A Summer Farewell

For me, the best word to sum up August has always been bittersweet. In some ways, it's a beautiful month. Both of my sisters have birthdays in August, as well as my best friend. The produce at the farmers market begins to flourish. Tomatoes are at their peak and pumpkins and gourds start to slowly make an appearance. It's still warm, which means the sundress is still an option. (My favorite option!) But in August summer feels like a hot, lingering aftertaste of a fading new romance. August still has all the qualities of summer, but you can feel it's newness wearing off. The "bitter" part of the "sweet" starts to chime in with the start of school. (Something that when I was a kid I found absolutely dreadful.) The days begin to shorten and although autumn, my favorite season, is just around the corner, I always, without-a-doubt, start to feel sad that summer is coming to a close. The excitement of finally turning my oven on to bake zucchini bread and roast root vegetables is muffled by an inner voice that screams "Nooooo! Eat more bruschetta!" (Another favorite option, particularly while picnicking on a blanket and wearing the aforementioned sundress.) The excitement of wearing a cozy sweater is dampened by Scott telling me that during fall in Portland the air never gets "crisp." WTF Portland? This news alone is enough to make me hold onto dear August as long as I can.

I'm having a particularly difficult time letting go of summer this year because it's been a good one. I didn't go on a vacation or get much of a sun tan, but I did do very "summer" things that felt carefree, wholesome, and fulfilling; the kind of things I used to do as a child or dream about doing when I became an adult. I did some of those. It was simple and everything I wanted it to be without the expectation that it had to be anything. It was perfect. Below are a few very random snapshots of the rare times I used my camera this summer. Like I said before, there has been more doing lately and less documenting. Happy end-of-summer-beginning-of-fall to you all! Enjoy!

Portland lifestyle photographer-006 summer drive with a blue sky | Portland, Oregon Wedding, Food, and Lifestyle photographer summer sunset reflection | Portland, Oregon Wedding, Food, and Lifestyle photographer cooking at home | Portland, Oregon Wedding, Food, and Lifestyle photographer summer grilling | Portland, Oregon Wedding, Food, and Lifestyle photographer summer grilling | Portland, Oregon Wedding, Food, and Lifestyle photographer Trillium Lake Mt. Hood Oregon| Portland, Oregon Wedding, Food, and Lifestyle photographer summer window light | Portland, Oregon Wedding, Food, and Lifestyle photographer making spring rolls at home | Portland, Oregon Wedding, Food, and Lifestyle photographer

2) Fried green tomatoes. Shall I say more? (Recipe for this fried green tomato salad with fresh mozzarella and homemade pesto can be found here.)

3) Blue skies: something I am going to miss once summer is gone. Also, Oregon farmland south of Portland is beautiful.

4) We (aka Scott) moved our dining table outside a lot this summer. We were too cheap to buy patio furniture. On this particular evening I looked up from my plate only to see the reflection of what had to be a killer sunset that was just out of our view due to tall buildings. #citylife

5) Making baba ganoush for the first time in attempt to give eggplant one last chance before I kick it to the curb. The verdict: I definitely do not like eggplants and I officially give up on trying. Thank you baba ganoush.

6) We cook nearly every evening meal outside in the summer. This cute grill was $20 on Craigslist and had never been used. On this particular night we ate grilled cabbage wedges, one of the best potato salads I've ever had, and a healthy sampling of crazy-flavored sausages from Sheridan Fruit Co.

7) I literally can't remember the last time I swam in a lake, if ever. This beautiful spot was near the base of Mt. Hood. The water was cool but refreshing and although I was very afraid of creepy crawlies on the lake bottom, I thoroughly enjoyed the view, the book reading and blanket sitting on the shore, and the picnic food we brought, which included bright yellow Mt. Rainier cherries.

8) The view from my desk: our upstairs landing on laundry day. The carpet was freshly vacuumed and the cheap mini blinds that came with the house had just broke, leaving behind a beautiful stream of summer sunshine. It's the little things, right?

9) More no-heat cooking because Portland has been crazy, crazy hot. These rainbow spring rolls were way too beautiful not to photograph. I substituted mango for peach and can I just take this moment to say that if there's one word to describe why I'm sad about the end of summer it's "peaches." No need to explain.

Picking up where we left off.

When you stop blogging, life keeps moving. For me this blog was like a conversation that stopped and I didn't know where to pick it up again. I realized the other day that there is no right or wrong way to contact an old friend or start talking to someone that hasn't heard from you in a while. You just open your mouth and push the words out. One sentence at a time you will get back on the same page. I have a lot to say. I have a lot inside of me that I feel deserves to be heard, whether you or I either one are ready for it to come out. Are you with me?

blanket sitting | iphone photo | Portland, Oregon Wedding, Food, and Lifestyle photographer

blanket sitting via iphone photo: the theme of the summer

I have lived in Portland 9 months already. I still feel like I just arrived. The last 9 months have been some of the hardest days of my life for reasons that I haven't even explained to my closest friends and family. I have struggled an internal battle that I thought would be the end of my photography career, the end of my relationship with Scott, and the end of my life. With all details aside, lets just say that somewhere between a few sobbing meltdowns in May and a month-long road trip to Colorado where I had a handful of hard conversations with myself, I found my voice again. Something shifted inside of me and I started to feel the anger, confusion, doubt, and depression melting off of me slowly. (Very, very slowly.)

Here are a few of those shifts: I stopped (at least for now) using instagram, my favorite form or social media, and have taken huge steps away from technology in general. I started listening to my body, my mind, and my gut. I stopped putting pressure on myself. I'm reading a lot more. I'm taking pictures for no one but myself. I left my DSLR at home, turned my iphone off, and photographed an entire Oregon coast camping trip with nothing but a single roll of film on a Holga, only to find out that I loaded the film wrong. And I'm okay with this because this summer has been about the experience, not the documentation. It's been about getting to the bottom of an existential crisis and being okay with not having all of the answers because we never ever will. It's been about surviving the heat. It's been about asking for what I want. It's been about being thankful. It's been a lot of blanket sitting and hand-written snail mail. It's been about words like choice and momentum. It's been about baking my first fruit pie, camping alone for the first time, and using nothing but my camera to earn a living. It's been about only giving my energy to the people and things that serve me. It's about laughing instead of complaining. It's been about the magic that is OREGON. It's been about a lot of things that are easier said than done and I hope to share all of them with you soon on this blog because I think it's about time a conversation be started about the struggles, the parts of life that don't look that pretty, and the one thing we all have in common: every day life.  So please keep me accountable! Leave a comment, subscribe to this blog for updates, and stay tuned! Let's pick up where we left off.

petals for days

Spring Petals on instagram | Portland, Oregon Wedding, Food, and Lifestyle photographer

Happy first day of spring! Spring came early in Portland. For months already the days have been sunny, sundresses have been worn on many occasion, and there are petals for days. (I call it nature's confetti.) Sometimes I feel like I'm living in a game of Candy Land where the trees are full with soft clouds of sugar-whipped candy. Scott was right when he said that spring is better here. domain name search availability I disagreed at first, but as the weeks unfold I couldn't agree more. To see more pictures like this one, follow me on instagram.