A little early, though, right?
I love Christmas. LOVE. But I'm all for celebrating holidays in their correct months, and not getting to ahead of things. I've written about this in the past, and I still feel like "hey, let's have Thanksgiving first, then on to Christmas!"
That's not to say that I don't start preparing for Christmas early. Most of my gifts are bought, and we do have outdoor lights up on the house already. Well, to be honest, some of them never came down from last year. But that's neither here nor there. Come Black Friday our tree will be going up. There are just some things you have to do early.
One of those things is family photos. I like sending out and receiving holiday cards, and I really love making photo cards now that we have Emily. They're so easy! Create, put in an envelope, address & stamp, and off they go! But the past few years I felt like our pictures weren't quite up to par. One year was to dark, the next looked a little fakey with the LED lights from our tree blazing behind us. So this year, I wanted to do professional photos.
We have a fantastic photographer in town that would be more than happy to do a session with us. Unfortunately, she's a bit out of the budget at this time of year. So, I had the brilliant idea to do a session at JCPenney's. Maybe not the best option, but a dang good one (and cheaper too!). Plus, they had a sale going where we could get the CD with all our images for $50. Local photog charges like $300 for this. No brainer, right?
So I put outfits together for us, buy Emily something new and cute, and off we go to Duluth (nearest mall with JCP portrait studio). The drive is 1.5 hours away. I figured, we'd get there a little early, see Santa since we're there, and maybe look around for another top for Emily. I liked the one I bought, but you never know what you can find at the "big" mall.
We stopped to see Santa first, and Emily loved him! She ran to him with open arms, and sat in his lap for 5 minutes. We were the only ones in line, so Santa really took his time with her. I guess my daughter is turning into a fashionista, because she told Santa that she wants boots for Christmas. Boots! She's so funny!
So, off we go to JCP for our pictures. We were a little early, but that's how I roll. We get there, they tell us it will be about 20 minutes, so I take Emily to the restroom to change into her picture outfit. When I get back, all of a sudden the wait has gone to 45 minutes. What the heck!?! Now, it's 5pm. Close to dinner time. What am I supposed to do with my 2 year old for 45 minutes this close to dinner? I was so worried that she would get crabby and our pictures would be ruined.
I sent Travis off for a pretzel and some water, so we could tide things over for awhile. The studio also had some toys, and a really wonderful staff that helped keep Emily in good spirits. She got so comfortable that she was playing peek-a-boo with everyone in the lobby and even walked herself behind the counter at one point.
When it was finally our turn to take pictures, Emily was fantastic. She is such a ham! We got some really great pictures, and I cannot wait to make our Christmas cards and get some prints made! But, you my dear blog reader, will have to wait until after I send our cards out to see them. No spoiling the surprise here! I will leave you with this cute picture though.