One of my friends recently got into the photography business. I have capitialzed on the oppertunity for my family and particuarly my son to be her learning subjects. The above pics are from her last shoot. She has gotten really good and invested in some top of the line equipment.

This morning she came over to shoot my Christmas card photos. Usually that job falls to who ever is around when the tree is up and we are all in clean clothes ( and never this early in the season).

I had it all planned out in my head. My favoite place for everyone in the family to be......the bed. We were all in Christmasy pajamas and I had very convincing props. Crisp white sheets, coffee cups, the morning paper, books, and stuffed animals. I wanted the pictures to display all the warmth and life that I feel in my family. I had images in my head of O jumping on the bed, a pillow fight, reading the paper all with the dog curled happily at the foot of the bed. I haven't seen the photos yet. And she swears she got some good ones, but the shoot felt like a disaster. Really, it even began with a small fire. I lit a candle on one of the bed sides tables and slipped out of the room to get something. Shaun, Rhonda and Owen were just hanging out doing their own thing -- but when I walked back in I saw the pillow case on fire. We aired out the room, tucked away that pillow case and kept shooting. O mainly looked in the opposite direction, he whined. I think he was afraid it was bedtime. When we let the dog in.......it was really chaotic. I am all for chaos and think it brings many photo oppertunites......but these were all the wrong way.

My next good idea was to take a picture in sweaters, winter hats and scarves. Let me mention that it is like 80 degrees outside and O still has hat issues from his helmet days. As soon as we get outside Shaun immediately gets sneezy, O rips off his hat and takes off for the swingset and my heart sinks that these photos aren't going to turn out either. The truth is -- I bet they are great. Even better than I imagined. Yet I was left feeling disappointed because things didn't quite go like they looked in my head.

Often I feel that way. When I try to stage life. Plan it out. Make it look like something that mabye it isn't. Expectations always seem to get in the way. 2 year olds and dogs do not cooperate. But my real life, not the one in my head, or the one in my photographs is better than anything I could have pictured.