A visit to the Homeplace in Land Between the Lakes.
Emi, Jeannie, and I have made it a little tradition to visit Louisville for a weekend, somewhere around Jeannie’s birthday. Poor Jeannie has a January birthday, and most of us are a little grumpy around this winter month — so we try and take a trip to create a bit of excitement, to one of our favourite cities for a little window shopping, a little walking around the city, and a fair bit of eating.
This year’s trip was a little slow-moving — I, of course, am pregnant, and besides the usual first trimester exhaustion, I’ve been having fairly significant dizzy/vertigo spells off and on. Nothing to worry about — it’s fairly common, but I do have to take it easy. Emi brought sweet little Jude (SB) with us, which requires some special care, and poor baby Jude came down with a bit of a cold over the weekend — she was bright and chipper and smiley considering she felt bad — but she did require a fair amount of nose-cleaning — which made her furious — and some extra love and snuggles.
Despite that — we had a nice time! My lovely dance company best friend and bridesmaid, Maggie, graciously lets us crush at her place Friday night through Sunday morning, and, as Emi put it, plays city mouse to our country mice, and shows us all the nice shops with funky art, handmaid jewelry, antique furniture, and cool clothing. We also got to meet up with my former roommate and best friend, Jenny, as well as long-time friend from elementary school, Shadea. It’s just a lovely time of girls, laughing, and taking it easy as we explore a cool city.
Some of the places we visited – some of which are featured in the pictures:
– Grape Leaf – our traditional spot for just-into-town dinner — lots of vegetarian options, including falafel, Greek salad, and of course, hummus.
– Cafe Mimosa/Eggroll Machine – we tried to go to a different pho place but Cafe Mimosa is just too good! Big open space with awesome people-watching windows, incredible pho or sushi or shrimp rolls or potstickers or crab rangoon or pretty much anything your little heart might desire to bolster you for an afternoon of shopping.
– Please and Thank You – a cool combination coffee and record shop! Some of the girls needed caffeine, and I browsed their new and used record combination. Maggie also got a chocolate chip cookie to share, and I can honestly say it’s one of the best I’ve ever had.
– Revelry – probably one of my favourite places we visited this weekend! Walking into Revelry was like walking into Etsy come to life — homemade jewelry, a variety of art, clothing, furniture, soaps, essential oils. They feature a small art gallery in the back, and we took the time to wander through some paintings and prints.
– Scout – fancy furniture, clothing, jewelry, and more! Definitely a place for window shopping, although we found a few things within our price rage. A fun place to dream and imagine your dream home.
– Red Tree– another cool store full of twists and turns, one room beyond the next — with tons to see — from antique and refinished furniture to night lights and potpourri.
– Peace on Earth — the most important thing you need to know about this store is that I found a brand new, amazing scent of soap called jasmine rose and came home with two bars of it.
– Carmichael’s Bookstore – a must-visit for us when we go to Louisville. Such a unique bookstore, half the size of a Books-a-Million but with triple the selection of books: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biography, cook books, and a sizable children’s section. I always try to limit myself to just 2 or 3 books, but it’s hard not to come home with half the store!
– Just Creations – another must-visit! Just Creations is a store full of crafts — baskets, wall hangings, soaps, stationary, jewelry, dress, toys, food and seasonings, and it comes from all over the world. As a non-profit, the proceeds go back to low-income women all over the world to help better their circumstances — all fair trade. So not only do we get beautiful things, we feel good about buying them.
– Safeir – we can’t not eat at Safeir while we’re in Louisville, it’s just too good. A Middle-Eastern deli, we eat our fill of falafel, shish tawook, lentil soup, Greek salad — and all of it tastes so fresh and delicious. In warmer times, we sit on the street and people-watch the downtown traffic, but snuggled up at the back was just as fun.
– Comfy Cow – ice cream! So many kinds of ice cream! What more do you need to know?
– Nancy’s Bagel Grounds – a new restaurant for us this time! We met Shadea here for a quick brunch before leaving town due to snow and freezing temperatures. It was hard to pick just one bagel and cream cheese from their long list, but each of us loved their choice. Emi and I also sampled their fruits smoothies which was a nice start to the day! They also had sandwiches, salads, and a Nutella latte I regretfully passed on this time — can’t wait to go back!
If you find yourself in Louisville any time soon, be sure to visit some of these spots!
Another opportunity to document the life of one of my favourite families!
I unofficially snapped some pictures at Emily the Sister’s bridal shower a few weeks ago, and as I expected, the time flew and her wedding day arrived!
I’ve known Emily almost as long as I’ve known her brother Travis, and I’ve known her fiance-now-husband Richard since my college days. Sometimes, two people who were both in your life but in completely different ways end up coming together — and as I told Emily yesterday, I’m so happy two people I love found love together, and doubled up the love in my life.
Emily had asked if I would mind coming to take some pictures of her and her girls getting ready, and then after, Richard and his guys, and of course, I agreed! Any opportunity to get some practice in is welcome, and I felt honored to get to watch Emily get ready, spend the morning with her. She and her girls got ready in Paducah Bed and Breakfast, which was a beautiful place to explore, full of high ceilings and antique furniture. Richard and his guys got ready at Emily and Travis’ dad’s house — which he had just decorated for Halloween — quite impressively, I might add. The spooky setting made quite the entertaining back-drop for their getting ready pictures.
Biggest lesson learned this time around? Battery back-up! Battery life was not really something I’ve had to worry about much — I seldom shoot for much longer than an hour, maybe two. And if I do — I’m shutting the camera off for long spells in between. Luckily — the camera battery lasted all day long, through Emily and the girls’ pictures, through Richard and the guys — what I had agreed to cover in a more formal photography sense. I didn’t even think about charging the camera after I picked up Shaun from work, had a shower, started to get ready. So — we got to the ceremony sight, I manged to snap a few of my dance company girls and myself, our dear friends Dawn and Barb, a few of the beginning of the ceremony and then —battery exhausted.
In all honesty, it was kind of nice. I’d been snapping pictures for several hours at that point, I’d worked at seven AM, and had run all over town getting lunch for the girls, picking up Shaun, getting ready. I regret not getting more pictures of Emily and Richard at the ceremony and reception, or of sweet Jack and Nae, killin’ on the dance floor with Teegan, or any of Shaun and Jack’s amazing dance moves…but I really got to enjoy being a guest at the wedding, and not a documentarian. Emily had an amazing photographer to cover the event, and for once, I wasn’t worried about trying to wait for the right moment to snap a picture. I just got down and boogied, cheered loud for the couple, and had a great time.
Congratulations, Richard and Emily!
I keep meaning to write about fall, and I haven’t quite been able to bring myself to do it.
I keep meeting this sort of reluctance — because I reluctantly like fall, autumn, whichever you prefer. I don’t want to, because I don’t like what follows.
And yet autumn has this grace about it. It, like spring, my other favourite season, is a transitory season, a turbulent and unpredictable one.
I let myself into the house yesterday, through the side door into the kitchen, and the breeze was warm on my cheeks, my hands, despite the cool air. It felt like spring, this hushed fullness in the air. Nature changing, constantly. Every day, a new development — in spring, a new little birth every day, a new bud opening, new leaves, new grass. In fall, a new death, everyday. The dogwoods the slightest bitter redder than the day before, hedging towards brown, towards crisp and crunch and falling to the ground.
My love, my husband, my boy —
I’m sitting here, writing this a few weeks early. The way life has been going lately, I know if I don’t take advantage of a few still moments to write, I might not have time for it later.
Evening is just starting to settle in, the light pouring in the big windows in the den is sharpening, taking on that amber hue that lets me know the sunshine is fleeting. Our fur baby, your kitty-daughter is snoozing on top of a stack of our stuff, some T-shirts, a few scraps of paper — because why wouldn’t she stake her claim on all of our stuff, mark us as hers?
You’re at work, and I miss you. It feels like we haven’t seen a lot of each other lately, although I’m proud of how we work to make time for each other, and each other alone. Maybe it’s just grabbing lunch in between both of our work shifts, maybe it’s the five minutes we nestle together in bed before I drift off. Maybe it’s those fifteen minutes on the couch as we’re winding down from the day — my favourite time of day, when I snuggle into your chest and you wrap your arms around me, scoot lower in the couch so you become my body pillow. How you pet my hair, drop kisses on my forehead. No matter how hard either of our days were, no matter how stressed or drained we feel — those fifteen minutes seem to cure it all, or at least make the pain and the exhaustion fade long enough to get up and do it all again, the next morning.
So, I’m writing this in the few quiet minutes I have, because our anniversary is in two weeks. When the actual day comes, we’ll be in Florida, our first vacation since our honeymoon, hopefully riding horses or walking down to Blackwater River. I hope we are holding hands, I hope we are laughing, I hope we are breathing easy.