Momma’s Meltdown!

It’s not something I’m proud of.  And it’s certainly not something that I ever thought I would want the world to know about me.  Yet here I am, typing it all out for you guys.  Hello, I’m Melonie, and I am a bossy, control-freak with more than (as I’m sure my family would say) a touch of OCD.  There.  That’s it.  The how and why of my meltdown on the beach over a week ago.  It wasn’t over sand in inopportune places, or a bathing suit malfunction, or even a scary moment in the water with the kids . . . nope, it was over family pictures.  Sigh . . . there I’m 1/3 of the way to feeling better.  The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?  Well, mine is apparently bigger than I realized!!!

From the moment that vacation plans came together for my husband’s entire family to be at the same beach at the same time, my ideas for the perfect family portrait started unfolding.  A mom, a dad, 2 sons, 2 daughters-in-law, a daughter, a son-in-law, and 4 beautiful grandchildren.  All dressed in color-coordinated outfits, every hair in place, make-up to perfection and everyone so happy to be there posing in the heat – a better moment just could not exist, right?  As a photographer, I have expectations this high for every shoot I go on, but I must admit that I was more than overly confident in my family pulling off every ounce of it and more!  And they did!  Everyone was ready on time, the clothes went together beautifully, the kids were happy and smiling, and we were on the beach at the perfect time to capture this long-awaited moment!  So, what you ask, could have caused a meltdown if everything was going so great?  Well, it was kinda-sorta maybe me . . . yeah, I said it, I caused my own meltdown.  But you can’t expect me to confess my offense and not offer up my own defense right????  I mean, we’re on the beach, the tripod is in place, the family is in position for me to set the self-timer and take my place, and I look through the lens to bring everything in focus, and . . . and . . . haze . . . . lots and lots of haze . . . Bringing the camera from the air-conditioned vehicle out onto the humid beachfront fogged up every last piece of mirror and glass on the inside and out of my camera.  Easy fix, right?  Just give it time to adjust.  Take my handy-dandy little lens cloth and wipe a little, wait a little, wipe a little, wait a little . . . Remove lens, wipe the inner glass . . . Re-attach lens, all’s a go . . . nope . . . still a big pile of white and khaki blur . . . Another 2 minutes pass . . . My hair is matted to my head in a pile of sweat that no one else seems to be being plagued with, my heart is beating so fast that I’m sure it’s going to burst right through my perfectly pressed khaki shirt bought just for this occasion, tears are in my eyes and now I can’t tell if everything is blurry from the lens or just from me . . . and then come these words out of my mouth to the rest of the family . . . “It’s done.”  Yep, that was the only thing I could muster up.  The meltdown was in full-swing.  I was ready to throw everything in the ocean because my perfect plan was ruined.  (I’m hoping that by now, you are coming to understand that I tend to be slightly over-dramatic, and you are taking that into account when I tell you it was ruined!)  But there on the beach, in the middle of me trying to keep from hyper-ventilating, the man that knows me better than anyone on this earth – the good, the bad, the ugly – stands in front of me, touches my arm, looks in my face, and says, “Can we try wiping it one more time?”  Somehow his touch, the softness in his voice, the look in his eyes that says, “I know you’re about to lose it and throw all of your camera equipment in the ocean, and possibly a relative or two, but please, before it comes to that can we try one more time?” is all it took.  My heart beat steadied, the fog in my head cleared and I remembered suddenly that I had another camera lens in my bag.  I race to the bag, remove the lens, replace the devil blurry one on my camera with it and there we have it!  A crystal clear view of the family that has been standing by waiting to see if my head was going to spin around on my shoulders and if any casualties would be taken along with it.  Everyone quickly gets back into place and we are back in business!  The group photos are put together fast and furious with the daylight disappearing more and more with each snap.  FINALLY!!!!  They are done!  Every last shot that I wanted – done!  I felt the way that I’m sure Mary Shelly did when she brought Frankenstein to life on the pages of her novel!  I don’t even know if everyone else was burnt out with the whole photo session routine, and I selfishly admit that I didn’t care!  The smile on my face couldn’t have been replaced for anything!  This OCD paparazzi mama had gotten exactly what she wanted – which is EXACTLY how I like things!  (Hey, I already admitted that I have a problem – don’t judge me!)  And as I walk back up the beach and relish in my success despite the adversity, I see this beautiful sight in front of me – the man that pulled me back from the edge, the person that for some unkown reason loves every bossy, OCD ounce of me, the calm in my storm, and on this beautiful day – the carrier of my tripod.  I will never forget the way I felt on that walk from the beach – like the luckiest girl in the world! 

And since you are amazingly still here reading this rant on how I nearly lost my mind, I reward you with a preview of the moments we captured that day on the beach.  When I was young, and told my mom that I would never forgive her for making me an only child (sorry Mom – in case you had any doubt, you have been forgiven), I never dreamed that God had so many amazing moms, dads, brothers, sisters, and nephews for me (and very soon a beautiful niece).  These picture don’t even come close to capturing the beauty in all of them, or the love that we all have for each other.  I’m not saying that we’re all roses all the time and that we haven’t been referred to as dysfunctional a time or two, but when it comes down to it, I would lay my life down for every single one of them, and I know without a doubt that they’d do the same.  The sisters I never had, but always wanted.  The brothers that pick on me and call me names just liked I’d always wanted one to do.  A second set of parents that love me as one of their own.  Nephews that think going to my house is cool.  Kids that get smarter and more beautiful every day.  And most of all a husband that I was able to grow up with and grow more in love with every day.  Are you crying yet?  Because I’m a blubbering idiot on this end of the screen.  So before I completely lose it, here they are.  The pictures that were worth the meltdown!

And my absolute favorite shot of the day . . . .

And then here we are . . . Married so young, thought we had it all figured out, and 13 years, 2 kids, and many hard lessons later we’re still holding on.  I don’t take it for-granted that I was able to marry my best friend – I count that blessing twice every time!

Oh, but I must end this post on a lighter note!  A sweet co-worker friend read my blog posts for the first time yesterday, and showed me just how much she enjoyed them by leaving this little beauty on my desk that afternoon:

So if you’re ever unfortunate enough to be in the path of one of Momma’s Meltdowns, your only hope is to find some chocolate and pass it my way.  Quickly now.  Before someone gets hurt.

Published in: on June 30, 2011 at 6:52 pm  Comments (14)  

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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. LOVE it! I was the other blubbering idiot! Oh, and I love the pictures 🙂

  2. I am so thankful for the amazing pictures you took Mel and the fact that you made it through the meltdown!!! Great memories to cherish forever!!!! Love you!

    • Love you too KiKi! Glad y’all hung in there with me and entertained all of my ideas. :. My heart’s heavy for you tonight sister – I know tomorrow is going to be a very hard day for you and Easton. We love y’all all very much!

  3. *TEARS, TEARS, & more TEARS* Mel, this is a very beautiful post. You made me feel like I was there (yes i visualized every second) lol & you made me cry so now I can’t stand you lol The pics came out so amazing & everyone was exceptionaly beautiful. I have never seen Christy dressed up before ( Christy u looked so pretty) “Mel, I see u dressed up all the time so turn that frown around lol “& look at my friends Brooke n Bo 🙂 There is nothing like havn ur best friend by your side, truly a blessing. 2 thumbs up!!

    • Regina you are so crazy! LOL! You are such a sweet friend and your words mean so much!

  4. Mel, I absolutely love reading your latest blog installments, but this one totally made me cry. Yep had to get a Kleenex. Love the pics! Such a beautiful family. Love you guys 🙂

    • Awwww thanks friend! I’m glad you enjoyed the read – we love you guys too! Miss you bunches!

  5. By far my favorite!! I guess talking about the short comings is the way to go. I liked it so much because i am a bossy, control-freak, with some OCD tendencies as well and i see myself having those unexplained meltdowns a little to often these days and our life is only about to begin together! Thanks for adding me to you list, i love reading your blogs!!!

  6. Yes, this brought tears to my eyes. I love cornball love stories. I love to hear how married couples still love each other.

    • Thank you Ms. D 🙂

    • Cornball love stories is my endeariing term for movies such as The Lake House, The Wedding Date, Letters to Juliet, etc.

  7. The pictures are amazing!! I’m sorry you had to have a complete OCD meltdown before they were captured!

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