I haven’t been blogging because I haven’t been able to work up in my office the past two weeks, thanks to a plethora of illness and snow days. But, today I’m dreaming of the beautiful sunshine we had in Portland last summer for the World Domination Summit. I know, the name sounds crazy and strange, but the people there are some of the best people I’ve ever met. They are kind and strong and adventurous. The first year I attended WDS, I was recently married and I was working a day job. I was dreaming of quitting and going full time as a photographer. I got to meet a bunch of people I’d only been internet friends with, and not only that, they gave me the support I needed to take a big leap. I took a few years off (after attending two years in a row) and last year I was able to go back. I’ve been feeling a bit stuck in life since having N. I love being a parent but it’s been a new adventure that has brought up more questions than answers. To be honest, I don’t have many more answers, 8 months later. But I did have some great conversations with people that have had my gears turning and given me new inspiration. One of my favorite parts of WDS is all the attendee-led meet ups and adventures. I even led my first meet up this year on traveling as a family and with kids, which is something I’m super passionate about. My good friend Dustin Main, leads a photo walk every year, and I really enjoyed myself. I don’t normally shoot much on the street unless I’m traveling, and I don’t ever shoot with other people (unless I have a second shooter) so this was really fun.
I got taken out by a late spring cold in early June, and I just haven’t been able to catch up. Life is completely bonkers right now, but as my blogging backlog just grows and grows, I know I need to try and catch up a little bit!
It’s funny to look at this photo first photo, because it’s so dang hot out right now, but I do remember that May started off cool. I really miss those 50 and 60 degree days now! This spring, little miss has been a lot more insistent on going outside. We spend a lot of time out in the yard now.
In early May, we were able to get out and go to Cirque du Soleil‘s Crystal, which is Cirque on Ice. It’s been a dream of mine for ages, so I was thrilled when my husband surprised me with tickets. My mom came to watch the kiddo, and we go to go out for a nice dinner beforehand too. It was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen! I wish I could have gone twice!!
We did another round of swim lessons in the spring (and we’re doing another round this summer too!) and little miss was one of the best swimmers in her class. I can’t be surprised, because she takes after her dad, who is totally a swimmer too. She was aces at jumping into the pool with him.
H, my mom, and a few of our friends ran Bloomsday again this year. We missed it last year, because we were in Germany, so it was great to see everyone running again this year. H didn’t have the best time this year, but he’d been dealing with some injuries and wasn’t able to run as much as usual in the spring. Little miss had a blast watching everyone and cheering as they ran by!
With all the construction downtown this year, we had to take a slightly longer walk around to the finish line this year. The bonus was that we got a great view of the falls!
Last spring, we had to cut down the huge maple tree in our back yard. It was a total bummer, especially because it left us without half of our hammock “stand”. After a year of debating what to do for a stand, I snagged this one on sale at Lowe’s. It’s the favorite place in our yard. N will sign “please” and ask ‘ammock? ‘ammock? Up?! because she wants to get in.
We’re still doing monthly photos each month, although I’m not as good at getting them right on the 8th each month. Oops. In May, I finished up, and turned around to find her checking out my camera. I also find a lot of random, blurry, photos and selfies on my phone!
Little miss is currently not a huge fan of being worn right now. With as hot as it has been, I don’t really blame her. But I do feel a bit bummed when I see these photos. Please let me snuggle you again soon, kiddo!
I have to laugh looking at this photo, because back in May, we were planning to plan paint the floors. A while back, we’d had a contractor out who said they weren’t worth sanding and refinishing. But, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that we met with another contractor who said it wouldn’t be an issue and they’ve been sanded and refinished and are currently ready to have furniture put back on them.
If you’re planning a wedding, you need to chat with the lovely ladies at Nic Nac Nell’s! They’ve got the most adorable collection of vintage things that will take your wedding from ordinary to extraordinary. Look, I’m a huge huge fan of DIY, but there’s also something to be said for letting someone else doing the hard work, and you’ll still have plenty of variety to choose from at their showroom.
We finished off the month of May with a Memorial Day hike with this crazy crew. We’ve been trying to get out more, and while we were originally planning to go to Bowl & Pitcher, we’d heard there were a bunch of mosquitos, so instead, we went over to Post Falls and Q’emiln Park. In Wenzel family tradition, we grabbed donuts on the way home.
I’m pretty sure I’ve posted similar images before, but our dog is seriously the most chill dog when it comes to our toddler. She is constantly sitting or climbing on him, and he never complains. But he is also super protective of her and any other kiddos who come to visit us.
I’ve been trying to grow radishes for nearly every year we’ve lived in this house, and I’ve had a terrible time of it. Every year it’s been something different. One year, the slugs got to them, another year I planted them too late and they bolted. This year, they were beautiful. Finally.
I picked up some rhubarb at the farmer’s market in early June and whipped up this Rhubarb Cake from my favorite German Baking Book. It was tangy and sweet and paired perfectly with whipped cream.
Little miss is the best shopping assistant, and she was helping me get some photobooth supplies in June for Pride in Perry. She had a blast waving the flags around, and then had even more fun hanging out at the booth during the event.
We’ve reached a stage where N is quite stubborn about what she wants. She picked out this outfit, and then insisted on boots, even when it was 80 degrees out. [Oh, do you see those trees in the back??? They are peach and plum trees. I’m so excited!] I had to hide her boots so she wouldn’t try to wear them this week when it’s 90+.
Little snuggles with my girl are the best, even if they’re usually happening when she’s tired and cranky.
I am so so thankful for family who watch our girl so that we can sneak off on dates. H’s mom came to town for a few days, and we got to see a movie together.
Road tripping to Portland with this girl and we packed up our snack pack to fit all the fruit and veggies in it. This girl is all about her produce. Fingers crossed it stays that way, although, I may need to have a bigger garden soon!
We went to Portland so that I could attend WDS for the third time, and it was wonderful to see old friends, to hear some fantastic speakers, and to run into people I wouldn’t have expected to see, like my friend Sachin, who is a wedding photographer out of Vancouver, BC. I am endlessly thankful to WDS for giving me the courage to step out and live the life I have now. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it back next year, but I really hope it works out!
Whew! And that’s that. Technically, that last photo was taken on July 1st, but whatever. Next time I do a recap, I’ll get to share my new floors! I might drop down to doing these every other month and doing two posts? What would you all prefer? I know these are mostly for myself, but a lot of you love these posts. WDS has given me some great ideas, and I’m trying to carve out time to develop them and share them with the world.
I sat down to write this yesterday morning, but it never happened. So I’m up early today, watching the snow fall outside my office window, and reflecting on the fact that it’s December.
November was a crazy whirlwind. November is usually a whirlwind – finishing up wedding season, squeezing in a few family sessions (which I had to turn down this year, boo!), and getting ready for the holidays. But add in renovating our living room, adopting a puppy, and hosting Thanksgiving, and it turned in to quite a crazy month.
— We got to the part of renovation where we were painting – yay! It’s been a long, long journey to get here, and we still have a few things to finish before I can show off some before and after photos (built in bookcases, we’re coming for you), but it finally feels like we have a room in our house that reflects our style and personality. With no beige. And an overhead light. It’s the little things, you guys. My younger brother came up for a weekend and helped us out, and I have never been so grateful for family as I have been this past month.
— We adopted a puppy, which saw me laughing, and crying, these past two weeks. Lola still isn’t completely on board, but she’s coming around and there is more harmony in the house.
— The power went out! Except, it didn’t for us. It was a strange situation, since H works with a utility, to have power, but see him working long (and crazy) hours in order to get people their power back. I am in awe of what he can do, including working crazy overnight shifts, then waking up after only a few hours to help me cut down branches that fell in our yard.
— We hosted Thanksgiving for our entire (US based) immediate families. We had 12 people in our house for Thanksgiving, and while that probably doesn’t seem like a lot to some people, it was huge for us. And it went amazingly well, and we had a wonderful time. There was a moment, when we finally all sat down to the table, and I looked around to see all the people we love, who haven’t all been together since our wedding (four years ago!), and it felt amazing. Plus, I took my sister in law’s advice, and turned the leftover turkey into turkey enchiladas. So good!
— I was able to assist Matt Shumate at an Indian wedding last weekend, thus crossing a big wish off my photography wish list. The DJ was another WDS alum, and although I felt like sleeping for a week after it was over, I can’t wait to shoot one again. I must be a glutton for punishment.
What do you have planned for December? I’m looking forward to Christmas, to sending out holiday cards, to eating lots of cookies, and to more walks in the snow with my pup. I’ll be prepping for the January Bridal Festival too, which is January 9-10. November, you were good. December, let’s do this.
I’m trying not to sound like a broken record, but I can’t help it. I’m sorry (but I’m not sorry. at all). All my shoots lately have been with amazing and wonderful people, who lift me up with their passion and projects. It’s the best. :)
This is Rita, who has the most wonderful personality. Rita completely lights up the room when she walks in, and her smile is contagious. She has a heart made for loving people, and she encourages everyone she meets to follow their hearts. We did a quick little shoot in downtown Portland and she just filled me up with joy. It was the perfect way to start our weekend at WDS. Thank you Rita, it was a pleasure to meet you! I can’t wait to see you the next time I visit Victoria. <3
(c) Armosa Studios
Earlier this month, I watched Tess Vigeland get up on stage and say that she left her dream job at NPR because she had “too much self respect to stay.” And I choked up, because I understood. I saw Chase Jarvis expound on the importance of creativity, of artistry, and how there is a lack of it in our culture. And my heart ached, because I know that school system too well. I watch Steve Schalchlin played the piano, singing songs he wrote after almost dying of AIDS. And I cried. Because life is about living every moment to the fullest.
Last year, WDS made me realize that I wanted to be a photographer. Full time. Not as a hobby. And I knew I wanted to do it in Spokane. So, here I was a year later, working at a photographer and moving to Spokane. Check and check. And I watched Tess say that she quit her job. That people asked her “what’s next?” and she didn’t know. Because when you’ve accomplished those goals, what’s left? And I felt her words echo in my heart. Saying things I couldn’t have verbalized.
Last year, WDS sparked something in me. And I took that something and ran with it, straight into my business. This year, I was expecting the same, but it never came. I thought, what if I have no other business goals? I do, and I know that I do. Because I want to do more with my business. And I know that. But those are little goals. What is my next big goal? What if I don’t have any more goals? Obviously, the lack of sleep was turning me into a drama queen. So I asked myself, what did I learn this year?
When I think back on WDS 2013, the difference is that it’s more about the people, and less about the message. Last year, I met so many wonderful people, but didn’t really keep in touch. And even though those people sparked so much change in my life, I didn’t feel like was holding myself to those goals because no one in my everyday life knew about them. This year, my goal is to keep in touch. To create and grow those relationships. To be fully present in my life, living every moment. Not holding back.
As I danced Bollywood with 3,000 people and sang along to Journey with 1,000 others, I realized that my life is beautiful and wonderful. It is remarkable. And I can’t keep wishing for something else, I need to live the life I have. Don’t wish for a different life, find a way to make your own life amazing.
PS – You can read the transcript of Tess Vigeland’s talk here.