Tuesday, February 18, 2014

the snowy tea party... and then some

subtitled: the driveway, the dog and the deck. 
{a three part story -- because life is what happens outside the picture frame}.

it was the perfect day ---
no school.
new snow.
and warmer temps!

we had been waiting for EXACTLY THIS. and monday, it arrived.

diana and i, mama-partners in photography crime, made our plan.

today was the day.

we would re-create the vision diana had shared with me a month or so ago. we would set up and shoot a "snowy tea party" scene with our youngest girls, bella and emme.  yes, yes we would!

over the weekend i had painted the table and chairs ... taking them from plain, old oak to something a little shabbier and chicer ... we had assembled the outfits and "props" and by late monday morning ... we were ready.

game on!

the girls were giddy (though not as giddy as their mamas) because what 5 or 6 year old doesn't want a tea party in the snow?

our picture-plan was perfectly on course -- or so it seemed.

after "checking lighting" (high-tech photographer's term) all over the yard, diana finally settled on the low part of our driveway -- the part we "share" with our neighbors. and that's where the fun began.

scene #1 -- the driveway.

we had no sooner set up this magical scene (smack dab in the middle of the "shared" space) when my neighbor came up the long drive in his snowblowing tractor. (darn! wish we had thought to photograph him). he had plans to continue on toward his house ... except for the roadblock of two chinese girls wearing flowers in their hair and fur wraps, holding tea cups ...

the tractor came to a halt.

i began to think about what i could say ...

offer him a cup of "snow" tea?

a chance to pose in the picture?

a glossy 8 x 10?

it's not every day a man just trying to clear snow from his driveway stumbles upon a scene such as this.

i've had an inkling our sweet next door neighbors think us a bit "out there" ... and i was pretty sure this wasn't going to help convince him otherwise.

leaving the tea party scene, i approached him and his tractor and did my best to explain our "vision." i'm not 100% he was following, but he kind of nodded slowly trying to take in my words. regardless of what he thought, we struck a deal. he kindly agreed to wait a few extra minutes before continuing up the drive.

we hurried. diana snapped as many pictures as she could ... the girls giggled and pretended and played along. they filled their cups with snow and rolled their eyes at their mothers. it was all so delightful for them ... for us... (not so sure about the neighbor).

finally, diana declared she had taken enough.

and scene one came to a close.

we packed up our belongings and trudged back toward the house. with tea cups and table and two little girls out of the way, my neighbor started his tractor and happily continued to plow waving and smiling at us as he passed.

scene #2 -- the dog.

we knew this was going to take a little more work.
and, i assure you, it did.

a pocket full of dog treats, a slice of turkey and a whole lot of: "sit minne, stay minne, no minne, yes minne, come minne!"

what this picture doesn't show is the crazy woman (me) off to the side hopping up and down and yelling wild encouragement at my big beast and tiny daughter.

diana, the ultimate professional, just kept snapping picture after picture after picture.

we were both determined.

{i could only hope the neighbor was too busy plowing to pay us much attention}.

finally diana stood up and declared she was sure she had "something."

it only took 17 dog treats, a broken tea cup, one bruised knee and a gazillion clicks of the camera --- but it was worth it!

as funny as all that was -- or at least as funny as it was to us (i suppose it was one of those classic "you-had-to-be-there" kind of moments) -- the best part was what my other older kids (the ones NOT in the tea party photo shoot) showed me later in the day.

scene #3 -- the deck

while we were out in the front yard recreating a piece of narnia ... my other kids and alex (emily's boyfriend and tyler's friend) were doing snow stunts off the deck ... and, of course, filming themselves.

(click below)
kids' youtube video "jump!"

immediately i knew i'd have to share this. i couldn't very well post all those darling pictures of the surreal "snowy tea party" and not show you the "other part" of the life we lead. i'd hate to mislead you in thinking our life is only about dreamy pink flowers, tea cups and magical photos. oh, people, no, no, no. not the case at all!

remember, there's always more to the story than the pretty picture.

just like in life, there's usually a story of something a little more gritty or raw or real (or COMPLETELY DANGEROUS) taking place in what isn't captured. we might catch a pristine moment in perfect snow and perfect light ... but chances are we also have a kid or two diving off the deck and filming snow stunts.

let the pretty pictures inspire or encourage or bless you ... but don't let them mislead you. we all know, real life is lived way beyond the lens ... and it typically doesn't include pink flowers and china tea cups.

but, by all means, keep taking lots of pictures! you'll never, ever regret it.  xoxo

love my minne!

photo credits: diana rouse
video credit: alex reimer


Simply LKJ said...

The photos are precious! The ones with the dog had me cracking up.

Sammy said...

That is just beautiful!!

Owlhaven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Owlhaven said...

So cute! Thanks for sharing!

Mary, momma to many (not man, as I indicated in the comment I just deleted. :) There's not enough coffee in the world for me to function well at 6AM)

andrea said...

jody that's hilarious. the pictures are amazing. minne your awesome.

Lauren Casper said...

I love it Jody!!!! The girls are so gorgeous and your dog is beautiful too!!! It's so enchanting! Fun to pretend our lives are like Narnia... but then back to reality! haha ;)

Suzanne said...

Amazing!!! You two and your two together are simply beautiful! I love your and Diana's collaborations. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

Laurie said...

These are beautiful pictures!!! LOVE the one of the dog sitting at the table with them- worth the labor of love it took to get the shot! :)