OlyHummels | San Juan Islands 2015

Too many photos from another beautiful trip to the San Juans. This is our annual vacation on our boat. The itinerary was by ear and based on the weather. First two nights in Seattle turned into three nights. Straight to Orcas Island from there for three nights at Rosario Marina. Friday Harbor two nights and a day trip to Roche Harbor. Both up and back, Brad routed us through the Strait of Juan de Fuca. 



OlyHummels | Santa Claus is Coming to...our house

We hosted our first Christmas Open House last night, replete with hors d'oeuvres, egg nog, and croquembouche. Friends and family came to share some Christmas cheer and experience the wild fortune of welcoming Santa Claus into our home for a special pre-Christmas visit. How lucky are we? A few (a lot of) pictures of the fun evening to be shared. 2015 Santa Photo - check!

Summer 2015 | Fourth of July

Fourth of July on the third, that is. A summer afternoon beach party, hosted by the lovely Schneider family. 

Zo Hummel Photography | NTHS Senior Rep Class of 2015 | Olympia Senior Photographer

Introducing Emalia...North Thurston High School, Class of 2015 and Senior Ambassador for Zo Hummel Photography. This gorgeous senior is luminous in her senior photos. We shot in the late evening in October and had amazing results. 

NTHS senior girls who are looking for a custom photography session like this one can book through Emalia and receive an additional $75 print credit toward their session package at Zo Hummel Photography

Coffeeshop Sunday

It was so beautiful this weekend and my big request was to get up early and go out for coffee, instead of the usual morning ritual: sleep in, long shower, brewed coffee, pancakes or some such, all the morning garage shows, followed by yard chores or house chores. We just needed to get out and so I was obliged. Though the teens opted to sleep in, Brad and I took the little to a place in Olympia that always looks packed when I drive by...the Bread Peddler. We only had a coffee (hot chocolate for G) and pastries, but it was enough to know why it was packed. It was delicious and I think maybe we'll try it again and have a real breakfast one of these days. We followed this up with a stop at the park and a walk down Percival Landing. A beautiful morning before another work trip for Brad. 

I also brought my Fuji X100T...my new camera from my thoughtful husband. I've been loving the ease of use and portability and the gorgeous pictures SOOC. I could not be more pleased. Enjoy. 

Birthday Photobooth

Hi all! Thanks so much for coming to Glenn's party. It was chaos, wasn't it? I think maybe I underestimated that we could accomplish setting up the party in a mere 15 minutes and be ready to greet and help you settle when you arrived. And that room was tight with what I had going on. I still have a headache from the noise. :-)

Well, I've edited the best of the best still photos and the video will come in another post later this week. I'm posting them here for now, but will provide you all another link to download what you want. Meanwhile, feel free to share the link to this post if you like. 

You all have awesome kids and I love them. They are Glenn's favorite people. Thanks again for making his party so fun. 


Oahu 2014

I've had the pleasure and good fortune of traveling to Hawai'i three times this year. Twice with my husband as a tag-along on work trips, and again in October with the family. We visited beautiful Oahu this time and joined up with my in-laws on the westward side of the island at Waianae and Ko'Olina. It was a beautiful eight days where we enjoyed the outskirt rains of Hurricane Ana our first two nights while at the Moana Surfrider in Waikiki, followed by beautiful days the rest of the week. The boys, now certified divers, did their first tropical dive at Electric Beach. And Glenn swam in the surf and snorkeled. He's a water baby. Just a few shots to share. 

San Juan Islands 2014

The annual end of summer vacation to the San Juans on our boat, Crabby...a 30' Sundowner Tug. The main stops were Seattle (1), LaConner (1), Friday Harbor (2), Rosario Resort (4), Edmonds (1). Highlights of the trip were:

  • A birthday scavenger hunt in Seattle for Hugo and Oliver who are now 15!
  • Running into the Gernert family at Pike Place Market
  • Birthday dinner at Spaghetti Factory with the Ogdons, followed by a sunset walk in the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park
  • Beer run in LaConner, dinner on the boat and an overnight. Plus first round of Hand & Foot cards. 
  • Ice cream in Friday Harbor, first day. Dinner on the boat and a second round of cards, first night. Dinner at Cask & Schooner, second night. Netting shrimp off the dock...and releasing. Dinghy rides to the other side of the harbor. Window shopping. 
  • Crabbing in Deer Harbor...and diving off the boat. And losing my iPhone somewhere between Friday Harbor and Deer Harbor. A brand new white and gold 5s sits somewhere at the bottom of Puget Sound. 
  • Swimming at Rosario Resort...and relaxing the rest of the time. More cards and great meals on the boat. Meeting nice slip neighbors. And seeing a beautiful mega yacht visiting Cascade Bay.
  • Edmonds, just an overnight. Plus a dinner reservation at Aqua in Seattle. Discovery of Uber. Fabulous dinner. 

As evidenced by Glenn's outfit, I only shot one day with the 5D. Lost a ton of pics as a result of the phone going for a deep dive. I had posted some of those already though on FB or IG. 

Enjoy these. Oliver was uncooperative on this day, BTW. So, it's mostly Glenn and some Hugo...all at Rosario. 

And diving off the boat...

Summer 2014 Gardening Season

In early spring I was not feeling so motivated to garden this year. I don't think we turned and amended the soil until mid May. And we got the first plants in some time in early June. No indoor seeding. We either bought plants at the market or nursery or we did direct sow.

So far, I'm surprised how things are coming together. I'm even doing some new things: Three Sisters method for corn with sugar pumpkins and scarlet runner beans, a bed of three different sunflowers, two different zucchinis + a volunteer, delicata squash, lettuce, and dahlias in the peppers. The usual cutting garden, carrots, beets and snap peas and a pot of lavender. I'm attracting birds and bees with flowers and bird baths.

Additionally, the fenced in garden has a a bed that surrounds the entire fence. It has become increasingly weedy and overwrought with crazy grass, blackberry and oregano-gone-wild. The concrete blocks that frame this bed have been falling over, making it more unsightly. Our plan was to tear it all out and rebuild, but my sister in-law had the bright idea to just get rid if it entirely. Why didn't we think of that?! It makes so much sense for so many reasons. So far, the boys and their cousin, have removed all the blocks and next step is getting the tractor to remove the weeds, spread the rest of the dirt on other parts of the property and spread grass seed where the bed used to be. Voila.

Other progress on the property includes blackberry removal and moving a few escallonia plants with the major help from my sister in-law. Love you, Brenda. I'm so grateful for this progress and help.

Here are some photos of the garden beds. It's actually my favorite time in the season when the plants are a little bigger than puny and I can easily weed and the tomatoes and zucchini haven't gotten away from me yet. 😉

 First squash blossom.

First squash blossom.

 Zucchini, lettuce and zinnias.

Zucchini, lettuce and zinnias.

 Attempt at Three Sisters. I think I did it wrong. 

Attempt at Three Sisters. I think I did it wrong. 

 Sunflowers - Mammoth in the back row, Moulin Rouge middle row and Italian White in front row. 

Sunflowers - Mammoth in the back row, Moulin Rouge middle row and Italian White in front row. 

 Peas, carrots and lavender.

Peas, carrots and lavender.

 Peas.

Peas.

 Tomatoes, marigolds, onions, chives. Yes I do my tomato cages upside down to create an obelisk. 

Tomatoes, marigolds, onions, chives. Yes I do my tomato cages upside down to create an obelisk. 

 Dinner plate yellow dahlia. 

Dinner plate yellow dahlia. 

Maui 2004 and 2013

Last year in April, the family went to Maui. It was the first time for Glenn and the second time for the rest of us that have at least ten years on him. When I was cleaning the office last weekend, I was reminded that I hadn't posted pictures from the boys' surfing lessons in Kihei when I stumbled upon the photo CD that Big Kahuna Adventures provided us at the close of the lesson. But there was one more golden find - a CD titled in sharpie pen "Maui Wowie, 2004". This had all the photos from our first family trip when Hugo and Oliver were five years old. Before I post the surfing photos below, have a look at these guys...when they were a little older than Glenn is now and when they were lovey dovey with each other. (Not so much now). 

And here they are...age 13 at the time (April 2013). 

Love letter to my 3 year old...

I refer to this photo of the balloon curtain (through which I hope my newly turned four year old will walk through in the morning and not in the middle of the night on his way to the bathroom) as a #pinterestfail. Yes...I just hashtagged. One ought to measure the door before attempting this kind of surprise. One might also check to see that the balloon package does not indicate "tiny" balloons for miniature mystical people. Additionally, one might consider the depth of the overhang from which the balloons must hang and that you have ample adhesive material on hand to affix the narrow, or preferably, wide curtain. Last, affixing in place, as opposed to affixing to another medium and thinking affixing the medium to the unmeasured depth of overhang will work...well it does not. Instead, it will likely result in a tangled mess which you may spend 45 minutes untangling and destatic-ing with a dryer sheet (the latter does not work). AND...this is NOT a joke..as I just wrote this, one balloon popped. Priceless.

Wait for it, wait for it...nope he still sleeps. Let's see how many others pop throughout the night and whether my balloon curtain ends up on the floor at 3am. 

Luckily, a three year old or a four year old (I never know where to put that damn hyphen), will not see this as a #pinterestfail. As with it as he is, as dexterous as he may be at Angry Birds and Temple Run, or even a mouse on the desktop, he does not know what Pinterest is or a hashtag or a fail...except that when he sits on my lap to look at the pictures on the screen of the addictive Pinterest, he picks out all the food that is yummy and that he wants me to make. My child will neither know my effort (and Hugo's...he helped me blow the tiny balloons) as an act of love for him. He will just enjoy the experience of walking through a curtain of half-popped balloons on his birthday morning...for which he is so excited. 

Today is the last day that I will know my three year old, for tomorrow he is four. I am not sure if I am writing this for myself or for him, but probably mostly for me, so that I may reflect on this past year with my last three year old and savor it all...the good and the bad. For my three year old was no peach.

Why Glenn was no peach:

  • He was and still is the master of whining.
  • He has had a few handful of tantrum-like episodes this year. I did have to leave Costco a couple of months ago without anything yet in the basket and drove home with the radio blasting to drown out his inconsolable fit of emotion and screaming.
  • He has and continues to resist bedtime through a myriad of tactics. 
  • He is finicky with his affection for others. I don't like that. He's kind of a cold fish. This can be toward anyone that is not Mom or Dad...and that includes his brothers. 
  • He fights with his brothers. His brothers forget that he is three. Glenn believes that he is the same age as the boys...14. And the boys both treat Glenn like he's 14, especially in situations of injustice at which point they sometimes act like they are three themselves. 

Other observations...I have often referred to Glenn as having the personality of a child actor...he says things like he's in a Cheerios commercial. I can't explain it...I am not sure I have a great example. Also, he's kind of like a scene-stealer. He has these one-liners that he delivers deadpan. I want to think that he's special in that way, but there's so much acting that he observes on TV and even the way his brothers talk, I think he's just picked up on mannerisms and speech that he can use in context when he needs it. 

Even with the above list, this year was my favorite year with Glenn, for he is a charmer. Some of my favorite things about Glenn this year:

  • He can eat three breakfasts. He wants cereal at 7:30am, but when his brothers or Dad wake an hour later and they make eggs and toast or pancakes and bacon, the smell makes him want that too. He can eat A LOT of pancakes. 
  • He loves most fruit. He loves most vegetables...though suddenly he does not like cooked carrots. 
  • When he just has to sit on top of me on the couch or just needs me to snuggle with him before bed, I'll ask why. Says me, "Why must you sit right here on my lap...I am trying to work on the computer." Says he, "Because I LOVE you."
  • He holds my face when he kisses me. 
  • He is still enamored with me. Only I will do. This can be exhausting, but I recognize how sweet and fleeting this is. 
  • He is always thrilled to moon his brothers and his Dad. 
  • I LOVE his face. He has the sweetest smile, the twinkliest eyes, and the softest hair. And when he cries out of sadness, I'm a total sucker. 
  • Like his brothers, he loves to snuggle. Every morning. But as soon as 7:30 hits...no snuggle is as good as cereal. 
  • He bounces up and down in excitement and anticipation as I pour his cereal and milk every morning.
  • He has a new found adoration for his cousin Adam, with whom he got to stay the night over the summer. Adam being just a year older than his brothers, he took care of Glenn and was kind of in charge of him and shared his old Thomas the Train stuff with him. This was last summer. Glenn still talks about it and still talks about Adam.  
  • He loves to be tickled. I don't remember ever liking that. He asks to be tickled. Nut. 
  • He loves to be in cahoots with his Dad in playing pranks on other people. Wet willies, tickles, etc. But he can't keep a straight face through it. He giggles the whole time. 
  • He loves potty talk. 
  • He asks me, "Smell my feet. They're fresh." Said in a  "no, go ahead, it's okay, trust me" kind of way.
  • Glenn loves superheroes. Especially Batman and Spider-Man.
  • His body knows when it's time to burn energy if he's been housebound by rain or whatever, he'll suddenly start doing laps around the kitchen island. He'll ask me to count the laps and always tries to make a goal of 10 laps. Sometimes twice. 
  • He's got a great throw. When he throws a football, he has good aim, force and a nice spiral. He cannot catch. 
  • On Christmas morning, after two months of "building a very long list", he opened a present from Grandma and Grandpa that was unexpected. He looked at it and said to himself, but out loud, "THIS wasn't on my list!"
  • Watching the Golden Globes last night and into the third hour, Glenn got antsy and was bouncing around the couch in his underwear and pajama shirt from the night before (Sundays). When he figured out that I didn't want to be interrupted when he wanted my attention (because I really needed to see and hear Tina and Amy's bit), he would just stick his face six inches in front of my face. When I would try to look around his face and past his head, he'd grab my face and make me look at HIM. Naturally, I grabbed his little body and tossed it to the corner of the sectional. He loved that...so now it was a game. Repeat six or seven times, when finally he starts doing a slow motion creep with his head into my sightline...it was like he was photo-bombing my view of the TV.

There is so much more, but it's way past my bedtime. I want to finish this post with this reflection: Tuesday is Glenn's birthday, it's mid-week, Brad is out of town all week and I kind of assumed I'd figure out some kind of low key party for the weekend. I still don't know what my plan is, but something loosey-goosey will come to fruition tomorrow. Ten years ago, I would be beating myself up about this, but I know now that it's not about the perfect party, it's just about the attention and making sure he feels loved. And then it's about all the things I'd like him to be able to experience all year. Swim lessons, ski lessons, learning to read and write, playing records on his own turntable, making new friends through new playgroups, having his own garden and play area this summer, spending time with grandparents and having more responsibility in the house.

Glenn is invested in getting older. I couldn't talk him out of it. Every time I asked him to stay three, he said, "No. I want to be your age. I want to cook like you and Dad and my brothers. I want to be tall." I will so miss you, my little Glenn. This is the agony and victory of a mother...to holdfast and slowly to let go. I hope I don't forget him this way.

  

 

Our little superhero on Christmas Day 2013. Age 3. 

 

Photo Booth - Surprise 70th Birthday Party

My father in-law got the surprise of his life last night as he entered the cleverly set up fake wine tasting at the beautiful Wine Room of the Water Street Cafe and Bar in Olympia. Friends and family cheered Gene's entry with a raucous "SURPRISE!!!" to celebrate Gene's 70th Birthday. 

It was a great turnout of people who know and love Gene. We documented the party-goers with a photo booth and here are the 200+ photos that prove the fun that was had. Enjoy!!

Galera, Yamaha, Honda - Project Bikes

Some photos of a couple of project bikes. One is Allison's Italian Galera bike and the other our Honda CL70, along with the spruced up Yamaha 250. 

 

Seabrook

My mother and I decided we needed to go on a jaunt to Seabrook, Washington to see what all the fuss was about. I have friends that rent houses there often and it's all over Sunset magazine. Two idea homes were open for touring and so it seemed like a great weekend to check it out...this was back in late October. 

Well, it's definitely adorable and a fantastic urban planning vision. I can't wait to rent a house there. The tour of two of Sunset's idea homes was fun and definitely eye-opening in terms of design and function of a view or beach home. And as it turns out, they are designed by my favorite architects Peter Brachvogel and Stella Carosso of BC and J Architecture. That's a long story, but I'll just say that Mr. Brachvogel understood my Seinfeld reference when I got in touch with him years ago. He wittingly replied to one of my emails with "Dear Ms. Vandalay..." I am so hiring him some day. 

My mom insisted on some pictures of Glenn and Glenn and her together. Here they are and enjoy.

Cousins

A three-day weekend, means play dates and just some extra time to break out the camera. Here is my nephew and niece - Lukas and Audrey - and Glenn. I can fill up a flash drive in no time flat with these three.

Homecoming 2013

Another milestone in our kids' childhoods...Homecoming Dance. Hugo opted out for this one, but Oliver did not want to miss out. With his beautiful date and friends, they were photographed excessively around Olympia, including Percival Landing, the Capitol and the superhero wall by Old School Pizza. Oliver was feeling like James Bond in his tux...and frankly, he looked as handsome. 

I love these opportunities to photograph these kids, because I don't have their attention the way I do their three year old brother anymore. Enjoy my handpicked selection of these great looking kids. 

Soul Brothers Farm in Olympia

One day in May of this year, I was driving down Lilly Road and turned west onto 26th on my way to pick up my son. As I turned, I was excited to peek into the back forty of the cute little local farm whose rustic signs I had noticed on a previous trip down this road. I was hoping to sneak a peek of some chickens roaming freely in the vintage looking yard or maybe some pigs or sheep enjoying the late sun. As I passed the small home and looked into the field of tall grass, I noticed a pink painted shed, emblazoned in block print with the word "PORKLANDIA" . I laughed out loud to myself in my car and thought...I need a beautiful shot of that. 

So, I found Soul Brothers Farm's Facebook page and sent the farmers a message, both introducing myself and explaining what happened and how I NEEDED to get a shot of that...and hey, maybe even wander around your property and get some rustic, country shots of this idyllic little farm in my neck of the woods in Olympia. The farmer fellas - Alex, Austin and Ross - responded gracefully and welcomed me to their farm anytime. So I made an appointment. It was pushed back a few times due to conflicts on both of our ends, but finally I got to visit Soul Brothers Farm and get some of the shots that I wanted. 

For shots like this, I don't necessarily envision the outcome ahead of time. But I went in kind of knowing how I wanted these shots to look. I wanted an ethereal kind of timeless feel with these shots. A little like film, vintage and dusky light...a little moody. You be the judge on whether I accomplished that. 

Thanks to Alex, Austin and Ross for their hospitality and graciousness...and for the eggs and bacon. I really appreciated being able to get the shots that I wanted.