skin if you had too many people refer to you as an old maid. I married late, and accidentally became pregnant at 47 yer old I don't really care what people say. Well, that is because I have 51 yrs of experience and am older than the pre-school teacher and all of the other parents!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin