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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.

365 Photo a Day- Month Two by Amanda Powell

Our February was

2 Birthdays, lots of Treats,

Several Archival posts, and a new place for my work on Etsy.

This Month's 28 images:

365- Month One by Amanda Powell

On the first of January, I started my second 365 project this time on Instagram. The first was derailed 6 years ago by pregnancy symptoms, and since there are no more littles planned for us, I figured 2018 was as good a time as any to hone in on my skillz every day.

So far, it's been a successful one. I've had a few days where I need to pull from my archives, and sometimes I double up if we have a particularly hectic day in the world of parenting and life. Overall, it's encouraged me to keep thinking photographically, especially since I'm not full-time in my photography work.

Here's the January bunch!

Change, Even in the Smallest Form by Amanda Powell

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Some years you can feel it. The atmosphere asking, even begging, for a new beginning. This one of those years I think.

Sure. 2015 was the year. 2016 was the year, 2017 was the year...BUT how about 2018 actually being the year for us all. The year we each grasp our desires and do the thing. Where we each take a brutally honest look inward, disassemble what we aren't proud of, and reshape it. Make a new beginning, for real this time. 

Or don't, and choose to be truly content. Because that act is a movement of progress in itself. Honest introspection on what you have, or who you are, coupled with acceptance, can bring about a profound change. Sometimes, "to have what you want, you must want what you have." My husband said that. (<3 him) 

Either choice is difficult, but this resistance can help us grow in ways we wouldn't otherwise. Either choice can mean a rebirth, if that's what you're looking for in the coming months.

My best to you in 2018, whatever you decide :-)

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Halloween in Bellingham 2.0 by Amanda Powell

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Get ready, this is a long one, folks. ;-)

Bellingham does Halloween right. It's been a while since I could get excited about the holiday, but now that we have a safe, fun, simple, family-friendly place to take the kids, I'm hooked. I've always loved this time of year. Trick or treating in Fairhaven is like going to a neighborhood where everyone knows each other and gets really into the holiday. And it starts pretty early, which is super helpful for those of us with young kids.

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Eliza was very funny with the whole event. She didn't quite understand what was going on, but about halfway through, she looks up at me after getting something in her bag and says, "more?" She had a great time. Don't worry though, didn't give this little owlet any of the candy. She doesn't even have all her teeth yet.

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We saw several of our friends out this year, some pictured, some not. Charlotte, of course had a fantastic time, but seeing so many of her friends was icing on the cake.

Charlotte and Charlotte (aka Goldilocks).&nbsp;

Charlotte and Charlotte (aka Goldilocks). 

A fairy and skeleton share a hug!

A fairy and skeleton share a hug!

David S. Pumpkin's everybody! If you have any questions, look up SNL season 42, Episode 4.. I can't guarantee any answers, but that entire episode is pure gold.

David S. Pumpkin's everybody! If you have any questions, look up SNL season 42, Episode 4.. I can't guarantee any answers, but that entire episode is pure gold.

Eliza thought our neighbor-friend's skeleton costume was hilarious. She wasn't bothered by it at all, the little hoot.

Eliza thought our neighbor-friend's skeleton costume was hilarious. She wasn't bothered by it at all, the little hoot.


A carebear brigade, made up entirely of middle school aged boys.&nbsp;

A carebear brigade, made up entirely of middle school aged boys. 

Guys^^^^ The mom was a golden ticket, unfortunately hidden behind Wonka in this candid shot. Don't know these people, but based on the costumes, I kind of wish we did!

Guys^^^^ The mom was a golden ticket, unfortunately hidden behind Wonka in this candid shot. Don't know these people, but based on the costumes, I kind of wish we did!

Candy from a storm trooper. Umm, YES!

Candy from a storm trooper. Umm, YES!

She's done with trick or treating, and we got the photo to prove it!

She's done with trick or treating, and we got the photo to prove it!

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This Halloween was magical. Watching The Great Pumpkin, trick or treating in Fairhaven, pizza delivery when we got home, pumpkins painted (instead of carved, because 4 and under) and Stranger Things 2 after the girls went to bed.

A fantastic way to start the holiday season!

... by Amanda Powell

It's windy, or sunny, or overcast, or all of the above. This place has many emotions. Lots of things it may or may not choose to reveal through light, texture, and color. Last Sunday, for example, was a beautiful variable. A misty, wet morning, which gave way to a cerulean sky and mild temperatures. The northwest can't decide some days. This is a place that changes, shifts, and grows as much as we aspire to. It's mysterious, and uncertain, but at ease..