I did it.

After almost eleven years of marriage, I finally succeeded in the epitome of wifely success.

For our entire lifetime together, my husband has begged me to help make this happen, and for years I have 100% failed at supporting his hopes and dreams.

But not this year.  This year was the appointed time for me to finally make his holiday visions complete.

I sent out Christmas cards.

I know, I know – all of you have been doing this for years.  I know this because I get all of your Christmas cards.  I even get Christmas cards from some of you whom I’ve never met in real life!

(Thank you for heaping guilt upon my head, year after year, with your holiday cheer.)

But after tackling this feat myself, I have no idea how you people do it every year – I’m pretty sure I need to take at least a ten year sabbatical after I finally get the last blessed card in the mail.

(And don’t  expect a personal hand-written note, either.  That’s just really going way too far.)

After round one of addressing and stamping, I made it clear to Chris that I deserved, needed, and absolutely REQUIRED some serious accolades for what I had just accomplished.

And he followed through.  He melodramatically listed off everything that I did to make his lifelong dream come true, and I was again reminded as to why I now deserved at least two Mediterranean Vacations…

“You chose the photographer, you pinned down a date that worked with us and the photographer, you went shopping, you bought the clothes that we needed to coordinate but not be too matchy-matchy, you got the kids ready, you manipulated their naptimes to make them be in the best mood possible, you got us there on time, you made sure the kids didn’t have gigantic green snot hanging out of their noses, you got them to smile and laugh, you sorted through the photos, you chose the photo that was best, you custom designed the Christmas card, you found the best place to order them, you formatted them, you ordered them, you made a list of recipients, you found all of their addresses, you hand addressed the envelopes, you stamped the envelopes, and you stuffed the envelopes.  You, dear wife, are amazing.”

Why yes, yes I am.

So if you received a card from us, feel free to appreciate it fully.  And if you didn’t, you might be one of those annoying people that I can’t for the life of me find your address.

And for those of you who have been sending Christmas cards for years, all I can say is, thanks for making me look not nearly as awesome as I obviously am.

At any rate, here’s some of our photos, all thanks to the fabulous Natalie of Sez Me Photography



















2011 Christmas Card

…and now I’m off to design my trophy for Wife of the Year.

46 thoughts on “(Insert Applause Here)

  1. I love your pictures because they are so relaxed and not posed. Congrats on getting cards sent out, sometimes I can’t quite get the Christmas cards sent and so they end up being New Year type cards, especially when I have to wait for Christmas to get the girls in the photo too. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. Love the pictures! The acknowledgment with the list of tasks is awesome! I always wonder if Brad really realizes and appreciates all the many steps involved with these things. The only thing that was missing from my list is the huge amount of bribery (chocolate) needed to get those smiles and laughs on demand. Now that you have made cards will you feel even more pressure next year to keep it up….guess we will have to wait and see.

    1. I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN CHOCOLATE WITH ME. What was I thinking?

      Although…how do you keep said chocolate off of photo outfits? Or is it just the promise of chocolate after the fact that produces smiles?

      1. I take m&ms with me and I put it in Ella’s mouth when she does good. (I guess like a dog). This way she never touches the chocolate and there is a whole bag to enjoy.

    1. Thank you! One of my friends accused me of THAT being the reason I sent out Christmas cards this year. I would argue that it is not the case – this is just the first year that I’ve managed to actually pull it all together!

  3. Cute, you did a great job! One trick on the addresses – use Excel as an address book, and then you can do a mail merge and print labels. Yes, it’s sad that I don’t even take the time to hand-write the addresses on the front (much less a note inside!!!), but it is one way I make my life easier.

    1. I did enter it all into Excel, but I, for some insane reason, actually wanted to hand address them. It actually didn’t take as long as I feared it would. However, next year I may employ that mail merge feature.

  4. I’m seconding the comment above. I found that after I set that spreadsheet up the first year, sending them out got so much easier. Now I just go in and update the address list every year, do a quick mail merge and print the envelopes on my printer. Getting the picture is definitely the hardest part and yours look great! Congratulations!

  5. Love love love these pictures! The use of sunlight is perfect.

    It’s so funny because when your card came in the mail, I told T, “Hey! Rachel sent Christmas cards!!!!” He didn’t understand why I was so impressed. Haha:) And next year it will be SOO much easier because you will already have your list of people and your addresses. The first year is definitely the hardest!

  6. Awesome post and pictures @ Railroad Park? Gave up in Christmas Cards years ago but do occasionally do an Easter card, which I am told is not lost in the shuffle.

  7. You know that I’m super duper proud of you! I also loved your card and exclaimed loudly over the fact that one was sent at all. Nice job, super wife! I haven’t gotten mine in the mail yet, but I’ll squeeze that in soon…I hope.

  8. your pictures look awesome! And I applaud you for getting Christmas cards out, because I have been married for three years and still haven’t done it. Oh and I JUST had my first kid…so the fact that you did it with two is baffling. I don’t know when I will actually get around to it….maybe next year.

  9. Your pictures are gorgeous! They look so relaxed. I love the coloring and the sunlight. You and Chris look amazing. There’s no way my thighs would make it on any Christmas card sent to my nearest and dearest!

    P.S. Those jeans are really cute. What brand are they?

  10. Those are GREAT pics! I would say which ones are my favorite, but I really can’t narrow it down… How are you ever gonna choose which one(s) to frame?!

  11. Beautiful photos! You’re all looking healthy and happy and cute (well, the kids are – maybe you guys are a bit too…) :)

  12. I’m so glad that I am not the only one who does not send out cards every year for Christmas. I usually get them out about every 5th year.

  13. We’ve never sent Christmas cards yet and we’ve been married 8 years. We did buy discounted cards about 3 or 4 years ago from World Market, with every intention to send them out the next year. I only feel guilty between the time we get our first one at the beginning of the month until about the 22nd; then I’m guilt free again for just over 11 months!

    1. Ooooh, yes. That reminds me of the first year we were married, when Chris (being a sucker for kids selling things door to door) bought unbelievably overpriced, gold-foil, personalized greeting cards. I wonder what ever happened to those…

  14. Those are wonderful pictures! Yes, getting everything done for the photo Christmas card is nothing to scoff at. It took us appointments and visits to 2 different photographers, because the first resulted in 0 usable photos.

    So do you expect to go through it all next year so as not to lose your Wife of the Year trophy?

    1. Yikes! That would be my nightmare.

      I don’t know if I’ll do it all again next year or not.. maybe my trophy has an extra-long lasting expiration date.

  15. I don’t send out card, I don’t put up lights (in or out), in our 10.5 years of marriage we had a tiny tree once, I have maybe 5 ornaments, and we usually get any gift giving done long before Christmas day if we get anything at all. This year is the second year my 4yr old will get a present (pajamas) and the 2yr old will just have to live with stuff from grandparents. I feel vaguely like a grinch but I’m a relaxed and unstressed grinch.
    Oh, this year we do have a tree. I won a 1ft stuffed quilted tree from MOPS. My oldest loves it. Maybe I’ll do big one next year…
    As for your accomplishment? I think that deserves the highest praise possible! I still have somewhere a few thank you notes from my wedding that I didn’t get out:( The last time we had professional photos done I scheduled it right at bed time. Virtually everything on that list is an insurmountable mountain to me! So much applause!
    But, now that I look at my post, I may not be the best comparison… My bar is pretty low…
    I’m going to go play Skyrim now….

  16. AWWWWW! Those are precious and you did an awesome job of coordinating the clothes and getting the kids to smile and it looks like y’all had a ton of fun at the park. The card is beautiful and I know that everyone who receives them will enjoy them a bunch!

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