Let me start with the surprising facts that go with this photo. I am the oldest of 6. I was 11 when my sister Samantha was born (she’s the baby) and 17 when my sister Alena was born. Yes, same parents. I was raised Catholic so big families are in our DNA, I suppose. My Grandma and Grandpa Hartsuff had 15 children. My Dad is the 11th of 15. We lived 2 houses down from them and were there several times a week to see cousins, play cards, get treats and watch the fun TV shows. When my Grandma died she had 100 grand and great-grandchildren. You read that right 100! My Grandma was so proud of us all (she definitely had her favorites, for which I was not one of them LOL) and she remembered all our birthdays and gave gifts at Christmas. She was truly one of a kind. I once asked her what she would have done if she wasn’t a Mom and her reply was, “I would have been a nun.” She raised her children to love each other and help each other through tough times. They are all still close and most of them live within an hour drive to each other. She had lots of traditions I absolutely want to re-create with my family and this one sticks out to me the most.
See that wall behind us in this photo? That is the wall of grand children. It eventually swung all the way around the corner and down the hall. She put our photos in 5×7 frames and instead of removing the photo she simply added the newest school photo on top. The frames didn’t have to match and the most recent photo didn’t even have to measure 5×7. She just displayed them. I tend to be a perfectionist and memories and kids are so far from perfect. So, please, just display the photo. Let you little ones look serious when they are in a serious mood. Capture the crazy smile. AND display those moments in your home. Let them know you are proud of them wether they have a crazy smile or no smile at all. So when she passed away, we all received our frames with all of our school photos in them. It was a treasure to me. You can see me in the bright green sweater, I still love neon and will always be an 80s kiddo at heart!
If you are like me and aren’t sure you want to devote a wall to school photos here is a photo of how I’m displaying my kiddos photos in our living area. It’s important to remember a lot of photographers are offering digital photos now so it’s good to go back and make sure those are saved in a save place and printed and put behind the most recent photo. It’s a project I’m working on now and it’s been fun!
Cheers, to school photos, goofy smiles, toothless grins, chubby cheeks and NEON!