Winter Whites And A Belated Happy New Year

In lieu of updating this website and blog with a Happy New Year post and collection of new work, I spent the last week tapping into my inner kid. In case you've been sleeping, it snowed in Portland. A lot. And snow like this in Portland is such a rare occurrence, life as we all know it comes to a halt as everyone wonders at the miracle of it. Both because there are few things so beautiful...and because the city was hardly able to stay one step ahead of it (and hence why the roads were temporarily ours to roam as we pleased, gloriously car free). We also happen to live on the edge of Forest Park, the proximity of which adds a whole new level of magic to the experience.

This year, it was alternately a gift and a lesson in pioneer woman spirit as our electricity went out Tuesday night and only came back on Friday night (immensely grateful for friends with modern amenities like heat, electricity and coffee). And I learned three things during those first two days before we threw in the towel on 40 degree indoor temps…after 25 years, I still have a few useful camp counselor tricks up my sleeve, my kid is pretty tough, and when the apocalypse happens, I will still be inclined to want to document it.

So in the event you're not already maxed out on photos of snow....enjoy! And Happy New Year! As soon as this snow melts and kids go back to what's left of school, real updates to counselor promise.

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Ides Of March

OK, so minus any sacrifices or brushes with Ceasar, March was a festival of travel, family and friends.  The Nones found me in San Francisco celebrating my step brother's wedding. The Ides were spent on the island of Oahu photographing the magical wedding of a dear friend.

This infusion of different sights, sounds and smells served alternately as a relief from the weight of the last eight months, as well as a celebration of what it means to be alive, and not least, an intense expression of gratitude for the life I have.

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In Conclusion: 2015

...a year that unequivocally changed my life. The day after my last post, almost to the hour, my dad was hit and killed half way through his second cross country bike ride that was in celebration of his 75th birthday. 

I could barely breathe, let alone push a button those first few weeks. In the minutes, hours, weeks, and six months since, I have had to rebuild my identity, piece by excruciating piece. My dad was a devoted father, adoring grandfather to my two kids, my wing man and all around super hero. Losing him turned my heart inside out and left me feeling completely untethered.

My dad was carrying this photo in his journal, and it has given me some small measure of solace in knowing he had this with him, as well as a very tangible way to carry him forward with me. As it has always been with me and photography, *the most enduring and precious gifts I have ever received are images of people I love. This was his gift to me.

And while this shocking new reality and resulting war with grief raged on, there were still bills to be paid and kids to be fed. So I picked up my camera again. It's what I know and it's what brings me great peace. And as such, has played a significant role in helping me put one foot in front of the other, both during the course of finding some degree of normal, any normal, in my life again, as well as a way to document for myself this path and pain that I thought for sure would destroy me. 

I tell you this in order to explain the last six months of silence on my blog. And to let you know that though this process has rearranged every fiber of my being and left an enduring mark...the grief hasn't won. 

As this year closes and a new one begins, I need to express complete and humble gratitude to my clients who, over the last six months, have all knowingly or unknowingly, contributed to helping me find once again grace, humor, and connection to this life. I feel more than ever and with my whole being, that I am doing what I was put on this earth to do. And look forward more than I ever imagined possible all to come.

La Bella Vita

I recently had the incredible fortune of traveling to Italy with both my mom and my daughter...I had been a few times before, but this particular experience was a bit of fairy dust and magical medicine all rolled into one, for each of us in our own way. 

We stayed with family who have lived in Florence for the last 50+ years and and who now live la bella vita in true Italian fashion.  Our days were bookended by the most simply sweet and leisurely time eating amazing home cooked meals, imbibing of the local grapes, sharing stories and otherwise just being present in each other's company...a luxury that almost makes my heart ache (she said as she ate a lunch of almonds and coffee over her keyboard at 4 p.m.).

In between those generous slices of heaven, we navigated the beautiful and historic city with what seemed like a billion of our fellow tourists.  Apparently, they didn't get the memo it was off-season, so despite the fact we were also contributing to the masses, it was hard not to feel a bit overwhelmed and selfishly long for a city that more closely resembled the one of my imagination.  Portovenere and Cinque Terre were no different (damn you Rick Steves), though the (top secret) house we stayed in on the coast provided it's own brand of stunning beauty and respite.  

I have such immense gratitude for the abundant generosity of our people in Florence who so lovingly took us in and for having had the opportunity to share this sabbatical of sorts across three generations of family.   And hope that in sharing these images, they can provide some small measure of the profound mental escape hatch they have given to me.

Tour De Oregon

Or at least 750 miles of it.  It was like a kinder, gentler Thelma + Louise, minus the Thunderbird and dramatic car chase scenes (plus one of the two of us is seven).  But we had four wheels, one dog, no reservations and miles of open road.   And lots and lots of Macy Gray.

And four seasons in four days.   Welcome to spring break Oregon style.

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24 Hours of Tolovana With Mr. T

What's a girl to do when the forecast calls for summer temps?  At the beach?  In February?!  24 hours of Tolovana Beach served up pure bliss and then some. 

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Fair Play

As my clients share so much of their lives and their time with me, I thought it only fair play to share a little of ours...with some help from Santa's gift to me (hint: it's black and goes click). 

So from our home to yours, wherever home may be, and however you celebrate the season, we wish you joy, peace, and legos. 

I am very, very grateful to know each and every one of you.

Snow Daze

When it snows in Portland, reality as you know it stops.  School is cancelled, business shutters, traffic reports light the highways up like a Christmas tree, and everyone begins the frantic search for "that other glove" so you can enjoy it for the fleeting wonder that it is.    Because, like cicadas, this only happens once every few years in this city.  And it would be a shame to miss the opportunity to put the brakes on our lives and make decisions no more difficult than marshmallows or whipped cream on your hot chocolate, and romantic comedy or action-adventure on Netflix.

Sadly, this go around, I had a job to finish and deadlines to meet...and it was almost too painful to stop and ponder the glory of all the white stuff outside my window.  So I put my head down, finished my dance with Lightroom, and only came up to bask in what was left on day three.  

It seemed the bloom was off the rose for the rest of the city by then...but my love affair had just begun.

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