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 Trip to the Oregon Coast…

Knowing June was going to be a crazy busy month, we went to the Coast in May… a last hurrah of sorts before schedules of working nights and weekends kept us apart.

The first time we took a trip together was only a couple months after we started dating.  We went to Seaside, Oregon after being given a generous two night stay on a borrowed timeshare.  It was the weekend of the New Year and although I didn’t quite know what to expect, I knew it was the start of something thrilling and incredible.

A year and a half later, we took the exact same trip, having been gifted the same two-night stay as before.  And while this time I did know what to expect, I was surprised to find that it was so different from before.  The first trip was fun and novel in so many ways… We were just getting to know each other. He made my heart skip a beat every time he looked at me, but there were also moments of awkwardness, of asking myself what I was doing with this handsome stranger, moments where I was sure my vulnerability was transparent.  Plus I had to wear makeup ALL WEEKEND.

This trip, the only similarity was that he still has that power to make my heart skip around inside my chest.  Otherwise, everything was different.  This trip made me realize that I was getting to hang out with my best friend for TWO WHOLE DAYS, a feat that is practically unheard of  in our house.  We laughed, we were goofy, I played video games without feeling that I was going to embarrass myself or him.  (Seriously… that was MAJOR.)  We talked, ate, walked, souvenir-shopped, instagrammed and drove our way through two days of bliss.

I don’t know if this trip to the beach is going to become an annual tradition, or if picking a new destination each time will be the goal… all I know is that I can’t wait for the next one as long as he is by my side.  xoxo

Cannon Beach, OR // Contax 645, Fuji 400H