Family Friday #38

Graduate I'm pretty sure there was a point in my life where the idea of a preschool graduation seemed a little silly to me. But then I had a baby, and then five years passed, and suddenly my baby isn't a baby anymore, and I'm struck with the realization that very soon he won't be going to that little school where he's been going since he was four months old, and seeing these women who have been in his life since before he was on solid food. And I'm presented with the image of my son in a little mortarboard cap with a little 2013 tassel, and I'm a little choked up.

To Irene, Cristi, Mahuya, Christine, Marjan, Clarissa, Sam, Kelli, and all of the other wonderful teachers and caregivers Jason has known: thank you. It's meant a lot to me--to all of us--that Jason has gotten to have you in his life.

Family Friday #37

Wind Unlike her brother, Eva does not care to have water squirted on her in the bath. Also unlike her brother--and her mom, for that matter--she loves the wind on her face.

Family Friday #36

Serenity At the end of his bath every night, Jason likes to lie back until the water covers his ears and listen to the sound of the water draining. I've taken pictures just like this one so many times over the years, but it's such a beautiful sight that I can't help doing it again. I think part of it, too, is that it won't be too much longer before he's bathing himself, after which I won't be able to take this picture again and so I keep doing so while I still can. I'm thankful to be able to document these moments--in ten years, in twenty, I'll be able to look at these photographs and say, "This is what he was like. This is what we were like."

Happy weekend, everybody.

Family Friday #35

Kiss I spend a lot of my time on this blog talking about my kids, but today I'd like to focus on another member of my family: my lovely and amazing wife, without whom nothing in my life would make sense. Happy birthday, Juliette. I love you.

(And to everyone else, happy weekend!)

Family Friday #34

Sleeping The really astonishing thing about this picture is that she actually has the blanket on top of her. The way she migrates around her crib while she sleeps, that's a rarity. It's a good thing we don't live in a place where it actually gets cold.

Happy weekend, everybody!

Family Friday #33

Mud He's getting a little big to be in a stroller these days, but all things considered I can't really blame him--if I had a portable napping platform, I'd probably make use of it, too.

Happy weekend!

Family Friday #31

San Diego is, of course, known for its lovely weather. A little rain every now and then is nice, though, I think.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Family Friday #30

The other day I was hanging out in the garage with the kids and I noticed that the light was very pretty, what with the clouds outside and the shade from the open garage. So I asked Jason if I could take his picture. I never quite know how he'll respond to requests like that--often he'll scowl or hide his face. But this time he said yes, and got up and did just what you see, with no direction from me. I don't recall ever asking him to stand like that in his life, but I guess when he's on, he's on.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Family Friday #29

Hold Fast It's funny how a silly little moment--filling up a squirt toy in the bath--can yield images that feel calm and contemplative. It really wasn't like that at all.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Family Friday #28

Cookies One of Eva's little quirks is that, for some reason, she hates it when we roll up her sleeves, even if they are way too long for her. However, as you can see, she can be distracted.

Family Friday #27

Eva, are you supposed to be playing with those? Well, you're cute, so I guess it's OK. Just don't put them in your mouth.

(Happy Friday, everyone.)

Family Friday #26

Jake Watching my kids grow up has its pangs--knowing that Jason isn't a baby anymore and that Eva soon won't be certainly tugs at my heartstrings. But it's also exciting. Case in point is looking at the progression of our Halloweens since Jason's birth. For his first two Halloweens he was too young to go trick-or-treating. On his third, at two years old he didn't really know what to do. When he was three he had a better idea, but he was still kind of timid about going up to the doors on his own. But this time he was all over it. Sure, I still had to remind him to say thank you before running off to the next house, but I couldn't help but absorb some of his excitement. We ended up staying out for over an hour and a half, which made for quite the candy haul. By this time next year, Eva will be walking and talking, and I think the sight of the two of them holding out their buckets together might just make my heart burst. I can't wait.

Happy weekend, everybody!

Family Friday #25

No props or fancy backgrounds, no divan in the middle of a field or flapper headbands. Just a bit of light and a shy little smile, and I have a beautiful photo--and a memory of my daughter that I can hold onto.

Happy weekend, everybody!

Family Friday #24

I just love moments like this. I love the concentration on Jason's face. I love the fact that he's holding the mixer himself, but Juliette's hand is still there just a little bit to guide him. I love the interested look Eva has as she watches him. I love that things are a little chaotic, because that's what having young children is like. And yet, despite the mess, there's still a sort of quietness to the image, and beauty, and that's what having children is like, too.

Happy weekend, everybody!

Family Friday #23

As a parent and photographer, I find that each day with my children is filled with moments that I want to document, to hold onto and remember forever. Some of these moments are the sweet, gentle, quiet moments, like the way my daughter softly pats me on the back when she hugs me. Some are the raucous, energetic, fun kind, like the peals of laughter--from both of us--when I tickle my son.

And some are the kind of moments where we're at another kid's birthday party and I've just stuck a mustache on my 1-year-old daughter.

Happy weekend, everybody!

Family Friday #22

Secure Over the past few years, a trip to the pumpkin patch at Bates Nut Farm in the fall has become a bit of a family tradition. This year we decided to go on their opening weekend, hoping that by getting there earlier in the season we'd beat the crowds. (It worked, by the way.) On our way out to Valley Center, Jason rattled off a long list of things he wanted to do--jump in the bouncy castle (which he calls a "jumpy"), run in the straw maze, ride a pony, and so on. Once we were there he excitedly pulled us from one thing to the next, and once he'd set his mind on what the next activity was to be, he couldn't be dissuaded. The prospect of a pony ride, for example, was sufficient to distract Jason from both the availability of ice cream cones and my willingness to purchase them. Say one thing for this kid, he's got focus.

Mind you, as soon as the pony ride was done, it was time for ice cream.

Happy weekend, everybody!

Family Friday #21

I mentioned last week that we were recently on the East Coast for a family wedding. The bride was Juliette's niece, and I was able to help out by shooting her bridal preparations on the morning of her wedding day. I was, of course, so happy to be able to participate and help make the day a special one, and, as always, very grateful to be entrusted with the responsibility of capturing these memories. Even more than that, though, was the opportunity to spend time with family--so much of both my and Juliette's family live far enough away that we don't get nearly as much chance to see them as we'd like, but somehow when we do finally come together, we find that the miles that are normally between us are not enough to dampen the feelings of closeness and belonging. And that's what it's all about.

Congratulations, Hannah and Dan. We love you!

Family Friday #20

This past week we were in New England for a family wedding, which both of the kids got to be a part of--Jason as a "ring horsie" (instead of a "ring bear") and Eva as a flower girl. All in all, the trip was fantastic and the kids loved it. Still, they did struggle a bit with the time change. Just before this picture, Eva was fussing and rubbing her eyes, clearly ready for a nap. It only took a few minutes of rocking her before she was out. The weight of her head on my shoulder, the tickle of her hair against my cheek, the peaceful look on her sleeping face--I don't know if these are the best things about being a dad, but they're up there.

Happy weekend, folks.

Family Friday #19

If there is anything better than seeing my baby daughter beaming with joy when I come home from work or laughing uproariously as I tickle her, then I suppose it would have to be the smile she gives her brother when they play together. Last weekend the four of us took a trip over to Liberty Station to have lunch at one of our favorite San Diego bakeries and afterwards we headed over to the nearby playground to let the kids have some fun before their nap time. Eva had a lot of fun on the swing, but what she really loved was when Jason took a turn pushing her. A huge grin spread across her face and with every push she let out a little shriek of joy.

They have their bad moments too, and I'm sure that as they get older the sibling rivalry will get on my nerves, but it's also obvious that they truly love each other, and for getting to witness that I am truly grateful.

Happy weekend, everybody!