This is the first shot I've seen of our family photos. We took them on Sunday. They were taken by my talented and beautiful cousin Rachel, who is only 15. I'll blog about her talented and beautiful self later. I have to say the weekend on the coast was great. Sure there were moments I wish I could forget, but for the most part it was near perfect.
We were on the coast, well Salinas anyway, to celebrate my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary. Yes, 60. What's more amazing, is that both sets of my grandparents are living, and both sets are celebrating 60 years of marriage this year. First in October, then now in November. Have I mentioned that I am incredibly blessed? In the last few years I have become more aware at how lucky I am, that my girls are able to love and be loved by my grandparents. I read once, I think on a frame, that "good grandparents" become "great grandparents". It's something that stayed with me, because in my life it's very true.
Both sets of my grandparents have been incredible role models for marriage. I think this is because marriage is a job. It's a career and a mission you take on when you say "I do". My grandma Fran will tell you she's still married to my grandpa Arch because it would be "too damn" hard to start over with anyone else... She really said that one time. My grandma Chila will tell you that "the man upstairs" has a plan for you, and good or bad you follow it. I'd say both are pretty much right.
So don't let the photo above fool you. I've had some great comments on this photo on Facebook, and I appreciate them all. Looking at that picture I'd say, yes, that's a beautiful perfect family. However, it's my family, and I know the truth. We are so far from perfect. Let's go behind the scenes...
John and I fought that morning. I was nagging him to get ready. He wanted to watch football... Blah, blah blah. The truth is we fight. A lot. If I said otherwise it would be a big fat lie. I don't hide the fact that we fight. We have been fighting since we met, as in, we were having an argument with each other before we knew each other's names. We have fought in public, like in bars and such, and we fight at home, while the kids are asleep, or even sometimes awake. It's not perfect. It never has been, and it's never going to be. It's what works for us. If we didn't fight ever, we'd be so bored we'd probably get divorced.
Those happy kids up there. Yeah, they were upset and crying prior to this shoot. Mac didn't want to take any pictures. I started referring to her as "the diva". Caitlin kept playing in the dirt and basically stopped listening to the words "no" and "stay out of the dirt" and "watch the cream tights!!". Earlier in the day Caitlin had a meltdown about an Icee, and Mackenzie did not take a great nap. Yet, by looking at the picture they look like well behaved angels. Not even close. Most days it takes Starbucks and M&Ms to get smiles of this caliber.
I love and adore my perfectly imperfect family. I would have never imagined that this life of mess and sometimes distress could be my happy place. The smiles in those pictures are real. We, the Crutchfields, collectively adore each other. We are laughing at each other or with each other most of the time. The laughter and the jokes are what keep us real and grounded. Even when John and I are at our worst, all it takes is one joke. One offensive movie, TV show, or YouTube video. One conversational joke about grilled cheese, and the anger is gone. You can't stay mad at someone who makes you laugh, right? Have you ever tried to? It's not easy.
We are not always smiling, we are not always crying, but we are always ourselves, because who else would we be? This is us, we are the Crutchfields. Perfectly imperfect.
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