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Christmas Card Outtakes & an announcement

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Happy new year!  I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday break and is geared up to make 2012 a great year!

To get my own year off to a great start, I am going to take a break from blogging this month, though I might stop in from time to time with a recipe or a Thankful Thursday.  I have been going strong on posting 5 or more days a week since last May, and it got to the point where I had to let other things go in my life in order to do so, so I’m going to just take a break to catch up on life and then when I come back, I most likely will be posting less frequently.  I really love my blog and my readers, but I don’t want to have to give it up completely so I’m going to have to ease off a bit in order to keep it going without letting other things slide.

When I told my husband my plan to take a break, he offered to fill in for me and I immediately took him up on his offer.  He has a great sense of humor and I have a feeling you’ll enjoy his craziness.  He won’t be posting daily, but at least weekly, and I can almost guarantee you at least a few belly laughs.  If anyone else would like to guest post for me during January, shoot me an email at vraklis@yahoo.com with your idea and I will consider it.  I would especially love to feature another person’s (blogger or not) “thankful Thursday” write-up!

Before I start my break, I thought I’d leave you with a few outtakes from our Christmas photo shoot.  My sister met us at the baseball diamond practice fields near our home because they have lots of evergreens there, and we wanted to pose in front of one.  I told Danielle to just keep snapping photos until her finger was numb because when you have an ADD dog and a husband that has a knack for closing his eyes right when the shutter snaps, you know that you need at least a million and one shots to find one that might work.  And of course, the first shot of the day was no surprise.

And it didn’t get much better after that.

Jessie: “Yawn. Can we play now?”

Dennis gave us this “natural smile” after many pleas for him to keep his eyes open.

I figure since the universe seems to be balanced, such as the ratio of men to women, for example, somewhere out there is a dog with an unnaturally short tongue to make up for Jessie’s unusually long one.  She likes to let it flop to the side to give the impression that she’s an idiot so people are impressed when she understands a simple command.  It seems a bigger feat for a dog with its tongue flopped over on the side to sit when told than when an alert, bright-eyed dog shakes hands, and she probably gets more treats because of it.  She’s an evil genius.

The odds of us all not being ready when the camera snaps is always greater than us all being ready. I call this my glazed drunk-eyes smile and Dennis is giving us his usual closed-eyes, “I’m too busy talking to actually smile” look. Jessie looks like this, her mouth closed on her tongue, when her attention is suddenly drawn away. Think “squirrel!!” from the movie Up. Makes her look REALLY smart. ;)

This is what she was looking at:

A field of geese!

Of course Dennis had his eyes open when I had another drunk smile and Jessie and I were both looking away from the camera.  It’s just the way things work with us.

Jessie: “I’m not listening. lalalalala.”

I’m pretty sure I qualify for the role of Alphaba (wicked witch of the west) in Wicked for my chin length alone!  You know you’re jealous.

Had to share the outtake of our photographer, It. ;)

There she is! :)  You remember Danielle, right?  She was ready to give up and go home at this point, but I was sure that the million photos she’d taken weren’t sufficient, and convinced her to keep snapping them.  Thanks for your patience, Dani!

Jessie: “Look at mah throat! I could swallow you in one gulp. Bwahahahahaha!”

Dennis’ face.  Priceless.

After a million and two shots (you can thank me for not including them all here!), we finally have a winner!  Eyes are all open and on the camera, smiles all around. YES!

I uploaded the photo to picnik.com and did some tweaking to come up with the photo that I used for our card:

And I’m sorry but I just have to share this photo I snapped of Jessie chewing on a stick during the shoot.  I thought it was just too cute!

Hope you enjoyed the shoot! Enjoy my husband while I’m away (come on now, you know what I mean!) and I’ll see you again soon. :)

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