Category : Self-Care

We’re back! Our epic trip to Spain and France was a blast, and I’m in denial that it’s over. While I’m waiting for my rolls of film to get developed and I take some time to scan my Polaroids, I thought I’d share a few fave iPhone shots to give you a peek into our travels.

We started in Madrid. The color “had me at hello…”

Madrid_rsThen off to Seville where we took in a fabulous traditional flamenco performance…

Flamenco_Seville_rsThen a return for me to Barcelona. It had been 18 years since I was there originally, and I still adore this city…

self_Barcelona_rsThen, San Sebastián. I think I’m moving here…

san-sebastian_rsFinally, beloved Paris, of which I will never tire…

Paris-Door_crop_rsI cannot wait to get my film photos. I’m dying to see what I captured. Oh, and did I mention I didn’t take my digital SLR? I’m over at Mortal Muses today sharing a bit more about opting to leave “the big girl camera” at home while traveling. Click HERE to see more!


Monday, July 21st, 2014 6

With all the fun there is to drink up in summer — the ice cream, the trips, the homemade sangria, the bike rides, the concerts — there is also a need for stillness, for quiet. A need to replenish, to sleep late, to read all day.

dandelions_rsI’m over at Mortal Muses today wishing us all some rest. Click HERE to check it out.


Friday, June 27th, 2014 0

I love a good book. This deep affection for reading — and words — is perhaps the greatest gift my father gave me. As a young child, my father tucked me in each night after reading me a few stories. Then as I grew older and could read on my own, I read in bed before I went to sleep, just as my father was doing in his room. Reading has always been part of my bedtime routine. To this day, rarely an evening passes without Tony and I reading in bed before calling it a night.

Reading is self-care for me, and as such, I’m trying to carve out more reading time in my daily life. It’s tough to make progress through books, let alone make my way through my lengthy list of books I want to read, when I only make time for it at night before crashing. Many a night I find myself having read merely a paragraph before feeling the weight of my eyelids pull shut and my head nod into my chest. Thus, in the ever-valiant fight against time, I’m seeking more moments to read.

library_rsDespite my soporific reading habits, this year has been full of great books so far. I hesitate to state this out loud (as much as posting to my blog is “out loud”) for fear of jinxing myself, but I’m having a good run since the start of 2014. Everything I’ve read has been so well worth my time. Save perhaps one book, I’d recommend them all. In no particular order, here’s what I’ve read and enjoyed over the past six months:

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Books I’m currently reading include Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, both of which I’m very much enjoying. As I am writing and working on my own book project for 365 Impossible Self-Portraits, I’m really wanting to immerse myself in more memoir. It is helpful and fascinating to see how other writers inhabit the life they’ve lived through their words and storytelling. Additionally, I’m taking my time gleaning great advice from Manage Your Day-to-Day, an edited collection culled by Bēhance from 20 creative minds on developing a routine and habits to mine your own creativity, writing, and other dreams you’re seeking.

What are you reading these days? I’d love to hear what you’ve read and loved lately. Or what you’ve read some time ago that is still resonating with you. I adore fiction and I’m definitely on the lookout for more memoir and great books on the writing process. Please share in the comments!

Keep reading, friends. Reading is sexy. It got me a husband after all. But that’s a story for another time…


Monday, June 23rd, 2014 7

It’s the 10th, and while our group missed last month, we’re riffing again. Rather than a photo to prompt our riffing this round, we decided to use a word to get our creative juices flowing. The wicked funny Cherish (hey — wait a second — she got to pick our photo to riff from last time!) chose the word “go” for us to get our riff on.

I had a number of ideas swimming around when Cherish first selected “go.” And then, time seemed to go, literally slipping out of my hands as I went to Colorado for a week to work on my book, and then had a crazed work-week when I returned. Now I’m off again to Oregon, my happy place. Seems that my version of “go” is me — I’m on the GO. You know why? Because SCHOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMER!

Processed with VSCOcam with x3 presetAnd with that, I’m gonna GO!

Hop over to Corrina’s site to see her version of GO. It’s a sweet and profound one.


Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 5

It’s that time of year — time to gather with some soul sisters on the coast of Oregon. This marks the fourth year this group of sisters, Tribe, will be communing with one another alongside the majestic Pacific. And I’m ready. I’m ready for the ritual, the comfort, the ease of being with these beautiful women. I’m ready to review the past year, to share the triumphs and the defeats. I’m ready to whisper my greatest longings, to give voice to the big dreams I’ve been cultivating. I’m ready to laugh with my whole body, and I’m equally ready to release the tears that have been welling up.

PX70_CP_Starfish_rsI’m ready for connection and sisterhood. I’m ready to feel secure in my creative journey and these next big steps I’m taking. I’m ready to allow for and accept the support I so desperately need. I’m ready for the dose of inspiration I get from these kindred spirits, from this community we lovingly call Tribe, to walk steadfastly into the adventure of the creative unknown. I’m ready for the self-care, the refocusing, the re-committing to mySelf and the life I want to live.

PX70_CP_Surfers_rsI’m ready. I’m off to my happy place. xoxo


Monday, June 9th, 2014 2

I went to undergrad with the intention of getting a biology degree and going on to medical school. I did earn a biology degree, but realized very late in the game that medical school wasn’t the best fit for me. I worked full-time in D.C. for a few years after graduating, trying to find my way, (re-)discover my career path. About two years later, I knew I had to go back to school. I realized that psychology was where my interest lie, and that I wanted to go to graduate school. Unfortunately, I had ZERO undergraduate credits in psychology.

So, I went back to undergrad to earn a second degree in psychology and determine what type of psychology to pursue in graduate school. During these two additional years of undergrad, I discovered Counseling Psychology through a fabulous mentor. I was on fire about this field and the work that I could do. I realized that becoming a university professor where I could do research and teach was my ideal career. I then applied to doctoral programs and was accepted at my “dream school,” the University of Missouri-Columbia. I again worked with an amazing advisor who continues to be my mentor to this day. After five years of classes, a dissertation, and then a one-year full-time internship at the University of Oregon, I earned my Ph.D. With the faculty job market being super competitive, I then took a post-doctoral position for a year and half where I conducted more research and worked with clients, becoming a Licensed Psychologist (if you’re keeping count, we’re now at 9 1/2 years). Then, I landed “my dream job,” an academic position in the Counseling Psychology graduate training program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

I started my position in 2007, and not long after, I was diagnosed with cancer. Needless to say, this put a kink in my plans. I took care of myself, stepping back from work to do so, and was able to add time on the proverbial tenure-clock to get better. After a difficult year (and then some), I got back on my feet and got back down to business. And, six and half years later, it’s paid off.

Yesterday, I got the official news that I am promoted and tenured to Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Exp600_Champagne-Tofino_rsIt’s definitely time to get the champagne. This celebration has been 16 years in the making. WOOT!

Huge thanks to so many people who have helped me along the way in this journey. It’s an understatement to say I couldn’t have done it without you. xoxo


Friday, March 7th, 2014 19
Posted in: Film, Polaroid, Self-Care, SOOC

Our splinter group of Shutter Sisters is continuing our new tradition of sharing 10 photos on the 10th of each month. We started with sharing 10 photos from our time together in Tofino, then followed that up with 10 festive photos enjoying the holiday season. This month, with the new year upon us, we decided to focus on “restart” as a theme.

As I’ve said before here, I do love a fresh start, a clean slate, a new page on the calendar. So, how have I been I been restarting this year? First, the holiday decorations were carefully put away…

600-Color_Vintage-Ornaments_rsThen new words, new sources of daily inspiration have been sought. Although secure is my word for 2014, “ease” was in the running for quite some time. Ease is another one of my core desired feelings and I am inviting it mightily into my year and my daily life. Interestingly, I am seeing how secure embodies and allows for ease. 

Ease_rsMy ritual of morning pages and journaling continues to sustain me and provides a secure foundation from which to enter the world each day…

Trust-Process_rsAs does recommitting to my self-care and getting back on the mat. I took a candlelight yoga class for the first time this week and it was divine…

Candlelight-Yoga_rsAnd last, it wouldn’t be winter in the Midwest without a little snow, restarting my appreciation of the seasons and their secure rhythms…

Snowing_rsThat’s what my “restart” to 2014 looks like so far. You might be saying, “What?! Wait! There’s only 5 photos here! Where are the other 5?” My answer — they haven’t unfolded yet. And ordinarily, I would have frantically taken 5 more photos to make sure I had 10 to share — after all, this IS a 10 on 10 post! But, I’m restarting. I’m allowing ease into my life. I’m feeling secure in my work and who I am. And so, I’m staying loose, and letting 5 be okay this time around.

To keep the blog-hop going, click on over to Lindsey’s blog to see her 10 on 10 to restart this new year!


Friday, January 10th, 2014 15

During this overly busy time of the year (for many of us), it may feel unthinkable that you could do something for yourself. But today, I want to remind you that we can only be our best selves when we are in a good place — emotionally, physically, spiritually (broadly defined). I want to whisper in your ear that it’s okay if you take a break. You can sit for a moment in that patch of sun and catch your breath amidst the swirling of the season.

PX70_Cool_QuiltSofa_rsI’m over at Mortal Muses today, encouraging us all to take a moment for ourselves. I hope you click HERE to check it out.


Friday, December 13th, 2013 0

I’ve written before about my longing for connection, for kindred spirits, for sisterhood. I’ve shared with you my loneliness of living in an unfamiliar place, of having a small circle of local friends. These longings and loneliness have propelled me to go outside of my comfort zone and outside of my own town. These feelings have given me the push I needed to create communities of connection, to seek out kindreds and sisters. This began by attending retreats and gatherings, and doing so helped me begin to meet “my people.” From there, smaller groups of sisterhood were born.

One of these groups evolved from attending two photography retreats hosted by Shutter Sisters. While attending the second retreat with about 80 women last October, a small circle of us found ourselves at dinner enjoying margaritas, raucous laughter, and each other. As we ate and drank and carried on together, we birthed the idea of splintering off and creating a smaller creative community for ourselves. Within the evening, the Canadians in the bunch decided we would descend on British Columbia for our inaugural gathering. Over the past year, we stayed connected, made plans, rented a house, and bought plane tickets. And a few weeks ago, our idea manifested itself.

Many dreams and projects were shared during our time with one another. One of those ideas was that the group of us would dive into the 10 on 10 project, sharing 10 images shot on one day or in one experience on the 10th of the month. As our first post for 10 on 10, we decided we would each share photos from our time together in BC. Without further ado, here are my 10 on 10 from British Columbia and this magical retreat that was born of kindred spirits coming together for sisterhood, photography, and self-care. (BTW, you can click on each photo to view them larger!)

Paparazzi_rsIt didn’t take long for this group of photographers to whip out our cameras and start shooting. I think we looked like a group of paparazzi the entire time we were together. After taking the ferry from Vancouver to make our way to Tofino, we stopped at Cathedral Grove, an old growth forest with trees older than 800 years. The massive trees were amazing and the light among these old beauties was nothing short of magical.

Through-Trees_rs

Web-Flare_rsAfter our three hour drive, we arrived in Tofino, our home away from home for the next few days.

Tofino-Sign_rsAnd this was the scene RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR DOOR.

Flops-Ocean_rsOn our second day, we ventured to some natural hot springs, a journey requiring another boat ride to get there. Being out on the open ocean, we were surrounded with beauty in every direction. The mountains, the ocean, the fog…breathtaking.

Out Boat Window_rs

Cherish_rsThe small cove that houses the hot springs gave us more opportunities to capture the natural beauty that is British Columbia. I had considered not bringing any cameras with me that day as rain was in the forecast, but fortunately I brought one. I would have been so saddened to have missed this reflection shot.

Tara-Reflection_rsAlthough we had an epic storm come through, and I do mean EPIC, we were blessed with many moments of sun and gorgeous weather. And this crew of women did not disappoint with the COLOR that they packed to wear.

Boots_rsAmidst the shooting, the relaxing in the hot springs, and the indulging in yummy food and deep rest, we deepened our friendships with one another. We shared our work, told each other our secret (and not-so-secret) creative dreams, and opened up about our struggles. Indeed, a new sisterhood was born in British Columbia.

CoralBabes_rsAlthough we’ve been home for only a few short weeks, I’m already missing these sisters. I’m grateful for our ongoing connection and I’m so excited about the new adventures we have in the works. Thank you Cherish, Corinna, Debra, Lindsey, Tamar, and Tara — stay loose. xoxo

All of my photos in this post were shot on 35mm film with my Canon AE-1 using either Fuji 160 or Portra 400 film. The film was processed and scanned by Indie Film Lab. I have Polaroid photos to share with you from the trip and a few more 35mm pics, too. In the meantime, head on over to Lindsey’s blog to see her 10 (or maybe more) on 10 of our BC adventures!


Sunday, November 10th, 2013 14

A few weeks ago, Tony and I headed to Chicago for a little get-away to celebrate our anniversary. It was a whirlwind, 36-hour trip, but a fantastic weekend to enjoy some more “just us” time. We got a chance to eat some yummy food, visit the Art Institute and check out the new-to-us Modern Wing, wander the city, and just hang out together. The weather was beautiful with lots of sun and cool autumn breezes.

We grabbed coffee and some pastries our first morning, and headed to Millennium Park. It was fun checking out “The Bean” and playing with reflections.

PX70_CP_The BeanAfter taking in lots of awesome art at the Institute, we wandered up to Navy Pier (which sure has changed in the 10 years or so since we were last in Chicago!).

PX70_CP_Chicago Ferris Wheel

PX70_CP_Chicago SkylineAfter a celebratory dinner at The Publican, I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the Chicago sign at night.

PX70_CP_Chicago SignWe had a fabulous time — even if we didn’t actually see Earth, Wind, & Fire (had I only known). And, I have more photos to share that I took with my Canon AE-1 film camera, so stay tuned!


Monday, November 4th, 2013 6