Friday, April 29, 2011

{Friday Funday!}

Just a quick look of my friend Kim's adorable puppy Lexi (aka Turk's new girlfriend!) before I head north to Sedona for my birthday weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

{birthday thoughts}

Today I am 27.

In 27 years, I have not achieved what I thought I would. I thought I'd have a masters degree, possibly a law degree, some sort of amazing job that commands me oodles of money, that I'd be the "boss-lady." Maybe those ideals were too lofty, but at the very least, I thought that I would have some degree of success that was measurable.

I thought.

The thing is, I have achieved milestones that I am proud of, just not the ones I "thought" I would.

I have my bachelor's degree. I am married to a wonderful, successful and supportive man. I have two awesome, well-behaved huge dogs. I have worked in journalism, design, finance and banking. I have lived in five cities in eight years. I have left my comfort zone multiple times - on purpose. All of which were super, duper scary... but I did it anyway. Most importantly, and perhaps the scariest, I left stability, consistent income and benefits to start my own business. I'm doing what I love rather than what others thought at which I'd excel.

I am still wrapping my brain around the idea that I don't have to measure my success against others. Something that is so easy to do, so easily quantifiable and so human, is something that I have to force myself not to do. I have to make a concerted effort into putting my ideas, energy and thoughts toward the future - into what I can directly affect - rather than drain myself in unproductive directions.

Don't worry, this isn't a pity post, merely a reflection. I have not achieved what I thought I'd achieve, but I think I've finally decided that's okay. Because in life, as in business, there is room for fear but not excuses.

Onward and upward.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

{things that make me happy} really good beer

I have a secret. It's not bad, not really. Well, it's kind of bad. Just a little.

Mike and I's relationship is based on a mutual love of beer.

There, I said it. For the whole world (errr, blog-world) to see (err, um, read).

It's not bad, I promise. We're not lushes and we don't over-imbibe on a regular basis - we both just really and truly appreciate good beer. Not only is it yummy, but it's an association thing. Have you ever been driving down the road, wind in your hair, sunglasses on, and a song comes on that just transports you back to that one great moment?

That's what good beer does for me. Really good beer takes me here:

One of our gorgeous Montana Loveshoot photos by Sara of Whitebox Weddings

With that first sip, I can't help but smile. I get fluttery butterflies in my tummy. It takes me back to that first summer. A summer full of great beer, quiet water and huge mountains. A summer that was graduation, internships and not having a plan. It was road trips, meeting family, and being the first person each of us ever "brought home." One sip takes me to that first year in Portland, escaping the rain and finding solace in Bend. It makes me want to hike to the top of a mountain and appreciate how amazing this world is, and then realize it's in our own backyard. It makes me want to pack up my dogs, my tent and my husband and go float down a Montana river. It makes me want to sit and just... be.

But mostly? Mostly it just makes me smile and want to enjoy a really, really good beer. Together.

A few of my favorites:
1. Mmmm Guinness
2. Deschutes Brewery from Bend, Oregon. Nothing quite says summer to me like the June debut of Twilight every year.
3. Twisted Tea. A Montana thing by far and not a "great beer" but man, is it satisfying when it's 90 degrees out and you're floating down the river. Seriously, trust me.
4. Missoula, Montana. 'Nuff said.
5. Big Sky Brewery. One of many brewery options in Missoula, but Summer Honey is my Montana equivalent of Twilight.
6. Beltian White (Belt, MT). Only available in the state of Montana, they just started bottling it and it needs to go back to being only on tap. It is by far my favorite MT beer; we had it at the wedding and it was tapped before the sun set.
7. Ditto with Cold Smoke from Kettlehouse Brewery (Missoula, MT). Wedding choice, gone before sunset. Yum.

What do you associate with and why? Leave a comment and possibly win a $15 gift card! Winner will be announced Monday!


Monday, April 18, 2011

{cela+noah} married: segunda parte

A lot of this past week was focused on the "why." Why do we, as photographers, do what we do? Why photography? Why do you want to succeed? Why not? Why are you fearful? The list goes on and on and on. Always, always, ask "why?"

As I mentioned earlier, that's another post for another day. But part of my "why" is meeting couples like {cela+noah}. They're only 24, but have already been together for eight years. They've grown up together; they've loved, lost, laughed and they've cried - together. And you know what? {cela+noah} have been through more in the first eight years than most couples go through in the first eighteen. So for me, being privy to the background story, being invited to be a part of such an important day, simply being responsible (and man, what a responsibility) for documenting when they finally and officially became {cela+noah}... well, it's nothing short of amazing. And I think it's a pretty damned good why.


{Ceremony: St. Augustine Cathedral}
{Reception: Savoy Opera House}

The photo above is by far my favorite image of the day. Like, leaps and bounds. Love.

The couple on the right got engaged about a month after the wedding. Congrats, Carolyn!

Just for fun - Mustache Photographer!
You can see {cela+noah} married: la primera parte here, and their engagement shoot here.

{san diego} sneak peek

I just got back from spending a week with Justin & Mary. Wow. What an amazing, inspiring, educational week in San Diego! More on that later (it will get a whole post all to itself!), but here's a sneak peek of my trip to hold y'all over until I get the rest of {cela+noah} up.