Happy Father’s Day

fathers day

Josh and Savanna are lucky beans because they have Cliff for a dad. He is an awesome dad, not because of the once-in-a-while heroic moments, but in the day in and day out grind of life. He is there for the kids from the moment they were born, changing more diapers than I have. He is there when Josh took his first step. He is there packing the school lunches, picking up and dropping off. He is there to catch Savanna’s vomit in his bare hands when she was sick. He picks up all the tiny pieces of Lego before he vacuums the rug.

There is no glory and the job is not sexy. But when I see the adoration in the kids’ eyes, I know Cliff is their hero.

 

 

 

 

Costa Rica with Savanna

Savanna and I came back from Costa Rica late on Tuesday night last week. We came back with some coffee and chocolate in our suitcase. But I also came back with a load of great memories of hanging out with this little human.

We stayed at a B&B owned by an older couple. The house was designed by the husband, the garden designed by the wife, situated on their family’s coffee plantation. We were surrounded by greenery. They  had two dogs and two cats, which is the equivalent of heaven for Savanna.

We were fed amazing fresh mangoes, juice from their own orange trees, and locally made cheese every morning. We went to the local farmers market to get fresh produce, drank coconut juice, and ate watermelon. When the monsoon rain started in the afternoon, we would stay in and do puzzles, coloring books, play with the host’s grandson’s toys. We took one cocoa farm tour where we gorged on chocolates made from the farm’s own cocoa fruit, and drank hot chocolate from freshly ground cocoa nibs.

In general, we spent a ton of time together enjoying each other’s company. I tried hard to savour every minute of time spent with Savanna, and memorize her still-baby’ish cheeks. I know how fast this time goes by, and I am in such denial that she’s going to kindergarten in September.Angela Chang Photography Costa Rica San Jose trip

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The house we stayed at

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Farmers market

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A fresh bean. My first time seeing one.

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Giant papaya

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Freshly made tortilla

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Savanna spent lots of time playing in the yard with branches and twigs.

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We did hours of coloring and puzzles.

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Churro filled with caramel. I ate most of it.

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Oranges that are great for juicing after they ripen. The smell of the orange flowers is a.m.a.z.i.n.g.

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Savanna collected walnuts in the yard

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On the cocoa farm tour, Savanna got to crack open a cocoa fruit.

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This is what the inside of the cocoa fruit looks like.

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Dried cocoa beans.

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Once dried, the cocoa beans are roasted to intensify the flavour.

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Then you crack the shells open.

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Grind up the cocoa nibs, make hot chocolate, and give it all to Angela.

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This is a story for another day. It’s a story about how I turned a 2-hour drive into a 5-hour drive on the twisty-est and rainy-est mountain roads in Costa Rica.

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And this is how patient this kid is about her mother’s ability to mess up the Google map directions.

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I am totally crazy about this little human being, and absolutely in love with her.

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Every morning, the sweetest and juiciest mango greets us.

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A stroll on the coffee planation with the B&B host.

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Savanna said, “Look Mommy, I found a heart!”

Day 133/365 {Howard}

Josh’s class has a bear named Howard. Each night, Howard goes home with a different kid. Howard comes with a journal, pajamas, and a back-pack. The kids get to write in the journal about what they did with Howard and put photos in it.

This particular weekend, Howard came home with Josh. We happened to be headed up to Whistler, so Howard came with us. He got to go on a bike ride with us, and here he is sitting in his backpack while we had a picnic.Day 133 of 365 Angela Chang Photography

Day 130/365 {Ivory}

14 years ago today, it was hot and sunny. I remember it well. I had to raise my arms to keep my armpits cool, while the rest of me sweated under the heavy wedding dress. Later, when I was walking down the isle, I can see Cliff standing at the alter, a sweaty mess as well.

Fast forward 14 years. I came home from work, soaking wet from riding my bike home in the rain. I opened the door to our apartment, and was welcomed by the two little humans I gave birth to, the fur baby we recently adopted, and the same sweaty sweet guy I married 14 years ago. Ah, how life has changed. I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything else in the world.

Babe, thank you for being you, and letting me be me.

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Day 110 -126/365

I have to stop calling these “catching up” posts. It seems like I have zero discipline when it comes to posting on a daily basis.

The past couple of weeks, I have suffered from non-busyness. I actually do well in life when I’m busy. But two weeks ago, all of a sudden a bunch of projects at work got finished up and sent out the door, and I wasn’t super busy anymore. It was nice to have a day to get a breather once in a while. But for me, when I’m not stressing out at work, I fall apart. I get bored. I slack off and get absolutely nothing done all day. This is also reflected in my photography. I missed many days.

So. Um. Yeah. Let’s move on and show you what I do have.

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These are two lovely people I have met at the Help Portrait events before. On this day, we were volunteering at Ronald McDonald House that hosts out-of-town families staying there for their children’s hospital visit at BC Children’s. Some are in town for a quick standard procedure, some have been there for 9 months for their children’s cancer treatment. There are no words to describe how much I looked forward to seeing my kids that night and holding them tight.

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Sonia treated me to a cooking demonstration class for my birthday. The theme of the day was Mediterranean food. The food was great, and the company was even better.

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Here is our growing pea plant. I have been meaning to show more photos of our planter box’s progress. But you know, lazy-itis got to me.

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Savanna still likes playing with me at her current age. She doesn’t get tired of asking me to play her toys with her, do puzzles with her, read with her, or lay down in her bed with her. I am going to use this to remind her one day (when she is a teenager) that playing with mommy used to be cool.

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I have this minor Pinterest addiction. I say minor because I can avoid it for 6 months at a time, then I will binge pinning non-stop for weeks. Anyway, I came across this turmeric tea recipe on Pinterest last week. I read in Scott Jerak’s book that turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, so I figured I’d give this tea a try since my tendonitis has been acting up. It actually tasted quite good.

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I went with Josh’s class field trip to the Vancouver Police Department Dog Squad. This is where the kennels are. They look almost like prison cells from the outside. For some reason, I don’t think the dogs really care about how the hallway looks.

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Spring is definitely here. A back-alley corner looks better than any gardening I would be able to come up with.

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I made some chocolate chip frozen yogurt for the kids. Savanna was wolfing hers down. I asked her if it was two thumbs up, and she only gave me one thumb. I guess it was good, but not amazing. Damn Pinterest.