Portland Girl - Living a Life Of Design, Not Default | A One Year Anniversary

One year ago this week (Wednesday to be exact) I was packing up my belongings, saying goodbye to friends and family and taking a giant leap of faith.  I was on the road, determined to live a life of intention, a life of design and no longer default.

I came to Portland, embraced all things Trader Joes and local markets, rolled up my pants to avoid the spring rain, and started living.

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Join me this week as I celebrate, won't you?

ps- I'm also playing around with a new blog design.  What do you think so far?  Special thanks to Margaret Jacobsen for the photos of me!

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?


Currently I Am...

WORKING on a new marketing plan for my photography company.  My plans hit the back burner when I thought I may be going back to full time marketing work, but now that I've decided to stay I've also decided to put renewed energy into Motormouth Studios.  I've deduced that I'm more afraid of success than I am of failure, and I've decided to meet that fear head on.

SMILING, even if it's forced.  I've been down lately, and feeling heavy in spirit.  I'm over it though.  I've decided to kick it the best way I know how... focus on my blessings and smile so much that it has no room to live in me.
If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. -Roald Dahl

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BOOKING lots of Boise families for photo shoots when I'm in Boise next month.  So excited to see all my Boise beauties!

LOVING all the sunshine lately!  Portland has been be-a-UTIFUL this week!  It has me so excited for the summer.  I'm already planning loads of hikes, camping opportunities and exciting adventures for The Kid and I to check out.

PREPARING for the Rad 80's Run this Sunday at Mt. Tabor.  It's going to be so much fun!  I'm a sponsor of the race with Motormouth Studios and will be taking photos at the finish line.

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What are you up to today?   
I hope you enjoy your Friday and rock the heck outta your weekend!!


Spring Awakening

I was looking forward to Spring.
Looking forward to some down time, some "me time," spent in the lovely weather outdoors.  Lots of bike rides, lots of hiking, lots of running, etc.

But the Universe had something all together different planned for me.
And you know what?
It's ok.

I'm a firm believer in everything happening just exactly as it should.  And I believe that all the testing this Spring has brought me is only going to make me stronger in the long run.  It's as my girl Kelly says, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
*fist pump*

Part of that testing was in the form of a new opportunity.  I'd been toying with the idea of moving on from my nanny position for a few different reasons -- the main 2 being the fact that I needed medical benefits, and I was also reaching my 1 year anniversary of being in Portland (which means my 1 year anniversary of being out of the corporate loop).

Loooooooooooooooong story, so here's the bulleted timeline:
  • Job offer comes through (full benefits, flexible hours, full time marketing position, perks, etc.)
  • I quit my current job.
  • My employer doesn't accept that and asks what it will take for me to consider staying.
  • I am shocked.
  • I don't know how to answer.
  • I'm offered full medical, dental, vision benefits (at no additional cost to me)
  • I'm able to voice a few of the concerns I have with staying.
  • My concerns are met with open communication.
  • I feel better about my concerns.
  • The Kid finds out I may be leaving.
  • The Kid is sad.
  • Again I am surprised, but delightfully so. (They like me, they really like me.)
  • I think looooooooooong and hard about my decision.
  • I write a GIGANTIC pros and cons list.
  • I talk to all the people in my life I love and trust with this kind of decision.
  • I make a decision.
  • I decide to stay. 
So there you have it.  That's a recap of 3 grueling days for me.  And you know what?  Things couldn't have worked out better.  I feel good about my decision, my boss feels good about my decision, and The Kid is over the moon about my decision.  Things have been great at work, and I have a renewed energy about my job.

Yesterday The Kid had a rare light load of homework and decided to skip his lacrosse practice in order to just "chill" at home.  Normally I'm not very keen on him skipping out on his commitments, but staying at the house yesterday just felt right.  He normally doesn't allow (or like) me to take photos of him, but yesterday was different all around.  He had freedom, the sun was shining, and he suggested I take a few photos to share with his mom.  I, of course, was all too happy to oblige.

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I found out last week that I have a 4 day weekend coming up in May... that means time for a road trip to Boise!!!  While I'm there I might as well line up some photo shoots right? 

I love my Boise clients, and miss them so much!  I really look forward to catching up with everyone and getting some great photos!

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Boise, Idaho Mini Sessions!!

Sat & Sun May 18-19
30 minutes and 10 images for $100

*Location to be chosen by photographer and client together

**Groups limited to 5 people.  Additional welcome for $10 per person.  Pets welcome at no additional cost

***Contact Macey at motormouthmacey@gmail.com to book or ask questions!


In other exciting news.  I've guest posted over on Kira's blog "Rain or Shine".  She has a great series called "Portlander Problems," and I've submitted my own Portlander Problems today.  Check it out here and tell me what your Portland problems are!


A Few Exciting Things to Share

I've been filling out a LOT of paperwork the past couple of days.

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Here's why:

- I'm getting medical benefits!!!  And dental!!!  And vision!!!
I haven't had benefits for a couple of years now, and it's something that been stressing me out the entire time.  Every time I have a health hiccup (like going to the ER a few weeks ago!!!) I have to weigh my financial options and whether or not it's really serious enough for me to consider the price tag. I hate it!  BUT, as of last week I have full benefits... and they're not costing me anything!

- I have a certified nutrition counselor!!! 
I have been wanting to take true control of my health and diet (ie lifestyle) for some time now, and have finally gotten serious about it.  I realized that if the only person my health effects is myself, it's not motivation enough for me to really change.  However, I recently discovered that my health and lifestyle is directly affecting a certain 12 year old female whom I love very much.  I want her to grow up making healthy and active life choices so that she doesn't have to back pedal or start fresh when she's 30 (like me).  I thought long and hard about the people in my life I could call upon for help, and am so excited that an amazing nutrition counselor I know is willing to trade photo services for help!

- I'm creating a plan to be debt free in 5-7 years!!!
I've been struggling with my student loan payments for some time now.  Every month I cringe at making the payments feeling like they're not making a drop in the bucket.  So yesterday I spent about 2 hours on the phone with my various lenders asking detailed questions and requesting account information.  Now that I have all the info, I can make a plan to get them paid off quickly (or, you know, not so quickly) and be debt free!  My student loans are the only debt I have currently (and I don't plan on taking on anymore anytime soon - knock on wood) and once they are paid off the skies the limit!  I've always dreamed to lived as a nomad once my debt is gone; traveling the world taking pictures and meeting people while only needing to figure out how to feed myself and put shelter over my head.  I'm super jazzed that dream is actually a possibility!


Weekend In Review | Wherin We Run Away to Seattle

Just over a year ago I was trying to figure out which city I wanted to move to.  I obviously chose Portland, but Seattle was high on my list as well.  I loved the city, had family there I could lean on for support, and could picture myself thriving in the Emerald City.

But I realized that Seattle was a bit of a haven for me.  It was a place I could escape to for a day, or a week, or anything in between or beyond and love it.  I didn't want to ruin that by living there.  That probably doesn't make sense, but my gut just told me to save Seattle for weekend get-aways and adventure, and move to Portland where I wanted to build a life.

So anyway, all that to say this weekend offered an opportunity for a day of adventure in Seattle!  The Guy and I knew we wanted to get outdoors this weekend, but the weather report called for rain in Portland and the surrounding areas.  The only place that showed sun was for Sunday in Seattle.  So we packed up the car with some snacks and his kiddos and headed north!  It was a BEAUTIFUL day up there, and we enjoyed time on the beach in Alki and wandering the market in search of goodies.  The kids hadn't been to the market before, so we took them in the first ever Starbucks, had them sit on the pig, stuck gum to the wall, and watched the fish fly.  All-in-all it was a fabulous way to spend a sunny Sunday!

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Tommy making a purchase of honey sticks.
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The kids loved looking at all the gum creations
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Tommy's "T" is just to the left of his head.
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Tommy took this pic of his sister.  He's a pretty impressive little photographer.
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Gum "icicles."  So disgustingly awesome.
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When I asked the kids to smile, I got the reaction on the left.  After some begging, I got the giant goofiness on the right.  Lol.
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You can't visit the market and miss the photo-op with the bronze pig.  The kids loved it.
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My guy waiting for our coffee in the first ever Starbucks.


And in Light of A True Tragedy, There is Hope

When I first heard of the tragic events in Boston yesterday I was overcome with intense sadness and grief.

I had been enjoying a morning filled with time catching up with loved ones, meeting with two new clients, and coffee with a friend while discussing how much we love the direction our lives are taking.

It was about 1:30pm and I decided to pop onto Facebook to see what was happening in the social media world --I had a few friends running the Boston Marathon, and I was curious to see how well they had done.  My news feed was, as you can imagine, filled with updates about an explosion going off near the finish line, and then quickly the news of a second explosion followed.  Many friends were posting about our mutual connections who were running that day in Boston, linking to their names and asking for a confirmation to whether or not they were ok (and thank God, they were).  Others were posting about their loss of faith in humanity, and still more were linking to news sites posting images of the horror that was unfolding at the finish line.

I immediately called my mom.  My first thought whenever anything bad happens is to call my mom.  I know there's nothing she can do to stop the tragedy, but if she can't help me feel better, who can?

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In times of tragedy it's important to remember that humanity is not lost.  A few individual humans are.  The bombs were set and detonated by individuals, not humanity.

Humanity is the group that jumped in to help without thought, without hesitation, without care or concern for their own safety.  Humanity is the group of runners who completed their 26.2 miles and continued running - straight to the hospital to give blood for victims.  Humanity is the group of service workers who came together to find the other bombs before they went off and hurt more people.  And humanity is the large group of people effected by this tragedy, doing whatever they can to help support those who are hurting, who have lost loved ones, and who are helping... however they can.

Humanity is not lost.  There is hope.

To all those effected by the tragedy in Boston, my heart and prayers poor out to you.  


One of Those Days

I got my hair cut today.
I don't know how I feel about it yet.
No, I will not post a picture.
Mostly just because I haven't taken one yet today.
And also because I have a giant stress zit on my chin.

So instead, dear readers, I will give you a picture of a pretty flower.

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Ever have one of those days?


A GIF of The Guy at Bodega Bay

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While at Bodega Bay, The Guy found out first hand that the mix of the coast, a camera in my hand, and a handsome model creates a monster in me.  I may, or may not, have overwhelmed him with my ability to take a bazillion photos in rapid succession.

I'll save you from the myriad of photos that I acquired (mostly because it would embarrass the crud out of him), but thought this particular series was just too fun to keep to myself. 

Isn't he just so handsome?  Sigh.


Spring Break 2013 | Wherein We Travel to San Francisco and Bodega Bay

Oh man, I have started this post so many times over the past few days.  I've been really sick the past week (really the last 3 weeks) and it's all come to a head recently with an ER visit and in-and-out of the doctor's office for other various complications.

BUT, with the help of these (ugh)...

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I'm on the mend and finally keeping down food and water again!  So with that, I'd like to finish the post about my Spring Break Trip to California...

Months ago The Guy and I (before he was officially "the guy" in my life) talked about making a road trip down to California to see my aunt who lives in the Palm Springs area.  We figured we'd be ready for some sunshine and palm trees after the Portland winter and spring, and I would have Spring Break off anyway.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I started to get sick and unfortunately our plans had to change.  I was well enough to travel, but we would be visiting my aunt who is going through chemo, and the risk of infecting her while her immune system is down just wasn't a risk I was willing to take.

So long story short, after tossing around many ideas, we settled on visiting northern California.  We enjoyed exploring San Francisco and the coast, and the beauty of the Napa wine country.

Here's a few pics of our vacay, enjoy!

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