Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Me + TLC's Four Weddings

 (More images from this wedding here and here).

Last October I had the awesome opportunity to photograph one of my co-workers wedding. Details aside, what made this wedding unique was that the bride was selected to appear in the TLC show Four Weddings. The office has been all abuzz as we anxiously waited for her show to air. Immediately, upon my return home from my weekend away, I plopped on the couch and hit my DVR to watch the show that had aired on Friday. Pretty sure I had a smile on my face the entire time. I've joined the ranks of people who know other people who have actually been on reality T.V. My photographs were selected to be shown on the TLC website as well. It's been a pretty neat experience to be apart of and watch how the behind the scenes plays out. So if you're interested in watching, the episode is being replayed this Friday on TLC at 8pm PST.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Weekend Getaway: Suncadia

This past weekend my parents rented a house at Suncadia Resort. It was amazing! Where should I start? The resort is just a few miles over the mountain pass in the woods. I'm pretty sure Tiger Woods owns a house on the golf course. The cabin was sublime. All wood flooring throughout, wood paneled ceiling in the main living room, beautiful wood details in every room. And it was that dark and warm wood. My room smelled lovely. Exactly the way one would expect an elegant cabin in the woods to smell. Can I just say that the weekend went by WAY too fast?! There's so much stuff to do at the resort if you're into the outdoors. In the past, I've been to a couple of outdoor concerts held here. KT Tunstall was definitely one of my favs. Jack had a blast playing with all of his cousins for three days straight. We celebrated a couple of birthdays and we left Sunday on such a happy note. I know we'll be spending much more time up there as a family in the future.

Monday, August 11, 2014

You should not settle for a knock-off

There's these pajamas that I REALLY want. Don't ask me why. My only reason would be that I'm a sucker for things a certain trendsetter recommends. And that makes me look dumb. So, just don't ask me why. I have this idea of what the picture, perfect life looks like and wearing matching style pajamas with my husband and passing on the tradition of well styled pajamas to my kids is one of them. I'm deeply drawn to deep traditions. I'm also deeply drawn to all things classic.

There is just no way I am spending over $200 on a pair of pajamas. Even the trendsetter mentioned above didn't actually buy them (they were a gift from the company). Of course the only logical next stop for pajama shopping is J.Crew. Don't get me wrong, I love the below jams; my problem is that they're kind of summery, right? The red piping is adorable. But they just don't scream cozy, Fall and Winter pajamas. I want something a little warmer (looking, not material).

No, I still will not spend over $200 on one pair of PJs but I also am not just going to buy any pair of PJs in it's place. That is never as satisfying. For sure, if I buy a pair that I'm not googoo over, I know I will be disappointed in the long run and probably not wear them as often. Perhaps J.Crew will come out with a darker pair as we officially move into the colder seasons. ***fingers crossed***

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

3 things you can do to improve your relationships

A few weeks ago, my company hosted a wellness health and productivity event for our clients. The morning session was held on land and the afternoon on a boat in the Puget Sound. Our speaker this year was Chester Elton. His talk was energizing. There were tears and there was a lot of laughter. Simply put, the man had powerful ideas. And these ideas were not that profound in of themselves but it was more the application of such ideas that led the audience to believe amazing things were possible.

While the talk was geared towards creating a culture of belief in the workplace, the ideas seemed to me a much higher value in my personal life. I wanted to share some of these ideas because I believe they can have a huge impact on relationships and that is something to share.

1: Hand write notes. This is big. Handwritten notes show someone that you care enough to actually write something to them and them alone! Not only that but whatever you actually say in your note is meaningful as well. Last week, I wrote my Mom a letter and mailed it to her. I see her often and talk to her more but I know receiving a little love note from myself in the mail will really make her day.

2: Give compliments often and right away. Don't wait till the next minute or hour or day to recognize someone for something good that they have done. Do it now. The bad to good ratio of things you tell someone is supposed to be something like 1:5 or 7 or some high number like that. For every one negative thing you tell a person, they need to hear so many more positive things to balance it out. It's not 1:1.

3: Keep a notebook of love. Listening to Chester speak gave me the fun idea to have a notebook that I keep out on a table in a popular room in my home. The idea is that each family member can write things in it about other family members that are good. Over the years, I imagine us all writing little notes to each other in these notebooks and we'll have them always to look at and cherish. I think it would such a wonderful tradition to pass down to our kids and in their kids lives too.

I want to live a life that truly fosters positive relationships with those I am closest too. Relationships are work and it can be easy to let them slip to the back burner as life passes by. If anyone else has some good ideas on how to grow positive, lasting relationships, please share in the comments below!

Monday, August 4, 2014

The pitfalls of living in shared spaces

Anyone living in the city knows that living in a multi-family building has it's challenges. I suppose this doesn't apply to only those living in cities but it is definitely more common in urban areas. We've been incredibly blessed for almost five years to have near perfect neighbors living above us. Though I say "near perfect", I can't really recall specific incidences in which I hated them. If I had to take a guess, I would say each tenant above had one night of loud partying fun. And that's it.

Finally, the fourth set of neighbors to move in upstairs has sent me spiraling. Worse than having a new born baby. Pretty sure of that, anyway. I'm distancing myself from this place I have grown to love so deeply. From this place I have called my home for almost five years. Realizing that this place was never mine to begin with. As any renter knows, it takes time to feel truly home in a rental and then when you do, as I'm experiencing for the first time, you kind of forget that the rental isn't really yours. Not really.

We've lived so much life here. In this secret basement. On this great hill. The thought of having to leave it has left me in tears many a night. But the pain of being woken up more nights than not, for extended periods, never knowing if tonight would be peaceful or stressful has become to great. My heart is distancing itself and making room for change.

It will be hard to replace a neighborhood with a walk score of 90.

I'm still so tired.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Why You Should Save Your Leftovers

Pretty regularly I ride the bus home from work. Staring out the window as I always do I saw a young girl walking a dog. She walked right up the trash receptacle on the street and started digging. She found a Wendy's bag. There was a french fry which she immediately stuffed in her mouth. Digging around some more, she found nothing and continued walking down the street. This is literally 5 blocks from my house.

Not to say that we shouldn't worry about hungry people all over the world but it can be easy to forget there are hungry people right in our own neighborhoods. How easy it is to box up your leftovers and offer them to someone in need. I have done it a few times and I gotta say it is a little embarrassing when the man who probably hasn't showered in months, is missing teeth, wears rags as clothing and looks completely out of it declines my leftovers. Makes me a feel a little like I don't ever want to do that again. But I've had more takers than leavers. So easy to do. You just have to set aside whatever it is that is holding you back from approaching a stranger in need. I try to remind myself to not let things hold me back from doing the good I ought to be doing. Once I step my own self out of the way, I can act as a servant more easily.

I'm also reminded to not waste food at home. I hate watching leftovers go bad in the fridge. I hate to leave something out on the counter only to see it in the morning and realize you forgot to seal it up or stick it in the refrigerator. I just hate waste in general. Not because it's like you're working for free when you throw away money in the form of food but because so many people don't have and we should be conscious of what we use.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Oh, I need the sleep alright

I need to start writing my ideas down for writing. Frankly, I'm exhausted. Remember how I said I hated sleeping. I meant to say that I hate that our bodies need to sleep so much. We have some new neighbors living in the house above us. In a word, I would describe them as AWFUL. To preface, we have lived in this wonderfully, awesome and perfect basement apartment for going on five years now. This is the fourth set of tenants in the house above. Fourth. So, I think that gives me room to be a tiny bit judgy and matter-of-fact. I think they are selfish and completely inconsiderate. It's two mid-twenty something guys who walk around like they have 50 pound weights on each foot. Even our nanny has noticed that these guys are MUCH louder than the previous tenant (who she thought was very loud). On top of that, there is no furnishings or decor, so when they talk it just echoes and I can literally make out words. What is even worse is that we can all easily hear when they are walking in their second level. The sound bounces all the way down. AWFUL.

I've got every excuse and rationalization in the book.

I know I live in a shared space and I expect to hear some level of people living upstairs. But I don't have to put up with neighbors staying up into the wee early morning hours or coming home and banging around for an extended period of time at 2:30-3 o'clock in the morning. I mean c'mon already. There is something called apartment etiquette. Most people in the city know of it. The walking around upstairs will literally prevent me from falling asleep and will surely wake me up in the middle of the night. I'm a light sleeper. Earplugs are not an option as I have a small child and need to be able to hear him.

That's my sob story. That's why I'm completely drained. Feeling exhausted beyond repair.

I need to take more pictures specifically for this blog.