One Quick Take

BW400cn, Canon AE1, theFINDlab

My sister took some pictures of me with the kids in Poland. I think I’m going to need to take her on all of our Europe trips from now on, for so many reasons.

Dust So Thick You Can’t Find Your Shoes

I forget how dusty Royal City is until I go back during the dry months and watch the dust devils swirl across the fields and into the yard. When my aunt and uncle built a house they designed a special mud room specifically for stripping down the kids and getting them clean without bringing the mess into the rest of the house. Buckets for dirty shoes, a shower, laundry chute to send dust-covered undies straight to the washing machine. My mom could have used a room like that the night I took the kids out at sunset and let them throw dirt at each other. They loved it, and neither of them cried (to my surprise), even when their eyes and nose and mouth were thoroughly coated toward the end. I’m so glad my city kids get to have experiences like this.


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Portra 800, Pentax 645, theFINDlab 

One Quick Take

Portra 800, Pentax 645

It was a happy happy scan day yesterday, the kind that helps me see how far I’ve come as a photographer. This shot is T1 with his best friend at their preschool graduation from ABC Magic Moments in Fremont, California.

Want to really see how much my skills grew in a year? Here’s the shot I did with T1 and his friends the year before at their graduation ceremony. Continue reading

Buon Viaggio with Minted

When I started researching coding bootcamps I saw the same warning popping up over and over – “Clear your plate entirely. Email all of your friends and family and let them know you won’t be returning phone calls, emails, or text messages. Set up an auto-responder for your email accounts. Set the expectation with everyone that during this period you are doing one thing, and one thing only – coding.” It’s going to be nine weeks of coding and kids and not much else.

Part of our plan for making parenting and family life better in the years to come is establishing stronger connections with friends in the area. That portion of our plan-of-attack is going to have to wait until 2016 to be carried out, but I thought we could set a nice foundation by throwing a Bon Voyage party before school starts. Bon Voyage Summer of Growth! Bon Voyage TW and TH! Soon our life will be all about work and kids and squeezing in enough time to get a decent amount of sleep each week.

Enter Minted, with their perfectly timed pitch to partner up with That Wife Blog and explore some of the options for party decor for this end-of-summer party. I’ll use some credit they provide me in exchange for this post to hang Minted party decor for our Bon Voyage party, and then fingers crossed they’ll be interested in working with me again in January for the Graduation Celebration soiree I’m hosting to re-introduce our friends to the idea of hanging out with us again.

Expo 2015 in Milan had an entire section devoted to cacao beans and chocolate, and I stocked up on a variety of unique chocolate bars while I was there. Carrot chocolate, pineapple chocolate, hemp chocolate, fennel chocolate, and some beautifully-packaged bars with flavor combinations unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I’m going to chop those bars up into little pieces and host a chocolate tasting that allows everyone in attendance to have a small taste and vote for their favorite. We’ll continue the Italian influences with a spread similar to what my sister and I had during antipasto hour at a bar on our first day in Italy. Actually, now that I’ve added in all of these Italian details I think we’ll make it an Italian party (the house we’re living in now was built by the elderly Italian owner!) and call it the Buon Viaggio Party. Buon Viaggio old life! Hello new That Wife!

We don’t have all of our decor up on the walls yet, but the house is unpacked enough to host and certainly some bunting and signage will help bridge the gap until we get our hammer and nails together for the long-term look.

On the front porch we’ll have an ice cream and lemonade station where kids can stop and fuel up as they run around the front yard.

I only have a black-and-white printer, but that’s all I need to make these black-and-white ice cream cone wrappers from the Julep blog.
Continue reading