surviving the family photo + a giveaway

guys, should you decide to read this entire post, you will be rewarded with a Nordstrom GIVEAWAY!!!! (Imagine me as Oprah, shouting this at you...pleaseandthankyou.)

on sherri : white sweater (similar here) | madewell jeans | studded bootie (similar here) | on john : billy reid pullover | nordstrom denim | on bo: tucker and tate shirt (similar here) | levis denim | on ally grace : floral dress (50% off!) | stuart weitzman boots (WAY cheaper than adult version. Don't think I haven't tried shoving my foot into hers.) | photos by jnellyphotography

guys, you have a screaming baby, and a toddler who just jumped in the lake "to swim like the duckies." It's obviously family picture day. 

As the family photo veteran and resident expert (mostly because there's no one else), allow me to share my quick tips for surviving the day.

1. DO NOT plan family pictures on a day in which the temperature falls above 75 or below 72.  Your kids will complain about being too hot, too cold, too itchy....oh wait. They're gonna do this regardless. 

2. It also cannot be too windy, unless you want that 80's rock band look. (Actually yes. I do want that look. Dress up like Bret Michaels for extra points). 

3. Under no circumstances do you tell your children about pictures ahead of time. The mere mention of a camera will turn them into TOTAL DIVAS who do not like their outfit, and require a green room, unlimited suckers, and access to every juice box on the planet.

4. In fact, if you can get your photographer to dress up like a tree and photograph your family on the sly, then DO IT. 

5. Should your photographer not be down with a disguise, then be prepared to bribe your children with everything you've got. I'd suggest bringing an entire arsenal of candy, and a plethora of toys.

And Xanax. (That's for you.)

6. Make sure that you don't all share the same haircut. 

image via    Awkward Family Photos     (I'd suggest browsing this website at a time that you want to laugh awkwardly to yourself in public.)

image via Awkward Family Photos  (I'd suggest browsing this website at a time that you want to laugh awkwardly to yourself in public.)

7. For the love, let go of every expectation you have.  There will be no picture where everyone is smiling. And if you're extremely lucky, your son will ruin the one decent photo by flipping the bird. 

Winning at life. And family photo fails. 

Winning at life. And family photo fails. 

8. Plan your look ahead of time, guys. Don't throw it together the morning of, from whatever is clean on your closet floor. I may or may not know this from experience. THIS year, though, I nailed our family photo ensemble by shopping at Nordstrom. And guess what? YOU CAN TOO. Because I'm teaming up with some of my very favorite bloggers to give away TWO $225 gift cards to our favorite shopping mecca. Just enter the rafflecopter below.

And prepare to nail those family photos.