Chrissy Field and the Palace of the Arts with Kira + Conor

We spent Valentine's day goofing around a few San Francisco spots with these two and the whole thing was hilarious and fun and on top of it all we got the most beautiful free pizza outta it! We sang some classic Britney Spears at the top of our lungs and spent an ALMOST embarrassing amount of time talking about my serious affinity for Steve Buscemi. It was a bright and busy day and the parks were full of people enjoying the warmth that finally showed up after winter--it was so nice! We also saw a billion dogs so cut to me and Kira screaming about how much we love them every five minutes ;)

These two are sort of the coolest. They're so easy and fun to spend a day with, and look how cute they are! Those two photos at the top are my most favorite of them, I can't get over the way they're smiling at each other! We also MIGHT have trespassed and broke a bunch of park rules constantly and they were just totally down for everything. We spent most of our time laughing and talking about how badly we wanted beer and pizza--& all of those are my favorite things.

Kira is such a fun person to be around--she laughs constantly and it's contagious. So many people hate when they're caught laughing in photos (me included!) because we look silly and not like how we imagine ourselves, but Kira's favorite photos were most often the ones where she was cracking up at Conor and I loved that! It made me think of a quote by Amy Poehler that I'm obsessed with: "There's power in looking silly and not caring that you do." but if I'm being real I also think Kira's one of those lucky jerks who looks natural and genuinely pretty when she laughs--it brings out the best of her.

These last few shots were actually taken as we were walking a few blocks over to the pizza place we had lunch at. So lucky that Kira is always happy to have her photo taken because it makes it sooo much easier for me when I'm like "Wait! This random rusty door looks cool, you should definitely hop in front of it!" or "Wait, this street with pastel colored houses is so cute, get over there and kiss each other!!"

I'm for sure going to miss these two now that we've all moved away from the West Coast, but more than that I'm so glad I got to know them. They've been so much fun--from the night I met them when our friend Rob was pretending he was gonna marry Conor's sister and I was trying to help him seal the deal, to the time they had a super bowl party where I became obsessed with their dog (his name is Kyzer but their nickname for him is "Kyzer-puppy", & he's perfect!?), and when I spent a whole day with Kira + our friend Kelci all over San Francisco as our last goodbye to the city before we all left--how we picnic'd in Alamo Square, danced on too many sidewalks to count somewhere in the Wharf, shouted out at the top of Twin Peaks where you could see the whole city beneath us. For only having known them for such a short amount of time I have so many good memories of it all and I'm real happy about that.

gulf coast native, pacific coast bound: I'm moving to California next week

there isn't enough exclamation points in the world (!!!!!) for how the north bay area is gonna be something like home for a little while. In one week we move across the country. (which for the record still hasn't stopped being fun to say) After visiting our family in New Orleans we'll be traveling to and all up through California which is almost identical to road trip I once took out that way some years ago. Traveling cross country + all through the west was one of the best experiences of my life - and now I get to do it all over again with my person. The next few weeks are going to be crazy and a little bit stressful. but mostly we're happy! Nervous, stupid excited, and ready to start the next part of our lives.

But I also wanna talk about how sometimes, no matter how romantic the notion, moving every couple of years is kind of daunting as hell. Usually I've taken on these parts of life by letting survival mode kick in, instinctively committing because I know that it's important to just take the jump and figure out what to do when I'm in it. It's not always graceful but I don't think it has to be, I think it's just about culling confidence out of the unpredictable. And there's always a lot of unpredictable. I've kept myself from talking about so many things because of it. And when I was too afraid to share the potential disappointments I also never shared the great hope and possibilities that flourished first. I thought I was protecting us from getting let down, but I think it was a cop out and I don't wanna do that anymore. And so maybe that means having to admit to the darker side of uncertainty. Like how we'll only be in California for less than a year and it took me almost that long to quit holding everything about moving to/living in Memphis at arms length. Or how I have no idea where we're going to go after California - which is really exciting! but it's tricky dealing with so much unforeseeable. And I don't know how close or far we'll be from our family next, or in what ways my husbands career will change for him after he completes his training there. Suddenly time starts morphing into this thing with a physical weight. Like a house you grew up in. Like boxes full of your stuff, like oceans or mountains. But also what once seemed like tiny markers in the trajectory of our life together start building up into these defining turning points for us. These are the places where the story shifted, here's where we grew into the kind of people we needed to become. Here's where we found the ways to continue on and keep banging on the door for whatever's next. We've been waiting to get these next orders so we could venture out to our new story and now that it's happening my heart is - as one of my favorite writers once wrote - cracking with gratitude. There's a lot about the next years of our life that we can't even begin to find some semblance of control in and that can be so intimidating. But there's also a lot that I am sure of:

I'm pretty sure I'll accidentally cry when I sit next to my husband and watch as he sees the stars above the grand canyon for the first time. As a nineteen year old I once watched those very constellations and thought I would never feel anything like I felt there for the rest of my life; how tiny and connected I felt to everything. How beneath the unwoven light of those stars I could feel my place in the world flowering there, obvious and bright like bits of glass. My gut is telling me now that with this person who I've built a life together with sitting there next to me it's going to be more than I could have ever understood then. crazy good. I'm sure that all my ideas of distance and closeness have inevitably taken new forms once more, that sometimes I find myself rearranging the definitions for them as I go along. There’s still not a lot of confidence in the starless distances between the people and the places you love, and what there is of it is usually desperate. but there are ways to forgive the space - sometimes just because you can't hold the weight of it anymore. And I can't wait to step into the icy pacific for the first time in four years. I'm ready to miss the warmness of the gulf for awhile, to see what that's really like. I'm hoping I'll let myself catch the newness of it all unconsciously, just totally sloppily and unapologetic. That I'll step back and stop fighting the weird, the indefinite, the chaos. And maybe it's better to look at them as bridges instead of landslides, isn't it? Maybe the fiascoes are more constellatory than I've given them credit for. deep cut roads getting us to where we needed to end up. I'm sure I'll miss my family more than I could prepare myself for. I know we're both gonna hate leaving behind two dudes who have become some of our favorite people here (rooftop hangs + spilling margaritas on everything forever). I have a feeling I'm going to find myself homesick for more cities that were never really mine and maybe that's never going to make sense. But I'll probably keep trying to write the reasons out of it anyway. I'm sure there will be a lot of days where it all seems so much harder than I knew I was in for - And that there will be just as many good, warm afternoons spent with my hand out the window as we laugh, as we miss where we came from, as we uncover the ways to keep finding hometowns out of each other.  I hope that I take the time to encourage kindness in the face of not knowing what I'm doing--and have the guts to just laugh and move on when I find out I'm doing it wrong as hell. Mostly I'm sure that as I cross state lines I will sing some Led Zeppelin songs, so much perfect 90's hip hop, and probably the entire Grease soundtrack if I'm being real with you (deal with it dude) - All sung at the top of my lungs along with my guy on some road between this side of the country and that side. and I will feel very foolish and very alive and flooded with love.

even if it's never been graceful--the whole thing where you try and figure it out on the fly--it's always been worth the jump hasn't it?
Hey California, we're coming for you.

(*only one of these photos is from northern California actually, the other being a shot from venice beach in los angelos. I shot both of them during a road trip I took out west with two close crazy guy friends for two weeks circa 2010. but! I was so busy in the northern chunk of California that the golden gate bridge is the only photo I have of my time in the bay area. feelin lucky about this chance to photograph so much more of it)


Since getting photoshop I've played around with some actions here and there and usually felt disappointed with how they never really seemed to nail the look I was going for, y'know? I'm totally not the most experienced with photo editing or anything, but I knew what I wanted--something subtle with interesting punches of light and color. And even though my luck with actions in the past usually left something to be desired, when A Beautiful Mess came out with their actions I sprung for 'em and I'm so stoked I did--I decided to go with the signature collection and I'm pretty sure I'm gonna eventually snag their folk collection too! The best part about their actions is how you can have control over multiple aspects of whatever particular action you choose. I'm allll about options ya'll.

here's some photos I re-edited with the collection:

featured on a beautiful mess

go back to those gold sounds

It's supposed to be spring, I know and I love it, but we also just had the biggest snowfall I've seen so far while living in Tennessee just a few weeks ago so I'm still a little suspicious about all of it. The weather is so indecisive this time of year and there are often some beautiful warm days coupled with far too many colder ones. It makes me ache for the part of the gulf where I'm from, where winter is always an afterthought sort of season, usually quick and wavering. But! Whatever! It's spring! Life is coming back and always on the edge of full swing. We've been hanging out around the river front on the nicer days and I don't know how to tell you that there is nothing quite like seeing kids fevered and full of energy running around the hills of the park, flying kites, empty tree branches rattling in their laughter.

We've been trying to keep ourselves busy with things like planning road trips, preparing for my brother in law's high school graduation, and obviously eating the prettier veggies and fruits to try and remind us that winter is just about over and we made it to the other side. There are so many precarious things waiting for us in the coming seasons and I'm hopeful and charged with that buzz of adventure. isn't that what spring is all about anyway? 

Snowy days in march mean trips to the Arcade Diner

I finally invested in a wide angle lens but because of the weather I've been trapped inside with the wooorst lighting, so I haven't been able to play around with it a lot. I can't believe it's still snowing here when it's supposed to be spring, but at least there are street corner diners with a history and warm coffee. and at least there are sweet potato pancakes to split with your dad who's in town visiting. Thank God there are always sweet potato pancakes.

how have you been spending this long, long winter?

the sun or the magnolia blossoms or the smell of warm soil again

woke up at four am one morning and decided to make my brother chase the sunrise with me. At this point in winter I think I just start doing anything to feel closer to summer again. It was freezing and quiet and I definitely got sick for the second time in the matter of three weeks because of it - but y'know, it feels kinda worth it.

(pssst, *went back through these photos and re-edited some with the a beautiful mess signature collection actions!)

These photos are kinda a little late since I'm back home now from visiting my family, but better late than never right!? Happy to be back in my lil space with my husband but man am I always missing my parents house, the city I came from, and the many scattered places I know as home. 

Hope you're all having a good 2014 so far

oak trees & burgers & gelato

I've been home spending time with my parents (and brother) for a quick visit. Me and warren spent the other day around city park hoping hard that at least one single new orleans camera store would be open for at least a second on sunday so we could pick up some film/drop off some frames to get scanned--and of course all of our hunting and our finger crossing was to no avail. but! it was a beautiful spring like day in the middle of January and we chose not to let it slip out of our fingers without a fight. The park was full with families and sun and later we celebrated the warmth with bud's broilers cheeseburgers (which are the best cheeseburgers I've had in the south and are only rivaled by in-n-out on the west coast) plus a stop at Sucre to admire the pretty cases of desserts/cute treats and for a cup of the best gelato I've ever eaten. (l i t e r a l l y) toasted almond is my number one favorite flavor I think. and I'm very serious about my ice cream ya'll. 

I've been trying to put myself in the habit of having whoever I happen to be with take a photo or two of me during any of these kind of occasions just to get more and more comfortable with the feel of that sort of thing like I mentioned in an earlier post. As evidenced below my photos of other people + food will mostly always outnumber the ones of myself ;) but honestly every little thing I post here always makes me a little nervous, just to completely and openly share my sloppy process of trial and error is a little intimidating but I also feel good (!) about consistently working at capturing things the way I want to remember them