30 November 2015

this was almost the year

I almost made it. 29 out of 30. 29 days out of 30, I posted. and it's not a cure for cancer, not an answer to the syrian refugee crisis, it's not even the most creative thing I'll do this year, but it felt good. to share words and photographs here everyday, to be pushed and pulled just a little bit, to show up even when I didn't feel like it. because that's when the good stuff happens, and I'm a fan of the good stuff, we all are.

next year, nablopomo. next year, you're mine.

29 November 2015


a few favorites from thanksgiving before the week starts, before the world shifts back into high gear and the magic wears off.

28 November 2015

that thing

that thing where you come back from vacation to a pile of bills and a pile of work and cat vomit on the floor and sour milk in the fridge and the kids have homework (which, let's face it, means you have homework too) and it's not that you thought vacation could or would (or even should) last forever but you sure wish you could rewind to last week when you were just pulling up to the ocean for the first time and you immediately turned off that part of your brain that does all the worrying about all the things, just for a little while, because you knew you could.

27 November 2015

five senses friday

borrowed from my friend shari, who had the brilliant idea of documenting a week in this particular way and boy, was this a week for the senses:

seen: waves like sea glass, failed sandcastles, the whip of the kite in ezra's hands, the best thanksgiving movie ever, exactly four pink sunsets and one big crazy moon

heard: the birthday song (twice), a chorus of snores, a few human cannonballs, the begging of children (for night swimming), the quiet pop of cranberries cooking, the endless roar of the ocean

smelled: saltiest gulf air, secret coffee beans, melted birthday candle wax, elevator air freshener gone horribly wrong, turkey in the oven, coconut suntan lotion on my skin

tasted: stumptown coffee in the morning, leftover cranberry sauce on my toast, mashed potatoes and gravy, pie, pie, pie

felt: cold ocean water around my ankles, hot sunshine on the back of my neck, the weight of the SX-70 in my hands, a collection of shells in my pocket, sand (omg everywhere), thankfulness, thankfulness, thankfulness

26 November 2015

atlanta + amsterdam: celebrations

atlanta, left:

thanksgiving, an american tradition. with several little quirky traditions nested within the greater tradition, depending on the part of the country you live in, the family you come from, etc, etc, etc. turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce. family, arguments, gratitude, pumpkin pie. though not necessarily in that order. thanksgiving, I am thankful for you.

amsterdam, right:

saint nicholas day, a dutch tradition. the anticipation of the arrival on december the 5th, decorations and festivities and festivities and decorations. and treats and fruits and tea. saint nicholas day, I like the idea of you. and hope to find myself in amsterdam some late november or early december in hopes I might catch a glimpse of you.

(more from my co-collaborator over in amsterdam, joyce, aka on a hazy morning//more about our twelve-week project here)

24 November 2015

the peanut butter

happy 47th birthday to the guy who is totally the peanut butter to my chocolate. the cheese to my crackers, the sonny to my cher.

all the feels today. plus the realization that these are the good times.

23 November 2015

be soft

be soft. do not let the world make you hard. do not let pain make you hate. do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.

-kurt vonnegut

22 November 2015

sunday's list

1. sun

2. wind

3. sea

there were other things but, these three. these three make everything else sort of fall away.

21 November 2015

saturday's list

after a long day of traveling, this is about all I can muster. sights seen while on the road today:

1. fields of bright white cotton.

2. more barbeque joints than I could count.

3. gasoline for $1.73 a gallon.

4. boiled peanuts sold roadside.

5. a piggly wiggly grocery store.

6. the florida state line

7. a giant peanut.

yep, I'm in the south. the deep, deep south. adventure awaits.

20 November 2015

photobooth friday

in a photobooth (or not in a photobooth, depending on how you look at it), ace hotel, portland, oregon, one month ago. I'll tell you, it was nice to be in a city with real photobooths again. atlanta, where are your photobooths? your old-school dip-and-dunk style chemical photobooths? where? and don't tell me west egg cafe because that thing never works. also, I don't think those people there even care.


in other news, it's friday. 

you guys. 


19 November 2015

atlanta + amsterdam: art

atlanta, left:

a favorite mural of mine by 3ttman in the summerhill neighborhood, courtesy of living walls, a non-profit organization that seeks to change perspectives about public space in communities via street art. thanks to living walls, there are murals everywhere here in the city of atlanta, everywhere. 'tis a thing of beauty.

amsterdam, right:

a favorite street art piece of joyce's on a historical building at the prinsengracht. painted by the london brothers back in 2009, it's been the subject of much controversy, city council wanted it removed but failed. sorry, city council. apparently, the people of amsterdam want their public art just as much as the people of atlanta want theirs.

(more from my co-collaborator over in amsterdam, joyce, aka on a hazy morning//more about our twelve-week project here)

18 November 2015

san francisco

rewind to the big cross country road trip home, june 2014, portland, oregon to atlanta, georgia, days four and five (out of twelve!), one last road trip through san francisco. and it's not that we won't be back (we will, we will) but there won't be another road trip down to san francisco from portland, no more races down the I-5, no more meandering down the 101. we drove our car over the golden gate bridge one the last time, said our goodbyes and headed south on I-5.

p.s. that toast in the second photograph, it's the toast. the artisanal toast I talked about yesterday. the artisanal toast I said would make you cry.

p.p.s. that first photograph of ava and ward. it gets me every time.

17 November 2015

twenty more, please

happy 20th birthday, this american life.

I'm not sure what my world would look like without you. you've gotten me through some tough times, TAL. you really have. you've seen me through the trenches of motherhood, through countless sleepless nights, hours spent in the car with napping children. through so, so many flights those years my mom was sick, from portland to chicago to bloomington, bloomington to chicago to portland, over and over again, when I was holding on by the tiniest of threads. through two big cross country moves, through the packing and unpacking of box after box after box. through every long train ride I've ever taken, every long drive I've ever made, each and every one. and now that I've moved back to atlanta, city of neverending sprawl, I spend more time in the car than ever. which, at first, I hated (well, and still pretty much do) but now I see those extra minutes (nay, hours) in the car as more time with you. which I do not hate. no sir, I do not.

I would also like to state for the record that listening to you in the kitchen while peeling potatoes is perhaps one of life's greatest pleasures. but I digress.

in honor of your twentieth, here are a few of my favorites:

192: meet the pros, act one because I was born and raised on basketball. because there's a line towards the end that really does something to me.

173: three kinds of deception, act three because this lil froggy is ripe. that's all I'm going to say.

107: trail of tears because sarah vowell. sarah. freaking. vowell.

218: act V  because it's brilliant and beautiful.

296: after the flood because hurricane katrina nearly broke us all.

323: the super, act two because it's the best snowman story ever. and when I say ever, I mean ever.

347: matchmakers, act three because you must hear it to believe it. at first, you will probably laugh but then you will cry because you won't want it to be true.

510: fiasco! prologue/act one because you will laugh and laugh. and laugh and laugh and laugh.

518: except for that one thing because you will not believe what came in the mail for mike and sarah.

520: no place like home because the piece on artisanal toast will make you cry.

526: is that what I look like? because if you haven't heard the one where molly ringwald talks about the time she watched the breakfast club with her own daughter for the first time well then, I don't know what. drop everything and listen to it. right now.

545: if you don't have anything nice to say, SAY IT IN ALL CAPS because I almost pulled the car over on the side of the road to process this one. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

550: three miles because this one is extraordinary, folks. this one is sort of off the charts special.

keep on truckin, TAL. here's to twenty more. the world certainly needs you. and so do I.

16 November 2015

mum's the word

the pull is strong these days, I don't exactly know why. black and white, black and white, black and white. reaching for black and white film more and more.

shhhh, don't tell the colors.