{Was It Just a Dream?}

We got back from Italy on Wednesday morning… 
I am not exaggerating when I say it was one of the absolute best vacations we’ve ever taken together.
We truly felt like we escaped our everyday lives & stresses.
We got to soak up sunshine and just love on each other for six days straight.
That’s my idea of heaven.
And now we’re back…
And I’m feeling like it was all just a dream… A very, very good dream. 
I finally uploaded the 700+ photos I took and I can’t wait to share them with you.
For now… One of my favorites of the trip. Hope you have a fabulous weekend!
{Photo ©  Liz Denfeld}

{Paris: Pont des Arts}

Paris is one of the romantic cities in the world. It’s hard to explain why, really. Every city we’ve been to has been romantic and enchanting in its own way, but Paris is special. Maybe it’s the Eiffel Tower, or the French architecture, or the fact that I had always dreamed of going to Paris, strolling the cobblestone streets, stopping for cappuccinos and eating baguettes with the one I love. No matter the reason, it truly is an incredibly dreamy city. 
And it’s made all the more romantic by the Pont des Arts – the place people from all over the world go to forever lock their love to the bridge and throw away the key in the Seine River. I could’ve stayed on the bridge studying all the locks for hours. Being the hopeless romantic that I am I loved reading all the locks – intentions of love, unrequited love, and even marriage proposals! I found myself daydreaming about all the people who had been on the bridge before me – all of their stories, unique and mysterious. Who were they? Did they keep their promises?
Corey and I decided to lock our love and make a wish. We promised that we’d come back to Paris for our 25th wedding anniversary. Then we gave the key a smooch for good luck and tossed it into the Seine. As we walked away I couldn’t get the smile off my face imagining where we’d be in 23.5 years – 49 (me) & 53 (Corey) years old, still madly in love, our kids probably in college… And we’d go back to Paris to celebrate our love and reminisce on the time when we were young and carefree living in Europe, gallivanting across the continent to our heart’s content. Life will be different when we return, but it will be even more amazing than it is now. I’m sure of it.

{Photos of Corey and me by Tricia Seabold, all others ©  Liz Denfeld}

{A Mexican Dinner Date in Amsterdam}

Do you want to know what makes me reallyyy happy? New shoes + big hair + margaritas + date night, that’s what. Saturday night the huz and I decided we were in the mood for some chips and salsa and lime margaritas. We’d been hearing a lot about Los Pilones, a Mexican restaurant in Amsterdam. Supposedly it was good Mexican, just like home. Now, I can’t say I was blown away by the food (still on the hunt for an incredible Mexican restaurant here!), but the margaritas. Oh, the margaritas!! Seriously rivaled my favorite Portland margarita (which can be found at Casa del Matador on NW 23rd), which is saying a lot. We had such a fun time on Saturday night. It was just one of those dinners where we didn’t run out of things to talk about, or get tempted by the pull of the iPhone (come on, admit it, it happens to you too!). It felt like date nights back in the day, before we were married and lived together and knew everything about each other. After a few margs the laughter just wouldn’t stop – and yes we got stared at (it was a tiny restaurant), and yes we were totally “those Americans”. But I was having way too much fun to care about any of that. It’s nights like Saturday (and Friday) that I never want to forget. 
And a couple iPhone snaps!
{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

P.S. My shoes are from Zara and I used Katie’s tutorial to do my hair!

{A Perfect Little Friday Night}

Well, things haven’t slowed down around here, but I still managed to find some time to enjoy a few amazing moments this weekend. We’ve been having some incredible weather the last couple weeks and one of my favorite things about Amsterdam is how when the sun comes out everyone swarms the city to find and enjoy their sliver of it. It might be a big sunny terrace, it might be sitting at a tiny set of table and chairs on your stoop, or many times it’s just grabbing a beer or a bottle of wine and sitting along the edge of the water and soaking up the rare, blissful rays of sun. It has taken us a little while to get used to this whole consuming-alcohol-anywhere-you-want thing, but we decided to embrace it on Friday. I picked up a special bottle of Dutch IPA and we headed to a bench situated right on the Amstel River. Between Corey studying for finals and me having a busier than usual work schedule we haven’t had a lot of time to just sit and catch up, so that’s exactly what we did. Then we grabbed portobello burgers around the corner at Burger Bar and ended the night seeing The Hunger Games.  Friday night was all kinds of perfect, and I never want to forget it.
{blazer: necessary objects (similar), scarf: nordstrom, skinnies: J. Brand, striped top: lucca couture from urban outfitters, shoes: river island, bag: cole haan, sunglasses: D&G}

{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Edinburgh: Part I}

A quick note before this post actually starts. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. Like there aren’t enough hours in a day. Like I am doing a lot of things just okay instead of a few things really well. I wish I had more time to spend with Corey (and him with me), more hours in the day at work to accomplish amazing things, I wish I had the energy to blog at the end of a long day, talk to my mom longer than I do, spend more time training Henry, returning emails and a bajillion other things. I’m basically just feeling kind of crumby and a little bit like a failure lately. I know it’s just a funk, but just so you know, even though I don’t have a lot of time for this blog sometimes, I miss it when I’m gone. And even though I don’t always comment on all your blogs or respond to all your comments, I am reading every single one and visiting all your blogs as much as I can. I feel so lucky to be part of such an amazing community of bloggers and I hope you’ll ride out this little funk with me, because I’m sure things will be back to normal soon.
Now on to the post I started writing a few days ago and never got around to finishing. Until now.
——————–
Well, it’s finally here! I’m posting about Edinburgh – yippee! 
So – we all know I love a good blogger meet up. Meeting up with a blogger for the first time in a different country is definitely an extreme version of a blate (blate = blog + date, Megan coined the term a while back). And when it’s just you and your blogger friend, that’s pretty cool, but when you throw your men into the mix you know things are serious. But Megan and I decided to go for it anyways. I think both Corey and Stephen were a little freaked out by the whole idea, and if I’m honest, there was a tiny part of me that was afraid maybe the boys wouldn’t click or something. But luckily there was absolutely nothing to worry about. By the end of our two days together we were acting like we were all old friends we’d known for years. We laughed, we talked, we explored, we drank, we ate…We just had a really freakin’ good time. We are hoping Megan and Stephen get over to Amsterdam soon because we already miss them! 
Now, here are some photos from our first day in Edinburgh. And a few things you should do if you ever find yourself there.
Somebody needed to stop for a break… And looking glamorous while doing so 🙂
To be continued…

{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{On Love}

I know everyone and their mother reads A Cup of Jo, but this letter she posted today moved me so deeply that I just had to post it myself. The letter was written by well-known author John Steinbeck to his son after he received a letter from him in which he confessed he had fallen hopelessly in love with a girl named Susan. Here was his response (I’ve highlighted some of my most favorite lines):

New York

November 10, 1958

Dear Thom:
We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First — if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second — There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply — of course it isn’t puppy love.
But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it — and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.
If you love someone — there is no possible harm in saying so — only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.
It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another — but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.

Love,
Fa

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Wouldn’t it be beautiful to include parts of this letter in a wedding ceremony? I just love it.

Happy, happy Friday, everyone!


{Seville: Day 2}

Yay! I’m finally posting more photos from our Seville trip! Going back and looking through them I realized how much I already miss the sun (and Nicole) and need to get back to it! Good thing we’re heading to Barcelona in a few weeks 🙂
Our second day in Seville we walked and walked and walked. We started our morning with amazing churros from this little churro window that was hidden in a small alleyway. They were so good. We wanted to go back and get some more later in the day, but it was closed. Then we tried to go again the next morning and again, closed. We started to realize how lucky we were to taste them in the first place! Moral of the story: You need to eat churros in Seville. Those Disneyland ones have nothing on these.

Just a couple pretties from around the city.
Plaza del Triunfo
The entrance to Real Alcazar. I can’t wait to show you the inside. Uh-may-zing.
My two travel buddies for the weekend <3
Oh just a cute little square we happened upon
I’m fairly certain I’d never tire of these picturesque alleyways.
Beers for 1 Euro! We couldn’t pass that up 😉
Plaza de España stole our hearts. So incredibly beautiful.
Watching the sunset by the river every night. This is the life.

{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Back From Edinburgh}

Goodness, has it really been a week since I last posted? I’ve been a bad blogger.
Life has just been so busy lately. Between work, travel and trying to have a social life sometimes I don’t have the energy to blog. 
I still have a zillion photos from Seville to share with you. I’m really hoping I can get those done this week!
But for now, I leave you with a few photos from our day trip (from Edinburgh) to St. Andrews this past weekend. 
Let’s just say we had a really good time. Particularly me. This is my happy dance. 
Or what happens when husband tells me to show him “my moves”. He didn’t know what was coming!
We had the most incredible weekend hanging out with Megan + Stephen (she made me laugh so hard I cried!) and I just cannot wait to tell you all about it!! I wish culling and editing photos and getting all my thoughts down didn’t take so darn long.
Anyways, hope you hang in there with me – lots of good stuff to come 🙂
{Photos by my lovely husband!}

Happy Valentines Day

For as girl as in love with love as I am, it’s sort of surprising how not into Valentines Day I am. 
Corey’s in class tonight so we’re not having a romantic dinner or feeding each other truffles or anything. It’s just me and little Henry, my furry Valentine, hanging out in a quiet apartment. I’m working on editing some snowy Amsterdam photos that I hope to post soon, so stay tuned! For now, I leave you with a sneak peek, and one of my favorite quotes that took the thoughts right out of my hopeless romantic head.

{Sneak Peek: Evelyn Zoe Newborn Photos}

I’m so beyond grateful Evelyn Zoe decided to show up a week early so I could meet her when I was home for the holidays! She is the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen! I was lucky enough to take some photos for Megs and Jeff and I couldn’t have been happier to share in the excitement and joy over their new baby girl. I’m only showing a peek at the photos for now as I know Meghan and Jeff are planning on using a few for their birth announcement and I don’t want to ruin the surprise for friends that read my blog, but I just had to brag about gorgeous Evie and share at least a couple! 


Meghan and Jeff – You made an incredibly beautiful and precious little girl. She is so ridiculously lucky to have you both as parents. I can’t wait to watch Evelyn grow, watch how she changes your life and witness the love you clearly have for each other now multiply for this little one. Congratulations!