August 20th was a super depressing day for my mom, because it’s the last time that all 7 of her children will be at home at the same time until possibly Thanksgiving, but for sure Christmas. That’s a long time to someone like my mom whose life has revolved around her children for the last 25 years. She always gets all emotional and stuff at this time of year when her kids are heading off to school, and now that Taylor’s leaving the nest, that just leaves Laura and Rachel to entertain her. At least Rachel possesses more athletic ability than all other 6 of her children combined so that she can go to her freshman volleyball games. And I mean, Laura’s getting kind of a mouth on her, so Mom has to work on keeping her in line.
Vanderstappens now occupy almost all the corners of Wisconsin, with me living in Green Bay, Marty leaving for his last semester at UW-River Falls, Adrianna going into her junior year at UW-Platteville, and now Taylor starting her freshman year in Lacrosse at a small private school called Viterbo.
So, on August 20th, knowing that it was the last day that her driveway would be a used car lot for a while, my mom arranged family picture day. It was actually arranged a few months ago, but my mom pretty much pounded it into our heads that even if we were dying of the mumps (Just kidding, you don’t die of the mumps. I lived through them, remember?) we had better get our butts home and pull it together to get a good picture, because this picture is going to be hung on the wall, dammit.
We all made it home by picture time, scheduled at 9AM in the gardens at St. Benedict’s church. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had kind of an attitude and didn’t care that this picture was going to hang on the wall of my mother’s home.
We’re driving along to St. Ben’s, and the sky is getting darker and darker. Adrianna, Laura, and I were driving with Mom, and she was trying to fight back tears because UGH why would it be fricking hurricane weather on this day?? Why not tomorrow? Why not YESTERDAY??? Adrianna and I, on the other hand, were fighting back tears because the sky looked like God was going to shove his foot through the clouds and punt us. Laura stayed really cool, calm, and collected through the whole ordeal.
So anyways, we decided to take a detour and go to breakfast instead. Right after Mom made the phone call, a tsunami went through that included hail, which included my mom swearing because she didn’t want the hail to ruin her Mercedes.
The only problem with getting breakfast was that we had to walk outside in the rain. And the dress code was white shirts and dark jeans. AND of COURSE we all did our hair nicely, which is ruined with one drop of rain to the head. Sigh. Oh yeah, I almost forgot that we were ALL WEARING THE SAME THING so we looked like a family on vacation that didn’t want to lose anybody.
When we got to the church, we took some really nice pics. I mean, I must say that we all clean up pretty nicely, and Jill even said that we were a “bunch of great smilers”, but that’s because my mom used to beat us if we looked like idiots in pictures that she took of us.
|People say we look alike. I don’t see it…|
If you think that Laura’s about to burst into tears in that pic, it’s because she was. She doesn’t really like when someone tells her what to do? So when Jill said (in the sweetest voice EVER), “Laura, sweetie, why don’t you climb back by Mark and Taylor? Can you do that sweetheart?”, you would have thought that Jill said, “LAURA! GET YOUR ASS BACK THERE OR I WILL CUT YOU.” But she didn’t. Laura never quite grasped the nice picture smile. Hey. At least she’s looking at the camera.
|Notice the blue.|
|This picture makes me smile. Really big smile.|
I guess that I should say that Jenna and I don’t know how to do fun. Taylor, Rachel, and Adrianna look awesome in this pic. I seriously don’t know how they pulled it off. And neither does Jenna. Laura looks like she’s being tortured, but that’s what she usually looks like when she’s having fun.
When Jill told all of us girls to sit down so that Marty could lay across our laps, havoc wreaked. Then Jill said (in her “stern” voice, but even when she’s stern she is just so sweet) “Oh you girls. This is FUN. Just sit down.” And Marty crawled on top of us. We were all rolling our eyes and saying OW MARTY YOUR ELBOW JUST WENT INTO MY THIGH, but when Jill started counting, we got one of the best pictures of the day.
|Don’t we pretend that we love each other well??|
Jill decided to stop taking pictures at the church when we were all squinty and looked like idiots because the sun was blinding us. We caravan-ed to a new location called Fox Farms, which I’ve been wondering about since I was a little kid. It’s on County B for those of you that know the area, and it has a really long driveway with the two gray barns side by side. Jill knows the owner, and she had their permission to take pics there.
We were all walking around while Jill looked for a good spot, and then this crazy lunatic of a woman came outside (but she left her dentures inside) and said that she was going to call the police because she rents that property! And she mows the lawn! So get off the lawn! And then Jill turned all sassy and “Hey I have permission to be here!” and the Vanderstappen kids turned all scared and wussy and wanted to leave. So we left. But not before I got a picture of Jill confronting lunatic lady and my grandpa standing watch in case he had to pull out his switchblade (actually, I’m not sure if he carries a switchblade, but I would totally not be surprised if he did).
|Dang blackberry, not getting a clear shot. Red hat = lunatic.|
As we drove out, I was driving my grandpa’s sweet Jeep, and he rolled down his window to yell something at the lady. I was afraid that we were going to get shot, but he just said, “Thanks for being so nice! Have a nice day!” And then told me to drive on the grass. I didn’t.
|Jenna’s 8 months pregnant.|
Dad was getting kind of restless, and kind of stopped cooperating after a while.
|He IS getting good at posing though.|
|That baby is the most loved baby in the whole world,
and we haven’t even seen him/her yet.
We haven’t seen all of the pics yet, but the ones that you see are a few that Jill already has online. Let me know if you want her contact info, because then she can make your family look good too!