This post is so incredibly overdue. Between my camera dying in the middle of the trip and none of my family portraits turning out the way I wanted, this was simply a folder of pictures with a lot of emotional baggage attached. But tonight, as I looked at it, it filled me with so many wonderful memories and tons of love for these amazing people that I am lucky enough to call family, that I decided it was high time I got this down in a digital record. We were at Pacific City for four days, but my camera died (and was revived - but only once), so I missed capturing many memories, like my sister’s family singing their talent show song (it was very upsetting), having nightly family scriptures around the pool table, piling little sandy people into the bathtub, and all those girls beading during every spare moment. I am especially sad to not have photographic evidence of Erik’s eighth birthday party which was a gorgeous sunset bonfire dinner on the beach. Alas, some things will just have to live in my heart. Here are three collages of three separate days with a bit of narration.
Day 1 – We arrived at a very large beach house (it is extremely hard to find a house that will hold 25 people) and immediately dived into a surprise present for my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. They live in a teeny house so we chose to get them something small, practical and personal: aprons. The kids put their handprints or feet-prints on the aprons and then decorated them with their names and sweet messages for Grandma and Grandpa. The view of Haystack Rock was from our back deck. Gorgeous! All of us adults kept the kids up far too late by making a terrible racket playing spoons late into the night. One of my brothers was not there because his wife was delivering a baby that very day. We were fortunate enough to have their other three kids for the weekend (the newborn baby was obviously not in attendance).
Day 2 – We spent a good chunk of the day on the beach. The weather was really beautiful the whole time we were there, which is always a gamble on the Oregon Coast. I took way too many picture of grains of sand stuck all over these little bodies, ears and hands, and toes and foreheads and mouths. This was the day I climbed the dune. It took me forever because I am in terrible shape, but I was so dang proud of myself and my little climbing partner, Brooklyn. (My camera died for the first time shortly after this expedition, hence no pictures of the afternoon or evening.)
Day 3 – Sean fixed my camera and we headed out at 10:00AM for a our family photo shoot. I think I would be dramatic to call it a disaster, but I really was not pleased with any of the shots (except the candid ones, like my darling nephew in his mommy’s sunglasses, and my family scattered around on the beach waiting for their turn at the little group shots). I learned a lot about things I would do differently like having assistant with something eye-catching to capture all those little roving eyeballs. I would also be more careful about posing everyone, checking lighting, etc., and then get everyone’s attention, take ten or twenty shots, then move on to setting up the next pose. I think I will also consider some serious bribery to encourage full cooperation. I think it is just something that takes practice.
I thought about putting up the big, black, ugly frame that filled my digital screen right after these shots were taken. (Sigh.) But I didn’t want to re-depress myself. ;> I am so glad for the memories that were captured. And as much as I complain about the family pictures, they’re not terrible, they’re fine. Besides, it’s nice to know there is always room for learning something new. Onward and upward, next year will be even better (at least I will have had more practice).