Meet Julianna







It’s a….


Big announcement


Cutest. Baby. Ever.

I’m his mom; I’m expected to say it!

I’ve been very slack on blogging.  I’m still taking photos, just not really sharing them using this medium anymore.  Follow me on Instagram instead!  @emilyminor

Jackson Minor, Baby Model

Jackson has done two shoots for the Goodbaby brand in the past two weeks.  Here’s a couple of snaps.

Baby Bear at IKEA

Last week we went with Mike to IKEA.  Jackson was in his little bear outfit to stay warm, and was in a very good mood.  Scroll to the end to see his adoring fans crowding around him!

(Thanks for taking all of the photos, Mike!)

Favorite Instagrams

Instagram photos

I’ve been loving Instagram!!  I try to send daily photo updates to the grandparents (and Jon at work) daily.  Here are a bunch of Jackson photos!

Chicks dig me.

“Chicks Dig Me” t-shirt from TJ and Sonya Swan.  He also got ones that say “If you’re close enough to read this, you’re close enough to change my diaper.” and “I play the field.”

Jackson John Minor

Jackson John Minor was born on June 13.




Here are a couple photos of Jackson when he was still in the hospital – just a couple days old!

Maternity Photos

These were taken about a week before Jackson was born. Yes, I rode the scooter all throughout the pregnancy.

Big News!

Just in case you missed the announcement on Facebook, we are expecting a mini-Minor in June!

Thanks Amber for the onsie.

Photography in Weihai

Last weekend I went to Weihai with Alicia on her company trip.

Steven, Laura, Sulu, Alicia, and June

The two butterfly photos below are by Alicia.  I taught her a little more about how to use her camera and she was really happy with these shots.  I agree – pretty!

(photos by Alicia)

The Great Wall

We took the cable car up to the wall, walked for quite a while along the wall, then took toboggans down the mountain.  It took a few hours and we were all exhausted by the end.  All except the two-year-old, who had her own personal Sherpa to carry her the whole way.

Our whole group (photo set up by Jon.)

The Schoolhouse

We stayed at The Schoolhouse in Mutianyu, which is a tiny town about an hour and a half outside of Beijing.  It was a pretty cool place.  The first day we just hung out, napped (after the late night and early morning on the train), watched the Rugby (Mike brought his projector and laptop, and streamed the game live in Slovakian to their make-shift AV room), ate, played games, and walked around the town.

Overnight Train to Beijing

On Friday we took the train to Beijing as the final part of Brendan’s birthday surprises.  He just thought it was a family trip – until there was a knock on his cabin door and Paul, Suzy, Mike, Casey, and Jon and I were there with a bottle of bubbles singing Happy Birthday! I think he would have fallen over if he hadn’t already been sitting down.

Mike and Jon got a hold of my camera and fisheye lens and took most of the photos in the gallery.  The tiny confine of the train compartment was a perfect place to use it.  More to come!

Time Lapse of Brendan’s Tattoo

Brendan’s Tattoo from Emily Minor on Vimeo.

On Sunday, we met at Crystal Jade for lunch to celebrate Brendan’s 40th birthday.

Johnna told Brendan about the tattoo she’d had designed in a song… and then told him the appointment was in 30 minutes! He didn’t back out and a group of us hung out while he was getting it done.  This is a time lapse video of Ting from Shanghai Tattoo.

This is what Brendan had to say about the day:

I turned 40 on the 25th of July.  With help from a lot of friends, and particularly Paul and Suzy, Johnna had been planning my 40th for many months. I had absolutely no clue what she had planned for me!

We started the day with a Dimsum brunch at Crystal Jade in Xintiandi, and then had a wonderful banana birthday cake made and decorated by Suzy.  At the end of brunch Johnna sang a song about me set to the tune of a Sonic Youth song!  The last verse was about my present; a tattoo!  I was pretty cool, calm and collected at that point because I had been talking about getting a tattoo for years.  That’s when Johnna told me the tattooing was starting in 30 minutes and had already been designed!  At that point all of the blood drained from my face.

Luckily, I loved the design and the whole story behind it.  In Chinese, a set of boy and girl twins is called “龍鳳胎”, or in English; a dragon and a phoenix.  This means the dragon/taniwha in the design represents Finn and the phoenix represents Jade.  Neve’s Chinese name is 白星, or “White Star” in English, so she is represented by the star.  The background is a traditional Maori Koru pattern.

At 2:30PM I sat down and Ting, the tattoo artist, got started.  All our friends sat around in the tattoo parlour drinking wine and beer and periodically coming over to check out the progress.  Jon provided some great advice on how to cope with the pain, and Mike provided cans of cold diet coke and a human fan whenever it looked like I was getting too hot!

It was all done two and a half hours later so we went downstairs and had a couple of quiet drinks.  The guys all performed a haka to bless the tattoo, and then we moved on to dinner at 1221 – a Chinese restaurant that has been our favourite over many, many years.  It was a great meal and a great way to end a huge day!

Photo-booth party photos

Nishant and Sandhya repatriated on July 1st, and Corinna and Andrew moved to Australia.  Jon and I also left for the US on July 1st, so we had a farewell party before we all left for different continents.  I set up my camera and laptop so everyone could take photo booth photos.


Lyle has an iPad! It’s pretty cool….. He got it to use as a netbook, which seems to be a good use for it. Everyone is getting used to typing on it. It’s much more ‘hunt and peck’ than typing due to the touch screen.


This week was restaurant week. Right now we are enjoying brunch at Cristal on the rooftop. It’s beautiful out, amazing food and free-flow champagne for 298 rmb. I can highly recommend this place!

CS – Janan, Lara & Sidsel

Eating brunch with Nishant and Sandhya, two other Couchsurfers living in Shanghai.  It was the only day warm enough to eat outside so far!

Sidsel (Danish), Janan (Turkish but lived in the UK the past 5 years), Jon, Boots, me, and Lara (German).

The girls are all teaching English in a “village” of 1 million people about 5 hours from Shanghai.  They said they’re the only foreigners in the town and are practically celebrities there.

These girls were creative with the photo booth!  I love the first one.

Our Family

Too cute!  You can make your own stick people here.


We drove from Brisbane to the Gold Coast (Surfer’s Paradise.)  Dan and I took a dip in the ocean and then he dipped Alex’s feet in.  He didn’t really like it and pulled his feet up.  We also held hands with Wendy’s mom and walked out a little so the waves could splash up to her knees.

We ate at the Kurrawa Surf Club.  It was awesome to sit outside, have a beer and enjoy the view!

I was holding a sleepy Alex while Wendy ate (and the girls at the next table oohh and ahhed all over).

He was not so thrilled when I shifted positions on him.  (Notice his little finger.)

Lost Heaven

Lost Heaven is a well-known restaurant that serves food from the Yunnan province.  We’d never been so I suggested we go there.

We had a bottle of wine and some drinks at the bar on the top floor.  There was a nice roof top bar that would be amazing in the summer.  (We all are wearing the new glasses we’d gotten that day.)

Hanna mentioned something about singing, and we decided to go to karaoke around 2 AM.  Really, it is a totally Chinese cultural experience!   Here they are rocking out to Queen.

Hanna and Henrik’s Honeymoon

Hanna and Henrik stayed with us for a week in January, after three weeks in New Zealand for their honeymoon.  All of these photos are from their travel blog.  Here is their Shanghai entry.

Hanna’s post about the week:

Having a wonderful time with Jon and Emily. Daily schedule:
Wake up
= Vacation i Shanghai.

They went on a shopping tour I lead, along with 3 people from Spain.

We’re really stylin’ at the glasses market.

Jon finally bought a remote control helicopter like he’s wanted for 2 years (which is now broken.)

From Speaker to Trainer

Last week, CAT (China Advanced Toastmasters) help Yingdan Liu put on a training.  It’s a Toastmasters program called From Speaker to Trainer.  You can see more photos here and read Yingdan’s comments about the training here – part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4.


Two British friends and two Australian friends decided to go out for Thanksgiving dinner, so they thought they’d better invite me.  I mean, how can you celebrate an American holiday without an American present?


Thanksgiving dinner – a cold oyster, turkey, potatoes, broccoli, and “stuffing” which was a bit of gravy with chunks of things like nuts in it.  Stuffing?  Really?

IMG_0003thanksgiving“Pumpkin Pie” – everyone was disappointed in this and hardly ate any.  It taste like pureed nothing.  And it wasn’t even a PIE!!!

IMG_0004thanksgivingAfter the meal, we stuck around for quiz night.  We didn’t do too bad – the bonus round question was “What is this a picture of and where is it?”  It was Carhenge in Nebraska!!  We got it right, but even doubling our points didn’t let us win.

I also showed the non-American’s how to draw a turkey using your hand and what a Turducken is.

Eva & Josh – more couchsurfers


Eva and Josh stayed with us one night, after flying in from Denmark, then left for their new home in Xia’men the next day.  We tried to keep them awake until 10 to fight their jet lag and I fed them coffee in the morning.  They’ve invited us to their home and we’ll definitely take them up on that in a few months.

IMG_4595Eva has a job leading Danes on tours of China and spent a few days in Shanghai with a group recently.  She stayed an extra night with us after they left.  We took the sidecar out to eat, then played some Wii Fit the next morning.

Couchsurfer Lucy

IMG_4564Lucy stayed with us last month.  She was the first couchsurfer to ride in the sidecar.  Yes, we did leave the car park, but it was dark outside so not good for photos.

IMG_9986Boots is always a popular photography subject.

IMG_4571Lucy is a photographer too.  Gotta watch out for that paparazzi!


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