Insta-Moment: why does the blurry photo have to be my favorite?

That moment when you try really hard to get a photo of your daughter playing with her dogs and the photo that has the best angle and position turns out blurry, but the picture with your daughter looking blankly  ahead while one dog bites the other turns out crystal clear. .... and yes that is my pile of laundry in the background. #blog #agirlandherdog #2yearsold #30months #candidphoto #momlife #toddlerlife | February 24, 2017 at 08:10AM

That moment when you try really hard to get a photo of your daughter playing with her dogs and the photo that has the best angle and position turns out blurry, but the picture with your daughter looking blankly ahead while one dog bites the other turns out crystal clear. …. and yes that is my pile of laundry in the background. #blog #agirlandherdog #2yearsold #30months #candidphoto #momlife #toddlerlife

Family Photos for Christmas

This year (and the two years previous) I have purchased a Groupon for a portrait package with JC Penney Portrait Studios.  The purpose of the purchase was to have Christmas photos taken for our family Christmas card.

This year was by far the best experience we have had with the studio.  Each time we have used the same studio, and both this year and last year we had the same photographer.  I think a large part of the better experience this year was because Genevieve was older and better able to follow instructions.  She was also easier to bribe.

The most frustrating part of the experience is the time it takes to go through the ordering process after the pictures are taken.  The photographers are required to create specialty photos and packages for every option, prior to you being able to checkout.  This is a very time consuming process and quite annoying.  This is especially true since they try to rush through the process (because they know you want it to be done) and throw together things that dont even look good.

Our Groupon this year cost $13 and included 3 digital images (with rights), 1 free photo sheet, and 40% off any additional purchases.

Overall I have been very impressed with my Groupon photo packages and their values.  However, I must say, that next year I will be much more particular about paying attentions to sales and what I order.

I wanted to purchase Christmas cards, but there is currently a sale going  on that was cheaper than my Groupon 40% discount.  I asked about getting that price instead and was told that  I could not combine coupons.  I asked how long until my online album was created (they now load all your photos into an online album for future orders) and was told that it would be 48 hours until it would be available. I asked about ordering a ceramic ornament and was told those had to be ordered online. I went ahead and placed my order (and spent more than I intended … as always).

My frustration grew some when I got home and found out that my digital prints were ready to download and my full online album was ready to view.  I also discovered that I could already order from my online album and the prices were significantly less than I had paid when I was in the studio earlier.

Lesson learned.  Next year I will only take what is offered in my Groupon package and then go online and order from my album.  We always have these pictures taken at about the same time of year – so there is always a sale going on.

I will say that the staff were nice and the pictures ( for the most part) were really good.

Note: Michael refused to have a solo picture taken of himself.

Insta-Moment: Gluten Free Chicken Fried Steak Dinner

Dinner time at the Graves' house normally includes Genevieve starting in her chair and ending up in an adult lap. Dinner tonight was gluten free chicken fried steak and gravy, mashed potatoes, and gluten free zucchini fritters. #notsohealthy #familydinner #homemade #glutenfree #dinnertime #southernfood #blog | September 15, 2016 at 07:09PM

Dinner time at the Graves’ house normally includes Genevieve starting in her chair and ending up in an adult lap. Dinner tonight was gluten free chicken fried steak and gravy, mashed potatoes, and gluten free zucchini fritters. #notsohealthy #familydinner #homemade #glutenfree #dinnertime #southernfood #blog

Insta-Moment: Remembering my Grandfather 

My dad just asked me if I needed any money. Genevieve replied with “yep.” This interaction hilariously reminded me of my late grandfather who was always offering me money because he never wanted me to be without money in my pocket. I can’t even imagine the amount of love he would have had for this little girl. He would have doted on her to no end and I know she would have given him so much joy. He passed before seeing most of my adult milestones but Genevieve would have been the one he most wanted to experience. He would have been the most amazing greatgrandfather. it is amazing how small random interactions and words can bring such intricate and sentimental memories to the surface. #25monthsold #2yearsold #memories #greatgrandfather #moneytalk #family #imissyou #bringstearstomyeyes #blog

Insta-Moment: Car Trouble

You know it's going to be a long day when..... your day starts out with you fighting to steer your car that won't start onto a trailer, while you husband pushes the car forward with his truck....then you get to climb out the window because the car doors can't open on the trailer. ...then you get to hear the price to fix it... #cartrouble #longday #whenitrainsitpours #blog | August 22, 2016 at 09:31PM

You know it’s going to be a long day when….. your day starts out with you fighting to steer your car that won’t start onto a trailer, while you husband pushes the car forward with his truck….then you get to climb out the window because the car doors can’t open on the trailer. …then you get to hear the price to fix it… #cartrouble #longday #whenitrainsitpours #blog