Sunny Monday

Happy Monday!

I trying to get back to reality after a crazy, busy, fun weekend which included:

  • A visit from Uncle Ben (aka my brother). He leaves at some ungodly hour tomorrow morning.
  • A full day taking photos at TEDxPDX. I love that event and am incredibly excited to edit my photos when I have a few minutes later in the week. My focus was on the audience, between sessions so I know I captured a lot of people having fun which is my favorite thing to photograph.
  • A candid photo of Tom Brokaw. Oh yes I did.
  • Breakfast at Milo’s on NE Broadway – it’s been too long between visits.
  • Samuel kicking two amazing goals at soccer. And, thank you Portland weather gods for making the day so sunny and warm so I could enjoy it even more. (Sadly I missed Thomas’ game due to TEDx but I hear he also kicked a couple of goals).
  • Some time to sit outside in the sunshine and sip wine while I read photography books – one of my favorite things to do as the weather gets warmer.
  • About 5 loads of laundry – not a highlight exactly, but I’m pretty proud of myself for getting it done amidst everything else.

And now I start a shortened workweek. I decided to give myself the gift of a couple of days off for my birthday on Thursday and Friday, so I need to get moving to cram 5 days of work into 3.

Here’s the forecast for Thursday and Friday.

2013 May 2 and 3 Forecast

Sweet!

And, since every post needs a photo or two, I’ll share a few images of the tree outside the school that, sadly, shed it’s final blossoms today. While my eyes miss this sight in the morning, my nose is grateful for the allergy relief.

 

 

 

Today’s Photo of Before and After

Samuel is generally a very happy kid, but the tears come at least a few times a day. Because his brother said something he didn’t like, or he fell over, or he feels abandoned when we all leave the room. Whatever the cause, the problem is almost always fixed when we do something to make him laugh. Kei is especially good at helping Samuel snap out of his temporary funk.

Thomas took the next two photos, just moments apart. It’s a perfect reflection of a small part of our daily lives.

 

 

Today’s Photos Are Blurry But I Love It

I drove to school this morning to the soundtrack of giggles from the back seat. I can’t remember what they were laughing about – probably something to do with poop – but it made for a nice start to my day. The sunshine and spring flowers didn’t hurt either.

These photos are very blurry (I couldn’t move fast enough), but they provide an excellent visual accompaniment to my giggly morning.

Chaos and Color

This week is shaping up to be a doozy. I need to work around some childcare issues which means interrupted workdays, I’m heading to Seattle for a day trip on Wednesday and that’s on top of the usual Karate/Soccer/Swimming insanity. My brother is coming to visit for the weekend so I’d better squeeze in time to tidy up and clean the bathroom and, to top it all off, I’m taking photos all day Saturday at TEDx Portland. I’m already exhausted and the week has barely begun. I’m just thankful I had the foresight to schedule a couple of May vacation days as a little birthday present to myself. I’m going to need them.

On the upside, the sun is shining and I have a billion photos of tulips to share. I know you’ve been eagerly awaiting them so I’ll just get right to it. I’d apologize for the number of photos in this post but what would be the point? ūüôā

P.S. I’m thinking about submitting a photograph to the TulipFest photo competition but I can’t decide which. Please let me know in the comments if you have a favorite.

Photo by Thomas.

Photograph by Thomas

Photograph by Kei.

Avoiding the Bad and Embracing the Good

Part of me wishes I could turn off the TV and the internet and hide under a rock somewhere just to avoid bad news. It’s been overwhelming and I don’t know if it feels closer to home because I live in the States now or if it’s because I am a mother or that I as I get older I simply witness more. I’m sure the barrage of media coverage doesn’t help. There seems to be no escape and I am not even sure there should be.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how the world seems to be going through a bad patch with disasters and poverty and wars, but I’m not sure it’s any different to the way my Grandparents must have experienced the world in the 30s and 40s. The difference might be that they didn’t know everything and they didn’t hear about it immediately and then again and again and again – the same sad message in 30 different ways within the space of a minute.

It’s exhausting.

So today I want to share a  few things that are making me cry Рbut in a good way. Reminders of kindness and sunshine and color.

 

Profound Musings of a Four-Year-Old

I’m coming down off a busy weekend filled with soccer games, yard work and a successful quest to drag my family along to the Wooden Shoe Tulip festival (photos coming soon). I am also heading to San Francisco tomorrow for a few days which means I am caught in this special place between not getting enough done on the weekend and making sure I’m prepared for my trip. I like to call it “panic”.

So, while I would love to start your Monday morning off with some beautifully inspiring rainbows of tulips, I simply don’t have time. So, instead, I’ll flash back a couple of weeks to a special moment in the pre-k classroom where I received a little education of my own.

Samuel’s classmate to me: “I have a dog and it died. I had two kitties and one of them died. I had a fish and it died. The dog threw up and that’s why he died. My cat got bitten by a coyote. My fish died because we fed him too much.”

Samuel: “That’s part of life.”

Conversations with my four-year-old are often the highlight of my day.

Happy Monday!

A Sing-a-Long with Storm Large, Pink Martini and the Von Trapps: Aka, Just Another Sunny Sunday in Portland

I mentioned last week that I spent a sunny Sunday afternoon in Portland’s Pioneer Square for a free concert/sing-a-long. Well, I’m finally getting around to posting a few pictures.

First let me mention that this particular Sunday was the type of day that Portland likes to tease us with in April. It happens just once or twice during the month- the sun comes out, clouds disappear and temperatures are more Summer than Spring. People start packing their coats away for the season and bring out the sandals…. then two days later they bring out their coats when the rain comes back and we are, once again, plunged into darkness.

Still, for two days we are reminded why we own a pair of sunglasses, and it’s fantastic!

Here’s proof that blue skies do, in fact, exist in Portland.

The concert itself was a lot of fun, although it turned out to be more of a giant Karaoke party than a concert. Not that I don’t love Karaoke (you know I do), but I wish we’d heard a little more from Pink Martini and Storm Large.

I also wish the woman lacking any sense of personal space had not sat down right in front of me. Good thing the sunny weather contributed to my sunny disposition.

The almost 90 year old clarinetist (is that a word?) was great. You can see him sitting on the left. A few of the Von Trapp grandchildren are on the right. Their presence was a little random but I enjoyed it when they sang the yodeling song from the Sound of Music. It made me wonder, though, how tired they must get singing of those songs. And are they allowed to sing anything else or are they contractually obligated from birth?

I think the highlight for me was a passionate rendition of “I will Survive” near the end of the program. Nothing like a women’s anthem to get the crowd excited.

I was secretly hoping for this song (not safe for children or work…unless your boss is REALLY OK with the “V” word), but that may have pushed us way too far in to Portlandia territory.

Thanks for a great afternoon ladies.

Over Scheduled

Even before we started our family, I knew that I was not going to be that mother who scheduled an endless number of activities for her kids. The thought of spending the weekend driving children from one location to another would make me break out in hives (ok, maybe just a mild sweat).

So it came as quite the surprise when I realized that we currently have an activity scheduled on every single day of the week. Soccer practice on Monday and Wednesday. Karate on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Swimming and Soccer on Saturday. Soccer on Sunday. It’s insane.

I’m already looking at the activities we can sacrifice for a little family (and homework) time. Are two soccer practices a week really necessary for a group of seven year olds? I’m going to say no… and then start counting down the eight or so weeks until Summer vacation when we may find ourselves with a little more breathing room.