have you ever stopped, dead in you tracks and looked around you and said to yourself, "this is my life". The other night, as i stepped out of the shower, trying to quickly dress without freezing my as off, i stepped into the bedroom, the light from the day diminishing, while casting a warm glow across what was visible of the bedroom floor. In one corner was a big brown dog, sleepily rolled onto his back, not a care in the world. Across the room, perched right inside the french door, was the curly haired guy, watching every move made on the other side of the door. On the other side of the glass was the fat cat, taunting him and my husband, diligently putting away his laundry (my husband, that is, not the cat). I sat down on the edge of the bed, cluttered with clean laundry and camera equipment and smiled to myself. This was my life, actually, IS my life. I think too often we are running though our day to day, not stopping long enough to take in what really matters. Sometimes its not our fault, I'll give you that. I often leave the house with the sun raising behind me and leave work with that very same sun, sinking into the trees, behind me again.It's been way too long since I took my camera and just got in the car and drove. This past weekend I had the happy surprise of being able to spend some time with some of my favorite people and visit the places in my hometown that usually get neglected by me during the winter. There's something so comforting about being with people that truly get you. People that don't want to rush off to do something else. People who show up early to do one thing, and end up spending the whole day. Easy, non planned days, that just flow.
I'm trying as hard as I can this year to slow down, enjoy what is right in front of me, and be grateful for what is mine. I've never been the type to be jealous of what others have, it seems like a waste of energy and time. To be happy with yourself is a step in the right direction, and to do what you can to surround yourself with what makes you happy is really all you need.
I've been spending a lot of time these past few weeks pouring though my photo library in preparation for next week. The lovely ladies over at west elm asked if i'd like to show my work in their beautiful new store. EEEKKKK, how could I say no to that? As simple as it sounds, its been weighing heavy on my mind. I'm one of those people that shoot, not so much for others, but because I feel the need to capture the way the evening light falls across the juices glasses drying on the counter. Of course I like when people compliment my work, who wouldn't? But would people actually spend money on one of them? I know this sounds crazy, because I shoot newborns, and engagements and even a occasional wedding, And yes, people do pay me for that, but in my mixed up head its different when its my everyday world. Does someone actually like the photo of the clothespin hanging on the line? Enough to hang it in their own home? I guess we will find out. This little project has really given me the opportunity to reflect on the things that I do shoot. The simple joys of everyday life, the pure beauty found in the imperfect. It's always been that way with me. I always preferred a trash can treasure to a brand new item. Other peoples junk speaks to me, often screams to me. And I've noticed that my photos tell that story. And that is a story I am proud of. And a story that I'm thankful for. It stretches back to my childhood,a childhood full of strong women that, without knowing it, molded my life and the way I see things. And in turn, the way I shoot things. I vividly remember my summers out in Peconic with Gam, Aunt Ruthie, Aunt Ginny, Aunt Anne, my cousin Dawn. At times, all squished into that little beach cottage, sleeping on cots and sandy couches, even in sleeping bags on the floor. Waking up to the smell of burning French toast and showering in the outdoor shower, sailing the Sunfish on the Peconic Bay, eating fresh corn right off the stalk and lobster drenched in butter, painting rocks when we couldn't go to the beach and watching the sun set into the LI Sound. Those summers taught me to see beauty in the simple things, and to be amazed at how wonderful imperfection can be. That misshapen strawberry that tastes so much sweeter than the perfect ones from the grocery store, and an old dented Buick Convertible was better than a sports car anyday. These women taught me how to drink, and smoke, and more importantly, they taught me how to love, and be content with what I had. To me, it was heaven, and to this day, every chance I get, I find myself out on the North Fork, in those same places, as happy as I was when I was 12. My photos are just that, my life, as I see it. If your around, and live local, come on down and have a look. Perhaps my simple joys are your simple joys?
As I sit here wondering what the F happened to 2013 I wonder if this is how it is every year or if this year had just taken me off guard? Well, lets look and see. In 2007, when I first started this little blog, it seemed like I was ready for it, "pumped", I'd say. 2008, the same thing, a good year with lots of memories and a lot to be thankful for. I don't exactly know if it was intentional or not, but New Years 2009 came and went without a blog post (strange, considering that today's post was on the top of my to do list and I haven't posted here in months). 2010 was all about photography projects, being a small part of a huge blogging community with so many strong female mentors to follow, and really celebrating "ordinary joy", which is weird, because that is something that I pretty much think this blogs roots are grounded in. My photography has always been about seeing the ordinary as something magical and living in that moment over and over again. Again in 2011, no real mention of the New Year, resolutions or regrets, it was filled with lots of photo work, and lots of engagements, wedding and newborns. Celebrating others was how I celebrated the year. 2012 was all about loss, bad decisions and scaling down. Scaling down is something I think about every year at this time. Getting rid of things that are just things, and knowing what is really important in my life. Scaling down and letting go of baggage and the people in my life that are toxic and don't enhance the "living" part of life. This past year was more about saying hello and welcoming 2013, and getting rid of 2012 (which, without discussion, was the worst year of my life thus far). And welcome it we did! 2013 had its ups and downs, and guess its how you look at thing. If you are a cup 1/2 empty kind of person (my husband) or a cup 1/2 full kind of person (me). After living with cancer for the past 12 years this year it took its toll on my dad and left him sicker than we have ever seen him, but in true Daddy fashion, he rarely complained, rallied through not only the months of Chemo, but the even more difficult, purging his body of the poison, coming off the Chemo. He is the spitting image of his mother, my ever missed Nonnie, and tight lipped and stoic. He had us worried many times this year, but come Christmas Eve, there was Pappa, his usual happy self, joking with kids, eating and even sampling a cocktail. I value every second I spend with that man, and having him here with us to start 2014 is a gift. 2013 brought us a long awaited new addition to the family. After losing Seamus we waited a while to get another puppy, not wanting to rush into it, but it became very apparent that Gunther needed a brother, and in August Fergus was born. From the very second this puppy entered our lives I knew he was special, and exactly what this family needed. He has been a constant source of joy and entertainment these past few months, and Gunther is once again happy. I'm not going to make vows or state resolutions for 2014, it's just not my thing. I'm not going to promise to post to the blog weekly (it will never happen), or biweekly (NOPE), or even monthly (more reasonable, but still a stretch). In 2013 I made some severe life changes, mid year, purely for myself, that proved to be exactly what I needed. I will continue to juice regularly and keep meat and processed foods out of my diet, not because it's the trendy thing to do, but because I personally feel the benefits. I will continue to make positive life choices and welcome change, because I have finally come to realize that change IS good. Tonight we will celebrate quietly, together, the way we like to, and probably got to bed before Miley swings into NYC on her wrecking ball. For me its not about the festivities,or the banging of the pots (although I DO have some sparklers I'd like to light) but more about the saying goodbye to what has already been done and waking up to a fresh new start. Happy New Year everyone!!!
and what a better way to welcome 2014 than with a litle photo show, why dont you join me??
In these busy times in which we all live, its rare to get a beautiful Sunday afternoon with one of your best friends that you don't see nearly enough. I was lucky enough to get two of them together, on the same day, for a ride out to the North Fork (where else). With fall almost over, apple season at its very tail end and the usual over crowded streets of the summer into autumn season just about gone, it was nice to sample some Hard Cider, sip some Rose wine (yes, I drank pink wine, and it wasn't all that bad) and eat a dinner of fried pickles with two of my favorite people in the whole wide world.
Its taken me almost a full week to get this post up. As you all know we have been waiting (patiently) since before his Aug 9 birth to bring home our Fergus. I must have drove the breeder crazy asking for photos every week. This past Wednesday we drove to Newport, PA. A drive I NEVER want to do again in this lifetime BTW. But so worth every mile. He is not the lighter of the two males, the one I was hoping for, but he is perfect in every way. For those of you who have read The Art of Racing in The Rain, or better yet A Dogs Purpose you will understand when I say, I have known this dog before. I didn't recognize him at first, but as we drove home, this little silverish brown bundle of love sat on my husbands lap, with his piercing green eyes staring at me, almost begging me to look at him, REALLY look at him. And the moment I did, I could almost hear him say, "you know me, right, we've got this, right?" And it was strange, but I did, I did know him, I DO know him. Its a very comforting feeling, soul hugging, if I dare say it. Once home, Gunther was, to say the the least, not happy, AT ALL. I had forgotten that he has been an only child for over a year, and boy was he jealous. But after a bit of wrestling and ear pulling, and relentless snuggling from this new little guy, he either saw exactly what I saw in him, or he just gave in, because they have been inseparable since. I had forgotten the "new mother" stage of having a puppy this young. The middle of the night runs out to the yard, the occasional found turd on the floor, and the constant watching, grabbing and replacing so as not to be killed really wears you out. But when he's laying fast asleep on your back, head thrown over your neck, a constant stream of puppy breath floating past your nose, it's all worth it. He's been having struggles with staying dry during the day, and has come to love his daily bath at lunch time (something my husband is NOT very happy about ). He'll get it, they always do. I just want to soak in every second of the puppy stage that I can, because I know too well that I will wake up not too far from now laying next to a full grown dog. My dog. It amazes me how much I learn about myself from these animals thatallow me to share their lives.
I was lucky enough to shoot the most adorable family today. And my very first family/newborn shoot that included the family dog, so excited! (the Hunts don't count, if that what you were thinking Erin. You are a life study, not a photo shoot!) Ted was the best boy ever and Hayley is lucky to have him to grow up with.
and its very welcome in this house at least. I still can't believe that just Wednesday it was 90 degrees. Almost too hot. Don't get me wrong, it was my day off, so no matter what it was still a a really great day thrifting around town.Vera delivered my new chairs and we decided to make a day of it. Oh, you'd like to know more about my chairs? Well, OK. Vera had been away, off LI, and found the most amazing vintage outdoor chairs which she bought for our friend Tobes. I'm not going to lie, I was super jealous. They were exactly what I had been looking for, for quite some time now. Well, the vintage Gods must have heard me whimper because long story short, Tobes had to move, and now has no back yard, so the chairs found their way to me, and i'm over the moon. Can't wait to paint them, I'm thinking hot pink, but I don't know. I also scored a great granny square blanket, an apron circa 1970, and the most amazing flannel shirt that i've already worn twice and it's only Saturday. It is sure to be my go to cozy shirt this winter. With the iPhone 5s Launch next week, and the start of Fall Lacrosse this week, I really wanted to make the most of this beautiful Saturday, knowing perfectly well my time with my husband will be limited to a kiss good night and another kiss goodbye in the morning. While Tim was at practce I ran to get produce for my juice for the week, ran to Trader Joes to get stuff to make Autumn Squash soup, and then we headed East (of course we did). The day was bright, with the bluest of blue skies, big fluffy white clouds that seem to immediately appear in the sky as soon as Labor Day is over. It was one of those perfect days. We went to the harvest festival at Hallockville Farm, we pick apples at Lewin Farms and we drove home with the top down on the jeep and froze our butts off. Once home i fell into the comfortable habits that come every year at this time. I made soup, i turned on the oven for the first time in a really long time, and baked zucchini fresh from the farm. And I sit now, socks on my feet, the granny square blanket thrown over my legs, searching for apple recipes and watching the sky turn the colors it can only turn at this time of year, like the sky is on fire. Good bye Summer, you've been pretty kind this year, see you again next year. But I'm pretty excited, because the best is yet to come, September and October!