Life Lessons,  Tis the Season

Merry Christmas, it’s photo time.

Thank you for taking this photo @bethanyactually

I’m a firm believer in not stressing about Christmas cards. If it happens it happens, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. You just can’t cram everything into the end of the year.

Yes, everybody would love a recent photo (or illustration!) of your family but if it means tearing your hair out trying to get the family together all at one time and smiling and you end up feeling more Grinchish than Christmasish, then it’s just not worth it, right? You just gotta give up and give in some years. You can’t win them all.

This year I thought it would be nice if Bug and I had a photo together but I didn’t have my hopes up. It’s been harder and harder to take photos of myself that I actually like. Bug always looks like a million bucks but me, I’m kinda scary sometimes.

the witch and her cat

I used to take photos of us together every day that I liked. Now, I’m lucky if I get one a month. I think the last photo that I liked of myself was at Halloween and I was wearing green makeup. That’s not really going to work for a Christmas card.

The last time I was down in San Diego visiting Bethany I asked her if she could snap a few of us and then I promptly forgot about it. I thought we’d get a photo by a Christmas tree when we were visiting Old Town but it didn’t happen. It was late when we were there and the kids were squirrely. It just didn’t happen.

But then right before we were about to leave, the sun was shining in Bethany’s backyard in that really pretty way and Bethany said, let’s just take a few photos and see if one comes out. I didn’t brush my hair, we didn’t put on any special outfits. We just went outside, sat on her wood steps and wham, bam, thank you ma’am. Bethany took six shots. I glanced at them briefly on the back of her camera and we were done.

take 1

Take One

take 2 take 3

Two, Three,

take 4 take 5

Four, Five.

merry christmas!

Merry Christmas! We have a winner!

It’s funny. I know it’s a good picture. I love the light. Bethany is a great photographer. I just hate my hair. It’s like I’ve never seen a brush or a blow dryer in my life. I was fretting over it for days. I kept asking Bug if she thought it was a good picture when finally Bug just stopped me and looked me in the eye and said, “Mom, it’s a good photo. You look really really beautiful. I mean it.”

And then I believed her because if anything, she is brutally honest with me. She’s the one who tells me that I have a great big bongo butt and bad breath and that my outfits are dorky. So if she thinks I look beautiful with ratty tatty hair, then I must.


  • Melissa

    It’s a beautiful picture! Definitely one of those that Bug will look back on when she’s an adult and love.

  • Yara

    Bug is a smart girl. You both look beautiful. I didn’t think anything was wrong with your hair at all. Then you said it was ratty tatty, but when I looked again, well, sorry Brenda, but you were wrong.

  • Heather in WA State

    The expressions are amazing, totally you — both of you.

    I love your hair. You know what I love most about it? That it is NATURAL. Not just the unbrushed part, but that you haven’t given in to that horrible trend of bleaching streaks of blond into your hair, leaving dark roots. The translucent gray hairs add sparkle that no beauty salon could match. The brown hairs match your eyes. The golden hairs pick up the sunlight. Having natural hair is such an asset in a world of fake. You are genuine, you are radiant, you are beautiful!

  • Lopa

    I recently came across your blog and loved reading it, in last few weeks read some old posts as well. You are a strong woman, inspirational.

    And it is a beautiful pic indeed.

  • noelia

    what a beautiful photo!!! and you look lovely!
    I love the hair- what’s wrong with it????


  • Sarah

    This is one of those times when one girl makes a fuss about something absolutely invisible to the rest of the world and all the others girls (and boys) have to tell her to hush. Hush! It’s a fabulous photo and you both look delightful!

  • bethany actually

    You’re SO not a perfectionist in other areas of your life. I think you need to learn to have the same attitude about yourself. You can absolutely be beautiful and imperfect at the same time. :-)

  • Kandi

    Ha! I never would have thought you had ‘ratty’ hair but that’s probably because mine is worse on a daily basis. I have curly hair so I only comb my hair once a day when it’s fresh out of the shower… I don’t even own a blow dryer.

  • TexasLea

    Honey Hush! Your hair and the rest of you look beautiful in the picture. The reason why Bug always looks so good is she isn’t picking apart every little detail looking for something she thinks is a flaw. As we get older we start to do that to ourselves, but thankfully you have her and a whole bunch of friends to tell you otherwise.

  • Jeanie

    The best thing about that picture is that it shows the true relationship between mother and child. And that is always beautiful.

    (Plus you look super adorable – both of you.)

    Good job on the photo capture, Bethany!

  • Kuky

    I love the card. Your hair doesn’t look ratty to me at all, not even with you pointing it out. Maybe that’s because my hair is all kinds of crazy compared to yours. :-D

    I would have liked to do a Christmas card this year. But we never got around to it. Then I thought we’d just do a card and put it up on Facebook. But we never got around to it. Maybe I’ll shoot for a New Year’s card. Ha ha ha!