Who doesn’t love a long weekend? This past weekend we got one! Although the summer heat has been in full swing for a while here in South Texas, Memorial Day officially kicked off our summer.
We spent our Memorial Day swimming, barbecuing, watching movies, and just spending time together. We also took some time to remember those who have served our country and didn’t make it home. It really is a solemn and important holiday- it’s not just about barbecues and mattress sales! Although it’s difficult to think about fallen service members, it is so important, and important to us that our daughter understands what this holiday means. They should be remembered every day. I’m thankful and blessed to have my family intact and with me and I know not everyone is that fortunate. In my husband’s military career, we have had at least three incidents where this has hit close to home with the loss of service men and women at the bases where he was stationed. These stories always affect us deeply.
My daughter is still in school, so it doesn’t feel like summer has officially started for us here. This summer will be a busy one with our upcoming move, but I am definitely looking forward to more days like this.
See Melisa’s long weekend here.
I’m really not one to hang on to things. I don’t get too attached to objects and I generally try not to have extra “stuff”. This is largely due to how often we move; the simple fact is, the less stuff you have, the easier moves will be. So I have no problem with going through and purging things we don’t love, use, or need on a regular basis.
There are, of course, exceptions to this. While thinking about this week’s prompt, I realized I really haven’t handed down much to my daughter in terms of physical objects. Old toys and clothing have long since been lost over the years. I do have a couple of my baby clothes that I put on her when she was a baby (and, OK, I may have held on to a few of her baby clothes too). Somehow a few books have survived over the years and moved around with us. So many moms have a hard time going through their kids’ clothes when they grow out of them. This is hard for me too, but much harder for me is sorting through her old books and donating or selling them.
These books were gifted to me when I was a baby (so they are rather OLD!). I passed them down to my daughter. And although they are on the outdated, old fashioned side, she does enjoy looking through them from time to time. I’m glad to still have them on her bookshelf. Maybe she will hand them down to her own children one day.
See what Melisa has handed down here.
I was on the lookout for fences this week!
Although it may seem random, there are creative ways to photograph fences. Flickr has a surprising number of groups devoted to fences as a subject. There are pretty and ornamental fences and gates around us, which brings me back to one of the reasons I love photography; it teaches us to observe the world in quiet and subtle ways.
This image is from our brief trip to Austin this week. The light wasn’t perfect, and this is a construction site, but I love how the colors of spring are coming through the fence.
See how Melisa found inspiration in a fence here.
My daughter’s school is, unfortunately, somewhat notorious for its homework. Most days we get through it just fine, but some days it can be a challenge. The good news is, she is learning a lot this year. One thing I have enjoyed watching her learn is Mandarin. It’s so interesting to see her writing in Mandarin and speaking some Mandarin. Also, the Mandarin homework is generally pretty mild, and that’s a bonus!
March has snuck up on me! Soon it will be Spring Break, and that means a week without homework! Yay!
See what Melisa’s kids’ homework looks like here.
I love trying different things with photography. There are so many ways to push ourselves creatively. One popular technique to try is using a prism to bring interest to an image. Here I held a circular prism up to my lens. I like the effect of how it surrounds my daughter and gives the image a dreamy quality. It’s sometimes hard to predict what exactly a prism will do to an image; I took several images on this day, and this one is my favorite.
Click here to see what Melisa tried this week.
The week of Valentine’s Day is always an exciting one at our house! My daughter’s birthday is on the 12th so we spent the weekend celebrating that. Wednesday was the 24th Valentine’s Day my husband and I have spent together. Every year he buys me a dozen red roses. They are so beautiful and smell so good too. I love photographing them.
I bought my husband a Valentine’s candle (we love candles and light them every night) and we made lasagna for dinner. It was a lovely Valentine’s Day 🙂
See how Melisa and her family spent Valentine’s Day here.
When I was pregnant and had my 20 week ultrasound, I thought for sure I was having a boy. I was so surprised when the nurse said “It’s a girl”! Now I can’t imagine life without my little girl.
This girl is going to turn 9 next week. She loves to write, read, watch movies, invent things, and play games. Her laugh is contagious. She wants to be either an engineer or a teacher when she grows up (we told her she can teach engineering!). She’s so smart, funny and sweet and most of the time she is even good about letting me take her photo. I’m so glad I have her.
Melisa also has a beautiful daughter (whom you can see here). I am so glad our girls got to know each other before we moved apart. They really enjoyed playing with each other!
San Antonio is of course famous for its Riverwalk! The Riverwalk is indeed beautiful and a great place to take out of town guests, but it’s a bit on the touristy and crowded side at times. It’s great to go down there in the morning before all the businesses have opened for a walk. There are also quieter parts of the San Antonio River, and those are the areas I prefer for walking. I took a very pleasant photo walk this week there.
It’s fun that Melisa and I both live near rivers. Though they are very different, it’s neat to compare the similarities and differences of our cities! Melisa’s river can be viewed here.
Our nightly routine is pretty much the same every night after our daughter goes to bed.
Bedtime has become a lot more “flexible” since we moved to Texas. Part of it is my daughter is getting older and I’m not as strict about following a sleep schedule as I once was. The other issue is she still seems to be on Arizona time after all these months! By that I mean, she is consistently going to bed about an hour later than she used to AND sleeping in (on the weekends) about an hour later than she did in Arizona. I’ll definitely take the sleeping in part!
After she goes to bed (or at least is in her room reading and writing quietly), my husband and I light our candles (we put some in our fireplace too) and have a glass of wine. We catch up on our DVR’d or Netflix shows. Inevitably, our daughter comes back downstairs after a while for one more goodnight hug. We’re nothing if not predictable, but I realized after thinking about this post how much I love this part of our day.
See how Melisa spends her evening after the kids are in bed here.
Our long weekend ended up being a little longer than we thought! Monday was a holiday and on Tuesday, school was cancelled due to an ice storm. Who would have thought in South Texas we would have not one but two snow days in the first few months we lived here?!
Before all the ice and cold temperatures headed our way, we all went out for sushi on Sunday night. My husband and I love sushi and have been eating it regularly together since our second date. My daughter isn’t the most adventurous eater, but we are working on it. She promised me she would try something new the next time we went out for sushi and this was her chance. I ordered tamago (Japanese egg omelet) nigiri and she tried a piece. I think she preferred the little bento box she got with chicken and rice, but at least she tried it! She has also gotten good with chopsticks!
It was a fun long weekend overall. To see how Melisa’s long weekend went, click here.
More fun with Christmas lights this week!
I wanted to try a double exposure this week with some lights. The problem (or beauty, depending on your perspective) with double exposures is they are unpredictable. This one didn’t turn out exactly as I envisioned it, but it was the best of the bunch. And with homework looming and my subject’s patience for my photography experimentation marginal at best, it was best to move on.
This is our little Christmas tree. It’s artificial, but we were just talking the other day that maybe we will try a real tree again next year. This tree has been moved several times and is starting to show its age. I love all the vintage ornaments we have on it from our childhoods. Every year when we unpack the Christmas decorations, they bring back memories.
You may see Melisa’s beautiful tree here!
‘Tis the season for bokeh!
I love capturing holiday lights in their many forms. San Antonio is big on decorating for the holidays; there are plenty of lights around the city this time of year. I love seeing them on the twisty oak trunks. It’s so beautiful at night, and makes an ordinary scene magical. I hope you are all enjoying the lights this time of year!
See what Melisa’s lights look like here.