evening tea

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I like how this blog title makes it seem like evening tea is a ritual of ours. Really, this is maybe the first time we've ever had tea at dusk. For whatever reason I put the kettle on as we were making dinner and the feeling of holding a hot mug in the crisp evening air was so wonderful and grounding that I wanted to capture us, in that moment. (Side note on my New Years Resolution--I am going to continue shooting a portrait of Steele and I every month. I have really enjoyed them and I know looking back on them will make me happy. However, I am going to stop labeling them 1/12, 2/12, etc. The expectation drives me crazy and takes away from the point of taking the portrait--it's not to fulfill my resolution, it's because I want to do it! Having those first few numbered titles that won't make sense anymore sort of irks me, but, such is life.)

The past few weeks Steele and I haven't really gotten to spend too much time together. Obviously, we live with each other. But my brother and dad were in town. (Which was awesome!) but cut into our time, and then I was sick for a few days, and our evening schedules don't usually match up. Sometimes I fall into bed and realize I haven't been taking deep breathes, and that I haven't really looked into Steele's eyes 100%. I don't want to be on autopilot (in any part of my life, really, not just this.) 

There was this moment when I was sick, and I was sitting out on the porch cause it was just so incredibly nice and sunny. (It has since reverted to rain and clouds.) And Steele came home form work and crouched down next to me to say hi, and the light was really clear on his freckly face and it sort of hit me: I'm dating Steele Walston. Like, really dating. Like six and a half years dating. My high-school self would be so shocked. I just sort of remembered: there was that time in my life when I wasn't dating this freckly guy with the long eyelashes and busy eyebrows. And it just made me treasure him all the more. 

forgetting to come home

Thursday, March 27, 2014

One morning it happened that I got up and forgot to look in the mirror. I leaned down over the sink, my face dripping with the morning rinse, and without looking reached for the linen face towel to pat my cheeks dry. 

This was a common routine. But normally, every other morning, I would straighten back up and look at myself. Not in a vain way--although there were mornings I admired the way my hair fell against my forehead--it was really a grounding point. I studied my eyes, my nose, the shape of my chin. Just to make sure it was still me, I was still there. Little strings reached out from my reflection and attached to me, until the strings all entangled, and we were the same person. 

That morning I patted my cheeks dry as always, and then I straightened up, but somehow I missed my reflection. It was the time, maybe. I had clicked my phone on before turning on the faucet. I was late. My mind jumped ahead to the drive to work. The wide highway curves that always took longer to go around than I thought they would. My mind had already jumped to the moment I would flop into my tiny cubicle chair and look at the clock on my work computer: 8:03 AM, it would read. And I would mentally curse. Damn. 

At the time those three minutes really seemed to matter. And when I got home that night to rinse my face of the day, I didn't quite believe the person in the mirror was me. 

(simple things) to enjoy

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The last bite of a cookie.

This webcomic.

The spring flowers, and the chilly sun.

This song.

Building a seasonal inspiration/interest/dream board.

debt owed: missing payments

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I just missed my first student loan payment.

To be fair, I looked down at my phone. I had a text from Mad. I saw the date was March 13th. March 13th. 13th. 13th. 13th. My payments are due on the 13th.

My heart dropped a little bit, because I was almost late. I logged onto the website and typed in my name and my password and confirmed my social security code and my birthday and there it was sitting for me: loans overdue. Double balance.

So then my heart dropped all the way into my stomach and pushed outward, like I had a big hole in my middle. I frantically transferred some extra money into my account so that I could pay it (And thankfully, at this point in my life, I have that ability.) Then I started reading some of the FAQs, which I generally avoid, to see what this could mean going forward. Apparently when you miss a payment your account becomes delinquent. I'm not sure it that's a permanent thing. So I fired off a (probably too long and rambly) email to the Sallie Mae customer service. And we'll see.

Somehow the idea of my account being labeled delinquent makes me more sick and worried than parting with $700+

I don't want to be labeled delinquent. I want to be the kind of person who makes her payments on time, and allows for the 2 days of processing. And who doesn't wait until the last minute. The silly thing is that I was allowing for that $360 to leave my account weeks ago. I knew it was going to happen. But I waited until the day of because who wants to have almost $400 siphoned out of their account willingly?

Well. I think from now on I will be making my loan payment on the first of the month right along with rent.


This series is (obviously) not a perfect view of how to deal with your student loans. It's my documentation of my own experience with it. 


Monday, March 10, 2014

Hi guys.

So, here we are on my blog. It's like my own little universe. Except, it is just one tiny part of a much bigger universe. A universe full of other blogs. Here are some I like a lot:


Elephantine is possibly my favorite blog of all time. It is simple and not overloaded with information. Sometimes there are recipes, sometimes there are flowers, sometimes there are photos. There are usually stories, in the form of Fiction Friday, one of the best blog series on the internet. Her stories are captivating, small and sweet. 

The Blue Hour is a photo blog by Brian W Ferry. His images are light studies that cut straight to the case. His editorial work is a big inspiration if you're a photographer who doesn't want to compromise a simple and honest visual style. He sometimes includes links to very interesting content at the bottom. 

AC O'BRIEN is a blog I've already written about, but I wanted to say it again. A lovely blog written by a friend of a friend. It reminds me a bit of Elephantine, a little nibble of everything. I never know quite what I'm going to get, but I know it will be lovely. (This is is my favorite post, side note.)

Sprouted Kitchen is the best food blog out there, written by Sara Forte and photographed by her husband Hugh. Although I may be guilty of bookmarking her recipes for later and never getting around to making them, her writing is wonderful and her husbands photography is stunning. Somehow they never make me feel like I'm looking at a "perfect" vision of a meal.

And lastly, one of the big guns, Hey Natalie Jean. I sort of feel like I'm on a first name basis with Natalie, even though we've never met. Her posts are everything I want in a blog: funny, heartfelt, human, insecure, gut-wrenching. She's figuring things out all right. (This is a wonderful post to start with.) She's worth all the hype, I promise.


Use this comment section below to tell me some of your blogs? Especially the ones that make you feel glad for being a human?

the leaving parade

Friday, March 7, 2014

for m.
The Leaving Parade 

Tucked in the corner of southwest Portland is my first apartment, on Grover St. I shared it with two friends, and though Ali and I left, Molly stayed. Now the apartment is emptying, filled with half-packed boxes and loose papers. Molly is leaving. The past year of my life has been filled with people leaving, filled even, with my own leaving. With Molly there are strings that have been holding us together, strings that have unraveled and been resewn, again and again.

It’s the way we lived together, in the Grover St. apartment, for two years, our bedrooms across the hall from each other. The way the patterns of our footsteps reverberated through the apartment The way her typewriter clacking became my typewriter clacking. Our tears and moans vibrated the wall between us. There’s the times a roommate makes you feel like you’re not being swallowed completely by the sea, and times when you feel even more alone in your room, your ears fuzzy with bitterness.

It’s almost—I don’t know how to describe this—a relationship with your eyes closed. When you live with someone, it’s like you’re just living with the feeling of them. Like you’re both in a sun filled room with your thighs pressed together and the color of the sun shining bright orange through your eyelids.

When I moved out, my eyes opened, and there was Molly standing in front of me with her piecey blonde hair, and her little orange backpack, her layered tights, her inside out shirt. She’s the kind of person who’s always falling apart and somehow standing up tall. The kind of person who dreams and dreams and dreams, and then tells you all her dreams. She’s the kind of girl who tells you what you deserve and teaches you to expect respect. She changes her mind, she’s unsure, even as she’s plunging ahead. She’s the strongest vulnerable person I know.

My throat gets sort of tight when I think about it. The past five years condense and my memories come in snippets. Like the night before a photo critique, our first all-nighter in the tiny crappy darkroom, when Molly started crying, the first time I saw her cry. Or the bus rides up to school, the windows fogged from the inside, all the strangers breathing together on their morning commute. Squeezed together in the back of Matthews car. Sharing coffee with her and Ruby. Then it becomes smaller things: the way she pauses, scrunches up her face, and sort of hums when she’s thinking of how best to express herself. Her always recognizable laugh. Her tea bags collecting in cups and on window latches. How she can be so loud, and then curl into herself in the same outing. Faster now. Her pale blonde hair. Her voice from the other room, as she plays the guitar, singing “Sea of Love”. How she leans into you, gives you a nickname. Her uncertainty. That orange hat.

Tonight I will go and say goodbye to her. I will walk out the door, down the steps, through the cobbled pathway for the last time. That smallest bit of motion will carry me over to a Portland future that’s one person smaller. Tonight I will leave a period of my life firmly in the past. No strings will hold me to this place anymore, I will drift away, my memories will continue to compress until they can fit, like pressed flowers or old photographs, between the worn pages of a book.

us: 3/12: pt. i

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hi guys. 

So, it's March. And, in the course of all New Years Resolutions, I failed in February. I was pretty bummed on February 28th when I realized we hadn't made time to take a portrait together that month. So Steele suggested we take one a week in March to make up for it. 

He was all, "It'll be like a punishment. But fun."

So here we are! The first week of March. Fresh haircuts, and lightening evenings, and I find myself more in love with this man than ever. 

winter adventure no. 3: (an hour of) february

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Okay, an evening at home isn't necessarily an adventure, but it is the reality of life. I realized about February 23rd that I hadn't filmed anything all month, and decided to document an hour after getting home from work. So, here is a simple evening routine. Also--mice! (Their names are Frances and Quincy!) Steele and I have been listening to Sufjan Stevens a lot lately, this particular song is called Holland and has two adorably short verses.

This is the last of the winter adventures! The sun is getting higher in the sky, the days are beginning to stretch out.


See all the adventure films:

summer adventure no. 1
summer adventure no. 2
summer adventure no. 3
fall adventure no. 1
fall adventures no. 2 & no. 3
winter adventure no. 1
winter adventure no. 2

winter adventure no. 2: bit and pieces of january

If this video seems disjointed, it's because January was a month where threads were being woven together and nothing made much sense, most of the time, except that familiar drive home from work. I swear the drive home from work will always be the best routine--all the stress of the day draining out of me, weaving under the familiar overpasses and turning that final turn to be confronted with the blinking lights of the hospital before my exit sneaks up on me and I get to coast to a stop. 

Re-watching this I'm struck with the changing of the days. It's easy to get feel like every day is exactly the same, but it never is. Just yesterday when I drove home from work, right on the tails of the month of February, the sun was high enough in the sky to blind me. But just look at that frame above. Back in the beginning of January, when the sun set the sky on fire every evening. 

Every day the sun is getting higher and higher. Every day the drive home is different. Every day is not exactly the same. 


See all the adventure films:

summer adventure no. 1
summer adventure no. 2
summer adventure no. 3
fall adventure no. 1
fall adventures no. 2 & no. 3
winter adventure no. 1