Pictures (Say CHEESE)

The past couple of days have not been good days for me. I feel sad and lonely.
There are two things I do when I feel this way. I eat. A lot. And? I go through old pictures.
The eating thing is totally unhealthy and part of the reason I’m still fat, but, when I get this way, it feels as though food is the only friend I have who’s not pissed off at me, so, a stuffin’ my face I go.
Digging through old photographs does not make me fat. It has zero calories! It’s very therapeutic for me. It makes me happy, to see my boys when they were little, or makes me giggle to see pictures of my really bad hair cuts. Sometimes, (but not usually) it makes me feel worse because, did you know I used to be skinny? Because I used to be skinny. (AND have FABULOUS skin. And hair.)

Also, did you know I used to WEAR A COWBOY HAT AND TSHIRTS WITH COWBOYS ON THEM?
In public?

In all fairness to me (and my sister, whom I cut out) we WERE at a “Country Starfest” (which was a big event in which you could meet your favorite country star, line dance, drink beer and attend concerts) so it’s not like I dressed like that to go to a restaurant.
But still.
A cowboy hat. In public. In California.
Classic.
Also, did you know that when I was 25 years old, I did my hair and dressed in a way to appear to be a woman nearing her 40′s? (Which is hilarious now that I actually AM a woman nearing her 40′s and wouldn’t be caught dead in that dress/hair combo)

And, apparently, I was “against” showing cleavage, or any skin that wasn’t my face or hands for that matter. Thank God Tony was still into glasses the size of God because it feels good to not be alone in the Unstylishness.
As I browse through the hundreds upon hundreds of photos stuffed in boxes, I’m reminded that no matter how bad I feel at any given moment, there were, (and always will be) wonderful times in my life. I can look back and remember the times in my life in which I was truly happy, the times that are easily forgotten when I slip into these moments of sadness. The times where I everything in my life was exactly the way it was supposed to be…

That was minutes before I walked out of the hospital, less than 24 hours after giving birth to my second baby, a son. How happy I felt, how complete my life was, how lucky I felt to have another baby boy to love and care for. A brother for the most perfect son a mother could have asked for.

God. I remember that moment, (and, Lord have mercy, I remember those pajamas) with my boys. As I watched the only son I’d known for 4 years holding his baby brother, as I watched them together, the fear that I had throughout my entire pregnancy with Ethan, that I’d not be able to find enough love in my heart to for TWO children, was erased in that instant because, right there, on that ugly couch, in those hideous pajamas, I found myself overwhelmed with Love Love Love for both of those boys.

I had no idea that, seven years later, I’d watch those two precious, incredible little boys of mine holding my daughter, their baby sister in their arms, looking happier than I’ve ever seen them.
Funny how life doesn’t always happen the way you plan it. And especially funny how the unexpected turns, or, in my case, pregnancies can end up being the greatest thing you never thought would happen to you.
In the same way it’s funny how images from the past can snap me out of my pity party and make me realize that no matter how any one else in this world feels about me, those three beautiful children love me. Unconditionally, even if I’m no longer that thin woman with flawless skin or if I did used to sport a Stetson cowboy hat in public.

42 thoughts on “Pictures (Say CHEESE)

  1. Y

    wasnt’ it though? Let’s see, that was my 10 year reunion in 1999 (and the dress was NOT faded like that, something happened to it in the photo, or maybe in the editing, who knows) so I was um, let’s see…28?
    I miss that ‘do. And that body. And that skin. Heh

  2. Zette

    It’s posts like this that make me admire you so much, Yvonne. You start out feeling like crap, but you always manage to show the love you have inside all while making us laugh.
    And Who-da-thunk you wearing a stetson or tshirt with George on it!!! Now that is TOTALLY classic!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. kim

    that’s a beautiful post. and pretty much what i keep telling you over and over because i’m smart like that :) and really, the only person that sometimes doesn’t love you is YOU. cause your family does, i do and the internerds that come here every day do!
    PS: you still have the most fabulous hair!

  4. FlippyO

    I’m not sure I can forgive you for the Stetson. Otherwise, you’re still my sistah in green tea fraps. And apparently also in crappy moods. It’s true, misery *does* love company. :)

  5. chris

    ooh girl, you (once again) hit the nail on the head with this one. i’m a huge fan of photo therapy! and i’m totally with you on the high that comes when you see child the first seeing child the second for the first time. thanks for sharing this one!

  6. Ayesha97

    I love the hair cut in the first photo!!! I keep trying to get something similar when I get mine done, but the stylists don’t seem to understand that when I say I want short hair, thats really what I want, even if it means that you’ve already taken an inch off.

  7. Itchy

    The pictures you share of you with your children are always so beautiful…I can’t recall ever actually seeing pictures where love was actually apparent…but your pictures seem to capture that. OK…nuff sap, OK. :P
    And just so you know….my Mom always tried to dress me like a 40 year old office manager – even when I was 18. Now that I can see 40 in the distance, I can’t imagine dressing myself like that…poor Mom. That’s why she’s not allowed to buy me clothes.

  8. fuzzystartsover

    After the day I had yesterday, this is just what I needed. All I need to think about is my son and what joy and love is wrapped up in that package. Nothing beats it.

  9. chrissylas

    Those pictures are great… you have such beautiful children! I’m getting married (in less than a month! YEAH!) and I only hope that one day I’ll be able to look back on pictures like these.
    I’m a habitual reader but I’ve never posted. I do want to say that I love reading your stuff and think that you are a beautiful person. Keep it up!

  10. shannon

    Hi. I emailed you a couple times yesterday. I love this post (and I seriously love your hair in the first pic, I’m a short hair fan). I am so glad you dressed like a 40-year old at one point, because I did the exact same thing when I was 21-22 years old. Yesterday when I mentioned my bad hair in my wedding, yes, it was 40-year old “mom” hair. BAD “mom” hair. For my future sister in law’s bachelorette party, when I was 21, I wore a GREEN SWEATER VEST to the bar. Hello, fashion don’t. Thank God I got out of that stage.
    Anyway I just wanted to say hi again. Your children are beautiful. Hubby & I have a 5 year old daughter and I can’t imagine life without her.

  11. Mommygoth

    I’m with you here, definitely. At the end of the day, we are goddesses to our children and that is definitely worth more to me than having my 22 year old ass back. Although I wouldn’t kick it out the door if it came knocking!

  12. Mieke

    You look GORGEOUS in that first picture!!! You were 28? Mother of two boys there! You’ll be back it can be done. It’s good reminder to me that I can reclaim the glory of my tight fit tush if I just focus.
    That third picture -hahahahahhahaahhahahhaha You look like you are from Cincinnati. I love it. It’s so not you. How long did you sport that look?
    The next picture with the two boys – could you be any cuter? Really? Look at that face!
    This was a great trip to take with you. Thanks for the ride.

  13. Laura

    What was up with so many of us having matronly, 40-year-old mom hair and clothes when we were in our early twenties??? I did that too! I think I’m much “hipper” looking now, at 32, with baby fat still hanging on me, than I was at 22, wearing clothes from Sears. LOL!
    I love your hair in that first picture, Yvonne! You always have GREAT hair, though – shampoo commercial hair – hairstyle magazine hair! It’s always so shiny and flips just the right way.

  14. Ms. Q

    Doooooooooooooode! That was bee-yoo-tee-ful. The post, I mean. You always are. You are a superstar and a goddess. I hope you feel better and have an ultra-fabulous Thanskgiving.

  15. Amy

    Longtime fan and I very seldom comment, but I just have to tell you how much I *love* that short hair in your first picture!
    Hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. Amy

    Y, I love these photos. I feel so lucky to know you! I should show you some photos of me at a friend’s wedding when I was about 20. I actually DID wear one of my mom’s dresses. YIKES.
    I hope you feel better today and have a FABULOUS thanksgiving!

  17. Jerri Ann

    You are so not fat.
    The cowboy hat is too cute on you.
    I did the same damn thing with the dressing like 40 at 25. Now, I’m damn near 40 and wouldn’t dare dress like most 25 year olds but I try on an occasion or two (see my next to last entry on my blog).
    Your hair is too cute in the first picture.
    Ok, enough from me!

  18. suzie

    my husband is already talking about a second child, even though i still don’t fully believe we have a first! i think the same thing every time- what if i don’t love the second one as much as the first? is it even possible to love yet another human being this much?
    but, this post gave me hope. so, there’s that.

  19. melly

    The other day, I saw a lady wearing pants that had drawings of pants on them. I thought, “Wow, that lady really likes pants.”

  20. debutaunt

    Y. The picture. Where you look like you were 40. You (like I) were a total dork. I can’t even look at some of mine for fear of dork-induced blindness.
    I know it’s hard not to get down on yourself sometimes about the weight, but I think you are a knockout and so very sesssssy! And what I say goes because, after all, I’m the Queen of the Universe.
    Keep your chin up. Go buy you Kill Bill Vol. 1 – it works for me. And call me if you ever need an ego boost. I’m a great cheerleader – cos I think you are awesome.
    Much love and happy Thanksgiving. We both have much to be greatful for. *besos*

  21. Tammy

    Thank you! I needed someone to remind me to be happy!
    I love the hair in the first shot. It almost makes up for the scared virgin look in the family shot. Don’t worry, we all have pictures like that hiding in the closet!

  22. lynne

    Everyone in blogland seems to be still on Thanksgiving holiday and I’m feeling left out as we don’t celebrate it in the UK. So I’ve been reading your old archives. You are a lovely person and your writing about your family make me laugh out loud :)

  23. steffers

    you are too cute! And if you’re a dork, then dorks must be pretty great peeps, chica! Hope you and all your turkeys had a great weekend.

  24. Debbie

    If I had cute pics of myself like you do they would be all over my blog. That short do is awesome!!
    I have the same pic of me trying to be 40 when I was 23. What is up with that? Is it a stage/phase we go through? Now I am 40 trying to look 23!

  25. chesneygirl

    This was very funny, but yet very sweet!!
    Just came across your blog….very funny!! :)
    I am also a thirty-something latino mother (of 1).
    Oh……and my name is Yvonne too! :)

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