Author: photosbyshew

One year ago pre-pandemic

Nearly one year ago, we spent our spring break in the City of Brotherly Love. We did not know then the meaning of socially distancing or masking up. It is almost comical that we traveled to a largely populated city right before the world shuttered down. We even cut our trip short because news of our university telling students not to return from spring break was the first real hint that this global pandemic was to be taken seriously. Looking back at these photos almost feels like studying a relic. A year later, I am missing the old normal. And those soup dumplings from Dim Sum Garden. And the fresh peking duck from Reading Terminal Market.

Nature study

I read a wise book that said when you don’t have the answers, you can find them in nature. By sheer irony did we recently (as in yesterday) find this beautiful trail a few steps from our home. By following a handful of trails, we explored a pond and ended up at one of our favorite playgrounds. I went back again today with my macro lens and (literally) focused on the smaller details of life. I think it’s because the big details just feel a little too big right now. Wishing you all well.

Cape Charles: A summer bay vacay

Before we say farewell to summer, say hello to Cape Charles, Virginia. This adorable town hosted us for one final getaway before our “big kid” started kindergarten. Despite a mid-week trip to urgent care (what are the odds of contracting a salivary gland infection during the week of vacation?!?), we had a great time. And with that, I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking. :) Happy September to you all!

The Neals take on the (Disney) world

We did it, you guys. We survived the planning. The buildup. The exhaustive research. We’re finally on the other end of our Disney trip, and because I lugged my DSLR all the way to Florida and carried it everywhere except for the pool, I thought this was worthy of the blog. :) Grateful for being able to keep bedtime routines while traveling. Also, we learned that Q is a huge fan of pull-out sofa beds. I’m pretty sure it’s the novelty, but hey, not questioning it. Pictured above is what you get with two first-time flyers. “Daddy, this is a huge TV!”  Happy to report that the kids did great on their first flight! Those headphones were a huge game changer – they even came with built-in audio splitters. (This will only make sense to those of you who only have one tablet and two kids whom you are desperately trying to quietly entertain for the duration of the flight). Another pro-tip that worked beautifully was giving the kids applesauce pouches at takeoff to help …

A little flashback

Rainy Sundays are good for cozy blankets, hot tea, and warm memories. Here is a little flashback to my ME TRIP to see dear friends on the west coast. We’ve known each other long before our babies were born, and now we’re all up to two babies each! Side note: In these photos, Natasha was still baking her second one. :) When we lived in the same state, it wasn’t unusual to see one another almost every weekend. We were so in tune that we could orchestrate the most elaborate potluck dinner within minutes. I knew we had it good then, and now that we live coasts apart, I am even more grateful for what we had. Thank you both for showing me what a mutually giving and loving friendship looks like and for this amazing weekend. Cheers to many more just like it. xoxo