“How’s Not-Crazy-Renee doing?”

I’m sure you’re asking that right now, since that’s what all blog readers want to know when they see me. She is, after all, the all-time favorite blog character.

With good reason.

To answer your question, she’s doing fine.

She still feeds Snakey Butters Buttercup, her five year old’s pet python, every Wednesday night (or every other, if she forgets, and then Snakey gets a two-for-the-price-of-one night.) I was honored to be invited over for the grand event recently. I got to hold Snakey before the meal, letting her snake up my arm and waggle her tongue in my general direction. I was fascinated by how smooth she is – “scaly” doesn’t mean what you think it means. After that, I was privileged to watch as she gave little Mickey one last good hug, then swallowed him with less trouble than I have swallowing a french fry.

Everyone needs this experience with a python.

The week before I visited had been a two-for-one night, and I got this series of texts from Not-Crazy-Renee about the mishaps therein…






I know. At this moment you can do nothing but be intensely jealous that she’s my not-crazy friend and not yours.

Changing the subject.

Earlier this week, I agreed to do her family photos – you know, for Christmas cards and such. I do not do this for many people because OH THE PRESSURE of taking portraits. But I did hers last year, and her kids are super photogenic and therefore easy to photograph at their best, so I agreed.

Last year, her middle child, Jonas, was my favorite to photograph. He’s beyond adorable. (They all are, but he’s my favorite. Can I have a favorite?)

Besides giving me the precious shots I wanted,

_MG_8835 Jonas Fave


he gave me the best “OH NO YOU DI’INT!!” shot of all time:


Right? Right.

So this year, I expected more fantastical photos from him.

However. He decided to remove himself as my favorite and instead, offer me a different sort of treasure.

Out of the hundreds of pictures I took, I got maybe 5 good ones of him.

The rest were his apparent audition photos to be the next Hollywood Evil Villain Child.

He started out playfully evil. The Doofenshmirtz of bad guys.


Then he moved on to Cedric the Sorcerer.


From there he went full-on Joker…


And just a bit of Draco Malfoy.


(Positive he was casting a Cruciatus Curse here…)


But then, when it was time for family photos, is when it got weird.

I told him to smile,

And the kid turned into a …






We tried one more picture up against the ivy-covered wall. We all begged him to smile. And as his sister looked toward the heavens, looking as if she’d seen an angel,


He looked like he had seen something…

or was something….


quite different.


He may not be my favorite anymore, but he’s for sure ready for Hollywood.

Epilogue: In fairness and to soothe the nightmares I just provided you, I did get a couple adorable shots of him,



And precious shots of him with his siblings.




Also, I was able to make this fabulous music video, thanks to his superior inter-photograph dance skillz.

And then, my masterpiece of the year, was this sick beat…

(Y’all remember this post one day when Photographical DJing is a thing. Remember that I, and Jonas, were the pioneers.)

….so maybe he’s still my favorite. Maybe.

(But I’m only retracting my renouncement of him because he looked at me like this after reading this post…)


8 thoughts on “Not-Crazy-Renee and the Creepy Middle Child.

  1. Best. Blog. Ever.
    I’m so glad to know I have this “Beat It” video to watch when I need happy tears to flow!!!
    Thank you for this!

  2. Ok I’ve been waiting to comment on this until I could watch the videos but the only time I remember is when I’m nursing and can’t distract the baby. Anyway I loved this. Seriously. I was so excited when I saw the title and it did not disappoint! I think he should henceforth be know as Not-evil-Jonas!

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