My maternal grandfather passed away in 1998; he spent 11 years of his life in Soviet labor camps and I spent the past 15 years researching his life and trying to find out what happened with his family. In doing that, I completely neglected the other side of my family.
A few days ago I sat down with Daniella (my older daughter) to show her the contents of my keepsake box. As I opened the box, I came across a ziplock bag full of Soviet-era medals. I completely forgot that I even had these medals in my possession - my paternal grandmother gave them to me before moving to a nursing home in 2011. My paternal grandfather - David - passed away when I was 5 years old, and I have very few memories of him. Seeing these medals and explaining what they are and what they mean to Daniella made me feel terribly guilty about knowing virtually nothing about my grandfather David's life.
Given my grandmother's mental state I have a very short window of opportunity to find out as much as I can about my grandfather. I guess I know what I'm doing over Thanksgiving holidays.
This has been an absolutely insane year and we really needed to get out of Pittsburgh for a few days, change the scenery and do something fun. We usually take one big trip (usually abroad) every year; this year we picked Ireland by pretty much pointing blindly at the map of Europe. We were a bit concerned about traveling that far with two small children - Daniella is 3.5 years old and Sophia is only 11 months old. We weren't too worried about Daniella - she is a seasoned traveler. She's traveled to 4 countries outside of the US and has been on at least 20 flights. Sophia is a travel noob and we weren't sure how well she would handle the trip. We had a blast! The trip was incredible and we managed to see and do way more than we expected, even with two small kids in tow. Instead of rambling, let me present to you - Ireland: 6 days in 6 minutes.
If you prefer to see individual images, you can see photos from the entire trip on Flickr
My wife always makes fun of the fact that I'm like the proverbial shoemaker without shoes - I am a professional photographer who doesn't have any photos of my own family. A few weeks ago we finally decided to fix this issue and asked my friend and amazing photographer Jenny Karlsson to photograph our family. She was incredibly patient with us and the photos are absolutely amazing. I have been looking at the slideshow at least 5 times a day!
My wife Irina made this amazing Halloween costume for Daniella - she was easily the cutest kid at Zoo Boo 2012
Daniella rocking out at the Guitar Center in Monroeville Trying on some hats...And no day is complete without a nice cup of green tea...