Anthony Turns 7 (a couple of days early)
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Birthday-Fun Excitement these looks of unbridled joy are so precious in their rarity at this age -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 34 mm — 1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 1400 — full exif
Birthday-Fun Excitement
these looks of unbridled joy are so precious in their rarity at this age

Anthony turns 7 on Friday, but we had his birthday party today because he comes home from school earlier on Wednesdays.

We're not big on extravagant parties, and didn't have the time even if we were, but we did a couple of things that really made it fun for him (besides cake and presents, which are a given).

We filled the hallway with balloons, and hung a few from the ceiling, to make a little gauntlet area for him to come through when he got home...

The Balloon Gauntlet -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 90 mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3600 — full exif
The Balloon Gauntlet

It looks fairly lame in the photo, but it was much nicer in real life, with lots of pretty colors and movement.

Fumie used some colored chocolate “paint” to make personalized cookies to go with the cake...

Just Getting Started with the Cookies first test cookie in the foreground -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 125 mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 900 — full exif
Just Getting Started with the Cookies
first test cookie in the foreground

When he came home we had him stand in the hall facing the balloons with his eyes closed, and we waited in the living room, then told him “okay, come!”. He apparently had intended to dash in, and had to quickly put the brakes on when he opened his eyes to see the way blocked by balloons. But he recovered more quickly than I could focus, and was through with joyous laughter before I could take a focused shot.

Giving Mommy a Thank-You Hug -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 4500 — full exif
Giving Mommy a Thank-You Hug

Then it was time to show him the cookies....

Checking Out The Reject Pile certain to be as tasty and fun as the rest! -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 900 — full exif
Checking Out The Reject Pile
certain to be as tasty and fun as the rest!
Cookies To Go On The Cake “Happy Birthday” and “Anthony” -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 3600 — full exif
Cookies To Go On The Cake
“Happy Birthday” and “Anthony”

Fumie always makes sure that his birthday cake has a drawing of something he likes. Previous years (in reverse chronological order) saw a fire truck, rocket, fire truck, airplane, and a big truck (which, when he turned two, was his first experience with a birthday cake).

This year he's really into Star Wars, as evidenced by this recent photo, so Fumie made some Star-Wars themed cookies. She had prepared a small catalog of Lego Star Wars products to use as inspiration for something to draw (Anthony is very much into the advanced Legos as well), but not knowing much about Star Wars, soon enlisted my help on something to draw that was both good (not a villain), easy to draw on a cookie with chocolate, and easy for Anthony to recognize. I suggested R2-D2. The R2-D2 in the Lego catalog wasn't easy to see, so I did a quick search on the web for “R2-D2 drawing”, and found a scan of a drawing some guy did 20+ years ago as a kid. I'm sure you'll join me in amazement at how Fumie's version is a perfect copy, almost indistinguishable from the original. 😀

Anyway, when Anthony came in and saw the cookies, he recognized R2-D2 immediately, and was just overjoyed with everything. (See the “unbridled joy” in the lead photo of this post.) He kept saying “;世界一番いい誕生日パーティ” (“best birthday party in the world”) or the like, over and over.

We were pleased.

Explaining To Mommy something about R2-D2 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 56 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1250 — full exif
Explaining To Mommy
something about R2-D2

Then it was back to the balloons....

Impromptu Balloon Fight -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 900 — full exif
Impromptu Balloon Fight
Ammunition Run -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 62 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2800 — full exif
Ammunition Run
Back Into the Fray -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 5600 — full exif
Back Into the Fray
Growing Up but not too big to be picked up in a big Mommy Hug -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1250 — full exif
Growing Up
but not too big to be picked up in a big Mommy Hug

(Yikes, that looks like a nice shot, so I run the balloon gauntlet myself lickety-split and put the better light behind me...)

Happy to be Alive -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 5000 — full exif
Happy to be Alive
Japanese Pose -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 58 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 4000 — full exif
Japanese Pose
Back to the Balloons -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — full exif
Back to the Balloons

It was a great party and it hadn't really even started yet....

Continued here...


All 7 comments so far, oldest first...

Happy Birthday dear Anthony and I wish you the bests in the world. Bring your parents, so much joy as well. I thank your father that he join us to your growing up.
Thank you Jeffrey for the beautiful pictures. I also work with a D700 and the 24-70/2, 8 lens.
I look forward to the next story. I am 57 years old and have a daughter of 23 years.

Greetings from schimmi,
Germany
http://www.alschim.de

— comment by schimmi on October 22nd, 2009 at 12:44am JST (8 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

What a great party. Please let Anthony know his cousins in California wish him Happy Birthday! (and his aunt & uncle, too)

— comment by Michael on October 22nd, 2009 at 6:05am JST (8 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Happy Birthday, dear Grandson. Loved his wide toothless smile. All the little peeking Georges were a nice touch too. Waiting to see more.

— comment by Grandma Friedl, Ohio, USA on October 22nd, 2009 at 6:34am JST (8 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Happy birthday, Anthony!
The balloon gauntlet was a great idea, and I echo Mom’s approval of the peeking Georges. The photos with Fumie were fantastic. Can’t wait to see more!

— comment by Marcina, USA on October 22nd, 2009 at 9:25am JST (8 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Many Happy returns of the day Anthony! Happy Birthday! My first grader is also in star wars so much lately. He will be Obi Wan Kenobi on Halloween day. This really is a best party!

— comment by Sonal, MN on October 23rd, 2009 at 12:39am JST (8 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

That one picture of Anthony and Fumie makes it clear that he gets his good looks from her.

And let’s all thank God for that. There’s a reason I don’t appear in photos very often. —Jeffrey

— comment by Zak on October 24th, 2009 at 8:01am JST (8 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Those are really nice pictures with Fumie. But as for the answer you gave to Zak’s comment: you often write this, and I don’t know why. You are clearly good looking above average (already on your family pic of 1974), and you must know this for sure.

— comment by Anne on September 18th, 2012 at 7:30pm JST (5 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink
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