“To the outside world, we grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.” – Clara Ortega
On Thanksgiving, I dragged my siblings out into our backyard to get a good photo. Since we’re spread out across the country, I don’t see them nearly enough these days. And I remembered this photo series and thought it would be so cool to take a photo of us every year, as we get older.
Recently a friend on Instagram posted that quote (above) about siblings, and it has stuck with me ever since. Although sibling relationships can be a tricky business, with mine, it’s always been pretty effortless. I count myself super lucky to be related to these three characters.
I am experiencing one of those moments in life where everything is going right – when you need to take a minute to just be thankful for all that you have. We moved to San Francisco almost three years ago. And although it has been amazing and has caused me to grow in ways I never thought possible, it has been really, really hard. It’s no surprise to me that people stay where they are. The path we chose was certainly the harder one. We both essentially started from scratch in our careers; we went from living in a house with a huge yard and a five-minute commute to work, to living in a small one-bedroom apartment and an hour commute. I’ve been tired a lot. And I’ve questioned if this is the right place for us. Wouldn’t it just be easier to move back home and live a simpler life?
Three years later, all the hard work – the exhaustion, the tears, some really tough stuff, the crap jobs, the feeling of being in transition – is starting to pay off. I have a job that I love and that challenges me every day. I feel appreciated and utilized and all those things we all look for in our careers.
And, we’re finally putting down roots in California. We’re buying a house. It’s still in escrow, so I don’t want to jinx it, but we’ll be sure to share everything soon. What I can say is that it’s all falling into place, and it feels amazing.
Cheers to that.
p.s. Our friends, Mark and Jamie, recently had a baby and we are lucky enough to count them as part of our SF family. Welcome to the world little Brinkley.
I consider myself lucky to live close to one of my siblings. My brother Josh has lived in the Bay Area for about 10 years and I used to visit him any chance I got. It was during those trips that I fell in love with San Francisco. I was always so sad to leave.
Now that he has a baby, I’m even more grateful to live close. Wyatt knows me, which is something I don’t take for granted. Last Saturday, the three of us shared pancakes at Howard’s and went shopping for records at Amoeba. I can’t wait until Wyatt and I can have long chats.
Photos taken near Haight Street and Amoeba Records, San Francisco.
Last weekend, we had an extra day off so we took advantage of the beautiful California winter and went for a hike. Starting at Sutro Baths, there is an easy hike along the coast. Dogs are allowed on-leash so Mater got to come along. It’s amazes me that you can be within a major American city and still have access to so much nature. That’s what makes San Francisco so special, I think.
p.s. Photography blogger Helena La Petite has some helpful information about mastering exposure (something I’m still very much working on). Her blog is lovely, too.
Lately I’ve been focusing on treasuring the small moments and not worrying so much about all the to-do’s. A demanding job means I don’t have time to get everything done. I’m a person that always has a list and loves crossing things off of it. My new schedule is teaching me to be easier on myself, and more reasonable about what’s possible and what’s important.
Some things that have been making me happy lately: coffee dates and Friday night dinners with my husband, just the two of us; salted chocolate chip cookies; sleeping in until 8am on a Saturday. I hope you’re all taking time to enjoy the little stuff.
Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from the New York Times recipe by Jaques Torres. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen small cookies.
3 2/3 cups (16.1) ounces of all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (natural, not artificial)
1 1/4 pounds semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Whisk flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, stopping to scrape the bowl after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just barely combined. Don’t overmix. Mix in chocolate. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 12-36 hours. Dough can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Using a small ice cream scoop or a spoon, create golf-ball sized balls and place onto baking sheet. Sprinkle raw dough lightly with salt and bake until lightly golden brown, about 12 minutes (depending on your oven – it’s always best to underbake a bit because the cookies will continue to cook after you remove them from the oven). Let cookies sit on the warm baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough. The dough also freezes well; just increase the baking time by about 4 minutes if frozen.
Whoa, hello February. I don’t know where January went, but I’m pretty sure it included me working too much and fighting off winter colds. February is here and with it, we finally have rain. Even I, lover of sun, was ready for the rain. It’s nice to have a reason to cozy up inside. One of our favorite ways to spend a Friday night is to sit around our coffee table with an easy meal and a nice bottle of wine. Coffee table dates, as we call them, are the best. Sometimes simple really is better.
If winter is long where you live, don’t worry. Spring is coming.
The fog has finally lifted from our neighborhood, so I ran up to our roof before work to catch the view in the morning light. The beauty of this city still takes my breath away.
Happiness has been a bit elusive for me during the past year. Just when I think I have it, it slips away again. A wise person told me recently that you can hold two things at once: happiness, disappointment; thankfulness for what you have, sadness for what you lost. I like this concept a lot, and sitting up on our roof felt like yet another example of it. This city is hard to live in sometimes – it’s stupid-expensive and it takes forever to get anywhere – but daaaaamn. It’s gorgeous.
During the Banshee party, we snuck off to have dinner at Campo Fina. It’s right off the square in Healdsburg and it’s a sexy little restaurant – kind of unexpected in wine country, but then again, Healdsburg is becoming very hip. Piece of advice: get the pork belly appetizer.
If you don’t live in San Francisco, you might now know that we have the best French bakery in the country, Tartine. I challenge anyone to argue with me on this fact.
It’s funny; just when you start thinking maybe you could live somewhere else, you have a magical day in which the city totally redeems itself. 80 degrees, incredible food, and the pretty streets of the Mission neighborhood. I’ll take it.
Photos taken at Tartine Bakery, The Mission neighborhood, San Francisco.