Brown at the cross bar with yellow and orange swirls down the side. It had a swing, of course. Because, well...what kind of swing set would it be without one? A swing, a monkey bar, a faded orange teeter-totter, and a show horse pony that I would ride while pretending I was She-Ra... Princess of Power. Mistress of the Universe. PS: is it just me....or did anyone else think it was a *total* waste that She-Ra & He-man were related? I'm just sayin.
So I would ride my trusty steed and do battle with Catra or Skeletor or whoever else happened to be threatening Castle Gray Skull that day. And then I would go and swing as high as I could until the chains rubbed blisters on both my hands. When I got bored I might sit on the teeter-totter or climb on the monkey bar, but by far my absolute favorite thing to do on that swing set was to climb to the very top cross bar, that brown rusty cross bar, and hang by my knees upside down.
And this perplexed my father...my big, burly scared of nothing father... to no end.
"Kid," he would say. He always called me kid. "Kid, you better get down from there or you're gonna mess around and break your fool neck. Honestly... I have never seen the beat." And he would walk away shaking his head and muttering to himself about neck braces and broken bones.
But the second he wasn't looking, I was right back up there. Legs thrown over the top, arms dangling toward the ground. Barely hanging on by my knees and carefully balancing my weight to keep from....well y'know, messing around and breaking my fool neck.
But it was quiet up there. I could think up there. And somehow flipped upside down, the world just seem to make a lot more sense up there.
If I'm being really honest, there are some days...days just like today...when I would give anything to back be up there hanging upside down on that brown rusty swing set. To be quiet up there. To sit and think up there. And to somehow have the world make a lot more sense up there. Looking at it flipped upside down.
See I think I was on to something back then, and that is this. Balance is absolutely crucial. And somehow you have to find a way to hold on to it. To both reach and stretch and look at the world completely differently, but to also never lose your grip on the people and things that support you. That hold you up. Or else y'know...you might just mess around and break your neck. And prove parents everywhere right.
And everyone knows parents are absolutely insufferable when they've been proven right. :)
I am so completely honored that I have been asked to sit on the Women's panel for Pictage at WPPI on Wednesday March 10th at 2pm, along with two of the most amazing ladies in the industry Jules BIanchi & Tasra Dawson. We will each be leading a different section on the panel, and given my mad swing-settin' skills I have been asked to lead the part on Balance. For each of our topics, we wanted to take it to the streets, so to speak, and hear from you guys what are the things that you most struggle with in that area and what has worked for you for getting right with it.
I am so thankful to Pictage for putting this together and for always putting community first. They are such an inspiring company to be around! I also totally fell in love with their sleek, sexy new website & brand that the marketing team just launched this week. And then just color me happy when we went there and saw one of our pictures on the front page! Booyah!
So, I want to know.....what do you struggle with most in finding a good Work/Life Balance? And what has really helped you find a way to juggle it all? We will be taking the best answers and talking about them on the panel!
The tour is over. The tour is over and we are home. But not just any home, our brand new (circa 1880... but new to us) home. Our brand new not quite finished, but totally getting there home.
And life feels really surreal at the moment. Surreal, but nice. :) There is a lot to process before I can put either of those things- the tour being over and us being home- into words. So for now, I'm going to go a little out of order and wish you a very Happy Friday with something that was totally easy for us to process....the engagement shoot we did with the absolutely beautiful Sonia & Pankit right before we left Chicago.
These guys are getting married in just a few weeks at the incredible Eden Roc Hotel in Miami, and we will be flying right from WPPI in Vegas to be there with them. Sonia & Pankit, you guys are amazing and we had the best time hanging out with you! We can't wait to randomly stumble upon Starbucks with you in Miami! :)
So much love,
Yea....these guys make it WAY too easy!
So it was right around here that S&P tried to convince us that they are super un-photogenic. Ummmmm I don't THINK so!!
Our first stop was the Planetarium in Chicago, which was a super cool location!
With lots of reflections!
And a really cool dome!
These two are super fashionable! LOVE the shoes!
S&P thank you for EVERYTHING!! We'll see you in Miami. Bienviedo a Miami!!
If I'm being honest, I think a lot about what I'll be like when I'm a little old lady. What my silver hair will look like and how many lines will have found my face. Will the laugh lines outnumber the frown lines... will my eyes still dance behind the crinkles? Will they dance because they remember? Will they dance because they never want to forget? All the places they've been and all the things they have seen in this world. Will they dance in a way that only a little old lady's can... because frankly she knows something you don't know.
I think about what I'll be like when I'm 97 years old and I paint a story of a life well-lived. Will I use broad strokes of color or will I save some of that just for me? Will I pen it black & white, these snapshots that make up a lifetime, and then simply smile through my crinkles and say...
Well if you think that's good, you should have seen it in color.
We are in Chicago setting up for our last stop on this leg of the tour, but we just wanted to hop on real quick to thank our newest sponsors and to announce the winner of the WPPI Photoshoot seat!!
First up, big bear hug thanks go to our good friend Davina for offering up a discount code for all of the attendees of Spread the Love, as well as to give away one of her GTKY kits at each of the stops! We will email soon with details on that!
We are also super thankful to our San Diego hosts, Jared & Garrett, for getting on board with their company Shoot Dot Edit to offer discounts on editing, as well as to giveaway one full editing job!! Again, if you were at a Spread the Love check your email soon (tomorrowish!) for details on that!
And finally, we are so proud to announce the winner of our "What inspires you?" contest and a free seat to the WPPI Photoshoot put on by Laura Marchbanks to benefit Portrait House..........Brent Pilgrim!!!! This contest was WAYYY too hard for us to choose, so we selfishly enlisted the help of a panel of friends & family to help us choose the winner. We were all blown away by the selflessness of this couple. The way that they push each other & sacrifice for one another inspired all of us. Patti & Brent, we can't wait to meet BOTH of you in Vegas!!!
Here we go! Last stop....don't get scared now!
Windy City-ly yours,
We pick up on our West Coat adventures with Spread the Love- San Francisco!! If San Fran was to win a "Lovey" award, I think it would tie with LA for "Most Organized"....in the sense that they immediately went out and organized themselves into a group right after the meeting so that they could stay in touch and encourage one another. (Although LA does win a few bonus points for their name...the "Spread the Lovers" LOL!) But both groups were just so awesome and emotional. I honestly have no idea how we keep getting so lucky in the amazing people who come into our lives!!
Tears can be hilarious! :) I am such a mush.
HUGE HUGE hugs & thanks go to my girl Jules Bianchi for hosting us at her studio and in general being such an awesome friend!! We love you Jules!!
Tears can just be tears sometimes too...
The hugs at the end of the night are my FAVORITE!! Love love love all of you guys!
From San Fran we headed northbound to Shyla's haunts in Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA. Sights like this make me smile.
After a good night's rest at Shyla's family's place, we hugged Shy goodbye and headed on our way to Seattle. But not before stopping off to see the absolutely breathtaking Multnomah Falls first. These were some of the smaller falls leading up to Multnomah.
And the BIG show. Clearly, I was in awe.
I snapped out of it just in time to realize we could have some fun with this.
LOL! Julia is by far one of the funniest people I've ever met. We were crying we were laughing so hard!
I want to live here. Right in this moment.
And then it was time for our little caravan to move onward...
To SEATTLE!! Where we had dinner at the top of the Space Needle, which is one of the coolest things I've ever done. Good thing I brought my dramamine though cause the rotating thing is pretty trippy.
Then it was time to Spread a lil' Love to Seattle. If Seattle were to win a "Lovey" award it would HAVE to be for our most caffeinated group! Clearly!
I heart you Seattle. You brought me Starbucks and therefore my heart is yours forever. We can hold hands if you want.
HUGE thanks go to Laura Marchbanks and her friends Olivia & TJ for hooking us up with this killer space! Just look at those windows! Bah!
Love you boo.
The next morning....it was ON!!! First thing on the agenda: the original Starbucks, of course! To say that I was a little excited would be the understatement of the millenium. Eeeeeee!!!
We're here, we're here, we're here!
My name on a cup....from the original starbucks!!
The super cute Miss Laura Marchbanks met us there (bearing souvenir mugs & all!) and showed us all around the city.
Next stop on the tour.....the crazy fish market where they throw the fish all around.
Ok....see how funny I am. Look at me. I'm kneeling down beside the scary monkfish and making a stupid face. I am such a comedian. A ham. Center of attention. Ooh take a picture of me and how clearly hilarious I am.
Yea. Little did *I* know that I was TOTALLY being Punk'd by sweet lil' Miss Marchbanks. That monkfish that she told me to go check out has a string tied to its tail that the guys behind the counter pull on to make stupid out of town tourists like me nearly jump out of their skin & almost pee their pants. Which I *almost* did! It was HI-LARIOUS. Terrifying and hilarious. And I nearly fell over laughing about it. I am such a sucker! Move over Ashton, Laura is gunning for your job! Bah, I still get scared thinking about it. :)
Ah, good times! Stay tuned for more from the road. Denver was yesterday and KC is tomorrow. And then it's just Chicago and we're home. I seriously can't believe how fast it's going by! Slow down life, slow down.