Every now and then I feel I've accomplished something of note: writing a pithy blog entry for instance, performing for an audience who's clung to my every word, even cooking a mean pot of red beans and rice can make me giddy with pride. My list isn't terribly long, in fact some of my talents have waned over the years (these days I swim more like a geriatric manatee than the sleek porpoise of yore.) But I have recently acquired a later life skill which I would like to share with you. I have developed, if I do say so myself, an eye for constructing a heckuva good Hanukkah/Christmas/Winter Solstice/Kwanzaa/
Boxing Day/New Year's/and any other end of the year celebration you can think of holiday card.
All year long I keep an eye out for a unique opportunity that just might be a photo op for a possible kick ass card. And if no picture presents itself, well then, the Foster-Shepperds will not be representin' and mailboxes will be less full that year.
From four years ago...
Maxie was just six months old, Sebastian almost four. This card made quite a stir. It is still attached to refrigerators with dollar store magnets throughout the land. Complete strangers asked for this shot, and in debates on gay marriage and gay adoption this photograph has been used to quell opposition, I kid you not. The bar was raised pretty high with this one. It's golden, it's glorious and my hair is looking fabulous.
Three years ago...
A photographer came to Sebastian's preschool with vintage adult clothes and I was first in line, choosing the red dress and green overcoat for obvious thematic reasons. Let me tell you what I learned. Maxie loved having her picture taken without Sebastian, but the second they entered the same frame my baby girl turned into Aretha Franklin in those Snickers commercials. Nothing pleased her. Her Mae West pose is quite by happenstance. Maxie is really trying to push the hat off her head. Meanwhile, I'm just out of shot trying to keep it on. And what did Sebastian get for putting up with his sister's histrionics? A partially obscured face. The photographer did manage to snap a few traditional brother/sister shots but none of them included the divine hat. What does it say about me that I traded an Alexis Carrington Colby Dexter hat for a full view of my son's face? And just look at his expression (what you can see of it) it's so sweet, whereas my daughter's is pure vexation. What the fuck am I supposed to do with yet another strand of pearls?!
Two years ago...
Mailboxes were less full.
This pic should have been used two years ago, but I wasn't totally in love with the Foster-Shepperds at a dude ranch motif. But it does have its charm and it slowly grew on me, so I sent it out last year. It's your typical family-on-vacation-so-it-has-to-be-our-holiday-card card.
And (drum roll please) this year...
I'm a little proud of this one. On the back it reads: The Foster-Shepperds, legally married since October 20th, 2008.
Now the idea wasn't to be political. No. Really. Watching other people's heads snap around to catch a peek of my family walking down the street is political enough for me. Besides which, I was worried that no one would want to put a holiday card with children with duct tape over their mouths on the fireplace mantle. But the more I looked at the other family picture I had in mind, the four of us in Maui waiting in line for a luau, the more I hated it. And so I asked Michael if we could use our NO H8 pictures instead.
For those of you who need a refresher course... In California, Proposition 8 was the anti gay marriage legislation that passed in 2008. One of the more visible organizations
against this discrimination is the NO H8 Campaign. Get it? No hate. More information at
The truth is, I'm shallow. Being political had nothing to do with it. This, simply, is a better picture of me than the Maui shot, where I look like I'm in dire need of hair plugs and Spanx.
A very belated Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, and the rest... And let's have one helluva fantabulous 2011!
Mommy With a Penis
PS. Taking ideas for next years holiday card.