All life happens in the present moment.
All we really have is the moment that is right here, right now, in front of us.
Any moment that happened in the past is a memory, and any moment that will happen in the future is a fantasy.
Memories and fantasies can be very nice, but they lead us nowhere except into the past, which no longer exists, or the future, which doesn’t exist yet.
The past and the future are not places.
They are, essentially, nowhere.
So you see, you are either now here or nowhere.
- Baron Baptiste, Journey into Power
There’s something about the way a groom looks at his bride that tells the only story that really matters. Aside from my own – I’ve only attended a handful of weddings, and I find that it’s the little details and personal touches that tug at my heart and without fail, make me cry. The older I get and the more I come to understand love – I see that the romantic part isn’t so much the back story or the chance encounter that matters…no, that’s just the beginning really. The real romance is in whole-heartedly and fully-knowingly choosing one person to stick it out with every morning and every night…through the unknown sunshine and storms love and life can hold. That’s where the romance lies.
Lucas is John’s cousin and his bride, Laurel – is a Portland native. Their venue, a cozy spot underneath the St. John’s Bridge adorned with a backdrop of mountains and sunlight, was enough to set the tone for their special day. Lucas made his way down the staircase to a song that seemed to suit him perfectly (though the name escapes me) and was followed by a trail of brightly colored and vintage-dressed bridesmaids. The moments before the bride appeared at the top of the staircase felt like an eternal pause, even for me…I think we were all sucked into their moment. It was everything I imagined an outdoor Portland wedding to be.
Weddings have cultivated a real fondness in me for capturing the day from the groom’s point of view. From his jittery hand motions, to the back and forth shifting of his light-hearted eyes and impatient feet…I found myself snapping away in hopes of giving Laurel photos that in our case were my favorite.
There were so many moments to be had on that day. In fact, it was clear from the very beginning that these two had a touch of fandom among their circle of friends who affectionately referred to them as “Laurcus” (Laurel + Lucas). They even had pins made for guests to wear. Some of my favorite memories of the day included dozens of “homemade” vases that Lucas blew as well as a glass maraschino cherry to top their pineapple upside cake. I was smitten with the specialty-brewed strawberry ale (pink caps and all!) whose labels read: Married in Portland. The 50 Licks ice cream truck that hung out at the reception line never seemed to get shorter…and that birdcage veil and blue suede shoes…I can’t even.
In the short four months that we’ve been married, John and I have learned so much about each other – and I can’t help but smile thinking back to John unexpectedly suggesting that we take a walk by the river, just the two of us, for no other reason than it being something he knew would make me happy. We talked about how special it was to be able to spend quality time with family that we get to see so little, and how if we ever decided to get married again – a low-key wedding like this wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
We’re especially happy for these two. They compliment each other in a way that just make the rest of us smile. Congrats again you lovebirds – hopefully Portland or DC will be in the cards for one of the two of us sooner than later.
Fewer things have been as beautiful as the drive up the Pacific Coast of Oregon. As I get older, the moments I get to take in these views – I can’t help but be moved personally, emotionally, and spiritually. After a pit stop in Tillamook, Oregon to sample their factory of cheddar cheeses (and ice cream!) the views from there on out until we reached Cannon Beach literally froze us in our tracks. We stopped on the side of the road to capture photos of the little town of Bay View. How much I wished in that moment that John and I could live somewhere between the cherry stand and the town dive to experience what life is like in a town so small. At one particular scenic overlook we all stood around silently taking in the view and framing up the next best photo. I was in awe of the endless views but the thoughts circling in my mind went much further than that.
I felt more free breathing in that cold Pacific air. More alive. I felt thankful for the people, the moments, the chapters in my life – because two, three, five years ago – I could have never imagined this moment. I could hear John giggling at me as I lost and regained my breath over and over again and squealed at the sight of something new. He’s traveled and seen so much throughout his life that it’s hard for him to grasp how these moments feed the soul of a first-timer. It’s a tender sort of laugh – the type you’d have witnessing a child’s innocent disbelief and surprise.
I’m so thankful for how rich and full life has been these days. I realize more and more how resilient we are as a species. That’s the beauty of it all – we can recreate, go through a rebirth of sorts. I loved every second of this spec of time of our trip. Nature’s beauty is the therapy of life that no yoga class can provide. On the day these photos were taken, I closed my eyes and silently nodded in appreciation that everything I needed was already inside of me. Sometimes it just takes mountains and oceans, blue skies and infinite views to remember how beautiful and simple life can be.
…make sure to stop by Voodoo Doughnut. The beauty of vacationing is that starting your morning off with a box full of doughnuts and a cup of coffee is perfectly acceptable. My recommendation would be to go with the “old dirty bastard” – though husband would probably recommend their maple bacon doughnut instead. And for the record…when the cashier tells you that if you buy two doughnuts you get a blunt for free…they’re speaking about another doughnut…not the drug. Honest misunderstanding in the land of the artsy and free.