Thursday, October 12, 2017

likes and dislikes

Like: honey in my coffee
Dislike: artificial sweeteners in anything

Like: walking barefoot
Dislike: dirty floors

Like: breakfast sausage
Dislike: Italian sausage

Like: transparency
Dislike: fake friendliness

Like: Johnny Cash
Dislike: Luke Bryan

Like: fresh sheets
Dislike: sleeping with pillows

Like: country roads
Dislike: freeways

Like: gummy bears
Dislike: black licorice

Like: peace and quiet
Dislike: bustling crowds

Like: minimalism
Dislike: stuff

Like: sweeping
Dislike: ironing

Like: cello
Dislike: harpsichord

Like: encouragement
Dislike: competition

Like: gray
Dislike: black and white

Like: whipped cream
Dislike: Cool Whip

Like: spring water
Dislike: water with flavor enhancing minerals

Like:  true humility
Dislike: condescension

Monday, August 28, 2017

motivationless and self portraiture

Monday roared in like a train engine and rolled right over my motivation that was laying across the tracks.  Whatever, I didn't really want to accomplish anything today.  Last week was kind of draining, emotionally.  The weekend was draining physically from my waitressing gig.  I'm drained.  And Monday doesn't care.
I didn't wake up to jump on my yoga mat.
I didn't eat breakfast.
I didn't even get in a cup of coffee before it sat cold in the mug.
You know it's bad when the coffee suffers.
It was well after noon before I trudged outside to cut back a little ivy that grows invasively on our back fence.  I didn't even do that well.  The cut vines are still laying out there, not even in a neat pile, just spread, haphazardly.
I thought maybe a trip to Walmart would shake things up.  Meandering around the store I chose a couple new nail polishes, some notebooks for my son's start of school, and rather impulsively six bags of mulch.  Ha ha!  I could still accomplish some beautifying of the front beds.
The trip home had me detouring to The Lotus.  I love this place.  It's a yoga studio AND a tea bar AND a great place for a yummy sandwich.  I got The Dancer which is turkey, greens, jam, provolone, cream cheese, and LOVE, along with a bowl of chicken tortilla soup with avocado and sour cream. Deliciousness and just what the doctor ordered.  Or, just what I ordered.  Anyway... 

On the way back to my car I spotted a random set of cement steps.  Curiosity led me up the steps and behind some bushes to an empty lot that was full of pink sweet pea and one giant Oak tree.
When I got home, in the heat of the afternoon, I spread those six bags of mulch and wondered why I hadn't put on something besides flip flops and why it was so hot and maybe I would die in the afternoon sun and why hadn't I waited till late evening and there was so much sweat and I got a sliver between my toes.  How's that for no motivation, Monday?  Who's the captain now?
So now I sit here.  Showered.  Freshly painted toenails.  And wonder, who is going to make dinner?
Reflecting back on a photo shoot I did yesterday...
It was impromptu and no other humans were involved. just me, my camera, my tripod, and the golden hour.
If I didn't already know that I kind of like photography, whenever I am turned loose with creativity and abounding light and amazing subject matter, it's like the planets align and the angels sing and every atom in my body is lit up and I realize, this photography thing could be something.
While I was not the focus of my photo shoot I did get in a few self-portraits.  I chuckled as I went along at the out-takes, at how I would have looked had I had an audience, and just how silly I felt in general.  But it was fun overall.
So, I'm building a website for my photography business.  I'm planning on putting most of my photo shoots on that website, and on my professional Instagram, and on my business Facebook page
It is my plan to keep my little blog here as casual as I am myself, separate from my business.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you want to see my prettiest pictures they will eventually be on those three platforms I just linked.
No pressure.  I'll probably link again.

The following is my favorite selfie of all time.  No joke.  I would print this, frame it, and hang it on my wall.  I love the layers, the framing, the textures, the camera.  When people think of me, this is what I want them to see, because in this moment I am truly happy.

Same photo, different perspective.

I invite you to follow along on this journey with me whether it be this blog, my website, on Facebook, or either of my two Instagrams.  If I could ask one little favor it would be that you leave a little footprint, let me know you were here or there.  Feedback is always appreciated as I navigate this new territory.
Until next time!

Thursday, August 24, 2017


Reading...  Recently finished I Was Here by Gayle Forman. It was a gritty, painful book dealing with suicide and depression.  I am on the launch team for a new book that will be released in October.  When I receive it and read it I'll share more.

Watching...  We are working through the seasons of Frasier on Netflix.  I like watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy when I can.  Occasionally we catch America's Got Talent (Merrick Hanna is my fave so far).

Cooking...  Right now I have bread dough rising courtesy of James Beard's Beard on Bread.  I'm making Lingcod chowder for dinner.

Eating...  Pickled beets from Oregon Brine Works.  I also love their fermented Beet Kraut (better than the pickled beets even).  Here's to probiotics!

Doing...  I've been deep cleaning around here this week.  The change of seasons sparks that in me.  So the refrigerator and freezer are sparkling inside and out.  The microwave and the oven.  The pantry.  Sparkling.  I'll move through the rooms like this till I'm satisfied.

Loving...  My new business cards!!  It feels so much more real now that I have a card with my name on it.

Hating...  The raccoon that killed my best chicken last night.  RIP Mintie.

Discovering...  my new camera.  I've been purposing to get out and just take pictures to familiarize myself with the camera and to practice my craft.  I feel like capturing photos is art just as making music is and it requires practice to get better, to make deeper, more emotional art.  So I practice.

Enjoying...  Experiencing my younger son's joy along with him as he bought his first car yesterday.  He is all at once feeling the freedom and responsibility that comes with owning a vehicle.  I'm so happy for him though, he earned this car.

Listening to... Calvin Arsenia.  He is a harpist, songwriter, singer that I just recently came across.  His album Catastrophe is in constant rotation on my Spotify. 

Experiencing...  The seasonal shift.  While fully enjoying summer and shorts and sandals and sunshine and salads and sleeping in I have also bought a couple pumpkin candles.  I have worn my denim shirt and corduroy pants (cuffs rolled and with sandals).  The weather is not quite cresting 70 so it makes it easier to accept the leaves that have begun to fall and the fact that school starts in just 2 weeks.  And I already made pumpkin bread once.

Until next time my friends!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

the anniversary trip parts 2, 3, and 4

Day two of our anniversary trip:

We ate a big traditional breakfast at Pig N Pancake.  It's sort of a landmark and pretty much required when visiting.  Plus they have diner coffee in small ceramic mugs and I get a kick out of that.

Then we drove down to Seaside.  I came to this town a lot as a kid.  The day I got my ears pierced we came here and I watched The Lion King with my nephew in the theatre.  When we were first married I worked a couple jobs here.
It was so hazy, even right on the beach, from all the wildfire smoke.

I've never seen so many people on the beach here before.  It has certainly grown as a tourist destination.  The tall buildings on the left are resort hotels.


We stopped into a coffee shop.  I love the wall and bar and light fixtures.
Leaving Seaside behind we drove through the Lewis and Clark Valley to Youngs River Falls.  My brother-in-law took my senior photos here.  It was a lot different than I remember.  A couple decades can really change a place, or a memory.

My date...
I love this place.  My childhood was spent in creeks and rivers just like this, barefoot and happy.

If I can't live the rest of my life on a beach in Hawaii I would live here, in a cabin next to a creek.
Day three of our anniversary trip:
We walked a block from where we were staying to get breakfast at Street 14 Café.  The vibe of this place is so chill.  And their flower arrangements were on point.  What even are those?
His and hers.  His was a blueberry bread pudding.  Mine was the BEST scone I've ever had.  So light and sweet and flaky and PERFECT.

His mocha....

My fresh brewed coffee and scone...
We came across this door in the foyer of the Commodore Hotel adjacent to the Street 14 Café.  It couldn't have been more fitting for two lovebirds celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary.

Fully awake and caffeinated we drove to the location of our first "date".  We had gone to Burger King for a bite (I remember I had eaten a Jr. Whopper and he ate fries) then out to Fort Stevens State Park.  Back then I just wanted to share with him all the places I knew, the places I loved so he could enjoy them too.
The Jetty at the mouth of the Columbia River.

We did not share a kiss way back then on our first date.  But now, twenty years later, same location....

The wreckage of the Peter Iredale...

Industrious little beach birdies...

I really, really, REALLY wanted to find a whole sand dollar.  I didn't know it would be so miniature!!!

We walked to dinner that night.  I captured a shot of this sweet smelling rose as we walked back.  If life has taught me anything it is to stop and smell the roses.  So, I do.
Day four of our anniversary trip:
We were anxious to beat traffic and get home at a decent time so we stopped in to Street 14 Café one last time for a coffee and a scone.  We filled up the gas tank and hit the highway.  Traffic was never terrible but the smoky haze from wildfires was inescapable.  Thankfully it has since cleared up but here is a picture I took of Seattle that day as we drove through.
It was a great trip full of tons of walking, tons of reminiscing, lots of good food and coffee.  We had great conversation and lots of laughs which is pretty important after 20 years.  Here's to 20 and 30 and 40 more years together.
Love, E

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

where it all began, day one

We took our anniversary trip at the beginning of the month.  Back to where it all began.  From that first night we met and the weeks and months following that we were inseparable.  We visited the location we met, our first "date", our first place together, our second place together, the church we were married in, the first job we shared. 

We walked miles, recollecting.  We were so young.  We have changed so much.  The places that were familiar to us 20 years ago have new faces or are not there at all.  The streets seemed a little smaller.  Just as time had changed the town, it had changed us to something maybe not recognizable from where we started, familiar but matured, experienced, a little wiser.

We stayed in a local hostel.  I had stayed there once before a couple years back.  It is the second story of a 100 year old building.  It has always served as a hotel but was renovated and refurbished by new owners. 

I love the creaky original wood floors.
I love the old windows with glass that is wavy and distorted.
I love the tiles in the shower. 
I love the glass door handles. 
I love the worn doorframes. 
I love the history in the air. 
I love the simplicity. 
I love the minimalism. 
I love the blue neon sign lit up at night. 
I love leaning out on the fire escape at night to catch a cool breeze.


The sign reflected in the window across the street:

For our first day in Astoria we mostly just went sightseeing.  We drove to all the places we knew.  We walked all over downtown.  We reminisced.

Our first place.  Really it was his first place and I was just always there.  I helped him furnish the kitchen with the things that were in my hope chest.  We bought cheap pans and Hamburger Helper. 

Now, 21 years later this is what is left....

The Liberty Theatre, downtown Astoria

The Pier 11 Restaurant.  I was a busser there back in the day.  My mom was a waitress.  The building still smells the EXACT same as 20 years ago but the restaurant is GONE.  In it's place is an internet café.


My family lived in this house for four years (from when I was 11 till I was 15).  It is a huge, old, odd house.  I'm quite certain it is haunted.  Beyond that, I have lots of memories here.  My dad used to feed crows out on the deck railing.  He'd leave them bread and they would come wake me up EVERY morning.

Please stay tuned for day two...

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

the view from up here

Celebrating our 20th anniversary has been pretty epic.  We feel that this is a great achievement, a discipline of wills and attitudes.  Like climbing to the top of a gigantic mountain and looking back at how far we've come, admiring the view from up here, breathing deeply of the fresh air.

It is at this point that I needed a little perspective I guess.  In to my little place of work walks an elderly couple.  I seated them at a table not too far from the door, he had a walker which makes navigating the small restaurant sometimes difficult.  As they settled themselves he began a conversation with me, as people often do. 

The first nugget of information he offered was that they had been married for over 60 years.  SIXTY!  YEARS!  He had been an admiral in the Navy and his ever faithful wife was always there to greet him when his ship pulled in to port.  This was a great source of pride for the man.  She brushed it aside as if it wasn't that big of a deal but it was to him.  It was everything.

And to me, looking at our 20 years of marriage and realizing that this couple has lived 20 years of marriage three times over, suddenly I am in awe.  How many memories must they have!  How many tears they must have shed together!  How often they've fallen asleep in each other's arms!  How deeply their souls must be entwined!

We have not arrived.  We have not reached the top of our mountain.  We are just at a nice little viewing platform.  We have a pretty view here but there is better up the mountain further.


We were married on a hot summer day in Astoria, Oregon.  Two kids in love, the pastor's first wedding ceremony.  Less than a year later we moved away and have only been back a handful of times.

It is the town I grew up in. The town we fell in love in.  It will always hold a piece of my heart and forever feel a bit like going home.

So we made this trek together, back to where it all began to celebrate how far we have come.

This is the place we first met.  There used to be a little house where now only tall grass stands.  That night, after work, I drove to his uncle's house where he was staying.  I knocked on the door, unsure if this was crazy or stupid.  He opened the door and we spent hours that first night just talking and laughing.

Continuing recollections of our anniversary trip to come.....

Monday, August 7, 2017

things unrelated

This post doesn't really make a lot of sense.  It is a smattering of things unrelated.  It is the words and pictures in between a summer trip and another summer trip.  I want to tell you all about my anniversary trip but there are some odds and ends that beg to be shared first.
So we begin with yoga.
Many of my days begin this way...on my mat with my coffee nearby.  On special days I use this monstrous cup, you know, to really get the job done.  It says, "I believe there is not enough coffee in the world to make me a morning person."  Truth!

I got these fab sandals from Zulily.  I call them my "Fake-nstocks" but they are in fact made by Muk Luk.  They are uber comfortable and have become a go-to. 

I was playing around with different light in my house to do a headshot style selfie.  I need a good headshot for my business although I really don't want a selfie.  I will actually have my husband take a million shots of me to find a nice professional shot.  Anyways, I liked this one.  And to like a picture of myself is kind of a difficult feat.  This was natural light from the back door.  And my eyeliner was on point, so...
My new camera is pretty awesome.  I'm still reading the manual, it probably won't make any bestseller lists.  But the functions that can be performed make my head spin!  This was one of the first shots I took with one of the specialty lenses I had bought. 

You guys I saved for this camera...I saved my waitressing tips for weeks for this baby.  And knowing how hard I work for those tips makes this camera pretty valuable to me.
As far as my business goes, I need to order my business cards next.  I have a mock-up built on Vistaprint but just need to add my email and website information.  The website needs to be finished, the price list needs to be solidified.   But summer is happening and I've not accomplished much.  Don't tell anyone but my to-do list is longer than is comfortable and I'm happily just ignoring it as long as I can.
Until next time!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

the big (HUGE) cabin

This summer is FLYING by.  Here it is August and there are posts on Facebook documenting first days back to school.  Stores are selling all the gear.  TV commercials are ready to remind.

But I'm not ready.  I deny the light is changing, the sun moving positions in the sky ever so subtly.  Those leaves aren't actually changing color, it's only August!  I will also not admit that I was looking over some spiced, caramel-ridden recipes on Pinterest.'s still salad season.


Way back in July we took a little trip down to a family reunion.  We stayed in a big (HUGE) cabin just outside of the Rainer National Park with Aaron's mom, dad, sister, brother, sister-in-law, and a passel of nieces and nephews.

Only Aaron and I made the trek down and we took the long way, past Snoqualmie Falls.  Living in Washington for 11 years now and this was my first time to these falls.  I've seen them in pictures and on the news (they get very boisterous in the fall and winter).  While they were pretty I was slightly underwhelmed with all the publicity they get around here.  I know, d-i-v-a.  Right?

On to the big (HUGE) cabin... 
The main house had two bathrooms, laundry room, gigantic dining room, kitchen, living room, two regular bedrooms, and a giant fun room with bunk beds and games.  The guest house had two more bedrooms, a private bathroom, living area and pool table.  We got to stay in the guest house and shared a bathroom with our 25 year old niece.  Outside there was a deck, fire pit, hot tub, large yard, horseshoe pit, playground, and badminton net.
Here is the kitchen after we moved all the supplies for 16 people in:

The dining room on the sun porch:

The living room:

Brothers grilling:


I went hiking with my sweet mom-in-law and my awesome niece.  We hiked an indeterminate distance that I like to think was 6 miles but was probably more like 2.

Dusty horse trails will do this:

Family pictures time: 
Aaron with his parents and siblings (and one rogue great-niece).

Here's everybody:

I practiced a little yoga with my awesome niece in the morning sunshine.  My mats are getting some travel miles on them!
We took in Northwest Trek with the family.  Here is Mom, checking out the river otters.  I love this picture because it reminds me of how Austin looks at the otters. 

Hey big fella...

Elk herd...

It was a great trip.  We made good memories.  There was deep conversation and joking around.  There was too much food and lots of cuddles.  I really, really love my family.  Like most families we don't see each other very often.  My family is spread far and wide but it doesn't lessen how much I care about them.  I love that being married, I gained this whole other family but they are mine just as much as my own family is mine.  Yay family!