Memory Jar Slips: Family Photos

We have a tradition in my house. It is called the Memory Jar. Inside of the clear Bormioli jar are thin slips of white computer paper. Every time something happens in our family that we want to remember we write it down and throw it in the jar. Every New Year’s Eve, my husband and I sit down together after the kids have gone to bed and we take turns reading them out loud.

This story is one of those moments that as it was unfolding, I could already laugh at how ridiculous the memory would be. Have you ever had that happen? When things are going so wrong that you just laugh?

I hired a friend of mine to take some family photos for us. I love taking new photos every year so I can update photos on the wall and put an album together so I can cherish every stage of my kiddos’ lives. This year, we also had a foster daughter, so I was super eager to get some photos of her on our walls as well.

I chose a day when I knew my parents would be up from Florida visiting us, that way they could stand behind the photographer and try to get the kids to look and laugh. (Also, secretly so that I could get all dolled up without being interrupted 100 times…). The September day finally came and it was beautiful, warm, and overcast.


Let’s back up a bit. My husband is usually at his work until at least 5:00 pm, and our shoot was at least a 30 minute drive from his work and the session started at 5:30pm. Another piece of pertinent information is that I drive a SUV where I can fit (uncomfortably) 5 people, including myself. Keep these in the back of your head for a bit.

Ok, back to the day of! I made sure everyone’s outfits were ready and clean that morning. I laid out my husband’s shirt on the bed that he would need to change into after work. I decided to get myself ready first, then I would get the kids ready at the last possible second, making sure they wouldn’t destroy the outfits that I so meticulously chose for them to wear! Everything was going according to plan, my parents visiting was a huge help! Then it was time for us to start getting piled up in the car. If you count all of the people in my house at that time, you would count six.

Me, my 3 kids, and my parents. One too many to fit in my car.

I knew this ahead of time, so I had made arrangements that my husband would run home after work, change his shirt, grab my mother, and head to the location. The morning of our shoot I called my husband at work and at the end of our conversation I solidified the plan and said “Ok, we will see you when you get there!” “Sounds great” he responded. (Super clear, right?)

I carefully buckled my kids in, not to wrinkle anything, and my dad and I headed to the location.

When I was a few minutes out, my husband called me.

“Hi!” he said.

“Hey! Are you on your way?” I responded.

“Yep, almost there.”

“Wait, how are you almost there?! I’M almost there!”

“I drive fast. I don’t know…I took the highway?”

“Ok, well I am trying to find parking so I’ll let you go.”

“Come park right behind me, there is a spot on the street.”

What?! I was super confused…

I pull up behind his truck, pretty puzzled on how he got there so quickly. He jumped out of his truck with a big smile…in his work shirt. “Hey, where’s your shirt?” …he was about to explain that he thought I had his shirt when I shouted “WHERE IS MY MOM?!”

There had been a major communication breakdown. He thought I was bringing his shirt. He thought “Ok, we will see you when you get there” earlier in the day meant …”Come to the location straight from work”. He forgot that I can only fit five people in my vehicle.

We were in quite the predicament. Our session started in 3 minutes, and we lived 20 minutes away. And I was NOT going to get our family photos done with my husband in his embroidered work shirt!! (In hindsight, maybe I should have!) So he had to drive all the way home, grab his shirt and my mother, and drive all the way back…AND make it in time before our session ends.

So he left.

The kids, my dad, and I met the photographer and we told her the situation. As a photographer, I knew this was going to get real interesting.

So we did what we could. We took photos of me and the kids. It wasn’t surprising that the almost 2 year old was NOT having any part of it. I kept checking the time. I just needed ONE SHOT of the whole family together. Finally, about 10 minutes before our session ended my husband (and mother) showed up! The scene that he walked onto was nothing short of chaotic. All the kids had their shoes off and were definitely fed up and dirty. The toddler had been crying/screaming off and on for the entire session (even after bribing her with a whole bag of gummy bears). Not to mention I was pretty exhausted chasing kids in heels!

We had just a few short minutes left. We got in position and our photographer fired the shutter as many times as she could, in hopes that we could get at least one shot!

After that my husband and I took some photos alone.

Then it was time to head back to the car. I felt like I had just been through a war field. Wow, that was a super laughable moment, right? “I’ll definitely remember this” I said to myself as we walked back to the car.

As we approached the street that our cars were parked on, I noticed something on my windshield. Oh no. OH YES, the cherry on top of the entire fiasco…my parking meter expired ten minutes ago…and I was issued a parking ticket.

I will never forget this day!

Read More:

Memory Jar Slips: Don’t Mess With Propane

Memory Jar Slips: Chasing Birds

Memory Jar Slips: Date or Date?

Memory Jar Slips: Ed Sheeran Concert

Memory Jar Slips: Hospital Room

meet amanda


My name is Amanda and I am a Light and Airy NH Wedding Photographer serving couples and families by creating authentic and classic images that they will cherish for a lifetime. Lots of people are anxious about getting their photos taken but I create a no stress fun experience that will leave you feeling confident. 

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