Sunday, May 1, 2011

I Heart Faces: Soft and Sweet

What's softer and sweeter than a 4 day old baby girl? Absolutely nothing!

Kylee SkyAnn 4 Days Old        

I Heart Faces

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Letter to Simon

To my dear, sweet Simon,

For 4 years, 9 months, and 2 days I have loved you... and before that I loved the idea of you.  When I saw you the first time inside my belly and marveled at the beautiful curve of your spine and the already sweet way you opened and closed your mouth, I loved who you might one day be.  And when they told me you were a boy, I envisioned watching you in mock horror as you hung perilously from the monkey bars.  I dreamed of the rough and tumble ways that little boys have.  I pictured you charging full speed ahead in life on dirty-kneed, little boy legs.  But you, my gentle, loving boy have completely turned those ideas into a much more beautiful reality than I was ever capable of imagining at that time.  You are so different from me that I often wonder if you were put here just to challenge the way I think about and see everything.  Yet because of our differences, my eyes have been opened to so many wonderful things I might never have otherwise noticed.  I delight in your excitement over fluffy, pink clouds that look like cotton candy.  I love that you find a gold sequin, hold onto it tightly and call it treasure, and  the reverent way you watch water flow swiftly over rocks.  And my heart swells at every interaction you have with your baby brother.  No one can make him laugh the way you do and I already see how much he admires you.  I admire your sensitivity.  Yet, your gentle ways make me fear for you as I send you out into the world.  My breath catches when I think about the first time someone breaks your heart or makes you feel different.  I am doing my best to give you the tools to deal not only with life's joys, but also life's disappointments.  My promise to you as your mother is to always be your soft place to land.  Please always be you...

Love, me

Sunday, April 10, 2011


This year I made a commitment to improving my photography skills.  I don't have time for traditional classes so I've been researching and reading and spending time scouring the blogs and Flickr pages of tons of portrait photographers.  One place that I have found lots of great info is I Heart Faces, a wonderful community of photographers of all skill levels.  Each week they hold a themed contest (for bragging rights) that anyone can enter.  I've been hesitant to enter anything because I still (and probably always will) doubt myself as an artist.  But this weeks theme jumped out at me and I also happened to have just taken a lovely photo that fit.  So here is my entry in the I Heart Faces: Shadows contest. 

My beautiful friend Brittany at 35 weeks pregnant  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Trains, Ferries and Taxis... Otherwise Known as Our Family Goes to Seattle

I have a four year old boy.  And what do four year old boys love?  TRAINS!  I've been promising Simon a trip on a real train in the spring since about November of last year, so you can imagine his glee when he overheard a news announcer say that spring had arrived.  I don't reneg on my promises... especially not when it comes to promises to four year old boys!  So I set a plan in motion... booked a night Hyatt Place Seattle, got Amtrak tickets for the family and off we went!  Maybe it's the Harry Potter fan in me, but I think there is something so magical about traveling by train.  And it is always magical when you experience life through your child's eyes!

Elliot and Simon on a bench at Union Station in Portland     
Waiting for the Train

Quietly watching the world go by
We arrived in Seattle and quickly settled into our hotel, excited for what tomorrow might bring.  We had an idea of what we might like to do but had no real plan for the day.  We were blessed with unusually awesome weather for Seattle in March so Leigh and I each put a boy in a carrier and hit the town.  The first stop ended up being the The Pacific Science Center, a dreamland for a curious, science-minded kid like Simon.  Here he was able to do everything from shoot water canons, to learning how a toilet flushes, to seeing butterflies up close in their amazing Tropical Butterfly exhibit.

Checking out the water fountains
Periscope up!
Some nice lady offered to take a family pic of us in the butterfly exhibit
Or next stop was lunch at Ivars Fish Bar on Pier 54, a seafood institution in Seattle since 1938, where it is not only acceptable, but tradition to feed the flying rats... I mean seagulls... your leftover french fries.

Fish and chips at Ivars
Heeeere seagull, seagull
Since we were only 2 piers away from the ferry terminal we decided to hop the ferry for an out and back to Bainbridge Island.  Like I said earlier, the weather was GLORIOUS so we sat out on the deck and enjoyed the views.
On the ferry
Just because...
Seattle Skyline from the Bainbridge Ferry
Once we were back on land we realized this amazing day was coming to an end much faster than we had expected and the only way to make back to the train on time was to hop a taxi driven by an interesting guy from Kenya who has nine children.

We had an amazing time in Seattle.  To me life is about experiences and creating memories.  When I am old and looking back on my life, I don't care to remember what kind of car I drove, and I certainly won't remember the brand of jeans I wore, what I want to look back and remember are the magical times I spent with my children.