Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 345 - Chicago River

Thought of the day: I think I am in love with this city. The people, interesting; The street scenes, entertaining; The architecture, fascinating; The evening lights, dazzling. It’s a heaven for photographers of all kinds - portrait, architecture, street, night, and even wedding photographers can all find something to point their lenses at. After getting used to a place as quiet as Boulder, the vibrant night scenes of Chicago are particularly striking to me. The neon sign of Chicago Theater, the live broadcast of 7 News that can be viewed from outside of the tall glass walls, the watery reflections of skyscrapers on Chicago River, the magnificent night view of the entire city from the top of Skydeck of Willis (formerly known as Sears) Tower - all of these created an indelible memory not only on my camera, but also in my mind. I think one of the many benefits of living in a town like Boulder is that I can be completely in awe of a big city like Chicago whenever I have a chance to visit. Boulder provides a solid home base for me to explore and appreciate the magnificence of the rest of the world - it’s as indispensable as the rice in a Chinese meal or the bread in a western fare. At this moment I’m enjoying Chicago, thoroughly and without reservation, as I know that I will be happy when I get home too.

Photo of the day:
Night reflections on Chicago River.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 344 - Homeless Man

Thought of the day: I flew into Chicago today for a 20-year class reunion. Even though I missed my family already, it was liberating to be able to do something on my own once in a while. There was a great many things that I took for granted before having a family - reading a book without interruptions, wandering about in a strange place without any particular direction, falling into sleep without any thoughts for tomorrow - simple, yet not insignificant, things that you noticed only after you didn't have them any more. When I had them back, at least for this short while, I found that I still missed them after all these years. So, after all, I really haven't changed much, have I? Do people ever change over time? When the opportunities arise, do we fall back into our old behaviors and habits as readily as snow flakes drift effortlessly onto the ground? Are we the drops of water in an ocean that evaporate, form a cloud, come down in a shower, flow into a river, return to the sea after a long journey and end up being exactly the same drops of water that we were many years ago and many continents away? I guess I shall find out in the next few days - a reunion after 20 years of absence shall at least shed some lights to these questions.

Photo of the day:
A homeless man near Chicago's Magnificent Mile. On his left lies a bible and on his right sits a cardboard that says "God Is Good". Amid buzz of the city, he seems remarkably calm. He is one of the fascinating characters I ran into while wandering aimlessly in Chicago downtown.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 343 - Play

Thought of the day: Our chiropractor is a pretty amazing person. She has not only a reservoir of knowledge of her field, but also of other related fields as well. She is well connected to the local homeopathic community and is often able to introduce families to a variety of practitioners ranged from doulas to massage therapists. She is a go-to person you can trust. Today I found out that she has a good heart as well. There is a very unfortunate local family that lost their house in the Fourmile Canyon Fire last year and then suffered an even worse blow this summer - a drunk driver hit them, left the father dead and his toddler girl severely injured. Our chiropractor went to the memorial service of the father and was so moved by the desperate situation of the family that she and her colleagues decided to do something for them. They donated an entire day of their work for the benefit of the little girl. I am glad to be part of it and I am grateful to belong to a community that's so generous in heart.

Photo of the day:
Izzy playing with blocks on the floor of a theater. The injured girl is even younger than her. I hope the little girl will be able to fully recover and enjoy a normal life soon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 342 - Lila

Thought of the day: The best time of my day was when I picked up Lila from preschool in the afternoon. Other kids had already left so we were the only ones there. The ground of the preschool was small but it was nice and peaceful so we hung out a bit outside. Lila showed me a collection of painted rocks in the garden, climbed the trees and relished in the opportunity to run about freely. We watched the moving shadows casted by the late afternoon sun while devouring delicious apples Lila collected from the trees. It was fun for Lila and relaxing for me. With two active kids, I have come to enjoy and appreciate these slow and simple moments more ever day.

Photo of the day:
Lila basking in the afternoon sun.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 341 - Pink

Thought of the day: Aspen was a great place to visit once in a while but it didn't feel like home to me. Since the town was pretty small, the choice of stores was pretty limited. I left part of my camera battery charger at home and I had been shopping around for the replacement part all around town but couldn't find one.  The only camera store in town didn't carry it either.  It was pretty costly to live here, too. I think I would feel stranded living in a town like this, even one as beautiful as Aspen, for a long time. In any case, after a couple of days of visit, I was happy to return home to Boulder today.

Photo of the day:
Lila holding a pink umbrella on a lawn in Boulder. She was happy to be back home again too.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 340 - Maroon Bells

Thought of the day: Maroon Bells. So that's where people go when they visit Aspen in the fall.  It's hardly surprising that this is the most photographed place in Colorado. The mountains are decorated by layers of colors at the base.  In the stillness of an early morning, the mountains and forests are reflected on the lake in their full glory. It's an irresistible place for hikers and photographers alike. We have never been disappointed when we visited here and I know that we'll be back again and again.

Photo of the day:
Lila walking towards the Maroon Bells.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day 339 - Gallery

Thought of the day: We took a hike in the forest today. It had been hard to predict the best days to visit Aspen in the fall. We had been here last year when the fall colors were in the prime. This year we picked the same weekend to visit but the reds were not quite here yet. We did get an abundance of yellow, green and many shades and colors in between. To our surprise, throughout the day, we didn't see any other hikers in the forest.  Indeed, other than the occasional booming sound made by all terrain vehicles nearby, the only sounds we could hear were the rustling of the leaves and the chirping of the birds. It was good to be here.

Photo of the day:
A couple having dinner in a restaurant in Aspen downtown near an art gallery.  There were some nice autumn paintings on display behind the windows.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 338 - Independence Pass

Thought of the day: It is a beautiful day to drive up Aspen.  Fall is my favorite season to visit Aspen. At this time of the year, the sky is crystal clear, the air is cool and fresh, the light is brilliant and the fall colors are plentiful.  In addition, there are not as many tourists as in the peak seasons of winter and summer. All of that make it a perfect time to pay our annual pilgrimage to Aspen. 

Photo of the day:
We took a brief stop at the Independence Pass on the way to Aspen this afternoon. It was chilly but the view was great.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 337 - Making Music

Thought of the day: I have missed a few excellent photo opportunities today. I missed a shot of two very dear dogs of my friend when I had coffee in her house this morning. They really snuggled up on me and made me feel all warm and fuzzy. I missed a shot of autumn light when I ran on a trail later in the morning. The light gave everything a soft, delicate and airy touch. In the afternoon, when I was at Jasmine's school to pick her up, I saw a woman and a dog waiting patiently outside for a child to show up. Inexplicably, I didn't have a camera with me again so I could only frame a picture in my mind but didn't actually take a shot. A photographer friend of mine once said that the shots he missed were the best ones and they lived in his mind forever. Perhaps that was not a bad thing - if he had actually taken those shots, they might not have turned out as he had expected and they might have been quickly forgotten. Instead, now he had a reservoir of beautiful and interesting images in his mind. Perhaps, those "missing" images made him the photographer that he was as much as the images he actually took made him. So, I do regret but do not feel bad about missing all those shots today. The important thing is to open my eyes and my mind to see and behold amazing images I encounter every day - at least I have done that today.

Photo of the day:
I finally got to take a few photos when it was already dark outside. Here Lila was "playing" piano for our house guests after dinner. She was not really playing a tune yet but her passion for forcing some interesting sounds out of these black and white keys were both cute and admirable.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 336 - Making Cake

Thought of the day: I spent some time in the climbing gym today and watched the climbers working their magic on the walls. There were many talented climbers there, but none of them impressed me as much as a young boy who was probably not much older than eight. He moved with such ease and agility that it was hard to take my eyes off him. It was a pure joy to watch him. Everybody is gifted with certain talents and this boy clearly has a gift and he is lucky to have found it so early in life.

Photo of the day:
Jasmine and Lila helped make a zucchini cake in preparation for the arrival of a few house guests.  In the background, the girls watched on in a photo taken on Pearl St. There are many things that Jasmine is good at but it's still too early for her to settle down on any one particular thing yet.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 335 - Symmetry

Thought of the day: This morning I watched a slide show from New York Times about MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity), an environmental disease that has been plaguing an increasingly larger group of people, including the photographer who shot the mesmerizing and poignant photos in the slide show. MCS is typically caused by exposures to synthetic, toxic chemicals which are getting more and more prevalent in the modern world. This condition can be debilitating. The affected people live at the margin of the modern civilization as they need to stay clear of environmental toxins routinely used in pesticides, building materials, cleaning products, cosmetics, etc. They have to navigate the modern world like a soldier navigating a mine field - if they are not careful, they can easily step onto something that will have serious consequences on their health. I know that this condition is very real as a good friend of mine is suffering from it every day. It's painful to watch her go through ordeals unimaginable by an unaffected person. These people are paying a heavy price for our unhealthy dependence on toxic chemicals and our disrespect for the environment and even for our own bodies. Many more of our children and grandchildren will suffer if we don't not pay attention to the root cause of this and other environmental diseases and change the way we live.

Photo of the day:
A lamp in a restaurant where I had lunch.  The shape was intricate, harmonious and beautiful. Perhaps one day we will be able to develop an intricate, harmonious and beautiful relationship with the environment around us. That's our only hope for the future.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 334 - Playground

Thought of the day: Lila made a "train" tonight by connecting her paintings and drawing made at home and in her preschool. I was impressed by the length of her train. She had done a lot more than I had at her age. The world is getting a lot more competitive over the past few decades and children are quickly adapting or are made to adapt quickly. As long as she is enjoying her experience and is not overwhelmed or overstimulated, it's not necessarily a bad thing. With choices and opportunities abound, it's the duty, burden and pleasure of the parents to help them navigate through the maze of early life.  It's a long and arduous process but, at the end, there's no greater pleasure for any parents than seeing their children emerge as wholesome and well-rounded individuals ready for the world at large.

Photo of the day:
Lila in a playground in Boulder. With so many walls to climb on, it's no wonder that she developed an interest in climbing so early. I don't think I have seen a climbing wall of any kind until I was already well into my twenties!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 333 - Bikes

Thought of the day: The caliber of photographers on Google+ is simply amazing. Indeed, many of them are professionals doing that for a living. I am following a number of them and the photos showing up in my stream really made me pause before I dared to post anything of my own. My past experience on Facebook was the exact opposite - the quality of most of the photos there were so poor that I felt out of place to post anything with an artistic touch. Similar things may be happening to the non-photo posts as well - the posts on Google+ are often thought provoking and interesting while most posts on Facebook are none of that. It can become self-enforcing after a while - Google+ gets the great shots and profound thoughts while Facebook gets the average, mom-and-pop style shots and random posts. In an ideal world, people would move to one social network - Google+, of course:-), because it's open and less sinister - and use Circles to maintain separate public and private images. You can share your great shots and interesting thoughts with the public and your fuzzy shots and not-so-inspiring thoughts with family and friends as they are the ones who would welcome anything from you. Sadly, the real world doesn't work like that as it's easier not to struggle with something new and it's far less work to just share whatever comes into your mind with whoever is listening and most people would probably do just that. Unless Facebook messes up badly, I'm not seeing people migrate en-masse to Google+ in the near future.

Photo of the day:
Ready to leave - this is not an interesting photo for the public consumption, but this is one of the only photos I took today...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 332 - Denver Museum

Thought of the day: We visited Denver Museum of Nature and Science today. One of the most interesting exhibitions was Expedition Health which gave us the opportunity to learn some amazing facts about human body through creatively designed activities and games. My favorite game was the brain wave game where two players sat at the opposite ends of a table trying to push a marble towards the opponent using brain waves. When you are more relaxed, the brain generates alpha waves which will put the marble in motion. Both David and I did a competition with Jasmine and we both lost spectacularly. The result was not too surprising as children are mentally more relaxed than adults. Their minds are not as cluttered and confused as ours. That partly explains why children are capable of learning fast and effortlessly as a relaxed brain is also more open, alert and focused, all of which are good traits for learning. That may also explain why they tend to be more creative as a relaxed brain also tend to be more creative. I learn something new of children all the time and my experience today have certainly increased my respect for them even more. 

Photo of the day:
Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  The "T-Rex Encounter" exhibit is very cool - it looks so real that we had to carry Lila out of the exhibit screaming because she got so scared by one of the mean-looking dinosaurs! I guess they are too much for a toddler brain to handle.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 331 - Restaurant

Thought of the day: Sadly, we haven’t camped for a single time this summer. With the weather getting colder, the chance of going camping this season is getting slimmer as the light is getting softer every day. Camping trips in the summer are like ski vacations in the winter - missing them is like missing some of the essence of summer. Sure, we have done a lot of other interesting activities, but I wish we had given a higher priority to camping.

Photo of the day:
One thing we have done a lot during the summer is eating out.  There are a lot of good restaurants in Boulder to choose from, including this Mexican restaurant where we spent the evening at.  It had a great ambiance and good food.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 330 - Hot Tub

Thought of the day: A friend pointed me to an online enneagram test today. The test identified my dominant personality type. It was pretty fascinating for me as I had never given much thought to personality types and how much impact they might have on our behaviors, actions and emotions. With enneagram, some things that didn’t make much sense to me before started to make sense. In many ways, we ended up where we are, doing what we are doing because of who we are and our personalities have a lot to do with it. Enneagram can be an invaluable tool for one to understand his elusive self and subsequently to rise beyond himself.  There are also some neat theories on how personalities evolve over time and through experiences in life. Another interesting aspect is the compatibility and interactions between people of different personality types. It’s a tool employed by therapists to work out issues in relationships. In any case, I am excited to learn something new - new for me at least - and is eager to learn more about it.

Photo of the day:
Lila in the hot tub while I took a photo from the top.  I am sure enneagram has something to do with me being here at this particular time and taking this particular photo at this particular spot. If I had a different type of personality, I don't know what my life history would have been but I'm pretty sure that this photo would not have been on this blog - in fact, this blog probably wouldn't have existed in the first place.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 329 - Energy Monitor

Thought of the day: I volunteered in the annual vision screening event in Jasmine's school today. All day long, kids lined up grade by grade and had their eyesight tested by volunteers. It was my first time doing this and it had been an eye opening experience for me. I got to observe the remarkable physical and behavioral differences between kids from different grades. It's amazing how much difference a single year of age difference can make at this early stage of life. An idea just popped into my head: I want to make a photo book for Jasmine's 10th birthday so she, and we, can see how she has changed from year to year. Our minds mostly live in the present moment and it's easy for us to forget how we or our loved ones once were. "Old" photos will help us recall memories buried deep inside us and help us see the whole person and how her present self came into being. Just like annual vision charts record the vision history, photos record the life history. It would be a pretty interesting and meaningful project to reconstruct a life using photos.

Photo of the day:
Jasmine's climbing gym employs an 100kW solar system to offset a quarter of the electricity usage in the building.  It has one of David's energy monitoring devices installed and the real-time energy information is prominently displayed on the wall near the entrance. The device has a detailed memory of 30 years so you can reconstruct your energy usage history over a long span of time. Hopefully, your usage will trend down over time as you learn more about energy efficiency, pay more attention to your footprint and take steps to reduce it. So, in a way, the device captures your history of becoming a green citizen.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 328 - Reflection

Thought of the day: Lila appears to be a natural climber. She just had her first climbing lesson yesterday and it was as if she had woken up and discovered a whole new world in front of her. I have been taking her to a climbing gym twice a week for Jasmine's climbing lessons and Lila loved one of the easier routes there. Today she somehow figured it all out and free climbed all the way to the top. She was so excited about her new accomplishment that she kept doing that over and over and over again. I had to literally peel her off the wall so she won't overexert herself.  The way things are heading right now, I am spending more and more time in the climbing gyms with the girls and it won't be long before I might be motivated enough to sign up for climbing lessons myself!

Photo of the day:
A wall display inside a cafe with the reflection overlaying the original image. I keep returning to cafes just like Lila keeps returning to the climbing wall. Her temptation is riskier but much healthier than mine.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 327 - Climbing

Thought of the day: Jasmine has recently started doing her piano practices in the morning instead of in the evening.  It's amazing how much difference such a small change in her schedule makes.  Practicing piano in the evening had always been a bit of a struggle for us because she was already pretty tired after a day of school and was really not eager to do more stuff. Now that there's no more piano practice after dinner, everybody can relax and rewind during the quiet time in the evening. Of course, getting up early every morning to help Jasmine with her practice is by no means an easy task for a night owl like me, but it's a small price to pay for more peace and harmony in the house. Change is not always good, but sometimes it can be. In fact, I believe that not being afraid of making changes is a secret ingredient for happiness and the change of Jasmine's practice time proved it!

Photo of the day:
Lila in the climbing gym getting her first climbing lesson today. Jasmine didn't start climbing until she was quite a bit older, but we are doing it differently for Lila because I think she is ready for it. I hope this change will work out well.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 326 - Brunch

Thought of the day: Today is the mid-autumn festival in China. That's an important festival when the families are supposed to sit together at a round table in a quiet courtyard under the brightest moon of the year and appreciate the delicacy of moon cakes. With my immediate family scattered across the globe, I can't recall the last time when we spent the festival together. Indeed, other than my parents, I don't think any of us even celebrates the festival any more. This is one of the lost traditions that I do miss. It makes me sad to realize that some of the special things that I grew up with will probably never be experienced by my children or at least not be experienced in the same way. Of course, they will grow up with their own set of experiences that I would not even have dreamed of as a child. They will be shaped by their own environment and memories just like I was shaped by mine.

Photo of the day:
We had Sunday brunch with a friend at the Teahouse again - it's one of our favorite spots for brunch. I wonder how Jasmine and Lila will remember our many visits to the Teahouse many years from now.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Day 325 - Les Misérables

Thought of the day: We went to the famed musical Les Misérables in Denver today. Since we don't come to the city very often, the night scenes of Denver left quite a dazzling impression on me. So many cars, so many lights, so many people - I felt like a country bumpkin enjoying a rare night out in the city. Of course, Boulder is not exactly the countryside, but it's infinitely calmer and quieter. It would not surprise me if the clocks ticked slightly slower in Boulder than in the city. The show was amazing and had an overpowering effect especially towards the end. I don't believe there was a single pair of dry eyes leaving the theater.  All in all, it was an interesting evening and was definitely worth the 45 minute drive each way.

Photo of the day:
At the end of the show, the main actor came out to receive a round of wild applause and standing ovation.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 324 - Happy Dance

Thought of the day: We spent a happy morning with our friends hiking at Chautauqua followed by a lunch picnic in the park.  We used to do that every Friday morning but stopped because we got busy with other activities. This morning’s hike and picnic reminded me of how important it is to firmly incorporate fun and meaningful activities into the regular schedule because it’s so easy for them to slip through the cracks and disappear into memories of the past. There are always other little things waiting to fill into the space and it's so important to get our priorities straight and put the things that are really meaningful to us first. In the long run, being able to prioritize can make the difference between a life that’s satisfying and fulfilling and a life that’s lost and aimless.

Photo of the day:
Izzy doing a happy dance after the hike.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 323 - Cafe

Thought of the day: Jasmine's swim team is having an outdoor lesson today.  She loves it, in spite of the air that is already getting a little chilly. We're so lucky to have perfect weather today and I'm glad that we can spend a couple of hours outdoors and enjoy the last bit of the summer warmth and have some good fun in the sun.

Photo of the day:
Inside a cafe this morning. It's good to be able to take a break there for a couple of hours during the day when both girls are in school. The cafe keeps changing the wall exhibitions and the theme of this month is T-shirts with prints. Changing of interior decorations keep the space interesting, just like changing of seasons and rhythms keep life interesting.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 322 - Climbing Gym

Thought of the day: It is one of those rare rainy days in Colorado. It has been wet and cold all morning. After a warm and dry summer, I have gotten so used to the sun that I am having a hard time adjusting to this new weather condition. Afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon in the summer but they tend to come and go really fast. The stormy weather is both dramatic and interesting unless you happen to be caught unprepared on the road or on hiking trails. What we have today is none of that. A couple of year ago we made the decision to move to Boulder instead of Portland despite the many similarities between the two cities. My sense of weariness today confirm for me that we made the right choice.

Photo of the day:

Lila and a new friend in the climbing gym.A day like today is perfect for indoor climbing.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 321 - Gymnastics

Thought of the day: When I drove down a neighborhood street this morning, I observed a dwarf woman walking up with two large bags of groceries. She was no taller than an average 6 year old child. A group of bikers in their bright and shiny jerseys raced past her, all of them tall and slim. The woman looked up at them warily. She had a small burden to carry in her hands and a probably much heavier burden to carry in her heart every day. I could only imagine her pain growing up with dwarfism and living in a world filled with and designed for people of the normal size. That was also one of those moments that reminded me that no matter who you are and how unlucky you feel, there is always a legion of others who are a lot less fortunate. When you look for it, the reminder is everywhere - in the deluge of daily news, in a lone pedestrian on the sidewalk.

Photo of the day:
Lila in the gymnastics class with her instructor. Lila was one of those lucky kids to be showered by her energy and enthusiasm. In the background, some older kids were doing some gymnastics routines. It was liberating to see all these kids running around so happily and so free from cares and worries.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Day 320 - Face Painting

Thought of the day: I have been trying to teach Jasmine some math over the weekend. I have never worked through lessons with her like this before so it was quite a learning experience for me. One big discovery was the importance of the fun factor (shocking, huh?). When she thought the material and learning were fun, she learned really fast. When she thought otherwise, alas, learning turned into a boring chore or even a struggle. I was taught in the traditional way when I grew up in China so I never gave much thought to the importance of material presentation. I used to think that the elementary school teachers here wasted too much time playing games with kids and spent too little time in actual teaching. Not any more. I still think there is something lacking in the elementary school curriculum but I have developed a new appreciation of their teaching methods and a new appreciation of the teachers as well. It takes a lot of energy and creativity to keep things fun for a classroom of thirty kids. And now, just imagine that you need to do that every day, five days a week. It take a special breed of people to do this willingly and do this well - and get paid very little on top of that. They surely deserve our wholehearted appreciation.

Photo of the day:
Lila getting a face paint on the last day of Boulder Hometown Fair.  The face paint artist was self-taught and painted happy dogs on both girls' faces.  It's easier to make it fun when you're learning art but not so when you're learning something abstract like math. Luckily, the math manipulatives come into rescue and good teachers make use of them to make learning visual, concrete and fun for kids.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Day 319 - Train Game

Thought of the day: I have been looking out of the window at the bright half moon for a little while. There’s something about watching the moon floating in the air above us - it seems so remote yet so near, so nonchalant yet so relevant, so ancient yet so present. Lots of beautiful Chinese poems have been written about the moon and tonight I am recalling a few of them. For millenniums, people have looked into the sky at night and felt drawn to it. The universe around us has the strange power of unleashing your imaginations yet grounding you at the same time. I think I will have that mythical power in my dreams tonight.

Photo of the day:

Jasmine was playing a train game with daddy while Lila was taking a nap. It was difficult to put her down for a nap these days even when she really needed it. It's easier at night. When Lila is too excited to sleep at night, I just need to show her the dark sky and mountains outside of the window and that has the effect of calming her down. I wonder if kids can feel the mythical power and rhythm of universe more than we do.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 318 - Basket Stand

Thought of the day: We were invited to a dinner party tonight. Our host is a superb cook and her delicious Sichuanese banquet always leaves me speechless. I admire people who can do any one thing so particularly well as that requires both dedication and talent and is a good indication that I have something to learn from them which is often far beyond the specific skills that they happen to possess.

Photo of the day: 
A fair trade basket stand in Boulder Hometown Festival. There's always something going on here over long weekends and this weekend is no exception. Parties, festivals, meeting friends - all good reasons to keep us in town and enjoy the waning days of the summer.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 317 - Hiking

Thought of the day: School was off. Jasmine had two play dates and Lila had a friend sleeping over. In addition, we hiked in the morning, did gymnastics in the afternoon and ate out in the evening.  Amidst the whirlwind of activities, I had the most vivid memories of the happiness of Lila on the hiking trail and of the excitement of Lila and her friend when they chased after bubbles on our front lawn after dinner. I was not able to put together a quiet schedule as I would have liked to, but at least we were able to slow down and enjoy a few quiet and peaceful moments during the day.

Photo of the day: 
Lila on the hiking trail at Chautauqua. She was able to keep a reasonable pace on the trail, even though she was still easily distracted by a variety of interesting objects including these two "hiking sticks" she picked up on the trail.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 316 - Lila

Thought of the day: It's September. The first two weeks of frenzy back-to-school and reconnecting-with-people are over.  Time to catch a breather and reflect upon what I have learned over the long Labor Day weekend.  Afterward, the after school activities are going to start in full force and every week is going to come and go at an even faster pace. Such is life when your entire schedule is driven by your school-age kids.

Photo of the day:
Lila in her new preschool.  She enjoys it completely and we are happy to be back in this preschool community.  There is something to be said about going to a neighborhood school that is run by devoted and loving people whom we have known for a long time.