photo shoot

A Fall Photoshoot & Gratitude

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This weekend, I had the pleasure of photographing the beautiful Laurent family.  Their warm and loving personalities shine right through these images -- it was thrilling to be able to capture the true essence of this wonderful family.  Cameron and I met while studying to become holistic health counselors.  I lived in Portland and she here in Washington D.C.  Every week, we would have our check in call to support and spur each other on through lessons and life.  She's always felt like the sister I never had.

Now, many years later, we both are married with kids and still checking in.  Her (and Chris's!) insights are always insightful and grounding, helping me see other perspectives in order to move forward in life better equipped.  Everyone needs friend's like them -- non-judgmental containers who work hard at seeing the truth and gently nudge you in that direction.  They are invaluable friends whom I'm ever so grateful for.

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Present moment, future glimpse

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This weekend, I had the pleasure of photographing the Zabel brothers and their girlfriends. Wanting to do something unique and special for their mom who is battling cancer, they came to me with the idea of capturing them while gathering together and sharing a homemade brunch in her honor. It as a way to share with her a slice of their daily lives while keeping true to their roots and upbringing. I'm going to make a bit of a leap here, but the way both Andrew and Robbie were well versed in the language of food makes me think that gathering around the dinner table with good food and open conversation were priorities in their household growing up. Their easiness and respect of one another seemed to hint at a history of coming together at meal times, exposing a true generosity of spirit.

As a new mother myself, it was the first time I really took note of a sibling friendship. The respect, hilarity, and overall easiness these brothers have with each other is really moving -- and noteworthy. So often sibling relationships can be fraught with tension, that ease is the last thing that comes to mind. Watching them, I imagined Mrs. Zabel's warm, courageous, strong and real mothering speaking through her adult sons loud and clear. If I was her, I'd be so proud -- of both her sons and herself.

This was by far the best brunch I've had in a long, long time. Fresh and seasonal, everything was hand made right down to the tomato juice in the Bloody Mary's. It was inspiring to see how this food was made not only to eat, but to express a heartfelt affection and nourish the soul of everyone involved, near and far.

Necessities

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Recently, I've been having some loving and lovely heartfelt conversations with fellow parents. It's been so nourishing and restorative on so many levels, helping me put space and perspective on the intensities that can arise from the day to day of new family life. I have so much serious gratitude for these snippets of conversation, these moments of heart connection, that it's spurred a (much appreciated) shift of things inwardly. Since Little Mister came along, I've been pretty adamant about finding and connecting with other parents who I would be friends with even if we didn't have kids. For me, the quality of my daily interactions makes a huge impact on my overall wellbeing.

Getting outside as much as possible, play, real connection, healthful food, good great literature/stories that expand my horizons, nourish my soul and inspire me to be a better person--these are my necessities in life. It's reassuring to have a short list to go back to, lest I forget.

Blueberries

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Blueberries get a lot of attention around our house. As a favorite food of both my husband and Little Mister, they find their way into a lot of meals. Our Saturday morning ritual is making homemade, freshly ground buckwheat pancakes loaded with blueberries (a lot easier than it sounds!). We all look forward to waking up that first weekend morning and sitting down to a warm, gooey plate of sheer blueberry bliss.

Recently, I've been going through my trove of cookbooks and came across a lovely recipe for Blueberry Scones from Rose Bakery in Paris. They did not disappoint and are probably the best scones I've ever made to date. It was also nice to mix up the super healthy cooking/baking I normally do with a bit of decadence. And these were all decadence.

Bike rides, grilling, friends, pool time, naps, and snacks -- a nice weekend indeed!

Fall Plantings

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Today, we planted our garden with Martha for the fall harvest. Two types of kale, lettuces, brussels sprouts, beets, English thyme, and cilantro were all put into the ground. Rainbow chard will make it's way into the garden at some point, too.

Little Mister took on all tasks with complete gusto. He oversaw the plantings, helped with dirt moving, crawled through plants to make sure everything was in right order, and directed the watering.

There is a nice little verse I found in Beyond the Rainbow Bridge, by Barbara Patterson, called Snack Blessing. Although it's meant for reciting together as a group in Waldorf Kindergarten's before snack, it is universal in it's message of gratitude. Earth who gives to us this food Sun who makes it ripe and good Dear Sun, Dear Earth by you we live And loving thanks to you we give.

So kind and sweet.