Outtakes: The Struggle is REAL

The struggle is real my friends! Please tell me I’m not alone in this! I see your beautiful family pictures on Facebook; families of 4, 5, even 6 or more. I appreciate the beauty and I enjoy seeing them honestly; but I cannot help but wonder; how did you do it? We are a family of three and when it comes to taking a family picture THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. Here’s an example:

 family pic magnolia

In this picture above we are at the beautiful Magnolia Plantation and Gardens here in Charleston, SC. Our son Traecee was in a great mood during our nature walk, we were full of smiles, and things were going great. So, strapped with a camera around my neck, when I saw an older couple approaching us I thought maybe we can finally take an updated, structured family photo. Sure we have some family photos; which usually consist of photos taking from a phone with one person blinking and looking away from the camera, or a certain someone (Traecee) is a blur because he will not sit still. But, I think it would be nice to have an updated picture that I could put on the Christmas cards or make a post card for the grandparents, parents, and others back in Ohio who don’t see us on a day to day basis. This picture above is a great example of the struggle. Of about 7-8 photos that the kind woman took this was the best outcome.

Take 1:

My husband and I both facing away from the camera grabbing our son because he made a B-line for the River behind us; home to Magnolia Alligators

Take 2:

I am facing the camera wearing a fake smile, my husband is looking down, and Traecee decided he didn’t want to stand anymore and would just let his leg go limp as the picture snapped

Take 3:

Traecee running with a stick that I handed to him as a bribe to stand still for the picture

Take 4:

Traecee accidentally poking his father in the eye with said stick just as the picture was taking. Courtney is making a pain face and I am smiling unknowing of the assault that just took place

Take 5: (shown above)

I now know about the stick in eye situation and I am looking at the stick trying not to laugh while Courtney looks at the stick like he wants to fight it

Take 6:

Courtney (my husband) and I facing the camera while Traecee puts his head between our legs and with his backside facing the camera


We however did not get the picture I was hoping for. But we will always have each other and I love us in our natural state. To prove it I’m going to start a narrated family album called “The Outtakes”. I can’t promise anyone outside of my family will ever see it. But, as our son and any future kids grow older I’m sure we will have some great laughs over this tradition! Cheers to you moms and dads that find a way to make it all workout; but us Downard will just have to make treasures out of the outtakes.


SN: My mother in law texted my husband, after I decided to write this but before I published it, and has requested a family picture of us for Christmas… the struggle continues! Y’all pray for us 🙂


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