Last year’s Project 10×12 is a big success. I want to continue working on a personal project this year and call it Family Joy. The number of images I share in this project varies every month, but the goal is to capture the sweet moments among my family members. I realized that I spent less time with my kids towards the end of last year due to overflow of photo sessions. It makes me sad that they grow up so fast. I decided to take less sessions this year to spend more time with my family.
The first Family Joy story focuses on our big family reunion taken place during Christmas holiday. This almost never happened before. We had a full house. I mean it! Both my parents and my in-laws were here for the holidays. We had no open bedrooms to book any extra guests. My dad flew all the way from Shanghai, China. My mom flew from Virginia. My in-laws have been here for a while, but they came from Hong Kong. Audrey and Wesley were so excited that all grandparents were here!
Family is always the priority in my life. I decided to capture this big family reunion as much as I could. My dad and my cousin helped me on this project a lot. My dad held a grey card and stood at a spot has great lighting in our living room. Once I set everything up on my camera, he used Audrey’s stuffed animal to mark the spot. I then grabbed Wesley to stand in that spot. We did that for some indoor pictures for my parents and my kids. Then we used same technique for the big family photos with both my parents, the kiddos, my in-laws, and Billy and myself. My cousin snapped those for us. In between taking these pictures, my in-laws and Billy were cooking. Audrey and Wesley wanted to help too and they couldn’t not get off the kitchen counter. I had to snap a few of them.
Food and cooking is such a big part of my family. Billy loves cooking, so does our parents. My mother-in-law cooked a few Shanghainese style dishes for Christmas Eve lunch. All of those were gone after the meal. We also made Shanghainese style savory moon cake. We only make moon cake during the moon festival in September usually, but it is so good that we decided to make it again. The moon cake symbolizes harmony and family reunion – perfect for our big family get together. My mom, my in-laws, and my cousin worked on making the moon cake while Audrey and my dad observed the process. That took almost the entire afternoon. Both kids had 3 moon cakes for dinner! It is the perfect pastry for the holiday!
Presents! Both kids are so spoiled this year. They got a big train table, crayola drawing table, a self-moving car, Virginia Tech shoes, clothes, and lots more. Among all these, Wesley likes his ukulele the best and Audrey loves her new guitar. I will look into enrolling them to early childhood instrument classes this year.
How could I leave the family reunion without any outdoor pictures? We all ventured out to the winter wonder land and took some pictures in front of a lake in our neighborhood. We did not stay long because it was too cold outside, but got lots of good ones within just 10 minutes. This family reunion was a blast for everyone!
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