25 Sep

2014 Family Pictures with Samantha Kelly Photography

Posted by Jenna, Under family, Photography

We haven’t had an official family photography session since Kelli Nicole (Houston) photographed us in our Chicago apartment before T2 arrived on the scene, and since that time my ideas about photography and my dream family session have changed a lot. It’s less about the perfect posed portrait with everyone looking into the camera, and more about trying to capture who we are and what we are like at this stage in our lives. The kind of thing I want to provide for my own clients.

I tried to fly Samantha Kelly (Utah) to the Bay Area by recruiting one of you to hire her as well, which I didn’t make much progress on. But then I lucked out and she was able to squeeze us in for a session during a romantic getaway with her husband. We talked about a few different settings, but I kept coming back to the beach. I wanted something that documented the glorious beauty of the California coast, and would capture how much we love living in an area that looks and feels like this. We don’t make it to the beach very often, but when we do T1 can chase the waves for hours. It took a lot of tricky maneuvering to keep him dry as long as we did!

After I decided on Cowell Ranch Beach for our location (crossing my fingers that it would be one of those rare sunny days in Half Moon Bay) I poured far too much time into putting together our outfits. I actually put together two separate combinations for each person because I wasn’t sure if it would be warm or cold, and it was a top priority for me that everyone be comfortable and relaxed. I didn’t want “props” to pose with, but I did want to bring a few things that would keep the kids engaged and distracted (before we turned our oldest loose in the waves). I packed a quilt from the thrift store, a few different headbands for both kids to play with, a cupcake sand set for pretend snack time, white and dry snacks that the kids could snack on without dirtying their outfits (tip: clear gummi candies allowed TH and I to get a few photos alone while the kids took a little snack break), and a dozen mini beach balls from Amazon.

One really important thing to note: We told her that we didn’t care if there was a single photo of all of us looking directly into the camera and smiling. That’s not what this is about for us (and it probably won’t be what any of our photography sessions are about from now on.) If you’ll allow me a moment to get on my soapbox – in the age of Instagram and Facebook, our nearest and dearest know what we look like. They see our selfies and snapshots all throughout the year. The best photo, in my opinion, is the one you look back on 50 years from now and smile on because it shows what you were really like at that stage in your life. A slightly happy polished version, but still, reality.

Samantha shot the entire session on film, and returned so many amazing photos that I had a hard time narrowing them down for this post! I can’t believe how spot on her exposures and focus were as we dashed all around the beach. We picked up the film photography bug around the same time and I’m in awe of how fast her skills are developing. I can’t recommend her enough if you’re looking for someone to photograph your family. She’s based in Utah but I know she’s interested in traveling sessions as well!

We don’t just love the result, we loved the process. Even That Husband said he is looking forward to doing this again next year. (I promise you guys, he said it and meant it.) Taking these was as enjoyable as they seem. There’s something about the bond between the people you feel the most passionate about that is hard to capture, but I think the images below come as close as I dreamed they would.
The family of That Wife Blog, photographed by Samantha Kelly Photography (Utah) at Cowell Ranch Beach in Half Moon Bay, CA. The family of That Wife Blog, photographed by Samantha Kelly Photography (Utah) at Cowell Ranch Beach in Half Moon Bay, CA. The family of That Wife Blog, photographed by Samantha Kelly Photography (Utah) at Cowell Ranch Beach in Half Moon Bay, CA. The family of That Wife Blog, photographed by Samantha Kelly Photography (Utah) at Cowell Ranch Beach in Half Moon Bay, CA. Read more →

23 Sep

Mini Golf

Posted by Jenna, Under Adventures

This weekend we found another family activity that everyone enjoys – mini golf at Golfland! The location had three courses and was completely empty when we showed up, which allowed T1 to move ahead of us as he pleased while I attempted to best TH. I started things off with a hole-in-one, but it was beginners luck and it all went downhill from there. I can’t tell you the final score because the kids didn’t last that long, but I was happy to have an easy morning where everyone got to do something they liked. For T2 the thing she liked was holding a ball in her hand, sometimes putting it down and attempting to whack it with a putter sized for adults and taller than her. It would be a little out of our budget to do this full price on a regular basis, but maybe we can make it a Saturday morning treat, and I’m sure they run promotions in the winter months to try to keep business up.
mini golf mini golf mini golf mini golfT2 still has enough of her baby fat that I can’t envision her future self very well, but T1 has reached an age where I feel like I can glimpse what he’s going to look like as an adult. Kapow! Our genes mix well, don’t they TH?


20 Sep

One Quick Take

Posted by Jenna, Under Uncategorized

When I married a brown-eyed boy, I thought I my dad’s blue eyes would end with me. My genes are putting up a good fight though, and as of right now I have two blue-eyed babies. She could still go from blue to brazowy, and I’ll tell you a little secret… I’ll think her eyes are delightful either way.

That Wife Blog, blue-eyed baby

19 Sep

Podcast You Should Be Listening To: StartUp

Posted by Jenna, Under Tips

I spend a good portion of my day listening to podcasts via the app PodCruncher, using the bluetooth device that T1 calls my “birfday present.” My favorite podcast of all time is This American Life. Each time TAL issues a new episode I put off listening to it until I know it’s an opportunity to really savor what Ira Glass is presenting that week. Another podcast consistently releasing excellent episodes is Planet Money. Recently Alex Blumberg, former producer  of This American Life and co-founder of Planet Money, launched a new podcast about his attempts to start a business that will produce multiple narrative-driven podcasts on a variety of subjects. (Where’s the Kickstarter campaign? I want to be funding this yesterday.)

StartUp podcast


The first two episodes were good, good enough for me to save them on my phone so I can have That Husband listen to them the next time we drive somewhere together.  The StartUp podcast has so far been sharp and engaging, but the third episode in particular was absolutely riveting. The kind of content that makes you sit in your car in the garage after arriving home, long enough that the lights turn off, because you can’t bring yourself to do anything other than drink in what you’re hearing. In the third episode two business partners share their personal reactions to deciding on the equity split for their company and the sort of authenticity and vulnerability they are putting out there is hard to find elsewhere in world of business-focused content. I really admire the way Alex Blumberg lays it bare without oversharing. That’s something I’m working to figure out as well.

Any podcasts you love that you think I should be listening to? I have subscribed to over 50 but I’m always searching for the next great producer of audio content that I can’t get enough of. If there are other podcastphiles out there who would like to see this “podcasts you should be listening to” type post become a regular feature let me know!

18 Sep

I Only Have Moves For You, Dear

Posted by Jenna, Under Married Life


When I wrote my post about hair and youth I tried to work through the responses before I posted, in order to anticipate anything I might want to avoid. There were two that I missed that I wanted to circle back to in a second pass.

First, the discussion of my unwanted desire to be considered attractive, specifically by men, should not be read as a broadcast that I’m actively looking for something, nor that I want to be objectified by any human person. Have you seen the Jessica Williams piece about how the sidewalk is not a catwalk? I can give a big amen to that. Down with the cat-calling and the misogyny! I’m not advocating for men to toss sleazy “compliments” in my direction, or in the direction of any woman. But I do think a lot of women, myself included, grow up viewing their looks as a commodity to be leveraged in the marketplace of life. Growing older and having children complicates all of this and leaves me feeling confused about where my worth is as I attempt to redefine some of my longest-held beliefs.

Second, a few people expressed shock that I, a married woman, would dare to talk publicly about my individual sexuality. I have a husband after all. Read more →

      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.
  • Archives

That Wife
All rights reserved © 2008-2014

I am a HowJoyful Design by Joy Kelley