Glasses of Binyon – A Clark Family of Four-Eyes

Sometimes (Often) glasses run in the family…

whatcom falls family binyon vision center glasses

When I contacted Shelly Clark about photographing her family for the latest “Glasses of Binyon” blog she responded- “Could we meet at Whatcom Falls Park? We kind of live right in the park.”  I thought that might mean on the road leading into the park but as Kevin works for the Department of Fishery for Washington State- they literally live in the park.  It was a joy to watch the family in their backyard and picture the kids growing up in one of Bellingham’s most beautiful parks.  Kevin, Shelly, Chester and June have been patients of Dr. McEathron’s for many years and they each have unique and interesting stories about their journey with their glasses.

Let’s start with Chester.

whatcom falls family binyon vision center glasses

Shelly tells me he’s worn glasses for as long as she can remember.  His first eye exam was when he was four years old- with concerns of family history of nearsightedness.  Shelly remembers this appointment vividly- that Dr. McEathron kindly recommended they try again the following year when Chester knew more letters.  He received his first pair of glasses the next year and Shelly comments that he’s always taken very good care of his glasses- probably because he’s “blind as a bat” without them.  His high astigmatism doesn’t make him a great candidate for contact lenses- but he wears glasses well and appreciates the help from the opticians to find him a great fitting pair that is stylish.

Shelly was also proactive with an early eye exam for daughter, June.

When she was 5 she sat in Mom’s lap for her first eye exam.  The next few years she came in for regular checks- but Dr. McEathron found no need for glasses.  As 3rd grade rolled around, some reading struggles were noted.  We made some reading glasses, but Dr. McEathron also recommended a consultation for vision therapy.  June now sees Dr. Bearden at Optometric Physicians Northwest to help with excessive convergence.  She wears her reading glasses for close work but with the improvement she’s seeing in vision therapy, she might not need them for much longer.

Shelly recalls Kevin coming home with his first pair of glasses in 2012 andwhatcom falls family binyon vision center glasses being amazed…

at what he had been missing out on because he couldn’t see!  He spends a lot of time outdoors- so he tried Transitions darkening lenses but didn’t like the amount of time it took for them to change back to clear- so he invested in his first prescription sunglasses made by Maui Jim.  He describes those as the ultimate treat- and necessary for his work around bodies of water to be able to see clearly through the glare.

whatcom falls family binyon vision center glassesI saved my favorite story for last!

Shelly was very nearsighted and had Lasik performed in 2010 and was glasses free for 4 years after wearing them since she was a little girl.  She remembers the news that she would need glasses again as being disappointing – “It’s because I’m getting older right?” she asked Dr. McEathron.  “Well, it’s because you keep having birthdays,” explained Dr. M.  Shelly loves how he took her negative and turned it into a positive.  She says she’s fine wearing them now and even likes them!  When she lost her glasses she got the same frame in another color.  This was smart because she found the lost glasses again and now has two very cute similar but different color frames!

https://kids.optometricphysiciansnw.com/our-services/vision-and-learning

It was a fun adventure to get to know this family better in their beautiful back yard and hear about their unique glasses experiences.  A special thank you to Shelly, Kevin, Chester and June for sharing their glasses stories and to Katheryn Moran of Katheryn Moran Photography for taking this awesome family’s pictures!

Glasses of Binyon – Emily Ufkes

“Just wanted to let you know how great my Ovvo glasses are…”

… began an email from Emily.  “Several months ago, my toddler snatched them off my face and bent them in HALF.  Besides a small crease, the frames were unharmed and I’m wearing them daily.  But we had a long talk about  how fragile (most) glasses are.”

ovvo glasses toddler proof elizabeth park katheryn moran photography

Emily was referencing her 2nd out of 3 pairs of Ovvo Optics glasses frames.  She found her first pair in 2015, soon after her precious son Raylan was born.  Little did she know as a new mom she was making a wise investment in the most durable glasses frames.

Ovvo Optics Glasses Design and Technology

toddler wearing mom's ovvo sunglasses elizabeth park

What drew Emily to the Ovvo frames was how light and comfortable they are – plus fun shapes and colors.  These are two of Ovvo’s design goals for their frame line – the third was durability.  In seeking a material that was very lightweight and strong, the company could not find one that met their needs- so they forged their own metal, a combination of surgical stainless steel and titanium that had not been made before and is now manufactured with a patented process by Ovvo (more technical details here: https://ovvooptics.com/technology/).

This hypoallergenic material offers remarkable lightness, flex memory and strength.  From an optician’s standpoint the strong material is tough to move during an adjustment but we have confidence when we get it into position- it will stay there- preventing the relaxing that can happen with plastic frames.  I like to joke it’s the only pair of glasses I can fall asleep in and they aren’t at all crooked in the morning.

Emily’s hooked on Ovvo glasses

Back to Emily – she’s on her 3rd pair of Ovvo frames now as Raylan just passed his 3rd birthday.  Coincidence?  Probably not… toddler proof?  Definitely, as her story above shows.

ovvo glasses mom and son playing dinosaurs elizabeth park

When we sat down to pick her second pair in December of 2017- she said, definitely Ovvo.  We found one of the great pairs from the latest collection that incorporates a cut-out design, one of the latest eyewear trends.  She loved them, and when I pulled out the catalog to see the other colors, she fell deeper in love with the Sapphire color.  We ordered it in but started the lenses using the stock frame.   When the lenses came back she could choose between the two colors.  I love giving patients this option – they have two choices of frame color to pick from when they come to pick up their lenses and we can pop the completed lenses

into the favorites and they are on their way- looking amazing of course.

ovvo glasses mom playing airplanes with son elizabeth park

Don’t forget sunglasses!

Since I had the catalog out as we were looking at alternate colors- Emily started to look at their amazing sunglasses options.  I noticed she has an awesome insurance plan through the local credit union she works for and her insurance would be available again in January – mere weeks away.  She got a little giddy at the idea of having prescription Ovvo sunglasses.  I’d remembered seeing an awesome design at an Ovvo trunk show we had done and showed her the catalog.  “That’s the one!” she cried and we ordered it in in Shiny red!  When she came to pick up her new glasses and choose the color, the sunglasses had arrived!  We were able to make the frame measurements, wait until the calendar flipped to 2018 and order these beautiful sunglasses.

ovvo lolita sunglasses with toddler elizabeth park

Emily, Raylan and I had a marvelous photoshoot with the talented Katheryn Moran of Katheryn Moran Photography to highlight these wonderful frames.  It was fun to watch Mommy and son share such natural tender moments.  We are glad to see that these frames have become a beautiful part of her look and an indispensable tool in her mommy bag.  With all the things the Mama’s have to worry about- broken glasses can be crossed off the list with Ovvo eyewear.

ovvo glasses on a diaper bag with toddler essentials

Glasses of Binyon – Susan Johnston

A story of long-term community connections

When the kids and I walked into Galbraith Mountain Pediatric Dentistry office for the first time, I was understandably nervous.  The three year old wore her tiara and lugged along her stuffed elephant (named Sugar- great choice for going to the dentist) and the one year old is always unpredictable, because he’s one.  As new patients we were brought into a big room with an exam chair, and several bins of toys – mostly stuffed animals all outfitted with huge sets of teeth and giant toothbrushes.  A woman with cute glasses and a kind face entered the room and introduced herself as Susan, the dental assistant who would help us out on our first visit.

I noticed her glasses right away

pediatric dental assistant wearing anne et valentin glasses photography by Katheryn Moran Photography

Susan made sure the kids knew they could play with the toys in the room and explained this first visit is all about making sure they feel comfortable.

We sat down to look over the paperwork I filled out.  I answered a few questions then she said- “Oh! I see you work at Binyon, I’ve been seeing Mark for years!” (True story – I found her initial patient paperwork dated April 1992.)

“I wondered!” I answered, “I recognized your Lafont frames!  And these are Mark’s grandkids!”

“Too funny!” she replied, “That must make you Caitlin, I’ve known you since you were a kid!”  Before Susan worked at Galbraith, she worked for Dr. Richard Todd’s office where I’d been a patient growing up.  My memory went back to a tall, energetic woman with short brown hair that would call us back to the exam rooms and we laughed at the connection in our small Bellingham world.  Her hair is a beautiful silver now and her energy and smile are just as I remember.

Then it was her turn to come to the doctor!

pediatric dental assistant wearing anne et valentin glasses photography by Katheryn Moran Photography

A few months after our re-acquaintance at the dentist, Susan came in for her eye exam and was planning on updating the lenses into her current Lafont frames to her new prescription.

“You know I love fun glasses… Do you have anything new?” she asked.  I couldn’t wait to show her the new Anne et Valentin collection – bold looks with many petite options that I knew fit her style perfectly.  I grabbed a light pink frame and said, “This one.”  She put it on… and couldn’t take it off.  “Yes- this one.”

pediatric dental assistant wearing anne et valentin glasses photography by Katheryn Moran Photography

Later we came to photograph Susan in her element- helping kids at the dentist.  She explained she doesn’t always wear these new frames to work – she had a collision with another employee a few months ago which sent her glasses flying and we ended up repairing a broken temple.  She has several pairs of fun glasses and she tells me, “If you have to wear glasses, make it a part of your wardrobe! You need different frames and lenses for different needs and outfits.”

pediatric dental assistant wearing anne et valentin glasses photography by Katheryn Moran Photography

Susan and her fun glasses collection help to brighten kids’ day at Galbraith Mountain Pediatric Dentistry.  Thank you Susan, for taking part in our Glasses of Binyon feature and thank you to Katheryn Moran of Katheryn Moran Photography for the wonderful portraits.