Mediocre Pictures and Too Many Hashtags

10.11.15 Ali Moore 0 Comments

I normally blog all of our fall highlights in each of their own respective posts
- apple picking, pumpkin patch, harvest, and Halloween.
The things we've done year-after-year since Henry was a teeny baby.  

But this fall, after each, I've come home, downloaded photos to my computer and started culling through them, only to be really disappointed.  They're at best just mediocre snapshots.  Not well-thought out shots, no creative compositions, not always the best use of light, and there are certainly large holes in each photographic story.  The details are missing.  And everything is shot with a baby strapped to me sooo... #limitations.  They're not work I'm proud of as a fact, they're so lackluster I wasn't going to post them at all. 

Stay with me here.  I realize this doesn't really matter.  At all.  
It's kind of whiny and dumb to say out loud.
I'm complaining about the poor quality of the photographic evidence I have
of really fun family things I've gotten to do with my kids.

I mean...if ever an appropriate time for #firstworldproblems...

The photos don't capture how Henry talked the entire 25 minute drive up to the apple orchard, pulling out of his preschool parking lot until we turned onto the gravel drive of the orchard, about how he made a new friend at preschool that morning. He told me her name, and what they played, and that they read books together, and he was so animated.  And it made my mommy heart so happy because did you know Henry is only three and started preschool this fall, but actually he turned into a 16-year-old boy that doesn't tell us a thing about school?  In fact, he thinks it's hilarious to lie to me day-after-day and tell me that they had apples for snack time, and no, they didn't go outside for recess because it rained.  Every day.  Can you even imagine what he will actually be like as a 16-year-old boy?!  #jesustakethewheel

I had lunch packed for a road-trip picnic and managed to make it to the orchard and back with tots fed, apples picked (found out my basket I've used the last three years holds 20 POUNDS because Henry was all about the picking this year), Nelle pulled a Nelle and decided she was done with nature and made someone carry her out of the orchard, and June only screamed for the entire ride home because #colic and #poopblowoutsincarseats.  But I did that on an early fall Monday morning before I had really gotten the hang of this three, three and under thing (not that I'm really killing it now), and they had fun.  And I know they did because Henry asked if we were going to pick apples every time I picked him up from preschool for about two weeks after.

And Andrew and I took the kids to our favorite pumpkin patch the first Saturday of October because after scanning our calendars several weeks before, it was the only chance we had.  The tots took a train ride, and Nelle made Andrew ride with her because the engine started up and scared her to death, and Henry was SO proud that he was driving his own little car, he bounced and was hesitant to do it because he wanted Nelle to come with him, and Henry wanted to find the "littlest teeny tiny pumpkin" (and would pinch his fingers together for emphasis) for his baby sister June.  A white one because he knows those are the ones I like.  And Nelle kept getting stuck in the pumpkin plant vines and the man driving the tractor for the hay-rack ride out to the pumpkin patch had to load up the five pumpkins Henry selected for us (out of maybe the 11 he actually picked) because Nelle quit nature and had to be carried.

She rode in the combine with Andrew for nearly two hours when we were back on the farm, just the two of them, and they saw five bunnies, and she got to sit on the seat beside him, seat belt on and ate goldfish after goldfish as they went row by row around a field of soybeans just as he used to sit with his dad in the combine growing up, round and round and round and round again.  Henry and Leyton played pirates in Grandpa and Grandma's basement and had the best time finding treasure and using a beer bottle opener as their hook.  #iftheyonlyknew

And the five of us crammed into the combine to commemorate June's first harvest trip the day the kids and I drove to Manhattan, the second of three roadtrip legs I did with them solo, and at one point, after lots of button pushing and wiggling and answering why 538 times, all three were asleep, and Andrew and I enjoyed the blissful quiet
if only for a fleeting moment.

I think this may have been the last year we're able to contain at least Henry in one of the red wagons in our tot trick-or-treat caravan.  And probably the last year I can manipulate him into wearing a matching themed costume with his sisters so I just couldn't pass it up.  But OMG, if they weren't the cutest Rockford Peaches I ever did see.  He changed into his fireman dress-up costume he got for his birthday the second we got back home because Jacob was a fireman, and it was way cooler to match with a friend than with his sisters.  #duhmom

Nelle's baseball uniform belt was way too big, and kept falling down, thus pulling at her skirt and giving her the shortest unintentional mini by the end of the night.  I couldn't find one of her shoes from the pair she was supposed to wear so we slipped on her boots over her bulky doubled-over red socks.  She refused to wear her hat as we made our rounds, but sure nailed the "trick or teeeaaaattt!" in her little sing-song voice.  And once again, she wanted to be held and kept crying about it, and don't you worry, I didn't miss an opportunity to tell her that there's no crying in baseball.  #hotmess

  Next year we're heading out crazy early, and letting the kids eat when we get home.  It takes FOR-EV-VER (in your best Sandlot voice) to get kids fed, dressed in costume, and cooperating for pics when all they want to do is go loot the neighborhood for candy. 

It's just from all of these things there are such distinct memories and feelings I've tucked away, and I want the photos to help me remember.  The photographer in me is mildly embarrassed, but the mom in me is really proud.

Maybe that's the real story here.  The one you can't see from pictures, but that's there between the hodge podge of photos.    
It can be so fuzzy right now, with three so close in age, but the good parts are there.

The good part = we're doing it.
We're doing this parenting to three kids thing.
Sometimes it doesn't feel like we're doing it well, and my goodness is it exhausting,
but we're doing it.

Hashtag that.


Apple Picking Trips 2013 & 2014
Pumpkin Patch Trips 2012 & 2013 & 2014
Harvest 2013 & 2014
Halloween 2012 & 2013 & 2014

Click through only if you want to cry and wonder where the babies went.
Some of them are already 16 and won't tell their mothers anything about their day.