Our big Friday after Thanksgiving plans consisted of one thing, take a family photo to use for Holiday Cards.

I picked out outfits, scouted a spot at our favorite park and timed it so we would be there during the golden hour.

The photo session was a bust mainly because Michael was complaining and uncooperative. I was frustrated to say the least.

As soon as we got there the whining began. It is too cold. The sun is too bright. Are we done yet? 

This was the best shot I got.


It turned out OK but not a single shot without the coats turned out, Michael is wearing my knit hat and all their arms look wierd.

We spent a total of 15 minutes at the park before I just gave up. The shot I had in my head wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t want to lose my cool over a photo but at the same time I felt my frustration and anger were warranted. The kids had been playing all day. I hadn’t asked anything of them, not a single chore or mention of homework. They couldn’t give me 20 minutes of standing for a photo? I was mad.

We were home for less than an hour when Michael walked into the room where Tim and I were discussing parenting and how we could find a better balance of respect and cooperation while still allowing the kids to be kids. Michael was ghost white and he looked up at us and mumbled, “I threw up. I threw up alot.”

The kids are now all tucked into bed. I just checked in on Michael and he is sleeping and he has bit more color in his cheeks. And I am now sitting here trying to decide if I should feel guilty about completly misreading Michael’s reluctance to do “the only thing I asked him to do all day” as disrespectful behavior when in reality he was hours away from vomitting all over. The poor kid was sick. No wonder he didn’t want to smile at the camera and being extra sensitive to the cold! And here I was mad that in the photo I took, the kids were not wearing the exact outfit I wanted them in.

I should feel guilty but choose not to. I instead choose to laugh because today I had big plans and as the saying goes, Want to make God laugh? Make plans.

I set out to take a holiday card worthy photo with plans to then layer everyone up and go for our first snowy hike of the season in celebration of #OptOutside.

Instead of what I had planned, I am spending my evening listening for vomitting kids, doing vomit laundry and Googling how to clean vomit off of a remote without ruining the remote but still killing all the germs.

Tonight I choose laughter over guilt. Parenting is hard. Today was far from a parenting win but I am pretty sure that in the grand scheme of things, I get it right more often than I get it wrong. And for tonight, that is enough.

I hope all of you had a more successful #OptOutside than we did!





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