Sick day

Day 2 of being home sick. The three things I know to be true about Joseph — huge appetite, high energy and loud volume — are all missing right now. At least he has no voice, so he can’t whine.




Our first home, sold

Our condo officially belongs to a new owner now. We went to say goodbye, and it was staged so prettily Joseph wanted to know, “Is this a hotel?” It was the perfect home for me when I was a single gal, and the buyer (a single gal) is going to love it.

It was the first place I bought, where I got married and where I brought my baby home. I am terribly sad to leave it (that open kitchen!!), but to squeeze in there now, I’d have to get rid of at least two of my guys. So, no.


Global families

People are my favorite subject to shoot, and I loved meeting everyone featured in ParentMap’s global families story.

More pictures and Q&As with each family here. This story was ParentMap’s September cover story!

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Just try driving through South Lake Union on a weekday afternoon. Old buildings being torn down, high-rises going in, construction equipment everywhere as the Amazon boom accelerates. Even walking can be difficult, the sidewalks teeming with the badges-on-a-lanyard crowds. Is it any surprise that Seattle is the fastest growing city in the country?

According to a 2016 Census estimate, 704,352 people call the Emerald City home. That’s up nearly 100,000 people since the last count in 2010, with some 1,100 people moving to the Seattle metro area every week.

While we may gripe about skyrocketing housing prices and expressways turned into parking lots, this population boom isn’t Seattle’s first. From the Gold Rush at the end of the 1800s, to Boeing in the 1950s and ’60s and Microsoft in the ’90s, new residents have arrived in waves. Now the no. 1 reason to move to Seattle often comes in a cardboard box printed with a smile.

Where are people coming from? According to a LinkedIn report in June, more workers came to Seattle from San Francisco than anywhere else. That makes sense, trading one tech hub with another. We talked with the Gavhane family from the Bay Area, and several international families lured to Seattle by the tech industry.

Other families are here because the dangerous situations they left back home. For the Ramos family from El Salvador, it was the gang violence. For the Musawi and Al Helli family from Iraq, it was the price of working for the U.S. military.

Moving here comes at a cost, especially for those arriving from abroad. It means leaving their friends and families, setting up the kids in new schools, navigating a new language and lifestyle.

Our newest neighbors are arriving at a time when anti-immigration rhetoric is as loud as ever, and coming directly from the Executive Office. Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, the candidate who is now our president called for building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and ramping up deportations. In January, he tried to ban travel from seven Muslim-majority countries (an executive order the U.S. Supreme Court is, as of publishing, partiality allowing before it considers the U.S. government’s case in October).

In this decidedly blue corner of the country, resisting the president is often seen as a badge of honor. But for the recently arrived Seattleites we talked to, their main concerns are centered around daily life, not politics: filling out paperwork, building a new network and helping their kids pick up English.


Museum day live! We got tickets to MoPop, where we spent a morning pretending to be cool kids. We tried measuring up to a Seahawk (at, um, waist height), worked on DJ skills and played a video game. Now it’s back to our normal life, which is as far removed from pop culture as you can get.

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Once in a while, I get asked if my boys are twins. Umm…? Twins who are four years and two weeks apart.
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We went to our favorite place in Seattle, the butterfly house at the science center.


It doesn’t help that they have an obnoxious mama who likes to dress them the same. Some day they won’t let me, but for right now they don’t care.



We try to take the ferry over to Bainbridge at least once every summer. Paul was fascinated by the cars in the decks below, and both boys wanted to explore the top level even though the wind nearly blew them away. Paul came home with a new word: “渡輪 (ferry).”

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