Monday, December 19, 2011

Kodak Moments of 2011

Family vacation to Vermont and Maine in June
I tend to rebel a bit against the social expectations that have a strangle hold on Christmas. However, I confess that I do enjoy the cards with photos of friends and their families, some formally posed and some simply caught in the act of enjoying life. I begin to envision our family's year through the camera lens. Mostly, I envision the photos I wish I had taken. I rarely carry a camera, but perhaps I can give you a glimpse of what I see in my mind's eye.

In my favorite Christmas photo so far, Alec sits at the breakfast bar reading a Christmas story out loud, surrounded by a chaos of flour and dirty dishes and green sprinkles. Brad pulls a tray of sugar cookies out of the oven, ready to add them to the pile of stars waiting for frosting. Jared and Kristina cut out more cookies, and I shoo the dog away from temptation. Candles twinkle in the windows.

Adventures with Legos
Another photo shows Devin in Texas, teaching a family about the Savior. Even the father has joined the group in the living room this time. A look of delighted surprise shows on the faces of Devin and his companion as Jose tells them he wants to be baptized at Christmas with the rest of his family.
Thor--um, Alec--arm wrestling

School photos show Alec in his bow tie and cummerbund, tapping his foot while he jams through a solo on the grand piano during a jazz band concert, or putting his fellow football players through their paces in the weight room. (These same players gave him the nickname "Thor" recently, a great boost to the 16-year old ego.)

In another photo, Jared crouches in his football stance, eyes glittering with focus as he waits for the play. Coach Brad paces along the sideline in his do rag, willing his team to succeed. Jared brings that same intensity to everything he does, from football and basketball to piano, not to mention refusing to tap out in a wrestling match with Alec. I will never understand male bonding, I'm afraid.

Little Miss Kristina
The camera catches Kristina mid-run, arms flung wide as she prepares to leap into a Mom hug at the end of the school day, scarf flapping in the prairie wind. Her eyes sparkle with stories of new words and playground antics, and her backpack bulges with the latest drawings and projects from her day at kindergarten.

Coach Brad
There are pages of photos of Brad in my mind: balancing his laptop on his knees while he redesigns the IT department, covered in paint while he works through the night to finish Devin's basement bedroom for those glorious two months when we had the whole family under one roof, or earning the husband of the year award by bejeweling the Christmas tree with lights.

And me? Well, there are the photos of me exercising in my goofy shoes (gotta love Vibrams!), hunched over the keyboard while I write my book, and teaching a group of sleepy seminary students in the early morning. A treasured photo captures a moment on the road back from Delta, Utah, laughing over family stories with my sister and my parents as we enjoy our first road trip together in decades.
Juliana and Brad

This has been a year to savor. I hope Christmas finds each of you with great memories of your own Kodak moments.

Much love and Merry Christmas!
Juliana, Brad, Devin (on a LDS mission in Texas), Alec, Jared, and Kristina


  1. Best newsletter I've read this year! Love it! ♥

  2. Delightful! It sounds like a wonderful year with so much love being shared.

  3. Love it! You are an amazing writer! I could totally "see" the pictures you described! Merry Christmas my dear, dear friend!

  4. Thanks for sharing your life in writing and in person. So grateful to know you. Merry Christmas!

  5. Love this creative idea Juliana. Thanks for the Kodak walk through the Wallace home. Much love, Jen

  6. Merry Christmas! I have yet to write my Christmas letter! I plan on posting my pics as well this year! It's great to 'see' you all!