We spent a very quick 24 hours in Portland this weekend, jetting down there yesterday morning after brunch with some friends, and jetting back to Seattle this afternoon in time to catch the Superbowl at home (and if you saw how Shane drove today in order to make it home by 3:30, ‘jetting’ is a gross understatement).  It was a nice trip – briefer than I’d have liked to it to be, but full of some quality-time with the fam, for which I am grateful.

My parents were also visiting Portland for the weekend, so we seized the opportunity that this little Jarrell family reunion presented and went out on the town last night for a nice meal together.  Elise stayed home with a sitter, and I was a little bummed to miss out on some quality time with my increasingly-adorable niece, but once we settled into our cozy little table at Navarre and ordered a good bottle of wine, I saw the value in having a grown-up kind of night.  I do love me a good tapas-style dinner, and our small plates of beet salad, crab cakes, braised pork, and roasted brussel sprouts did not disappoint.  Topped off with a shared slice of devil’s food cake and a great cup of coffee, and I was one happy clam.  Yum.

This morning was nice and mellow, and while Mitch and my dad worked on a couple of projects around the house, my mom and I buckled Elise into her stroller and headed over to the neighborhood coffee shop for some quality mother/daughter/granddaughter-auntie/niece time.  It’s fun being able to communicate with Elise on a different level now – she’s able to tell us what she likes/doesn’t like, did/didn’t do, wants/doesn’t want.  For example, she was abundantly clear when we walked by the park on the way home that she wanted ‘OUT’ of her stroller to go play on the ‘SWINGS, PLEASE’ (okay, I added the ‘please’, but she’s working on her manners, so I’ll cut her some slack).  We were happy to oblige, and spent some time pushing her on the swings as she giggled and jabbered.  It was a great morning.

And then, it was time to point the car north and head back home.  Such a quick visit, and while I’m thankful that we have the chance to visit my family several times a year, these one-day trips can leave me missing them more than usual.  So I’m a little bummed out tonight, wishing I could have stayed in Portland a few more days – who wouldn’t miss this face?


  1. Eric Ruthford says:

    Dear Kelly,

    I happened upon this blog randomly four or five months ago and have been keeping up with it ever since, and I like it very much. It’s inspiring as I am unemployed and kind of bored to think of the cool stuff you and your husband are doing. What kind of camera do you use to take these pictures? I still use a film Pentax ME Super just because I like how you can make more thoughtful portraits than you can with a cheap digital camera that does all the thinking for you. You obviously put more care into your pictures, and I’d love to know what kind of setup you use.

    Here’s my favorite recent picture, of my wife having breakfast at Lowell’s restaurant in Pike Place Market.


    You give me inspiration for how to write good stories about day trips!

    Eric Ruthford

  2. Eric Ruthford says:

    Please forgive a typo in the previous comment… sentence two should be broken in half. “It’s inspiring as I am unemployed and kind of bored. I like to think of the cool stuff you and your husband are doing.”

  3. kellyschnell says:

    Hi Eric,
    Thanks for reading my blog – glad you stumbled upon it! I use a Canon Rebel XTi DSLR, with a 50mm f1.4 lens for a lot of my indoor shots. I also do a bit of color correction and contrast adjustment in Photoshop. Still have a lot to learn, but it’s been a fun process!