365 Project: Sorry, Nora, I know you’re trying to be spooky but, you’re just still darn adorable! ;)

Despite her efforts to create a scary Halloween stoop and to look gruesome with these fake fangs, Norita still just makes me smile instead of spooking me! 🙂


Nora’s owls…a sweet drawing for me :)

I thought it was so sweet when Nora handed me an envelope labeled “To: Mom, Love: Nora” in a giant red heart. Then inside was this sweet drawing of owls, which she knows I love.   It’s not my birthday. There was no occasion to prompt this act of kindness.  She just felt like drawing it for me.  When being a mom feels like a never-ending thankless job, these simple gestures mean so much.   Love this…love her! 🙂

365 Project – 233: Ruby Beach playdate (August 21, 2013)

Olympic National Park boasts gorgeous beaches on the northwestern coast of Washington state but, not all have sandy beaches like Ruby Beach. It’s an easy stroll from the parking lot and if you go left (south), there’s a big stretch of fine sand, as opposed to the more typical coarse sand or rocks found on many ONP beaches. Time it at low tide to enjoy tidepooling, and plan on staying late to catch a stunning sunset. Ruby Beach is a gem we often enjoy with our family and friends. 🙂

p.s. For our family, a few of our other favorite fine sandy beaches are Shi Shi Beach and Third Beach but, they’re not as accessible as Ruby Beach. In comparison, Rialto Beach is absolutely gorgeous and has amazing tidepooling and the famous “hole in the wall”, but, the beach is strewn with rocks and it’s often very windy and thus, colder. Rialto is also a favorite for our family but, if we’re in the mood for swimming and making sand castles, we opt for Ruby Beach or Third Beach. 🙂


Tidepooling before sunset


Yup, the ocean is “warm” for these Pacific Northwest girls! 🙂

365 Project – 115: Post-dinner, pre-sunset family bike ride (April 25, 2013)

The days are getting longer and the sunsets have been gorgeous so we’re back into our routine of a post-dinner family neighborhood outing. Here’s Nora riding through the trees in our neighborhood during her pre-sunset bike ride. 🙂

365 Project – 293: Practicing piano (October 22, 2012)

Shutter Speed: 1/50, Aperture: F/1.4, ISO: 400

See more of my 365 Project: Untouched photos from my Nikon D5000 with 50mm lens

365 Project – 265: Happy Autumn! (September 22, 2012)

Shutter Speed: 1/60, Aperture: F/4.0, ISO: 400

There’s a crisp, clean chill in the air and the leaves are gently turning and falling. Time to get your cameras out for Autumn’s richly, colorful show! Happy Shooting!!

Tomorrow she’ll be a first-grader – *sniffle sniffle*

20120903-221818.jpgSchool supplies packed, hot lunch ready for her thermos in the morning, forms filled out, and clothes laid out for the big day: her first day of first grade! We have everything prepared, including the note I’ll sneak into her lunch pail, but I wasn’t prepared for these feelings of missing her and not wanting her to grow up so fast! I don’t know why this is happening now since she’s been independent and in day care or pre-school for almost 4 years and her elementary school days will actually be shorter than last year’s kindergarten and after-kindergarten music school. And, this isn’t even a new school for her… she was there last year! Just yesterday I was looking forward to school so I could gain back MY time to work, go to Zumba, or just any kid-free activity! WTH???

So, I just couldn’t stop watching her sleep on her purple unicorn pillow pet thinking that tomorrow she’ll wake up a first-grader. I’m feeling this enormous love for her with my heart and tears welling up because I just miss my baby girl. But, I’m so thrilled for her too, because she is soooo excited about first grade. She worked hard to get ready for school too. She even WANTED to make sure she got to bed on time so she gets a good night’s sleep. I couldn’t be prouder of her.

For now, I’m grateful she’s sleeping peacefully and I better stop staring at her and go to sleep myself. HA! Tonight I just had one of those many moments of powerful, overwhelming, unconditional love that I think is a special privilege bestowed upon parents.

I’m feeling grateful, sappy and wishing all you parents and kids a wonderful back to school adventure!
– Meels

365 Project – 176: Sunset playdate at Ediz Hook (June 24, 2012)

Shutter Speed: 1/50, Aperture: F/10, ISO:200

See more of my 365 Project: Untouched photos from my Nikon D5000 with 50mm lens

365 Project – 132: When a disruption butts into your photo… LOL (May 10, 2012)

Shutter Speed: 1/500, Aperture: F/2.0, ISO: 800

…and makes it better! In anticipation of taking a day off on Mother’s Day I am posting a second photo today, especially since I actually HAD something else to post tonight!

When the weather cooperates, our family takes after-dinner walks or bike rides and today Nora wanted to show me how she could cross this bridge in the trails behind our house. So, I crouched down setting up for her action shot when our dog Paco, literally butted in and “ruined” my shot…or, so I thought. But, when I checked out the photo at home, it made us all laugh because it looks like Nora’s riding a horse. And, since she’s a Sagittarius, this was a perfect Centaur shot of her! I couldn’t have planned this one better. 🙂

See more of my 365 Project: Untouched photos from my Nikon D5000 with 50mm lens