Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of School

Summer's over. Oh, I know we have a couple of weeks until it's officially over, but once school starts... let's face it. Summer's over. :(

Today is the first day of school for my daughters. Amazingly, everyone got up and out the door on time. I'd tell you that I'm enjoying the peace and quiet in the house this morning as I type this, but truth be told, I had this kind of peace and quiet most mornings this summer because both girls pretty much slept their mornings away, getting up to have breakfast at 11 am then lunch an hour and a half later. I think I will appreciate, however, the break from being a short order cook from 11 am to 1 pm most days all summer long. ;)

I had to jump through hoops to get these first day of school pictures this morning. My teen tried to slip out the door with the quick, "Bye, Mom. I'm leaving." But I was quicker and slung the camera over my neck and followed her out the door with a, "Wait! First day of school picture!" She rolled her eyes but at least she stood still and smiled for a brief ten seconds before she was off for her first day of her sophomore year in high school.

Getting a first day of school picture of my other daughter was not as smooth. Oh my word. The girl does NOT like getting her picture taken. AT. ALL. NOT. EVER. It is so frustrating how adept she is at avoiding the camera. Sometimes she even acts like she doesn't know you have your camera out and just when you're about to shoot, she quickly turns the other way or ducks or does whatever she has to do to avoid the camera and all I capture is a blur of movement. Drives me nuts.

What about those adorable photos of her in my Pacific Northwest Vacation post last month, you ask? Totally her fake smile. I believe I failed to mention in that post how on the first day of vacation, she was dodging the camera every single instance and we pleaded with her to just let us take candid shots for which she didn't even need to smile... or please, please, please, just give us a fake smile now and then. Trying to be funny and probably a bit sarcastic, she turned on the fake charm and started overdoing these fake smiles, and we loved it! She was quite cute, I must say. She got into the fake smiles and was having fun with it, I'm sure, and I'm so pleased that we at least now have some great pictures of her actually smiling. The first set of smiles in photos from her in probably four years. Anyway, she informed me this morning that those days are over and she's reserving her fake smiles for vacations only. It makes me sad, but what am I going to do?

I'll tell you what I'm going to do, and that's not give up. I'm going to point and shoot anyway and hope that I'll get some pictures of her adorable smiling face. I figure in the meantime, any picture of her is better than no picture at all. So here is her first day of school picture. It's the best I could do as she took off for her first day of 6th grade, which is also her first day of middle school!

It's hard to believe that this is the first year in a decade that I haven't had one or both of my daughters in the elementary school. They sure do grow up fast . . .

Want to see what I mean? Here are their first day of school pictures from only two years ago:

Growing up is a wonderful thing and I find joy in my children at every age... yet my heart aches at how fleeting childhood seems at milestones like this.


  1. How come her backpack looks heavy? Isn't it the first day of school?

    Kids don't get dressed up for school anymore?

    Can you tell I have no children?

  2. Hi Christine!

    OMG, they're both so gorgeous! (even without the fake smile).

    It feels almost surreal to me sometimes.

    They grow up so fast, almost in the blink of an eye, and before you know it, they're in high school. I have one graduate, my daughter is a senior (yikes) and son #2, a sophomore. LOL School started here almost 3 weeks ago now, but the kids spent the most of summer at school, so it really doesn't feel different around here.

    It scares me to think I'll soon have two graduates, and only 2 more years in high school for my baby. (the really scary part is the college tuition, eek!)

    I wonder where the time went?

    Dottie :)

  3. Your kids are absolutely beautiful! I think you should definitely be persistent in your picture taking, especially of the older one. She will want to look back at these pictures one day, especially when she has children of her own.

    I must admit that I don't like to take pictures myself. I'm not photogenic at all. Even my boyfriend says that I look much better in person than in photo! If that's not being honest, I don't know what is. But I've learned that if I put on enough makeup, then the photo will turn out decent enough to keep.

    Oh, I visited your 101 goals in 1001 days and I really love that post! I'm going to set some goals for myself too. I'm making a list and checking it twice. Not yet to 101. Have a great day!

    P.S. Before I forget, I'm having a giveaway on my blog. All you need is to leave a comment to enter. Easy as Golden Raspberry Jam!

  4. How cute are they? You have beautiful girls, Christine! I can't believe how much your youngest has grown in the past 2 years! Both of them actually!

    Congrats on their first day - I hope they like their teachers. :)

  5. They're beautiful - smiles or no smiles. :)

    It does go by fast, doesn't it? I dread the day when the boys are embarrassed to hug me in public. I hope it never comes!

  6. Dru, her backpack looks heavy because it IS heavy! The amount of school supplies they require kids to bring in these days is just crazy. Especially for my youngest going in to sixth grade. She's required to have a specific colored three ring binder for every subject. I don't know how she's going to carry it all home AND the textbooks just to do homework? And the paper bag on the ground is filled with cleaning supplies that are "requested" from each child--disinfectant wipes, paper towels and boxes of tissues. I use the term "requested" loosely, because the teachers check off the child's name on some list when they've brought in the recommended items and will keep reminding the child that they haven't brought in their supplies if they don't do it right away. That sounds more like "required" than "requested" to me.

    My girls used to get more dressed up for school... every year a first day of school outfit becomes less and less important to them.

    Thank you! I think they're awfully gorgeous, too, but I'm the mom, so of course I'd think that! LOL.

    It definitely feels surreal to me almost all the time! Weren't WE just in high school a couple of years ago? I don't know how I'm going to handle having a graduate... it's only three years away! :(

    You poor thing. You will have two kids in college at the same time for several years between #1 and #2 then #2 and #3. Yikes!

    Hope yours have a good school year! :)

    Thank you! I'm definitely going to keeping snapping pictures of the girls. I have to have something to hold on to as they grow up even more!

    The beauty of digital photography is that you can take multiple photos of essentially the same shot and hope that at least one or two will be complimentary, right? At least that's what I do. LOL.

    I'm so glad you are inspired by my 101 goals in 1001 days!!! I can't wait to see your list. It took me two months I think, to get 101 things.

    I'll check out your giveaway. Easy as Golden Raspberry Jam, huh? LOL! Thanks for the heads up. ^_^

    Thank you! Your girls are quite gorgeous, too, there, Tracy. I hope my girls like their teachers, too. Now that they both switch classes for all of their subjects, they have upwards of 14 teachers each quarter!

    I hope your girls are doing well with their new school year, too!

    Thank you! :)
    It goes by frighteningly fast! How are your kids doing with school so far. They've probably been in session for a few weeks now, right? I think we MidAtlantic- Northeasterners are the last ones to start our school year.

    Does your teen daughter let you hug her in public? Mine is unpredictable about it. Sometimes she lets me and sometimes not.

  7. How beautiful they are! And I'm very well acquainted with the fake smile, and the no smile. Isn't it frustrating when just a few years ago, they couldn't wait to smile for the camera?

  8. Lori,
    Thanks! :)
    I would have never guessed that you are familiar with the fake smile and the no smile. Your boys still seem eager for the camera. But maybe I'm just seeing that small handful of success shots. LOL!

    I do miss when they were "hams" for the camera. So cute.

  9. Christine, they're both so beautiful. I can't imagine mine being that old yet. Though I know they will be before I know it! Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures. Hope they have a great school year.

  10. Angie,
    Thank you. :)
    They truly grow up so fast. Savor every age and stage that your kids are in now. Don't let anyone tell you that you spoil your kids by holding them too much or by letting them snuggle in your bed all night. Those days are so few...

  11. Awww, well, even though the youngest didn't smile this time, the picture of her you did get tells a story, too. Great pics, mom. :)

  12. Yay, school!!! :) Beautiful girls... Lili tries to act up and won't let me take more than 3 pictures; that doesn't usually fly, but I feel your frustration :( And the books that she's gotten this year are ridiculous.

    Hope its a great year for the girls :)

  13. Mine are in their 5th week of school but they'll get out mid-May.

    Abby is unpredictable too. She offered me a hug the other day at Cost Plus when they didn't have my wine in stock. I must have looked really say. LOL

    *disclaimer - I don't drink much but there is one wine that I like & it's hard to find. Cost Plus usually has it. :)

  14. Beautiful girls, Christine. :) You have a lovely garden too, from the the 1st pix.

    Students in Malaysia (until they're 17), in both public and private schools, have to wear uniform in school. It's so amazing to me that students in your country are allowed to wear anything(?) they like. Very liberating. I wish our kids are allowed the same too, what with our weather being so hot the whole year through.

  15. Your girls are simply gorgeous! Love the cute shorts :)

    I think I will appreciate, however, the break from being a short order cook from 11 am to 1 pm most days all summer long. ;)

    LOL! Sometimes I feel that way, but WRT my cat!

  16. Wow, they have grown so much in two years!! They look gorgeous :) They might not realize it now, but those are great souvenirs pics :) They'll be happy to have it once school is over :)

    It really sucks that summer is over, sigh.

  17. Update:
    My high schooler had a good first day yesterday. She likes all of her teachers, especially her Spanish and Photography teacher. You know--the important subjects. LOL.

    My middle schooler had a... hmm.. I'll say "adventurous" day. I gotta give her credit for not getting upset and still wanting to go back today, but she had a tough one. She got lost in the halls and confused about which period it was and didn't ask for help and was kind of aimless for an hour or so in the middle of the day. I'm not exactly sure how that all went down, but I believe she missed her entire social studies class and half of lunch. I had a hard time wrapping my head around that one and was asking all kinds of questions for more than an hour after school, to which she finally responded, "Mom. Relax. It's not like I was in Brazil or anything." Well, that's good, right? "Don't talk about it anymore. I know what to do now." Okaaay.

    I sure hope today is better. LOL.

    I'm actually coming to terms with the non-smile, not-looking-at you photo of my youngest and I actually like it a lot! Like you said, it tells a story.

    Thank you!
    Wishing you and Lili a great school year, too!
    *sends subliminal message... need more Red Velvet Cheesecake*

    Wow. I can't believe your kids are in week already!

    I have gotten those unexpected public hugs, too! Under similar circumstances, too! LOL. You are so funny with your disclaimer about the wine. No judgments here as long as you drink responsibly. ;)

    Thank you for the compliments on my girls and my garden! My flowers look very lush right now. I waited all summer for those tall pale pink ones to bloom. The bees are going crazy for them from dawn till dusk and I even spotted a hummingbird early one morning last week. I LOVE seeing them... it's so rare for us though. I'm lucky if I spot one once a year.

    The public schools in our area don't have uniforms nor require specific attire, but there is a dress code. The dress code refers mostly to the length of shorts and skirts, no midriffs showing, no underwear can show, no offensive language or graphics on t shirts, etc.. Common sense things.

    Thank you, darling.
    LOL @ your cat demanding your attention in the kitchen!

    They have grown a lot in two years. My teen looks more grown up and shapely. My tween ... well, she looks like a whole new person, doesn't she? Maybe a whole foot taller, 20+lbs... and curves, too! Meep!

  18. Oh what beautiful children you have!!!!!! I remember doing the fake smile thing when I was younger LOL so I can understand why she does.

    Although I now also understand why it frustrated my mother so much ;)

    I hope their first day is GREAT!!!

  19. (I'm borrowing internet from Chris's Droid.) Your daughters are absolutely lovely. Your youngest sounds like quite the adventurer who want to do things on her own.
    Hope the rest of the week is going well for you and yours.

  20. I'm so glad you were able to capture their first day of school! I was not home to get Devin's. Well, I was but in the hustle and bustle of getting him ready and myself ready for school and needing to leave before he did, I didn't get mine :(.

    I still find it amazing that my baby is old enough for middle school!

    I was like your Anna, didn't like my picture taken for years. I think the unaware shots are much better in ways. It seems to capture more feeling, I think.

  21. Oh these are great pictures, Christine. Thanks so much for sharing. I know my heart is going to freakin break when the kiddo goes to school. I teared up when we visited his ECFE classroom yesterday and he only goes there once a week and I go with him!

  22. Sarai, Thank you, darling! As much as the fake smiles drive me nuts... I'd take them any day over NO smiles! :)

    Brandy, Thanks! Youngest sure did have an adventure of a first day. Second day was much smoother... and then they were off Thursday and Friday for Rosh Hashanah. This week will be a long one. Wish me luck to get to Friday without any major school drama! LOL!

    Amy, I'm sorry you missed seeing Devin off on his first day of school and that you didn't manage a picture. If it makes you feel any better, I missed last year's photo opportunity and the year before, I think I took my teen's picture when she got home!

    I hope you and Devin have a great year! xo

    Michelle, it gets easier to send them off to school as they get older. Not that you're trying to get rid of them or anything... and not that you don't lament how fast they grow up... but the umbilical cord gets longer and longer and thinner and thinner for both halves. I don't know if it ever snaps though. Once a mom, always a mom, right?

    By the way, what's ECFE? I hope it's someplace fun. :)


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