Sixteen Pictures from 2011

I knew it was coming. There were no overt signs, just a premonition - the Mac we bought in 2008 was going to crash and burn like so many Apple products before it. In my experience, Apple devices and computers are fantastic until they die - but then they die fantastically and with utter finality.

It happened on Monday. I didn't panic right away because I've learned this lesson before: we'd been running Time Machine backups onto an external hard drive, so all our stuff was backed up (read: 10,000+ photos and, well, lets put it this way: more than 400 songs by Over the Rhine alone). But when I checked the drive I could tell something was rotten in Denmark; nothing since 2011 showed up. The Apple Genius confirmed my suspicions on Tuesday, after which I tearfully bought a new computer, having budgeted for such a purchase when my premonitions kicked in.

I stilled wanted to migrate the old data over, so last night I settled down to set up the new Mac (the Mac is dead; long live the Mac). I took my time opening up iPhoto because I was so afraid to see the remnant of our family photography. It's really hard to be told your trove of pictures stops in 2011 when you have an entire daughter who would, therefore, be erased from the files. We have some prints, of course. Maybe, I don't know, a hundred? Two hundred? None of the outtakes, none of the not-quite-perfect but nevertheless invaluable snapshots. I was having quite the pity party, all the while singing Wilson Phillips to myself - their 1990 debut is clearly a concept album about losing data of profound personal significance.

To make an already long story short: the files reappeared. At one point I was asked if I wanted iPhoto to repair damaged files, and with fear and trembling (what if this knocked out the rest?) I clicked "yes". Voila.

Here are sixteen photos that would have otherwise been in digital sheol. I am so happy that they have been restored. I originally intended to pick some from each of the years that disappeared, but there were more than enough in the monumental year of 2011. (They're in no particular order because, well, I'm tired and that's more work.)

Juliette is blurry, but I love that I captured the look on her face when she met her sister. "She's so nice, Mama! She's so nice!"

Every baby has an awkward stage, right? Genevieve doesn't look anything like this anymore, but I love her big nursing blister and face-length stork bite. 

I don't know where Matt and I were looking. At Elizabeth's camera? Then who took this on my camera? It's a mystery, but I'm glad for the random not-even-looking-at-the-camera of my oldest brother-in-law and me 

Baby in a Moby. 

I love this picture, and originally didn't give it a second glance because the lighting is all wrong. The lighting may be wrong, but it's also cool. 

A classic outtake. I have the nicer version printed, but why not also treasure the baby eating her hand and the almost-four-year-old spacing out during the photo session?

Baby face.

Homemade olive bread - but what's also fun is that there are very few pictures of Juliette with her short haircut - I was in the first trimester with Genevieve and not exactly in the mood for photography. And, for the same reasons there aren't many photos of the house we lived in when we first moved to Western Springs. 

Our very first winter back in the Midwest. Beautiful. 

Everything was blooming the week we moved into our house. 

Handsome Ben, in front of the Art Institute. 

Juliette still eats the same thing for breakfast every single day.

Happy with Grandpa. 

I remember thinking this was a weird picture of Juliette, as this is not a face she makes very much. But this is the face she makes when she's being particularly maternal toward any living thing. 

Juliette and Fiona are going to be very glad they have this picture of themselves throwing rocks into Lake Michigan when they are still dear friends as adults.

Oh look. I'm huge. 

Let's call this one a List. :)

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