“Are we at the ‘prise yet?”

When the photographer ran a special, I decided to treat myself to a graduation gift of pictures with my girls and line up a surprise gift for Eric. Like many moms, no one ever takes pictures of me with the girls. I hate this and took matters into my own hands. I scheduled our session for today; it was supposed to be in the afternoon to give us plenty of time to get ready and be back in time before Eric got home from work.

Then, it was moved to first thing in the morning to capture the morning light. She’s in southwest Fort Worth, but agreed to meet us at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve here in Plano. We set the time for 8:30. Eric almost always leaves for work by 7:15…

But last night, he went to the Cowboys game with our friend Amy. That was fine, until he got home super, super late. I woke up at 5 am when Zuzu woke up, and after she and Eric were both back asleep, 6, then 7, then 7:45 rolled by and Eric was still in bed. The girls actually woke up before he did. Not wanting to draw any attention to myself, I had showered around 6…then fixed my hair around 7…Luckily, the photographer texted me at 7:15 to say they were already hitting traffic and to plan on meeting at 9.

Earlier in the evening yesterday, I had told Katie that we were going to take pictures in dresses as a surprise for Papa. I didn’t tell her before last night because she has a tendency to leak secrets (“Papa, we bought cards for you today!”).

At 8:45, when Eric was still putsying around the apartment, getting ready for work, I snapped and told him he had blown a surprise. Katie blurted out, “We’re getting a surprise for you, Papa! We’re getting pictures. In our dresses!”

Eric just stood there, dumbfounded. I was pissed. I had managed to keep this quiet from him since August. I had spent the day Monday washing and ironing our clothes and packing things, hidden in the girls’ closet, so we would be ready to go quickly this morning. There was no way I was going to get the girls dressed up and out of the house to meet Erin on time without him noticing. The fact that he never noticed my hair and make-up is another issue altogether. He apologized for blowing the surprise and offered to help me get things to the car, but I didn’t need it at that point.

I loaded the girls and our stuff up, and headed to the Preserve, giving our lost photographer directions over the phone as I went. As we were driving into the parking lot at the preserve, Katie said, “Are we at the ‘prise yet?” (“Are we at the surprise yet?).

So sweet. She did pretty good- much better than last time. I think the pictures will be beautiful, although Zuzu didn’t smile much for any of them and barely tolerated being set down by herself. We got a few shots of Katie in these tall prairie grasses and the morning sunlight made the field glow. I hope she got some good ones of the girls’ eyes.

Pictures will be up in a week. I can hardly wait…

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