Brand & Family Photographer
Houston, Tx

Photo of Kingwood photographer's daughters and friends at a Christmas light display

Inspiration, Mommyhood, Personal

January 14, 2020

Guest Post: A Little Griswold-Style Wisdom

Hello… well…I guess Hello. I am not 100% sure how to start a blog post, so I am just going to wing it, kinda like the rest of my life. But, I digress…. Hello, My name is Max. I am Brooke’s other half. You probably wonder why in the world Brooke’s husband is writing on her blog, but unfortunately you are stuck with me for the next few moments. I promise I will try to be brief and hopefully make a coherent message that might just apply to you. 

As the Christmas break began, our family was out enjoying some festivities with friends and family. We drove about 30 minutes outside of Kingwood to drive through “Bethlehem” at a small baptist church & then to a double-wide with amazing Christmas lights/decorations all over their property. (I believe they won an HGTV show for their lights or something..? Kind of a big deal, apparently.)  All I could think about as we walked through the thousands of lights and Christmas yard art was Clark Griswold tripping the nuclear reactor in Christmas Vacation.

Now keep in mind that we arrived at this light display an hour past the girls’ bed time, so Brooke and I braced ourselves for the hot-mess express. Pretty much, we were right. The girls bolted from the car and never looked back. They were running throughout the lights as fast as they possibly could while we tried to keep them from tripping over a string of lights or running into somebody. Fortunately, we made it through the entire display without major incident. 

Then I told the girls “It’s time to go.” As soon as the words came out of my mouth, Peanut dramatically responded, “We can’t leave!! We didn’t see it all!!” I calmly responded, 


“Well if you would have slowed down, you might have seen everything.”


As soon as I spoke those words, I thought, “Am I the kettle or the pot in this reference?” Since then, I haven’t really been able to get that conversation with my daughter out of my mind. How often as adults do we forget to slow down, and enjoy the life around us? 

As I look back since we moved to Houston, I have been going through life as fast as Peanut was going through those Christmas lights, and oftentimes it ended up with me running myself into the ground. I’ve had the feeling I “didn’t get to see it all” because of my responsibilities (work & doctoral degree) and the breakneck pace I set for myself, but in reality I had the chance to see it, I just didn’t make myself slow down enough to look up and take it all in. 

Lately, I have begun making a point to slow down & reflect on the things around me. I am starting to be more intentional about seeing (and appreciating) what and who is important in my life.

I am definitely not here to say that I am an expert or that I have it all figured it out. I guess I just wanted share the lesson and give a reminder to take some time to slow down and see what’s around you. There are a lot of good things in life, and I don’t want you to miss it. 





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