Like Selling Ice to Eskimos?

The Portland weather finally gave us a little break on the weekend. And when I say break, I mean that it stopped raining for the the first time in about nine months. I know, I know, talking about the weather is incredibly boring but, when you live in Portland and really look forward to the fabulous summer through a miserable, dreary winter and IT DOESN’T ARRIVE, I think you’re entitled to a little complaining. It’s either that or move to Vegas.

And besides, I’m sure this makes my family back in dreary Melbourne feel a whole lot better. See? I’m performing a public service.

When I first suggested to Mayumi that we take a trip to the Japanese Garden,  I was a little embarrassed. I mean, isn’t EVERY garden in Japan a Japanese garden? Ha! See what I did there?

Of course not all gardens in Japan are as beautiful as the garden we have here in Portland and ours has views of Mt Hood. So, after Mayumi assured me that she wanted to see it and she had research the garden on the intranet as a place she wanted to visit, we decided to take the whole family.

Visiting a Japanese garden can be a very peaceful affair – water fountains, delicately raked stone gardens, immersion in nature. Of course, visiting with three small children in tow, it is a completely different experience. God thing we had a little scavenger hunt to keep them busy – at least for a while. The person at the garden who thought up that little activity is a genius.

Here’s Samuel checking out the scavenger hunt pictures. He insisted on wearing his Buzz Lightyear hat for most of the morning.

Each time I visit the gardens my goal is take photos that share the beauty of this wonderful place. That’s always my goal but, with kids in tow, it’s a challenge. So I was actually pleasantly surprised when I got home and uploaded my photos from the day. I won’t share them all (because there any MANY) but here are a few of my favourites.


The next photo was taken right before Samuel’s meltdown – an event that severely undermined everyone’s Zen. It’s become a daily occurrence – so much so that I may never feel Zen again.

And then to finish our day off in true Japanese fashion, we grabbed a little rotating sushi for lunch. Oishii!

Finally Hot Enough for a Little Water Fun

We had such a wonderful, busy, productive weekend and I have so many photos to share. Of course I need to edit them all first (I’m a little OCD on that front) so, in the meantime, I’ll share a quick photo for this week’s I Heart Faces photo challenge of “Water”.

To be honest, when I saw the challenge subject last week I was a little skeptical that I’d actually be able to take a photo this year that fit the bill. While the rest of the country has been baking, we in the Pacific Northwest have been enjoying an extended spring. What that means is rain, lots of rain. Quite frankly, I’m a little tired of the rain. OK, that’s an understatement.

So, when the sun came out this weekend we did what almost every Portland family does at one time or another, we (actually, I) blow up the wading pool and let the children play while the parents relax on their brand new deck.

May I say again, that the backyard deck is possibly the best invention known to man? We tried it out this weekend and it offered everything we had dreamed about and more (more, meaning a lot of mud thanks to a grassless patch of ground where we set up the wading pool).

Mayumi said it best when I offered her a glass of white wine while we sat and watched the children as the sunlight filled the yard – “I am very happy!” Me too, Mayumi. Me too.

Just Hanging

This weekend was the first 80 plus degree day in Portland for over 7 months.

Let me give you a moment to think about that – 7 MONTH!

Can you even contemplate the pressure that puts on a person to have a great weekend and  to soak up every single second of sunshine and warmth?

I didn’t quite soak up every second but we got outside for the most part. Kei and Thomas went canoeing on Saturday morning and then headed to T-ball in the afternoon. Samuel and I spent the morning at the park with a “progressive snack” which is just like a progressive dinner except it involves snacks consumed in a variety of park locations that are chosen at a three-year-old’s whim. It took a long time to get from one end of the park to the other but we eventually made it to the playground before I took Samuel home for a nap.

After nap and T-ball, we rode our bikes to Mississippi Ave for some ice cream. The perfect pass time for, what turned out to be, a very warm spring day.

I didn’t take this photo on the weekend – it’s about a week old – but I think it summarizes my Saturday with Samuel perfectly – just hanging out.

It’s also my entry for the latest I heart faces challenge, “From a distance”.

Happy Monday!

Ladies’ Night

There are many reasons why I love taking photographs, but at the top of the list must be the feeling I get when I look through the contents of my camera and am instantly transported back to the moment when the photos were taken. These photographs definitely live up to that promise. We sang, we rapped, we tried to hit the high notes and the low notes (often unsuccessfully). Most of all, we had a fun night thanks to great company and few inhibitions.

Just a few of my favorites from the evening – all taken using my much-neglected flash. I really need to pull that thing out of the bag more often.

First Up: the birthday girl.