Archives for ‘family’

One Day Per Week

September 16, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Adventures, family, Parenting

We went through a period where That Husband was working every single day of the week and I was emotionally depleted by the lack of family-togetherness time. It was really hard for me to enjoy my time with my kids when I was constantly jumping back and forth between meeting the needs of one or the other. I craved an easy afternoon where we would laugh and play and be in love with each other, all of us together in the same place . TH could see that the everyday working arrangement wasn’t a good long term strategy for our marriage, and so he promised me Saturdays as a family day. So far he’s been able to stick with it and we are all so much happier! The kids get to interact with him and show him their newest skills, and I get to go to Happy Hollow and have someone to chat and sit with as the kids do their kid things.

Speaking of Happy Hollow, once we figured out we were going to spend time together, we had to agree on what to do. Not an easy task when one partner likes to explore and try new things and the other likes routine and predictability. I want to sit down with the Red Tricycle emails and plan a different sort of outing every weekend, focusing on all of the food festivals that have a little something for the kids and a little something for me too. TH has won out for now, and most of our Saturday mornings of late have been spent at Happy Hollow, a little park and zoo not too far from our house. We can wear the kids out, feed them lunch, keep them awake in the car, and have some quiet time to ourselves in the afternoon. T1 loves it there, so much so that every time his teacher asks him what he has been up to he describes trips to Happy Hollow. Even on the weekends when we don’t go :).

I’m not a huge fan of zoos, but I do have a soft spot for the meerkat exhibit. Those little guys are really committed to being on the lookout at all times.  Read more →

The Next Chapter

September 08, 2014 By: Jenna Category: family, Married Life, Personal

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This picture by my SIL, taken on a golf course in Royal City while we visited for a week this summer, and is the best I could find to convey the way I’m feeling right now because… Read more →

One Quick Take (Poland and Washington Edition)

July 30, 2014 By: Jenna Category: family

This summer we spent two weeks in Poland, had less than a week back in California, and then flew up to Washington for a week with my family. I left my dSLR home for both trips and pushed myself to give my film photography skills a big bump.

Over the last year I’ve developed a belief that making portraits of the people I love is one of the most important ways I can use the skills I’ve been developing. Not just candid snapshots, but portraits, that document time and place and personality. I’m very pleased with what I ended up with for TH’s parents and my own.

I was a little aggressive with this photo session, both in making it happen, and in how long it lasted. But it was worth it! I think everyone else will agree.

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Anyone who knows my parents will get a kick out of this shot. Farmer father and city-girl trapped-in-the-country mother. They’ve become quite the powerful force over the time, somehow finding the time to manage THREE businesses simultaneously. I’ve got a lot to learn from them.

 

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I haven’t documented much over the past year, but I’m not going to let the opportunity to recap our amazing summer trips pass me by entirely! There is far too much to be grateful for

One Quick Take

March 03, 2014 By: Jenna Category: family

My brother-in-law from Poland was in town on business for a few days and we all loved having him stay with us. Uncles are a wonderful thing, aren’t they? T2 liked using him as a lounging spot for drinking her bottle, and T1 couldn’t get enough of the wrestling and tickling. My favorite part was having another adult in the house in the mornings and evenings. He’s planning to come back again in a few months, and we hope he will stay with us again. And I’m hearing rumors that my sister-in-law might be able to come too. It will be her first trip to the US and I’m so excited to experience new things with her.

Have you ever shown someone around your country/locale for the first time? What did you show them and did it help you see your surroundings in a new light?

Christmas Card 2013

December 25, 2013 By: Jenna Category: family, Holiday

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We made it! With the birth of T2, yet another move, demanding work schedules, and the Thunderous Threes all happening in the same year we are breathing a big sigh of relief as we think about 2014. We are still in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I’m drafting this letter from a different home address yet again. (I’m keeping my fingers crossed that 2014 will be the year with no moving.) We loved our East Palo Alto house, but made the decision back in June to move to a new rental in Fremont. A big thank you to my parents for hosting us for 6 weeks while we waited for our new place to become available (and watching our kids so we could have an adults-only weekend getaway in Portland!).

We like our new neighborhood much more and are using all sorts of methods to meet our neighbors (the most out-there attempt involved nailing an introduction letter to the tree outside our front door). The population in this area is very diverse and it’s been fun to explore the multitude of Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, and Mexican restaurants in the area. Turns out T1 is not a fan of the bubbles in bubble tea but he loves Chinese donuts.

TH and I are busier than ever, juggling two young children along with work. It’s a lot harder than we thought it would be. Thank goodness for babysitters and preschool! TH travels for work Monday-Thursday. While he’s gone I care for the kids and work on a growing number of projects – www.jennacole.com, www.pinterestfail.com, and www.thatwifeblog.com.

T1 is thriving in his fantastic preschool, attending full days every weekday. He loves making friends, starting every sentence with “Ma”, and exploring his ability to exercise his independence. Between the passionate outbursts his tender side shines through – when we caught a bug and looked at it under a microscope he begged me to set it free so it could go back to its mommy.

T2 has started digging through my kitchen cabinets and walking along the furniture. She’s a resilient little girl who survives being sat on and dragged around (literally) by her brother on a daily basis. When I say “It’s time to go get brother from preschool” she flaps her arms and waves excitedly. He is her very best friend and I love to listen to them babble and interact on the drive home from school every day.

This year we are particularly grateful for technology and the ways it keeps us connected. Social media that fosters connections with friends who live far away from us, video chats with family as we’re making dinner, Skype with family in Poland (who we, sadly, didn’t get to visit this year), screen time that gets us through the littles witching hour in the evenings, and phone calls between husband and wife as we live apart each week.

Thanks to all of you who make our life better in some way being being in it.

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Christmas cards past: 2008, 20092011, 2012

      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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