Monday, April 5, 2010


You know, as I was typing a post last night (it wasn't really a post, more a brief commentary on our day) it struck me again that even though "a picture is worth a thousand words", sometimes it doesn't tell the whole story. I received a few comments like, "what a great looking family", "you're so blessed", "love the pictures", etc. While our pictures (and, of course I only pick the best ones to post) are a great representation of us at our best, they definitely don't tell the whole story. Nowhere in these pictures can you tell that no one wanted to take a family picture. That our neighbor, Mark, took our picture. That the huge bin (yes, the red one) in the background is left over from my uncle's house ( it smells like smoke, and we're trying to air it out). That I was supposed to put our winter clothes in here, and I'm just too lazy to bring it inside and fill it with clothing. That Rob made us late for church because he wanted to wash the car.

I love our life. Sometimes I just look around (and usually remark to Rob) that I am so happy. Sometimes, though, when the kids are fighting or I'm really annoyed with Rob I realize that this, too, is real life. I do wish a picture could tell the whole story, but usually I'm thankful it doesn't! Today I happened upon some old pictures and keepsakes that have been hiding in our blanket chest (we don't open it much because it still smells like mothballs).

I found some great pictures of when we were dating, early pics of Joshua and also cards and letters Rob wrote to me. There were the notes he left on my car in my high school parking lot. The letter he sent to me from a ski trip in CO our senior year of high school (he wants me to throw the letter away, but there is no way that I will). I was struck by many things as I perused through these things this morning. First, that Rob and I were crazy young. Second, we were pretty dorky. Third, I can't believe I kept all of these things. Fourth, and lastly, I'm so glad I did.

I found this picture of my sister and I and my grandparents. I remember visiting the Indian Steps museum. I remember my grandfather's Alzheimer's was getting pretty bad at this point. He was an amazing genius. He could build any machine you needed, without any blueprints (they were in his head). He lost any and all abilities to function. We finally lost him when I was 18. My grandmother was amazing. She took care of him until she physically couldn't anymore, but would spend all day with him in the nursing home. She used to babysit Josh when he was little and, even at 80 years old, she would tuck guns into the waistband of her shorts and crawl under the dining room table with him. What I don't remember is my sisters dorky fanny pack! :)

I think this was Christmas morning. And, yes, that was me with the snaggle teeth and a perm.

This is Rob and I for my senior prom.

This is Josh, can you believe what a chunk he was? This, my friends, is what a healthy appetite can do for your baby. This little guy only had breast-milk until he was nine months old. Exclusively.

These are my two guys.

These pictures don't show our struggles. How, at 21 years old we became parents. How, at college graduation Rob was holding his nine month old baby. I love looking back, though, to see how far we've come. Even though the pictures don't tell the whole story, they spark the memory. We remember, and that's the point. I don't know if anyone has ever read "1984", but memory is one of the main themes in the book. Memory is the one thing we can control. Memory is a beautiful but sometimes painful thing. But, it is ours to hold.


  1. that's a good post girlfriend! i TOTALLY agree!

  2. Kristen,

    Thank you for sharing that with us. It was completely beautiful. I love hearing more about your life and family.

  3. i love the picture! i completely agree! blogging can play into the dishonesty of pictures. everyone can look so happy and perfect, when we know they are not.

    thanks for being real!

  4. Flamingo- you probably remember (although I hope not) me in my awkward years :)

    I totally agree about the blogging world not always being totally honest.

    I am so thankful for pictures, though, because most of my memories from childhood are tied to pictures. I'm such a visual person!

  5. Joshua was such an adorable baby!

  6. Hah- no worries, I didn't fall off the face of the planet. I've just been tending the kiddo and bopping around for Easter gatherings. I love this post. LOVE it. It's so true- pictures can show the best moments of our lives, but they hold so much under the surface. Thank you for sharing this :) And you look BUFF in that senior prom photo--look at those arms! Just sayin! Haha.

  7. Found your blog from some other Yorkers! (I'm a former Yorker! It's where most of my family lives.) This was just an awesome post. It choked me up. Especially about Indian Steps. I had forgotten that place existed (I still don't know where it is, it's just hanging there in my memory.) My grandparents took my sister and I there also. Just the 4 of us. What a wonderful memory. Instead of the goofy fanny pack, in the photo I have from the trip, I was sporting Zinc on my lips - do you remember that stuff? It was neon-colored beach chapstick or something? Anyway, I looked like a total nerd (but thought I was the opposite.) Thank you for triggering that memory.

    Excellent blog, can't wait to read a whole bunch of old posts today! Ha ha!

  8. Loved this post - all the pictures and stories! I took the kids to Indian Steps over Easter last week. We just walked around and read some signs. They open up next week - April 15th and closes in October sometime. We want to go back when the house is open.

    Leslie - if you come up from down South to visit family, head over my way and we'll go to Indian Steps together! It's not too far from my house.