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Xiǎo nánguā: Our Little Pumpkin’s 1st Birthday Party

For Isla’s first birthday we decided on a Little Pumpkin (xiǎo nánguā) theme. I’ve dreamed about throwing parties for my (future) children for years, and I’ll admit I may have started planning this party before Isla had even been born! Pinterest was my accomplice and I had grand visions for her celebration… little pumpkin shaped sandwiches, soft white and burlap accents, perfectly shaped pumpkin cake pops and cupcakes, custom paper products, neatly wrapped presents (all in coordinating orange, tan and white, of course)… yes, my mind set the bar pretty darn high.

The days leading up to Isla’s birthday were a whirlwind, with report card comments being due, my mom arriving, and countless last minute hand-made party preparations that should have been started weeks earlier… ah, nothing like leaving things until the last minute! And, as it often happens when you wait until this last minute, things didn’t go exactly as I had planned… Starting with the orange candy melts and pumpkin shaped cookie cutter I  purchased specifically for Isla’s party vanishing into thin air. We turned the house upside down, and to this day we still cannot find them! Next, my fine motor skills decided to take a vacation as I attempted to create the seemingly simple pumpkin shaped desserts I had pinned, and everything I touched seemed to crumble… no pun intended. Argh! And presents? I never even got around to wrapping them! Luckily, I had my amazing mom, super supportive hubby, and dear friend Frannie by my side to help me with all of the preparations, push through my frustrations, and focus on the fun side of things (lots of “Pinterest Fail” jokes were made). Yeah, the chocolate cupcake recipe I chose flopped (literally and figuratively) and my pumpkin icing job didn’t look half as cute or polished as the online image that I was attempting to replicate, but in the grand scheme of things it didn’t matter. Nor did the fact that our sandwiches had to be cut into neat little triangles instead of pumpkins. Mom, Isaac and Frannie helped me bring so many of my other ideas into reality and found creative ways to improvise when necessary. The party was still absolutely beautiful, so much fun, attended by dozens of our dearest friends and Shanghai family who love our little girl, and most importantly, it celebrated our precious Isla’s first year of life! We truly couldn’t have asked for a better party…

141018Isla1stBDayParty_0001141018Isla1stBDayParty_0002Isaac designed all of the pumpkin prints and we put them in frames we already had around the house. He also created darling coordinating menu tent cards.

141018Isla1stBDayParty_0007141018Isla1stBDayParty_0003We created a little dessert bar in our entertainment center, which, interestingly enough has NEVER held a TV in the 3+ years we’ve had it!141018Isla1stBDayParty_0004God bless my mom, who, in a burst of creative energy at 1:00am, experimented with yellow candy melts and red food coloring to create these sweet pumpkin oreo pops. Thank you, Mom!141018Isla1stBDayParty_0006141018Isla1stBDayParty_0005141018Isla1stBDayParty_0008I tried to create a lunch menu that kept with a fall theme and was fairly simple to prepare. I looked for recipes that we could make ahead of time to help make the day-of set up a little easier. Isla’s birthday lunch included:

- Turkey sandwiches with caper mayonnaise, lettuce and cheese

- Ham sandwiches with pesto mayonnaise, lettuce and cheese

- Harvest pumpkin soup sippers with crumbled blue cheese, bacon, and pumpkin seed toppers (Amazing and so easy to make! I’ve included the recipe at the end of this post)

- Autumn salad (romaine with apples, pears, bacon, red onion and pumpkin seeds)

- Warm spinach and artichoke dip with rustic bread

- Carrot Hummus with veggies

For dessert we made:

- Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla butter cream frosting

- Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

- Oreo pops

For munchies, we put out pretzel sticks, candy corn, chocolates, and these addictive pumpkin spice yogurt covered pretzels

Out on the deck we filled a huge tub with ice and stocked it with bubbly, beers, sodas and waters.

No one would leave hungry or thirsty, that was for sure!

141018Isla1stBDayParty_0009141018Isla1stBDayParty_0010141018Isla1stBDayParty_0011141018Isla1stBDayParty_0012Thanks to some wonderfully talented Etsy crafters, Isla wore the cutest little birthday outfit…

141018Isla1stBDayParty_0013Custom pumpkin onesie | Orange tutu | Sweet hair bow141018Isla1stBDayParty_0014141018Isla1stBDayParty_0015Isla LOVES this pumpkin soup!

141018Isla1stBDayParty_0016141018Isla1stBDayParty_0017141018Isla1stBDayParty_0018Our birthday girl loved her pumpkin cupcake… especially the cream cheese frosting!141018Isla1stBDayParty_0019141018Isla1stBDayParty_0020141018Isla1stBDayParty_0021Sharing with Daddy, such a sweetie!141018Isla1stBDayParty_0022A little frosting for the eyebrow…141018Isla1stBDayParty_0023141018Isla1stBDayParty_0024141018Isla1stBDayParty_0025141018Isla1stBDayParty_0026We were SO thankful to have so many of our dear Shanghai friends and family come celebrate Isla’s birthday with us!141018Isla1stBDayParty_0027141018Isla1stBDayParty_0028141018Isla1stBDayParty_0029Isla was absolutely spoiled with such fun, sweet and thoughtful gifts!141018Isla1stBDayParty_0030Our buddies, Poppy and Oliver, taught Isla all about the joy of unwrapping presents. They were wonderfully enthusiastic helpers!141018Isla1stBDayParty_0031141018Isla1stBDayParty_0032141018Isla1stBDayParty_0033141018Isla1stBDayParty_0034141018Isla1stBDayParty_0035We created a thank you card from one of our favorites of the birthday girl, who is clearly SO proud to be one year old!

141018Isla1stBDayParty_0036That evening, Isla wore her new kitty pajamas from her Nana and Papa while she played with her new toys and read her new books.

As promised, here is the AMAZING pumpkin soup we served at Isla’s party that is fast becoming a fall favorite. I adapted the recipe slightly from this site.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium red onion, minced
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (I use a rounded 1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cans chicken broth
1 (15-oz) can pure pumpkin purée
1/4 – 1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2-3/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Blue cheese crumbles
Toasted walnuts
Pumpkin seeds

Directions:

In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander and nutmeg and cook until fragrant, about 60 seconds.
Stir in the pumpkin, broth and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before working in batches to purée the soup in a blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the soup to a clean pot. Stir in the cream. Heat the soup gently over low heat until hot (do not boil). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into serving bowls and sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles, bacon and pumpkin seeds, if you wish.

Isla is ONE!

Though a month has passed since her birthday, I still cannot get over the fact that our baby is ONE! A whole YEAR old! How did that happen so quickly?

141020Isla_0001We now have this spunky, chatty, amazingly observant, and constantly-evolving one year old confidently toddling all over the house and impressing us with new words and skills each day. Watching her grow and develop is truly amazing!

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141020Isla_0009As far as physical developments, Isla finished out her first year at 22 lbs and 30 inches in length. She has measured in the 85th percentile for both weight and height pretty consistently throughout her little life, and Daddy is hopeful of a successful basketball career in her future. Isla took her first steps during our Hong Kong trip in the beginning of October, and has steadily gained balance and momentum. She’s moving all over the house now and absolutely loves to climb the stairs, and practice sliding off of the couch.

141020Isla_0007Several days before her birthday, Isla finally cut her first tooth… her top left front tooth, oddly enough. You can just barely see it in the above left photo. Teething has made for rough sleeping conditions for all, and Mommy and Daddy are awaiting the return of a full night’s sleep with great anticipation! (At 13 months she now has 5 little teeth, with that top tooth showing predominantly, which we have affectionately dubbed her “hillbilly tooth.” It’s too funny!)

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141020Isla_0003Isla’s coordination and fine motor skills are quite strong. She can pick up teeny tiny crumbs, “cheers” her water bottle with our glasses, and turn the pages of her board books with ease. Even more impressive is her ability to pick up our chapter books and practice fanning the pages with her thumb. She’ll sit by herself, fascinated with a single book, for upwards of 10 minutes! She’ll examine it from every angle, giggling at the flutter of the pages. While Isla enjoys exploring books on her own, there is nothing she loves more than having us read to her! Snuggled together next to a small tower of books, we read for at least half an hour each day. Isla has memorized many of the stories, and she can anticipate when her favorite pictures or phrases are approaching. She often giggles, points, and tries to read along. Closely behind her love for books would have to be her love for cats. She absolutely adores them and kisses every cat- real or illustrated- that she can!

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Incredibly observant since birth, Isla can spot birds, mere flecks, flying through the sky, and points out the tiniest ants skittering across the floor- from clear across the room! Her hearing is excellent too, and at the faintest dog bark in the distance, she’ll stop what she is doing, point her index finger straight up and say, “oof oof!” Even more humorous is when Isla hears Isaac blow his nose. She immediately claps her hand over her own nose and mouth and says, “Thpppp!” Oh, the days of mimicry are in full swing!

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Isla is quite the social butterfly and loves to interact with others. Shyness occasionally takes over, especially if people are particularly loud or quick with their movements, but most of the time she is quite the little charmer. Isla recognizes many people I work with at the lower school from her daily lunchtime visits, and remembers the unique routines and interactions she has with each, such as playing peek-a-boo with one, or high-fiving with another.

141020Isla_0006141020Isla_0017Isla’s vocabulary is growing daily, and by her first birthday she recognized a number of words in both Mandarin and English. Her first spoken words have been mix of the two languages as well…

- “da da” and “ba ba” (Mandarin for Dad)

- “bup” (book)

- “No!” (You can imagine how much we love this word! Ugh.)

- “Uh oh!” (Her daddy’s first word!)

- “ga ga” (nangua, the Mandarin word for “pumpkin”)

Our amazing ayi, Sue, has taught Isla to respond to a number of Mandarin cues the same way Chinese children do, and it is too cute for words! Whenever we say, “xie xie” (Mandarin for “thank you”) Isla clasps her hands together and shakes them up and down. If we say “xǐshǒu” (Mandarin for “wash hands”) Isla rubs her hands together. When Isla hears “da pi pi” she, like the command states, pats her own bottom. She waves goodbye when she hears both “Bye bye,” and “Zàijiàn.”141020Isla_0008While Isla’s will is strong, and she is beginning to test the boundaries a bit, she has maintained her easygoing, joyful attitude, and for this we could not be more thankful! Her sweet smiles, cuddles and giggles bring us more joy than we ever knew possible, and we can hardly wait to see what the future has in store for our precious girl.

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Happy first birthday, Little Pumpkin! We love you more than words, and cannot even begin to tell you how much joy you bring us! Each moment with you is an incredible gift, and we are so excited to continue this journey with you during your second year of life.

 

Hong Kong

For the first time since moving to Shanghai we decided to travel during the October holiday break, and took the short flight down to Hong Kong. Our timing was certainly exciting, as we arrived just as the protests, known as the Umbrella Revolution, began to gain some momentum. Though the main roadways directly behind our hotel were blocked, and the art school next door seemed to act as a sort of rest and refueling stop for the protesters, our visit was not impacted by the protests… other than finding it difficult to get taxis at times. Everyone we came into contact with was very calm and peaceful, although their saran-wrapped arms indicated their preparedness for the tear gas used by the police previously. It has been several weeks since our visit and the protests continue…

140928HongKong_0001140928HongKong_0002On our first evening in Hong Kong, we met up with friends we had worked with in Dubai for a lovely dinner. The restaurant boasted beautiful views, and it was wonderful to introduce Isla to Mark and Lori, and catch up over the past 3 years. Unfortunately, we were so caught up in conversation that we didn’t take any photos.140928HongKong_0003140928HongKong_0004Isla’s latest obsession: carrying around tubes of our toothpaste. Too funny!140928HongKong_0005140929HongKong_0001No taxis? No problem! We just headed underground, so that Isla could experience her first subway ride. Hong Kong is so amazingly clean and organized. Navigating the subway system was easy peasy.140929HongKong_0002Look what we found! Nana J and Nana S, we’re always thinking of you!

140929HongKong_0003We spent our first full day at Victoria Peak. After navigating our way through the city to the Sky Tram station, we rode the charming little tram up the steep mountainside so that we could enjoy some of the most beautiful views in Hong Kong.

140929HongKong_0004It’s so hard to tell, but in the above left picture, we are moving almost vertically up the mountain. Hong Kong’s geography is very mountainous, and how the city has been developed and built into the steep inclines of the terrain is absolutely fascinating… and exhausting! Stairs, escalators, and lots of uphill paths made the trip with a baby stroller tricky, to say the least!140929HongKong_0005The Peak, a large mall with a viewing platform offered gorgeous, sweeping views of the city!

140929HongKong_0006140929HongKong_0007140929HongKong_0008140929HongKong_0009Isla made friends wherever we went… here she is waving to her adoring fans.140929HongKong_0010140929HongKong_0012140929HongKong_0011140929HongKong_0013140929HongKong_0014We were LOVING all the beautiful greenery and nature! Less than 25% of Hong Kong’s landmass is developed, and much of the natural land is protected, as parks and reserves.140929HongKong_0015140929HongKong_0016A short walk (uphill!) from The Peak is Mount Austin Park. The grounds are meticulously manicured, and the park is absolutely charming. Though it was hot and humid, Isla enjoyed swinging and clambering around on the play equipment.140929HongKong_0017140929HongKong_0018140929HongKong_0019This girl is full of silly faces these days!

140929HongKong_0020140929HongKong_0022I cannot get enough of this pose- arms flung up into the air as if she is queen of the world!

140929HongKong_0024Miss Observant showing Daddy the birds in the sky.

140929HongKong_0025As fun as the park was, the heat and humidity won out after about a half an hour, so we headed back down the hill a bit in search of shadier surroundings. We found the Pok Fu Lam Tree Walk, right next to The Peak, and decided to take a little stroll. This leisurely walk circled the top of Victoria Peak in just over 2km, and unlike many other trails in Hong Kong, was very stroller friendly!140929HongKong_0026140929HongKong_0027140929HongKong_0028140929HongKong_0029140929HongKong_0030140929HongKong_0031140929HongKong_0032140929HongKong_0033Approaching The Peak at the end of our walk.

140929HongKong_0034Back down the Sky Tram.

140929HongKong_0035Protesters and pedestrians walking along the major roadways behind our hotel.

140929HongKong_0036140929HongKong_0037Little Popeye!

140929HongKong_0038Isaac went out in search of a little street food for dinner, and Isla could not get enough of these noodles!

140929HongKong_0039140929HongKong_0040Snuggles before bed time… pure bliss!

140929HongKong_0041140930HongKong_0001The next morning Isla decided to take her first steps… unfortunately they took her right off the edge of the bed! Still, that didn’t dampen her spirit and we were able to catch her second steps on camera!

Our friends Cal, Sherry, and Lucas joined us later that day and were with us for the remainder of our stay in Hong Kong! We stopped by a little hole in the wall restaurant to pick up some lunch on our way to their hotel.140930HongKong_0002140930HongKong_0003140930HongKong_0004140930HongKong_0005140930HongKong_0006That afternoon we enjoyed swimming together in the Grand Hyatt’s gorgeous swimming pool!

140930HongKong_0007140930HongKong_0008140930HongKong_0009140930HongKong_0010140930HongKong_0011LOVE this photo of the daddies with their kiddos!

140930HongKong_0012140930HongKong_0013140930HongKong_0014140930HongKong_0015140930HongKong_0016140930HongKong_0017140930HongKong_0018That evening we went to an AMAZING yakitori restaurant called Yard Bird. We enjoyed several bottles of saki and dined on one delicious item after another. I swear we ordered nearly everything on the menu and devoured it all. So, so good!140930HongKong_0019140930HongKong_0020140930HongKong_0021Isla sampled just about everything we had as well…

140930HongKong_0022but decided sucking on lemon slices was the most fun.

140930HongKong_0023140930HongKong_0024Day 2 of the Marshall/Wong family adventures included a subway ride out to Ngong Ping to see the Big Buddha. Upon arriving to the cable car station we were met with a massively long line. The idea of standing out in the heat and humidity for hours with two little ones was not appealing in the least. After questioning a few employees, we found out there was an option to buy a tour ticket, which included a visit to a local fishing village for slightly more money and were fast-tracked to the front of the veeeeery long line. Money well spent!141001HongKong_0001141001HongKong_0002141001HongKong_0003Isla absolutely loved the cable car ride, and she watched out the window so intently! Much of the ride took us directly over hiking paths, and Isla enthusiastically waved to all of the hikers below.141001HongKong_0004141001HongKong_0005141001HongKong_0006141001HongKong_0007141001HongKong_0009141001HongKong_0008141001HongKong_0010See the Big Buddha towards the top left of the photo?

141001HongKong_0011141001HongKong_0012The first part of the tour took us to a nearby fishing village, Tai O, whose main export was dried fish… and yes, it smelled just as glorious as you’d imagine. Shortly after we arrived and were preparing to board a little boat for a tour, the skies opened up and it began pouring! We decided to forgo the boat trip and waited out the rain undercover. Once it stopped we still had a few minutes to wander through the town before returning to our tour.

141001HongKong_0013141001HongKong_0014141001HongKong_0015141001HongKong_0016141001HongKong_0017We decided to skip out on the rest of the tour and walked up the 268 steps to the Buddha on our own.141001HongKong_0018141001HongKong_0019141001HongKong_0020141001HongKong_0021141001HongKong_0022After a long day of sight-seeing we returned to the city and decided to check out Ozone, the world’s highest bar. From the 108th floor we sipped on outrageously-priced, but yummy, beverages and enjoyed the gorgeous view.141001HongKong_0023141001HongKong_0024These two just make me melt!141001HongKong_0025141001HongKong_0026141001HongKong_0027141001HongKong_0028141002HongKong_0001Before flying back to Shanghai we were able to enjoy a little more pool time. Unfortuanately we had already checked our bags into the airport using the Airport Express (seriously, why doesn’t every city have this?! Amazing!), so we didn’t have Isla’s swim gear, but Baby Girl didn’t mind… even when her regular diaper swelled to like 5 times its normal size!141002HongKong_0002141002HongKong_0003When she’d had enough swimming practice, Isla decided to perfect her new walking skills around the pool…141002HongKong_0004and we caught a quick glimpse of the pool-side streaker!141002HongKong_0005

Back in Shanghai

It’s hard to believe we have begun our FOURTH year in Shanghai… how is that even possible?! Each year we find it easier and easier to adjust back to life in China, and I can say, without a doubt, that this has been the easiest transition yet. Isla is such an amazing traveler, and other than a little extra afternoon napping, made the timezone jump without any major jet lag.

140805Isla_0001Isaac received the gift of art for his birthday this past year, and a few weeks after returning to Shanghai he got his first tattoo. ATao, from Shanghai Tattoo, did a fabulous job with all of the detailed line work.140816IsaacTattoo_0001140816IsaacTattoo_0002140816IsaacTattoo_0003140816IsaacTattoo_0004140816IsaacTattoo_0005140816IsaacTattoo_0006140816IsaacTattoo_0007140816IsaacTattoo_0008140816IsaacTattoo_0009140816IsaacTattoo_0010Our friends, Mark and Rachelle, came along as part of the cheering section.

140816IsaacTattoo_0011140816IsaacTattoo_0012140816IsaacTattoo_0013140816IsaacTattoo_0014140816IsaacTattoo_0015140816IsaacTattoo_0016140816IsaacTattoo_0017Of course Isla was there to cheer Daddy on too.

140816IsaacTattoo_0018140816IsaacTattoo_0019140816IsaacTattoo_0020140816IsaacTattoo_0021140830Isla&Lucas_0001Isla quickly adapted to her weekend skype routine. She gets so excited the minute she hears the program opening, and instantly starts to wave at the screen. Nana J has enjoyed entertaining Isla with her favorite Sesame Street guitar during their chats.140830Isla&Lucas_0002140830Isla&Lucas_0003We’ve had so much fun playing with Uncle Cal, Auntie Sherry and Lucas!

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140830Isla&Lucas_0008140831IslaOSUgame_0001Football season is upon us and our little Beaver Believer has been dressed in orange and black and ready to cheer for OSU!

140831IslaOSUgame_0002140831IslaOSUgame_0003140831IslaOSUgame_0004140831IslaOSUgame_0005Most games come on just as we’re waking up, so we’ve been moving Isla’s high-chair out into the living room so that she can eat her breakfast and cheer on her beavs at the same time.140831IslaOSUgame_0006140831IslaOSUgame_0007140831IslaOSUgame_0008140831IslaOSUgame_0009140831IslaOSUgame_0010We had a fair amount of rain in August, but September was very mild and we enjoyed many walks around our neighborhood.

140831IslaOSUgame_0011140831IslaOSUgame_0012140831IslaOSUgame_0013Peek-a-boo!

140831IslaOSUgame_0015140831IslaOSUgame_0016140831IslaOSUgame_0017I love how Isla is so alert when we walk. She leans forward in her stroller, gripping the little tray so she can see everything going on around her.

140831IslaOSUgame_0018Isla is finally big enough to begin enjoying the little park near our house.

140831IslaOSUgame_0020She absolutely LOVES the slide!

140831IslaOSUgame_0021140831IslaOSUgame_0022140831IslaOSUgame_0023Playing peek-a-boo through the little windows in the tunnel with Daddy is another of her favorite park activities.

140831IslaOSUgame_0024A little cross-fitter in the making. Isla blew us away with her ability to hang from the bar all by herself!

140831IslaOSUgame_0025140831Isla_0001Eating with chopsticks has become one of Isla’s favorite ways to consume dinner.

140901Isla_0001More park fun!

140901Isla_0002140901Isla_0003140901Isla_0004140907Isla_0001140907Isla_0002OOOOOO…SSSSSS…UUUUU… Oregon State! Fight! Fight! Fight!

140907Isla_0003Enjoying our final summer-like days swimming with our friends, Dan, Katie and Ellie.

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140908Isla_0001Isla and Mei Mei (little sister), her doll from her ayi, Sue.

140908Isla_0002140908Isla_0003Peek-a-boo!140908Isla_0004140908Isla_0005It seems like every single day Isla is learning or doing something new. She is constantly growing, changing and becoming more independent. I cannot believe our little girl is nearly one!140908Isla_0006140908Isla_0007Success!

140920Isla_0001Isla loves eating blueberries and scrambled eggs for breakfast.

140920Isla_0002140920Isla_0003140920Isla_0004She also loves washing her hands after she eats. We say to her, “Isla xǐshǒu,” (Mandarin for “Isla wash hands”) and she just lights up! After we turn off the tap she giggles and shakes her hands over the sink to start drying them off. We love these little routines with our sweet girl!

140920Isla_0005Weekend naps usually take place in her stroller. She tries to put her leg up on the table like that when she eats too!

140920Isla_0006140920Isla_0007140920Isla_0008140920Isla_0009140920Isla_0010Isla is becoming increasingly curious about our phones and it is getting a little trickier to keep them away from her. If she gets her hands on them, she holds them up to hear ear… such an observant little pumpkin!140920Isla_0011Islabear_0001Isla had so much fun playing with all the little kiddos and dressing up at Lucas’ 2nd birthday. We are so in love with our baby bear. These pictures just melt my heart!!!

140908Isla_0008Isla continues to love her books and we read several times every day. Our new favorite book is called Sophie’s Squash. It is seriously one of the cutest books I’ve ever seen, and perfect for fall! The story that is so charming and simply brilliant that I am both in awe and kicking myself for not thinking of it. Someday I hope we’ll be writing children’s books like this… the kind that are cozily familiar, wonderfully whimsical and cleverly quirky.  Sophie’s Squash is still a bit long for Isla most days (although she has happily sat through it on more than one occasion), but she loves looking through the pictures. And, like with all of her other books, she loves to kiss the kitty on each page. I hope she never grows out of that darling habit!

Our First Family Portraits

For our 8th anniversary, Isaac surprised me with a family portrait session- our first family portraits!- with the incredibly talented Tonhya Kae. To say I was thrilled was an understatement! We first met Tonhya when she flew all the way from Seattle to Shanghai to take our amazing maternity portraits, and over the past year we are so happy to have formed a friendship with this wonderful lady! Our schedule was full this summer, her schedule was full this summer, but she still managed to make the long round trip drive from Seattle to the Central Oregon Coast so she could take our portraits. Between flat tire fiascoes and road work delays I think the poor girl spent nearly as much time in her car as she did with us. Thank you SO MUCH, Tonhya!!! Isla, the world’s happiest baby, decided that she would try “cranky” on for size on portrait day (argh!), but you’d never know looking at Tonhya’s images. She captured so many sweet moments, darling expressions, and the sweeping landscape we love so much. We are absolutely thrilled with our portraits! We will treasure them, and the many silly memories accompanying some of them, for years to come!

140721FamilyPhotos001140721FamilyPhotos002140721FamilyPhotos003See, there is Tonyha going above and beyond again! Little known fact: she is also a skilled ninja/contortionist who can fit through teeny tiny elevated windows! Seriously. I forgot my curling iron and Isaac’s aunt offered to let me use her flat iron. She was staying at the family cabin up the hill, but had gone out for the day and the key was not in the lock box, so we had to get a little creative!140721FamilyPhotos004140721FamilyPhotos005140721FamilyPhotos006140721FamilyPhotos007140721FamilyPhotos008Sweetest little rolls ever!

140721FamilyPhotos009140721FamilyPhotos010140721FamilyPhotos011140721FamilyPhotos012140721FamilyPhotos013140721FamilyPhotos014140721FamilyPhotos015140721FamilyPhotos016140721FamilyPhotos017140721FamilyPhotos018140721FamilyPhotos019LOVE!

140721FamilyPhotos020140721FamilyPhotos021140721FamilyPhotos022140721FamilyPhotos023140721FamilyPhotos024^^^Giant canvas material, right here!^^^

140721FamilyPhotos025140721FamilyPhotos026140721FamilyPhotos027140721FamilyPhotos028140721FamilyPhotos029140721FamilyPhotos030140721FamilyPhotos031140721FamilyPhotos032140721FamilyPhotos033140721FamilyPhotos034140721FamilyPhotos035What better way to wrap up our portraits than with sweet, syrupy pancake finger kisses?!

Thank you a million times over, Tonhya!!! My mind is already busy, dreaming and planning next year’s shoot!

Summer in Oregon: Part 4 » Wayfarer Family - October 10, 2014 - 11:19 pm

[…] bridal shower, bachelor/bachelorette parties, enjoying delicious meals at our favorite restaurants, our first family portraits, taking in a traveling Broadway Show (not sure I’ve ever laughed as hard as I did watching […]