Clara’s just a few short weeks away from being 3. And despite being a far cry from the early lay-on-your-back infant days when this photo project started (like these), we couldn’t resist this shot of her dreamily staring up at the flowers, which almost seem to be floating down around her.
The funny thing is that getting this shot was anything but dreamy. Here’s how it went down (almost literally). She started off with a just-bloomed azalea in her hands. The ol’ spring theme was officially on overload.
It entertained her for a few shots. “Ooooh, pretty.”
And we actually almost called it a day when we got this shot of her politely sitting with it.
But we decided to charge forward. At this point Clara was over the flower, so we swapped it out for this felt heart beanbag instead. She LOVED it.
She desperately tried to get it to stick to her shirt.
Much to our surprise she was successful. Victory, right?
Think again. It fell off seconds later and when she couldn’t recreate the magic moment, it was all downhill from there. Even when we tried to show her it would stay on a non-vertical part of her body, like her shoulder. Nope. Not having it.
We were fully in the throws of a tantrum. When a bean bag doesn’t stick to your shirt the natural reaction is to throw yourself to the ground right?
But at least in the aftermath (once she had calmed down), we captured this quiet moment that looks pretty and has a quintessential story of toddlerhood behind it.
Psst- For more on this project (and how we add the week to her shirt using photoshop) click here.
My good friend from college, Quan, currently lives in China so we don’t get to see her very often. She grew up in Richmond so she comes home to visit family every now and then, and the last time we saw her was when Clara was only about a month old. But a couple of weeks ago she surprised us by showing up a lunch we had planned with our other friend named Sarah. And she came bearing gifts…
The silk outfit is actually something Quan brought back for Clara on her first visit when she had just been born. And this time she came home with a flower headdress to add to the ensemble. I was a little worried that Clara wouldn’t tolerate something that large on her head. But she was over the moon about being “dressed up like a princess!” Plus, there were tassels. I mean, c’mon. How could you resist?
So a big thanks to Quan for sharing a bit of culture from across the globe! And now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go stop someone from trying to crown Burger…
Like our main blog, we consider this site to be our happy place. A sanctuary away from all the other messes that life can throw our way and a record of the things that we’ll find joy in remembering sometime down the road. So I was hesitant to address this week’s bombings in Boston here, since they’re about as far from happy as you can get.
But two days before the idea ever crossed my mind that participating in a race could end in tragedy, I did just that. Last Saturday I ran Richmond’s Monument Avenue 10k, which USA Today ranked right alongside the Boston Marathon itself. Me and 40,000 others ran 6.2 miles up and down our city’s most iconic street. It was my 12th consecutive time participating and I’d been looking forward to both running it, and sharing it with you guys here (just like last year).
As upset as Monday’s events have made me – both as a person, a runner and a fan of the city of Boston – I figured that maybe offering a reminder of the joy, camaraderie, and sense of accomplishment that can be felt on a race day might be a helpful (albeit small) attempt at bring something positive back. It’s amazing how much love there can be on a day when thousands of runners crowd a city’s streets.
Among the thousands of runners in Richmond that day were my family. Eight of us to be exact. There was my dad, who has run with me for 10 years now (though not literally next to me, since he’s a good deal faster). My sisters Carrie (pink shirt) and Katie (blue), the latter of whom (along with my brother-in-law Martin) traveled from New York City. My cousin Brenna and her son Tyler also traveled (from Northern Virginia) to run with us. And there in the middle is my 12-year-old niece Olivia, who was running it for the first time. We didn’t all start or finish together, but it was still very much a family event.
We also had family on the sidelines cheering us on. Sherry, my sister Emily, and my mom boldly volunteered to (got tricked into?) keep Clara and her three under age four cousins named Emanuel, John and Ben entertained while they waited patiently for the few seconds that each of us would trot on by. That’s dedication if you ask me.
And to my surprise when I approached all four kids were calmly sitting in their strollers, waving some cowbells, and probably wondering where everyone was going. Maybe we all heard an ice cream truck?
This look is the look of someone who has run nearly 4 miles and just got an incredible boost from seeing his wife and child smiling at him from the curb. PS: Note the crowd of runners approaching the turn around point on the other side of the street behind me.
That was also the moment I noticed, as Sherry captured later in this Instagram picture, that Clara had picked out a special outfit to cheer me on. Her “Rad Like Dad” shirt and a neon tutu to match my shirt which, by the way, she helped me pick out the night before. What a girl. Maybe someday she’ll run with me?
It was a really memorable day for our family. I’m so grateful to the people who cheered us on (whether I was related to them or not) and especially to the people who help to organize events like these. I wholeheartedly believe they do wonderful things for us as individuals, as athletes, and as communities. And hopeful they’ll be able to continue to work those wonders as we attempt to process and heal from this week’s tragedy.
PS: Runner’s World has compiled a list of ways you can help and show support for Boston if you’re interested.