Spring Break in Santa Barbara with my dad, his lady, some of our closest friends, and one big pelican. As Walt Whitman would say: We were together. I forget the rest.
Spring Break in Santa Barbara with my dad, his lady, some of our closest friends, and one big pelican. As Walt Whitman would say: We were together. I forget the rest.
You've asked and now, I'm delivering, but not alone. Because that's how we mamas do things right? As a village. It's just so much more fun to do things with friends! Kelly and I are thrilled to offer a workshop for mamas who are specifically NOT professional photographers; mamas who strive to take better photos of their kids on the day-to-day, both with their phones and with their "big girl" cameras. And why not do it at the beautiful Oregon Coast, with our silly (and often uncooperative) girls as our "models"? We'll eat cookies, talk photography, take some photos, take some more, do a little editing, do a lot of laughing, and then maybe we'll finish with bubbly and a splash in the hot tub. Three spots were scooped up before we could even announce it, but 9 spots remain... Please email me to secure your spot: firstname.lastname@example.org. Yay! *One little extra note: while our girls will be present, they will be cared for and looked after, and will only be involved in part of our workshop. We want you to have a fun, low-stress, mostly-kid free afternoon!
(Top three photos of our girls were taken of me, bottom three were taken by Kelly with her iPhone 6.)
xo, pq & ks
Finally taking a moment to blog the rest of the film I shot this summer. None of it is perfect, in fact I would change at least one thing about just about every one of these frames, and yet if I can quiet the perfectionist control freak in myself a little, I actually like that quality about film. The combination of the challenge for myself to be better and more controlled with my shooting, and the part where it is just a bit out of my control. I don't even know if those ramblings make sense. Let's move on... While I don't love this collection quite as much as I loved the first film I scans I got back from summer, what I love is how much it encapsulates how we spent our summer. While we did travel and adventure a fair amount (as seen in the other photos), we spent much of our summer at the pool, where Franny went from pulling herself out of the water during her first lesson, face covered in snot, insisting she just couldn't do it, to her mastering the art of swimming and floating; it was one hell of an encouraging time for her.
The rest of our summer was spent doing just what I think one should spend their summer doing: backyard birthday parties, lemonade and "root ber flot" stands, more quick overnight beach trips with friends than we've ever crammed into a summer, a visit to a graveyard, two run-ins with big bubble dudes, lots and lots of friend time, and one really giant spider.
New York, Virginia, Oregon Coast (four times), Pickathon, and Portland :: Four types of film, two cameras and many visits with friends near and far. It's been a good summer. xo, PQ
If you've read this blog for more than five minutes you know I am plentiful in favorites; I used to think it was impossible to pick a favorite, until I realized that favorites aren't exclusive. I don't have a favorite food, song, movie, pair of boots... you get the idea. So when I sit down to write a blog post I start nearly every one calling the family in the photos "my favorite" and then scratching it because YOU ARE ALL MY FAVORITE. And trying to narrow down a year that was cram-packed with awesomeness, into a select handful of favorite images, well as far as I'm concerned, it just can't be done; keeping this one under 200 was almost more than I could handle. In the end, I'm sharing one hundred and seventy-something favorite images from 2013, yours and mine, ours together.
I will never be able to express enough gratitude to you for what you have all given me over these years together, so I'll just keep saying it every chance I get: thank you.
Lola Olivia, age 6.
A sunny Sunday in July.
And the World's largest unicorn piñata. Ever.
No tears on her part and I held mine until she was out of sight; she LOVED it, didn't want it to end and was ready to go back the next day. She is seated next to the only friend she has in class, she built a robot with a new friend, one classmate doesn't like snap peas but F still wanted them in her lunch the next day, she didn't read my lunch box note, she wrote the sentence "this is a sunset," she has an art teacher with curly hair and LOTS of freckles, and her teacher taught her the expression "capiche?!"
I could not be more pleased. SHE could not be more pleased. We both love kindergarten. Yay (PHEW)!
bike rides :: swim lessons :: blueberries by the pound :: monkey bars (calluses!) :: home made ice cream specialty ice cream grocery store ice cream milkshakes ice cream sandwiches gelato shaved ice :: camping fishing dancing tree-climbing exploring :: building cardboard rocket ships bamboo teepees lego castles epic train tracks recycled cameras new friendships :: afternoons filled with sprinklers and best friends :: playground merry-go-rounds :: new friends :: macklemore journey katy perry daft punk :: sidewalk chalk :: hotel bed jumping :: seattle with pop-pop :: yard work car washing gardening cleaning fixing with daddy :: counting new freckles :: saying goodbye to preschool :: stories in the hammock :: bluegrass on a farm :: birthday parties :: dinner on a bamboo covered back patio with beautiful friends :: temporary tattoos neon toenails hair flowers :: instant film digital 35mm and lots of phone pics...
I’ll be honest, I’m not ready for summer to be over. I’ve got the end-of-summer blues and it’s all I can do to not lie around moping about it. I am clinging to summer, like, well, a scared kindergartner on her first day of school, and BAM there it is. I love summer and I hate to see it go, but it’s really what’s coming that I’m dreading. And it’s coming in three short days. Yes I’m excited for Franny to start kindergarten, yes I know she’ll love it, she’ll thrive, it’s a fun new phase, blah blah blah. You know what else it means? It means we are here. SCHOOL. This is a new chapter in our lives that ends with her going off to college and dammit if typing that didn’t just start the waterworks again. I didn't expect to take it this hard; it's a good thing, a milestone, it's exactly what we're supposed to be doing, but I'm gonna need a mother-lovin' unicorn to fly me out of that school on Monday morning because I'M NOT READY. But she is, and this isn't about me, so here we go...
“It was one of those summers you're nostalgic for even before it passes.”
We were in the thick of winter when I read this quote (by Kevin Barry from the book City of Bohane) and yet I knew even then that this would be one of those summers for us.
When the talented and soulful photographer, Amy Grace, asked me to contribute to this month's edition of her incredible project The Chorus, on the subject of changes, I knew just what I was going to talk about. If you aren't familiar with the project, click on over and give yourself some time to dig deep. It is a beautiful collection of photographs and words from an array of very talented photographers around the world, each month focusing on a different subject. I am beyond honored to have added my voice to this chorus.
I hope you're having a memory-making summer worthy of nostalgia.
Last week this girl turned 5 1/2; she is registered for kindergarten, races through the neighborhood on her "big bike," has replaced the word "dictar" with the appropriate pronunciation of guitar, calls apples "manzanas" and regularly asks "como se dice ___ en Español?" Every day she tells me I'm the best mommy in the world, and on the days she wakes hours before the sun, she inevitably also tells me she wishes I were nicer. She frequently speaks to adults with an air of confidence and casual maturity, as if she were one of us, and you had better take her seriously and dare not laugh when she does! She has two and half months left of preschool - a fact that makes me tear up every time I think about it. She is growing into a "big kid" more and more everyday.
Our little world is going to be rocked come September, and I'm planning on savoring our last few months before that shift occurs. You might wonder why I'm telling you all of this, so here's the deal. I am not going to work as much this summer as I have in years past; I plan on scheduling far fewer sessions between mid-June to early September. Then I plan on Franny transitioning fantastically into kindergarten, and having all the time in the world for that busy fall season. Hahahaha. Okay, seriously, easy transition or not, I will have more work time in the fall, and that's awesome. But summertime is going to be about soaking up what is left of my girl's littleness. What this means for my awesome and wonderful clients is a little less availability for those months. We've got camping and other mini vacations planned, and a "summer fun" list that is growing as fast as my girl. Summer is my faaaaavorite season, so I don't blame you if you've got your heart set on a summery session, but if you do let's get you on my calendar soon. I also have a decent amount of availability left for late April through the first week of June, and I see some sunshine in the forecast and blossoms still on the trees, so let's not just ignore spring and jump right to summer (though honestly if I could I just might, dang allergies!). I love spring sessions and would love seeing you this spring.
This horrible thing happened when I was pregnant. Wow that sounds way worse than I mean for it to. This stupid thing happened when I was pregnant: A few weeks before Franny's arrival I got that nesting bug in a very weird purging form - I'm not a purger, but I just went crazy, shredded old diaries, donated heaps of things to Goodwill, and took all but two of my old film cameras to Blue Moon Camera in St Johns. I know, shut up, you don't have to tell me, it makes me feel sick every time I think about it. I mean, I got rid of my grandfather's Polaroid land cameras. CameraS, because there were two of them, and I straight up DONATED them. I can barely type that sentence without feeling a wave of nausea. I have NO idea what came over me, all I can do is blame hormones and attempt to move on. If I think about it too long I'll just loose my little Franny-loving mind. Ahem, so moving on.... for my birthday this past December, I asked F&M to get me a Nikon F100 and some film. My first two rolls were a bit of a disaster, but these images are from my third, and I love them. Not all 36 exposures, but these few I love. And while I don't foresee myself working film into my client work anytime soon, I'm having fun learning all over again. And damn I'm loving the real grain. If only I hadn't gotten rid of all those darkroom supplies. Sigh...
I've been eyeing this pink wall for a while. Yesterday I got Franny on board with this red balloon idea by promising a hot cocoa date at the end. I also let her wear her gold shoes without socks (we battle over socks all winter long). We got all dressed and ready and headed out the door, only to discover it was raining. We drove to the pink wall anyway, with hopes that the rain would let up. We sat and stared at the wall through wet windows, we listened to Journey (how many 5-year-olds love Journey?!), and then we scrapped the idea and headed to our neighborhood play space. I won't lie, I totally pouted, cursed Mother Nature, and asked how it's possible I've lived in this city for so long and still manage to get bummed by the weather. But of course we moved on, had a fun morning with friends, and then when the rain finally did let up, we jumped in the car and headed to the pink wall, only to find the parking lot in which it is contained, was gated and locked for the afternoon. Booo. EXCEPT, we ran into our old favorite mail carrier, who told us just to buzz the building next door and ask them to open the gate. So I did. And you know what? After a somewhat puzzled response (why do you want to be let into our parking lot?) they opened the gate. And for five glorious minutes Franny danced around the parking lot with her happy heart and I snapped away. After which, as promised, we headed to a favorite local cafe for hot cocoa. When the barista saw Franny he said "I have the perfect cup for this situation" and then he made her a hot cocoa in a rainbow and unicorn mug, with a flipping heart in the cocoa foam. Franny and I just stared at it speechless for a moment. I mean, seriously, it doesn't get more Frantastic than that. Let me tell you, I've got some heart bursting love for this little neighborhood of ours, you guys, and that little foam heart just about pushed me overboard into crazy love for this community we have.
Oh but I have more to share. First, speaking of this community, one of my favorite local stores, where I buy pretty much all of my clothes, asked if they could feature me on their blog today. I have to tell you, I felt pretty embarrassed talking about my style. But I had fun with it, and I love the end result. Check it out here. (Much love to my uber talented friends who take nice pictures of me. Smooches to Yan, Shelby and Kati!)
Also on the topic of local love, all you Supportland card holders out there, don't forget it's double points rewards day. I don't think I said that right, just head over to your account and claim some killer rewards while your points are doubled (just for today, because we local business owners LOVE you).
And the last thing I am excited to share with you this morning: there is a serious love fest happening over at Let the Kids and I'm thrilled that one of my favorite photos from 2012 is being featured among other greats with techniques for capturing authentic moments of LOVE.
And that, my dears, is the end of this here Valentine's Day post. I hope your heart is happy, your toes are warm, and your speakers are blasting hair metal.
This morning my 5-year-old woke up as a 13-year-old: she sassed and stink-eyed and slammed doors. It was pretty much exactly how I didn't want to start our year. But I heated up some frozen pancakes (thanks, Trader Joe's) and made myself coffee, and soon enough we were happily marveling over the fog out our windows and the evidence that Little Jacky Frost had visited our neighborhood. With the promise of new years brunch with our friends (who just happen to live around the block), we got ourselves dressed for 2013. She selected a dress flecked with golden threads and her favorite "party shoes," and we dug through basement boxes until we found the appropriate accessories for the day. But before we headed out to celebrate the new year, I told Franny about a project I wanted her to do with me in 2013. I have never participated in a 365/52/12on12 or any other photo project. I take photos every day, I share them in all sorts of places, I've just never committed to anything specific. But recently a client showed me a journal of sorts that she did with her daughter, documenting something everyday for a year, together. I knew immediately this was something I wanted to do with Franny, and it's been in the back of my head ever since, but I had forgotten to actually prepare myself for the 1st day of the year/project. So without a book to stick it in, I told Franny briefly about the project, and she jumped on board as soon as I said the word Instax - she loves my little mini instant camera, and the promise of getting to use it regularly. I don't think we'll use photos daily, I think some days she'll draw something, maybe tape something in, write, I don't know exactly. I just know we're going to do it together, every day, and that thrills me. I'll do my best to share bits of it here from time to time as well. And even though every day won't be a photo, the project certainly needed to start with one. So out to the sunny/foggy/frosty street we were headed, and she looked so dang cute in her little New Year's get up, and she was participating willingly with the photo-taking with this whole 365 idea, so I got a little excited and maybe a tad over ambitious, and when I grabbed the Instax, I also grabbed the iPhone, my dslr, and a 35mm film camera. And though I shot with all of the cameras, I think this iPhone capture is the best thing I got (though I won' t know what's on that 35mm for some weeks, exciiiiiting!). By the time I picked up the dslr I got one frame before she said "Mom you didn't even put a sweater on me!" at which point she marched back into the house, and with the threat of the 13-year-old returning we hustled our now bundled-up selves to our friends for crepes and nutella.
We had a wonderful day that included naked bandits (preschool style), swerving to miss a head-on collision with a hawk, a failed attempt at a picnic which resulted in a parking lot tailgate style picnic (no joke), taking down the Christmas tree, packing up the decorations, and composting the gingerbread house (sniff sniff), a walk to the playground, and finally, a dinner that consisted of colored foods representing what we wanted more of in the new year: corn chowder (yellow, for sunshine), sweet potato fries (orange, for Rusty, our cat, I'm sure you can't imagine who picked that one), crusty brown bread (for dirt/nature), and kale salad (green for prosperity). So today's 365 entry will include a scrap of unicorn stationary with my notes about our day, a Franny drawing of the front of our car and a slow-moving hawk, and a lovely underdeveloped* Instax image of a cheesy smiling girl. Perfect. *Turns out they won't develop when it's 32 degrees out so the process was delayed until we got into our warm home, which resulted in a super washed out but bright and happy photo.
If today was any indication of how 2013 will treat this family, days that start out on the wrong side of the bed, will shift to sunshine, adventure, healthy food, and a whole lot of silliness; color me excited! I hope this year brings your family whatever you are wishing for, and surprises you with what you didn't know you needed.
Happy 2013 ya'lls!
Our favorite moments of 2012
In January we visited the Chinese Gardens
In February, Nana visted us.
In March we picked cherry blossoms, and went on outings with friends.
And we said goodbye to an old friend.
In April we flew East to visit Daddy's old stomping grounds,
and play with "the cousins."
In early 2012 Franny became obsessed with Abraham Lincoln. Here she is, exhausted after walking the length of the entire National Mall only to discover that the "Honest Ham" statue is too large (and off limits) for lap-sitting. I had no idea she thought she'd be sitting on Abe's lap or I would have prepped her.
My little May Day sprite.
In May we camped in a yurt at Cape Lookout. We made made peanut butter cup s'mores and saw a family of raccoons.
In June we soaked up some much needed sun with PopPop (my dad) in San Diego.
Vacation highlight: discovering TWO antique carousels!
On the 4th of July Franny burned herself with that sparkler while I took a photo of her friend. The end.
In August we went to Pickathon. It was extremely hot, and even more dirty, and we LOVED it.
We went for the swifts, we stayed for the dry grass sledding. Good times to be had in Portland in September!
In October my girl turned five. FIVE ya'll.
She rode a horse on her fifth birthday, but she was so nervous I wasn't permitted to leave her side to take a good pic. Her favorite part of the day? When that horse blew a booger on me; he must have known I was a mama (ie human snot rag). Good times...
Also in October, we visited the Pumpkin Patch, I rode the cow train (ouch), and Franny dressed as a flying unicorn (again).
In November we cast our votes for president. Franny got REALLY into the election this year, so I let her vote in the pamphlet. She drew a mustache on her presidential choice and X'd out the rest of the candidates. Voting five-year-old style, peeps.
On the first day of December I turned 36, the sun shined, and we cut down our Christmas tree. It was a good day for a birthday.
My dad came to visit.
We made our traditional almond cardamom cookies and gingerbread children.
We had an AWESOME Christmas.
2012 also brought us new neighbors with small child (yippee!!!). Her name is Stori, and we love her. Oh, and she and Franny just happened to have similar vintage Christmas dresses, so, you know, a photo had to be snapped.
Number 1 gift this year: Sardine, the blabla cat.
Also of note, in 2012 I joined Instagram (a tad late to the party, but oh so glad I'm there). I also, far far behind my peers and just about everyone else, finally got an iPhone (5); I love it more than I've ever loved any little machine. Below is just one recent iPhone capture, edited with the Afterglow app, and shared on IG. If you want to see what Franny and I get ourselves up to everyday, you can follow me there - I'm @posyq.
And Imma call that a wrap! 2012 rocked so hard I'm a little sorry to see it go, but, of course, I'm excited to see what 2013 has in store for us.
Happy new year!
Tomorrow this girl of mine turns five, but today she is still four, and four I can stomach. Five gives me tight-chest and that out of control feeling I get when I realize that she is going to grow up, that she is in fact, growing up right before my eyes every day. And I really do love that, the growing up, it's pretty dang cool be a part of that. But I'm also a mama, feeling that mama mixed bag of wanting my baby to stay a bay-buh forever, while also encouraging her to grow up into the kickass woman I know she will become some day. Not sure how that works, hence the tight chest and anxiety. But that's all for five, because FIVE is big, I've decided, while four is still little. And until tomorrow at 2:27 p.m. she's still four.
I'm hoping that a mental shift comes in the night, one that makes me realize that five is still a little bit little, even if it is also a little bit big. Sigh.
(Oh yes I know, we really need to clean that window. Eww.)
Franny plans to marry Luka when she grows up; Luka plans to be a police officer, and "police officers don't get married!" But sometimes he says he'll marry her anyway, and they'll also be married to Eleanor.