Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Humble Yet Self-Confident

Humility is what happens after looking at a picture of yourself from when you were twelve.
Self-confidence is having the stupidity courage to post it on your blog for a good laugh.

I'm happy to report I possess an equal measure of both. 
If you're eating, put down your sandwich as this may startle you a bit....

Proof that I have always been a beauty queen. You're welcome.

All I have to say is that I'm glad Facebook did not exist when I was twelve.

By the way, that adorable baby is my cousin Amy who is now the same age I was in that photo. Fortunately for her, she still looks as cute as she did then, although she has long since ditched the green goggles.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Two Hearts Under A Burlap Banner

 Bradly + Eva = Saturday, July 7, 2012

My sister and the love of her life tied the knot on a bright July morning in Spicewood, Texas in a grove of twisting madrone trees.  The sun was high and hot and the air was already swimming with humidity.  Bright sunshine glinted off the lake behind them as they took each other’s hands and promised their whole hearts for their whole lives.   Overhead, a jaunty burlap banner that spelled ‘Forever’ in red fluttered in the breeze.  The two families were clustered around them, some standing, others sitting on wooden benches and chairs. There were just twenty of us and we sang ‘O Teach Me How to Love’, our voices and faces mixed with tears.

I stood next to my brothers and we cried as we watched our sister step into a new chapter. We were happy and sad and overwhelmed at the change before us. Happy to see her smiling her heart out, sad that it would never quite be the same again and overwhelmed (in a good way) that our family circle just opened up and a whole new collection of sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, and uncles piled in. I was even a little bit scared, because she was crossing a line that couldn’t be uncrossed, entering in to an experience all by herself.  She’s my oldest and best friend; as different from me as the night from day but part of the gravitational force that keeps me tethered.  She will always be my younger sister but it feels as though she passed me that day, suddenly more grown-up with a new last name and a new role to play.

As the heat increased, we were driven indoors to sit at a long wooden table and eat lunch together under the ceiling fans running on high.  We laughed and talked and it struck me how seamlessly the day was progressing. I was glad that our two families got on so well but I realized it’s because we share the thing that’s most important.  I look forward to spending more time getting to know them in the future.

And then as quickly as the day began, it was over.  In flurry of well wishes and car doors, the bride and groom were off to their Jamaican honeymoon. We washed the dishes and took down the decorations and ate the leftover cupcakes. When the work was done, we sat on the cliff overlooking the lake and watched the evening sun dissolve into the horizon.  It was perfect and beautiful and I feel so lucky to have been a part of it all.

I love you, dear Eva and I'm so excited and happy for you.

For those of you who haven't already seen all my photos, they are posted here .  They are my own snapshots from the day.  The first and last photos in this post are two of the professional shots that I snagged from the photographer's website; the rest are currently only available to people who are Facebook friends with my sister.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Food For Thought

"You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches."- Dita Von Teese

image via Modern Hepburn

Friday, July 27, 2012

Stuff Love: One Kings Lane

I don't know why I ever signed up for emails from One Kings Lane, but it needs to stop.

I don't have house. I don't even have an apartment. 
Never mind that, I don't have thousands of dollars lying around to be spent on nothing but home goods.

What I have is basically a guest room in my parents' house and a pocket full of lint.

But that doesn't stop me from drooling over this white settee that would look perfect in my imaginary entryway.

Or this early 1900s Chinese console that would be perfect as a sideboard in my pretend dining room.

Or this hand-screened wallpaper that would look amazing on an accent wall in my fake living room.

Ugh. I hate you Internet, and your pretty pictures of stuff that I can't have and don't need anyway.

all images via One Kings Lane

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ebb and Flow

The hardest thing I think I've learned about grief is that it's not a straight line.
It falls back and springs forward with no regard to the passing of time.

It's completely without form or reason.

Sometimes it's a soft breeze that blows when I come across an old photo. And sometimes it's a gale force wind that takes me by surprise, when I'm lying in bed at night and out of nowhere I remember my last phone conversation with her.  Crystal clear is her gravelly chuckle and the exhaustion in her voice. And suddenly I can't breathe for the pain that's in my throat.

I have to lie perfectly still and wait for the ebb.

I miss you so desperately today, Grammie.
I'm terrified I'm going to forget what it felt like to hug you, or the smell of your perfume.

I just wish the strength of memory outweighed the strength of grief.

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Heart is In July

Ok get ready for a million really subpar awesome cell phone snapshots. It's been awhile but here is basically my favorite things from the month of July (aside from the obvious, my sister's wedding, but a whole post on that later)

My lemon tree is growing so nicely!

 One Sunday my brother and I were left to our own devices so naturally, we went out for the ultimate indulgence: ice cream sundaes at DeBrand (only the BEST chocolatier in the United States. It's not my beloved Cailler but it will certainly do!) 30000 calories later, je ne regrette rien.

There are two pictures posted in my office for inspiration:
1) A picture of the beach in Prince Edward Island, Canada from the last time I was there (2002, quel horreur) as motivation to one day go back. It's the land of my people. (in a white-bread-Scottish-settlement-tired-of-Catholic-oppression kind of way)
2) A scene of an epic robot space battle, drawn by my youngest brother, as motivation to not take life too seriously because we may all unwittingly die in the midst of intergalactic robot warfare one day. Just keeping it real.

Oh I just love long drives in the summer. Which is good, since I have an 80-mile commute now.
Plus that one cloud kind of looked like Pac Man at the time. Not that you can see it at all in the picture.

Rediscovering a favorite author.  I think perhaps Bill Peet is one of my favorite childhood authors. If you or your children have never read his stories, I highly suggest you get your hands on a copy. I just love his illustrations.

A spontaneous trip down to my alma mater for the weekend. Even though it's only been a little over two years since I left, it was marvelous to roam campus and bask in the memories. Also spending some one on one time with my dear friend Lauren. Loved it all to bits.

A pair of silver-capped black flats that I have been wearing to work pretty much on the daily because they meet right at that difficult intersection of practical, cute, and comfortable.

Watching fireworks downtown with my family last Saturday night.  Perfect weather, perfect setting, perfect show. Sometimes I think fireworks are my favorite thing in the whole world. They actually take my breath away. (In a nice way, not in a help-I'm-choking way)

My first successful Craigslist find! (for my non-American friends, Craigslist is sort of like a giant rummage sale on the internet. It's mostly junk, but you can find some real treasures on there.) I snagged an old wooden dresser with a mirror (I already took the mirror off prior to the picture) for only $60. All it needs is a quick refinish and voila, it will look awesome in my new room.

Teaching my brethren the art of bread-making. Specifically, how to make Tresse au Beurre. They did wonderfully. (Ladies, you know you're impressed.) Even though Sam was totally grossed out by the feeling of wet gooey bread dough. And Spencer was doing weird things with his shirt.

And finally, a song I have been listening to over and over lately because it's perfect that's why.

Happy almost not quite the end of July, everyone

If I Were a Cat Person

(Which I am so not)

I would have two, and I would name them Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.  Just in case I ever ran into my high school English teacher and she asked about my pets.  And in that moment, she would be comforted that all those years of teaching Shakespeare to us callow and unappreciative youths was worth it. 

This one's for you, Mrs. Sculley.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday evening is...

+the creak of the porch swing in the warm breeze

+experimenting with filters and lens settings

+Spending some QT with a recently revived tomato plant

Sunday evening is renewing.

Tea and Twigs and Twilight (the time of day, not the vampires)

Today I attended the bridal shower for a friend whose wedding I will be photographing in September. It was such a beautiful afternoon. The bride's sister has a keen eye for detail and it made for a lovely party.  It was so good to relax, drink tea, and catch up with old friends.
My favorite parts:

Tiny collector tea spoons

Eclairs and mini jam-filled cheesecakes

Loving the natural and simple vibe: bamboo plates and decorative twigs.

I love watching people open gifts. :)

So good to see these two again!

Bud vases filled with neon blooms on every table.

I ended up staying on into the evening catching up with the family which made for a late drive back home but it was so worth it. And it was a gorgeous evening.   I took a different road home, that wound through the small sleepy towns of northern Indiana.

The sounds, smells, and sights only heightened the cozy feeling of a countryside settling down after a long day.  The kind of ending to a day in which the colors of the landscape bleed and run like a watercolor painting.  Outside the window, houses, trees and power lines rolled by, undisturbed by the sound of my wheels. The air was warm, a tired haze melting dusk into shades of deep purple. The moon grew bright and the landscape gave a final yawn and stretch before the inky black covered the horizon. When the lights of the city began to appear it was as though a celestial match struck against the sky. There was a pop and sizzle and then bright colors exploded above the streetlights in the distance.  The fireworks carried me all the way to my doorstep.

Happy sigh. Roll credits.

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