families

A Day with a Snoqualmie Valley Family

Stephanie's family has lived in the valley for GENERATIONS. Yes, that's like hundreds of years.

As such, it was a privilege when she asked me to once again document her growing brood right here in our beautiful valley (which is where I live as well!).

It's been a while (I photographed the birth of her first baby). Just reminds us that time flies, whether or not you care or notice, so pay attention!

Here are a few of my favorites. 


The Andre Family

I've photographed Ms L since she was in her mama's belly! It's a trip seeing how much she's grown. Miss L and her family moved away a few years ago but mama Josie, who's a professor, came to give a lecture at UW and decided to make it a family trip. Great news for me!

Was such a pleasure to see you guys again, guys!

A farewell to Nikki

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."

~ A.A.Milne

Yesterday, I did a bitter sweet session for one of my most precious families, the Adams, together with their nanny Nikki.

Working parents know the value of good childcare, and none more so than this nanny and this family, who very suddenly lost their dad three days ago last spring, three months before Taralee's second son Morgan was born. Nikki was there through it all. She became family.

This June, Nikki will be moving to the UK to pursue her career in English. "By the time I come home, Pierce will be taller than me," she said almost wistfully yesterday.

I wish you well, Nikki. I can't say I'm not super jealous of your new adventure! You know you will be missed.

The Jacobs Family

Jaspy came into the world early.

A few days after, I visited him at the hospital. He brought back memories of my own preemie, Sky. The anguish. The anxiety. All of it came rushing back.

Even when you know they are in the safest place in the world, where everything that should be done, is being done, you worry. It's odd, how you can suddenly feel responsible and grown-up overnight, all from the arrival of a tiny, teeny baby. 

Preemies, I think, are in a league of their own. They seem to have a zest for life, impatient to get started, waking up each day ready to take on anything.

Smiling their biggest smiles, as if to say, c'mon world. Let's see what you've got.

 

 

Hanging out with the Ng Family

I met fellow Malaysian Shirlene playing, of all things, NETBALL. That was when she was not married yet, and not yet a mom.

Fast forward a few years, not only is she a wife (to another Malaysian, from Johor), Shirlene is now mom to this adorable little face.

How beautiful is this family?

How beautiful is this family?

Jeremy's parents are visiting from Malaysia so they came for pics as well! I love pics with grandparents.

Jeremy's parents are visiting from Malaysia so they came for pics as well! I love pics with grandparents.

C'mon, how can you resist that smiley face?!

C'mon, how can you resist that smiley face?!

Something about father son pics that make me wanna just bawl with happiness :)

Something about father son pics that make me wanna just bawl with happiness :)

And how about this one with Yeh Yeh?

And how about this one with Yeh Yeh?

But little boys are always happiest with mom :)

But little boys are always happiest with mom :)

And are most precious to grandma.

And are most precious to grandma.

And with enough luck, will grow up to be just like dad. 

And with enough luck, will grow up to be just like dad. 

It's always so good and fun to meet other Malaysians here in Seattle. Although it's been 8 years, I still miss hanging out with and talking Manglish!

Welcoming home Candy and Patty

When Chandra emailed me some 1.5 years ago about documenting the adoption of her two girls Candy and Patty, I was really honored. It had been a four-year journey that was ending in a happy celebration with family and friends - on National Adoption Day, no less. 

Adoption is to me a tremendously noble endeavor. Everyone knows that but really, why? Because it takes so much more than just wanting to help a kid out without really knowing what you're in for, especially when you have never been a parent before. It's like volunteering to do surgery when you're, say, a photographer. As a parent of people that had sprung from my own loins, I have spent the last 12 years wondering what the heck I'm doing. 

Just this morning, I had to drive in the rain chasing after my middle schooler on the bus, to tell her to 1. turn on her phone 2. that her teacher emailed to say she was going to lose all her credit for an assignment for forgetting to put her name on it and that she had five minutes to rectify it if she only wanted to lose 5 credits.

Other saner parents would let their kid suffer the consequences. Me? Like I said, I really don't know what I'm doing. All I could think of was, why didn't I check my email last night so I could tell her this morning? 

Dearest Chandra and Andrew: Looking at your little family and your community gather around you, I'm not sure who's luckier - the girls or you. And I'm lucky for having met all of you!