Category Archives: Family

Sammy Explores

Is there any question why this little guy is one of my favorite subjects to photograph? I love watching his curiousity and seeing him discover new things. I few days ago, I followed him as he explored spaces near our house, including a little shed that may be a dog house, though I’m not sure. I’ll ask someone eventually. In the meantime, here’s this kiddo, out and about.

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Reading & Resting & Wrestling

From the moment we arrived in our new house, we fell head-over-heals in love with our porch. It’s bright and airy, spacious enough for Ella to jump rope and the perfect location for Sam to watch the big kids play in the field below. Last week, we hosted lunch for the medical interns and other physicians Pete has been teaching in the pediatrics department, and there was plenty of room for us to pull our full-size dining room table outside and surround it with chairs and benches. We had not planned on having such a space when coming to Kenya, and we do not take it for granted. Many afternoons have been spent playing on the porch, like the recent afternoon I snapped these photos of Ella and Sam.

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Amani Means Peace

Amani means peace in Swahili. Five years ago, while driving to the hospital when I was in labor with Sam, we chose to give our baby boy the middle name Amani. We hadn’t yet met him, but in the past five years, we have seen this name have true meaning in his life and character. Samuel Thomas Amani Olsen. Our little Amani.

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Miss Ella Turns Eight

Just ten days after arriving in Kenya, our Ella celebrated her eighth birthday. She had been talking for the entire year before about having her birthday here, so we were incredibly happy that it happened! We marked the occasion with a little party on our porch. She invited three other girls whose parents also work at the hospital. They began by indulging in the first batch of cupcakes I’ve made since arriving in country. Just after that, I handed my phone over to the birthday girl who chose a mix of Taylor Swift and the Trolls soundtrack for a very exuberant dance party. I stood in the kitchen doorway, playing the part of a fly on the wall, and laughed over their shrieks and girly outbursts. My Ella really is her own spunky, energetic, witty, super theatrical girl! Once the girls slowed down a bit after their first round of dancing, they sat on the floor and let me paint their nails. Then I was back on the sidelines. It amazes me that we’ve reached this point. Ella wants to do everything on her own, with her friends, often without me. Eight years old. What a year this is going to be!

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