Awkward family photos

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Every single time I chat with Harmony Hobbs from Modern Mommy Madness, I temporarily adopt a Southern accent with a flair for irreverent behavior. She is a real hoot. No subject is too taboo or off limits for this fabulous writer. She can take a bland day alone with kids and turn it into a blog post that will have you laughing until you pee your pants (well, moms anyway…I don’t think dads suffer from postpartumpeeingyourpantsfromlaughingorsneezing syndrome.)

I am proud to call Harmony my friend. She is in my villiage. Her wit and humor are just now being discovered in the blog world and I am so proud of her and her work. It is a pleasure to introduce you to my HOUSE GUEST this week – the marvelous Harmony Hobbs.

If you are just tuning in, the House Guest series introduces emerging and established voices in the mom blogger world to the Housewife Plus audience. The writers featured here share their stories about parenting, marriage, and life in general. They are sometimes serious, other times funny, but always real.

awkward_family_photoAWKWARD FAMILY PHOTOS
By: Harmony Hobbs

Man, I love the holidays. Food, festivity, and a whole lot of awkwardness. I recently came across this Christmas photo, circa 2010, and took a nice long look at it.

Pictured here is me, my husband Robbie, our first-born child (we have created two more children since this photo was taken), my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and father-in-law. I had never really noticed before, but there is a LOT wrong with this picture.

Before you get all riled up and think I’m hating on my in-laws, who are wonderful people, I’d like to point out that if my parents were the kind to good-naturedly laugh along with me as I shared our awkward holiday photo with the people of the World Wide Web, I’d be all over it.

But … they aren’t that kind. At all. Simply put, they don’t understand how the internet works. My mother is convinced that the government uses the web to spy on us. “Can’t they see you through that camera on your computer?” she’s asked me more than once.

“Only if I turn it on,”  is my usual answer, followed up by an explanation that no one can actually see me unless I let them.

“Well … I’d put a piece of tape over that little eyeball thing,”  she always warns. “JUST IN CASE.”

So, back to the picture. First of all, I don’t look tense in the least. I look very relaxed and at ease. Not at all like I’ve spent all day trying to be gracious and polite in tandem with looking pretty, all while chasing a toddler around in unfamiliar Mississippi territory with nary a Starbucks in sight. Doing all of that is not at all stressful or tiring and no, I definitely did not need a huge glass of wine by the time this picture was taken. Nope.

My husband’s hand is squarely on my ass. He’s giving the photographer, who happens his grandmother, a little thumbs up — like, “Hey, check me out.”

My brother-in-law — looking a lot like a Samurai master or a homeless man, or possibly both — is sitting in my father-in-law’s lap. Why? There was room to sit elsewhere. We could have scrunched over. I could have sat on Robbie’s lap — trust me, he would have liked that. But nope, brother-in-law just sat on his dad’s knee. The hair tie around his arm was used later when we french-braided each other’s hair and talked about World of Warcraft.

My barefoot son is most likely in a sugar coma, and my mother-in-law is the only one who actually looks normal, and I dare say it — relaxed.

As an added bonus, if you look closely enough, you can spot another awkward family photo hanging in the top left corner right next to the magnolias.

Do you have any awkward family photos? That was a dumb question — everyone has them. Let me rephrase: do you have awkward family photos that you’re willing to share? Let’s see ’em!

harmonyBio: Harmony is a full-time mother of three who navigates the waters of motherhood without any grace or finesse whatsoever. She began her blog Modern Mommy Madness as a sort of coping mechanism, and has continued to self-medicate by writing all the things that she can’t say out loud.

A fan of strong coffee, red wine, and very sturdy undergarments, Harmony reluctantly tweets (@ModMomMad) and enthusiastically Facebooks ( every chance she gets.

You can also find her work online at Scary Mommy, Mamalode, or on random scraps of paper crammed into her purse.


Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Disney’s Babble and Momtastic. She is a co-author in six books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, and VICE Tonic.