alley poppies || the cottage house


There’s a little space between our house and the next. A strip of concrete between the front gate and back. Gray stairs — one, two, three — down from the cottage to the pavement. Someone at some time in the past dropped seeds in the dirt that lines the walkway. Earlier this spring, alley flowers popping up in bright oranges caught my eye through the bathroom window. I wandered out and found a certain beauty in the poppies surround the concrete and bricks and weeds.

I started to take my books and my bright blue journal out to the three steps to sit in the fresh air. The sun comes and goes in the weather particular to our Colorado springtimes. When it shines, it’s blinding off the pavement and my book pages. And then just as quickly it jumps behind a cloud and my eyes struggle to adjust.

There are little black ants that dance around my feet and shadows. Mostly we leave each other alone. Sometimes they take courageous expeditions onto my leg or reclined arm. I reward them with a swift little flick away. They scurry off to regroup for their next offensive.

It feels like my own secret garden with the alley poppies and the ants and the intermittent sunshine. Back there behind our ivy covered gate.

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Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset


walkabout || the neighborhood

I haven’t gone on a good, old-fashioned walkabout in much too long. In college I used to walk around the town for hours and hours, taking pictures on a little point-and-shoot camera (this was before my D-SLR days…way back when). You always discover little pieces of your neighborhood that you might miss when you’re rolling by in your vehicle of choice.

So today after work, instead of sitting in my house for several more hours getting more done in front of a laptop, I donned a coat, grabbed an umbrella as I tut-tutted and it looked like rain, and hit the sidewalk. I took a film camera and my iPhone. It will take a little bit longer to get the film photos — has to get developed first, what is that? — but here are some fancy phone shots.

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This monstrous piece of architecture lives in our neighborhood. It’s quite the manor. Not exactly the stature of our beloved, cottage house. Our cottage house is more in the commoner range. This bad boy is like the duke of all the houses. But frankly, I’m more a fan of the cottage-sized homes. What do you do with all that space anyway?

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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Good thing I brought the umbrella, huh? Sun and rain combos are my all time favorite. Gahgeous dahling.

So here’s something to share with the class — turns out, I am really bad at taking selfies. This is not false modesty. Following are my two first attempts.

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

That one there, super fantastic. Glad my feet got a blurry cameo. I don’t even know. Maybe one day I’ll be cool.

Once I got the hang of actually getting my face in the frame (what a concept), I looked one hundred percent awkward. The only way to combat that is by making faces. Scientific fact.

umbrella combo

So there’s a walkabout. Now your turn, dear ones.


gem || a standalone

We only have just shy of six months to go until our wedding. Somehow, some way, time is moving that quickly. There are many more plans to check off on our list — which is an overwhelming prospect to be sure — but mostly I’m just excited for the day to be here. Time is moving so quickly, but sometimes it feels like it can’t move fast enough.


little black boxes || fancy phone photos

Sometimes you have to reduce life to little black boxes. Contain all the madness into an itty-bitty square. Especially when that madness comes in the form of your loved ones. Sorry loved ones. Don’t take it personally.

(I think I might be in trouble for something. That looks like a serious face.)

(For a while, the backlighting function of her fancy phone ceased working. Meaning she had to get creative to read the screen in the dark. Including, but not limited to, using a candle to illuminate the device. Everyone thought this was funny. Except for her.)

(Hi. This is me. As photographed by my father’s fancy phone. With the help of my father. The fancy phone, while very good at a lot of things, isn’t yet a sentient device capable of taking photos of its own volition. Yet. What a frightening notion. I digress.)

 Happy Monday to you!


don’t fall on your face || Telluride

Siblings always have the best advice.

Elise: “Fall on your butt, not your face.” Wise, don’t you think? Wise beyond her (almost) 18 years.

This is the kind of advice you can use 365 days a year. But it’s particularly poignant when faced with throwing yourself down an icy mountain while strapped to a board. Which is what I did this weekend. I’m not as wise as my sister.

I have lived in Colorado my entire life. Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t automatically make me an obsessive snowboarder or downhill skier. I know! I too was shocked. As was everyone who has ever asked me about this. But it’s true. Prior to this weekend, I have been snowboarding twice in 13 years. This trip marked my third time ever attempting this flying feat. The scene: Telluride, Colo. Elevation:¬†8,750 feet. The motivation: To not die or be seriously maimed. (Can you be non-seriously maimed?)

This is how it went:

  1. Get gear.

  2. Ride up the lift to the top of the mountain.

  3. During the ride up, get rather alarmed at how steep the slope below appears.

  4. Attempt to get off the lift without looking like a total incompetent mess.

  5. Be unsuccessful.

  6. Ask Dan to describe how exactly one snowboards.

  7. Ask for more clarity.

  8. Ask for specifics.

  9. Ask if there’s an option to be airlifted off the mountain.

  10. Start sliding down the mountain.

  11. Fall.

  12. Fall.

  13. Fall.

  14. Fall.

  15. Narrowly avoid going down the wrong hill.

  16. Narrowly avoid falling into a shallow ravine. (OK, it was a ditch, but “ravine” sounds more risky.)

  17. Fall.

  18. Fall.

  19. Start to sort of get the feel for it. Maybe. A little.

  20. Fall.

  21. OK, I got it! Look, I did it!

  22. Fall.

  23. Ouch.

  24. Agh!

  25. My knee!

  26. Wait, I got it!

  27. No, really, I got this.

  28. Fall.

  29. Fall.

  30. Fall.

  31. Just leave me here to die.

  32. MEDIC!

  33. Limp to the finish.

  34. Repeat.

I was bruised and sore and mildly incapacitated.

I am however happy to report that I did not fall on my face. So basically a win.