Saturday, October 7, 2017

Feeling Fancy

Family photos are a singular experience. At no other time are the opposing goals of children (chaos) and parents (neat presentably) at odds. It's astounding how the kids pick up on the stress and importance of the day and magnify it back in their own unique way... prowling through the grass like a lion cub (getting covered in burrs and seeds in the process), throwing grass seeds at siblings, pushing, shoving, making faces, and fixating on giant logs that they insist on dragging all over the meadow.

You'd think that over so many years of family photos I would learn to just relax and let go, since it goes without saying that me freaking out about their behavior only makes them freak out more. Maybe I'll have figured that out by the time I have grandkids.

Thanks goodness that God sent us a very patient, very creative, always adventurous, and perfectly relaxed photographer friend who is happy to let my kids be themselves even when I cannot. She never fails to re-assure us that she loves us even when we're a bit out of control and capture a whole bunch of really beautiful pictures in the process - portraits that don't just look good, but also capture our heart and personality as a family.

I'm super grateful for  living in a state so beautiful that locations like this are in our backyard, for my perfectly, uniquely, beautiful family, and Sarah Arnoff Photos for capturing this moment in our lives!

Step 1: Pull out the Ansel Adams camera and attempt to explain the concept of film, exposure, and darkroom to the kids.

Yes, this is what we do with our 10 exposures.

And, of course, there were many many beautiful digital pictures taken in the crisp autumn light atop Buffalo Peak. It's a funny thing, when we first booked the weekend we were hoping that we wouldn't be too late for fall colors, but with our warm September we ended up with green leaves and meadows. Oh well, we'll take what we can get - it's all lovely!

Did it get rowdy and sometimes a little out of control? Yes, yes it did. And did I learn to let go a little more? Maybe. But either way, it made for some fantastic family portraits.
Lord help me... that stupid stick

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Tour de Donut

There are defining moments in life. Moments that push you to the limit. Choosing to win, at the risk of tossing your cookies. Pressuring your teenagers to acquiesce to wearing coordinating jerseys. Choosing that tenth donut. The difference between being crowned Donut Queen and going home merely exhausted and nauseated.

Today, we met that challenge as a family, and we emerged victorious: Second place girl, second place unicycle (a division created for our family!), first place woman over 65 (good job Mom!), first place woman 36-45, and Donut Queen and Donut Princess. 26 donuts consumed and 63 miles raced between the four Morningstar riders. A proud day.

Here's WanYing's description of her day:

The Tour de Donut is a ride where there's three laps. Each of them are seven miles. And once you go once around you get to eat donuts and each donut you eat you get three minutes off.

And there's different age groups. One of them is ten years old and then there's another age group which is like to twentyish. And I rode in the younger than ten one.

I ate four donuts, but I only had to go two laps because I was in the younger than ten group. And I was Princess of Eating Donuts for my age group. And I got second place in my age group for overall time.

It was hard because I to ride my own bike for fourteen miles. I felt good after the ride. And I would do it again.

I'll level with you - ten donuts pushed me to the brink.  But the fame, the glory, the commemorative plaque, and sharing the Donut Queen/Donut Princess plinth with my girl, well, that's a memory that no mere queasiness could ever sully.

Sam proudly finishes
One more pic of all our bling
I won the battle of the coordinating jerseys. I lost on the bottom half - Ben and Sam wore jeans and Birkenstocks. Choose your battles.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

19th Anniversary

Today we celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary! I've officially been married for half of my life - that's a pretty darn cool thing to be able to say.

I'm so proud of us!


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