Jon and I went to Seattle months ago, and I’m only really getting around to posting about it now—in part because I have yet to develop all of the photos. See what I mean about using my cameras less?

I am so happy Jon was able to spend some good, quality time with my brother and his sweet family. My family is so small and some so distant (physically, that is) that our family dynamic is a little harder to maintain I think. Plus, I love and admire my brother, Noah, my sister-in-law, Laura, and their two kids, Eli and Mira, so much that I was brimming with excitement that Jon would be able to get to know them like I do. Not to mention it was really good to see them myself! I hadn’t seen them in two years, and my, how those kids have grown.


Then (2009) (with Laura):

We packed in a lot while we were there. I was going to go through each series of photos from my phone, but then I realized it might be easier to let the photos tell the stories themselves.


Christmas! And Other Big Important News.

I know, I too am questioning my sanity in writing a Christmas-themed post two months after the fact. Mostly, I just wanted to share some of my favorite photos from Jon’s and my fast trip to St. George to visit his parents and spend time with his lovely family over the holidays. His family has welcomed me in with open arms and warm hearts, and I just can’t express how utterly wonderful they are, and how thankful I am to have them in my life.

My mom, Jon, and I had a lovely Christmas celebration too, but I failed to whip out the camera (I chalk it up to exhaustion from moving just a couple weeks before Christmas. Why do I always choose winter to move?). We had a great time—a calm, relaxing brunch followed by some presents and some football. I guess if I made New Year’s resolutions this year is to take more pictures of times like those because already, the details are hazy. I do remember receiving snowshoes from my mom, and we’ve already put them to good use with a hike up to Dog Lake via Mill D in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Thanks, Mom!

I kind of glossed over that bit about moving up there. It’s official! Jon and I moved in together in December. We have both loved this new adventure so far, and we’re excited to spend our lives together. The next thing on our list? Move to Oregon in about a year. Yes, Oregon! More details on that as we get closer to the big move.

Bonus Velvia

My wonderful boyfriend made a fibber of me. That is, this was not my last roll of Velvia after all. Maybe a month or two passed before he gave me several rolls of my favorite discontinued slide film (yes, even beating out Kodachrome) for my birthday.

I haven’t been picking up the camera as much as I used to. I remember when I took one with me everywhere, but somewhere along the line that habit faded away. Last summer, I can’t count the times Jon and I went hiking and see beautiful vistas begging to be captured on film. I’d dig around in my day pack, then realize the camera was in my car, or at home. Priorities shift I guess.

Still, I managed to shoot some things here and there. I’ll post more as I find the words to describe these last several months, but in the mean time, here’s a shot from Zions National Park.

I had taken a bunch of shots of the gorgeous and exhilarating Angels Landing hike when on our way back, my XA2 slipped out of my hands and onto a hard, paved trail. It popped open and this happened. (I lost a couple of shots altogether, but for the most part the roll was intact, luckily.)

Playing Catch-up

Wow, it has certainly been a while. I thought I might try to fit everything into one big post, but maybe I’ll start with the most recent happenings then work my way backward, especially since something people I know have asked about needs to be shared in full:

Thursday night, my mother called to inform me that Hilde, the most wonderful dog anyone could ever know, was sick.

Hilde has been a joy to our small family. She is loving, sweet, playful at times, serene at others, hardly ever barks, never has accidents indoors, great with other people and other dogs… the list goes on. But Hilde has an Achilles’ heel called Pica. To date, she has had at least five surgeries to remove non-food items from her stomach or intestines. You might say to yourself, “then just keep her away from the things she likes to eat.” Well, the last few surgeries have revealed that she enjoys compulsively consumes rocks/gravel, wood chips, and grass, and that she gorges herself to the point that she cannot pass whatever she has eaten. I’ve also seen her try to surreptitiously eat (and sometimes succeed in eating) plastic, metal, and paper, which is sometimes hard to notice. In other words, she eats anything and everything. So it’s not so easy.

Thursday night into Friday was frightening and painful as we waited for Hilde’s condition to change. My mom now recognizes the signs of illness in Hilde, and she didn’t want to put her through another surgery, plus the cost is rather high. How many more times will Hilde need surgery? How much suffering can this dog put herself through? My mom thought the best option might be to put her down.

This horrified me. Hilde is just three years old, and she has many more good days than bad. I had a terrible night full of tears, ideas of whisking her away and fixing her up, and attempts at rationalization. I kept thinking there must be a way out of this. I still keep thinking this.

However, Hilde seems to be doing a little better. My mom has been working to clear her blockages, and it’s proving effective, although slow-going. Hopefully this was just a scare, but we both wonder how long until the next one, and could that one be deadly to poor Hilde? I hope more vigorous training is in Hilde’s future, but for now, all I can do is be there and love her.

More Knitting

The weather this summer has been oppressively, unrelentingly hot. Daily 90s and 100s for the high temperatures and overnight lows consistently in the mid-70s has made for some scorching times. Even so, I still wear sweaters to work every day (OK,full disclosure: this is partly because the air conditioning in the office is set to sub-zero). And in that same spirit, I’ve been knitting, which, sure, seems odd in this heat, but we’ve had rain storms—that dump actual rain instead of just starting wild fires all across the state—and it has put me in more of a stay-inside-with-some-tea-yarn-and-needles mood.

It started with this hat. I made it for my boyfriend’s baby niece, thinking it might fit her by the time winter rolled around (if it ever does with these temperatures. GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL, Y’ALL). When we tried it on her the other day, it was already a little snug. Maybe I’ll have to make another, bigger one?

This hat is for a yet-to-be-born baby, also in the boyfriend’s family.

Ah, crochet. I knit much more than crochet now, but I find granny squares just gorgeous, and one day I will actually pull the trigger and make a blanket. For now, I just toy around with patterns, trying to decide if I can commit myself to such a task.

And lastly, my frumpy cell phone cozy. I saw this lovely, elegant pattern and knew I wanted to make one of my own, but her pattern is for the iPhone, and I have a (brand spankin’ new) Samsung Galaxy S4. Instead of buying the pattern, I looked at the pictures, figured it didn’t look too hard, and tried my hand at it. As you can see, I underestimated the original pattern, so mine has its strong and weak points, er, you could say. Next time, I’d knit it in the round, make it a little longer so it fully covers the phone, make it a little more snug on the sides, and I also need to learn a little more about attaching cords to fabric. You can’t tell in this photo, but it’s a bit messy on the back side. But it’ll do for now.

Last Roll

Last year, Fujifilm discontinued one of my very favorite films—certainly my favorite slide film— Velvia. B&H Photo still sells it, but for how much longer, I don’t know. In case I don’t have a chance to stock up, I always have my Oh! Velvia set on flickr to flip through when I feel nostalgic. For now though, here are a few of my favorites from my latest (last?) roll. I sent it through my point-n-shoot Olympus XA2, and I’m so glad I did. I don’t think I would have captured all of these adventures otherwise.

Summer So Far

Sometimes I drop off the face of the earth, then return with fuzzy memories of all the things I want to share with you. Ah, aging.

I wrapped up Spring semester with a few more A’s and the weight of a looming decision about my next move. I decided to put it out of my mind and focus on having a good summer. Maybe by the time classes start (in less than a month!) I will have it figured out. Anyway…

I chopped off my hair, and I love it. So many of us women get told what hair cut works with our faces, our bodies, our personalities, etc. Such bullshit. This pressure plays directly into stereotypes of how, as a culture, we’ve decided women ought to look and furthermore, how that look or that image, in large part, somehow defines who we are. I could go on and on, but I’ll leave it at this: it doesn’t make any sense to me, so I finally decided to do what I wanted.

Now time to grow it back out! And I don’t say that meaning this cut isn’t for me. I like it! But more than one cut, I love the fun of growing it out, trying new things, and chopping it off all over again.

My cousin Jana and her husband Andrew came stateside for their honeymoon. They’re from Scotland, near Edinburgh, so this was my first time meeting her! They ended up staying in my tiny apartment after a mix-up with their lodging arrangements, and I’m glad they did. I was able to get to know them better than I would have otherwise, plus I got to play tour guide, like the morning we went to the Salt Lake farmer’s market, Banbury Cross, and Tracy Aviary.

Unfortunately, I only have photos from the aviary. Sucks, too. Banbury Cross doughnuts are terribly photogenic.

Jonathan and I went camping up Little Cottonwood Canyon back in June. This was the view from our spot at the campground. It was glorious sitting in front of this raging waterfall, reading after a good hike up to White Pine Lake.

Or, almost up to White Pine Lake. There was snow on the last mile or so where hikers encounter the scree field. So, after I rejected the idea of climbing up over a steep and slippery snow bank, we ate our lunch and enjoyed the view of the canyon.

A few weeks ago, with all the snow melted we did make it to the lake, and it is beautiful. At just about ten thousand feet in what I’m guessing is a glacially-carved bowl near the top of the mountain, it’s a breathtaking turquoise pool with pines and boulders lining the edges. I have photos of this, too, but they were taken with my film camera (on my last roll of Fuji Velvia, RIP) so I’m waiting on development.

Lastly, Jonathan and I have a vegetable garden! Have I mentioned this thing? It has been incredibly rewarding to see everything spring up over the last couple of months. The squash and the tomatoes are going bonkers, and the peppers are getting huge, too. These photos are from a while ago, so it’s hard to tell. I need to grab some updated ones.

And that’s about it! Dang, it has been a nice, mellow summer. The Twilight Series started back up a couple weeks ago, providing a nice distraction during the work week. I’m saving up for a road bike, planning on a few adventures over the next few months, and generally enjoying life. I’ll try to post more than once a quarter about these things.