Sunday, May 29, 2016

Mill City District

Riley recently saw one of my pictures from the amber room at the Guthrie (from my ClickinMom's photo walk). She thought it was cool so I promised I would bring her there. Saturday we decided to check it out so we could stop at the Mill City farmer's market as well. She was initially disappointed that we weren't going to the gym so we had to promise that we'd go work out later. I guess that's one way to stay in shape - to be guilt tripped by your kid.

At any rate, once we got down to the Mill City area and started exploring, Riley totally got into it. I can't wait to bring her back to this area to explore the Mill Ruins park and the Gold Medal park... so much more to introduce her to.

We started by walking down the boardwalk to the Guthrie where we explored floor 4 (cantilever bridge)...

 and floor 9 (the amber room which is officially called the Dowling Studio)...

We had this floor to ourselves which was fun... especially for Riley. The room had an echo so she was singing the entire time we were up there. Oh, and there was performing too. I probably don't need to say this, but she also picked out her own clothes this day. 

 And then I took her down the escalator that runs from the 4th to the 1st floor thinking she would be in awe of how long it was. She was unimpressed, but did enjoy the mirrors on the way down.

Next up was the farmer's market. We were kicking ourselves since we just loaded up on veggies the day before. So many delicious, fresh vegetables that we didn't buy, but we did break down and spend 5 bucks on a bracelet for Riley. Oh, and I bought some overpriced (but good) pulled pork nachos from the Smack Shack food truck.

And then our kid got hungry so we decided to go home and feed her. She sort of hit the wall, but agreed that this was a cool place to check out and come back to.

My picture loving kid wouldn't even pose for me here so I know she was done.
I took a picture anyway.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Project 52 - Change - Week 21


After a crazy day of parties and activities, Riley and I decided to play it low key last Sunday (Jesse was helping a friend with his truck most of the weekend). We met up with papa Frank for lunch and hung out at his house for a bit. We didn't do anything too exciting except hang out and talk.

It's nice to spend some time at my dad's house as I know he won't be here forever. We've been exploring independent living places for him to move to, and while he's in a whirlwind to clean out his house, he also seems reluctant to commit to anything. I think he realizes he wants to stay in his house, but is trying to be practical about what the future may bring.

On that note, he also sold the farm. I'm a little crushed about this and am trying to find a time to go out there before the closing. My brother's ashes are buried there and we decided that we'd leave him there since he loved the place, but my dad would like to dig them up and spread them around. I have to be there for that and I have to say goodbye. I have a feeling that this is the year that I really need to embrace change, but as you know... change can be hard.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Party time

It's been a couple busy weekends and I thought I would capture some of it here. I already talked about the photo walk I went on, but the day after that Riley and I attended my friend, Josie's daughter's 4th birthday party (one of many kid's parties we've attended recently).

Josie asked that I take pictures so I did (but we all know I would have taken them without her asking). We had fun playing in her big back yard, eating Filipino food, and having treats. Josie had the local ice cream truck stop by which is owned by a 16 year old. Impressive. Josie and I worked at an ice cream place when we were teens, but I can't imagine owning anything at that age.

This past Saturday was a doozy with a visit to the gym, gymnastics, 2 birthday parties and a neighborhood bike parade. It was a bit much, but was fun and resulted in a very tired girl. She even took a short car nap which hasn't happened in forever.

This was her last gymnastics class of the 6 weeks series. They only let you sit in on the first (I was working) and the last so I finally got my chance to watch her. I totally wanted to do this as a kid, but my dad put me in swim class instead (and I can barely swim, but I could have been an Olympian gymnast - except for the part where I'm not remotely flexible).

Watching Riley run around and do all the activities made me wish there was gymnastics for adults. When I suggested this to Jesse he may have implied that we are too old for such movements. (Just found an adults class near my house - so tempting).

We signed up for another 6 week run that starts in a couple weeks, but the only time they had available was when I work (Jesse will take her) so I was especially happy to sit in on this session.

After gymnastics, we had to navigate through multiple construction zones to get to our next destination... Edinborough Park for the first birthday party of the day. Partly because we were running late and partly because I just didn't care, I let Riley stay in her gymnastic's clothes. I brought a change of clothes for this destination and the next (for dancing), but she was happy in her outfit and it made life so much easier not to change her.

We've been to this park many times, but never on the weekend. It appears that this is birthday party central at that time. It was fun to connect with some of the other parents and watch Riley run around with her friends.

Party number one ended at 2:00 and the next party started at 2:00 in another city - on the other side of the construction. Much of this party was going to the second party so we all scrambled to get to the dance center without being too late. Riley danced at this place last year so she ran right in without thinking twice about where to go. I decided to go home for a bit, but grabbed a peak of the girls dancing before I left.

Before we got the two birthday party invites, we planned to attend a bike parade put together by our neighborhood. I thought we would skip it altogether once we knew about the parties, but Riley was determined to go to it. We missed the actual parade part, but some of our neighbors were still there so we got to chit chat with them. Riley also got to decorate her bike, got a medal, and had another a treat.

As you can imagine, Riley slept hard that night. I was most impressed with her great mood all day - it certainly made a crazy busy day that much more fun.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Project 52 - 7 and 5 - Week 20


I'm always looking for ways to challenge myself behind the camera. Sometimes that means I'll try a new technique or edit differently, but this week was a little different. After reading about how Kelly Marleau from FiddleLeaf Photography took pictures during the witching hour every day for a month, I thought I might try something like this as well. Since I work late on Tuesdays, I decided that 5:00 pm might not work best for me. Instead, I settled on 7:00 am and only for a week... and then on that first day I found myself taking pictures at 7:00 am and 5:00 pm. Apparently, I had to make my own rules.

So, why was this a challenge? Perhaps because 7 and 5 are some of the busiest times in our house. I'll admit that there were days that I quickly snapped a couple pictures and moved on with the tasks for that day, but in some ways, this made me slow down. Notice a moment and be in a moment... set everything else aside for a bit.

I also came to realize that 7:00 am and 5:00 pm are also the two times of the day that Riley is most likely to have Kindle/TV time. I could have shot a whole week of her sitting in front of the Kindle so I had to remind myself that I'm not the worst mom out there, but that this is just reflective of our lives at two brief moments of the day. Luckily, some days capture other moments, such as reading with her dad, feeding the cat a treat, practicing for a school performance, homework time, and even a moment when no one was home, but me.

Most importantly for me, I wanted these pictures to tell the story of our lives. It's why I capture pictures. I want to look back and have these pictures remind me of something, even if it's that my kid watches cartoons during her breakfast every day. They might be pretty, they might not, but they are real.