Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 366 - Hike

Thought of the day: I can't believe that today is already my birthday. A year flew past since I started my blog. I learned a lot by doing this blog and enjoyed it tremendously. Of course, there were days, and even weeks, when I had to force myself to keep going. It was particularly challenging when I was sick, busy or traveling. For the entire year, I had my backpack and camera next to me pretty much every day and I constantly reminded myself to pay attention to what was happening around me and to see and capture the extraordinary moments in the ordinary daily life. This year long journey has not only taught me to truly appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of our experiences on earth, it has also taught me something about patience and perseverance. Now, it's time for me to sign off and move on. A big hug and thank you to everybody who has followed my journey and sent me encouragements along the way!

Photo of the day:
Taking a hike with a few people this morning. There was no better way to celebrate a birthday than sitting on some big rocks, drinking coffee, eating a surprise birthday treat and looking out at the beautiful Boulder valley opening up in front of you. That was one of the most memorable moments that my wonderful friends helped me create throughout the day. There will be challenges and uncertainties, but I feel so grateful today to be living in this community, this world and on this day.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 365 - Flower and Envelope

Thought of the day: This morning, when I am walking under the brilliant sun on the trail, surrounded by rocky mountains and fall colors, I feel intensely happy. With my birthday coming up tomorrow, I have a feeling that I am entering the prime time of my life. Everything is so perfect at this moment that it seems fleeting and fragile. Somehow happiness always manages to bring out melancholy in me. Perhaps it's time to look outside of my own little world more often. The best way to maintain true inner peace and equilibrium of mind is to change the focus to the world at large. I have been exploring different paths for a few years now and the right path remains elusive to me. Lately I have the luck of being recommended by multiple people a book called "Half the Sky" by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. The book documents the plight of many women in the real world. It's a thoroughly researched and immensely touching and convincing book. It's one of those rare books that can move people into action, one that has the potential to shape and change the world. I don't know where it will lead me, but wherever it is, I will be there willingly.

Photo of the day:
A surprise gift from a friend. I have been told by many people that love and happiness are the essential ingredients of life and they are all you need. I don't know. I always feel like there's a third ingredient, a larger purpose of life. Without the third ingredient, I can't help feeling that something is amiss.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 364 - Kids Theater

Thought of the day: Jasmine loves her Wednesday afternoon theater class. The kids act and improvise on the stage with the help of a professional. While Jasmine is busy in her class, Lila loves to dance around and around in a room annexed to the theater fitted with walls of mirrors. I like the special ambience of a theater, perhaps any theater. The elevated stage, dark interior, sparse and interesting lighting make it a challenging yet fascinating place to photograph. I can't help feeling that this place has a sense of gravity. And people and movements bring life to it. It's a simple place but I feel drawn to it in a mysterious way.

Photo of the day:
Jasmine and her friends doing an improv while a boy watched on.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 363 - Vincent

Thought of the day: I talked to a couple of friends today about my quickly approaching birthday and my apprehension of passing another significant mark in life. They all had some jewels of wisdom to share. I feel very lucky to know people who I can talk to just about anything and always walk away a little wiser and more ready for the joyous adventure we call life.

Photo of the day:
A particularly cute dog of a friend. We took a walk this morning with her two dogs tagging along. At times I felt that we were the ones being walked by the dogs but they were really cute so I didn't mind:-)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 362 - Knitter

Thought of the day: Jasmine had been practicing piano duets for an upcoming multi-piano festival. Her teacher made a CD with all her songs so she could practice with the music at home. One song was particularly challenging for her and she had been struggling with it for days. Today she finally got it through without making a single mistake. She was ecstatic! It was certainly a good thing that she could finally play this song as her audition was coming up soon. But a more important lesson she learned was that with persistent effort she could improve and achieve what might seem impossible just a moment ago. It was a lesson worth learning at any age.

Photo of the day:

I ran into a group of women outside of a cafe knitting and chatting under the sun. Apparently they do this every week. What a wonderful tradition to have! They all seemed to be pretty good at knitting - I guess it is one of those things you get better at with a lot of practice too.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 361 - Jasmine

Thought of the day: We had an easy day today - family hike, long naps, movies.  It was good to have a day in the week to have no obligations no schedules and simply relax and enjoy some down time with the family.

Photo of the day: 
Jasmine was very happy during the hike. We saw a lot of beautiful fall colors along the way as the season was at the peak. Both girls collected colorful leaves to decorate their rooms.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day 360 - Pumpkin Patch

Thought of the day: Boulder has a vibrant restaurant scene. There are many good restaurants in town drawing crowds all day long, all week long.  However, it’s also very competitive and we have seen many restaurants unfold, including ones that we really liked. For example, Orchid Pavilion used to be my favorite Chinese restaurant in town but it had been out of business for a while now. Its closure left a hole in Boulder food scene as there were really no other Chinese restaurants with the perfect combination of good location, nice ambiance and tasty food. Downtown’s Juanita’s used to serve affordable Mexican food with one of the best margaritas in town. It was closed to make space for an upscale restaurant. And today, I found out by surprise that Suki Thai Noodle House was also closed. Suki Thai made healthy noodle bowls and was a great place to grab a quick lunch with kids. There are many other closures that we know of and it is always sad to say goodbye to some of our favorite ones. Luckily, the vast majority of the restaurants we visit are still thriving and we hope it will remain the case for a while to come.

Photo of the day:
I visited Cottonwood Pumpkin Patch with three girls today. Kids had fun picking pumpkins, navigating the mazes and petting the farm animals. I love going to a pumpkin farm in this season as it's filled with vibrant colors, quaint equipments and happy kids - all of which make it a fun place to linger and photograph for a couple of hours. It's a visual feast that, hopefully, will never go out of business and one that I will enjoy year after year.