House on a Hill | Passenger, Lyrics

My latest band obsession is a group called Passenger.  They were introduced to me a few weeks ago and I simply cannot get enough.  (In fact after being given the first disc, I've since bought 2 more of their albums!)

This song, in particular, is on repeat these days.

Give it a listen, you won't be sorry...

In an old house on a hillside
Next to the sea
Far from the madness, that folds around me
Peaceful and gentle, like sails on the breeze

In an old house on a hillside
Next to the sea
There's a warm light on a cold night
And clean cotton sheets
Soap smelling skin and tingling feet
With stars lining the skyline
And shine through the trees

In an old house on a hillside
Next to the sea
And when the autumn comes down
We'll get what we need from the town
And all of our friends will be round

In an old house on a hillside
Next to the sea
Moon white as paper and night like asleep
With old things behind us and new things to be

In an old house on a hillside
Next to the sea
And when the sunshine comes down,
My hair will turn golden
And my skin will turn brown
And all of our friends will be round

5 Things About Me at This Moment in Time

There's a new tag game going on in the world of Instagram.  Quite often I'm tagged to post of picture of what I'm doing now, or a picture from where I stand, but today I was tagged with a new one.  I was prompted to post a picture of myself and list 5 things about me that people may not have known.  I was sitting in the car waiting for The Kid to get out of school when I saw the notification, so I had the time to actually think about this a bit.

I've been really introspective lately (a state I don't enjoy really) and the 5 things I listed really reflect my state of mind.  I found it interesting, so I decided to post it on here as well.

Here's what my post looked like...


5 Things About Me. 

1. Although I love to make lists and schedules, I rarely live by them. I am a spontaneous soul. 

2.  I have a vagabond spirit and would be happiest wandering the world without a place to call "home." Preferably somewhere tropical. 

3. I love people but am an introvert and have to have my alone time or I go stir crazy. 

4.  Nature and creativity fuel me. If ever I'm feeling off, my camera and my feet moving are all I need to recenter. 

5.  I think I am falling in love and its scaring the shit out of me. 

What are 5 things about YOU that I may not know?


Perseverance, Realizations and New Tricks

Today I made two rather large realizations about myself.  I wasn't expecting either, but both were welcomed with opened arms.

The first came during my morning Body Pump class.  I was lying on my back, arms burning with each bench press, chest tight and flexed, when I suddenly remembered a similar scene a few years ago.  I was lying on my back and poised to push the weighted bar into the air... but I couldn't.  My muscles had deteriorated too far to lift just the bar... a measly 7 pounds.  Having been able to {easily} bench press 75lbs the summer before, it was then that I realized something was seriously wrong with my body (something I had been in denial about for a long time) and made an appointment with the doctor.  Less than a month later I was diagnosed (you can read a little about that here).

Remembering this moment was huge for me.  It wasn't too long ago that I had a doctor telling me there was real potential I would someday be in a wheelchair due to deteriorating muscles.  Knowing that since that conversation I have completed a marathon, hiked the Grand Canyon, completed a century bike ride, and am now back to lifting weights... well, it just reminds me that with the right mind set and mental fortitude, anything is possible.  It also reminded me to be thankful for how far I've come and to stop focusing on how far I have left to go.

I will get there.
I'm proving it each and every day.

The second realization was made while driving back from the gym.  I was riding with my friend Ryan who drives a vehicle with a manual transmission.  He and I are planning a road trip for the end of March and we have decided to take his car.  This means that I have to learn to drive a stick shift. 

Now I grew up on a farm and with brothers who rode motorcycles and 4 wheelers, so the concept of using a clutch is not new to me.  However, driving a vehicle on the road with hundreds of other cars is something altogether different.  So when Ryan casually asked when he was going to teach me to drive his car, I shrugged and said, "I don't know, when are you?"

Little did I know the answer was, "now."

That's when I realized that I'm not comfortable learning new things in front of others.  I love to learn new things, but I want to learn them in private and then have someone give tips for how to improve later on.

This is silly.
This is ego.

It was difficult for me to accept the lesson on the spot.  No time to prepare, no time to think it through, no time to come up with excuses for anything.  But I pushed my comfort aside and graciously got behind the driver's wheel and allowed him to teach me.

And you know what?  It's not that hard!  I don't know what I was so afraid of!  With Ryan's patient and calming presence I was feeling comfortable with the process in no time.  I don't know how many opportunities I've let myself pass by because I wasn't comfortable being vulnerable.

Today reminded me that when I operate from my center and let the ego fall away, good things will always happen.

Pretty happy to be able to drive a stick now!


Currently I Am...

WORKING on a client project, and so ready to wrap it up!  I'm dedicating today to putting this one in the can.

COUGHING up my lungs... my chest cold is hanging in there, but I'm hopeful that it's on its way out soon.

LOVING everything and everyone. 

LISTENING to Passenger, my new favorite group. Give them a listen.  They are amazing.

PLANNING my weekend which includes a concert in Salem to see the Tenors, a photo swap with the amazing Jenn Pfaus, and possible hangout time with a certain man I'm rather fond of.

WISHING I was back in this gorgeous light with the waves kissing my toes...



Beach Weekend

This past weekend I was supposed to be on a plane and headed to Boise to visit a few friends and shoot photos.  At the last minute my plans changed and I found myself with 2 days of nothing I had to do and no where I had to be (hello heaven!).  After talking with my friend Ryan, who also found himself with a rare weekend of nothing planned, we decided to load up the car and head out of town.

In true vagabond style, we left without a plan but prepared for anything.  We had sleeping bags, healthy snacks, beer, water, a full tank of gas and great music pumping through the speakers.  We also had a positive attitude and excitement about "running away."

A fellow Portland Blogger, Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking, recently posted about her own trip to the coast which included a stop in Astoria to visit the Goonies house.  Ryan and I are huge nerds and even bigger Goonies fans, so when we started heading that direction I suggested we find the house ourselves.


It was very cool!  We stood and stared at the house recounting our favorite scenes from the movie and took in the great view of the ocean from their driveway.  After getting our 'Goonies fix' we drove into town and hunted down the building that was used for the opening scene in the jail.  They've turned the building into a film museum which cost money to enter so we just took a few pics outside and moved on.


We walked around the docks for a bit and listened to the Sea Lions bark at one another.  There were a ton of them out sun bathing and we were able to stand fairly close to them and just watch them for a little while.  It was pretty cool, and I'm not gonna lie, kinda scary.  I don't like to disrupt animals in the wild and feel like I'm completely imposing on them, so I like to keep my distance.  We watched for just a few minutes and then left them to it.

After googling "things to do in Astoria," I found that one of the most popular attractions is the Astoria Column.  It's a tower that sits at the top of Coxcomb Hill and allows for a 360 degree view of the surrounding area with mountains, ocean and city lying in all directions.  It's 164 steps to get to the top and totally worth it.  If you're ever in Astoria, I highly recommend checking it out!

*We also drove past a little market called the "Peter Pan Market & Deli."  We didn't eat there, but I had to get my picture with it.... it's Peter Pan after all!*


After thoroughly exploring Astoria, we jumped in the car and headed south on the 101 towards Cannon Beach.  The weather all weekend was GLORIOUS and I was really excited about walking on the beach with my beloved Haystack Rock in full view with blue skies.  There's something magical about Cannon Beach and I always feel immediately grounded and re-centered once my toes touch the sand.  While walking along the coastline we stumbled upon someone's drawing in the sand.  I couldn't make out the names and additional words, but the word "Happy" was clear as day and I took it as a sign.

All-in-all it was a deliciously, glorious weekend and I'm so happy that everything worked out the way it did.  We enjoyed our time and I'm hopeful we can "run away" again soon.


My Day in iPhonography


  • Snuggled with the sweetest dog ever, and I officially want one. I've toyed with the idea of getting a dog for a few years now, but gotten more serious in my planning lately.  The apartment I'm in now doesn't allow pets, so this would mean moving... again.  But I like change, and truly enjoy moving, so that's not a problem for me.  Now I get the fun of looking at different neighborhoods and locations and deciding which area is right for me.  I'm seriously entertaining the idea of roommates again too... ask me how I feel about that next week though.
  • Made a quick run to my new favorite coffeehouse while The Kid had his tuba lessons.  It's conveniently located just 4 blocks from where his instructor lives, so it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.
  • The Kid has now decided he is a teenager and therefore runs on his own timeline.  As gently and lovingly as possible I am making him aware of his attitude and keeping him running on the most efficient timeline.  Today he decided that ignoring me was his way of telling me he didn't want to start on his homework.  I gently reminded him that ignoring me was a lack of respect and therefore he no longer had a say in how his time looked.  Worked like a charm.  He hopped up and started in.  I love this kid.


Currently I Am...

Working on a new project for a PR Agency I recently contracted with.  It's a big project and it's kinda scary, but fun.  (I'll post soon on how it turns out)

Drinking coffee... what's new?!

Enjoying a quiet afternoon with The Kid.  It's rare that he doesn't have somewhere to be right after school and a ton of homework to fit in also.  There's no homework today and he doesn't have anywhere to be until his basketball game this evening.

Considering my options for the future... where to live, if I'd consider a roommate situation, do I want to spend money on a car, what camera should I save for, etc.

Noticing that my life is pretty damn good.


Currently I Am...

Planning my trip to Boise this weekend. I haven't been to Boise since July and I'm looking forward to seeing friends, enjoying my favorite coffee spots and generally enjoying time away. I'm also booking a few photo shoots for while I'm in town, and that's exciting too!

Wishing I could support a friend by taking his pain away.  But I'm supporting him the best I know how, with gentle reminders of truth, love and honesty.

Dreaming about what places I'll experience and photograph once I'm debt free.

Feeling hopeful.

Remembering that I need to buy warmer clothing for this weekend.  It's farking cold in Boise!



Currently I am...

Thinking: about this quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery from Southern Mail
"One's suffering disappears when one lets oneself go, when one yields--even to sadness."

Drinking: green tea.  (Yogi pomegranate green tea... Mmmm!!)

Considering: buying a plane ticket to Boise for this upcoming weekend.

Working: on photos from my last two photography sessions.

Listening: to an episode of the Big Bang Theory - "Bazinga!"

What are you up to today?


My 2012 | A Year in Review

2012 was a tough year.  I'm just going to start with that.  A lot of good things happened in 2012, -- I encountered new opportunities, made new friends, discovered new hobbies and made the biggest move of my life -- but all-in-all it was a tough year, a year full of transition and change.

If I were a surfer (which I so am not) 2012 could be described as a year of holding on tightly to my board and riding the waves; gripping the sides with my fingers and praying that I don't fall off into shark infested waters.  For the past few months I've felt a little more confident about standing on the board and trying to own a wave or two, but looking forward toward 2013, I feel 100% positive that I will hang ten more than once.  (Ok, ok I know that's a horrible paragraph filled with ridiculous metaphors, but just go with me here.)

I'll be positing later about the many things I intend to both experience and accomplish in 2013, but for now I'd like to recap 2012 and all waves I rode... 



I quit my job and began splitting my time between Boise and Northern California.  I spent a lot of time stressing about where my photography business was going and trying to pay my bills with any income I could get my hands on with freelance work.  While in California I was focused on helping my aunt through her chemo treatments and thoroughly enjoying the time we were blessed with to grow closer.  While in Boise I was focused on finding work to pay my bills and thankful for a place to lay my head at night in my little brother's house.


Still splitting my time between Idaho and Cali.  Had quite a few photoshoots, including these ones:




Lots of introspection was happening in March.  I was still splitting my time between states, but knew that my aunt's chemo treatments were coming to an end (thankfully!) and it would be time for me to look for another full time job.  I didn't want to look for a job in Boise again, and the idea of signing another lease and being "stuck" there was giving me anxiety attacks.  I started praying about where I wanted to go and how it was going to be possible.



After a trip to Palm Springs with my aunt we celebrated her upcoming final chemo treatment and I made the decision that I would be moving to Portland May 1st!  It was bittersweet knowing that my time with her was coming to an end.  I was loving the time we had to connect and chat and get to know one another, but I also felt like I had been putting my life on hold, and I was ready to start it back up again.  Making plans for Portland was the most exciting and scary time in 2012.



I did it!  I packed up what would fit in my car and drove 9 hours to my new "home."  I moved onto my Grandma's floor for a couple of weeks, and then into the spare bedroom at my aunt's house for a month.  Moving to Portland was the bravest leap of faith I've ever taken.  I didn't have a job lined up, and would be couch surfing until everything else fell into place, but I was happy.  So very happy and proud of myself.  I seized the opportunity to reconnect with family. visit the coast and explore my new home.



I started working in June FINALLY.  I had stumbled across an amazing opportunity in a nanny/house manager position and scooped it up.  I continued living with my aunt during June while I saved up for an apartment closer to where I was working.  I loved the opportunity to reconnect with my cousins and their families during this time.



July was a big month for me!  I signed the lease on my new apartment and finally had an official PDX address!!  I moved in and starting making it home.  I also traveled back to Idaho for my little brother's wedding reception (they had been married back in March while I was in California) and enjoyed seeing everyone again.



Ahh sweet, sweet summer!  August was a month filled with adventure in the sunshine.  I tripped to the coast, enjoyed bike rides, explored PDX and spent many hours with new friends.  Remembering August makes me excited for next summer and many more sunny adventures.



In September I turned 30... and subsequently freaked out.  I wasn't expecting 30 to hit me hard, but hit me it did.  I quickly bounced back, but not without a plan of attack.  I made a list of the things I wanted to experience during my 30th year and I'm having fun accomplishing my "to-do" items.



I also made a few trip to my 'happy place' during September and enjoyed the coast thoroughly.



October brought the colder air, fall colors, blogger events and Halloween.  I finally started to feel like I was falling into a routine and Portland was really my home.



November found me back in California visiting my aunt and uncle for Thanksgiving.  The sunshine, palm trees and puppy cuddles did a world of good for my soul.



Lots of time with family and friends for the holidays!  Doesn't get much better than that.

Well, that's my 2012 in a nutshell.  All-in-all a good year I'd say, with a few rough spots.  Lots of growth happened, and I'm excited to take off in 2013 with the foundation that's been built.

Here's to a great new year!!


December in an Instagram


Family visits for the holidays
Cheering on a good friend to Half Marathon glory
Visits from Boise friends
New and renewed hobbies
Musical evenings

December was a great month filled with lots of fun to end the year!  How was your December?  

Are you looking forward to 2013?  I am!  I feel like this is going to be a great year filled with lots inspiration, hope, peace and love.  Here's to a fresh start!