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  • Elisse Carma

A Day In The Life of the Carnegies

Eve cries on her dad's shoulder

Join me for a Day In The Life of the Carnegie family. I spent half a day with their family one Saturday in late September. I stopped in as they were pulling out the halloween decorations.

Sen Lin and the others play with the halloween decorations

Music played as the kids helped tape decor to the walls (because the landlords here don't appreciate pins in their wallpaper). May sang every single word to Despacito as well as the entire Ed Sheeran cd. I was quite impressed with her knowledge of the lyrics and the way she kept a perfectly straight face the entire time she sang.

Josh catches Eve in his arms

After about an hour of decorating, the kids started to get a little restless. They played hide and seek, wrestled until their dad intervened, climbed into their parents' closet to scare each other, and danced to the music. It usually takes an hour or two for kids to loosen up with a photographer in their home, and I love when they start to come out of their shells, showing some of their personality.

Sen Lin plays in the tatami room

I love the Japanese touches in and around their apartment. The tatami room for the kids to play in, the sliding doors, the garden. It's not a huge place but the Carnegies seem to appreciate it for what it is and make the most of it.

Bug spray time

We took a walk to the park across the street, a typical Saturday activity for them. First things first, of course: bug spray! September is still prime bug time, and these kids clearly know the drill. I cracked up when they lined up for spray time, covering faces and cringing.

Sen Lin plays gymnastics on the playground equipment

I always find it interesting, watching the kids do their thing while they have some free time. As May threw a ball with her dad, I watched Sen Lin on the other side of the playground transform into an olympic gymnast. This boy doesn't stop! Completely alone, he flipped around bars, jumped over things in new impressive ways, spun wildly, challenged himself more with each move. He looked determined and focused, training himself to master this playground gymnastics. I was mesmerized. I was really very impressed with not only his skill level but his focus. Rather than play a game with his siblings or make friends, he opted to challenge his body.

Sen Lin watches his dad on the bars

His dad joined him after a little while. I noticed what a great teacher Josh is while watching him demonstrate new moves for Sen Lin, challenging his son to keep pushing himself and patiently helping him. Sen Lin hit the ground only once.

May and Josh play ball

May got a lesson as well. Josh worked with her to improve her catching and throwing skills, and I saw May start to open up, laughing and smiling as she played.

Walking to dinner in the city

After the park we walked to dinner. It isn't easy to trek through the city with three kids but they seemed pretty familiar with their part of town and the kids obediently followed in a line behind their dad.

Eve runs and skips next to mom

...that is, until sweet little Eve began to skip and bounce along beside her mom. I love her energy.

Dinnertime with some edamame

Dinner was eaten at one of their favorite Japanese places. Malinee impressed me with her Japanese as she ordered for the family.

Tablets save the day at dinnertime

Dinner is always more peaceful with some tablets handy for placating children after eating. Thank heavens for technology.

May tells me about school

May is pretty reserved but also a very smart girl, and she loves to share if you're willing to listen. I asked about school and her Japanese lessons and she told me all about what she's learning. I felt that this picture grabbed that part of her personality: bright and curious and full of interesting facts that she's happy to share with you.

Josh plays with Eve

Back to the apartment, and time for bed. Bedtime always offers some great photo opportunities of playtime between parents and kids. Silliness is inevitable at this stage of the night.

Josh brushes Eve's teeth

I love the faces Eve made as her dad brushed her teeth. My kids do the same thing, no matter how gentle we are.

Scripture time as a family

Finally the family gathered in the garden for their nightly scripture reading and prayers. The kids took turns reading and then they recited their prayers.

Sen Lin smiles while reading his first communion book

I loved the sweet and still moments during scripture reading that offered some great portrait opportunities.

Josh and May do a craft

When Sen Lin and Eve went to bed, May was allowed to stay up to finish her craft with her dad. I was struck by how interested Josh was in May's progress. He clearly loves to teach his children and they seem to connect through that one-on-one time with him.

Bedtime snuggles

One of my favorite things about shooting Day In The Life sessions is observing how uniquely each parent loves their children. Sometimes it's obvious and sometimes I don't see it right away, and it takes some searching.

Josh carries May to bed

The Carnegies seem to be a family that loves to spend time together and they connect through their activities together.

Eve smiles at me

These kids are very loved.

Josh and Malinee have a quiet moment after bedtime

Thank you, Carnegies, for letting me spend a day with your lovely family in Nagoya and teaching me something about family love.

The Carnegie Family Slideshow:

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