it’s here

Well, autumn has arrived.

I rang in the new season this weekend in the mountains of upstate New York with my husband, a couple of good friends, and their three month old baby. We got a front row seat to the changing leaves. We even saw some snow.

I had a field day with Instagram this weekend, I had forgotten my newly repaired camera so my trusty phone filled in, and it did not disappoint.

Marshall and our friend Chris spent much of their weekend studying, when Renee and baby Finley and I weren’t distracting them. So perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that they spent some of their weekend studying. And most of it being distracted.

I realized yesterday that Marshall and I had started dating exactly three years earlier. He said it didn’t count since we are married now, but I count it. That’s a long time, right? I’m proud of us. Here’s to at least three more! Kidding.

My parents celebrated 33 years of marriage this weekend. That’s what I hope to be doing 32 years from now. I can’t imagine what those years will bring, but I can’t wait to find out.

For now, I look forward to celebrating one year of marriage in a couple of months. I know it’s no 33 but it seems like a big deal. Maybe it will be snowing by then.

Happy fall.


p.s. More pictures from the weekend to come later this week. Can’t give them to you all at once!


learning how to learn

There are a lot of ways to learn things.

I’ve been reading a lot of articles on photography.

A lot of photographers have given me a lot of different advice. Good advice.

I haven’t read the manual on my camera yet, but that’s on my to-do list. I should probably get to that.

And I’ve been taking a lot of pictures.

I’ve read a book or two on writing.

I’ve read blogs about blogging.

I’m taking a writing workshop in the fall. I’m excited about that.

And I’ve been writing in a journal since ninth grade. And I’ve been writing blog posts for a couple of years now.

I think that garnering advice from people you admire who are good at what you want to do (phew) can be helpful. I have definitely gained knowledge that has helped me. Learn from the people who have gone before you. There’s no reason to make the mistakes of your forefathers if they’ve already made them for you.

But then again, there’s something about learning things on your own that tastes a bit sweeter. And there’s a difference between learning from others and imitating others.

I’m trying to find a balance.

I don’t like making mistakes, so it’s hard for me not to run to the well of “knowledge” on the internet every time I want to try something new. But what’s the fun in that, really?

I have to decide why I do what I do, and that will dictate how I do things. I’m still working all of that out.

I want to learn from others, but I want to learn from myself, as well. I want to make my own way, blaze my own path.

Maybe you feel the same way, maybe you don’t. But what’s cool is, that’s what all of this is about. We weren’t all made to be the exact same person, do to the exact same thing, to create identical art. If someone doesn’t like what I’m doing, someone else probably will. And if no one likes what I’m doing, I better make sure I like doing it. Because that’s all that matters in the end anyway.

I’m still learning.



east side pride and kitty neighbors

I am sitting outside of Starbucks in the morning breeze listening to a bird sing what sounds like an urgent song, using every tweet and chirp he has ever learned in his life. I hope he’s okay. He’s sitting on top of a telephone pole pacing, occasionally flying up for a second, and returning to continue his message. It’s almost as if he is trying to speak through the telephone receptors. He is on high alert! It’s amazing the noises they can produce. I wish I knew what he was saying. I would try to help him.

Anyway, I digress.

I went walking with my pup yesterday morning, and I decided to take my camera along to practice my mad photog skills on some of the adorable houses in my neighborhood. I have absolutely no idea what the best way is to take pictures of houses, so I just, well, I just kind of guessed.

No special camera effects, just an attempt to be a bit more intentional with my shots. Let’s see how we did.

If you don’t know where I live, I have a house in an “up-and-coming” part of Nashville called East Nashville, and it’s pretty hip. In fact, apparently Travel and Leisure ranked us one of the most hipster-friendly cities. No big.

I live in Lockeland Springs, which is, in my opinion, the most adorable part of East Nasty.

yeah, we have a sign. deal with it.

Most of the houses over here were built in the early 1900s, some of them even before. Many are in disrepair, but fortunately a lot of them are being restored to their former glory.

the colors, duke, the colors!

I actually looked at this house when I was hunting, and it was blue at the time. Built in 1899, this baby had a little too much “charm” for my taste and budget. But someone is obviously putting a lot of love into it, and I would love to see the finished product someday. Yeah, I’ll totally be that snooping neighbor.

do you see the fairy?

I also love the gardens in my neighborhood, they range from pristine to flourishing to veritable forest, and I adore them all. Can’t see the house very well but it too is adorable.

i just wanna play in it.

Isn’t it great how you can barely even see this house behind the gorgeousness? There are tons of gardens that slope down the hills of front yards, and the commitment that must be involved in those amazes me.

red door! look at the red door!

I mean…could you get any cuter. Is quainter a word? I’d like to request that it become one if not. Could you get any quainter. I sure couldn’t. And the fern. Love. Ugh I need to get one.

My neighborhood is also hip and cool because there are fun little restaurants peppered throughout.

do you know the muffin man?

Sweet 16th Bakery is literally right down the street from me, and although I must admit I don’t frequent it, I do appreciate its adorableness. Don’t even care if it’s a word. Even the color of the building makes me giddy! Love it.

gimme some

Okay, it may not be pretty, but it’s good, and the inside is as pizza shoppy as you can get. And they have gluten free pizza! Not that I care at all, but the sign says it. If I were gluten free I wouldn’t exist. Not hopping on that train anytime soon. Not that I don’t think it could be beneficial, but I live off of gluten.

ok, at least the sun is cool in this one.

So I’m pretty sure I will never stay here, but I still think it’s awesome. A bed and breakfast right down the street from me! Not to mention it’s across from Italia. Top O’ Woodland, they call it, and I just want to peek inside sometime. It looks scary from the windows. I’m sure it’s great.

gorgeous. just stunning.

Okay straying from the theme for a second, but I’ve decided that one cannot be too hip without being a bit ghetto, as well. Once the ghetto is gone, the yuppies come. So I even appreciate my 4 Stop Market. Not just because the guy at the counter said surely I couldn’t be old enough to buy beer! Ssstop it….

(disclaimer: I was not buying beer before work yesterday morning. This was on a completely separate, appropriately timed occasion.)

need i say more

And oh yeah, there’s The Lipstick Lounge. Why of course I’ll take you there when you visit me! We can dance the night away. But wait, what lies only yards away from the LL and the 4 Stop Market?

secret garden

Don’t you just want to live here?? I do, but I also don’t mind living here:

disregard the sign behind us.

Wait, that’s not me yet. I just couldn’t help myself. These are my kitty neighbors, and I want to steal them. Actually these are three of like seventy.

don’t worry i’ll guard you!

This is us! Home sweet home. And Ayda sweet Ayda. Who could ask for anything more? Well, I could use some ferns.



tv and tacos make wesley a happy girl

A little bit of photography and a little bit of what I ate/drank/did last night.

I grabbed a little cheese sample from the Turnip Truck last night, so of course I had to grab a bottle of wine as well, particularly due to the show that I was watching. I decided I’d practice my mad photog skills on the cheese and wine. I messed with aperture again, and the results weren’t quite as pretty as the rose. But they were visible nonetheless.

makes me sad.

Welp, that was too dark. Let’s try that again.

i feel so lonely.

Meh, not much progress there. Looks like I put gray cellophane over my lens.

you can do it!

I don’t mind this one, frankly. I think what we are working with may be a bit flat (but really what do I know…), but I like the darkness in this picture. Dramatics.

let there be light!

Well, now that I look at this, I think it’s the best one yet. I think the cheese stands out more, the wine looks better, and the pop of blue in the back is cute.

look away!

I think I’ve gone too far here. A bit overexposed, if that’s what you call it. Too much light. What do you think? Everyone has a preference, it’s all subjective anyway.

I barely had time to eat these pictures (yes, the actual pictures), because my tacos cooked so quickly, but I wasn’t complaining.

when our powers combine…

Ground beef, bell pepper, onion, taco seasoning. Easy as pie.

we are…captain planet!

Corn tacos topped with cheddar cheese and black beans, and NUKED!

captain planet

Can you tell what show I’m watching? Let’s try that again.

chris watching over my tacos

There yet? What about…now?

there she is. she took my wine glass.

Well if you don’t know by now, you don’t deserve to know. Just kidding, it’s The Bachelorette. And yes, I watch it. Emily is just so cute and deserves the best man ever! And it’s also sort of like watching a train wreck. One day I will wean myself off of it, when my heart catches up with my brain about how horrible it is.

How did I do on my photography? Like my friend Doug said, it’s a lot of trial and error. And a lot of error. And a lot of unused pictures. And a lot of different angles. And a lot of repetition. You know what i’m talkin’ about. Okay I’m starting to not make sense, I better go. See you tomorrow for some pictures of my neighborhood! And lots of shadows. And a few cats.



photography: givin’ it a shot

Alright guys, so I got this super snazzy camera for my wedding, and I feel so unworthy to use it. I haven’t had a camera for years, so I’m a little out of practice in the photography area. But I like photography, and I like pretty pictures, so I might as well put my wedding present to good use.

…not this wedding present. but i was trying to be artsy with this picture.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to try to learn some mad photog skills and show y’all what I learn. It always seems so easy until I actually try to take a picture, and then I feel like a five year old and my picture ends up looking like I accidentally clicked the button while I was holding the camera down at my side.

Things aren’t as easy as they seem.

Do y’all have any handy dandy photography tips for me? I literally know nothing but point and shoot, so anything past that would be much appreciated and likely helpful.

I ran across a cool photography website, but I haven’t had a chance to explore it yet. And I’m going to get my coworker who is a photographer to help me with my camera settings. And I’m just going to start taking pictures of things. I’ll probably feel like an idiot at first, but I’ve realized, a bit to my chagrin (I like to always feel like I’m on top of everything), that sometimes it’s necessary to feel like an idiot in order to get good at something. I think I’ve probably missed out on a lot of things because I didn’t want to be bad at them, and I’m trying to be more open to failure. I don’t want to fail at things, but I also don’t want to live my life never trying anything new and only doing things I know I’m good at (sorry dad. didn’t want to figure out how to not end that sentence with a preposition).

So y’all may get to watch me try and probably fail at a lot of things. I’m sure it will at least be entertaining.