Last night we had our family pictures taken. Not only were we due (it’s been two years since our last pictures), but I also needed some current pictures to help promote my memoir Twin Turbulence.
Even though our appointment with Nicole Barczak-Photography had been on the schedule for almost two weeks, I waited until yesterday afternoon to prepare for our evening photo shoot. I tend to approach life with the mindset that things will work themselves out. I rarely stress about future events – I’m just not wired that way.
I really didn’t feel like shopping yesterday either, but it was a necessity to coordinate our outfits for the pictures. The five of us started in the TJ Maxx kids’ department. It’s close to our house, and Craig and I were confident we could find something in our closets to wear. In all honesty, we were hoping to avoid a trip to the mall.
My only dress code requirement was that everyone feel comfortable in the picture – which automatically ruled out the possibility of our twins dressing alike. At 8 years-old, their styles are completely different. However they were quick to agree that they did not want to wear dresses. I was surprised and a bit disappointed, but I took a deep breath and conceded.
I had no vision for the picture, so I let the girls dictate the color scheme. Immediately Taylor found a pair of hot pink shorts that she had to have. Then she found a navy blue Splendid tank top, and a sleeveless denim shirt that she could tie at the bottom so it would be short and tight, with the tank sticking out below – her current look of choice. She already had a pair of hot pink Sperry’s at home, so T was set.
As luck would have it, Sydney selected an adorable loose and flowing navy blue frock shirt with green and hot pink flower accents to compliment Taylor. Sydney likes to layer too, but was content to wear the hot pink tank top and jean shorts from her dresser at home.
Meanwhile, Gabe and Craig spotted a khaki pair of DKNY cargo shorts for Gabe, but had no luck finding a shirt. Gabriel’s only request was that he didn’t have to wear a collared shirt. I took another deep breath and conceded, and off to Nordstrom we went to find a shirt for Gabe and shoes for Sydney.
When we got there, Gabe found a double layered v-neck. It was gray on the bottom with tiny navy and white stripes on the top. He looked handsome and felt cool – a win-win for my 10 year-old pre-teen.
We found perfect navy blue and pink Sperry’s for Sydney, and brown Reef flip flops for Gabe.
Craig and I both wandered through our sections, but neither one of us found anything that screamed, “This is it! You must have this for family pictures!” My mind was stuck on a lightweight green sweater at home, and I was pretty sure it would work.
On our way out of the mall, Sydney found me a hot pink belt to compliment the girls’ outfits; which then inspired me to wear my hot pink penny loafers. It was all coming together and I was really excited. Everyone hopped into the car happy with their selections, and we returned home in under three hours.
Craig rolled up the sleeves of a navy button-down from his closet. He looked very handsome. I felt comfortable in my green sweater and my hair cooperated fantastically.
The kids got themselves dressed, and I helped them with their hair. Taylor wore her’s down and wavy. Sydney opted to pull her bangs up with a decorative flower, and left the rest straight. Gabe chose to brush his softly to the side, instead of his usual spike.
Believe it or not, we were ready early. We were all comfortable and satisfied with our appearances. No one was stressed. There was not one single fight. Even the weather cooperated beautifully.
I learned a very valuable lesson. The deep breaths and concessions to honor the opinions of my children did not come easily. However because I chose to let go of control, our picture preparation was not out of control. We went into our family pictures happy for a change – which was a perfect reason to smile.