All the Pretty Challenges

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photo walk

I am connected to my wife. I also call her my connection to life. She brings a palette of flavor and perspective into my world that has always been two dimensional, vapid, and unchallenged. Ever since our initial endeavors and have since then, forged our way through a strange land of mystery, obstacles, and excitement, the world I have assembled with her has been the ultimate test of preservation and reflection of all the pretty challenges.

We made a promise to each other four years ago today. No matter how rough and tumble our lives are going to be, we’ll always be the strength and weakness that keeps together this foundation. I’ll depend on her forever to be those things we’ve talked about in our restless and dark nights. I’ll continue to depend on her as we grow older, hopefully wiser, and more patient and understanding.

It’s always going to be a process. And as I compare our lives with those around us, our elders who have been together for many, many years…I’m always going to look forward to those nights that we struggle through. I’m always going to look forward to those moments when it’s absolutely the worst case scenario. And I’m always going to look forward to those times when we’re just caught up in whatever obstacle is in front of us.

The above image was taken at an eatery after a photo-walk that we took together as our first date over six years ago. Throughout the years, we’ve recognized plenty of moments to be thankful for like that one, but we’ve also remembered the pain and heartache of times where we had miscarriages as well.

Peaks and valleys of life, I guess.

I’m grateful to my wife for each singular laughter and tear that we’ve shared together. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not thankful for her presence and for her beauty, courage, and strength. And there’s never going to be a day that I’m not acutely aware that I may be the most fortunate person to be able to share in the ugliest of nights and the prettiest of days with whom I call my best-forever-friend, my wife…Paola.

Happy Anniversary! I can only dedicate this song, “Because Her Beauty is Raw and Wild” by J.Richman and this day to you.

from BlearyEyedBrooklyn.com on Vimeo.


Written by F&W

August 20, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Our little Frankie

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My wife and I have been talking about adopting a dog for a while. We always said, wait until we get a bigger place…well, we got a bigger place (more on that later) recently in another part of California since moving away from Oakland.

This gal came into our lives a couple weekends ago from the Sacramento County Animal Shelter. Not ten seconds into seeing her in the pen, I knew she was the one we would adopt. My mind instantly went from laissez-faire and passive adopter, to first-responder, helicopter parent, panic adopter. I needed to find a volunteer to get our application in the fold. I stayed cool outwardly, but my mind already transitioned to everything possibly guardian related. How do we puppy proof our home? Will the cats respond in horror initially to her? How will we deal with potty training? Socializing, training, being responsible dog people seemed in line with all of my initial trepidation.

However, the very first instance of being a good guardian came sooner than later. The diagnosis of her temperament labeled her as bashful and timid. I knew instantly that was a great challenge to look forward to while providing us with a sense of duty at the very beginning.

To speed things up in our story, and after a few quick life lessons, first a shy and very bashful gal, she’s now very energetic, playful, and extremely puppy like (put away the shoes).

With a lot of trust building exercises like bribing her with treats and dollar bills, she quickly became fond of both of us and have since learned the better practice of 1 and 2 in our backyard.

To sum up, there are times in our lives that we feel more than fortunate. There are also moments when we feel timing has presented an excellent marker for our lives that would affirm our choices. Here, as we stood in front of a puppy in a pen, the choice was clear…and Frankie, as my wife easily named her, presented us with an easy choice and instant puppy stamped approval.

Frankie - our girl

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Magic of The Sun

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The drought has taken over the Bay Area. We’ve only had a sprinkle of rain during the winter season. It’s both unfortunate and alarming to live in such a dry season on the West Coast when the weather has been almost on the opposite side of the thermometer on the East Coast. For those of us who live within the northern parts of California, while we are still under one state, year-round mild climate and temperature has usually greeted us.

However, in 2013, there seemed to be more days in the sun, in shorts and t-shirts, then in scarfs and layers of clothing. As Californians breathe in the heavier, sunnier, and warmer air, the Sun performs it’s daily dance and choreography. In it’s polite tone and posture, we’re showered with rays, not rain…pelted with UV, not water. As we step into the Sun and become strong like Superman, the vitamins we process from the light produces magic. Not magic like David Copperfield, but magic of nature..magic of life…magic of the Sun.

ps Don’t worry, the above image is not of Oakland. We were in Joshua Tree last weekend. The time there really inspired more creative words than normal. All of California is in a drought, but if Oakland and the rest of Northern California becomes this dry, I’m moving to Chicago. At least that’s where I’ve read that people become “Divergent“.

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My Best Friend

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My wife’s birthday is today. We’re celebrating it by unplugging and heading to the mountains. This is a bit of a hyperbole—we’ll be 2-4 miles from the local town, might have wi-fi, and our car will always be within reach. Still, camping and being outdoors are both part of the fun when we celebrate this weekend at Bullfrog Pond. It will also be a time to get back to basics, check-in with each other, and take a moment to be thankful for each other and for everything and everyone we have in our lives.

It’s nothing new for us when it comes to being thankful. Most of time, I emphasis how fortunate we are to have each other and everything else. We’re constantly checking ourselves to remain humble and gracious.

However, as this year passes, the sentiment that captures what I really feel and want to express is gratitude. And as simple as the word is, that’s just exactly how my thoughts can be summed up.

Each year that I’ve spent with my wife, I am stunned just by raw emotion when I think of how we met. I’m not crying (yeah I am), but the goosebumps form. And each year, I am amazed how connected we are to each other. And each year, I try to become a better person because of her. And each year, I get to know her a little bit more. And in each year, there have been challenges along the way. Often times, we’ve responded to those challenges with patience, broad perspective, and resilience. While I have always taken the lead in our dynamic to push ahead and challenge ourselves, I never say how much gratitude I have for her and this relationship that we’ve created together.

So now, while I express to you, the readers out there, what she means to me, my strengths and weaknesses directly relate to the strongest part of me…my wife, my best friend.

Thank you for being with me, and for showing me how brave and strong you are, and for having the courage and patience to stand by my side, and for dedicating your life to mine…I love you.

Added bonus — my song for her birthday:

Saturday: Bean Hollow

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Last Saturday, my buddy, Alphonzo, gathered a handful of us at a spot in Half Moon Bay called Bean Hollow. It’s a small alcove for checking out tide pools, bodyboarding, and some awesome bbqs. Alphonzo was able to put together a makeshift smoker and made some very tasty salmon…on top of all the good eats he usually prepared. This guy is a savant when it comes to marinating and preparing sauces. I wasn’t able to enjoy the meats, since becoming a pescatarian, and really haven’t been able to digest gluten for a bit now.

The day was enjoyable even though the traffic down to the spot from the East Bay was terrible. We were definitely enjoying the beach life that day…thanks Saturday, we owe you one.

Below, you can see Mr. Smiley with his impromptu invention…SO SIMPO!

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Written by F&W

June 16, 2013 at 4:35 am

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Rebecca and Willard

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My coworker is getting married in less than two weeks at SF City Hall. She and her guy were willing participants as part of an ongoing project that will hopefully turn into something more substantial. The day we shot these, Bay 2 Breakers and about six different, large events were taking place in the city. I never, in my 7 years that I lived in SF, maneuvered through such a muck of gridlock and foot traffic. I didn’t believe my eyes, and I didn’t believe my mind. Even though the day was extremely sunny at 10am, we found good use of natural light…and the photo shoot turned out to be successful.








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Written by F&W

May 30, 2013 at 3:27 am

Upper Falls

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lower falls

Just wanted to post a quick image of Upper Falls in Yosemite. Spring is definately the best time to visit!
More images and thoughts to come…

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Written by F&W

April 16, 2013 at 11:31 pm