Catching Up: P365

It’s been a crazy busy week (funny, seems I say the same thing every week). The good news is that I have been maintaining my photo-a-day habit and have a few more to share.

The first one is from a dinner-date with my two boys while Kei was at school. It started off in the way the photo seems to suggest – all calm and peaceful. It ended with two boys running around a restaurant while I managed to inhale my dinner and then make a promise to myself that I would think twice before taking the boys out alone for dinner again.

I used a funky preset on this next photo (taken at work). I try to limit my use of presets that drastically change colours, because it is so easy to get carried away with them, but I really like the colour green that was brought out in this one and I am a huge fan of anything that will make ventian blinds look more interesting.

Driving home from a quick trip to Seattle for work – 3 hours up and four hours back thanks to terrible Seattle/Tacoma traffic. I think I took this photo about 3 hours into the return trip while I frantically searched the radio airwaves for anything that was not country or christian music. (apologies to fans of either genre – just not my thing). Isn’t it a human right that you be able to access NPR from anywhere in the country? Well, it should be.

Samuel and I had the rare opportunity to spend some time alone together. He baked me a cake out of plastic easter eggs and then made me sing “Happy Birthday” over and over again while I pretended to blow out the candles.

Dinner at the Japanese Izakaya again. I think that officially makes it twice in two weeks. The food was fabulous but the kids were difficult. I fear our days of eating out together as a family may have to take hiatis until the boys are… well… eighteen… I remember feeling this way with Thomas at around the same age that Samuel is now and, while it took us a little while, we did eventually work up the courage to venture out of the house to eat again.

Back with more soon. I have some more catching up to do.

Never Undervalue a Little Girl Time

Last weekend was the end result of weeks of anticipation and zero planning thanks to a friend’s wonderful mother who kindly loaned her house (and her wine cellar) to five overworked mothers in need of a little down time.

At one point during the evening I declared my appreciation for having close girlfriends who I could share anything with. I may have had a couple of drinks and was therefore feeling a little more touchy-feely than usual, but the sentiment remains.

There was a time when I doubted that I would ever have close girlfriends. I made it through high school and then college without making the kind of lasting female friendships that I hoped for. Oh, I had friends (really!), but few of them survived the trauma of time and distance. Then Sex and the City became popular and, well, that show just rubbed it in. I didn’t have that group of women who I could confide in and talk about relationships, work, men, children and… well… sex.

As it turns out, I just had to wait until my 30’s.

So a toast…

to talking and confiding and letting go…

well, almost letting go…

To being so comfortable, that you’re not embarrassed to pair funyuns and pepperoni sticks with really good cheese and amazing wine…

To feeling like you’re not the only one with that particular problem or concern or worry…

and most of all, to laughing. Lots of laughing.

To the most beautiful women I know (not all pictured here). Cheers.

Looking For The Angle

This week’s I ♥ Faces photo blog challenge is angles – a subject close to my heart. When I decided to start my own photography business last year, I realized that my biggest challenge would be to come up with new and interesting to help share a family’s story through photographs. Thankfully my photo subjects usually help me in that area by all being so wonderfully different, but I am always looking for ways to stretch myself.

So when I went back through some of my sessions from last year, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of shots and angles. My favourite angle is to get down at the eye level of the children that I photograph, but I was looking for something a little different. This one jumped out at me because my goal was to capture the name of a favourite location with my subjects in an interesting way. I really hope they can look back on this photo in many years and it will remind them of the time they spent at this restaurant, rather than just the day we spent together taking a few photos.

Pretty Things

Today was a whirlwind. I drove to Seattle and back for a meeting and returned just in time to put Thomas to bed. 7 hours of driving. I am officially ready for the weekend.

To celebrate the sunshine that was streaming through my car windows today (and making my drive a little more pleasant) I thought I’d add some colour to the blog. These images are from a recent visit to Portland Nursery – a place I walk into with big dreams for the garden and then leave empty-handed because I am so intimidated by the abundance of choices. Next time we’ll take the van and I WILL buy my eucalyptus tree for the backyard.

In the meantime I’ll just enjoy the pretty things through my camera lens and just wait for them to magically appear in my garden.

Living: P365

This P365 post is really a glimpse at our life over the past week. Well, I suppose that is the purpose behind the project, but I find that some of my photos provide more of a documentary of life than others. There are definitely days when I struggle to find something to photograph – when I can’t imagine taking one more photo of my kids at bathtime – but this week seemed more natural. Maybe it was the craziness of our schedule or the fact that we have an extra hour of daylight. Whatever the reason, I know I’ll enjoy looking back on these images knowing exactly what our lives were like in the second week of March, 2010.

The first photo is something I have been wanting to capture for many weeks – ever since the very last season of Lost began and I invited a couple of girlfriends over to enjoy the experience with me. What began as a small gathering for the premiere has become a weekly ritual that I am going to miss when it is all over in just a couple of months. Yes, I love the show and I thoroughly enjoy discussing all of its intricacies with people who are similarly obsessed, but I think the unexpected side-effect of our get-togethers is the ability to enjoy each others company without the distraction of children or…well…life. We find ourselves chatting for hours after the show ends. Lost is really bringing people together (ok, that was a little corny).

I captured this photo at breakfast a few days ago. I just love the way Samuel is in awe of whatever it is that Thomas is doing. It’s a fair representation of their relationship right now – one of hero worship (although not devoid of arguments).

After-bath hair – one of the many small thrills in our ordinary lives.

The Ishidas had a good week last week so we took an opportunity to celebrate with dinner at a local restaurant called Miho Izakaya. Fabulous Japanese “pub” food. I know we’ll be visiting again.

Fun coincidence: Miho is my sister-in-law’s Japanese name so we should be able to remember the name fairly easily.

Saturday brought a much-anticipated girl’s weekend. My friend’s mother kindly offered up her house while she is out of town so we took the opportunity to drive 45 minutes out of Portland, but it may as well have been 6 hours. I felt like I had a true break. There are more photos of the weekend to come, but for the purpose of P365 I share a glimpse below.

I started writing this on Tuesday, but since it’s now Wednesday I suppose it’s appropriate to wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s day. I appreciate it for the simple fact that it takes one more step out of the daily getting dressed decision-making process. Green shirts all round.


The I Heart Faces challenge for this week is “bundled”. Of course I immediately thought of my little Michelin baby back in December when we experienced our brief, but impressive, winter snowstorm.

Of course it’s easy to look at these photos while we are experiencing 65 degree temperatures and the leaves are beginning to appear on the trees.

Coming soon: Select photos from a fabulous weekend with the girls (“select” to protect the innocent) and catching up on P365 – I have a whole week of pics to share.

Off to find some time to edit pics.

Good News Friday

I am generally a fan of Fridays. I mean, what’s not to like?

But today is a GREAT Friday filled with lots of fabulous news for the Ishidas. Here’s a sampling:

  • Tax return has been submitted and refund is on its way and I DID NOT HAVE TO DO IT! I would give up food before giving up the luxury of having an accountant take care of my taxes.
  • Work review time means my job is officially shifting to something filled with creativity and new things to learn.
  • We have a massive pile of mulch in our front yard. OK, Kei is not as excited about this as I am because it was supposed to be delivered to our back yard, but it does mean that project “Ishida outdoor sanctuary” is in full swing.
  • I am heading out on a girls weekend away.
  • Repeat. I am heading out on a girls weekend away.
  • Daylight saving starts this weekend (which means one less hour for the girls weekend. Hmmmm…)
  • Potluck on Sunday with friends we haven’t seen in months. A sure sign that everyone is emerging from winter hibernation.
  • I bought tickets for Thomas and me to see a Children’s Theatre production of “Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus”.
  • I am way more excited about the pigeon than an adult should be.
  • The sun is finally shining after days of rain.
  • Girls weekend.

Weekend starts in 30 minutes. Bring it on!

For Grandpa

My Dad left a comment on the last post with a couple of questions/requests and, being the dutiful daughter that I am, I will respond immediately.

First, that chalk drawing by Kei was of the Millennium Falcon, otherwise known as Han Solo’s ship. Grandpa, I suggest you begin brushing up on your Star Wars trivia because you WILL be tested by a four year in a couple of weeks. I would begin with a viewing of all three original movies because, although your grandson has never actually seen them, he is somehow in the know about every plot point and can name characters that I had never heard of.

Once you have made it through the first three films, then move onto the prequels. Oh, and don’t be alarmed if you find yourself in a conversation about the medical and technological wonders of reattaching an arm after your evil Dark Lord father manages to chop it off during a father/son light sabre battle.

Second – here is the mini van, although I am yet to get a full body shot. It’s a lot bigger than our little Mazda and I am still learning to parallel park, but other than that Thomas and I have enjoying driving it to school each day. The only problem is that the size of the vehicle has caused Thomas to suggest we have three more babies to fill out the back seat. I told him those seats were reserved for his friends… or his grandparents when they next come to visit.

P365: Sugar Rush

On Friday night we picked Samuel up from daycare and then Thomas from school so we could all head out to grab a little sushi. It had been a tough week last week with everyone being sick, so we decided to get out of the house and share our germs with the rest of Portland. Ha – kidding Portland (Really!).

I love that my kids love to eat sushi, even if it is the messiest meal on the planet. Samuel insisted on eating with chopsticks which meant he kept stabbing large pieces of california roll and managed to get about three grains of rice in his mouth at a time. That kid is stubborn and takes a REALLY long time to eat a meal.

After dinner we headed to Ben and Jerry’s for ice cream – which was Kei’s idea, and a good one until we got home and the kids were all hopped up on sugar. Thomas chose chocolate ice cream of course.

For my next photo, I couldn’t choose just one… Samuel’s facial expressions definitely deserve a series.

Saturday was busy with two birthday parties for Thomas to attend – one right after the other. The first one was at a jumping castle indoor playground where Thomas enjoyed the sensation of bumping into things without getting hurt. He spent most of his time with his friend Grant who he insists on calling by his full name – first and last – every time he talks to him, refers to him or yells to him across a crowded playground. I think he’s found a new best friend at school in Grant and it seems the feeling is mutual. Thomas was telling us today that Grant just wants to play with him all the time but that sometimes he just wants to be alone and he has to ask Grant to go away (nicely, of course). Not a bad problem to have.

I picked Samuel up to join us for the second part, this time at an indoor kids gym. He enjoyed watching the big kids run and jump, but most of all he loved the cupcakes.

After getting them both hopped up on sugar, I took them home where they both passed out and I left for 3 hours of shopping ON MY OWN. Yes, it is a rare occurrence and I enjoyed it immensely, mainly because I found three dresses to choose from for the upcoming wedding (yay!).

Sunday was sunny and warm enough that Kei and Thomas enjoyed a little sidewalk chalk while I lay inside and tried to finally recover from my cold. I am assuming this piece of artwork is Kei’s.

Sunday night was Mummy’s superbowl, otherwise known as The Oscars. I LOVE watching it but the downside is that it starts way too early on the West Coast so I have to try and pay attention between desperate cries to “watch soooomeeethinggg”. During all of this, Kei left to pick up our new car and make us the proud owners of a (drumroll) mini van! Yes, I am now officially a driver in the pre-school mini van convoy.

And, finally, Monday night was a quiet one where we tried to recover from the weekend and look forward to the next one. It can’t come soon enough.