On our way out of town....

I am so wayyy behind on posting, so here I go...

Saturday night, Casey and I went to see Lit Moon's production of "A Christmas Carol" at Westmont. My dear friends Kate and Erin (who also played Scrooge? FABULOUS.) were in the production and Jim, who composed the music for the show, and his girlfriend, Anna, came out with us afterwards to Paradise, which is where the above pic was taken. Erin is my new friend I helped pack up a few weeks ago, and we were all celebrating her wonderful life and the things she'll do in a new city. She left Sunday, and though I'm sad to see her go (and my dwindling supply of girlfriends get even smaller) I'm excited to hear about her adventures. :)

We're leaving for Tulsa at 3 in the morning tonight! Eeesh. We're flying out of Burbank, which will hopefully be less crazy than LAX two days before Christmas. I'm expecting to be completely exhausted by the time we get there, but am nevertheless excited. Expect pictures. I've got a bunch of laundry and random errands to do before we leave, so I'll sign off now...

Christmas is coming!!! YIPPEE

My dad just sent me this pic of my family back from a few months ago when we were all in town for my grandma's funeral. Worst circumstances ever, but it was SO wonderful to see everyone.


Free time? PSYCHE...

The great thing about not having a job for a while is being able to do the things you've wanted to but have been unable to. A list of things I've done this week? Why sure...

-Volunteered to work at Fairview Gardens, an urban, organic farm here in town

-Took a giant box of food to the Foodbank. (Which everyone should do! They'll be accepting holiday donations until Dec. 31st...)

-Made a new kind of bread that turned out AMAZING. I used buttermilk? Which initially grossed me out, but I can remember both of my grandmothers cooking with it, so I kept on. Man, am I glad I did!

-Made Christmas presents for my mom and Casey's parents

-Bought a christmas tree at Art from Scrap for 50 cents and turned our apartment into a winter wonderland! Not really, but it definitely looks more festive now

-Hung out with friends on weeknights (!)

-Helped a new friend pack up her things for her move to Boston next week...

This last one was probably the most rewarding. Yesterday, I met my new friend Erin at her house and we jumped in my car to go dumpster dive downtown for some boxes. We found a dumpster full of clean, almost new boxes outside of Staples (thank you Lord!) and went back to her house to pack for the next few hours. I met her and reconnected this Fall and she is a keeper. :) We're still brand new at being friends, but yesterday was great. I watched her pack up her life and did the best I could to help set up boxes and wrap up breakables. She'll be moving to Boston in next week or so, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm living a little bit vicariously through her. Watching her throw things out, simplify her life and prepare for this big giant step of moving thousands of miles away makes me so excited because I remember how rewarding my own move out to California was last year. We sold most of my things in a garage sale, packed up the mini-van with what we could fit inside it and set off across the country. I love the adventure of moving and the challenge (and reward) of starting over, and the faith it conjures up. It takes a lot of guts to do that, a lot of bravery. I don't think she reads this blog, but I'm proud of you, Erin. The adventure is always worth it. :)


I've got some random errands to take care of (Christmas presents!!!) but tonight is the Mercury Lounge's christmas party!!! If you're in town, come to Old Town around 7 and get free barbeque! Woot! I'm sure it'll be wimpy California barbeque (HA), but you know.. I LOVE this season!

I love you all, and I'm going to be better about blogging. I thought I would have so much time, but it's getting filled up, with GREAT things luckily. :)

Peace and joy!

Nice words from public comment on the Indy's site...

"It's a sad day for Goleta when we lose not just the Voice, but the wonderful and professional journalists led by Jim Logan, who kept the Voice alive.

We wish Logan, Lannen, Cooper and all the rest a wonderful new adventure as they move on, leaving Wendy mired in the ashes from the conflagration she cannot or will not put out."

news-press, schmooze-press...

Well, it happened. It's a good thing I just posted about getting back to basics, because that's what I'll be doing more of in the next few months.

Yes, folks. It's true. Today I lost my job. You can read about here, by my good friends at the Indy.


I'm much too tired to post about it at this point, but basically the head of HR of the News-Press showed up today and told all three of us that the Valley Voice was being killed as a publication and told us to pack our stuff immediately and had security guards escort us out. Classy. Anyway, I'm feeling pretty upbeat about it, even though I'm bummed not to be covering the city anymore... It still feels a little bit surreal.

Anyhoo, more tomorrow, now that I'll have LOTS of time to be blogging... :)

Grace and Peace

Back from Berkeley World

Hello friends. Sorry for the hiatus... We got back in from spending Thanksgiving week with Casey's brother and his new wife at their house in Berkeley, which was a BLAST. I got to run around in San Francisco for a day, reveling in the pace of life and the energy that exists in a big city, something I have missed greatly since moving to Santa Barbara... It was... Magical. We went to the Museum of Modern Art and enjoyed all the whimsical absurdity of art, then went to Golden Gate Park, with Thanksgiving leftovers in tow, for a picnic and a game of croquet. (Which was as hilarious as it sounds.)

I'm back at work today and learned this morning that not only are we in a recession, but we have been for a year. I kindof want to be like, "Yeah, no duh."

Although I'm not ready to jump on the bandwagon of doomsday-Peter Schiff types, I am ready to make the most of it. Maybe this is what we need to get back to what matters. Back to basics, so to speak.

This week, I spent time reveling in the simple things. Instead of going out, preparing a meal with my sister and brother-in-law in their new home. Staying in to drink wine and play board games with new friends. And it was one of the most memorable Thanksgivings I've ever had.

It may be a little bit hypocritical of me to proclaim calm to everyone since I don't have as much at stake as others do. I'm not retiring any time soon and I don't have oodles of money invested in a portfolio just yet. But I am a part of this economy, as a worker, and know that my job is as tenuous as ever. Everyday, I feel blessed to be employed and thankful to the Lord for meeting our needs.

Really seeing the natural beauty of where I live, riding my bike in the morning, laughing with my husband, cooking a great meal, talking on the phone with my parents... These are the things that bring calm to the storm for me. Also, watching every "Lost" episode in succession has great effect as a recession stress reliever. Netflix, be prepared. I will be updating my queue later.

Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving like I did! Grace and peace. <3

ps. I'm also going to be launching a brand new photo website soon!!! Get excited... :D

A word on the Sabbath...

Reading "Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art" by Madeleine L'Engle. SO GOOD. Here's an excerpt that jumped out at me today.

"We have to be braver than we think we can be, because God is constantly calling us to be more than we are, to see through the plastic sham to living breathing reality, and to break down our defenses of self protection in order to be free and receive and give love."

Pilates power

Greetings, all. This post finds me sprawled out on our couch, feeling victorious for doing a half hour of body bending, back stretching neck cracking pilates. Oh yeah. I feel very... stretched. A girlfriend of mine teaches pilates at a school in town and gave me one of her "beginner" videos, which was actually pretty easy. Maybe I'm not in such terrible shape? Hmph. Yeah right. I'm going to be seeing one of her plays this weekend and she'll probably ask if I watched it, so I figured I should go for it. Maybe I only did it out of guilt, but I'm glad I did.

Yay. I feel accomplished. :D

Case is in the kitchen, making some sort of soybean concoction that smells... well. Really, really good, actually. I'm not sure he's cooked anything I haven't liked in the 6 months we've been married. I surely did luck out.

Tonight, I'm excited because I get to go out with my good friend Sarah and have girl time and hear about her amazing trip she just got back from. She's been in Europe for 11 days. JEALOUS.

Also, everyone reading this should know that today is "World Philosophy Day." Read this from the BBC. How much do I love the BBC? I wish I worked for them and then I could use words like "centre" and "nationalise."



So happy!

Tea Fire sadness

Above is a picture from the LA Times site of some of the damage that happened to Westmont's campus yesterday and today. The Tea Fire, which has claimed more than 1,500 acres and hundreds of homes in Montecito, is still burning, but it sounds like it's moving towards containment at this point. We've been house-sitting for a friend in San Roque, pretty close to an evacuation area, so we've been watching the fire pretty closely all weekend and talking with our friends and teachers we know up at the school.

The saddest part about the Westmont damage is that 15 or so families lost their homes in the faculty housing subdivision. Please pray the community would rally around them, welcome them into their homes like family, and help them start over in spite of what they lost in the fires.

We love you, Westmont!

Also, the sunsets are getting prettier as we get closer and closer to winter!

a note from the bibliophile

Sometimes, there's nothing like being at home by yourself, curling up on your couch with a cup of tea, and blogging to your hearts content. Case just left for an acting class, and I've been left at the apartment to my own devices. No meetings to go to, very little work and I completely intend to maximize my evening. Mainly by watching a movie and doing my nails. Wooo! I love being girly.

And sometimes, I think that my husband and I might be the nerdiest people on the planet. And not as in chic, cool nerdy. Not like Ellen Page-Michael Cera nerdy. Take out all of the cuteness and the cool obscurity, and you would have us. Example. Here is a conversation that my husband and I had while we were both at our respective places of employment yesterday:

C: I decided to organize our book shelf today. These are the categories I came up with:

Old School Books
Useful Books

How does that look to you? Each category would have its own shelf/shelves, and (maybe) be in alphabetical order within that.

L: Oh. My. Gosh. You are SUCH a librarian. Martha (my co-worker) says you need to get out more.

C:Do you like the organizing system though?

P.S. jerk


WHAT?! Who organizes their books at home by CATEGORY? I just... don't know how I feel about that. Also, to prove how much of I nerd I am (I can't just rail on C, because that wouldn't be fair. I must be EQUALLY disparaging.) I just found this calculator online that tells you how much your library saves you per year!


I check out about 10-15 books a month and probably about 5 or so movies, and it says that I save $900 a year by using the library! Wow!

But this is what I mean. Most 23 year old women do not sit around calculating how much they save by using the library. Sigh. I'm going to go and get a life now. Somehow...

Also, sorry to leave the blog up on such a downer. This week has been really great and my friends and family have been so encouraging. I just needed some time to process and pray and I feel restored now. Thanks, friends. :)

Back to Mississippi...

Sorry for the long hiatus in posting. My poor, emaciated little blog needs some attention! For real. This week has been such a whirlwind of emotion, I'm glad to finally be able to sit down and process...

After spending nearly a week fighting off the flu, I got a call Saturday night from my parents. They told me my grandmother had been found in her home that day and she'd suffered a stroke and was unconscious. She'd been taken to the local hospital and my parents would be driving to Mississippi, where she was, the next day. The news was a total surprise and I was really torn up by the news. We still had hope that she'd be alright and I waited over the weekend to hear from them.

When they arrived the next day, they called me and gave me an update on how bad the situation was. My grandmother had very little brain activity subsequent the stroke and was now on life support. The next morning when the whole family had arrived, my mom and her brother had to make the gut-wrenching decision to take her off of the life support. It was really rough for our whole family. So I scheduled a flight as soon as I could and have been hanging out with my family these last few days, trying to be helpful (but mostly getting in the way, I think) as we tried to go through some of her things at her house.

We've been so busy trying to make arrangements and get things done that I don't really feel like I've had time to process it. This year, I've lost two people I really cared about, both of my grandmothers, and these are really the first deaths in my life I've dealt with. And it's hard. I'm a pretty emotional person, (I prefer to think I have an "artistic temperament" :) and I've cried a lot for their losses.

Anyway, sorry to be a downer... Meh. Life really is good, and God has been good to my family to keep us all together during this craziness. Still, death isn't any less hard to deal with, even though I know my grandmother is in a better place altogether.

Prayers appreciated, my friends. Blessings to all of you. I'll update with more cheerful life events soon, I promise!

Happy Saturdays,

my body, the petri dish...

Skipping work today, home with what I think might be a mini-version of the flu. Casey came home sick earlier this week after catching something that the whole cast came down with, and now I'm the lucky winner of some head-ache causing, body aching, fever inducing pathogen. Sigh.

As if that wasn't bad enough, I had a reaction last night to some medicine that I've had an allergy to in the past, but took anyway because it was a flu medicine with only a tiny amount of the ingredient in it. Bad idea. I definitely had a reaction to it and had a lot of trouble sleeping. Ugh! I'm such a sickie right now.

Sorry to be such a downer. I'll be sipping my mint tea and working on a couple stories today, and hopefully getting in a good nap or two. :)

A Sunday Update...

So Casey's run of "Othello" and "Measure for Measure" at the Lit Moon Theater festival is finally over. After rehearsing non-stop for the past month, the show was a GIANT success. So proud! Charles Donelan at the Independent gave the cast a glowing review in this week's issue. Yay!

Here's the whole review, along with a killer picture of Casey's dress... HOTTIE! Ha! :D


I'm so happy for them. Even though I've been privy to some groundbreaking theater this past week, I'm excited to have my husband back for a while. :)

Last night, while Case did his last show, I got to spend some time with my girlfriends Sarah and Becca. We made indian food (by ourselves!) and then made a big pallette on the living room floor and watched "The Office," sleepover style. Fun times.

We picked up some winter herbs from Island Seed and Feed down in Old Town yesterday, where Matt Buckmaster hooked us up with all of these for free! How cool is that? He is the greatest guy and if you ever need any gardening advice, they are definitely the place to go. We're going to be putting these in our window box hopefully later today... Chives, parsley, oregano... Sounds like key ingredients to a nice, hearty winter stew, no?

Happy Sunday, y'all!

Return of the megabats...

Wow, busy week! Phew. I feel like I always say that on here. The truth is, if you're in any kind of journalism at this point in an election year, your work life is crazy chaotic. It feels like there's about 1,234,568 different races going on locally, all of them at least marginally important, and that means our grossly understaffed little paper is working overtime.

I'm also jumping at the chance to do a story NOT election based, even if it is science-y and nerdy. I'm meeting with someone from UCSB who researches bat species here in Goleta. That's right, BATS. Apparently, Santa Barbara has 12 different native species! Wow. I'm trying to prepare some questions for her, because I know NOTHING about bats (Except that I'm mildly terrified of anything that flies frantically at night and screeches) and I found out there's a subgroup of them called "megabats," and there's one type in the Phillipines called a giant golden-crowned flying fox that can have a 5-foot wingspan! EEP! Seriously, google it. I'm going to have nightmares. Needless to say, this will be interesting...

Also, Case's "Othello" premiere is tonight!!!!! YAY! Here's the lineup with more info, if anyone is interested in coming! Yippee!


When you're married to a barista...

How much will I miss having my husband write flattering adjectives on my morning drinks instead of my first name? A heckuva lot.

I am one lucky lady. Sorry, just had to gush. My husband really is the greatest. :)

Time for new HEROES! YES!

Just got back from Ben and Mical's wedding up north. How beautiful is Mical?! Mical and Ben, I'm so glad I got to witness all of the events this weekend, and Mical, I'm glad you're a part of our family! :D

It was SO good to see all of our family, including Mark and Helen and Nancy, Casey's parents and sister, who live in Asia and flew back for the wedding. We love you guys and wish we could see you more...

I'm pretty exhausted from the trip and everything we did, but I've got a few hours to take a nap now. YAY, NAPS.

Case is rehearsing from 3:30 to 9:30 tonight. This week is crazy for him because of his opening of "Othello" and "Measure for Measure" Thursday. I'm going with some girlfriends for backup - moral support, you know. ;)


I am so excited, everyone! Case just came home from work and told me he's been offered a new job!!! Yay! He's been hunting around for something a bit more rewarding and will now be working at UCSB managing interlibrary loans! (Yes, it IS as nerdy as it sounds, but that's why we love him. :D)

I'm so proud of you!!!!

God is good. With all that's been going on in the last week, especially with the economy, it's such a reminder to trust. Pure trust. Every time I hear the dismal reports on NPR or look at the Times to see the Dow fall another several hundred points, I get so panicky. But taking a deep breath and trusting that something greater than our government is actually in control is what's gotten me by. God always provides for his kids! Praises.

Alright, well I've got an evening full of editing to do. Also, I've become addicted to this show called "Friday Night Lights." Has anyone ever seen it? It's on NBC's website and is GREAT. Add that to "Heroes" and I'd say they have a pretty good lineup. Nice, NBC. Nice.

Hugs! Thanks to all who prayed!


New wedding pics!

Before I run off to bed, wanted to update with some new wedding pics I shot two Saturdays ago. I had an awesome time shooting with two of the best photographers I know, Chris and Katie Humphreys! They are so wonderful to work with and let me tag along to shoot some of Robin and Matt's wedding at the Montecito Country Club. The wedding was absolutely beautiful and so fun to witness.

Thanks Chris and Katie! I'm really pumped because we're off to Berkeley this weekend to shoot Casey's brother's wedding! I absolutely love them and can't wait to hang out with Ben and his fiance. Ben and Mical! I can't wait to see you, shoot with you and sleep on your floor! Ha! This WILL be a fun weekend...:)

G'night all!

Artiste and the Lavender Farm

Hello, all! Since I'm so behind on posting... Here are some pics! Case and I escaped last Sunday to Santa Ynez where we stopped at a darling little winery, Artiste, where they only serve custom blends. It was so fun! We payed five bucks for each of us to have a little sip of six different wines (all of which were fabulous, except the port, but I'm not a huge fan of port anyway) and you can browse around their gallery and even do some painting and drawing yourself! It was so much fun.

We also discovered an organic lavender farm??? Who knew? Only in California. It was magical.

We got some great Italian food at Trattoria Grappolo, which is just down the street from Artiste. Quality times.

Man, oh man. It's been a long time since I posted! Much too long, indeed. Things have been so busy at my house, I'm glad I have a second to stop and breathe. Case has been rehearsing every night for "Othello," which he'll be performing in two weeks, which is exciting. And I've been doing a lot of work on the side as well. On top of that, we're gearing up for election year at the Voice. Our city council will have two seats open this fall, so I've been covering the candidates, on top of the regular meetings. Although I'm pretty apolitical (to put it mildly), I'm excited to help give our readers the information before the election. It's nice to be able to do that for them.

I'm off to have a mini-girls night with my friend Erin and Kate. Also, I have wedding pics to post. Soon to come...:)

Birthday eve UPDATE

I am such a cliche right now.

-freshly made cookies-n-cream milkshake (which is somehow lowfat? I'm suspicious.)
-newly arrived "HEROES" dvd from Netflix

Bliss, I tell you! Bliss.


On the eve of my birthday, exhaustion.

I feel like a busy little worker bee these days, buzzing around, running errands for this, writing a story for this. It's all so crazy these days! Wow. It's good to sit for a few minutes in the quiet of my little apartment. My kitchen timer is about to go off - I'm cooking artichoke ravioli for us! My own original recipe, from Trader Joe's, of course. Heh. I'm not much of a cook these days. My husband puts me to shame.

Tomorrow is my 23rd birthday! Yay! Go self. Do that birthday dance. *shake*

Also, I'm excited to post more images later this weekend. I'll be shooting a wedding in Montecito with Chris and Katie Humphreys that promises to be absolutely gorgeous. I can't wait! I'll be sure and post some favorites up here.

Back to my ravioli creation. Hope everyone is well!


Congrats Derek and Amy!

Last weekend, I got the awesome privilege of shooting Derek and Amy's wedding in Franklin, Tennessee. It's a fun little town just outside of Nashville. And their wedding was soo much fun! Here's some pics...Sorry, there's lots of them. Hope you don't mind...:)

LOVED her dress!

Amy's sister, April, in the kitchen getting ready that morning..

Amy and April loosening up before the ceremony...

Amy had the coolest hair pin/veil thing. I loved it! Super classy.

After I hung out with the girls, it was off to shoot the boys at the Factory, the super cool, industrial building Amy and Derek had the ceremony and reception at.

The guys were looking sharp in their new chuck taylors..

How great are these guys? Total crack ups. I had to humor them.

One of Derek's twin brothers...

And then...the lady of the day arrived! Seriously, folks. Amy, you are GORGEOUS!

Group shots with April's son. How CUTE is he?

I loved this moment during the ceremony

They put the cutest little matchbooks in their favor bags..

Thanks so much, Derek and Amy for a great time and letting me share your day!