Lessons from a Pumpkin Patch

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{Sloan, suddenly camera shy}

{Sloan, suddenly camera shy}

This past Sunday we had plans to shoot our family holiday card at a nearby pumpkin patch. I'd envisioned us in coordinated outfits, cuddled up on piles of hay, smiling at the camera. But that's not exactly what happened. 

The goal was to be out of the house by 9am, but by the time we got Sloan fed, dressed and then changed (after she got her first outfit dirty), it was an hour and a half later. We arrived at the location of Mr. Bones, the massive pumpkin patch that's supposedly the place to go with kids. We had driven by it countless times over the years, but as it turns out, they relocated to a new location across town, which we discovered as we pulled up to an empty lot. So we took off in the opposite direction for another 30 minute drive, just in time for the rain to start.

It was only after we arrived that I realized we'd forgotten a bib for Sloan, whom, in the midst of teething, is ridiculously drooly all the time. Soon enough, she and I were both covered in slobber and spit up. Babies also apparently love hay, so Sloan was stoked to hang (and attempt to eat) the dried stalks spread across the grounds of the pumpkin patch. This meant that our baby, who typically loves a photo opportunity, straight up ignored the camera.

As quickly as it began, the rain gave way to blinding sun, so each photo we attempted had someone with either closed eyes or looking in the opposite direction to avoid the glare. We couldn't stop squinting long enough to look at the camera and simultaneously get a drooling baby to look up and not at the hay. 

It had been a string of insignificant challenges that made for a total comedy of errors. I left the pumpkin patch feeling defeated that we didn't get the winning shot, especially to commemorate our first holiday tradition. It wasn't until we'd gotten home, and I was removing Sloan's sopping wet top that she grinned at me and I realized it's not about a perfect picture. We ended up having a great time despite the snafus and the photographs and story from that day provide a better memory than I could have ever hoped for. 

{Sloan's new obsession with filthy hay and sticks}

{Sloan's new obsession with filthy hay and sticks}

{Sloan anxious to get back down to the ground}

{Sloan anxious to get back down to the ground}

{No bib = wet sweatshirt}

{No bib = wet sweatshirt}

{G, whom had completely given up on trying to keep his eyes open}

{G, whom had completely given up on trying to keep his eyes open}

{Seconds before Sloan's encroaching meltdown}

{Seconds before Sloan's encroaching meltdown}

{Hay!}

{Hay!}

{My favorite shot of the day}

{My favorite shot of the day}