FIFTY years. Holy smokes, my parents have been married for 50 years. Marriage isn't easy, but I feel fortunate that my parents stuck together all those years and provided a home for my brother and I full of love, support, adventure and endless laughter. They have set the bar high for my own marriage and I'm constantly in awe of everything they've accomplished together. We all traveled to Hawaii where they honeymooned FIFTY years ago, only this time the kids and grand-kids were there to celebrate as well. The kids collected fallen plumeria blooms so I could string them together with dental floss to make lei's for everyone, we decorated the cottage, Uncle Nate manned the BBQ, and the kids ran around and climbed tree stumps with their Grandma Bon Bon and Grandpa Dino masks while we sipped champagne and watched the sun set. Happy anniversary mom and dad.



a beautiful mess | seattle documentary family photographer

In our bedroom we have a kids lamp from Leo’s old room sitting on top of the electric heater because we don’t have bedside tables. You’ll also find my parents old wooden rocking chair that doesn’t really fit in our small room but I can’t bear to part with it because I was rocked to sleep in it when I was a baby (and I call Tom the sentimental one!). Then there's our dog Otis who shouldn’t be on our bed but who, if you know him, is terribly behaved and does whatever he wants, and we gave up trying to make him behave right around the time we had Viggo. The cheap aluminum mini-blinds in the big window from the previous owners sag in the middle and are impossibly hard to raise and lower, and as a result we probably flash our lovely new neighbors more that anyone would like. And I’ll admit that as I was editing these photos, I caught myself cropping out the sagging blinds in an attempt to make our crappy bedroom look a little less crappy, but that’s not our life. Eventually, we will remodel this old house by the woods and it may look very different, but for now I want to remember this house and it’s quirks - the purple bedroom, the yellow kids room, the pink rec room, the ridiculous blinds, the funny Mad-Men-esque bar in the living room, the funny jetted tub in the shared bathroom.  But mostly I want to remember this time in our lives where this house is simply the backdrop to our life, to the time when Leo was constantly ripping off his diaper and preferred to run around in nothing but his gold sneakers, with a cheeky grin on his face after doing something he knew he shouldn't, making read and re-read the same Gossie & Gertie book, to the time when Viggo would pick out objects around the house for next week’s letter line-up at school, when he started coloring inside the lines, and had more tantrums about dinnertime than we thought humanly possible. This is 10 minutes of our life last Saturday, in all it's messy glory.