The Emerald Girl

The Emerald Girl

casual. classic. curious.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Parenthood is a Real Killjoy

The hardest thing about parenting is saying no
The thing I hate about parenthood is the number of times I have to say NO during any given day. I hate it. It kills me inside. Not because I want to say yes but because I'd like to not have to say no about the same subject over and over and over and over and over all day long.

I try as hard as I can to say yes a lot for things that don't really matter. Like just silly, complicated, ways that take too long, ways that don't do it right, things that require my assistance when I don't feel like helping, things that make a mess. Yes to a million random things. I even said yes to basically eating all of the halloween candy in 3 days. (Admittedly, that was to my benefit, so I didn't have to deal with saying no for the next two weeks).

Saying no is necessary though. I have to say no to a lot. Morgan is only 2 years old. I have to say no to things that are physically dangerous. I have to say no to eating too much crap. (Again, this benefits me as well, for example taking care of teeth so I don't have large dental bills). But also, my main responsibility as a parent is to set them up for success so that they don't need a parent later in life (not that we never need our parents but you know what I mean). I think the biggest thing I say no to right now is snacking all day long. Literally, all day long, "can I have a banana", "can I have some crackers", "can I have an apple", "can I have candy", "can I have something to eat". Makes me want to blow my brains out. Why can't I just say no, we are not eating until lunch or dinner and have that be the final word? Why do I repeatedly have to say no to the same things all day long??????

It just makes it hard to enjoy life. It makes me feel ugly and old. I'm not a no person. I live for excitement and adventure but I guess my type of excitement is different than a 5 year olds.

Monday, November 13, 2017

About My Writing

Whilst playing a game recently, the question was asked if I could write a book about anything what would it be. Without giving it much thought, I threw out a blanket answer of "my life". I thought about it more later because I would love to actually write a book. Rather than just 'my life', I'd write a compilation of essays. The essays would consist of some life experiences, reflections and realizations about human nature and about about self-improvement.

Writing fiction is not something I've done at all. Though, I'd love to write a screenplay based on a true story which would involve much interpretation and elaboration for entertainment purposes.

Being an introvert, I live in my head. Spending so much time inside my own mind is overwhelming at times. Writing has always been the best outlet. From the time I was a teenager writing songs to starting online journaling (like this) when I was in my late teens through now. I still have posts that date back to 2008. (I've since unpublished everything except what's in this blog). Not much has changed. Just circumstance. Unfortunately, while I can change and adjust behavior, changing the way I process the world doesn't happen. Not to say that my ideas don't change but I can tell by reading my old thoughts, I'm still just me. For good or bad.

What I've realized about journal blog posts, is that this is cheap and easy. I rarely reread the posts and make edits. Words free flow and I let it be. It's like I feel myself push away from anything that takes real effort. If I don't force myself to sit down and concentrate, I can't really create much. Headspace to write is limited. Like a compulsion I have to get my thoughts out but if only I could channel the energy and make something great.

I digress. And so, it is time to end. Well, I'll say this, I was starting to veer away from my rambling posts for fear of being uninteresting and unpolished during a time that I'm trying to present a more refined portfolio of sorts but I'm always trying to figure out who I am and this, this type of writing, I know it holds the keys. They're lost right now but I'm gonna find them.

Of course, I'll still share my work in lifestyle photography.

What do you think? Keep the rambling posts coming? Add pictures to journal posts? Stop it?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

About Time

Jord Cora Watch

Jord Cora Watch
Jord Cora Watch
Jord Cora Watch
Jord Cora Watch
Jord Cora Watch
Coat: J.Crew (similar) | Top: Nordstrom | Pants: Anthropologie | Watch: Jord c/o | Boots: Hunter

When I was 12, I saved all of my babysitting money to buy my first watch. Even at such a young age, I knew wearing a beautiful accessory had the power to transform not only the way I looked but also how I felt about myself. The weight of fitted time around my wrist made me feel polished and poised. Like someone who knows what they want and how to get it. A watch is the kind of accessory that you can pair with practically anything in any location.

Today, I'm wearing a gorgeous Jord wood watch composed of zebrawood. Swarovski crystals mark the hours which is exactly the kind of unexpected detail that makes me smile every time I look at it. Sapphire crystal glass covers the turquoise blue face that pairs perfectly with my lavender colored wool winter coat. (We all know I'm obsessed with color!) On a side note, the other thing I love about this watch is that it's automatic so it doesn't need batteries. The more you wear it, the better it keeps time.

Jord has an exquisite collection of women's watches and unique men's wooden watches. Matt's got his eye on a couple that I've tucked away on my list for gifting ideas in the future. Speaking of gifting, Jord is offering a special coupon for 25% off all wooden watches on their site. Follow this link - you will be emailed the code. This offer will expire on December 19th, 2017 so make sure you get yours before then.

Wooden Wristwatch

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

About Feeding the Hungry

Living in the city provides the greatest opportunity for living in a diverse environment. I drool over the mansions that I'll never own and fantasize about who lives there and what they do. On the flip side of that I see people sleeping on the streets and digging through trash cans. My heart has always ached a little but I've never quite known what to do. This blog is not a post about the perfect answer but I'll continue.

Homelessness is a problem that I know very little about. I have personally known two people who reached were homeless at one point in their life and know of a third I went to high school with. One person was choosing tent city as a rebellion against modern day society. Another person lived in shelters due to mental health issues. The last was battling a drug addiction. To my knowledge all three of these people are back in their own home of some kind and working. I'm not saying that these three cases are a good enough sample base to really draw informed conclusions from but that's what I do because that's what all people do to try and understand.

Regardless of my personal belief that people need to go after the change they want and are responsible for their actions, I still have compassion. I think my own battle with drug addiction gives me greater empathy for those whose bodies have become zombies and while I definitely think they need to grow up and push themselves to change, I know it's not easy and hungry people still need to eat.

OK, so this leads to what I'm doing today. We are blessed to be a blessing. My heart was being tugged but didn't know what to do. Finally, I landed on an easy solution. What me and my kids now refer to as "food kits". We keep a few food kits in the car so that if we are stopped in the car next to someone in need, we can easily roll down the window and offer the kit. So far, we've only handed out 3 or 4. Not a lot. But I'm glad to have the kits because you just never know when there will be an opportunity to serve someone and I'm satisfied knowing that I'm ready to be used for a greater cause (or for anyone who shares my belief in God, I'm satisfied knowing I'm available to be used by God to serve others).

This always happens to me: one bum spoils the whole lot. Someone rejected the bottle of water in the food kit and now I feel completely insecure about offering water, like it's not what homeless people want??? I'm going to do some more research. Maybe water is not a priority? Of course, it should be is all I can think.

The food kit is comprised of the following:
Bottled water (40 pack from Costco is only $2.99! Less than 8 cents a bottle.)
Bag of chips (30 pack from Costco $8.99. Roughly 30 cents a bag.)
Beef Jerky (20 pack from Costco $16.99. I'm looking for alternative options but I wanted to give something that would actually be filling.)

If you're doing the math, that's about $1.23 for each kit. As you can see, it's such a small sacrifice (if you can even call it a sacrifice) but I like to believe the gift of food & water can make someone's day and perhaps give them the energy to think a little more clearly and make a different choice. That's a long shot, I know, but you never know the ripple effect your actions have in the world.

I know we all feel differently about the homeless population so I'm not suggesting that everyone go out and do this. What I am suggesting is that when you feel that little tug on your heart, that you listen to it. In whatever area that may be. It's good if we all help where we feel compelled to help and don't condemn others for not supporting the same causes. Whether that's supporting animals, refugees, orphans, neighbors, victims, homeless, etc. the list goes on.
Spread love.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Fall Leaves in the Park

Preppy Fall Style
Preppy Fall Style
Preppy Fall Style in Seattle
Preppy Fall Style in Seattle
Preppy Fall Style in Seattle
Preppy Fall Style in Seattle

Summer was hard to let go of. The transition from total freedom to driving to and from school and working again has been, how shall I say, exhausting. It's been eight weeks and I think I'm ready to finally admit that I need an earlier bedtime. Truly, a drag but let me try to convince myself here. I can't do it all well if I'm so freaking tired all of the time. Choosing to be intentional with my time means I can do the things I really want to do and do them well. Most of the time it's too easy to convince myself that I need to do all the things but I'm not doing them well, I'm tired and, this time of year, I'm always one germ away from being sick.

I digress. The weather here has been absolutely perfect. Yesterday it was sunny and 60 degrees! Winter is my least favorite season and I hate being cold so I rely heavily on layers. And layers and layers and layers. On another note, I'm loving my Madewell loafers. They were on the tight side and i almost returned them since the next size up was too big but I gave it a shot, wore them around the house a bit and they loosened up to perfection. I've had this problem with J.Crew shoes and never tried this technique so now I'm hopeful maybe I can wear shiny ponys after all.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

In Which | I Write About I

You know what? I was starting to question my writing. Starting to question how self-absorbed my writing is. How many times I say 'I' in a single post. It's a lot. If 'I' were the word of the night on Watch What Happens Live for my blog, people would be completely shit faced down in a bathroom or worse.

Then I remembered, this is my blog, my journal and as such it's where I contemplate the many thoughts in my head. And I like it.

I haven't been writing. I haven't been photographing. I haven't been creating anything! It is frustrating.

Between bustling back and forth for one kid's school, taking care of the other kid and balancing in a part time job, I'm completely spent by the end of the day. It sucks. I want to hustle and it seems as though if I'm not spending every extra second I have working on my ultimate project (which by the way is undefined and unknown to me) then I'm never going to reach any level of success and it's daunting. And haunting. Perturbing. In fact my brain is so fried as I write this at 8:22pm that I pause in between every few words because I'm just tired and I don't know what to do but I must prove to myself that one day I am going to be creatively successful and this sloppy post is proof that I will push even when I'm tired at the end of a long day (because every day is long when you're juggling kids/home/job).

That's all.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Plaid and Pumpkins

I bought this pair of pumpkin mugs during my last days as a Starbucks barista. It's the perfect pumpkin to share a warm, seasonal drink with the love of your life in. It embodies tradition. Too bad for the burn ban or a fire would have really cozy'd up the place!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

In Which I Ramble About My Creative Journey

I think it's just my personality. I don't reinvent the wheel whenever necessary. I don't step in when I don't need to. I figured one of my greatest assets in life is being able to curate everything I need from everything that has already been made. I don't need to write a how-to blog. I don't particularly like teaching although I enjoy conversation and learning/sharing. I don't want to contribute to a topic when there are so many resources already available and to that end I don't enjoy reading about the same topic all over the internet. I like to find my one person or, maybe, two and everything else is just clutter. Of course, I realize that most people are probably like this. We all gravitate towards others for whatever reasons but, mostly, if we can relate and if we can trust. I do like to share my own stories and experiences so if I write that's usually what it is (or just whatever I'm thinking about like right now cause God knows my hands like to tell the Internet everything, well not everything everything). Now that I'm such an old and wise 33 year old, I feel like I have more to offer. I also pride myself on holding myself to a high standard and value system (and apparently, on how many sentences I can start with the letter I), which means I'm constantly pushing myself and not looking to cut corners - in relationships or life, though I do when I need to because obviously, all life is a balancing act and sometimes corners need to be cut in order to maximize efficiency and overall excellency. Blah.

On another note.

I think any creative content producer that uses their name especially feels that eeery feeling about whether or not their target audience thinks they're just one of those people portraying their life in perfect pictures. BUT let me be LOUD and C L E A R. That is not what I am doing. I am in no way shape or form implying I have a really perfect life. Personally, I don't even think my work is that good yet. I am a photographer. I am a creative being making my art in whatever suits me at the time. It has always, since I was a child, been a dream of mine to be in advertising in some way shape or form and now, just now, at the ripe age of 33, I am beginning to put some of those pieces together. Inspired life and created worlds have always captivated my imagination. Realizing that I could be one of those photographers shooting for the magazines and catalogs that drew me in was amazing! Realizing even more so that I could create my own storyboard with which to create in and interact with brands and people is even more amazing. To be a photographer with complete creative control over my image is like why a person does photography. So I'm not faking perfectionism. I am a photographer with lifestyle advertising dreams showing you my created world.

Right now, I'm the main face in my images but I really want make it more than just me. My created world includes friends and family but I haven't figured out how best to incorporate. I'm not comfortable hawking my kids on the interwebs, though an occasional appearance is to be expected because I love them and naturally photograph them a lot. My blog name is The Emerald Girl which I love because I'm born and raised right here in the Evergreen State next to and in the Emerald City - it's unfortunate and comical that when you Google The Emerald Girl it leads you to some sort of female sexy model group or something which is totally not me at all. I guess I could do the KJP thing and change my name to something more suitable for my created world. Although I once had Matt call my Whitney for a few months, I think Jen is perfect so I would just need a fake new last name. Hahhahahahahahaha never say never! On that note, I am thinking of separating my journal from my photography.

Alright, well that about sums that up.

To Sarah, because she said she wanted to read something real and personal. 😜

Monday, September 25, 2017

Dinner Table Dahlias

It's no surprise that I love fresh flowers. They are truly my fav and such an affordable way to add life, color and a big statement to any room or setting. For $10 a dozen, I swooped up 36 of these long stemmed dahlias. Brining fresh flowers on our weekend trip to the coast just sprinkled specialness all over and the colors were a bright pop against the evergreen, grey skies and gritty pathways. The exterior, enclosed courtyard of the house was amazing, especially when you have 6 kids running around. The dining area, sitting area and fireplace cooking area really would have made this the main living area were it not for the all day rain we experienced. Next time we hope to visit in the summer in hopes of slightly better weather.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sister, Sister

Top: J.Crew | Jacket: J.Crew | Jeans: Levi's | Shoes: Madewell | Bag: Dooney & Bourke (old)

Each summer my parents like to take the whole family on a weekend getaway. While I have four sisters in total, this year only myself and my older sister's family could make it. We had really wanted to visit Seabrook as the town itself looks so charming and quaint. It rained throughout the day Saturday but that didn't stop us from walking the streets admiring the picture perfect homes. The weekend always flies by so quickly but we vowed to return again next year, maybe earlier in the summer.