Blogging as it was


When I started this blog in 2008 it was both an online journal and a way to share myself with others and, in turn, be inspired by other bloggers. It was on a really random internet rabbit hole adventure that I found fashion bloggers and having recently gotten more into personal style I just decided on the spot to start one as well.

None of us had any idea that blogging would become a huge industry. No one knew what we were even talking about when we said we were “bloggers.” Back in those days, sharing our daily lives and inspirations wasn’t about getting clicks, affiliate link income, and landing sponsorships. It was just connecting with others and enjoying the creative outlet of writing and photographing our days. Poorly lit photos and all.

I’ve been wondering lately about infusing some of that back into this space. Adding anything into my life these days is a process of vetting it for worthiness of taking up my very limited time. Is writing little diary posts up here even something I want to spend the energy doing? I’m not sure. But what I know is, we don’t need any more perfect blogs or perfect instagrams filled with professional photos of perfectly posed “candid” shots, and kitchen renovations done in a magical month. So I guess, I just want to share more of what is really happening, in my life, on the regular. Like, hi guys! I’m a person! I do lots of stuff (too much?) and have way too many thoughts about all the things.

So I’m gonna take things back a little bit here. Back to blogging as it was. We’ll see how it goes.

Life Lately

Life has been pretty sweet lately.  I've felt really positive and like I'm getting into a decent groove with being a mom.  Things have come into my life that have helped me reconnect with my creativity and boss-bitch vibes, which just feels so nice after having to throw myself 110% into mom-ness the first few months of Jack's life.  Being a mom on my own terms is super important to me, and being able to feed the parts of me that bring me alive feels like the best way for me to be the best mom possible.  

Getting excited for: a quick trip to Tacoma! I'll be heading down mid-May to shoot an Elopement. I'm only in town for a week, but I'm sure it'll be packed full!  Jack is coming with me so it'll be fun for my Tacoma friends to be able to see how much he's grown since we were in town in February when he was only 2 months old.  He'll be 5 months by the time we're there!  He's scooting around so I'm sure by then he'll either be close to crawling, or crawling!  Crazy how fast they grow!
I'm also doing an afternoon of Boudoir mini sessions while I'm in Tacoma again!  I loved my last boudoir mini session afternoon while I was in town so I'm really excited to do it again! I've got a gorgeous white brick studio for the sessions this time, which is going to be such a beautiful backdrop.  If any of you guys are local to the Seattle/Tacoma area and want to do a Boudoir session, shoot me an email

Listening to: lots of Patsy Cline.  A long time ago someone mentioned I had a similar voice to hers and lately I've been doing a bit more singing and it's always so nice when you sing songs by someone whose voice has a similar range and tone.  Plus, I just love those old-timey country songs.  Dolly Parton, Nancy Sinatra, Loretta Lynn, June Carter, they're all so good. 

Super thankful for: finally being healed from Jack's birth.  Like holy moly that took way longer than it was supposed to.  Of course, having never given birth before or recovered from delivery I had no point of reference for how long things were supposed to take to heal.  I ended up having to go in to the OR to get my scar cut and re-stitched, which was a bit traumatic as I had gone in to the doctor that morning for a checkup and ended up staying all day and getting into the OR later that day, so needless to say I was not mentally or emotionally prepared for going into an OR, even though it was a super minor procedure.  But I already feel 500% better than before the scar revision.  There are so many things I will never take for granted ever again (tmi warning: hello not being afraid to pee!).

Changed: my hair color!  I've wanted to go grey for ages, but right now an expensive salon visit isn't in the cards since we're saving money for our eventual move back to the PNW.  So instead I decided to do something I could DIY.  So: purple it is!  I can only go so long without dying my hair fun colors.  My hair is super shitty right now with postpartum hormones wreaking havoc on it. Greasy, limp, crazy dandruffy, and falling out by the handful.  Super lame, but having it be a fun color is a nice consolation!

Happy about: having my parents in town.  Right before Jack was born my brother went into the hospital in Oregon where he lives and the next few months were full of trips to the hospital, him coming up here for the holidays and to see his doctors here in Anchorage, my parents taking him back down to Oregon and going to doctor appointments down there, and then them coming back and forth a few times.  They've been back in town for about a month solid now and it's so nice to have them, not only to help with Jack, but just to have other humans around.  Because they live right next door to us, I can go visit with them while Dan is at work during the day.  It's nice to know that I can hang with them or invite my mom to go on an adventure to Target. Just silly little things.

Reading: I started watching Thirteen Reasons Why and then realized I bought the book a couple months ago, so I stopped watching so I could read the book first. I also downloaded the free copy of Girl Code from Amazon and am excited for some girl power reading material! Also, I'm watching The Handmaid's Tale (talk about a super heavy show) and really wanting to read that now too! Such great shows based on books!

Eating Plants/Animals

Somewhat, seemingly, randomly, food has become a pretty forefront subject in my life.  Lots of things converging all at once, urging me towards a deeper thinking on food.  I feel like there are ebbs and flows in my life when it comes to considering eating habits.  I was quite conscious of it back when we were members of a CSA in Tacoma.  Then again, when we did Whole30.  Recently there have been various things that have all come into my life regarding food.  I got Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.  Dan mentioned wanting to pursue a vegetarian lifestyle. My good friend recommended the Jeong Kwan episode of Chef's Table on Netflix.  And I'm super conscious of what I'm eating right now because I'm breastfeeding and trying to increase my milk supply so that I, in turn, can nourish our son. 

Living in Alaska actually triggered a return to lazy, lax thinking and acting in regards to food.  For one thing, Alaska isn't the mecca for community supported agriculture or small, organic farms in the same way that Western Washington was.  While there are some prolific farms in Alaska during our short summer, winters are a bit of a food wasteland in terms of local, organic, sustainable produce.  And really, to live sustainably, regarding foods, in Alaska means eating in the way the native peoples of Alaska do.  Lots of hunting, foraging, and fishing.  And lots of storing up for winter.  The produce here is expensive and goes bad quickly.  It comes from thousands of miles away.

There's also the psychological issues, for me at least, that come with living back in the house I grew up in, and feeling the pull back to eating how I used to eat growing up.  And we obviously eat with my parents relatively frequently, at least once a week, and while my mom has occasionally wanted to shift towards a vegetarian lifestyle, it's hard to make that shift when not everyone in the household feels the same way, and you're the one who does most of the cooking.

So, there's the table with the cards, so to speak.  But despite the barriers, having the support of my partner in pursuing a vegetarian, and maybe vegan, lifestyle is so crucial.  In one way, it's just a nice accountability.  Having someone else helping you remember the choice you made, and supporting one another to continue making that choice daily.

I know a lot of meat eaters find vegetarians annoying.  I've been an omnivore almost my whole life, and even wrote an article for my college newspaper opinion column about how vegetarians aren't more compassionate than meat eaters after a friend posted a status stating as much.  But here's the deal.  I was defensive because, well, she was right. Every day I eat meat I choose to be an active participant in cruelty to animals.  And as someone who loves animals, some with a fierceness I didn't know possible (I'm looking at you Dusty, goddamnit), that choice to eat animals came with a lot of purposeful forgetting.  Forgetting the origins of the slab of meat on my plate.  Forgetting the intelligence and sentience of the creature whose torture and slaughter I invested in when I made that meat purchase as the supermarket.  

I've come to realize that one reason I've avoided confronting the issue of vegetarian vs. omnivore is that once I open the door to vegetarianism, it asks me to confront other lifestyle choices.  If I'm committed to changing my diet for ethical/moral reasoning to do with animal welfare, then I also must address the issues regarding human welfare in the clothing manufacturing industry.  If I'm committed to changing my diet for sustainability/environmental reasons, I also must confront the issues of fast fashion's contribution to pollution.  If you've been around the blog for a while you remember my commitment to buying only secondhand, vintage, or ethically/sustainably manufactured clothing that I made a few years back.  I've been pretty good about it until recently, mostly with buying clothes for Jack.  Damn you, Target, and your cute baby clothes.  It's hard when you're excited about your kid and want to get him all the cute things.  You push out of your mind that commitment you made.  And with myself, I don't buy a lot of clothes anymore since I'm not a fashion blogger like I used to be, posting outfits daily.  My wardrobe is a fraction of what it used to be back in my heyday of style blogging (and a lot of it is in storage in Washington right now, since I couldn't fit into much of it being pregnant last year).  But I recently shopped at Forever21 and H&M and I'd be lying if I didn't feel the twinge of guilt knowing that I was fulfilling a selfish desire for some new, postpartum clothes on the backs of the people who were exploited to make those clothes. 

So really, for me, it's a bigger commitment than just not picking up meat at the grocery store or restaurant anymore.  It's a question that cuts through the bullshit of doublethink and willful ignorance and forces me to confront the things I engage in everyday and how those actions affect my world.  The world I live in, and the world I will have to one day hand down to my son.  And beyond that, it's modeling the values that I want to pass on to my son as well.  Valuing other humans, animals, and the planet more than my own selfish desires and appetites.  

My reading resolution

Before Jack was born I received a gift from one of my mom's friends: a bunch of wonderful children's books along with The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease.  I started reading the handbook right away, mostly because the woman who gifted it to me spoke so highly of the book and the concepts in it, so I was intrigued.  I found the book fascinating and I was inspired to start reading more fiction.  I read relatively frequently, but the books I read are mostly non fiction or sort of self-help type books.  

I really want to read aloud to Jack, but in order to do that, I want to have books I've read and am familiar with to read to him.  I have plenty that I remember reading in grade school, but there were also lots that I remember not reading.  Classics and such.  Books that I was *supposed* to read for class but ended up procrastinating to the last minute and relying on spark notes to do my essays/assignments.  I read for pleasure, I guess, when I read self-help books (I mean, I like the content) but having the goal of self improvement doesn't really mean I'm reading for pure enjoyment.  

So, since it's the beginning of a new year, I decided to make a resolution to read more fiction for pure enjoyment.  We have a local used bookstore that is being sold soon and my mom has a ton of credit there from selling books to them, so I've been putting together a list of great books to buy there to use up her credit!  It's perfectly serendipitous that right when I decide to get a bunch of books to read, she's got this crazy huge credit she needs to use up in the next couple months!  

So far on my list I've got:

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Hatchet by Gary Paulson
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Dogsong by Gary Paulson
The Raven's Gift by Don J. Rearden
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Dream of Night by Heather Hensen
Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan
Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan
Scorpions by Walter Dean Meyers
The Redwall series by Brian Jacques

I plowed through Wonder in about 2.5 days, so my next one to read is Where the Red Fern Grows.  A lot of these are young adult and children's books so they're pretty quick reads, but I want to read them so I can at least be familiar with the stories when Jack is old enough for me to read them to him.  

If you're curious about the effects of reading aloud on children's reading ability and education, I definitely suggest checking out The Read Aloud Handbook. The research is fascinating and I'm really inspired by the anecdotal evidence and Jim's passion as well.  Super super interesting stuff.

If you guys have great book suggestions (fiction only!), share your favorites with me in the comments!  I'm trying to read a lot of books that are more kid friendly just because I want to find some really awesome books to read to Jack when he's older, but I'll probably also want some books with more adult themes/complexity sprinkled in there too.  Let me know what your all time favorite fiction books are, or what you're reading now and loving!

Introversion, Moving, and Community.

I had my baby shower this past weekend.  It was a more "traditional" baby shower in that it was all ladies and lots of baby gifts.  Since I don't really have any friends my age here in Anchorage (yet), everyone who attended was my mom's age and more so my mom's friends that mine, but they've known me since I was a little kid and have loved me for decades, so it was special to have them all there.  We'll be having another "baby shower" next month in Tacoma with all our friends our age, it'll be co-ed, and more like a regular 20-somethings party with the reason for the party being that I'm growing a human as the only thing that really defines it as a baby shower at all.

I choose to go through so much of life alone.  I don't know exactly why I do this.  Part of it is certainly due to my introversion.  It's easy for me to be alone and do stuff alone. It takes so much more effort to go out and do stuff with people, or to try to coordinate with others to do stuff.  And now that I'm in Anchorage and know virtually no one, I spend my days alone almost exclusively.  

I wasn't prepared for how much introversion would effect me as an adult.  Growing up, introversion isn't really something that gets in the way of interaction with others.  You go to school five days a week, do after school activities like sports or other things with other people, and we even lived with another family that had kids, so we were always playing outside together, choreographing crazy dances together, and sharing mealtimes.  College is similarly easy to remain social as an introvert.  Classes 5 days a week, constant programming from clubs and dorms, intramural sports, department events, and living in a dorm where other people are always running around doing something or other. 

My biggest struggle since graduation hasn't been that I wasn't prepared for the job market, or didn't have enough education, it's that I've lost the community that was built into the school system.  I was lucky enough when I moved to Tacoma that Dan had basically grown up there and had a huge network of friends that I easily slipped into, but even that wasn't easy for me.  As an introvert I likebeing with people, but initiating things on my own, as opposed to having a veritable buffet cornucopia of events and groups to attend, has been probably the hardest transition from graduating college 7 years ago.  Ugh, seven years it's been that I've been struggling with and trying to figure this shit out.  That's not frustrating at all.

I'm afraid that becoming a parent will make my tiny social circle even tinier.  I don't want to spend the next seven years stuck in the rut I've apparently been stuck in since graduating college.  For as much as I ached to get out of Tacoma for so long, now I'm feeling like I threw away the closest thing I had to a social community of friends since college (not that I threw them away, they're still there and we can still go to them and have that community there waiting for us, hence our Tacoma baby shower party).  I felt so stuck in Tacoma, and was so looking forward to a fresh start, but it's been harder than I anticipated to have no friends or community of people our age to socialize with here in Anchorage.

Maybe this move was just to show me how valuable that was (don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone?").  Renting out your home and moving 2500 miles is an obnoxious way to learn that lesson though.  Who, What, and Where does this next year have for us?  I don't think we'll stay in Anchorage long term.  Is it back to Tacoma?  Is it to the road in the Brave?  Is it somewhere totally new and different (Nashville? Joshua Tree? Portland?)?  For now, all I can see through is the end of 2016 where we'll be holding a new tiny human, celebrating the Holidays.  2017, you are a crazy mystery to me.  Be nice to us, okay?