April 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Portland weather has been wearing down on us lately. It's been a very cold, very wet spring. Yesterday we got home from work and it was misting and chilly, and when I got out of the car my coffee cup fell onto the driveway and shattered. (Now I absolutely must buy a real travel mug.) I stood there, defeated, and Steele said, "Well you better take a picture of it."

So I did. And once I had my camera out I realized how beautiful the evening was. Cold. But covered in mist. So I traipsed around the yard and photographed the tiny gems.

For some reason it made me want to write here. Even though it's been months, and before that my posting was sporadic at best. I recently let my brittanyvchavez domain expire, and as such had to do some upkeep over here, changed the header and put some new links in the sidebar, etc. I miss this place.

Life right now is steady, but it can often feel relentless. The endless cycle of wake-eat-work-eat-sleep can feel oppressive. Steele and I are over here in our little house just chugging along and though there are many many moments throughout the days that make it all worth it, moments that I want to save, I haven't done a very good job of documenting. I'm not doing a good job remembering.

So here are some recent good things:

All the blooming trees
Steele making my coffee each morning
Sylvan Esso on repeat
Book club with Rylee and Melina (Also, reading)
Facetimes with Jules
Anytime Ali hugs me
Daylight savings time! (I would be going insane without this one.)
Sour gummies
Kate & Peter being back (Re: Sour gummies)
Tiny blips of sun

12 for 2016

Sunday, January 1, 2017

January, during an ice storm.

February, pillow dent in our bedroom on Jessup St.

March, at my studio,

April, on our roof out the bedroom window.

May, exploded peonies leftover from Mothers Day.

June, in Iceland.

July, camping with Julia.

August, puttering in our new home.

September, Steele in front of our living room window.

October, drying rosehips.

November, a cresting wave in southern California.

December, naked cookies waiting to be decorated.

photographs from Iceland; ii

Monday, November 28, 2016

On our last day in Iceland we had planned to go to the Blue Lagoon. But by the time we made our way around the island we were pretty broke, and the Blue Lagoon is pretty expensive. So instead we found a geothermal hot river, and did the mile or two hike up to it. (The photograph of the green windy river from the last post was from the hike up.) When we got there we changed into our suits and found a somewhat empty spot to sit. The water was only about two feet deep so we were just sitting and relaxing, not swimming. But it was beautiful, nestled in these hills, it was getting late but of course the sky was still that perfect dusk blue. After we had gotten out, dressed and packed up the pack, Steele bent over to grab my shoes and out of the unsealed top of his pack tumbled my little digital camera (a Fuji XT-1.) It plopped into the (hot!) water and was completely submerged for a full second. Needless to say it pretty much ruined the walk back to the car. (And the rest of the night.) I was resigned the death of the camera, as I couldn't do much to trouble shoot at 10 pm in Iceland. Steele was pretty bummed and depressed, and so was I. Our plan had been to drive back around the coast of the island, so that's what we did, whilst I googled many stories of sad people dropping their cameras into water. I wasn't too hopeful.

But it's pretty hard to be totally depressed when you're driving on the coast of Iceland as the light is fading. On our left was the sea, and on our right were these rolling hills and suddenly there was a thick mist creeping down them. I made Steele pull over so I could take a photograph. It was getting pretty dark so I wanted to use the digital, but since it was out of commission I ended up shooting a few frames with my 35mm Nikon. I tried not to worry too much about whether or not they came out. When I got the film back it looked exactly how I remember it. Unreal and eerie.

As for my camera–it lived. I carried it around the next two days traveling, put it in rice as soon as I got home, hoped for the best and put it back together a few days later. No fogging in the lens, nothing wrong at all. Of course at the time I told myself it could still fail later. But now it's been almost six months, so I'm going to tentatively declare it all right.

Of course the real story is about those foggy hills. But what else can I say? Just look at the picture.

photographs from Iceland; i

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Finally getting some of these images into the world. I'm actually quite glad I took a little break from them, because it brought back the magic of Iceland looking through them all again. I can't really find the right words to describe Iceland. Being there is like being inside of a photograph. And also weirdly ordinary, in the way all amazing things are when they're actually being experienced. (Or maybe this feeling is just me?) The best part about it all is the isolation, the feeling of being so small in such a large landscape. After all this time we're all just trying to find that feeling of the sublime. More words and a few more photographs later, but for now I'll leave you with these:

the day(s) we got married

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Today is our four month anniversary so I thought I'd finally share some images and writing from our wedding. All the photographs are by Schweitzer Creative aka, our good friends Peter & Kate. The words are from right now and are a bit rambly and drawn out.

On the day we got married (June 11, 2016.) I woke up in my own bed, in the house I shared with some of my best friends and Steele. I woke up to Steele saying goodbye to me. He was heading up to our venue to set everything up with his best lady (Grace, truly the best lady) and groomsmen (Dillon & Ryan).

But really, before we talk about the morning of, we have to talk about the night before. The night before our wedding I was on the couch after coming home from our rehearsal dinner. I was finishing up writing my vows. I know they tell you a million times to make time for the vows and to make sure you're not the idiot writing them the night before. But I was that idiot. One of my favorite memories is running downstairs after I had finished them, busting into the kitchen to read them out loud to Julia. I needed to test drive them. (Which is a good thing, because the first three times I read them out loud I sobbed like a baby. Wept.) Julia was in the kitchen because one of the many many things she did for us was to bake our cakes. (Yes, multiple cakes.) The kitchen was a disaster area. The cake scraps were tasty. And the cakes turned out so wonderful.

During it, I think the week before the wedding may have been one of the most intense/stressful weeks of my life. But now looking back I can just remember sitting at the kitchen table reading Julia my vows and crying.

The day before my wedding we did a rehearsal up at the venue, Amity Vineyards. Our officiate (and my former professor) Phil drove up so we could walk through the whole thing. I was obsessively checking the weather, as any person getting married outside in Oregon would be. It was cloudy and I was crossing my fingers that it would hold out for the next day. It started sprinkling as we walked down into the vineyard. Then just plain raining. We decided to carry on, timed the processional, and started rehearsing the ceremony. It poured. And kept pouring. And everyone stood there and we all got completely soaked.

The afternoon before our wedding I picked up Ali at the flowershop to take her with me to get our nails done. While it's probably stressful in the eyes of a florist, it was so cool to see everything being done. I'm not kidding when I say that the times I felt the most calm the week before was when I was around the wedding flowers. They put me at complete ease. When we first got engaged I met Ali at my favorite Portland bar, Angel Face, and while we were waiting for whoever was meant to join us, I asked her if she would do our flowers. She did such an amazing job. My bouquet was the most amazing lush, wild, arrangement of the best smelling sweetpeas and garden roses. And another one of my favorite memories is noticing a little spirally curl that was in Steele's boutonniere during the ceremony. It sounds silly, but it kept me focused.

I'm getting a head of myself. Things are fuzzy from the morning, truthfully. It's well documented on this here blog that my memory isn't the best. I tried to write down as much as possible the days after the wedding, and I'm unearthing more little moments while writing this, but I'm sure there are many tender and sweet moments that are lost to me.

My most clear memories are from the ceremony. They're the kinds of things I can't really put into words, but I felt the most present and the most happy during the ceremony. Everything else felt surreal, like I was looking down at my body from above, like I wasn't quite able to be a complete part of the party. But the ceremony felt like the most real thing I've ever experienced. (Just writing that paragraph though seems so trite.)

We did almost everything ourselves or, more importantly, with the help of our amazing friends. We were lucky to have our cake, flowers, photography, and set up (and clean up!) come completely from our friends and family. We literally couldn't have done it without them. I laugh myself a little calligraphy and did all our paper goods. The day was beautiful–no rain, and while the sun was out there were a few moments it went behind the clouds. (What I was hoping for!) We served pizza for dinner (Food was our biggest expense, but I knew it would be insanely stressful to try to do that ourselves.) Steele wore a bow-tie. I wore a white dress with a deep V back, and a grey veil. There were candles that dripped like crazy in the breeze. We danced to "You Swan Go On" by Mount Erie, which is the song Steele sings me to sleep with.

It is a strange thing to marry your high school sweetheart. When young people in serious relationships say "We'll grow together" it sounds insane, but truly that is what Steele & I have done and what I hope we continue doing always. I feel at once that it was inevitable, and that I am very far away from the person I was on December 14, 2007, when I went from being an angsty teenaged girl who was always bemoaning her lack of love, to an angsty teenaged girl who had to learn how to balance her angst with the joy she gained from her new relationship.

I'm not a teenager, but I still have to balance my tendency for angst with the happiness I have every single day I'm married to Steele. Our wedding was not the happiest day of my life, but some of my happiest memories are folded up in the days before and the day of, and the days after.

The day after we got married we woke up in our hotel room in downtown Portland. We ate breakfast in bed (ordered for us by Julia, another amazing thing she did for us.) We headed out, hand in hand, married. We went and took a photobooth. We drove back to our house and we gathered our things for Iceland. Julia was in bed. Ali was asleep on the couch. Dillon and Carly were gone. Ryan drove us to the airport. We were married.