Family Photos and Christmas Cards

Every year at Christmas we get family pictures taken. (and by every year I mean we’ve done it for two years now)

We have several extremely talented photographers in our area but one of our favorites offers “mini sessions” around Christmas time – just a quick half hour session – you get about 25 images out of a 30 minute session in her studio for $125. We love it!

Here are a few of my favorites from last year:

So this year I was so excited to book again! Here’s how they turned out:

YAY! I know what you’re thinking! Those are GREAT pictures but you guys, the photo shoot was a STRUGGLE!

Gannon was still recovering from ear infection and has never had pictures before so he was VERY confused by the entire thing and many of the outtakes look like this:

The struggle was so real. It was so bad Craig and I are sincerely concerned about his hearing – we were making all kinds of noises and sounds trying to get him to look at us or perk up – nothing. It is a miracle we got the pictures we did.

And then about 30 seconds after this picture was taken…

Gannon toppled over and bonked his head on the floor. At first I thought it was just a bump…until his mouth started bleeding! …all over his sweatshirt. I still hadn’t got a picture of the boys together yet. Carver threw a HOLY FIT and refused to hold or touch Gannon whatsoever. So we came up with this:

(note the extra padding/fluff to prevent further injuries)

So I think she edited the blood out of that picture but needless to say, the photo shoot was not going well at this point. The blood was too much so we decided to change his shirt to see if that would help.

As you can see, the fall really broke his spirit so we decided to give it one more shot at a group photo before we called it a day:

Which wasn’t bad but Carver is actually doing his best to get out of the picture and Gannon…well Gannon was so over it at this point. We sincerely apologized to the photographer – who was so cool by the way. It was a CRAZY photo session to say the least! My goodness! But I got the pictures I wanted for our Christmas Card:

And the backside reads:

2019 was a year for the books and not in a great way. On January 24th my father was diagnosed with lung cancer which claimed his life on June 2nd. We not only lost a father and “Papa Moo” (as Carver calls him) but a dear friend. Our favorite nights were spent playing cards with my parents or going to their house for supper. We miss him dearly. What a cruddy was to start off a Christmas card but his absence has taken up much of our thoughts since he passed away 7 months ago.

In August, Craig accepted a position at Achen Farms as row crop manager of about 2,500 acres – the same farm my dad has worked for the last 28 years. Craig thoroughly enjoys his new job as a farmer and we love having a connection to the farm I grew up on especially after Dad passed away.

In other news and on a more positive note, Gannon Joseph Friedman was born on February 25th weighing in at 8 lbs 11 ounces. My water broke the morning after a huge blizzard snow storm and we had to call in a few favors to get plowed out in time to get us to the hospital. Gannon is the calm to our storm and the sweetness to our sour year. He had some medical issues and was hospitalized for 6 days when he was only a month old. We are pleased that many of those issues have resolved. He is starting to pull himself up, crawl everywhere, and now walking won’t be too far away.

Carver turned three in September and is all the way farm boy. Everything is tractors and tools and combines. Carver loves to get into trouble and that has landed him in the ER needing stitches or staples twice this Summer. Forget terrible twos, Carver is all the way a three year old – or a “threenager” as I lovingly call him. He loves being a big brother and sibling rivalry hasn’t been too much of an issue (yet)!

AS for me I’ve continued my career as an ER nurse. I love teaching nursing students through NICC although it made for an extremely busy Fall with Craig in the combine, working my full time ER job and teaching clinicals September – November. I’m following in my mom’s footsteps and launched my own blog which Would be a great way to keep up with our family throughout the year. We sincerely wish you and your family health and happiness in the new year.

Shout out to Alacia Adrienne Photography for doing a wonderful job each year!



  1. Donna
    December 24, 2019 / 12:46 pm

    I love your Christmas card – you might think its a fiasco now but wait a few years and you will all be laughing so hard you’ll be crying!
    A Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year to you and your family.
    Love and prayers

  2. Marilyn
    December 24, 2019 / 1:02 pm

    Have certainly enjoyed you blog. Wishing you and your family a very blessed Christmas.

  3. December 24, 2019 / 1:35 pm

    Making memories Kalissa!!! That’s what it is all about! The pictures are great! Your family is beautiful! Have a Merry Christmas and I wish your family happiness and good health in 2020!

  4. Jill Klop
    December 24, 2019 / 1:53 pm

    Oh my gosh! I read this to my husband and we laughed! I I guess it brought back those funny memories. The pictures turned out great. You are a beautiful family! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Sherri C
    December 24, 2019 / 4:30 pm

    My, how Carver has grown. Great pictures! Have a wonderful holiday with your family.

  6. Mary
    December 24, 2019 / 9:49 pm

    Love the pictures…even the “not so great” ones!

  7. Jan
    December 24, 2019 / 9:51 pm

    I certainly feel your pain trying to wrangle the boys through the photo shoot, but that first shop of Gannon in the washbowl is absolutely adorable! Thanks for taking time out of your very busy life to write this blog, I really enjoy reading about you and your family. Happy Holidays to all of you.

  8. Susan the Farm Quilter
    December 24, 2019 / 11:00 pm

    Wonderful pictures…truly great memories made! Can’t Gannon get his hearing tested? Retired special ed teacher here…I know that in Nevada there is early testing for kids who may have any sort of problem that will impact their education and it is free. I’m not sure what a rural area would have as far as resources. Enjoy those darling boys and have a blessed Christmas!

  9. Dian
    December 25, 2019 / 9:56 pm

    Your card is “picture perfect”. Parents, Moms especially, put in lots of effort to record the lives of their children. The story behind the work that went into the event will be long remembered. The soft coloring of you family pictures is so calming and lovely . Keep writing and Merry Christmas.

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