Anatomy of opening a gift

I recently went to a bridal shower and snapped some photos while I was there. While editing the photos later, I particularly enjoyed the progression that emerged as the bride opened a particularly lovely-colored gift.


To see more photos, you can visit me on Flickr.

Pedal pubs and bowling balls

We had a blast at a day-long party this last Saturday, even if it did take the steam out of Sunday! Below, some of my favorite photos to share with you.

birthday baby

My birthday was last week, and I walked away a very happy, very lucky woman:

  • I am now the proud new owner of an iPad2! Yowz! I have faithfully named him Moo, after Katie Sokoler’s cat. Katie doesn’t know me, but I love her photography and I love her cat.
  • My family is loving, supportive, generous, and takes me out to pizza every time I turn 29.
  • Officially, I have been taken in as a “Member in Discernment” with the UCC Minnesota Conference. Meaning, I have officially been approved to *pursue* ordination as a minister in the United Church of Christ. Read: “pursue” doesn’t mean automatic (or even assured) ordination; there’re lots more steps to take. But nevertheless, this is is a big step, albeit of many.
  • B took me out to an amazing dinner at In Season (review at Heavy Table)

Finally, all of YOU were so sweet and awesome and voted on your favorite pair of glasses from Warby Parker last week (and no one even teased me, which I was wholeheartedly expecting!). So very soon, you will be rewarded with my decision on which pair of glasses I’ll be purchasing (ZOMG!), but I’m still working on a little project for the big reveal. I know, it’s terribly suspenseful! But you won’t have to wait long!

Until I reveal my ever-so-dramatic decision, here’s a teaser for you: the glasses in the photo of me and B below (while I like them a lot), are NOT the glasses I have chosen to buy, although they were the obvious frontrunner from your votes. DRAMA!

sparkle summer sun

It’s that wonderful time of year again when the heat is so unbearable, the air so heavy with dew, that the best thing to do is spend as much time as possible at the lake. This year, I had the pleasure of hosting a ladies’ weekend at my parentscabin in Bone Lake, Wisconsin.

There is a special joy to going up to the lake cabin in summertime. Something about it makes us kid-like again, encouraging cannonballs, overeating of junk food, and irresponsible sun protective behaviors. The heat, the humidity, the thunderstorms, the sparkle of sun on the lake, the loon calls… they come together to create a world that feels like nothing in this world has changed or ever will. And now, as I’m closing in on my 29th birthday, I more than ever appreciate fresh reminders of childhood, making it feel like I only left it behind the last corner I turned.

On the lake, the water is big, the sky is big, the weather is big, and our laughter is big. The world feels so expansive, even contained only to the horizon around us.

Cabin food has always been delicious, but grown-up tastebuds mean we get to enjoy grilled pizza, chocolate cake made richer with coffee, and of course, the occasional adult beverage.

Do you have a special lake in your life?

colorado wedding

One month ago I was on a plane heading back from the most incredible weekend. B and I were invited to a wedding in Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado, and by a last-minute fluke I was elected officiant for the wedding! It was such a privilege to have a front-row seat to witnessing the love between Barb and Nick, and it took place in such a gorgeous place! So I’m sharing some photos from the weekend.

Let start with photos of our cabin…

The outer walls of the cabin, which was formerly the town store, were covered with antique paraphernalia. We also had our own private hot spring bath along with a gorgeous view behind the cabin.

There are not words which adequately express how beautiful Dunton is. So instead of trying, I’ll go ahead and share more photos for you, now of the rest of the resort–the saloon, bath house, and other small details around Dunton.

Mount Wilson

the Bath House

And, since this post wouldn’t be complete without photos of the bride, the groom, and the wedding…



Me, chatting with Nick before the ceremony began

The happy family

The wedding "cake"!

Thank you, Nick and Barb, for letting me be a part of your beautiful day!

wisconsin goodies

our friend leslie came to visit last weekend, and she brought us some delicious goodies from her home in viroqua, wisconsin: homemade ramp pesto and new glarus beer. since lately all i seem to be good for is taking pictures of food, it seemed appropriate to honor her gift with an homage to the culinary delicacies of wisconsin.

a few days ago i had made some ricotta cheese with another friend (blog post to come, don’t worry!) and added it to the pasta we made with leslie’s pesto. it. was. delicious.

and perhaps brian’s favorite part of the meal, leslie also gave us new glarus honey bock, which apparently you can’t buy in minnesota (and only buy in wisconsin?). delicacies indeed! thank you, leslie!!

and the gift goes kablooie

B and I thought we were being really cute a few weeks ago when we gave our friend this great birthday present. Our friend Val was turning 30, you see, which is about time a person needs to start bringing home the bacon.

so B had like, this fabulous idea. “let’s infuse BOURBON with BACON!” he said. a perfect gift for a friend we love to party with, and also a friend who will shortly, no doubt, begin bringing home bacon like it’s nobody’s business. (she being a future doctor and everything.)

so we got down to business. all one needs to do to infuse bacon into said bourbon is fry bacon, pour bacon fat into a bowl, let it cool, pour said fat into a (poreless) container with the bourbon, let it sit for a while (say 4-6 hours?), stick in the freezer until the fat hardens, remove fat, strain bourbon. that was easy enough. plus, we combined our mad bourbon-infusing skills with my endless lust for crafting and projects, and you get pretty things like what you’re witnessing now.


but, there was a problem.

we gave the bourbon to val. all was lovely, and well-received. and then later that night, after she and her hubby brought the bottle home, it exploded.

that’s right, it exploded. as in: KABLOOIE!

what a sad gift.

but at least we got something out of it:

bacon-walnut broccoli rabe. yum.

sorry, val. happy birthday.