Posts Tagged ‘life’

Owning My Sentimentality

I may be a sentimental person.

Somehow I have always associated “being sentimental” with, I don’t know, hoarders. I am not sentimental about stuff but places. I’m in North Vancouver at a Starbucks. I parked my car on the same street I parked almost two years ago. I was shooting two engagement sessions on that early summer’s day. One in the city, with a few hours to spare in between, one in North Vancouver. I googled a Starbucks, this one where I sit now, and I packed my laptop. I worked on editing the morning’s session, until it was time to head to session number two. I remember what I ordered: a package of almonds and a venti green tea. I remember sitting at this table, eating my almonds, drinking my tea, laptop plugged into the store’s only outlet. This store was built before the age of laptops, the barista told me today. We have only one outlet… I can’t recall but I’m sure I found that equally frustrating two years ago.

After my double-engagement-session workday, I remember driving home. But not to my real home. To a new home. We had moved only the week before, from the house my parents built, the house I did all my “growing up” in, the house I laid my head for 15 years, to this new one. A smaller one in a different city, ten minutes east. I downloaded my memory cards, feeling satisfied with the day’s work, creatively emptied, a little sweaty (true fact), to my desktop computer. My computer rested on the dining room table because my office was not yet my office. It had nasty beige carpet, beige walls. I worked from the dining room for a few weeks until the renovations were done and my vision came to life.

It was a humid day, I remember that. I remember shedding my clothes, grabbing my spandex shorts and a t-shirt, my nikes, double checking that all images were accounted for, and running out the door. Running in my new neighbourhood. It was dusk, but I didn’t care. I ran, the humidity forming beads of sweat on my forehead, until my feet walked in the door. In the door of my new home.

It’s funny how much and how little can change in two years. That’s what I like about returning to places. That’s what makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Or reflective. You see, I’m the same Jamie. I’m still the same height/weight/hair colour. I’m still here before an engagement session. I’m still writing. I’m still eating almonds and drinking green tea. I’m still living in the same house.

But yet, you see, everything is different.

I may be a sentimental person.

P.S. The engagement session I photographed two years ago here was Joanna & Alex’s. It’s still stands out as one of my favourites, ever. They are a delightful couple, and their Tofino destination wedding was killer.

Kristen and Caleb are having a babyyyy!

A Maryland Long Weekend: 4 Years of Friendship

After a few days with my parents in Phoenix, I boarded a plane to visit Kristen and her husband Caleb and their soon-to-be-born baby boy in Baltimore. We had the best 4 days filled with “nothing.” Before I arrived, Kristen said she hoped I was okay with sitting, resting, eating and occasional walks because that’s pretty much her life right now. I said that sounded perfect. The living room couch was my bed for five nights and my mornings before Kristen awoke were filled with this: cup of green tea, my bible, a bunch of blankets.

It was an exciting time to visit Kristen. I debated between pre- or post- birth; but with summer wedding season I wouldn’t be able to visit until November/December. I couldn’t wait, so before it was. I get to see all the “prep” like Kristen and Caleb’s beautiful nursery. All of her details coming together, the rug they ordered online arriving, her wallpaper plans. The second day, Kristen decided to paint their bathroom. So we got to work, taping around outlets and mouldings and paper holders. It was the best, to be in ratty clothes (note my hot black socks) and listening to Shania Twain. For the life of me, I could not stop dripping. I spilled black paint on the tile about 10 times–each time yelling a version of “You’ve got to be kidding me!” and bounding off the stool to wipe the white tile clean.

I joked that a good 16 hours of my day were spent on their living room couch. But it’s scarily true. We didn’t fill our days with much. Caleb went to work and Kristen I didn’t feel like doing anything too exerting during the day. Fine with me (I love chilling on vacation) we hung out at home, I read a lot, we watched “Perks of Being a Wallflower.” One afternoon I went for a run and took these beautiful iPhone photos. And one afternoon Kristen and I went to Starbucks and sat outside in the humid, windy air and talked and talked.

Saturday was Kristen’s baby shower and it was so fun to be there. I was a bridesmaid at Kristen’s wedding last August 9th, but because I live so far away, I missed all of her showers. Two months ago, I shopped for the baby and carefully stored the gift away in my closet. Once I got to Arizona I realized I forgot it at home. I was so mad. I texted Kristen and her response was, “This is SO GREAT! I’m always the one forgetting something! This is a 4-year friendship first! I’m pumped!” She’s so weird. (P.S. You’ll find more photos up soon on Lydia Jane’s blog.) – Also, baby’s name is not Boris. It just rhymes and Kristen’s Dad started calling the baby that. Hence the blocks.

On Sunday, my last day with the Morrises, Kristen and Caleb took me after church to old town Alexandria, Virginia. We ate Chipotle for lunch, wandered around near the water, through all the artsy shops and the brick streets. The last night there was so good. Reminded me of all the travel we did together, just sitting in hotel room evening after evening in the UK, filling up our time with randomness. Thinking, laughing, conversing. She’s a special one.

I was surprised how fast the last two weeks went by. I haven’t been away more than a week in over a year. So crazy, I am traveling less… and haven’t regretted it one bit. But this special Arizona/Maryland combo was definitely worth the stretch. Really happy to be heading home (I’m on the plane right now, I hate paying for wi-fi but I’m bored out of my mind) and really happy for all the days I spent with this girl, too.


P.S. Enjoy this lovely collage I made of us from our very first meeting (first few pictures) to her wedding day, because I was bored this morning. Travel travel travel. (I really want to be home.)

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