Christmas In Pictures 2015

Because I’m feeling just a little bit lazy on this New Year’s Eve, and I know that I’m likely to turn into a pumpkin long before midnight and would like to spend some time with my husband before that happens, instead of posting thirty-some photos individually with carefully thought-out captions, I present a Flickr slideshow of Christmas 2015 at the Schnuth abode.

Christmas 2015

Happy New Year, all, and I’ll see you in 2016.

This year is our 14th Christmas together, our 12th with Mei Kitty, our 5th with Connor, and our 3rd in this house.


Our family will be using the “good silver” from my husband’s grandparents for the first time this year.…

Thanksgiving 2015 In Pictures

Thanksgiving 2014 was largely undocumented online, save for one tweet and a couple of photos. The long and short of it is that then-three-year-old Connor puked in his car seat in the middle of our 2.5-hour car ride to Grammy’s house, then proceeded to deposit liquid poo in his diaper while we were at Thanksgiving, such that we worried that we’d be out of extra clothes (and possibly diapers) by the time the day was done. Then, as we drove home, the roads iced up and we skated across a couple of bridges after we got off the turnpike.

Thankfully, this year was much less stressful.

My brother-in-law had to sit this year out, due to feeling a bit under the weather, so it was just the core Schnuth clan heading out to Grammy’s house.

Before we left, I did note that the Thanksgiving cactus was preparing for its annual display (despite it being in a much-too-shallow container and being dusty as all get-out).

We left a little later than anticipated, so dinner had been ready and waiting for a while once we arrived. Mom took a picture of us before we tucked into her delicious meal.


Planning the Annual Schnuth Family Christmas Self-Portrait

Yeah, it’s not even Halloween yet and I’m already thinking about Christmas. Our annual family self-portrait, anyway.

It’s fun for me, yet it’s also a source of stress. Every year I want it to look perfect, and I plan for weeks to figure out the right seating, posing, lighting, framing. Inevitably, even with all that planning, something goes awry. Even so, just the fact that it’s a family self-portrait in our own home makes it that much more perfect: a slice of life.

Last year’s portrait session involved a tantruming toddler and a grumpy Daddy. I had to merge two versions of the portrait in Photoshop to get the end result (which still wasn’t awesome, for various reasons).

Christmas Portrait 2013

The year before (shown above) was one of the best, actually — Connor had these fantastically rosy cheeks, the cat laid down calmly on Aaron’s lap, and everybody was in focus at f/6.3 with off-camera flash. We had our moments of Are We Done Yet? — but we have those every year, just about.

I wished I’d remembered to comb Connor’s hair for our 2012 photo, and I wish he were sitting up straighter, and I wish the cat weren’t trying to escape (as usual), but otherwise it actually turned out pretty decent.

Connor’s first Christmas portrait was one of those awesome slice-of-life moments, where he cried his fool head off while we took the actual photo, plus Aaron and the cat looked like they were photobombing Connor and me, thanks to a narrower depth-of-field than I’d intended.

Before that, it was just a matter of keeping everybody in focus and happy — which I still had issues with, even without a kid in the mix.