It started when I was in grad school. The pictures would come every single month. I didn't know where to put them, in my tiny little apartment, but I sure appreciated getting them. My sister was so thoughtful, taking her new baby in to Sears every month to get her portraits taken. Every. Single. Month. And I'd get at least a half-dozen different poses, with all different outfits, of my cute little niece. I loved it, since she was so many states away! I was in Florida, she was in, well, at the time, Georgia, which really isn't so many states away, now is it? But too far to visit, and soon they were in New York. Stop it, you're getting me off track!
By the time I had my first baby, nearly two years later, my family was well ensconced in the monthly picture tradition. I had no choice but to carry it on - not that I minded. After all, I'd just birthed the cutest thing this side of Venus, and I wanted to share her with the world!
And, just like Stacey, our family and friends were spread across the country, too. No one came to see her for four months, for Pete's sake! We had to rely on those monthly pictures (and the monthly email update I would send out detailing all of her habits and progress).
And then Stacey had another kid, and then I popped out, well, three more.... and the pictures haven't stopped. Of course, they're no longer monthly, but annually, with a few more thrown in for good measure: Christmas, maybe Easter, maybe Halloween, maybe first day of school... if I have a good coupon for Sears, that is. They've gotten kind of chintzy with the deals compared to seven years ago.
And do you know what? I have ALL of those pictures hanging on our walls, going up our staircase and wrapping around the upstairs hallway. It's kind of ridiculous, I'm sure some people think, but I've always wanted a house full of pictures everywhere, and what else am I going to do with all those portraits? Stick them in a book, never to see the light of day again? I think not.
I love being able to look back at all those occasions, that first smile, the first rolling over, the first sitting up, standing, walking... and the kids love to point themselves out, too.
It's been a great tradition. I thank my sister for starting it.