So we have this jar sitting on our kitchen counter. 

It’s called the gratitude jar. It was given to us by a dear friend Susan. Next to the jar is a notepad and a pen. The idea is that every time you want to be grateful for something, anything, you stop, write it down, fold up the note and place in the jar. 

Then on first day of the year, our family opens the jar and we read the notes together. 

An afternoon at the playground

Yesterday, the girls were at various activities with Lauren, so it was just me and james for the afternoon. It was a bit rainy but we caught a break and hit a playground in a town nearby. 

I had my x100 with me. The sky was very grey and it messed with my exposures and white balance a bit. I’m still learning a lot about this new camera. It’s a lot of fun but I missed a few shots today.

(ISO 800, f/4.5, 1/250sec)

James found a few old trucks and we worked on our “construction site”

(ISO 400, f/3.6, 1/200sec)

Taking a leap.

Writing down your life story

We spent Thursday and Friday in New York City.

Yesterday, we arrived at my parents in Long Island. Last night after the kids went to bed, my dad told us some amazing things about his childhood that I had never heard before.

My brother and I have learned a lot about my parents lives over the years but I know there are gaps missing from the stories. And there are certainly photos missing. The old photos we have aren’t tagged or organized at all and we don’t have any videos naturally.

I told my parents that they should write down their life story. Start at the beginning. They have led fascinating lives. One little tidbit: They both came from different countries to the United States in the 60’s. My mom is from Korea. My dad is from Iran. They met after medical school during their residency in New York. My mom was supposed to be arranged but she met my dad. There is so much more to their story….

These days many of us are sharing our lives on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, blogs and flickr. It’s an attempt to write down and share our life story. From the seemingly mundane to the other end of the spectrum.

I hope my kids can one day check out my shared life to get another window into my life story.

And hopefully they will do the same for the next generation.

Decided to make my kids photos private by default

I’ve been publicly sharing photos online since 1999 when my first daughter was born.

I was so proud that I wanted the world to know when she first smiled, sat up, first started to crawl, talk, walk, ride a bike, etc. Same was true for my next two kids.

Ten years later and I have over 6k photos on Flickr. The vast majority of them are of my kids or family members. And with a couple of rare exceptions, the default setting is public mode.

But something changed lately for me. Maybe it was one extra person I didn’t know that decided to favorite my kid on Flickr. Or maybe I’m just getting more sensative. I really don’t know.

So this evening I changed the privacy settings on the kids photos on Flickr to private and only viewable to my family and close friends.

Some of my close friends won’t be able to see photos of my kids and that’s not the intention. So if you are a close friend and want access then please email me and I’ll send you a flickr invite to our online photos.

I’ll still occasionally post a public photo of the kids.

But, for now, the default mode for the kids is private.

Traveling Man

I’ve been thinking about a lot of stuff as this year comes to a close.

One thing is clear. I’ve been traveling like crazy. Those of you that follow me on twitter probably know how much I’m in NYC and SF.

I love my work so I don’t see my travel schedule changing anytime soon.

I’ve got 3 little kids. And I love them more than anything. I try to leave them notes around the house when I’m traveling. And naturally I call them every day from the road.

I wish my phone had video calling capability. That would incredible. Its wonderful when my wife sends me photos of the kids in real time from her iphone to my phone during the day. Especially when I’m traveling.

That brings a smile to my face.

I know many people travel a lot these days and I’m hardly the only one. So feel free to leave me a comment or email me with any tips on things you do from the road for your kiddies.