Christmas Time Lapse 2011 – Short Film

This is the best way we know to condense eighty minutes of stocking un-stuffing and gift un-wrapping into a tidy little film. And we only had to press the shutter release once. This year, we have twelve-hundred photos in just under four minutes to capture a whole lot of Christmas cheer. For the kids, the naughty moments were simply no match for the nice ones this year, and Santa delivered once again.

We’re getting this posted a little late. There were some technical challenges and good bit of lazy to blame for that. But maybe it’s nice to have a little bit of Christmas in February. Take Care, All.

2010 Christmas Time Lapse

2009 Christmas Time Lapse

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The Big ONE

Wow…that was fast. I feel like I’m just getting to know this little guy. The first year with Carson felt so much different than our first year with Autumn. But I’ll save that for another time.

Being a December baby, outdoor birthday parties are probably off the table for Carson. At least until we get the ski parties going in a few years! But the chilly weather just helps us squeeze a little more love out of the day as family and friends pack into our little place in The Richmond. The entire cadre of (local) cousins was in the house (we missed you, Bodhi). Aunts and uncles, grandparents and close friends rounded out the party and made sure no food went to waste.

Carson handled himself with the grace of a one year old…which is to say: he laughed and he cried with equal intensity. But it’s to be expected. That’s a lot of people to have looking your way, squeezing your cheeks, hanging on your every babble. The cake was a bit of a mystery to him, but once he employed is trademark overhand smashing technique, it all came together…or apart.

2011 has been a big year. And one that we won’t soon forget, thanks to Carson. Happy Birthday, Big Guy.

More photos from the day on Flickr.

Carson, Welcome to Oregon State Football

Oregon State football demands a special type of loyalty, one that defies reason and requires a penchant for self-abuse. During my tenure at OSU, our record was as follows.

  • 1994: 4-7
  • 1995: 1-10
  • 1996: 2-9
  • 1997: 3-8
  • 1998: 5-6

The program was coming on strong about the time I graduated, and during Jody’s final year at OSU, the Beavers posted their first winning season in almost thirty years. The following year, we traveled to Tempe to watch a 10-1 Beaver team trounce Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. I always resented the students who came through OSU in the years after I left. The Beavers were consistently posting winning records and playing in respectable—if not top-tier—bowl games year after year. These kids didn’t know what it meant to be a Beaver fan. To sit through rainy games at Parker Stadium, only to watch your team get thumped again and again. To see your team turn over the ball in the Red Zone two to three times a game.

It is with great trepidation that we burden our children with the emotional baggage that is OSU football. I imagine that parents with hereditary diseases and Cubs fans feel the same way. But maybe a little pain and suffering will build character. Like a Cormac McCarthy novel, the occasional bright moment (a winning season, or even a first down some years) shines with blinding light amid the darkness.

I’m exaggerating, of course. Some of my best memories are tied to OSU football games. But I couldn’t help feel a little guilty as we took Carson to his first OSU football game last night. It was a unique game, played at AT&T Park because Memorial Stadium is being rebuilt this year. He made it through three quarters before the long day got the best of him and he retired for the evening. OSU lost in classic fashion: 23-6. Maybe a 49er game would be good for his spirits.

Camping at Kirby Cove

We don’t want for natural beauty around here. It is good to remember that. After twelve years in the Richmond District, the sound of the fog horns has been softened by the white noise of citified life. Those horns should serve as a reminder. A reminder that Lands End is more than a name. That we sleep at the edge of the continent—a short walk from the great Pacific. It’s good to remind ourselves. To spy the Farallons on a clear day. To take a detour at sunset and spend a few minutes along the sea wall watching the horizon for a green flash as the sun fades away. Or maybe to spend a night in a grove of trees beneath the Golden Gate Bridge and watch the sun rise on your home, just a few miles away.

What a Difference a Decade Makes

In the words of Jermey Piven – Ten Years Man! Ten! In April 2001, Matt and I took our first backpacking trip together in Point Reyes National Seashore. I can hardly believe we’ve spent a decade outside together. Since then we’ve had countless adventures, the biggest of which is doubling the number of Sierra Souls in our household. It was time to go back to where it all began, minus the freeze dried lasagna maybe.

Over the weekend we opted to go put our new Humvee stroller (aka the “double wide”) to work and enjoyed a picnic together in the meadow halfway between the Vistors Center and Arch Rock. A hike? Uh, sure. sorta. I’m not sure what our twenty-something backpacking selves would have thought of rolling our kids on the same trail we walked years ago, but if parenting has taught me anything – it’s to stop being so judgmental and just appreciate that people are getting out and enjoying our public spaces. Especially sleep deprived sierrasoul-types. Autumn and Carson, you have no idea what you’re in for over the next ten years = ) Better grab your boots…

More photos from the day can be found on Jody’s Flickr site.

Finding The Silver Lining

2011 has not disappointed us. It has been just as nuts as we thought it would be. Two little kids, Matt’s job, and a new business has meant very little sleep in our home and moments when Matt and I barely recognize one another. We tell ourselves constantly, “It won’t always be like this”. But then there are times where I morn the same idea – It won’t always be like this. Carson will never be this little again, Autumn may not wonder at the world the same way she does today, and we may never again accomplish as much as we do right now.

Today we seized the rainy day and sought out the biggest puddles we could find. Autumn knew just what to do. We celebrated being home with one another, even if it was only a few short hours before Matt had to head out for a Saturday’s worth of work. Crissy Field didn’t disappoint and it was such a pleasure seeing smiles on our little girl’s face after so many days of life with a two year old. If you have kids over two – you know what I mean.

Even as I write this with an evening to myself I think, “Wow, I should really finish that presentation due Monday, or the plans I’m soposed to call the Architect about tomorrow, or maybe even take advantage of the moment to grab the Soft Scrub and remember what it was like to have a clean bathroom. All this before I hear Carson cry on the monitor and I have to go in and…
and well hold my little boy in the dark and enjoy snuggling away from the world. That my friends, is the silver lining. A pause in the dark to realize how precious the moment is – just before you fall asleep and miss it.

More photos from the day can be found here on Jody’s Flickr site.

Christmas Time Lapse 2010 – Short Film

Can we call this a tradition yet? Last year we decided to shoot a time lapse film of Christmas morning so that we could enjoy the morning in front of the lens, rather than behind it. It was a lot of fun, and we gave it another shot this year.

Of course, our family grew this year, with Carson arriving just two weeks before Christmas day. Navigating the holiday season with a newborn and a little girl with boundless energy brought some new challenges, but the smiles persisted and Santa delivered. We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.

From our family to yours: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

If you get these updates via email, click through this link to watch the movie.

One Week With Two

We made it a week. It was a true team effort. I honestly don’t know how families get through those first few days with a new baby and a toddler at home with husbands lesser than mine. Matt has become the ultimate caretaker in every way. He is Mr. Mom to Autumn, keeps the kitchen spotless, feeds us all delicious home cooked food, and delivers me extra hot, decaf, non-fat peppermint mochas after giving me time to take a nap. If there was a medal of honor for most wonderful husband, Matt has earned it over and over.

Did I mention I’m in the middle of a nasty cold too? It just seems mean spirited of Mother Nature. As if recovering from giving birth and caring for a newborn all night wasn’t exhausting already. I like to think of it as an “Oh Holy Rabbi” moment. (A reference to a story my mom used to tell us about a family that asked their Rabbi for help dealing with their crowded family quarters. The Rabbi asked them to bring each of their farm animals inside one by one despite their desperate pleas. After life was nearly unbearable, the Rabbi asked them to send the animals back outside and their home felt spacious and comfortable again.) I’m hoping once I feel better, being a new mom all over again with a toddler still in diapers and not sleeping through the night yet consistently will just feel that much easier.

I’m sleep deprived, and doing my best to make sure Autumn gets one-on-one time with Mom every day. She’s adjusting surprisingly well, but clearly misses having our undivided attention. We’ve tried to make life as fun as possible over the holidays including a trip with Dad to the zoo last Monday and a trip to the Children’s Museum scheduled for the whole family tomorrow. Carson and I will spend the entire time sitting down and nursing, but I’m really looking forward to getting out of the house!

Adjusting to the “New Normal” hasn’t been without its hiccups. Life is a blur, but a happy one. Carson is absolutely precious and puts smiles on our faces everyday. And yes, for those that remember from Autumn’s first weeks – we celebrated this special anniversary tonight with cupcakes. We deserve them.