Thursday, August 19, 2010

Virginia is for Lovers

About a month ago I had the privilege of being able to shoot my first wedding as an assistant photographer with Wendy of Wendylew Photography. To say I was nervous would be the understatement of the year, but it’s amazing how instinct just takes over and you are so in the moment that you just do without thinking. Besides it was too hot to be nervous! Jon & Elisa’s wedding was held outdoors at the beautiful Tarara Winery in Leesburg on a sunny summer day complete with Virginia’s trademark humidity. However, the heat and humidity couldn’t take anything away from this event. Every last detail was perfect and inviting and in most cases hand created by the bride, Elisa. Guests were drawn in by the brightly colored handmade table linens and mismatched plates, with mason jars as glasses and macaroni and cheese on the menu it was a vintage eclectic meets southern hospitality.

The tent softly lit by glowing lanterns was full of so much love, happiness and genuine affection it was impossible not to be affected by it.  The camaraderie between relatives, friends and strangers alike was incredible – it was clear that everyone was beyond thrilled to be at this winery on this night celebrating these two people.

And the bride and groom? They couldn’t take their eyes off of each other all night.

I feel truly honored to been able to be a part of this amazing couple’s special day and to have contributed something concrete that will help them to look back and remember the day that all of their friends and family came together to celebrate their love for each other. I think I worked harder on this day than I ever have in my life, but the payoff was worth it, emotionally and creatively. I’m truly grateful for this experience and the opportunity I had to observe, to learn and to take gorgeous photographs. Wendy was amazing in giving me tips and feedback as went along and I feel so much more confident after only one wedding. I have another one coming up this weekend, and while I’m nervous, nervousness is definitely overshadowed by excitement. I’m also looking forward to correcting the one major mistake I made last time; whatever you do don’t wear a lined skirt!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


On Sunday, I participated in and completed my first half marathon, the Rock and Rock Half Marathon in Chicago! I ran on behalf of PAWS Chicago and raised $670 towards their efforts to make Chicago a no kill city. They are a great organization and I just wish I could take all the dogs’ home with me whenever I visit there.

I’ve always loved running, but I honestly never thought I could complete a half and now that I have I think I am officially addicted to races and am seriously considering running a full. It was an amazing physical accomplishment, two days later and I’m still feeling strong, like an ancient warrior or something. My goal was to run the entire distance and I did, I finished in 2h15, 5 min slower than my goal time, but 5 min faster than I thought I would actually finish in! The race itself is almost a blur now in my memory; I remember the cheering and trying to take in my surroundings. My playlist was perfect, Mr. Blue Sky was number 3 on the list and got me into a great rhythm, beyond the fact that it started just as I was emerging from beneath an underpass and just as I heard the lyric, “The sun is shining in the sky…” the sun literally flared in my vision! My favorite sign on the track was, “You are all really good at exercise.” Eye of the Tiger came on just when I needed a boost the most, the surroundings were parking lots and vacant lots, a dreary long stretch, people were starting to slow or walk which made me want to as well. And that I think is my true achievement of the day, I was able to run the distance because I trained for it, but I was able to keep going because I kept strong mentally. Anytime I was feeling tired or wanted to walk I pushed myself forward, I think most of the race is a blur because I was really in my head, telling myself to stay comfortable, pace yourself, if you walk now it’s an hour left versus thirty minutes and how long do you really want to be out here. I’d tell myself “If you make it to mile ten, you can walk 1 min” But I’d get there and say “Well, now it’s just three miles left, you can run that” It was quite the dialogue I had going with myself. It felt good to push myself to do exactly what I knew I was capable of, it felt hard, but it felt doable. It felt so good to race down the final chute, concentrating on passing people one by one and then throwing my hands up to cross the finish line at 13.1 miles!

It felt great, but sad too – I signed up for this race almost six months ago and have had an incredible amount of support from friends and family along the way. I’ve been training since May and because of my training schedule I did runs in Seattle, Alaska, Canada, Texas and Virginia and saw each place from an entirely different prospective – as a runner.

Next up – a 12K Trail run in Palatine, IL Sat Aug 7th – and yes, I am crazy!  But I'm loving the bling, the t-shirts and the glory that come with racing!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fruit Train

I have not really posted in awhile, I have been insanely busy, so busy that I feel like I'm missing the summer!  It's been amazing though, I've spent time with friends both old and new, traveled, had the opportunity to be a second shooter for the first time, trained for my first Half Marathon which I will complete this Sunday, and topping it all off I'm getting over a summer cold that my body decided was just the thing to slow my over scheduled self down.

So here's a little filler post about what might be one of the greatest stores ever, Daiso in Seattle.  It's basically a Dollar General Japanese style and it is fantastic!  An absolute treasure trove of some of the weirdest "I must own this right now and have it in my life" items ever, including the mat pictured above, a deterrent I assume for cats on the counter.  I am just enamored with the name and that picture of the poor little teary kitten, it's just so straightforward! 

My mom got really annoyed with my husband and I because we could not stop laughing at the notebooks they had for sale with little sayings on the front, something definitely is lost in translation.  If you are ever in Seattle you have to check this place out, you will not be sorry you did, and now I leave with this inspirational poem that graces the cover of my new idea notebook:

Fruit Train
Welcome to the country of the fruit
What do you see in the fruit?
It is a train that carries your dream

I truly hope you all have a train of fruit of your own that carries your dreams! :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I have never seen a butterfly like this up close before, there were so many of them!  The secret is to plant Zinnias.  Someday I will have a garden of my own, I will plant zinnias, they will not die, and the butterflies will come!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vive Le France!

I'm back baby!  After rest, lots of icing and some cross training I was able to get back into my training schedule and run the Bastille Day 5K as planned.  They moved the location from Greektown to Lincoln Park and it was a great course along the lakefront with some wonderful cooling rain for good measure. 

I always forget how much I love races until I'm at one, there is just such a feeling of excitement and anticipation, like, "Let's do this bitches, yeah!"  This year I was able to drag a friend along for the ride and induct her into the wonderful world of racing, and she liked it, didn't end up hating me and cursing my name.  Because it really is a great feeling,  running in a group of like minded individuals and really pushing yourself to see what you can do.  And there's bagels at the end.  Nothing tastes better than those bagels at the end of a race, unless it's the beer!  I went out intending to beat my time from last year and I was quite proud of myself -- I ran it in 27:41, knocking a full 1:11 seconds off last years time and I finished 812, which meant I was faster than 1,200 other people, which is pretty fricken cool :)

My half marathon is only 31/2 weeks away, but I'm ready, bring on the bagels!

.... And the Beer!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mr & Mrs Place!


William and Katie met at The Library.  No, not the quiet building filled with books and well behaved people studying and learning, but a bar in downtown Ft Worth where Katie was enjoying a girls night out being generally charming and Will was after a cross country flight being generally drunk and obnoxious.

Boy approaches girl with pilot swagger and the now infamous pick up line, "I'm an apprentice of awesomeness".  Girl encourages boy by taking his number so he'll hang around and thus continue to entertain the girls who I don't think were laughing with him.  Boy insists he'll call the next day, at 5pm.  Girl tells Mom who scoffs that he'll actually call and a bet is made.  Boy does call, Mom loses bet and Girl agrees to coffee.  And the rest is history!

On Sunday June 27th Katie and Will tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony at The White Chapel in Hurst, TX.  It was a beautiful day in a gorgeous location decorated to the nines, but I don't think the bride and groom had eyes for anything but each other. 

It was an amazing wedding filled with cake, champagne, dancing, car decorating and a group of drunk military men reenacting the serenade scene from Top gun.

Congratulations to the happy couple, I am so glad I got to be a part of their special day, thrilled for my baby brother and grateful to have such a wonderful new sister in law who is the perfect match for him!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I recently got back into running after being away from it for almost twelve years, partly because I started to have all sorts of issues with my feet and knees.  When it comes to running, as much as I love it, I'm a mess!  I have plantar fascitis, flat feet, bad knees, but I love running and so I'm sticking with it.  I have been training for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon Aug 1st and am only 4 weeks out now and I'm starting to get worried.  On my 7 mile long run (longest distance ever for me!) 12 days ago I ended feeling amazing, physically and mentally!  After an hour though I couldn't walk and was laid up with immense pain the rest of the weekend.  After a week of rest, icing, and ibuprofen I ran an easy three miler with my brother (Hi Joe!) and ended up with the pain again!

I feel like the goldilocks of running shoes -- I had too little support and then too much.  I'm hoping my new shoes are just enough and will get me through the rest of this training and my goal of completing my first half marathon.  No matter what though, even if I have to walk, I'm going to finish it.  For the puppehs and kittehs!

PAWS Fundraising Page