You Had Me at Holidays... Lisa Hessel Photography

Today's post is from Lisa of Lisa Hessel Photography. Yup, that's right. My wedding photographer is so awesome that she's willing to be a part of my guest blogging event! I love the stories Lisa tells with her camera. But I also love reading about her experiences with couples and families as she's taking those photos on her blog. She's here today to share a story about her own family and friends, and the tradition of FRIENDMAS.

I’m just going to admit it: I’m tired.  Actually, tired doesn’t even describe it.  It’s more like I’m famished for rest. And chocolate too, but that’s neither here nor there.

I’m a professional wedding and portrait photographer, and the wonderful craziness that is 2010 is just about to die down. Hopefully by the end of December, there will be plenty of time to rest and spend time with family and celebrate.  But before we know it, wedding season will be here again (it starts mid-Feburary for me!), and my days will once again be consumed all things wedding.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely and completely love my job and  can’t imagine myself doing anything else… but the 60 days or so of recovery time, however, is quite lovely, and being able to hang out with our friends on a Saturday night is something we cherish. So while the snow is on the ground and the lights are twinkling in the trees, we’re going to make the most of the down time we have and really pack it full of fun, while, of course, leaving just a bit of time for relaxation and the occasional indulgence in a GLEE marathon :).

It’s a given we’ll spend time with our families, and of course we’ll celebrate Christmas at our church, but this year, we’re starting a new tradition.  This year, we’re celebrating Friendmas.  What is this Friendmas, you ask?  And really, that’s a good question, because, to be honest, I’m not quite sure.  

Let me explain.

So, my adorable husband Jon and I have a little boy named Kaden who’s almost two, and he’s quite the delight of our lives.

 We lead pretty busy lives (and “busy,” frankly, is putting it lightly), and as a result, we most times don’t get to see our friends and family as often as we would like. It’s really a shame, and something we’re working on because in the end, we don’t want our lives to be consumed with work and obligations.  We want a life that’s more than that.

And this is where our friends the Chapmans come into play.  Meet Bryce, Carrie and their precious daughter Ruby.  We’ve plotted and schemed for the last two years, and even though they don’t know it yet, Ruby and Kaden will be getting married in about 25 or so years.  Really.  Just you wait and see.

I don’t really remember exactly when it happened, but one day we looked over and the Chapmans were a part of our lives.  They were a fixture, just like they had always been there. We’ve been through the birth of our children together, we’ve weathered storms together, and we’ve eaten pizza from Dewey’s together more times than I care to admit. We live just two blocks away from each other, and I couldn’t be happier to have them as our neighbors.

So this Christmas, we are going to set aside some time to celebrate the season with our two families together. And hence, Friendmas.  I’m a big fan of creating traditions and making memories, and this is what we all hope Friendmas becomes… a tradition full of traditions.  While right now we don’t have a plan for what the first Friendmas will look like, I’ve had some ideas that I think all sound grand.  Here a just a few of my many suggestions:

  • Making a breakfast feast for dinner, complete with chocolate chip pancakes, thick applewood smoked bacon, and the most fattening buttermilk biscuits we can make.  And then covering everything in syrup.  New Year’s resolutions will be right around the corner by this time, so why not live it up while we can?
  • Making crafts with the kids.  I know they’re not even two years old yet, but can’t you just image how fun it would be for Kaden and Ruby to make a life-sized popsicle-stick manger scene for display at future Friendmas celebrations? Ok, ok… maybe that’s not the most realistic idea for toddlers, but perhaps we’ll think of something more doable.
  • Putting the kids to bed and drinking hot totties till the sun comes up.  Ok, I’ll be honest, I don’t even know what a hot tottie is, but I’d really like to find out J.
  • Taking lots and lots of little instax photos of the little kids.  Those little photos are way cute.  WAY cute. I took these one Halloween and Thanksgiving, and they melt my heart. 

  • A Dora and Diego watch party.  It’s my favorite show.  I mean… It’s Kaden and Ruby’s favorite show.
  • Some sort of competition.  Whether it’s eating marshmallows, or playing cards, or doing jumping jacks, or drinking hot totties, or racing through the neighborhood barefoot in the snow, there’s not much more exciting than a good competition between friends.  Especially when I get to eat marshmallows.
  • Singing Christmas carols around the fire.  Many of you probably don’t know this, but I have an excellent singing voice, and I’ve already prepared a few numbers for party.  Some have compared my vocal prowess to the likes of Celine Dion.  And Carrie Underwood.  With a little bit of Miley Cyrus.  And a healthy dosage of the Celtic Woman. And Usher. (Let’s be honest, if you’ve heard me sing, you know that’s clearly a lie… I sound a little more like a wounded wildebeest than any of the aforementioned divas.)
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I hope Friendmas becomes, but really, it seems kinda silly to pontificate about the details because it’s going to be great whatever we do. We’ll be celebrating the birth of our Savior with good friends who have become much more like family, and whatever the details entail, I know we’ll all be happy.  And blessed.  Oh so very blessed. It will be a time to remember that. 

 Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, whatever your traditions may be!

I'm pretty sure I'm going to be stealing some ideas from Lisa in the very near future for new holiday traditions... and really, have you ever seen such beautiful families?!? Merry Christmas to the Hessels and the Chapmans. Stay tuned for more YHMH goodness tomorrow...

1 comment:

  1. Love the idea of a Friendmas. B and I are actually doing a Friend Thanksgiving and Friendmas next year. As much as we love our family, we want to devote our time during the holidays next year to the friends we never get to see.


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