“I’ll stop making faces at you when you stop laughing!”

A few weeks ago, Brad and I had a mini photo session with local photographer, Lara Eichhorn! Over the summer, she is offering sessions to couples on the cheap, making her gorgeous and professional photos accessible to those who may not want to shell out hundreds of dollars for photographs, which I think is wonderful!

Aside from a number of “selfies” and pictures taking on ours and others’ phones, Brad and I don’t have a whole lot of pictures. After almost two years together. we decided that we should probably fix this. Despite the less than stellar weather, and the beginnings of a cold for Brad, the session was fantastic! Lara was so wonderful, and after a few minutes my nerves definitely began to calm.

Here are some of my favourites!

meganbrad002 meganbrad004 meganbrad005 meganbrad007 meganbrad009 meganbrad010 meganbrad011 meganbrad020 meganbrad022 meganbrad023 meganbrad024

If you live in Victoria, and want some stellar and professional photos of you and your person, Lara still has plenty spots open for her mini sessions over the next month! Check her out!

Seattle!

Back in April (shh, don’t tell me that it’s the beginning of July), I had the pleasure of going to Seattle again! Brad and I had both been to Seattle before – for two nights, and one day last November. With only one day in Seattle last time, we got all of the major touristy stuff out of the way – visiting the Pike Place Market, climbing the Space Needle, and wandering through EMP. Looking back, I’m surprised we managed to cram so much into one day! This time we had two full days to enjoy Seattle, and enjoy them we did!

The trip was born of Brad’s favourite band, The Replacements, embarking on a reunion tour. He’d seen them back in 2013 (after years of thinking that he’d NEVER see them live, as they disbanded in the early 90’s), and they played a couple of festival gigs after that. But this was their first tour since getting back together. As soon as I received a text months ago (likely in all caps) that they were touring, I knew we’d be going to a show. And I was more than okay with that! I like The Replacements well enough, and it would definitely be a good time! I’m a big fan of music and concerts. We originally wanted to go to the show in Portland (because I have yet to go there), but it sold out remarkably fast. The Seattle show still had available tickets, and we both fell in love with the city during our short visit there, so we figured why the heck not!

Next weekend, we’re off to Portland, so I thought that maybe I should be a good blogger and get some of our pictures from our trip almost three months ago up on my bloggity blog! (Forgive the quality of the pictures, they were all taken with my less than stellar iPhone)

001

On a boat, on our way to Seattle!

17We spent quite a bit of time up in Capitol Hill, which we’ve come to realize is our favourite neighbourhood in Seattle. Next time we go, we’re probably going to stay in an AirBnB in the area if we can!

18

Elliott Bay Book Company, which I never wanted to leave.

002

19

No journey to Seattle is complete without a visit to the Public Market! We spent a lot of time just wandering through, checking out all of the vendors. I did end up buying an art print (a re-imagining of the Seattle skyline as if done by Van Gogh).

003

Some sweet jams being played down at the Public Market.

004

We almost went for a ride, but my fear of heights won this round!

005

006
We went to a delicious pizza joint called Rocco’s for dinner! The best part (aside from the pizza)? Their drink menus were in re-purposed kids’ books!

00

I love this man more than I love pizza.

023

NOM!

014

The main event! While Brad was naturally super stoked for this concert, I found myself all kinds of excited too! By the end of the night, I would be a fan. :)

010

The decor inside of the Paramount is just stunning. I took a lot of photos of various light fixtures.

011

THE REPLACEMENTS! The crowd exploded when they took the stage – although seeing them was delayed. They performed behind a curtain for the majority of their first song, leading me to think that may be how they played the entire show (it would not be out of character for them to do something foolish like that).

012

“Androgynous” performed with Paul Westerberg in a tent for some reason.

013

It was an absolutely stellar show to kick off their tour. Sadly, it seems that they may have parted ways again. No official word, just rock star antics on their last show of the tour in Spain, but Brad has told me it would not be out of character for them to do something like that and remain together. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see!

015

Our last day in Seattle we didn’t do a whole lot, mostly wandered around and tried to find things that we hadn’t seen or done before. We took a tour of Seattle’s underground, and needless to say it was very informative and oddly hilarious.

016No trip to Seattle would be complete without a cocktail at Zig Zag’s! We drank a little too much, and told stories from our teenage years, some neither of us had heard before! It’s so nice that after being together for over a year (close to two now), Brad and I still have so much to learn about one another!

We already want to go back, but there’s so many other things to see and do in the Pacific Northwest, so we figure that we should probably see some other places as well. Despite living in Victoria for over a year, we still haven’t been over to Vancouver! Anyone I mention this to declares, “You’ve never been to the mainland!?” We’re working it. Maybe after Portland. ;)

Blue skies are coming.

apr0715

I had thought that February was unkind to me, March turned out to be even worse.

I shall spare you the details, as they are extremely private and painful (though things have, in the end, worked out and steps are being taken in the healing process, and to ensure that it never happens again), though I suspect the small handful of people that read my blog know what happened. It wasn’t just me that it affected – there were other people involved directly besides myself, and the weight of what happened was felt by all that are close to us. I feel like I would be doing everyone a disservice to everyone who this touched to mention exactly what happened in a public forum.

But it happened, and it was easily the worst two weeks of my life – and I do not say that lightly. There were many days spent crying, many nights spent sleepless … and also crying. Some mornings I couldn’t get out of bed, and every morning I woke up in the midst of a panic attack. I was the lowest that I’ve ever been, and considering my recent depression diagnosis, I felt everything that much harder. There were days that I didn’t want to be alive. Not that I would have done anything, and I promised those close to me if I had the slightest inclination of wanting to hurt myself that I would get help, and it thankfully never came to that. But it didn’t stop me from wishing on occasion that I simply didn’t exist.

As difficult as those two weeks were, I learned so much.

I learned in the kindness and love of those closest to me – not that I didn’t already know that, but for the first time in my life my parents weren’t easily accessible when all I wanted was to go home and get hugs from them. We made do with phone calls, but it certainly wasn’t the same as having hugs from two of the people I love most in the world. Two of my friends basically adopted me for two weeks, let me into their home, one of whom fussed over me on a daily basis akin to the fussing of a mother, and dragged me all over town with her, and let me cry and talk her ear off late into the night. She’s a saint, and one of the most wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.

Everyone who I encountered in those two weeks who knew of the pain I was going through was there for me in some capacity. No one handled me with kid gloves, and everyone had their own brand of “being there” for me – even people I didn’t know that well. One offered her spare room in the event that I wanted a change of scenery from my friends’ home. People offered their time when I knew that they were so very busy. I received a lot of hugs, tea, and candy.

I learned that I am truly a strong person.

People have always told me how strong I am, and I like to think that most times I am in agreement with them. There are very few things that I can’t get through, can’t do. But I certainly didn’t feel it for a while. However, after three days of wallowing in sadness, I found my resolve, and I began to fight. I am just that – a fighter. I can’t back down from something without knowing first that I didn’t at least give it my all. I don’t quit. I knew that if I just walked away from what was happening that I would never forgive myself. So when I felt a little stronger, I fought. I laid out everything on the table, made my thoughts and feelings known. In the end, it worked out in my favour, but it easily could not have as well. But after I did that, I felt so much better about the situation. I did what I could, and it was out of my hands, but knowing that I simply didn’t walk away helped me so much. And while I’m so incredibly glad that things turned out the way that they did, even if they hadn’t, at least I knew that I did what I could.

I’m credited with saving what I almost lost. Were it not for my strength, my desire and willingness to fight for something worth fighting for, I easily could have lost it, let it slip through my fingers. I could’ve let the hurt and betrayal consume me, and done little else. It would have been so easy to just lie down and die, as it were. But that’s not for me. That’s not my style. Few things that are expected of most people are. I was never one for conformity.

The pain, resolve, happiness, love, and gratitude that I have experienced in the past three weeks have been a stark and eye opening reminder. Though my depression is nowhere near to being gone (and I have made peace with the fact that it may be part of me always), the sadness, the panic attacks, and the restlessness have begun to ebb away. I have never felt more alive than I do right now. Though there are things and feelings that I feel like I am seemingly having to relearn because they were a a little damaged, it’s a work in progress, and I’ve always felt my best when I am working toward something.

Through the hardest of times in our lives, even if things don’t work out in the end, we get through it. We come out on the other side seeing the world in a whole different way – new sights, new sounds, new smells. I’d like to think that I would’ve come to this conclusion even if I wasn’t in the position that I’m currently in, and I know that I would have, it just may have taken a little longer.

But no amount of words can express how wonderfully happy I am that I don’t have to.

( image )