365- Month Ten by Amanda Powell

October

“It’s as if you see the world through dark glasses, so naturally everything seems dark. But if that is the case, instead of lamenting about the world’s darkness, you could just remove the glasses. Perhaps the world will appear terribly bright to you then and you will involuntarily shut your eyes. Maybe you’ll want the glasses back on, but can you even take them off in the first place? Can you look directly at the world? Do you have the courage?”

-Ichiro Kishmi & Fumitake Koga

The Courage to Be Disliked

Reading this book right now. I have a feeling it’s going to be a top one for me in 2019.

Enjoy this October recap!

Orcas Island by Amanda Powell

In October we took a trip to commemorate our 10 year anniversary, which was in April, which is finally being blogged in January. Confused yet? The jist is, after 3 years of regular life, we finally took a vacation.

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Bryan and I have been married 10 years, together 12. It was and is a great reason to go somewhere different, which turned out to be only 30 miles away (if you were a bird)- Orcas Island. It’s a land mass we’ve seen across the bay for the last 3 years, but never ventured to. Tons of photos in this post; be ye warned :-)

We had a marvelous time, doing a whole lot of nothing. We cooked meals, played checkers, beach combed, watched movies, and read books. So, I suppose we didn’t do “nothing.” But given our schedule for the last three years, it felt that way. It was magnificent.

I’m thankful for my time with my husband. I’m fortunate to have married my (still) best friend, and while no relationship is without its strife, I wouldn’t change it. A life with someone who stays, helps the healing from life’s inevitable wounds, knows how to laugh, and isn’t afraid to talk politics, existentialism, or simulation theory before 7am (even when I am), is a treasure.

Coming Home

By Mary Oliver

When we are driving in the dark,

on the long road to Provincetown,

when we are weary,

when the buildings and the scrub pines lose their familiar look,

I imagine us rising from the speeding car.

I imagine us seeing everything from another place–

the top of one of the pale dunes, or the deep and nameless

fields of the sea.

And what we see is a world that cannot cherish us,

but which we cherish.

And what we see is our life moving like that

along the dark edges of everything,

headlights sweeping the blackness,

believing in a thousand fragile and unprovable things.

Looking out for sorrow,

slowing down for happiness,

making all the right turns

right down to the thumping barriers to the sea,

the swirling waves,

the narrow streets, the houses,

the past, the future,

the doorway that belongs

to you and me.

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Gripping this little daredevil for dear life. >>>>>>>>>

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365- Month Nine by Amanda Powell

Colorful September.

A myriad of tones in leaves and skies.

An end to Summer. The gateway to Fall.

One of my favorite months.

365- Month Eight by Amanda Powell

On Fire

August, the month of fires. A fire burned in us to capture everything left of summer, pull it towards us, and never let go. We were outside as much as possible, as much as the air quality would allow. We had a dog get super sick on us, we bought groceries, we stressed, we worked, we parented, we drank coffee of course. Life happened.

And fires, in our state, to the North in Canada, to neighboring states in the south and to the east. So much has burned this year. And it continues.

I worry that one of these years it’ll touch our city. Will it be a nudge, or a full on assault? They say so much land along the west coast just needs to burn. That the population here has left forests who once regulated themselves through burning, out of whack. Its understandable. And with the change in our climate, there are conditions where fire would be (and currently is) devastating. The human desire to exist and live in beautiful places isn’t wrong, but these consequences are hard to watch.

And ideas, spreading like fire. Good ones, and some really bad ones. Ignited, people are acting on these ideas, horrendous things are being said and done. A lack of empathy seems to have caught hold of so many, too. And I worry how long that particular fire is going to burn.

So everything around us feel like kindling. And what can be done? You douse things with as much watery love you can, donate your extra garden hose, manage your own fires so surrounding growth stays healthy. You hope, once the heat is over, things can calm down and you are able to breathe again. And in the interim, you learn to breathe smoke.

Fire is a powerful, destructive force. But it can also be a catalyst for change, and even more beautifully, regeneration. I hope we start to see more of the later.

Halloween 2018 by Amanda Powell

We’ve created quite a nice tradition here in Bellingham for Halloween. Trick or treat in Fairhaven, take and bake pizzas for dinner, then a non-scary Halloween movie after dinner. I’d imagine as the girls get older we’ll carve pumpkins and adopt other activities which span further into the night, but for now it’s a simple, fun holiday. I’m loving the girls continued enthusiasm with it. This year Eliza was old enough to really enjoy the festivities, which makes things so much easier for everyone.

Some seriously awesome costumes this year! Eliza’s eyes were lit up for most of our walk around Fairhaven, like this:

You guys, this was just delightful :-D :-D

365- Month Seven by Amanda Powell

Some thoughts to go with the month of July:

No matter what, moving forward is about movement, not about the where. We have to learn to love the process of this one life, instead of searching for a final destination, or arriving.

Results are tantalizing. They are the evidence of our how. But they can’t be what we chase. We have to enjoy the running part.


A Summer Backyard Wedding by Amanda Powell


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It was a small, intimate gathering, in the backyard of the bride’s childhood home.

Thrifted or handmade decor, planned by family and close friends, with an emphasis on it being a good time for all invited.

And really, when it all boils down, and the details fall away a wedding should be a celebration of beginnings. A celebration of two people dedicating their lives to each other, taking friendship to the level of commitment, which equals love.

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Love can take many forms, and exists in many sorts of relationships. Friendship, is a powerful one, because unlike family, friendship is a conscious choice. A desire to include a person who otherwise has no obligation in one’s life. Choice is powerful, choice says, I truly want you, and I have no obligation to, other than this is my desire.

And all this to say,

You marry well if you marry your best friend.

Enjoy the show, folks :-)

365- Month Six by Amanda Powell

A Short Essay on Growing Up

Funny how when you're a kid, and in my case, obsessed with growing up, you don't realize all the limitations you'll encounter as an adult. The hard choices to make, which decide the priorities of your life. The energy needed to turn existence truly what you want, instead of letting it shape itself. 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be a kid again.

I did everything I could (within moral reason, I was a total goodie goodie) to accelerate adulthood. At 12, I started thinking about the person I would marry (I mean, really?? Stop you knuckle head, you’re freaking everyone out). I accepted any responsibility with a huge smile on my face. I followed the rules because it would propel me to maturity faster than my counterparts. I hung out on the fringes of adult conversation. If I found myself where the kids were, the environment was annoying, and just not relatable. No thank you. Not the kids squabbling over a barbie or raging against injustices regarding nerf gun bullet distribution. I didn't care about that stuff; it wasn't interesting. I wanted to be with the people who, in my mind, were doing something, discussing issues, solving problems. The adults. 

And also the people in charge to how much cookie dough you could eat, but aaannnyway...

Looking back on childhood, I can understand my perspective. I still don’t relate to some kid behaviors or ideas (which makes parenting a fun learning experience, lemme tell you). But I do wish I had realized just how much freedom there was in childhood. How much I could do as a kid, with no strings attached, that just can’t happen as an adult. (granted there were a few blips in my timeline that required me to be way more grown up that I should have had to be, but that’s a different story)

AND ADULTHOOD:

Adulthood comes with a price, and it’s worth paying for sure. But you will be tired, and all that childhood energy will be lacking a bit. Work will be work. There is no free money. There are tons of ruts to be stuck in and a crazy amount of sacrifice to be made. Passion will ebb and flow, and following it is complete folly because folks, passion isn't and NEVER was a guaranteed constant. Cookie dough, in excess will make you put on weight, or worst case, very sick. There are plenty of people not doing anything in life, except making it hard for others, and sometimes it will be very difficult to get away from those people. Some days will be total wastes, and at times feel like it's not worth any of it. You’ll want to just turn on Netflix, and check out... And then, if you decide or are able to have children, crank all that up to 11, yo.

But I do want to encourage you, if you’ve still stuck around to read this far, that life is so worth all the hard stuff. Childhood had it’s perks, but being grown up absolutely does too. I prefer it. Adulthood doesn’t have to be a death sentence to all you are. Parenthood isn’t that either. All of those things are tough, but there is so much good to be had if we choose it. SO much to be thankful for.  

Perspective is a beautiful gift life continues to give. Negative experiences are opportunities. Screw ups are opportunities. Sacrifices are opportunities. Growing up is an opportunity denied to many, to paraphrase one of my favorite quotes.  What is it you want from life? Do you have what you’ve always wanted, but are you taking it for granted? 

What can we do with all this freedom adulthood affords? How can we grow? What decisions can we make that will result in more resources to pursue the things we truly want? What decisions can we make that will affect us positively, with good long term gains? What things can we be happy with now? More importantly, when will I have the time to make more cookie dough??!?

Oh hey, and also-here's the month of June in pictures! HA!

 

 

 

365- Month Five by Amanda Powell

Summer hit hard in the best way, and I've fallen behind on blogging the 365 project. 

However, it's still happening. I'm particularly proud of this batch, especially some of the shots towards the end. It can be hard to produce images you're proud of, when attention is divided between husband, kids, dog, and keeping the house running. So often, if I get into creating images, I get obsessive. This results in extreme tunnel vision, turning into a major crank when interrupted, and nothing else getting finished until the image is complete. (Not all the snapshot, phone photos of course. Those are just keeping me grounded and grab cute moments I want to remember.)

You can imagine, this is not conducive to a SAHM status. BUT, any struggle is an opportunity for growth. Taking an honest look at how I operate, hoping I can finish the summer out working with it, instead of against it. 

This is the merry month of May:

 

 

365- Month Four by Amanda Powell

April becomes the transition into something better. Something we hope for but can't fully focus in on yet. 

As the sun peeks out behind the clouds we see the hope of new beginnings. This idea that we will get up get out and try again. 

I hurt so much in stagnation. I flow in and out of myself sometimes, because I can't stand the thought of standing still. 

It hasn't always been this way. I used to bask in never changing, and now I crave it. Spring has become a manifestation of this. The desire to continue forward, regardless of where I've come from..

I get so stuck in the past, and long to go back and change a situation, react better to an encounter, have more confidence to say no, or go after my desires. I need to realize my now doesn't have to be my future, my  "wish I would have".. 

Stoping a cycle, truly changing and growing is hard and painful, but possible and rewarding.