Powell Butte, Oregon

Visiting my Aunt Lisa in central oregon were highlights in my childhood. I loved how wild it was, how free I felt. I came alive riding her four wheeler into wide open spaces, listening to country music and trying on a completely different lifestyle. My life in the suburbs was a good one, but it never felt real enough, and in these visits I would breathe in the air extra deep and try to savor something that was often missing back at home.

I also just felt so good being around my Aunt Lisa. I have a deep respect and admiration for her and how she’s chosen to live. The person that she is. There is a grounded-ness in her that I long for and crave, and being around her gives me a little bit of this, or at the very least, inspires it. One of my favorite parts about going to visit her was seeing my mom in this setting. I loved how they would bicker about the most trivial things and then laugh so hard they cried or peed or snorted or resorted to absolute silence, because something somebody said was just that clever, and just that funny. I like watching them together. Complete opposites, but sisters with shared childhood that I will never know and understand.

The best part about all these feelings and memories I have for her and with her, is that now my own daughters do too. And I can see it in the way their bodies moves and faces express themselves, they feel good out here too. They adore their Aunt Lisa the same way I do! Her sugar cookies, lasagna, and homemade ice cream will be pillars in their childhood too. They will remember riding four wheelers, feeding horses, eating too many sugar cookies, playing skip bo (and never winning if their nana is there). They will remember the incredible view of the mountains from their porch, watching Princess Bride, sleeping in their RV and a handful of things that I’m not even aware of but will hopefully get to hear all about one day as they unravel their childhood.

One of my favorite things about being a mother is creating a childhood that I always dreamed of. Taking what I loved about my own, changing what didn’t resonate and paying attention to these incredible souls that chose me to raise them, and listening to what they need to thrive, wrapping it magic and documenting it, like I’m a fly on the wall, or right there next to them. I don’t know how it will feel for them years from now. But the most beautiful thing about my photographs is that it will forever be an invitation into my eyes, what I saw and felt watching them experience this great big world. Just like I did, but so very different, and so incredibly good.


tuesday...

you are always altering with time. 

and so it is with me, 

too.

but there isn’t room for 

two.

not in this way, 

not in this time. 

you are always altering with time, 

before I can keep up, 

before I can sense and feel and know 

who you are. 

I used to love this about you, 

until I didn’t. 

until your shape shifting left me shapeless. 

you are always altering with time,

a beautiful gift, just not mine.

I like my time stamped and sealed, 

preserved, and remembered in its entirety. 

I do not alter with time. 


Travel Slow & Pay Attention

If and when you say you are bored it feels like I’ve won mother of the year. Raising you in a generation that needs to be entertained and occupied at every cost, in a world that stops for nothing, your words could not be more beautiful or valuable. At first they make me angry, “bored?” How could you be bored? Look at this beautiful green earth right outside your window, the rain and how it falls, the questions you could ask. I am here and available, ask my love, just ask.

There is a lot that can make me feel inadequate these days, but this is not one of them. I want to raise you to be comfortable with days without plans, and train rides without technology. To teach you how there is more art in the doing of nothing than your beautiful hands could ever paint, or minds could ever create. I don’t believe in boredom, for me it doesn’t exist. But if you must say and feel such a thing, then know that it is the catalyst for innovation, creativity and inspiration. Boredom is the space that makes us uncomfortable, maybe because it’s the direct route back to ourselves. To the potential that might feel scary to unlock so we just keep buzzing and filling our schedules with the things we need to do, so that one day, we can rest, reach our potential, live out our dreams. But the things we want already exist in this space between. In transition. In this so called boredom. It doesn’t make any sense, but I’m leanring that good things don’t have to. Boredom is like a space holder for serenditiptous encounters, and life giving connections. It’s the quickest way to magic, you just have to move slowly.

Modern life keeps getting faster and faster. It hardly feels like life at all. Travel slowly dear ones, and pay attention. Always pay close attention. Get comfortable with feeling bored and travel by train often. Both will forever be good for your soul.

xo,

mama

(us)

no. one. will understand. 

(us )working through lifetimes 

now i know why 

no. one. understood (us)

it was not for them. 

we wanted the world, 

it was not 

(for us)

we always need parenthasis

or was it another barrier (?)

internal. visceral. we had lifetimes to conquer inside our walls. 

which is maybe why we moved, 

inside so many fucking walls, 

when it was not ever what we wanted.

we never wanted walls. a traditional home. 

or car, 

or all those things that keep a person caged.

we are shapeless creatures, needing and wanting nothing more than our wildest daydreams. our children will know this (about us) deeply 

we are circles, my love, and we always will be. 

but together

but we got squares and 

walls. 

we got 

not what we wanted, but

just what we needed. 

and our hearts were thankful (enough)

but,

they longed for more.

it wasn’t about us, here and now,

it was liftetimes ago,

unraveling. 

we were just quiet and patient enough to listen.

the last 9 years.

to do the work, right here and now. 

because that is who we are. 

there was always something special about us, 

i just had no idea it would be our unraveling. 

our beginning of the end. 

the end of the beginning. 

everything now makes sense, 

in the most senseless way. 

i love you. 

i always will. 

no one will understand. 

they were never meant to. 

it’s not okay. 

but one day it will 

be.


stories of us

september. 2018

you are playing music. and i am writing. i write this as if it’s something, because it is. it feels like all the things we were before, and the people we wanted to become, together, are finally unraveling, but only now, once we’ve decided to release each other. 

ryan adams plays. you fiddle and play, pitter patter, whatever, with your guitar. you flow in and out of our favorite songs. your voice pierces places i have forgotten about. now i remember. it resonates deep into my bones. it hurts so good that i don’t know what i would rather have. this with nostalgic pain, or before, with none of this. 

beginning of the end

the pictures fell off my wall one by one. it started in the summer heart, the height of my flurry. i spent a majority of the summer wondering why i didn’t do a thing about it. why i just let them fall. in some mellow dramatic way it felt right. i was looking for answers and signs from anyone or anything. my picture wall was the first eager volunteer, a willing taker. so i let it speak. i let it have its way. 

my mother asked me why i wouldn’t use something with more structure. something more sturdy to keep those moments in tact. but  it was all that i had. like the last 8 years. using what i had. but nothing else would do. it was this sticky, tacky, good for nothing in summer heat, puddy, 

or nothing. 

“it’s so easy, just pick them up as they fall. you are making more work for yourself, “she would say. but it was never easy. and she could never understand. maybe because i couldn’t either. so i let them fall until there was nothing left. it was time 

to rebuild. 


the pursuit of transparency (again) or where i began.

i struggle with being vulnerable and transparent, which is to be completely myself, and the pressure i put on myself to be “professional.” the blog i started here, seven years ago, was my outlet. my art, in the beginning and thick of motherhood. my once slow food blog, and sweet stories of my simple little life morphed into a journal of sorts and then a platform for my photography, and now a photography business. now there is this pressure to be professional, whatever that means, and for some reason that feels like guarding my heart. which is probably why i’ve never considered myself professional (i’m not suggesting they are or should be one in the same) but going down this road feels cold and dishonest. my photographs are soulless unless i share the inner workings of my heart. they are one in the same and can’t be plucked out or separated from each other. and so now this blog, connected to my livelihood must hold the weight and the joy of my experiences or there is no livelihood at all. i say all this to share and acknowledge that yes, this is website, my business, but it is is also my heart and i want to share without abandon, without the fear of coming across too one way or another, for fear of turning off potential clients or the like, because in all honesty, we probably wouldn’t be a great fit, if you aren’t drawn the heart cry behind the lens. 2019 is getting back to my roots, to myself, to the reason i do anything at all. here is to poetry and photography and daily pursuit of seeing the magic in the everyday and the freedom and permission to share it again.

Plumper Pumpkin Patch

Mama in the good light

This family holds the sweetest place in my heart. Our kids met the first day of Kindergarten last year. Abby found me on the playground a few days later and introduced herself as Sylas’s mom, curious if Octave has mentioned her son at all. Little did she know that I already knew so much about their family in just those short few days. Turns out that in Kindergarten you don’t actually eat lunch, you just share intimate and seemingly random details about your life to your new friends. Thankfully Octave likes to share every last detail about who, what, when, where and why when she is at school, so by day three I had learned about their sick and dying cat, that his dad is an artist who draws an elaborate lunch story (EVERYDAY) on a piece of foil, and he loves legos, the color pink, AND “easts nutritious veggies just like I do!” Sylas and Octave became quick friends and lucky for me (us) his parents have got to be some of the best humans you could ever come across. Seriously! Also they will feed you an almost completely grown in their garden, heart warming, taste bud bursting, euphoric meal when you come over for dinner, or lunch or breakfast, or whenever. They are a really special couple who clearly love each other endlessly, and have got to be some of the best parents I know. Their son is kind, and witty and the kind of person you dream your child will be friends with forever. They are the real deal these three, almost FOUR! The other night I snapped a few photographs of them before dinner. Abby could not be more stunning. Wow. I really can’t wait to meet this magical little human that is completing there family. I am so grateful that our kids connected and brought us together, and now it is no surprise to me that their souls connected on day one and that we were all supposed to be in each other lives.

September Family Session

letters to octave

last night i tucked you in bed and i indulged in spontaneous daydreams of you as a young woman. i could see you so clearly. and i loved what i saw. just like now, i love what i see. i felt odd projecting visions onto you, because so often parents visions for children can be filled with their own unfulfilled desires or expectations. but in my heart of hearts, this felt anything but that. i am full and i am satisfied. it is easy for me to see you clearly. for you and i there are no should's. i have no idea of who you “should be.” should feels impossible. you are you. simply, perfectly and utterly, YOU. and you always have been. i look at you now and feel the same way i did when i first met you.

i was in awe of being knowing itself so fully, so maturely, so confidently. this was day one. you can imagine how i must feel six years later. a mama at school the other day watched you play on the playground after school and said, "octave doesn't seem like a kid. she feels like a full grown, all knowing woman in a kids body." I smiled, nodded, and wanted to say, "you have no idea. imagine how i feel the moment i met her. i felt completely overwhelmed. i questioned if i was enough, if i was the person to carry her through this life, to teach her all she needed to know. because in so many ways it felt like she already knew and sensed it all." but instead i just said, “ i know, i feel the exact same way.”

lately i feel like maybe we aren't teaching or learning from each other. maybe we are just remembering, and it was you and i that needed to do this remembering together. our souls have most surely traveled through time and space together. this is not our first go around. there is so much we already know and feel together. which is probably why you read my mind, more often than i could ever share, because no one would ever believe me. you were two months old when i had this inkling, and then eighteen months old when you repeated my exact thoughts. multiple times a week we have this occurrence and it makes us both smile ear to ear. but this night when i tucked you into bed, and in indulged in all my daydreams of you as a young woman, i told you how clearly i could see you as the mystical animal lady of the neighborhood with an apartment bursting at the seems with exotic flora and fauna, rats, snakes, dogs, fish, birds, reptiles, and the like. your toothless smile made my guts ache with joy. your shoulders shrugged and you chuckled the most smitten, and validated laugh I have ever heard. in that moment you were reminded that i see you fully, and for a few moments longer we savored that knowing. this picture is a few days later, but this smile is a small glimpse into that face and that knowing. this smile speaks the same language, and invites the integrity of that night, in your bed, when we talked about who you might be as a young and old woman, because you are already her, and in so many ways, you always have been. 

e m p t y

e m p t y,

it is not vacant or hollow. 

it is finding the root, 

coming home to yourself. 

an unfurnished heart, 

it’s a little like a gift,

because empty is not being left with nothing ,

it is the humble finding of

e v e r y t h i n g. 

Dreamy getaway for three

Vashon Island

June

June came and went like a whirlwind. Bijou's 4th Birthday, end of the school year potlucks, the last day of Kindergarten, our EIGTH wedding anniversary, Warren's Birthday, two weekends of dance performances, and a quick trip to Bend with old girlfriends. It was so full of really special events and yet I often felt like I was watching my life from above, struggling to feel inside of my life.

My life is rich and beautiful and on paper it should conclude that I finally have everything I have ever wanted, and yet there is something a little off. I feel raw but removed, connected yet aloof. I suppose this is nothing new, a good paradox has always found a cozy home inside my bones. But even after all this time, it still feels foreign. I often feel like a ninety year old woman in her final days, realizing what is most important in life, and telling her younger self, only I've known it since day one, and have let it be the cornerstone of my worldview.

When Octave was born I was so excited to raise her differently, how in my bones I knew life could be, and yet now I feel so distracted and out of place that I can't seem to do it well, or maybe just how I want to. I don't want anything more, I just want something different. And what that different is exactly, I don't know, but it eats away at me, keeping me from writing, being productive, and feeling alive in this time and place. Surely it is not as dramatic as it sounds. I am well. I am content. But I am often only one word away from tears. "Time." Someone can casually mention it on the street, in yoga or at the grocery store and I immediately soften into a puddle of salt. It's embarrassing and inappropriate and makes me look like that person who hasn't dealt with their issues. Except I am, daily, hourly, moment to moment. I am forever and always peeling away another layer of myself, but for the first time I am intimidated, perhaps curious if I am brave enough to do something about what I find. Time, it's almost like a trigger word, screaming at me to do something different. I want to, I am just not so sure what exactly that means. 

Chicks at first Cheep

Octave's Kindergarten class has been growing chicks in an incubator over the last month. O is a without a doubt the most passionate animal lover any of us have ever experienced and her teacher asked if we wanted to take them home for the weekend. So just a few days of them freshly hatched we took five chicks home, and needless to say we have fallen madly in love. It's so special to see how my daughters passions inspire new things inside of me. Being around animals is not natural for me, and so I love learning the world brand new through her eyes. I don't see pets in our near future, (I'm still learning how to grow and nurture these amazing little humans.) But we are seeking out as many opportunities for her to interact with and care for animals as we can, because this is without a doubt her love language, and seeing her in her element can quickly bring me to tears. Her attention to detail, her intuition and logic are a unique combination that make these experiences pure magic.

I am so proud of the person she is becoming and my heart has felt so sad not being in the mental space to document these reflections the way I have so passionately done the years prior. I think I've been lost in transition. I am still mourning not having my days with her. I am still mourning my longing to homeschool. I feel an ache that I am realizing not everyone does. I know I am sentimental, and feel deeply, but it feels more than that, because all mamas feel the contradictions beneath our bones. But there is something else happening. While i am so grateful and happy, I am not content. I am not settled. I feel like there is another path, another way. I am not a grass is greener, type of person. I fully understand that nothing is necessarily better, it is just different. But maybe I want something different. But how do you balance your own desires with your children's? Are they one in the same? Is what is best for one, best for the other? If not, who sacrifices? I don't know. And there is no way to answer that question. Like most true things, they are case by case, and have room to evolve. But lately I feel the tension between being so in love with her school and the community we are apart of, and wanting more time and space to do the things I want to do with her. I am craving a slower, simpler life. The kind we had when it was just us, the one I knew I was meant to live. I don't want a life of to and from's, not today, but tomorrow's. I want a life that is open enough for spontaneity and connection. My art just might be, the art of doing nothing. What this means, I don't know. I'm just putting it out there and allowing myself to move when the current becomes strong enough. It feels stronger than ever but there is no where else to go, or so it seems. But we are here for now, and these chicks, they had me at first chirp. We might just be chick people.

 

marrow

i danced the morning long. it felt like home until it didn’t. until the marrow in my bones ached the way it always does when we are apart. there is only so much success and satisfaction this humble heart can savor before its very craving self destructs. there is minimal desire outside of them. and i struggle with feeling like this might be the least empowering thing to say to the women who came before me, the women got me here, and the ones who hold my hand as I attempt the exhausting facade of the progressive woman’s dream. the one of having it all.  but, i have an inkling that dishonestly would be a far greater disservice for the case of empowerment. and so I share with transparency that becoming a mother wrecked me. in all the best ways, but in a way that makes almost everything else feel second best, while simultaneously igniting every existing passion beneath my skin. i wait for nothing. i listen and respond to every lead. i swan dive into the deepest comforts of a good paradox. but when i come up for air, they are not there, and suddenly i cannot breathe. my art only makes sense within and around them. it is not an either or, then and now. when their flesh is far my potential feels limited. like the greatest thing i could ever do is a never been done before hybrid of something i could never understand. i can’t explain in simple terms. if only i could. for now there is this. my tangled up feelings finding solace in letters and words that don’t suffice, but if nothing else begin (something). because i’m starting to think that conclusions and endings are not for me. my inspiration is born from all the what if’s, maybe’s and i don’t knows. and them. always and forever them. bones to skin. the magic marrow of our mystery. we came from the stars. and we all happened to showed up at the same time and place. if that is not home, i don’t know what is.

 

spring break ramblings

Another tooth. it is more symbolic than I would have thought. I feel like this stage hit me like a ton of bricks. school. loosing teeth. slumber parties on the forecast. It went from slow and steady, so much time, to fast and gone. or so it seems. 

When i am in circles of creativity, i desire to be known as a mother. when i am circles of mothers, i beg to be known as an artist. i wonder why i dichotomize myself into these boxes when i've never believed in shapes to begin with. 

This week has been a slow and steady road to internal chaos. 

I began with nothing. No plans. Pajamas. Movies. Cuddles. Rain (it poured.) We read books. We read them all. every game was played, every toy was touched, every corner of the home was turned upside down. it was beautiful. and messy. so messy i almost lost my mind. but i was present. i was home. no time, no obligation. just us. this is my love language. i don't get bored. boredom is not for people like me. 

I see now that early motherhood, despite it's challenges, is actually my thing. i do well with adequate time and space and as a majority of the time stay at home mama, this worked well for me. Somehow I jump to the end of this parenting season and know that I will feel an equal enthusiasm for the end, and yet i am in neither of those. I am in the beginning of the middle. middle's are hard for me, and yet middle is everywhere i look and feel. Middle of marriage. Middle of motherhood. Middle of life. Middle of, a million and one more things not necessary to go on about. This is not to say that I am in a hard time and place, because truly I am not. I am in such a rich time and space, the space I always dreamed about. A feeling of ease. And yet, it feels foreign. Maybe because I am good at making something from nothing, and I no longer have nothing. Or maybe because I like metaphors and right now it all feels rather simple. Usually these feelings are on the cusp of change, and so I will sit with it all a little while longer, until I read back on these words and it's only a distant memory.