Christmas cards are probably my very favorite happy mail! I LOVE seeing the faces of families I love so much, but

don’t you sometimes wish they came with a disclaimer?

This pic on the card is beautiful, but what was this day really like?  Was it happy and cheery?  Did your kids have total meltdowns?  Did you want to punch your hubby who complained more about the pics than anyone?

I ask my family to do pics once a year.  We use them for our Christmas card, and it is my gift from my hubby since I am usually the photographer and rarely in the pictures myself.  I love to see how our family has grown and changed each year!   This year was very special because we took our pics on vacation with my parents and my in-laws.  I will honestly cherish the pics of my boys with their grandparents forever!

BUT, if our card came with a disclaimer this year…

These pics were taken at 5:45 a.m……yes. 5:45 IN THE MORNING!  We used Shore Shooters Photography.  They shoot all along the beaches of Alabama, Florida and South Carolina, and are honestly amazing, but for lighting they only shoot at sunrise and sunset.  All the sunset times were taken, so we rose with the sun!

Take a 4 year old and 1 year old to the beach and tell them not to get sandy or get in the water…..yea right!  They were soaked and sandy pretty much from head to toe by the end.

Totally vain moment, but I had big Texas, teased curls when I stepped out of the car, but 10 minutes in and my hair was pretty much flat and wet from the ocean humidity….awesome.

8 people all looking, eyes open and smiling at the same time…..we tried!

All these minor things aside, these photos give me all the feels.  My family in a place we love during a trip that was so special….priceless!

No matter how the day goes, family pics are ALWAYS worth the hassle in the end!  These guys give me SO much joy, and pictures of them are hands down my favorite decor in our home.

What do you do with Christmas cards after Christmas?  My girlfriend Mitzi makes them into a book, which is so cute!  I know many people put one or two on the fridge each week throughout the year and pray over that family that week….I think we may adopt that plan this year! Would love to hear your ideas!

From my family to yours, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2017!  I hope the weekend is filled with family, friends, love and laughter! May the Lord bless you and keep you!