Ch ch ch changes…

eleanor_sqIt has to be a good blog post starting out with a picture that cute, right?  Really, that’s just a gratuitous picture of Ellie, complete with food on her face and all and it has nothing to do with my post content.

Anyway, we moved.  Like 6 months ago.  To the ‘burbs.  And I’m just not writing about it.  I may have mentioned it previously but honestly I’m too lazy to reread the text of the 3 posts that I’ve written in the last 6 months so I’m going to talk about it.

Moving was not something we expected to happen at the time it did, and it was certainly not something I was ready for, especially out of the city and into the suburbs.  About 6 months before we moved, Brandon started getting a little restless with work, and decided to explore his options professionally.  He also saw the writing on the wall that it may not be possible for us to remain in the city if he was going to contemplate a large career leap, and thinking long-term, our 1 bedroom, 525 sq. ft apartment wasn’t going to hold 2 adults, 2 overly active cats and 1 growing toddler comfortably much longer, especially with the possibility of him working from home.  So, Brandon started looking for a new place to live all over the Bay Area.  He would show me places, and no matter where they were, I poo-pooed them.  Too small.  Too dark.  Not close enough to a park.  Not close enough to a downtown.  Too ugly.  Carpet.  First floor.  Just…no.  Bless his heart, he kept trying, but I just wasn’t ready to move! We even thought about other places in SF, but have you seen those prices lately?  Yeah.  No thanks. We were trying to get MORE space and less rent, not less space and more rent.

Around January, we had a chat where we sort of made “the scary leap decision” which basically was this: Brandon was going to put in a proposal for a job, and if he got it, he was quitting.  This, in turn, meant we would need to move.  I put on my big girl pants (reluctantly…dragging my feet the whole time) and on board-ish with the house/apartment-hunting, which really just meant I didn’t veto EVERY place he showed me, and in fact I took the initiative to look on my own occasionally as well.  I still had a totally negative ‘tude–I was feeling kicked out of SF, out of the apartment I loved, out of the lifestyle I loved.  In reality, I wasn’t being forced out–I was making an adult decision based on what was best for my family, I just didn’t want to handle it in an adult way.  I also sort of had it in my head that, while I have much faith and confidence in Brandon’s abilities, no way was he going to land the first job he put in a proposal for.  That just doesn’t happen!

As you can probably guess at this point, he did indeed get the job.  I had a major “oh $h!t” moment, where I was thrilled and excited and proud…and terrified and sad and filled with anxiety.  This all was really happening! The search for a place to live went into overdrive, 2 weeks later we had a lease and 2 weeks after that we were all packed up and moved out of our beloved apartment.  It happened in the blink of an eye–I didn’t even get to fulfill a bucket list of things to do! No last date nights…nothing.  Just like that, we were gone.  My drive out of the city was extremely tear-full, as I said goodbye to the place that I loved–it was our apartment that we moved into when we got married, the place we brought Eleanor home to from the hospital…it is filled with so many memories and so much love, I just wanted to keep it forever (even though we didn’t own it).

And that brings us back to here and now.  Do I miss San Francisco? Terribly, with all my heart.  I even miss my tiny apartment.  I miss so many things about living in the city, but when I get down about it I remind myself how much I get to see Brandon now, and how much he gets to see Ellie.  He works from home,  so we take turns with E and do a lot more as a family.  Whereas in SF he was frequently gone 10-12 hours a day, now he’s around most of the time and I wouldn’t trade that for anything, and I especially wouldn’t take that away from him.  He is so much happier and less stressed now, and that is worth the world.  Also, we have a backyard now.  I have a garden.  We have a stoop.  We live in an adorable early 1900’s house.  We have an awesome office space in the house.  We’re near the water.  I GET SUMMER WEATHER (this has probably been the single fact that helped me most).  We live near my family, including my grandmothers.  When we walk down my grandma’s street, Ellie gets so excited squealing “Gigi! Gigi!” and it’s in those moments, too, that I know we made the right decision.

But I still miss San Francisco (and yes, I still live close to it, but visiting is never the same as living there)…

Sunny San Francisco, Part II

Whoopsies, this is a little more belated than I intended it to be; nevertheless, here it is. Part II of our sunny day in San Francisco with the munchkins. Gosh I love these kids…I feel like Colin Firth in his Oscar acceptance speech when I think about them (the part about the stirrings in the upper abdominals and dance moves). Anyhoo…onto the photos!

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a taste of kara’s

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the aftermath of kara’s

yeah. go ahead, just try and tell me those photos didn’t make you happy!

Sunny San Francisco, Part I

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On Sunday my sister called to let me know that she and her fam, including her inlaws, were headed to San Francisco on the ferry, and would we be able to join for a few hours? I have been itching to see everyone, so of course I jumped on the opportunity. Brandon and I grabbed some breakfast and then headed to Pier 39 to meet up with the gang. Here is part I of the beautiful sunny afternoon! This post will be mostly Conor photos, and the next one will be more heavily Claire.

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Ugh, don’t you want to just pinch those squishy cheeks? Also, notice the pirate ships on his sweater–there’s a skull and crossbones on the back. Christmas gift courtesy of Auntie & Uncle B.

Feelin’ the Love

Brandon and I typically don’t celebrate Valentine’s day by doing much.  Usually a card, maybe a small gift, but overall we keep it low-key.  This year we went out on Saturday for a mini-date, since Brandon is leaving for Dallas on business tomorrow.  We figured we could have a relaxing, cozy night in to celebrate which would also allow for an early bedtime.

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On Friday as I was waiting for Brandon to get home (from Dallas…he just got home and now he’s going back), however, I got an itch to do a little something special this year to make the apartment feel festive.  I decided to scrounge through old photos, get out some red yarn and do a little “Valentine’s Installation.”  Top it off with a vase full of fresh flowers, and instantly the top of our bookcase turned into a very happy place.

I am more a fan of thinking of Valentine’s Day as a day to celebrate everyone you love, not just in a romantic way.  Don’t you think that’s more exciting?  What did you do to in honor of this day, whether you love it or hate it?

The Perfect Sunday

So, I’m not really one for football…and I’m really not one for pro football. For me, it’s Oregon Ducks (go Ducks!) or no football. Brandon needed to work on Sunday, and I also had to work (on chalk + dot) so we decided to spend our Super Bowl Sunday being productive.

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I am not very productive at home (too many other temptations), so I decided to head out to a nearby café, correctly making the assumption that it wouldn’t be crowded during the Super Bowl. Nook was my location of choice, and it was perfect. We were having unseasonably hot weather (read: I was in jeans, a tank top, and flip flops), so the café had all its windows and doors open. I decided on indulging in a happy hour glass of wine and (gasp) a brownie. It was my own personal super bowl party. With headphones on and my feet up, I had a glorious and relaxing afternoon. I think I may want to start my own Super Bowl tradition…I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how perfect that afternoon was…

Santa Cruz Weekend

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I share my birthday with my mom (January 21) and we typically like to do something together around that time to have a joint celebration. Conveniently this year my good friend Jessi was having a birthday party the following weekend in her hometown of Santa Cruz, so I stretched my birthday celebration into two weekends by convincing Brandon we should make a weekend out of Jessi’s birthday party. For my birthday celebration with my mom, we had a Saturday filled with pampering, the wine exhibit at the MoMA, some coffee time at the rooftop sculpture garden, and then dinner on Belden Place; it was fantastic!

For the following weekend, Brandon and I rented a car and drove down to Santa Cruz where we stayed at the modern Dream Inn, right on the beach. These photos are all views from our room.

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On Saturday after we arrived, we wandered along the boardwalk for a bit of nostalgia (I forgot my camera! UGH) before we headed back to our hotel room to get ready for the party. I ended up falling asleep, I guess I was lulled due to the waves crashing. When I woke up, it was sprinkling and foggy but it was a good excuse to not feel bad for just wanting to hang out in our room. We had a great time at Jessi’s party, and then headed back to our room with enough time to enjoy the hotel’s hot tub before it closed for the evening.

After our hot tub excursion, we snuggled up in our room to watch some TV and listen to the waves crash. In the morning it was drizzling and we decided to order breakfast room service to eat on our covered balcony. Luckily for us it stopped sprinkling right as the food came, so we were able to soak in some sunshine while we ate food and drank our coffee.

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After breakfast the sky looked threatening, so we just sat on the bed, balcony door open and music on, listening to the waves and reading.  It was a glorious morning of relaxation!  I realized that we should do these mini-escapes more often…it was just what the doctor ordered after some hectic weeks at work.

Erica @ 32 Weeks

My, how time flies!  It feels like I was just taking pictures of Erica with a teeny almost non-existent baby bump and now here she is, 8 months pregnant.

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She’s on the home stretch, and she’s starting to feel like it. The determination is setting in, but so is the organ-rearrangement and resulting fatigue.  Luckily for Erica, despite how she might feel, she looks beautiful and radiant.

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The above photo on the right is one of my favorites from the day–I think it really captured her essence.

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Well, our remaining shoots are numbered–we’ll probably have only one or two more before her baby boy arrives!

More Maternity

Well, with that blog post title, I’m guessing you wouldn’t expect to see photos like this:

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Especially when I tell you that this girl is 34 weeks along. With twins. Twin girls, to be exact. It’s a little more obvious from the front.

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Jess is a coworker/friend of Erica. Erica asked if I’d be interested in photographing Jess, and of course I gave a resounding yes! I jumped at the opportunity and set a date to go over and take some photos to capture this time in Jess’ life. Here are the photos from the day.

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I couldn’t get over how amazing she looks–so tiny and unpuffy.

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I am supposed to go photograph her again next weekend, so look forward to more photos!

Black and White

Yes, I know, there have been some crickets on this blog for a little bit…it stems from two things: 1) i’ve been really busy and 2) i’ve been taking more film photos than digital. I don’t really like to post without images (I feel like what I have to say frequently isn’t very interesting, but somehow you put pictures with it feels like more people would be willing to stop by), and since film development isn’t as instantaneous as film…well…the posts have been backed up.

Okay, enough of the excuses, etc., and onto the fun stuff–I’ve been taking a black and white film photography class! It’s a 5 week class, 4 hours one day a week through City College San Francisco. It’s mainly about the darkroom, which has been really fun and exciting.
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my contact sheet

We developed film two weeks ago and printed some last week. Next week we get to develop/print more, so I’m really looking forward to that. It’s been so much fun being back in the studio atmosphere, which has reminded me how much I miss that aspect of school.

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I was pretty pleased with my first roll of film, and am really looking forward to taking more! I feel like the dark room is magic–you stick a blank piece of paper in some liquid and *shizzam* a photo appears. It’s very rewarding!

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I’m looking forward to my next few weeks in the photo lab, and I think this has inspired me to be more bold and take more classes.

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Happy Friday!

I’ll send you off to enjoy your weekend with a little hello from Stuart (aka Stevie, as we’ve taken to calling him lately.  “Oh Stevie…“).  Just a sampling of what we deal with over at our house…

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These next shots came right after I finished changing the sheets on the bed (his favorite activity):

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“You’re done changing the sheets already?”
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“Are you suuuuuuuure?”
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Such a little stinker, but so hard to resist! Happy Friday everyone, hope you have a lovely weekend ahead!