For the last couple months, Elliot has been taking an extracurricular Jazz dance class every wednesday morning at school. It is led by the school’s dance teacher—who does a wonderful job. The class culminated in this dance performance set to Owl Service’s “Fireflies” . . .
Elliot’s teacher selected her to receive an art award at a recent assembly. We were able to attend and surprise her (along with Mimi, Pop and Dampa)—she didn’t know she was getting it until her name was called!
Elliot had her first piano recital in Tacoma yesterday—at University of Puget Sound’s Schneebeck Hall (where she also takes her weekly lessons.) Despite a bit of stage fright about having to introduce herself and her piece to the audience, she played wonderfully.
I’m behind on getting photos/videos/posts up, but am working on them . . . in the meantime, I put this together quickly for a short Christmas posting! Happy Christmas everyone!
Ten days spent in island time—even if it was a “workcation,” it was one of the best weeks of our year.
Watch the video below and then click through to see more photos.
Here are a couple bonus videos—A Night at the Opera and a Day at the Races:
Lastly, here’s a video we created under the Belle Creative umbrella for the festival:
We took to the road again to visit our family in Washington. First up was a stay at Meema + Dampa’s in Bellevue where we got to see Meema sing in the Kirkland Choral Ensemble at the beautiful Bastyr as well as celebrate Dampa’s 60th birthday at the beach on Alki.
We finished up the trip with a stay in Federal Way at Mimi + Pop’s house during which time we went to see Lauren star in Seussical the Musical (a life-changing experience for her wide-eyed, adoring little cousin.)
Below are a couple videos and be sure to click through for more photos!
We decided to make the trip up north for Christmas. And we decided to drive. The weather was spectacular. Despite a minor hitch (overheated car) that left us stranded on the side of the road and then exploring the village of Winters while our engine was looked over, our drive was fairly uneventful.
Our stay with Mimi and Pop was wonderfully eventful, though. What you see here is an attempt to capture
Click through for photos . . .
Pop came to visit for a weekend. He told stories to Elliot, installed a new shower door for Mommy and Daddy and we spent the rest of the time playing in Sonoma. Above is a video from our picnic and hike at Jack London State Park. Click through for a couple photos . . .
I will admit to being a bit of a Disneyland freak. I could walk through the entire park in my mind. I could probably even ride some of the rides in my mind (though, I’m not a big enough Disneyland freak to refer to the rides as “attractions.”) Taking Elliot to Disneyland twice this year has been a blast.
This second time was made even more fun because of her two cousins. That and the strategic planning that only comes out of the minds of Disneyland freaks.
Here’s a video I put together in an attempt to capture the day, which was, of course, capped off by the vintage loveliness that is the (formerly Main Street) Electrical Parade.
click through for photos . . .
Growing up, my grandparents lived in a comfortable suburb of L.A. We’d visit them for several weeks every summer, spending our time in their lush yards, the neighbor’s pool, the beach, Disneyland . . . truly a magical time for my sister and me. When they moved to central Oregon, we found a new beautiful, fun place to spend our times together. But we will always miss that special home, award-winning yard and helicopter-filled evenings by the firepit watching a sunset turn into sparkling stars as we roasted weenies, sang songs and told ghost stories.
This summer, Sarah, Elliot, Sarah’s parents and I were invited to join Sarah’s sister Julie’s family at her in-law’s home in Lakewood, just outside of L.A., for what they’d come to call Camp Lakewood. It was a special treat for us that turned into a fun reminder of those long-gone childhood memories at my own grandparents’ home.
Click through for photos…
There are few better places to spend time than on Mimi + Pop’s back patio in nice weather. We couldn’t have asked for nicer weather and we couldn’t have had a better time staying with Mimi + Pop. Chalk drawings, mouthwatering marina sauces, drives in the Chevy SSR while blasting Chuck Mangione, dancing lego Michael Jacksons, chromalumes, neon green espressos and lots and lots of playing filled our few days there.
Click through for more . . .
The second of two videos from last summer’s visit to Orcas Island. Cookie decorating. Sound of Music sing-alonging. Beach playing. Yard wandering. It doesn’t get any better than this. Except when the sun is setting . . .
(Does everyone agree it’s a pleasure to play with clean sand?)
The first of multiple Orcas Island videos, here’s one of the sunsets we enjoyed from the beach just below the grassy yard of the house we were staying in. Watch for the green flash . . . !
(everyone needs a good camping stick.)
To get out of temperate wine country and let Elliot experience playing in the snow for the first time, we drove out to the Gateway of The Sierras, historic Truckee. Sarah and I first visited this charming gold rush town several years back during a springtime trip to north Lake Tahoe. We fell in love with it immediately and have wanted to return ever since–the blanket of snow it was buried in this winter was just enough impetus. We enjoyed tromping through snow streets, marvelling at enormous icecicles, glutenous dining, sledding, building a snowman and a noisy, wintertime nightlife that included the standard saloon-town fare of jazz trios, train whistles and drunken arguments. We also stopped in beautiful Nevada City on our way back to Sonoma.
More about our trip below the jump . . .
Elliot had never played in the snow before, so we drove out to one of our favorite little mountain towns, Truckee, to let her experience a white post-Christmas. As we climbed towards Donner Pass and patches of snow began to appear, she began to regularly ask to get out of the car and build a snow man. She remained patient as we got into snow-blanketed town and checked into the historic Truckee Hotel, ate some lunch and then search the area for the perfect sledding spot. When we finally found a suitable place, she threw herself gleefully into sledding down the hill and lovingly building her first snow man. The smile never seemed to leave her face. She LOVED sledding and, as you can see, she LOVED the snow man.
More of Sarah’s photos below the jump . . .
Elliot on Christmas morning–Thank you to Rudolph for the sleigh bell, Meema and Grandpa for the new kitchen (keep an eye out for the cameo by the play food from Auntie Mato and Karson) and to Mimi and Pop for the race track!
Video is below and some of my ambient photos are below the jump . . .
(I wiggled with happiness when I opened my melodica!)