Well, okay, technically they've not all been sent. Okay, none have been sent. But they're all written, except for the 7 people or so whose addresses I need. I had 88 people on the list this year -- in my next life, I want to be part of a smaller family. Sheesh.
I am really happy with the way our cards turned out this year. I've mentioned before that I take Christmas cards very seriously, and I was lucky (and patient) enough to find cards that met all the totally random arbitrary criteria that I felt needed to be met: non-denominational, colorful, happy, chic. I didn't end up picking one of the three designs I thought I would do with, but I did find something that worked for me.
Now if only taking and picking a picture of my kid would have been so simple! Even when you weed out the test shots, I ended up taking something like 130 pictures of my (generally mostly uncooperative) kid in front of the Christmas tree to get three pictures that were usable for the cards.
The one I ended up using is almost but not quite perfect -- I mean, it pretty much perfectly sums up my life, but it isn't exactly a perfect picture. Shae is (1) looking at the camera, (2) sitting still, and (3) smiling all at the same time, but she is not entirely in focus. I think the problem here is me; I left my tripod at my sister's baby shower (which, OMG, I never put up pictures and my sister is having the baby, like, RIGHT NOW) and I still don't it back, so I was using a jerryrigged stack of toy boxes and books to hold the camera still, and either she moved or I did. But I like the light here, and her hair looks great, and that million dollar smile, plus I really love this shirt that she got for a Christmas present last year and it's actually what I had in mind when I was picking out new decorations for the three this year, so I just ran the softening filter and called it a day. Like I said, I am really happy with how the cards turned out, and I think this picture is at least 75% of the reason why.
This photo was another contender and I almost ended up using it. Technically speaking, this is a better picture -- Shae is in focus, the lights have that nice twinkle from the shortened depth of field, her eyes have a gorgeous sparkle. Practically up until the last minute, this was the picture that was going to be on our cards. But I changed my mind because of (1) that weird open-mouth thing that Jessica Simpson is always doing that kind of makes her look like an unfortunately dim mouth-breather, and (2) Shae is not looking directly at the camera. Darn it, kid! Why don't you like to look at the camera?
I almost used this one, too. This picture is pretty typical of my kid (and, let's face it, her mother) -- she was chitter-chatting during our whole "photo shoot" and I really needed to work hard to get her to take direction. "Shae, look at the camera." Click. "Smile please." Click click. "Honey, can you drop your chin a little bit?" Click. "No, not that much, don't look at the floor, look at the camera." Click click click. "What are you doing with your face?" Click. "Don't scrunch up your nose, just look right at the camera and sit still and smile." Click. "Shae, please." Click click. "SHAE." Click. "Oh my God kid what are you doing can you please just sit still for two seconds and look at the camera and stop making that face and smile and listen to me OH MY GOD PLEASE LISTEN OR YOU ARE NEVER GETTING ANY CANDY AGAIN EVER."