Sunday, December 7, 2014

"you understand now why they lost their minds and fought the wars
and why i've spent my whole life trying to put it into words

you can hear it in the silence
you can hear it on the way home
you can see it with the lights out
you're in love, true love"

(not my words, but t swift's)

Saturday, November 29, 2014


good things take time. i am antsy every day that i'm soaking up too much inspiration and not translating it into creative work. i watch people carrying out their creative visions on social media day in and day out. i am inspired by those people, and then i feel down on myself for not doing the same. but i also have to remind myself that those people are not pursuing a degree full time as well as working.

graduation excites and scares me. it's exciting because i will have so much more time for creative pursuits. it scares me because i feel pressure to be successful with a career path right out of the gate.

i'm trying to balance the two. i want to spend the next few months challenging my creative skills and at the same time building my portfolio and resume. i plan to spend a lot more time with my camera shooting people in nature, carrying out photographic visions, producing short videos, expanding my graphic design and drawing & painting skills.

2015 is almost here. let's do this!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

apartment #4 in 3 years

we moved again. in may. i mentioned it here but i haven't posted any photos or said much about this new place. i finally picked up my camera and took a few photos.

our house is currently clean because a few days ago jared came home from working a long day riding his bike in the rain and decided he would spend the rest of his day cleaning the house. not because he cares much for a super clean house, but because he knows i care very much for a super clean house. he went to the nines. he dusted, swept, mopped, and scrubbed every corner of this place. i hope i never take him and his outstanding devotion for granted. because he is in every sense of the word, a keeper.

we talk to each other about how much we love this apartment all the time. we love the brand new kitchen. we love that it has a dishwasher and that we have about three extra hours a week to spend doing anything besides hand-washing dishes. we love that the entire apartment is hardwood and tile. we love that it's a century old. we love the tall ceilings and crown molding. we love the original tile in the bathroom. we love the little bit of exposed brick and the original dark finish trim. we love the furniture and decor we've collected and whittled down over the years.

we pray to god together every morning. and i can't help but say the exact same prayer each day. i'm grateful for my husband. this apartment we live in. our good health. our jobs. my opportunity to go to school. our friends and family. our cat. our bright future. this is my daily prayer. i'm grateful for these things, and please god, don't take them away. i try to find ways to help people and i ask god to help me notice those who need help.

and sometimes i help in obvious, immediate ways like giving someone a ride or sharing my lunch. but i think helping others can also be a longterm service we offer. i think it can involve being a noble, honest person day-in and day-out. it can involve consistently giving the benefit of the doubt and consistently looking for the best in others. i try to remember that after we offer our daily prayer.

photo notes: notice that our dining table is covered in neatly organized bike parts. notice the rubik's cube on our coffee table. notice the note, "you're doing BETTER than you THINK". the pumpkins and gourds. little symbols of my husband that i love.

Friday, November 21, 2014

love letter to the blogging community,

it's 1:28am as i begin writing this.

i'm ruining my day tomorrow by staying up this late.

but sometimes ya just gotta.

this has been mostly a journal for me the last few years. i love keeping a photojournal but it just hasn't happened this last year. life's been all about school and i've just plain taken less photos this year. and that's okay. because life is good when you takes photos, and life is good when you don't.

but why i'm here is because i want to say thanks. even though i would keep on writing and publishing my thoughts and photos even if not a soul read this blog, it's still so nice to have the blogging community. it's good to have you guys around. i love reading your blogs, looking at the photos of your lives, the staged ones and the candids, the mundane daily life photos and the exotic vacations. i love to steal design ideas from you, i love to copycat your work and then try to internalize it and produce my own original content. i love your enthusiasm for creativity and that no matter how much i slow down, you guys keep on chugging out content.

let's keep in touch. because i like you, blogging community.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

here is my testimony today. on the mormon fast and testimony sabbath day.

i believe my voice is one of the greatest gifts i have. i believe in using my voice to speak up for those without one. i believe in empowering the under-powered. i believe in myself. i believe in working hard for a meaningful cause. i believe in the power of love.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

i used to spend so much time writing, making lists, sorting out my thoughts and feelings, my plans, and my dreams. but the last few years have been different. dust is settling a bit more. i'm more sure of who i am and what i want. i know what it takes for me to be happy and healthy and i know how i feel about situations and relationships.

i've figured out when i'm being treated with respect, when i'm treating others right, and when things are not going the way they should. it's more efficient now. i don't need to spend a bunch of time sorting out my thoughts and feelings because i already know how i feel and what i want even before i meet people or before life even happens.

life lately has been a well-oiled, but enjoyable routine of school, babysitting, grocery shopping, doing the laundry, napping, and cleaning our apartment. i'm concerned that things have become a little too easy and that i'm forgetting to thrive. i'm forgetting to make lists and dream and set goals and big plans. i've been so focused on graduating from college that i've sort of forgotten about everything else.

i'm always bubbling with desires and ideas and dreams, though. they are just simpler lately. instead of spending so much time plotting how i can travel to foreign countries, i've spent more time dreaming about a relaxing sunday afternoon in the park.

Monday, October 20, 2014

power to the people! (i love you, john)

"every dollar you spend...or don't a vote you cast for the world you want." -l.n. smith

i have changed in many ways the last few years. college has had a lot to do with it. noticing the ways i've changed is the best evidence that college has positively impacted my life. i hope the positive impacts will continue to reverberate throughout my life.

i've been deeply affected by the idea of consumerism and it's relationship to large corporations and the dwindling middle class. during my college years i have felt very much a part of the 1%. for all of 2013, i worked at planet fitness, a barely-above-minimum-wage job. i should not have worked there at all and absolutely not for as long as i did. i had my reasons. it was completely flexible with my school schedule and i needed that that year. it was a two minute bike ride away from home. it was a mostly low-stress work environment. i was casually looking for other opportunities but nothing just right came my way. working for a large company (that treats it's lowest level employees like peons) taught me a lot about the economy.

it taught me that i want to work for people and organizations that enrich their communities, rather than rob them. it taught me that i want to spend my dollars supporting local businesses first and thus strengthening myself and my home, rather than weakening it.

planet fitness was willing to pay me as little as possible for as much work as possible for as long as i was willing to work there. planet fitness had no interest at any level of the organization in improving the world by helping people. i am not naive to think that planet fitness is evil, or even the only company that functions this way. in fact, most companies thrive by valuing profit above people.

someone could read that last sentence and tear it apart by saying that all companies HAVE to value profit about people to stay in business, because they are just that--businesses--not charities. but i must disagree. i have worked for organizations who value people above profit. and as a consumer, i gladly spend a few extra on local products whenever i can. it's a delicate dance, but i will never be an employer who values profit above people.

it makes me sad that many americans are making rich the very corporations keeping them poor. but for many people, there seems to be no other choice. in some cases, there aren't. but in others, there are some solutions. i could suggest education, both as a vehicle to obtaining and creating better jobs and as a way to improve intellect. i cannot sing the praises of education enough.

another way that i have felt empowered in this inescapably corporate world is minimalism. i have chosen to let go of the white knuckle grip of consumerism. it is natural to desire possessions. it is very human. but in general, americans let it go too far.

for too long, i let my desire to own control too much of my life. i've been realizing the last few years just how how high the cost of consumerism really is. it's terrifying how constant and deep-seated advertising is in our lives. little by little, i've been loosening the hold consumerism has had on me. i have found myself shopping around a store only to realize i don't need any of it. i have been purging my home like crazy, as i have mentioned here before. it's actually been quite startling to realize:

i don't want things.

i want memories. i want experiences. i want healthy food. i want functional furniture and clothing. i want happy, healthy bodies. i want conversation.

i don't want to buy stuff.
i want to improve the world.

so that's just the thing about consumerism. it's not only disempowering to individuals, but it slows the progress of humanity. we could spend our time, energy, and money helping others or improving the world. but often we spend our resources on disposable products that don't help people in meaningful ways or improve the world. actually, our ravenous consumerism of crap directly damages the environment and in most cases involves slave labor. but both of those are entire blog posts of their own.

allowing myself to be content with what i already have has been life changing. i am less jittery. i sleep better at night. i feel free. consumerism hurts most everyone involved, while minimalism benefits anyone who tries it out. consumerism is a prison. the only people who benefit are the few at the top.

the key to saving the middle class are both minimalism and shopping local. power to the people! (2014 really needs it's own john lennon.)