turn it up

below is my playlist this week. on repeat. so hop onto itunes & search for them. download them. add them to your playlist...and turn them up!

1. Skinny Love (Bon Iver)
2. Black Sheep (Martin Sexton)
3. Brothers in Arms (Dire Straits)
4. Sad Clown (Joe Purdy)
5. Today's Tomorrow (The White Buffalo)
6. My Backwards Walk (Frightened Rabbit)
7. Sunken Waltz (Calexico)
9. Sinking Low (Joe Purdy)
10. Why do I (Joe Purdy...again)
11. Sweet Hereafter (The White Buffalo)

...i said, turn them up!

you. You. YOU.

A few years ago a friend of mine gave me this incredible set of questions. It’s called the Proust Questionnaire. My answers have certainly changed (more than once…) since I first wrote them down...and frankly, some of them are still awaiting answers, and that's okay. Give them a go, pass them on, and live the questions now.

  • What is your idea of perfect happiness?
  • What historical figure do you most identify with?
  • What living person do you admire most?
  • What is your greatest regret?
  • What and Who are the greatest loves of your life?
  • What talent would you most like to have?
  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  • What is your greatest achievement?
  • What is the lowest depth of misery?
  • What is your most marked characteristic?
  • What quality do you admire most in a woman? In a man?
  • Who are your favorite writers?
  • What is it that you most dislike?
  • What is your motto?

stop. look. listen.

Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle-aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:

the violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:

The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.... How many other things are we missing?

whoever finds this

FOUND...a message in a bottle! written over a year ago...found over a week ago...back floating in the Potomac River, for someone else to find. how COOL! when was the last time you wrote a message in a bottle?


So those of you who follow my blog know about Matt Mullin. Here is what I wrote a few months ago, just after he died.

“Matt signed all his emails and letters with live well, laugh often, love much. It was more than a closing, more than just a motto. It was how he lived. Honestly, I don't even know where to begin this post, I already know I will not do Matt justice. All I really know, is that he came into my life for a reason-- and luckily, I figured that out the moment I met him, not the moment he died. Matt used to say, "lose the morning, lose the day". He made the most of every day-- and truthfully, I'm not sure he would have any regrets about his life...How many of us could say that? I, am certainly not one of them, yet.

In so many ways, Matt reminded me of Ben, my brother. He was funny, he was genuine, he was engaging. He reminded me of someone YOU would want to be friends with. You'd want him in your life forever, and you'd probably realize that, like me, within minutes of meeting him. Losing him, would feel like the world has lost someone, not just you. And it has. I also know that through Matt's loss...the world has gained. I think for a lot of us-- it takes losing someone, like Matt, who lived every day as fully as one could-- to realize, that THAT is what life is about. It’s not the small things (or maybe it is, because some small things, unlike others, DO matter). But not the smalls stuff. Don't sweat the small stuff. Enjoy the little things, live for today, because it really is, the only thing we'll ever have. And those of us lucky enough to have had Matt in our lives, know that we have one heck of a lead to follow.”

There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about Matt and how he lived his life. He embodied “live well, laugh often, love much”. I have been wondering where Matt got that quote from, obviously it meant a lot to him, and now means a lot to those who knew him. So, I googled it, and this poem is what I found. It stunned me. It’s right on…as if it was written about Matt. And in away, I’m sure it was. It’s about all the Matts of the worlds—the people who live their lives to the very fullest, and who leave a lasting impression on all who have come into contact with them. The title of the poem is Success.


He has achieved success
who has lived well,
laughed often, and loved much;

who has enjoyed the trust of
pure women,

the respect of intelligent men and
the love of little children;

who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;

who has left the world better than he found it
whether by an improved poppy,
a perfect poem or a rescued soul;

who has never lacked appreciation of Earth's beauty
or failed to express it;

who has always looked for the best in others and
given them the best he had;

whose life was an inspiration;
whose memory a benediction.

--1904 Bessie Anderson Stanley

Erin & Jeff

One of the many things I love most about my job is getting to work with talented vendors time and time again. Patricia Lyons is one of our favorite photographers... She shot a wedding I planned in June...and the pictures are incredible! Below is an exert from her blog... I can't compete. So I'm cheating a bit, the ol' copy and paste number...

Jeff and Erin got married on a gorgeous summer day in June. They were, in a word, adorable. They had this way about them where they would fold into eachother so casually and easily, quickly forgetting I was there (helloo, guys, I'm still here!!) which made for some very fun photo taking. Their families were sweet and clearly adored those two, I really enjoyed getting to know them all and catching their heartfelt expressions.

They opted for the 'first glance' before the ceremony, and before you go all traditional on me, it is SO great. She snuck up behind him and when he turned his smile was as big as they get. They enjoyed this moment with family in the distance and a few clicks of my shutter, up close and personal. It also allowed us to get all the group shots before their ceremony so they could enjoy more of their reception. LOVED it!

The Easton Events team pulled together a visual feast that blew me away. When they said mango ceiling drapes my head probably cocked to the side like a curious dog, but that's why I am not the wedding planner, because holy smokes did it ever WORK! The warm glow lit the room beautifully and one of the highlights of my night was hovering near the entrance of the tent to hear all the oohs and ahhhs.

If you want to see Erin and Jeff's slideshow, just click HERE.

same same but different

“Everything in life is connected somehow. You may have to dig deep to find it but its there. Everything is the same even though its different. Somehow everything connects back with your life. The faces in certain places may be different, but the situation is the same. Irony is a hidden factor that creeps around us in life, letting its presence felt only after it has left. Picture back to a year ago and the situation you were in. Look at how things are different yet somehow everything it still in someway cognate. Everything connects together to form the balance of life, to maintain structure. Change is and always will be inevitable, but everything is relative, and all the moments and times in your life will come back around again, you just might find yourself on the other side of the coin. Things are always changing, as fast as everything stays the same.” ...Author Unknown