Two Nights in the Tahoe National Forest

Seven adults, one pup, and two nights in the mountains. We're already itching to go back. I posted on my instagram that I was a bit apprehensive about backpacking. I have a history of scoliosis and a back that tires easily, and in the past I wrote it off as something that wasn't for me. I don't do well when I'm tired or hungry or in pain, and I was worried it would bring out the worst in me. But our friends invited us to join them, so we bought some essentials and borrowed some gear, packed plenty of food, and stayed optimistic. Waking up that first morning to the sun rising over the lake had me sold. Having the right gear makes all the difference. I highly recommend anyone on the fence about backpacking to borrow some gear (or rent from REI) and give it a try. You have nothing to lose and the world to gain. 

Welcoming July

June is a blur, and by the looks of it, July is going to fly by. In the past week we:

  • landscaped a new corner of our garden with drought tolerant perennials (echinacea, Mexican sage, salvia, ornamental oregano, Santa Barbara daisy, yarrow, jasmin, ceanothus)
  • went on two dates
  • picked our first beans (purple pod and rattlesnake, the scarlet runners aren't happy in this heat)
  • tasted our first lemon cucumber
  • cooked and gave away countless sunburst squash and zuccini
  • made a beet green/arugula/basil/kale salad with chickpeas, feta, dried figs, and citrus vinaigrette
  • planted more lettuce after the last batch bolted
  • harvested garlic 
  • fell more and more in love with our Squirrely girl

I'm proud of the work we do and I'm grateful for the time, ability, and resources to make so much progress in our garden. We are surrounded by beauty, and I never want to take that for granted.

This weekend we are going backpacking with friends for the first time. Two nights in the mountains. I'm really looking forward to swimming in lakes, cooking over campfires, and sleeping under the stars. This is what summer is made for. Now if only my tomatoes would ripen! 

Naomi + David // Chicago Engagement

Naomi is one of the most compassionate and driven people I know. She and I grew up in the same small town and became close as teenagers when we were both active in our high school's Peer Counseling program. We drifted apart after undergrad, but I continued admiring her from a distance. Naomi and her fiancé, David, moved to Chicago after grad school. I was beyond excited when I received her email last summer asking me to photograph their California wedding this September. And I immediately started dreaming about a trip to Chicago. In April I made it happen, and I am so grateful it worked out the way it did. We took some photos at the Field Museum (where Naomi works as an Instructional Design Specialist) and at Old Town Gardens, but most of our time was spent running around downtown. I loved embracing this city as a backdrop for their photos. The colors, lines, textures, patterns, lights, and movement (it was WINDY!) enhance the images and ground the couple in a time and a place they will remember fondly. We had a blast and I flew home absolutely LOVING Chicago and this couple. I cannot wait until September.

We got a kitten!

Her name is Squirrel and she'll be twelve weeks on Saturday. She's our little squirrely girl, curious, affectionate, playful, and we love her very much. Batman isn't too sure about her, but we're confident he'll come around.

In other news, our garden is growing (those are tomatillos) and my parents get into town today. Some of our favorite people are coming up to celebrate our housewarming this weekend. Should be a good time. 

Life is moving along at top speed, I have entered wedding season (three down, twelve more to go!) and the next four months are going to be full. It's hard to believe we've been in Grass Valley for almost ten months, but looking around at the progress we've made makes it a little more believable. Patience is becoming a daily lesson around here. Everything takes longer than you think it will (or want it to), and I'm learning to accept it. Time to go scrub my bathroom. xo