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Family History, The Ballard Locks — Seattle, WA

I’m in a strange place right now. This retail job I picked up, it’s driving me crazy. Besides the full load of work I do for the photography (which, at this time of year is less photo-taking and more business-maintaining), and the 20-30+ hours at the retail gig, we’re also house hunting. That doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying the job. It’s been a learning experience and I’m gleaning whatever I can from this, as well as working with some pretty fantastic people. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t counting the days until I head out. I miss making my own schedule, having time to read a book. Being my own boss.

Back when we went to Seattle in October, I conned H into driving us all the way out to Ballard on Monday morning before we left. We were driving against traffic, so it wasn’t even that bad. I love the locks, for more than one reason. First, because they’re fascinating. Because it’s fun to watch the ships come through the locks. Heading out to sea, coming back in to port. Second, because I feel connected to the locks. If you’ve ever visited the locks and walked all the way across, you might have seen the plaque below. It’s in honor of my great-great-great grandfather (my dad’s mom’s grandpa), Thomas Heinrich Peterson. He was one of the first shipbuilders in the Seattle area, and his shipyard was at Salmon Bay (which is long gone) and he lived in Ballard around the turn of the century. We have a model of one of his ships in my parents’ living room, but we didn’t know about the plaque until recently.

As we look at houses, ones old enough that my great-great-great grandfather could have lived there, I’m reminded that the past is just as important as the present and the future. That we need to remember the little things. This plaque doesn’t tell you that he almost died in a shipwreck once, or that he wrote very long run-on sentences with little-to-no punctuation, or that he had five children, or that his wife outlived him by many, many, years. But it’s there. A testament to a life well lived, to a man who left his mark on Seattle’s history.

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Merry Christmas everyone. I’ll hopefully post again before 2014 arrives, but if not, I’ll be back with more in January!

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Alaine & Dan — Mazama Ranch House Wedding [Part Two]

From the moment I met them, Alaine & Dan wanted me to know that their wedding was not just about them. It was about the people they loved. These people who were flying in from all over the world to take part in their wedding. Which is why they picked the Mazama Ranch House as their venue. Alaine & Dan love the outdoors, they love Mazama. So when it came to picking a wedding venue, they knew the Mazama Ranch House was the right place. And really, who can blame them? So much of this wedding was in the littlest details that they crafted. Almost every detail you’ll see was done by Alaine & Dan — yes, that’s Alaine’s handwriting on the signs! Friends volunteered the morning of the wedding to string lights and hang signs. They were there, getting ready, with Alaine and Dan.

Alaine & Dan, thank you. Thank you for including me in your day and your lives. Thank you for bringing me back to one of my favorite places in the state. Thank you for making it a day full of laughter and joy.

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Alaine & Dan had their guests read excepts of I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg. To date, it is my favorite wedding reading.
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A few notes:

1. The catering was done by my favorite caterer ever, Stew Dietz. If you are getting married in the Methow Valley, she is the caterer to use. Her food is amazing, and she sources much of it locally. I’d move to Winthrop and have her cook for me all the time, if only I could convince H that doing so wasn’t crazy.

2. If you’re having a small (under 120 guests) wedding, I really strongly encourage you to do a all-wedding-guests photo. It’s such a fun thing to do, and really doesn’t take long at all.

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A great story told. Very nice Emily. I had not been to Mazama before. Alaine and Dan’s wedding weekend was both magical and relaxing. Thank you for sharing.

[…] it when he’s so sensible. I finally decided to start with Alaine & Dan’s beautiful Mazama Ranch House wedding, mostly because I’m in love with that venue. I’m a sucker for barn […]

Alaine & Dan — Methow Valley Wedding Photography [Part One]

Meet Alaine & Dan.

They’re fantastic. And these are their wedding portraits.

I’ll be back with more words and photos of the rest of their wedding day tomorrow!

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H really (really) thought I should use the above photo for my marketing. He says its one of his favorites that I’ve ever taken. Thoughts from you guys?
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[…] couldn’t. I hate it when he’s so sensible. I finally decided to start with Alaine & Dan’s beautiful Mazama Ranch House wedding, mostly because I’m in love with that venue. I’m a […]