Whole Parenting Family

the painful art of choosing a Christmas photo

whole parenting family

I don’t get it. They’re pretty adorable in real life. I just simply cannot say the same after I’ve threatened and cajoled them into attempting Christmas pictures.

You heard it from the goat’s mouth. These pictures are pretty abysmal. We tried to rush them in after SuperBoy had sustained a tolerable level of good behavior at the 2 hour (you heard me. Two hour) mass at our beloved parish for All Souls Day. It was Mozart’s Requiem. Google it, people. It’s stunning. But I kept little screamer (that’s the one you know affectionately as SweetPea) and the true angel of the family (BabyLoves) at home. She has taken to acquiring an F- at mass these days. The girl who cried potty one too many times. The girl who needs whatever her brother has and isn’t afraid to slap for it.

He was dressed up anyway, so I cleaned up her, and put something on the baby, and voila. Christmas photo opp.

whole parenting family

{also not afraid to show you what a 31 year old who has had three kids and isn’t working out regularly’s neck looks like. be warned, as my girl Lyz puts it so much more funnierly. Be warned.}

Help me pic a Christmas photo?? I LOVE my cousin Meghan’s work but this year we’re on a tightytight budget leash so I think I’ll be printing them meeeself. Check out her work if you want something really pretty!

whole parenting family

And then she opened her eyes.

whole parenting family

Kinda ends with some foot aggression, but maybe there’s something in here aside from a ruddy faced baby.

whole parenting family

It gets pretty bad and headless here.


And head over to Olivia’s place To the Heights for a giveaway of one of my Bandit Bibs–like BabyLoves is sporting here 😉


  1. Lauren on November 3, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    The group of pictures right after “check out her work if…” and the bottom right pic is adorable. Looks like big bro is speaking sweetly- even if that’s not actually what’s going on. Or you could do a photo card mashup of out-takes, because it’d be hilarious. 🙂

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 3, 2014 at 10:37 pm

      OOOH hahahaah Outtakes are so funny. The one where she’s smiling sweetly to the sky for a split second and he’s probably scream whispering BIG BUDDY to his baby brother? Got it. THANK YOU!!!

  2. Lauren on November 4, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Love them! I like the very first one after “and then she opened her eyes” where the two older kiddos are leaning in to the babe. But I’ll second the idea of a series of outtakes too!

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 4, 2014 at 8:20 am

      SO HELPFUL!!!!!!

  3. Rachael on November 4, 2014 at 8:45 am

    I am voting the same. Bottom right in first set or top left in second set. I love the top left in second set one because it looks like they are both about to kiss the baby. Super sweet.

    Last year our cards were the worst. I could not get a picture with eyes open and smiles to save my life. I finally used one of the frowning/squinting pictures and made it a “Merry and Bright” theme. I don’t think anyone got it.

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 4, 2014 at 8:42 pm


  4. Caitlyn on November 4, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Oh gosh. I love them all. 😉 I have to start thinking of Christmas card pictures soon. I’m thinking now that we have more than one child, I can get away with the parents not being in the picture?! That would be excellent (and not require the set timer-run fast experience that always fails). The one where the two are kissing BabyLoves… that’s my favorite. 😉

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 4, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Oh I’m done being in the picture. I was last year–wait–did we do one last year? Oh, yeah, it was from a trip to Cali and you couldn’t even see my prego belly. I am never photogenic at the same time as the kids. Only one set can be dressed properly in this house and it’s not usually the parents. HA! Oh–I love that one, too!!

  5. hope on November 4, 2014 at 10:13 am

    They are all adorable! I like the first set, bottom right photo. But, you know… you still have time. 🙂 There is always next Sunday to try again, right?

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 4, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      So so true. I just don’t know if I can emotionally go through it again. Thank you for your fav!!!!!

  6. Kristi Matelski on November 4, 2014 at 10:14 am

    I like the one where the older ones are loving on their baby.

    I feel your pain. I’ve tried taking Christmas pics myself a few times. Ages 2.5 and 11 months was the WORST! That was before I heard the tip: bribe them with smarties candy. It takes planning to buy the candy, but it does absolute wonders! Smarties don’t produce excess drool or stain. Plus, 5 small round candies per kid is a tiny price to pay for kids that smile & pay attention. I know candy isn’t a big thing in your home, but I thought I’d share my secret:)

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 4, 2014 at 8:39 pm

      Hahaa–brilliant!!! My daughter is the toughest. You say smile and she frowns. I have no idea where she gets her stubborn streak from. Um……

  7. Laura @ Mothering Spirit on November 4, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Some years we have given up and just done individual shots of each kid – lots of cute photo cards have options for multiple headshots? You’ve got great shots of each darling here, could just slice and dice so all the doting family and friends could focus on each face?

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 4, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      Slice & Dice. I like the way you think!!!!

  8. Annery on November 5, 2014 at 7:03 am

    From the middle collage – the left two. Both of them or even a few more with outtakes as a collage card. Make it fun, it’ll be great 🙂

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 6, 2014 at 9:06 am


  9. eclare on November 5, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    I’m going to go with bottom right of the 1st set, made B&W to hide the ruddy. Runner-up would be bottom left of the 2nd set, with the feet cropped out (ie. zoom in on the faces).

    Such a hard job. :-S

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 6, 2014 at 9:06 am

      I know, right?? SO HELPFUL!!!