Category Archives: anytime

Deep Gresham

The Cheshire Family roadtripped it up to Portland a few weeks ago and stopped in at the Orr+Barrera house for a couple days.  In between exploring neighborhoods and taking in the Portland sights, there was lots of hanging out at the house and indulging in some fantastic conversation.  The weather was glorious during their time with us and toward the end of their stay, we happened to be in the backyard and the light was amazing and I just had to run and grab my camera and snap a few photos.

There is nothing in the world that I love better than spending some time with some of my most favorite people in the place that I love the best.  Come back soon, Cheshires!  xoxo

For the love of houseplants

As a little girl growing up in a family of six, my family ran a lot of errands.  There were always medical appointments to keep, sports practices to attend, and groceries to restock.  Large portions of Saturdays, especially, were spent in the car, hours upon hours of endless stops and starts.  It didn’t help that, to pass the time, I would read from my spot in the backseat until the inevitable motion sickness would force me to quit the book and turn my face toward the fresh air coming in through the window.  I could have stayed home, saving myself the irritation of these endless, boring hours doing laps around our suburban town, but then I would have missed the trip to the plant nursery.

I loved the nursery.  I loved the smell of the soil, the vibrant foliage, and the general feeling of growing things. I loved the walk down the aisles, gently running my fingers over the various textures of leaves and branches.  My favorites were the ferns.  I loved how the new growth unfurled as it matured.  I loved how, when grouped together, they created a lush, rainforest-like landscape.  And I loved (the reason I put up with these endless errands) getting to pick one out and take it home.

As happy as they made me, I’ll admit, I was never a very responsible gardener.  Those childhood plants suffered from inconsistent watering and general neglect.  But through the years, plants have always been something to be excited about.

I have inherited a sun room in my new home… a perfect place to resurrect my dormant green thumb.  Some evenings after work when I need a pick-me-up, I head to Solabee, a cute little boutique with an amazing, creatively staged selection of exotic-looking houseplants and planters.  Sunday mornings, I make my way to Portland Nursery, wending through the jungles of ferns, the shelves of succulents, and the displays of carnivorous plants.  The sun room is slowly getting crowded with my curated selection of ferns and seemingly random assortment of houseplants.  I love it.  I love inspecting each one, looking for signs of growth and general plant-happiness.  I turn them when I think they are getting too full on one side and fuss over them when they look a bit sad.  I like to think caring for them is good practice for next year’s garden dreams, but really, I just like plants.


These crazy kids…

I met Marisa when she was 14.  I met Michael a few years after that, but it feels like I’ve known him just as long.  These two were meant to be together, like two puzzle pieces or PB & J (or PB & chocolate!).  They walk into a room and you instantly feel that their two halves make a whole.  They are partners in every sense of the word, equals in love and in friendship.  I am so happy they found each other.  And, I am so, so happy they cleared their busy schedules and spent a lion’s portion of a day hanging out in San Diego with me.  We snapped a few frames right before they left.

Love you, miss you, see you in a couple months!



How do you guys do it?  How do you find your balance?

I find that I am struggling HARD with finding some balance in my life…  It may just be that time of year when I’m essentially working two jobs (my 9-5 and shooting weddings on the weekends) that has me all grumpy.  Adding social engagements on top of that (not that I’m complaining, I love my friends and family dearly), when does one find the time to do those things that nurture mind, body, and soul?

It seems that when I do have free time, I’m too worn out to make good use of those couple extra hours.

I need to make the time to walk around with my camera.  I need to make the time to try out a new recipe.  And I need to adhere to my goal of waking up with enough time before work to get a walk or run in.

How do you all get and stay motivated?


A Fresh Start…


After a few weeks of sunshine, unseasonably high temperatures, and slightly alarming weather reports that describe this spring as one of the driest on record, I am relieved to hear the rain outside tapping against my window and dripping off the roof in heavy plop plops onto the deck below.  As I pull my boots and heavy jackets back out of the closet and out of an early retirement, I begin to understand the seasonal “blues” that plague many of my co-workers and friends in this region at this time of year.  Luckily, my love affair with the wet stuff is still going strong and though my nose is cold tonight (I’m too stubborn to turn on the heater) the ambiance is definitely worth the slight discomfort.

A little over two years ago, I left San Diego, my home of 20+ years, for the near-unknown.  I was heading to the Pacific Northwest… a place where I had extended family and fond memories of family vacations.  Beyond that, I had no idea what I was getting myself into or where I would settle down.  I remember driving north on the I-5, more than a little overwhelmed at how wide open my future was… vast and directionless.  In the time since, I have made mistakes.  I spent months spinning my wheels.  I overestimated and underwhelmed.  I learned a lot about seasons, growing things, and raising chickens.  I learned a lot about myself.  I started over.  I set new goals.  I met someone and slowly, slowly, began building a life up here with him.  In looking back over the last couple of years its been really hard to let go of the past and start looking forward, but I now realize that everything that has happened has done so to get me to this place.  A place where I am happy and content and sure of where I am supposed to be.

After spending the last year making a home together, we now find ourselves packing boxes and making plans to move.  (Luckily, this time it’s only a few miles away instead of thousands.)  While we’ve loved our cozy house and will treasure the “firsts” we had there, we are excited about this new place that whispers promises of evenings with friends and family, starry nights and plenty of room for all manner of growing things.  I have a feeling that it’s also the kind of place of the long-term variety… a place for settling in and making it our own.

At 16, if you had asked me what I wanted out of life, I might have listed off a few adventures, but it would’ve come down to this, everything that speaks of where I am right now.  I had no clue it would take me this long, but it’s definitely been worth the wait.