We will start with Chip's first Christmas in 2002, because there is no real challenge in getting a picture with just one kid. The real fun starts when you have two that you are trying to capture as little Christmas angels.
This picture from 2002 just cracks me up! Have you ever seen a more befuddled look than the one on little Chip's face? He looks terrified and confused all at once. Harold is behind him and what you can probably tell from the contorted position he is in is that little Chip just about outweighed him at this point. He could barely hold him up and to smile and look at the camera was way harder than it looked. As I recall, Chip was about 25 seconds from a marathon screaming session where he turned into his evil twin, the Sweaty Mechanic. You guys remember the Sweaty Mechanic. If not, we will revisit that in a different post.
2003 - Chip is getting a little bit bigger and still a bit on the ornery side. We went down to the Texas Capital to try to get some shots with the Capital building behind the boys. It was a great idea that went terribly awry. This is about picture 53, where Chip has had enough and instead of looking angelic sitting on his brother's back, he has on his mean face and is giving poor Harold the what for. Sweet boy. I think the picture we ended up using for 2003 was snapped quickly in the backyard and they weren't even required to smile.
Now in 2004 they both seem to be in a relatively good mood, but Lord look at the goofy faces. Are they trying to look like rabbits? I think this is when they realized the effect of the goofy face. It is mastered now and they are pros at throwing off a whole photo moment with one of these dorky faces. We rarely if ever get them both smiling in the same picture. The other difficulty with this year was the Sports Illustrated prop their proud Red Sox Daddy wanted them to hold. I was dang near impossible for either of them to hold it in an upright position so you could even tell what it was. The finalist for this years Christmas Card was really cute, but there were an unbelievably large number of rejects made in an attempt to get a decent shot.
In 2005, we are back in our own backyard and look how big they both look. This one cracks me up because guess who's mean face is back? Yep, Chip was apparently at the end of his rope and was probably pinching his brother's back of goosing him on the hiney while this picture was being snapped. Someone probably got punched and we had to stop the photo shoot. On another subject, what is up with Harold's hair? I think from this moment forward they should both wear hats for these seasonal picture taking sessions so we don't have any regrets over haircuts when we look back at the magical Christmas season.
Now this is special! We jump forward to 2007. Apparently there were only rejects in 2006 because I can't find any pictures from a Christmas Card photo sessions. What I think happened in 2006 is that we ran out of time and just used a regular picture we had taken earlier in the year. Anyway, back to 2007 where we went to a little park near our house that has a big metal longhorn. Thought it would be cute to sit the boys on it and take a picture with their Santa hats on. Can you see how much agony Harold is in sitting on the metal bull? His face tells it all. Without a saddle, this longhorn is doing a number on the family jewels. Chip looks like he fell asleep bored from the whole ordeal. It was an ordeal too! Reject after reject after reject. So thankful for digital cameras so you can preview the picture before you print it. We would have spent a fortune printing pictures that were terrible this year.
In 2008, when I broke out the camera for the annual picture both of these boys went immediately into impossible mode. They thought they could break me and that I would give up this time honored Christmas Card tradition. They were so wrong. I merely snapped away and saved this ammunition to one day post these awesome pictures on a blog for the world to see. I think all of these shots went in the reject pile and I ended up making them pose outside on a different day. Don't mess with Mommy.
The best reject from 2009 has got to be this one. Look at Chip rolling his eyes so far back in his head that you almost see all white. He was over this photo session before it started. I went from sweet talking camera assistant with my...
"Stand over here guys."
"Can you put your arm like this?"
"Can you try to scootch so I can see part of the tree and part of the fireplace?"
"That is great, just hold like that for a quick second."
To a finalist for Worst Mother of the Year award in the span of amount 2 minutes.
We ended like this:
"We can do this all night long or both of you can just smile like normal human beings ONE time so I can get a decent picture."
"If you so much as twitch a hair when I take this next picture you will be forbidden from receiving any gifts at Christmas."
"Wipe that goofy grin off of your face and smile like you are HAPPY. Do you remember HAPPY? It is the polar opposite of what I am right now!"
Why they don't look forward to the annual Christmas Card photo shoot is beyond me? Maybe this year I will make it easier on everyone and just send out pictures of the dog.