Monday, July 1, 2013

Summer of Awesomeness To Do List Special Event Update

     I meant to post this last night.  And then I forgot.  <shrug>  I was too busy having a ball.  Yesterday, much of my extended family--the SOPs and the Men Who Love Them--gathered for our first, possibly annual, Family Photoshoot Fandango and Barbecue.

     Last winter I read an article that I'd share with you if I could find it.  It was written by a professional photographer who hated how she looked on film, so she avoided getting into pictures by being the person taking them.  And then she was in a serious accident.  When she finally recovered, her children (or maybe it was her parents or her husband) asked to have family portraits taken.  With her in them.  After her near-death experience, she realized that she might never be thin enough or have the right hair or whatever else she had decided wasn't "good enough" about herself, but that to her family and friends, she was beautiful.  I'm doing a terrible job explaining this.  It's a shame I can't find the story she wrote, because it was wonderfully written and resonated with me deeply.

     I told my girlies about it and proclaimed that we were all going to have family pictures taken.  Now, I am my mother's daughter, so it went from "we should get our family pictures taken" to "let's have a family picture taking party."  My family and friends are always game for a party.  So it was settled.  It was an early addition to the Summer of Awesomeness To Do List.

     After much schedule juggling we found a date that EVERYONE would be off work, didn't have a sporting event, wasn't traveling, and could all be together.  Then I convinced a photographer friend (the charming, talented, and exceedingly patient Jason Marzini) that this would be a good idea.

     All this was planned way back in March.  (I wasn't kidding when I said it was tough to schedule everyone at the same time.)  In May, when we lost David and Evelyn, everything changed.  There were several private conversations about whether or not to reschedule it or to even have it at all.  Personally, I thought it was more important than ever to capture our extended family on film.  Even I was worried about how the actual event would play out, though.

     I shouldn't have been.  It was an absolutely wonderful day.  There was plenty of food--my Personal Chef fired up the smoker and the SOPs can all cook, I tell you what, so we had a summer feast that I would put up against any food show any day.  Jason did an amazing job getting our families looking great.  (He even got my twenty-somethings to smile!)  The new hot tub got inaugurated in style.

     Evelyn and David were brought up frequently and fondly.  There were plenty of sidebar conversations where we checked in on each other and all the other drama we have in our lives, because none of us are just dealing with the loss of our friends.  We all have work stuff and health stuff and money stuff and relationship stuff going on.  It's life.  It's messy and complicated.  It's life.

     And yesterday, life was pretty darn good.

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