Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Our Anniversary

Hand in hand waking home from dinner one night Ian and I were talking about the ways we’ve grown together. Typically our after dinner conversations are more political than romantic however this evening we were reminiscing about a past experience: hiking Koko Head. What started as an innocent pursuit to sweat out the food and alcohol we had been excessively consuming while celebrating our anniversary we decided to hike Koko Head Stairs. I frequently forget I’m not an outdoor person and always commit before I could remember. So here we were half way up the Koko Head Stairs. I’m out of breath and pretty close to giving up. Ian notices (and I’m sure everyone and their dog does too), how tired I was getting. He asks me if I want to go back. Stubborn and in denial of course I say no. It was my idea therefore I was determined to see it through. Wanting Ian to have a much better experience I ask him to go on ahead without me. Besides there was only one way up and it was easy enough for me to spot him. As he picks up speed I start to leisurely climb taking my sweet precious time and occasionally stepping aside to stop and admire at the view. Soon enough I approach the part of the trail that looks like the sand had caved in trees deep. This trail is on an abandon railway and the railroad ties were being used as steps. Terrified of heights I step aside to think: should I or should I not climb it? I couldn’t decide so I watched the people who were more decisive try. Some were fearlessly bouncing over the bridge while others were on their hands and knees scared and shaking. After observing several people turn back I raised my white flag.

Back to our after dinner conversation with Ian talking about that moment: “I was worried you’d try to climb the bridge but I just knew you weren’t going to do it,” he said. “How did you know?!” I asked astonished at his guess. “I just did. You’re like an extension of me. I just know when you’re going to do something.” Right then and there in the middle the side walk I stopped us in our tracks and gave him a big kiss. I told him, “that was the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard you say.”

Being with someone for six years has its pros and cons. It is comforting to know someone so well you can predict what they want or need before they even ask and having someone do the same for you is even better. On the flip side, the game of life: work, home and sleep and everything in between can become mundane, at least for me. I've learned that staying in love requires work. And it’s not so much a bad thing. Anything you cherish in life requires some amount of love and work.

Over time as Ian and I continue to practice being in love our hard work is rewarded once a year with a celebration better known as an Anniversary. This past anniversary we decided to celebrate in New York City. A city with character that we both appreciate and love: delicious food, inspiring art and a pace of speed we didn’t mind.

After a red eye flight we touched down at JFK early on a Friday morning and took the subway into the city. I am always surprised at how quickly I can adapt to a different time zone with little sleep. After checking into our hotel we went on a search for breakfast in our neighborhood. We stumbled upon the Egg Shop as they were still setting up shop. Luckily it was next door to Cafe Integral where we waited and woke up slow over coffee and tea. I cannot sit down for a proper conversation without first taking photographs of everything. And did I mention how much I love Ian for being supportive of this terrible obsession I have of photography? He is a saint!

After breakfast we headed towards the World Trade Center. It was January and so cold. This was our first time seeing the shiny new tower and visiting the 911 memorial. Afterwards we ducked into the Westfield World Trade Center to admire the architecture.  I remember feeling very somber watching the ebbs and flow of people.

We continued walking around and discovered Eataly on the third floor. To keep warm we planted ourselves at the bar over a bottle of wine and our normal topic of choice: politics. And then we toyed with the idea of living in this city.

The rest of the day was a blur. Before I knew it the sky was dark and the city was lit. The temperature continued to drop and the wind picked up. Once again we found ourselves holding hands (freezing!) and walking home from dinner.

Sixth Year Anniversary
New York City | January 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


For the past six months I've been tweaking my lifestyle and schedule to build more efficiency into my day. I will have to say this does not make me a very fun person to be around. With time, my goals continue to be aggressive however my energy is limited. If I'm not discipline with my day, it's much easier to get distracted or burnt out. Here are ten things I'm currently doing that's keeping me on top of my game:
  1. Getting at least eight hours of sleep every night.
  2. Having a consistent morning routine: gratitude journal, mediate, yoga sculpt and then my day begins. 
  3. Understanding what foods work well with my body and fueling it with that.
  4. Drinking a ton of water. 
  5. Thought downloads
  6. Doing one thing every day that gets me closer to my goal / dream. The secret of your success is found in what you do daily; I read that once on Pinterest. 
  7. Blocking hours at a time on my calendar for the top three things I want to accomplish and giving myself a break in between.
  8. No alcohol. Nope, not even wine. And I also gave up coffee. See #2 and #3.
  9. Making a handful of commitments, scheduling it into my calendar and making it nonnegotiable. At the end of the week I do a quick review to see what worked, what didn't and make adjustments for the upcoming week. 
  10. Taking a social media detox. This is my biggest distraction and time killer. If I need a mental break I simply read a book; something I always say I never have enough time for. My books are loaded on my phone so they're easily accessible. 

Photographs inspired by Vilhelm Hammershøi's painting,“Woman Seen from the Back” (1888)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Los Angeles

I love escaping to LA during the cold winter months in Seattle. This year we did just that over the New Year celebration. As 9 to 5’ers we were out of PTO and had to pick somewhere quick and easy. For us that usually means somewhere in California. The past couple of times we’ve been to LA we’ve stayed in Koreatown. It’s centrally located to everything, in a walkable neighborhood and has the best late night Korean food.

These photographs are shot on my Diana with Lomography Color Film. I wanted to show LA in a retro and colorful way; just how I've envision it. These images are of LACMA, the streets of Koreatown and in the back of the Uber cruising by beautiful homes.