Saturday, September 6, 2008

It only took me 18 months but I finally got it done...

I'll sheepishly admit that I have FINALLY gotten pictures of Garrett and Landon up on "the wall". It didn't start out as "the wall" at first. In the beginning, it was a nice, plain white wall in our family room with nothing on it. Not even wedding pictures. I don't know why I never put anything on the wall. I like to blame it on the fact that I have absolutely no creativity or talent for design and style. I walk into my friends' homes and I become instantly envious of how beautifully decorated the walls are, the rooms are all painted, there's crown moulding in every room. It looks like a "home", while our place always looked like a "house". Nothing really cozy or comforting about it.

But then came Cole and Bella and I suddenly turned into one of those parents I use to laugh about who gets their child's picture taken every 3 months in the first year of life. Tim would say "do we really need more pictures?" and I'd say "of course we do, look how much the kids have changed in just 3 short months". Every time we'd get the portaits back, I'd immediately frame them and throw them up on the family room wall. At first it was just a couple pictures here and there...the birth portraits and the 3 month portraits, surrounded by 1 or 2 pictures of us as a lovely family of 4.

Each time we'd get more pictures done, I just couldn't find it in myself to take the earlier pictures down. I remember every little detail of each picture when it was taken. Like the 3 month portraits, where we went to JC Penney to have Cole and Bella's pictures taken and the photographer totally sucked. She lacked the energy and personality that it takes to photograph babies. We weren't happy at all with the pictures that she took so we thanked her politely for her time and left, without buying any of the pics.

I was completely heartbroken, after having shopped for hours for the perfect outfits for Cole and Bella, taking an hour to get them ready, coordinating the appointment around their nap schedule. I suppose I thought that waiting to re-schedule pictures somewhere else another time that Cole and Bella would be "older" than 3 months and I'd miss out on something really special about that day...the day they were exactly 3 months old. What if in just one week they changed somehow? Okay, okay, yeah, going a little bit overboard there but I'll blame it on pregnancy hormones that were still running rampant throughout my body. We ended up going across the street to Picture People and lucked out with a photographer who loved children and was able to capture the most gorgeous pictures of Cole and Bella.

Before I knew it, the kids were 1 year old and our whole family room wall was covered with framed pictures. It looked like an organized mess. Each time we'd get more pics taken, I'd just add them to the others on the wall, rather than replace the old pictures. My family often joked about it, so did friends. My mom particularly loved to look at the wall and say "so where will you put the pictures from their 2nd year?"

During their 2nd year, however, I got pregnant with Garrett and Landon. So "the wall" stayed the didn't get updated and we rarely went to have our pictures taken. My good friend Bonnie was kind enough to come over often and take pictures of the kids, Tim and I with the kids, and my pregnant belly so I didn't get too far behind on capturing those memories. But the pictures continued to get shoved away deep into a closet until I would one day have some time to put them up.

Along came twin set #2 and I barely had time to come up to breathe so unfortunately we didn't get as many professional pictures of Garrett and Landon as I would have liked. To make matters worse, all the pictures we had taken and had uploaded to our computer were lost when the computer crashed. I hadn't had time to back up the pictures (stupid stupid stupid!) and I walked around in a stupor for days after that. Completely sick to my stomach and heartbroken that we had lost some wonderful pictures of Garrett and Landon, particularly their birth pictures. But Bonnie to the rescue...she had come to the NICU the day after they were born and took beautiful pictures of the boys and she also came over when they were 5 weeks old and took some lovely portraits.

This week I finally took the time to go through all the pictures and decide which ones to take down and which ones to put up. Today, I finally did it....I finally got Garrett and Landon up on "the wall". Friends and family can no longer tease me by saying "just looking at this wall, it doesn't even seem like Garrett and Landon exist". I would happily point out that I had pictures of them on the fridge but that wasn't as good as having them on "the wall".

So here's my organized mess.

Sure, the whole wall is covered with pictures but there were just some pictures I couldn't bear to take down. Once I had the main wall covered, I moved on to another wall. And like my mom joked, I probably will have all the walls in our home covered with pictures from every stage of their lives (graduations, weddings, granchildren).

My walls aren't painted in bright, gorgeous colors or fancily decorated (unless you consider tiny handprints decoration), there's no crown moulding, no stencils, no wallpaper....just tons and tons of framed portraits of my beautiful children.

That's all the decoration I need to make our house feel like a home.


mrsbear said...

Just the fact that you had time to frame the photos and mount them on the wall impresses me. lol. I think photo art is the best kind of art. Nothing warms a house like family pics.

Helene said...

I should probably mention that my husband was kind enough to take the kids to his parent's house today so I could have some "me time". I couldn't bear to just sit on the sofa and watch tv so I chose to spend my time finally finishing "the wall"!

ParentingPink said...

Impressive! Your picture wall looks wonderful. I recently put one together in our home - took me forever too!

I can totally relate to "getting them all dressed up" and then the pics dont' turn out well. It took us a while to find a studio we really liked. But, in the end, I'm sure you'll agree that it's worth the trouble!

Caroline said...

You are documenting their lives. What better art than that? :)

twinmama said...

It looks absolutely beautiful! What a great way to enjoy their pictures and I am sure the kids like seeing themselves on the wall, too!

BTW - We like Picture People best. I wish cheaper places had better photographers, but I guess you get what you pay for!

Supermom said...

I think it looks fabulous!! I'd rather see family photos myself!!

Jyl @ MommyGossip said...

My kids never smile for pics. Everyone knows this. So, when we finally--after an hour and a half at Kiddie Kandids (excluding the wait time)--finally get a good one, none of the grandparents or other family members can believe it isn't Photoshopped. Go figure! That was two years ago and I haven't been back since. I guess it is time, right?--Love the photo wall, BTW.

Kim said...

Well-said! What's the point of taking pictures if they just sit in a drawer and no one ever gets to enjoy them? My aunt had a hallway she filled with my cousins' photos, and I remember it to this day. Your kids are going to grow up with fond and vivid memories of that picture wall.

Joy said...

I love your wall, I need to get on it with pictures. My mom is so desperate for pictures of my kids that she offered to pay for them LOL

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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