Photo Diary | Up North Part 1 |

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


My, our spring break went by much too quickly! After hunkering down with spring cleaning for the better part of the break I decided we should have a little fun before the break was over and so we headed up north to Seattle for the weekend. Being a Portland native there's always been a bit of a comparison (rivalry?) between Portland and Seattle. The latter always beating out the former in one way or another. Seattle is bigger, they have Bill Gates, Amazon, the Seahawks, and Starbucks. They had Frazier, Sleepless in Seattle, and Nirvana. And being quite into the local music scene in my 1990's days of youth (i.e. the grunge era) somewhere in my teenage mind I decided that Seattle was totally overrated. And, with that, even though it's only a few hours a way and I have had both family and friends that live in the area, I could count on two hands the number of times I have gone into the city. And I can't even remember what decade it was the last time I did. So this time I did all the touristy things I balked at in my younger years: Pike Place, the gum wall, Fremont district, Capitol Hill, the Space Needle and so on. 

I have to admit the whole time I was there my mind was a ticker of comparisons between these two northwest cities (you can see a hipster-city showdown chart here). The first thing I thought on this visit is how picturesque Seattle is. Portland is beautiful but I do believe Seattle has us beat. The city from a distance (and I mean every single direction you could possibly be looking from) there is an amazing, breathtaking, I-can't-believe-this-exists view. Seattle is like Barbie and Portland is like her awkward, not-quite-fully-developed little sister Skipper. Seattle is blue and Portland is green. Seattle smells like salt water and Portland smells like the forest. Seattle feels older and grittier and more diverse (which I like). It also feels much busier, grayer, and a lot dirtier (which I don't like so much). Seattle is about the city and portland is about the neighborhoods. The one thing I will say they have in common (besides the rain people) is both cities are incredibly friendly, progressive, and proud. I did feel some pangs of jealousy while I was there, but in the end I suppose I am more stumptown than starbucks, more land than sea and I was happy to come home to all the parking spaces you could ever dream of. 

P.S. I'll be back with some of those amazing views later this week. 

Currently 06

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wouldn’t you now the rain came back just as spring arrived. But that’s been just fine with me because I have been eyeballs deep in spring cleaning and the feel of cool little droplets of rain running down my sweaty back as I take load after load of donations and garbage to the back of my car felt pretty good. I wanted/meant to post last week but one feels a little reclusive after staring down the 2 inches of dust on the top of their ceiling fan blades, finding an AOL disk tucked in a box of very miscellaneous papers, and a kitchen knife in the back of their closet (that last one is still concerning me. why? how? who?)

And I have to say all this cleaning has seriously kicked my ass and I think my left hand might actually be a little bit broken, but all in all it’s been extremely cathartic. I have organized everything. Well almost, I still have a few spots left. I pulled everything out from everywhere and those first few days were daunting as I sat dusty amongst precariously leaning towers of my shit. But as progress was made it all started to feel a bit therapeutic. 

Last night I started (and finished I might add) on my boxes of papers and journals. For years I have avoided reading my old papers, letters, poems, stories, and my never-ending streams of consciousness. Not wanting to revisit old ‘selves,’ old wounds, to dive head first into the past (because of course there’s no better time to write than those of melancholy or feeling conflicted). Worse I was afraid to find that some things might sound a little too familiar. And to be honest I found those too. I found writings I could still write today but instead of feeling ashamed I actually felt empowered in the changes I’ve been making here in real life. Like the change in and of itself of just facing these papers, reading them, accepting them. Accepting myself. Past and present. Then I tore up all the ones that I could still write (almost verbatim) today with no intentions, moving forward, of needing to write another. 

However, reading all of those writings what I realized most is that I miss writing. Even the writing I know I would have cringed at even a few months ago felt wonderful to read. I just was so happy for all the piles of paper, all the scribbles, all the attempts, all the thoughts and words. However profound or cringe-worthy I found them the most overwhelming feeling I was left with was my affection for  writing on paper. I miss the girl the who wrote on paper. The only thing I use paper and pencil for these days are lists. This must change. And spring, if I am not mistaken, is the season of change. Is it not?

Currently 05

Friday, March 13, 2015

Happy Friday (the 13th). I have to admit I do have my superstitions, like I try really hard to not step on cracks in the sidewalk, I knock on wood, and wish on falling stars. But Friday the 13th isn't one of them. So far it's in fact turning out to be a lucky day for us here with temperatures hitting the 70's. Although this relentless migraine I've been dealing with the last few days is making me wonder if I am getting too much sun? 

Planning / I am actually going to have a spring break myself for the first time in forever and not just one that is lived vicariously through my children's school schedule. I am finishing up my last project for this term and I think one of the things I've missed most about school is that feeling of looking forward to the breaks between terms. That sweet reprieve of nothingness. Even if there isn't such a thing as nothingness in my life, it sounds pretty good. I bought this book and this book and over the break I am going to dig even deeper in my closets for my annual spring cleaning ritual.  You can find me here next year, same time, same place, talking about the same thing. I am on a never-ending journey of achieving a minimalist lifestyle with a house full of boys, a dog, and a business ran out of my house.

Reading + LookingThis essay by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge. This photography series of photos that are 'too hard to keep'

Working / Last time I talked about my collaboration with West Elm I promised myself it would be the last time (for awhile at least, honestly I didn't think there'd be much more to say on it) but this week I got a re-order from them. And I have to say that getting an order from West Elm in the first place is exciting, but there is always the fear in the back of ones mind (mine) what if they don't sell? So, for me, I think getting another order from them (and so soon after the first was dropped off) is much more thrilling. So I will be busy working on that too over my upcoming "break."

Mothering / Just for a little update on my Milo he's totally fine and back to his Allday Everyday self. I realized this this week when I took him shopping and he went straight for a pair of cheetah leggings, a 'shine and sparkle' my little pony tee, and a Darth Vader toothbrush. I don't think Milo can do anything but Milo, and that's exactly as it should be. Also, thanks to everyone who pointed out how amazing his optimism is, you are right. 

Have a happy weekend! 

Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4| 5 | 6

Currently 04

Friday, March 6, 2015

Oh, hello. Long break. Which I realize is the problem with not posting more regularly, it becomes easy to let the days slip by. We've also been sick and busy and cleaning up and catching up and sometimes just doing nothing at all which feels pretty great when we get the chance to that. 

Enjoying // I keep hearing all these reports of rainy days, seeing pictures of ice and snow and each time I feel like the world has turned upside down, because here, it's been nothing but sunshine and flower blossoms. Spring certainly seems to have made an early appearance around these parts and I must admit I've been enjoying it immensely. 

Aching // Well here's another heartbreaker from the land of motherhood. Yesterday I picked up M+L from school, and Milo said, "mama, I had the best day ever today!" And, I was so excited, I wanted to hear about this, because as those of you who read here regularly know he's had some recent difficulties at school. So I perked up and said "oh, what? why? tell me all about it!" And he said "it was the best day ever because no one was mean to me today!" Ooooooh, that's, um, awesome Milo. That's sooooo great." The other sound anyone nearby might have heard come from me was the sound my heart breaking. I don't even know what to say about that. I just hope he keeps having the best days ever. Oy.

Finishing // I am down to my last few weeks of classes this term! I think I am somehow pulling straight A's which I always did before, but wasn't convinced I would this time. In fact I decided I didn't even want to worry about grades, you know just "do my best." But apparently I can't help it. When I see my grades pop up and I see even a 93% I get a little pouty. I guess I haven't lost the competitive edge I have, with, er, myself. 

Deciding // Speaking of school I decided to take one more term and then call it quits for now (forever?). So the blogging break might be just a little bit longer. But I am enjoying it and, considering I have the worst memory ever, I probably should keep at it and give myself the best chance at retaining some of this information I am paying to learn.

Contemplating // I am kind of, sort of, maybe thinking about Disneyland. I was pretty set on it, daydreaming about it's a small world, picturing M+L excitedly rushing up to their favorite characters to fill their autograph books, and me taking pictures of palm tress and being warm. And then I looked at the admission tickets into the park and the cynic in me quickly pictured something more along the lines of me, a frenetic and sweaty mess standing in lines for hours on end, crying as I forked over twenty dollars for a snowcone, dragging my children and luggage from airports to buses all in the span of a few days. But. With M+L being 6 I can't think of a better time to go. Unless I wait a year, maybe a year from now would be better?

Have a great weekend! 
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