The Blog

Then and Now Christmas


This is my all time favorite picture of my kids. 

It kills me because I don’t have a high resolution jpg of it so I can’t make it a large print. 

This picture actually brings tears to my eyes just thinking about that time. 

It was taken in 2009 Jake was deployed. We were going through some serious emotional “hell” with our oldest one. But for a moment in these pictures I took we looked normal, with no problems.

 Between Jake being over seas, me being a single parent, and watching my child go from a happy child to…just…not being who he used to be, and watch him struggle socially, physically, and emotionally… well it pretty much about destroyed me. It was the darkest time in my life to date. But, now, looking back at that time, 5 years now, I can honestly say, it didn’t break me. I feel like I learned a lot about myself. And it made my oldest child, one resilient, and pretty amazing young man. 

So, this picture brings up a lot of emotions and naturally I wanted to recreate that pose so I could have a better high resolution picture of my favorite picture ever of my children. 

And well…

at first they totally were like: 

All kind of smart mouthing each other to do what I told them because we were all cold and wanted to go inside.

The husband came out and was like “Guys seriously the quicker you comply the quicker this is over. DO.WHAT.YOUR.MOTHER.WANTS.YOU.TO.DO.”

okay that’s better… but seriously they were totally on the “Stiff” side. Loosen up please!

The husband then says “come on guys, just act natural!”

And I don’t have a clue what hand gesture or body movement my husband did when he said that…but what they all did at the same time was this:

Apparently that’s acting natural? okay I guess i’ll take it. 

In no way shape or form can I get my family to even in a picture pretend that we are a normal happy family. I guess I’ll just be very happy that we are a slightly un-normal happy family. Which we are. And even though we are a family that has gone through a few ups and downs…we are very aware of our blessings. Even in the lowest points in our journey, we look at our experiences as blessings given to us to learn from.

The minute I sighed and said “Okay, I think, I got at least one. Guys, I think we’re d……

…done. Guys???” 

I turned to the husband and he looks at me and asks “Did you really get one? Or do I need to get them all back out here.”

“Yeah, I got it. It’s not like the other picture, but it’s okay.” And then I was grateful for having him here with me. To deal with the boogers we call our children. Who bring us so much happiness, sadness, disappointment and pride. They are hard little things to take care of all the time.  But man I wouldn’t change places with anyone. I love my Blessing of Life.

I’m grateful for snapshots of our past. I’m also grateful for our experiences that we leave in the past. They mold us to who we become today. So instead of trying to recreate a picture or an experience, I’m just going to keep moving forward, and be grateful for the wonderful little people they have and continue to become.

They’re my special little people. And I love them. And we want to wish you all,  friends and family, a Very Merry Christmas from our very un normal and so far from perfect but trying hard to be a good family.

the Christensons. 

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