Thursday, January 29, 2015

Zebra Snap

A thrifted zebra knit skirt
A thrifted scarf
Boots by Sorel
Leg warmers by my dear friend Winnie
Down jacket from ThreadUp

(Wedding preparation is well underway, and blogging seems to be coming back on the radar!  This is joyous news indeed.)

One day last month I threw on my fluffy down jacket and went for a walk, camera and tripod in tow.  It was the first time I'd done outfit pictures in a very long while, and it was marvelous.  The simple act of creating something new, like images of an assembled outfit with a beautiful mill in the background, can be so very therapeutic.  
It was a cold snap that afternoon - around 10 degrees with a whipping wind.  My hands froze up and I wasn't too concerned with the camera's focus up to a point.  Stumbling back to my little loft to edit pictures and thaw was quite therapeutic, too.

Also zebra print, combined with furred hoods, maximizes any outfit's warmth factor by a magnitude of at least fifty.  Try it.

Friday, January 16, 2015

We Are Groot.

Seasons come, spinning around us with dizzying rapidity and then they're gone.  There are seasons that we all look forward to, that Someday that seems to be always on the far distant horizon for your entire life.  Then one day you realize that Someday has come.  That Someday has been right here all along, each day slipping into the next with the moments between appearing to be small, insignificant things, yet each one momentous.  

Twenty Fourteen was the first year of my life where I think I truly began to realize how near we all are to Someday.  How inseparable it is to Now.  How making the choice to invest patience and trust into someday will directly affect now in incredible ways that only become clear in hindsight.

I learned, experienced, felt, thought, saw, did so many things this last year that I never have before that just thinking about it all, I can feel a little smile creeping into the corner of my mouth that just won't go away.  A smile of absolute joy, tempered with memories of pain endured and conquered.  Hindsight gives us the grace to smile, wryly, post pain.  That wryness goes along with joy, because perspective is everything to understanding and I want to constantly seek the balance.
That smile's been a long time in the making.

In exchange for it, I lost my voice for awhile - my voice to write, even for a time to know who I was.

But when we loose sight of ourselves, when everything else becomes a blur, that's when we can truly see God for all that He is to us.  When the only clarity is looking at Him - that's when we can truly see were we should go next.

And let me tell you, His plans for us are so indescribably better than anything we might dream of for ourselves.  Letting go and following His lead is the most incredible adventure you will ever have.

When you delight in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart.

That was Twenty Fourteen.

My best friend was courted, engaged, and married, and I was a Maid of Honor.  I made her wedding dress, too.  It was all wild and wonderful and bewildering and beautiful.  I climbed a bunch of mountains and did some canoeing and some shooting and went to so many dances.  I studied French for a bit and loved it, and this year my taste in music exploded and I fell in love with Daughtry and Burlap to Cashmere and Explosions in the Sky and Chris Thile and Journey and The Fray.  I started karate and earned my yellow belt.  Orange next.  Committed.
I sewed a bunch of fun clothes that I never blogged about because reasons!  Like living too hard.  No excuse, I know.  Because dream dresses designed for summer swing dances should be blogged!  
I still plan to.

Camping and double rainbows and huckleberrying and moonlight swims and RV road trips to Montana and so many adventures with friends happened in Twenty Fourteen.

My studio has been blessed like crazy, and since releasing my first tulle skirt design in 2013 I've sewed through approximately 2500 yards of tulle.

In November I moved in to town and bought clothes hangers and thrifted twinkle lights and sacks of groceries and endless bolts of tulle and satin to set up house and shop in the second floor of my brother's new place. One of those gracious old houses you see from the street and just ache to decorate and wonder who has lived and loved and laughed inside in time past.

And now it's me, doing all those things under this roof and finding my world exploding with adventures ahead.

I packed up the wall tent snug for next year and left the bus studio to be turned into a giant dollhouse by my sisters, which is perfect.  That bus is the stuff that imagination and creativity were made to live in.  

But one thing I received this year eclipses all the others, is intertwined in every memory I made this year and inextricably bound to every experience I had.
Slowly, gently at first but picking up momentum as the months went by, and I knew.

Someday, that someday, had come.

Christopher had long been a treasured friendship in my life, but God didn't let it stop there.
This amazing, passionate, insanely talented human came after my heart and he won it.

The most incredible thing about this human is that rather than storing my heart in his keeping, he's led me on a journey toward Christ, walking together, pursuing Him. This heart is filled with joy overflowing.

He's asked me to ride giant roller coasters, wear a gi, punch him, listen to Daughtry, eat SPAM, drive his Jeep, Yori ashi, climb mountains, show him how to do things I love like fashion and photography and brussels sprout sautéing, sweat, shoot, ski, dance like crazy, talk shop and life and dreams, concoct spoonerisms, pray with him.

We've had the time of our lives experiencing all of it together.  Somehow things I never thought I'd ever want to do (like pushups, or training Shotokan karate) have become part of the thrilling adventure called life.  Training and sweating and learning new katas is an exciting challenge to constantly learn more as Christopher builds the Christian Karate dojos of Post Falls and Athol.

Besides, I've always liked to kick things.

On the evening of the 4th, Christopher asked me to go strolling in a young blizzard and watch the snow falling over the old fashioned street lamps in a sleeping town.  We talked and talked about all the things and slowly froze without noticing a bit. I could see our reflections in the occasional shop window and I looked like the abominable snowman with white snow-covered hair streaming off my head like dreads.  Our footprints made tracks all over the town and the quiet neighborhood streets in fresh, deep snow.
It was perfect and delicious and magical, but I certainly suspected nothing that night.

Then when the love of my life suddenly dropped to one knee under one of said lamp posts and asked me to marry him, I stood still for a moment and froze that piece of time in my memory forever.
The joy, the laughter, the pain, the adventures we've shared and those that lie ahead in unimaginable beauty. 

And I said yes.

We're getting married in May.  Life is unbelievably glorious and whoever came up with the idea that planning a wedding and keeping on living life and mapping out a whole brand new life together forever with your favorite person all while being engulfed with sappiness is actually a viable option should definitely either be commended or fired for their outrageous optimism.

And God is good, all the time.

We are Groot.

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