Monday, September 17, 2012

A portrait of a family

I don’t think my birth family ever had a single formal family portrait taken.  The closest we got was this photo, taken by a family friend:


I think it’s hilarious (and kind of sad) that Mom is the only one who is even paying attention in this photo -- and that she gave framed 8” x 10” copies of this photo to all of us for Christmas just a few months before she died.  Granted, she looked like a cancer patient at that time and for my vain mother that must have been excruciating.  But did she really need to remind us that she had been beautiful?  To me, she was beautiful up until the moment she died – and beyond.

I always wished we’d had more family portraits taken as I was growing up and I promised myself that when I had a family we’d document our family-ness!

And we have!  Here’s the most recent family portrait of the six of us, taken just last month at a Seattle area beach:

Yuen Lui full-res Aug12

…which prompted me to go into the “pre-digital” picture folder and dig up a few more.  I know we took some portraits before this one, but this is the earliest formal portrait of the six of us that I can find. Is this one so 1994, or what?!


From denim to angelic white, for a few years in a row:

6 Sniders 4 00 smallgif



I have a feeling that the next family portrait just might include a spouse or two… and after that, a grandchild or seven?  I can hardly wait.  Er, I mean no rush, guys!

Here’s the shot we took of the “kids” last month:

Yuen Lui full-res_4kids_Aug12

Have almost 23 years gone by since the (book-end) twins were born?!  Incredible! Here’s a little blog-ized flip book:

Scan197, March 04, 2006

Scan198, March 04, 2006Scan199, March 04, 2006Scan194, March 04, 2006Scan195, March 04, 2006Scan200, March 04, 2006Scan196, March 04, 2006

(There’s definitely a photo missing here!)


Of course, the kids got older.  But Tom and I?  No way!  We certainly haven’t aged a day in the almost 30 years we’ve been married and the 36 years (?!) that we’ve known each other! 


This was then…

IMG_0021IMG_0019IMG_0014Scan241, March 04, 2006 (2)Tom and Carol honeymoon A

CarolandTom802laura 040TomCarolsilly7039130_1104765511101_1585650049_30285076_2543188_n

…and this was last month. Yuen Lui_TomandCarol_full-res_Aug12

36 years! And we still (usually) like each other!

And then there’s the three “grrrls.”  Unlike the three boys, we don’t mind a camera in our faces!  We’ve come a long way too:

Carol and her girls - CopyCarol and her girls 2002CarolandGirlsDixieChicks703

…and last month:

Yuen Lui Full-res_Momanddaughters_Aug12

Maybe it’s because they’ve all graduated from college now and they are either completely independent (in the case of Elisabeth and Peter) or will be independent once they find career jobs and move out (in the case of Aleks and Kat).  But I’ve been feeling very sentimental about parenthood lately – how fast the years have gone, how proud of each of these kids I am, and how much I believe in their dreams and their happiness.

My mother-in-law used to tell me how fast the years go by and how important it is to appreciate each day.  Thing is, she said that when I was home with four kids under the age of five and a half, and many of those days went SOOO slowly. 

But she was absolutely correct about the years!

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