week 46, 47: coming to an end

 
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It's been just a little over 47-weeks since I crossed the stage, moved my tassel from one side to the other and the state of Idaho declared I had graduated in a bachelors of Fine Art and Creative Writing. Roughly 329 days since I graduated and I started this 365-day challenge, something I've achieved and failed at both intrinsically. On December 9th it'll officially be 365 and the calendar will just keep on rolling, as a symbol to keep moving forward.

I never got to go to Iceland and well I never got to pick up a cello.
But this year has been such a year of growth.
So much has changed, and yet I am still me, just a stronger (still 100% unsure of what I'm doing) but never the less "This is Me" kind of me.

In a couple weeks I'll be releasing my list "Did's and Didn't's", and "What the heck is next" along with the project I've mentioned a couple times that I've been working on.

Right now I'm feeling super unstable and full throttle humble.
Thank you to everyone who's stuck around, to give love, support and late night midnight rants. And even thank you to those who didn't stick around, who left me behind, you've shown me so much and strengthened me in this crazy life of trying to leave the world a better place and finding happiness.

Keep Moving Forward Bebes.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 

hello november

 
october extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and november arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and face.
— j.k. rowling, harry potter and the order of the phoenix
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yesterday was autumn, yet frost bit fading jack-o-lanterns adorn each doorway reminding us this morning that november is in fact hear and winter is on the cusp and right around the corner.

being a sun driven individual, the return of winter is always a hard one to accept and is reluctantly accepted. however, there isn't anything that my tantrum will affect other then my mood so i am determined this winter to at least try my best to at least find warmth, comfort and joy in the darker, colder season on winter.

this includes cozy knits in neutral colors and various sizes, snuggly oversized scarfs with fun and playful patterns, stocking up on "man i want to read" books and magazines, sending more letters, spending more time in the slow and finding peace and joy in the quiet and still.

earlier this year i really purged my closet (and home) in hopes of living a more minimalistic life (but not being a devout minimalist, being a mama has caused complications in being 100% minimalist.) the beauty in this is it's allowing me room to start collecting more quality items slowly that i can build and play with throughout the colder months. i've started scouring some of my favorite sites such as ModCloth and thredUP as well as stocking up on "pin that on the fridge" worthy cards from Artifact Uprising to encourage myself to write more and e-mail/text less.

it was at the end of last winter when i was introduced to the concept of "hygge", that highlights the exact concept of what i'm striving for this winter. it encourages slowing down, getting cozy, and taking pleasure in people and the simple things in life. so this will be the theme for the next couple of months, and i've collected and put together a few of my favorite things i've found to help with the snuggle and to cozy.

summer lovers hang in there, and winter lovers be gentle to us.
and novemeber, welcome.

with grace+guts,
-H

 

Halloween (last minute)

 

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Oh Shoot! Did you forget? Or thought you were gonna just curl up with Pj's and watch Hocus Pocus versus going out? Now it's the 31st and you don't have a costume? I've compiled some of my favorites I've come across on Google and Pinterest. And to help along I've added a ghoulish playlist (kid friendly but NO Kids Bop....your welcome) to get you into the Hallow's spirit.

Already have your costume? Tell me what you are going as! I'd love to hear (or even see!!!)

Happy Halloween Everyone! Stay safe and eat all the candy <3

With Grace + Guts,
-Heather

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Robber

Cut a mask out of felt and TaDa!

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Starbucks

Yes, White after Labor Day is okay!

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Pineapple

Green card stock and get fruity!

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Waldo

I promise you won't blend in with this costume!

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Medusa

Glue dollar store snakes to bobby pins and make random braids.

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Wednesday Adams

Go buy some black lipstick and layer your LBD with a white button up and your good to go!

 

Puppy love/ couple session with Kellyn and Nathan

 
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I love it when my clients message me about a shoot where their personality just fills the message, the room, the space.
This is exactly what happened when Kellyn first messaged me, it went along the lines of "I'm looking for couple photos with my boyfriend of X-years and our three dogs"...need I say more I was so in from the first second.

Once we finally met up for the shoot, I was so jazzed, and their three furr babies were so adorable I'll admit there were times it was hard to focus because, I mean, common, LOOK AT THEM!

I absolutely loved this shoot, it was one of those where as a photographer your looking at the shots and your crying inside with happiness screaming "this is SOOOO good!" having the hardest time trying to choose which ones!

Thank you Kellyn and Nathan (and your three adorable fur babies)! I hope you all have a blast with the upcoming snow! It was a blast working with you!

With Grace+Guts,
-H

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365/week forty-six

 
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Last night I stayed up past midnight to work on a crossword puzzle. I honestly cannot tell you the last time I did this. I also organized and booked three photoshoots that I'm so jazzed about I wish I could tell you about all the goodness about to happen. Yesterday I felt accomplished in the simple, not over the top, but still really proud of myself sort of way.

This week has been a little bit different, with my daughter's 8th birthday on Tuesday, and then my kids out of school since Wednesday, my whole work schedule has gone a little off kilter, and it also has given me a whole heap of time to be at home and update my Facebook for my photography business, continue to recenter and ground myself in all that I will be doing in pursit of my lady power dreams, and not to mention...oodles of time hanging with my babies (which I mean, one of those "babies" turned 8 this week so I guess I should start saying "kids" now instead?!?)

Each day is a small victory. Each day is a confirmation that though life is hard, it is an absolute blessing. It has taken me till this week to FINALLY get into the autumn/Halloween spirit (never too late I guess?) but I've been pouting about the fact that summer is over, that I was dwelling too much in memories of sun kissed cheeks, and little sun dresses that I was failing to see the joy in my son's face as he ran through the leaves, or that comforting smell of neighbors fireplaces and morning fog. Recently, I was brought onto the Masterpiece series (on Amazon Prime) The Collection. I binged all 8-episodes in a week, but besides loving the history and drama, I was really captured by the viewpoint through a character's camera. I've been looking to get back into film for a while, but this show sort of nudged me. I looked into all of my vintage film cameras, finding I could re-spool my own film and start using them. 

As a creative I find inspiration, narrative and possibility in a lot of things that others, like my loving adorable hubby, don't see. I think it's the fact my right side of the brain overtook the left side too lol. But as the year is coming to an end, I'm starting to think of new endeavors and projects.  I've got my eye on a couple shows, and some new challenges for myself, because if I'm being honest with myself, I will never stop giving myself projects...which as we get close to 2018 I'll start sharing with you <3

But for now I'm going to go back into the studio and finish working on the last touches to my families Halloween costumes...anyone want to guess what our family theme is this year?

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 

Ben + Dara: A Portland Backyard Wedding

 

Back in September, Oregon's beautiful Gorge broke into the horrible thousand's of acres burning Eagle Creek Fire. This fire broke out simply one week before Ben + Dara were scheduled to get married, just a hop, skip and a jump from where the fire was burning.

Two day's before the wedding I got an SOS e-mail from the bride and groom telling me of a last minute decision to move locations. From a however many acre farm full of llamas and chickens and mountainous views, to a friends Portland backyard. 

As a photographer, it's my job to make sure the bride and groom have a beautiful day, and photos to capture all the memories...no matter what the backdrop is, no matter what last minute changes need to happen.

I showed up on the wedding day, and was instantly blown away from all the love, community and magic that had occurred in this little Portland backyard. This became the theme of the evening. I was constantly reminded and shown by all their closest friends, neighbors and family members how wonderful and pure of souls both Ben and Dara are. How much love everyone shows them because of how much love they show everyone else.

I couldn't have been more humbled to share this amazing day with Ben + Dara and I could only with them the best, all the whiskey and mountain tops possible.

Congratulations again Ben + Dara!

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 
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365/ week forty-four: here's to beating my drum

 
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Here's a PSA to all of my followers, friends, haters, judgers, supporters, family and every other person in between:

+ Never grow up! I mean it, society wants you to believe that conforming and holding back is being well behaved and it'll pay off in the end. Honesty...it won't. It will only fill you with regret.

+ Stand up for yourself! If you don't who will? Instead what will happen is you get run over and taken advantage of and it's like rape of the soul and you are too amazing to let that happen.

+ Just do it! Jump darling! The cliff is "safe" but eventually it will crumble, so just jump, pray and believe in yourself.

+ Status isn't life! Be honest with yourself, even if you loose people, and your not the cool kid anymore. Status is so artificial, it holds not strength or value. Its hard as hell, but when you realize that status, a million followers, friends in "high" places, and fame in what ever form is nothing but a vapor in the wind when it comes to judgment day, you'll feel stronger then ever before.

+ Follow your heart! You know what I'm talking about here. The thing that weighs on your chest at night when your trying to sleep. When you feel so empty and your day dreaming about something totally different. Your so scared, how will you pay your bills, feed yourself (Even take care of other lives in your life?) Tell me this though, how will you live with yourself if you never follow your heart but instead follow another's dream working 9-5 slaving for nothing?

If I had a megaphone I'd be on my roof yelling this on top of my lungs. If I could give you a hug and tell you its all going to work out I would. But take the day, seize it, sleep like a baby for the first time in months (or years!) knowing your fulfilling yourself and doing what you were put on Gods good green earth to do.

I'm week forty-four into this, creeping closer and closer to a year of graduation and man there has been peeks and valley's.

I've lost so much, so many in my life. But the most painful lost was fully realizing this week that I hadn't just lost my best friend, family, art shows, writing competitions but I had in fact lost myself in the plastic facade of the world.

And I'm about to change that all.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

OH...and here's a playlist I put together this morning for all of ya'll! Now lets go get some @$$, scream with joy from our gut, and run into the unknown smiling!

 

365/ week forty-three

 
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No matter which way you spun it, this past week was a heavy week.
Another mass shooting, the largest in recent history. Tom Petty left us only with his music to remember him by. Politics around the globe, America, Germany, Spain...etc...all seem to be in turmoil over huge issues at hand. And all of this is piled on top of us and our already stress filled lives.

Peace. Happiness. Joy.

Things you may be more familiar with being on a Christmas card then actually being things that you have in your consistent life, but are so drastically craved by each and every one of us.

I found this week to be a blur. I was where I needed to be when I said I'd be there, got my kids to and from their activities, cleaned the house, ordered a multi-regional DVD player (that I just hooked up and am ready to go!), and drank copious amounts of coffee. I even made a trip down to a favorite paper store and got supplies for this new creative adventure I'm on which all I'll say right now is it includes loads of illustrations.

But back to my point, I went down to Boise, Idaho this weekend with the intention of some major mom and me time as well as a couple photoshoots.  Last minute both shoots canceled and I was left with frustration and the feeling of failing again. I mean what am I doing wrong that nothing seems to be working lately?

But two canceled shoots gave me instead two full days with my mom, someone whom I've always looked up to and have always been gracious for her insight and opinions. And I got two full days of it. I can't tell you the last time I've gotten two full days with my mom with no husband or child to contend with. It was glorious, wonderful, special, we ate more in two days then we normally would in a week and we talked. Well, I talked, and she listened. She listened for the majority of the two-days we were hanging out at the book store, and at the coffee shops, and at Anthropology, and at the pet supply store, and at Target (you get my point) she listened. She only gave me a nod here, or asked a small question there, all to accumulate to some hard core advice.

This was only yesterday, and the two-day's of mom time is why this post comes late, so I'm not fully sure how to short hand and capsulate my mom's advice, but it was enough to be like "Fine Heather! You want those things? Then be assertive, go get them and for heavens sakes only be authentically you otherwise your failing yourself."

I have been failing myself all to make everyone else around me happy.
The heaviness of the week only came harder because all while trying to digest the heaviness of the current events, I have also been trying to digest a diet of how to dress, what to eat, what to say, who to smile too, a diet that wasn't made for me.

I don't know how to end this because, like I said earlier, this all just happened this weekend, but I'm taking this and running with it.

No more lean green salads for Heather, she's going for the baby back ribs.

Stay true to yourselves this week all! And be the good in your corner of the world, goodness knows we could use a little more of that now-a-days.

With Grace+Guts,

-H

 

365/ week forty-two

 
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Last weeks post was a bit heavy, I'll admit. And when I started this challenge I didn't expect it to get so emotional. I expected it to be difficult, but not challenging in every other which way.

This week I tried to keep it more mellow. I hooked up an old DVD player to the fancy new TV so that I could reprogram it and start watching German DVD's to practice, however, I've lost the remote to this OLD DVD player along the years and now can't reprogram it. So I guess it's off to Amazon to buy a multi-regional DVD player. Anyone have suggestion on which one to buy?

We FINALLY got our new dinning table, so the kids and I have been cherishing dinners together again (versus them on the tiny patio table and me on the couch for the last three weeks.)

I also came to a conclusion. If all you ever do is work to pay off debt, your life will be miserable.  No matter what.  Even if you pay off all you bills, you will still be miserable. So, with this in mind I made a mini list of all the places I want to travel in 2018, then a game plan of how many extra hours I have to work to save for all of those trips. This week at work was better simply because of that. I'm not saying you all have to put in an extra five-hours every week and go on vacation, but if all you ever do is work work work and pay bills and never live your life the way you want to be living it...then what is the point of living?

If you want to take cooking classes, go take cooking classes, if you want to go travel Europe, well start planning! It is as simple as that.  Because, I haven't booked any flights yet or hotels or Air BnB's but I'm putting pen to paper, making a game plan and by doing this, working has become a little less miserable and a little more purposeful.

But I'm gonna leave here today, the week was quiet, I'm still in my pajama's and I've got a coffee date with some ladies so I need to hustle.

Go live your lives loves!

With Grace+Guts,

-H