fall, y’all.

I totally got called out by a friend at work the other day. After biking to work, I bounced in the door wearing my buffalo plaid jacket and my scarf and my boots, smiling and excited for coffee. My friend looked at me and said,

– You love fall, don’t you? Look at you! You say, “Ugh. I hate the cold” but you love fall so much. I bet you already had two pumpkin spice lattes today!

I have not had any pumpkin spice lattes this season… yet. But — crap — I think I love fall, y’all.

Especially when exercise = leisurely strolls with friends and sneaky wine and beautiful sunsets.

IMG_0848 IMG_0843 IMG_0868

 

crunching leaves. actually having time to read. or watch a documentary or appreciate some rad art-vertising. [those are basically the same as reading, right?] espresso galore. new [lovely] music.

walks for the hell of it. podcasts on podcasts on podcasts on podcasts. dates with my husband where the couple at the next table shares their ah-mazing bottle of wine with us.

dammit, I’m a cliché. I love it all.

one month.

After a crazy/awesome weekend of adventuring in the Montana mountains [evan actually adventuring. me working with film crews and being so excited about it.], we jumped in our car and drove to our most recent home — Missoula — to see Ira Glass and dine and drink and brunch and laugh with friends we don’t get to see often enough. It was a wonderful weekend.

Ran ragged, I came home from a long day working today to notes of “Happy One Month” and it hit me — one month! I have been married to my yes for a month!

A month ago today, we married. I almost forgot.

Ahh, love!

And in the mail, a card from my mother-in-law containing the medicine cards for Blue Herons and Bears — both of which made an appearance at our wedding ceremony. It is so lovely to reflect. To be thankful. To read up on our beautiful visitors. To remember…

love_sidney_morgan_for_blahg

Amidst rain and VW vans and laughs and whisky and bears and swimming and friends and family and a blue heron, we tied our lives to each others. And I can’t help but think it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. At last.

happiest one month.

photo by sidney morgan.

two days of the simple.

It has been two days since my family left after a beautiful time of celebrating my graduation/birthday. Which means that it has been a little over a week since I finished my master’s in media arts. Which means that Evan also finished his semester in Missoula and then made the move to Bozeman. Which means we’re finally living in the same place after our two and a half months of being apart and being engaged. Which means we finally get to exhale and look at each other and smile.

It has been two days. And I feel like it’s been two of the most refreshing days I’ve had in three years.

Do not get me wrong: The last three years of my life have been absolutely incredible. I achieved more than I could have ever dreamed. I found terrifying challenges within me that didn’t know existed… and then conquered them. I made relationships with beautiful souls who made my life brighter and constantly deepened my curiosity and love for this world.

But ho-ly shit has it been exhausting. And now it’s been two days. Two days free. Two days with this old self — who has been in the waits — jumping up and down with comfortable excitement. A self I haven’t known in a while is welcoming me back.

I am discovering all kinds of me again. Miranda July is here. Evan is here. Elliot Smith [via some fresher favorites] [via a favorite radio station] is here.

Even these old comfy pants are here. The ones I bought for a dollar at the Bondi market in 2009. They haven’t been here for so long. Have I showed them to you? They’re here again…

pants_fur_blahg
Did you see that? Even taking-photos-of-myself-with-my-computer is here! Just like the old days.

The weird is here:

And affirmation for the weird is here…

“I never knew if the stupider things we did or the more traditional things we did would work. I didn’t know if the stupid stuff would alienate people. I didn’t know if the traditional stuff would be more appealing. And then, when I look back on it now, of course the answer is, you want to do the weird thing.” – David Letterman

Two days of coming home from my wondrously creative job to go for a run on gorgeous trails right out my front door. Two days of running. In a row. [this rarely rarely happened in the last three years.]

Two days of the simple, lovely things. Reading. Being with Evan. Listening to podcasts. Listening to music. Dancing. Making dinner. Making phone calls. Journaling.

And instead of looking at my last journal entry from months ago with disappointment in myself, I find the pages telling me, Hey, welcome back! Isn’t this awesome?? We’re here!

In the last entry [from before I officially accepted this new job, this new life], I found a little message to myself…

“I spent a lot of time in yoga looking at myself. Identifying me. Rachel. Rachel Lauren Marie Stevens. I think I like who I see… but it’s time to get to know her again.”

I hardly remember writing that, but I couldn’t be more on board or more excited.

Here we go.

A new chapter with an old friend.

[let’s do this.]

engagement photos.

Evan and I have spent the two months of our engagement driving back and forth from Missoula, Bozeman, and Jackson. Things have been a little more insane than usual with us both finishing up our semesters (my final!!!!) and moving and new jobs and new communities and whatnot.

But being engaged has been amazing. I really thought nothing would change from knowing I was going to spend the rest of my life with Evan and then it being official by me wearing a beautiful ring… Things are different. Things are brighter. There is an excitement in this comfort of commitment that I did not expect. Being engaged rules. (I know that might sound braggy… not sorry.)

I never thought I’d be the person who wanted engagement photos, but when Danford Photography posted on Facebook how they were looking for newly engaged couples for a portrait session, I thought, Well, I love being engaged… And let’s throw one more thing into the mix for this crazy time!

Karen and Jesse chose us for a session and I was beyond excited! Evan traveled over to Bozeman for the weekend just for the shoot and we. are. so. glad that he did.

It was a blast driving down to the Madison River area and walking around in the wind, having our photos taken. Karen and Jesse are so awesome: totally casual and sweet and encouraging.

And we are in. love. with our photos…

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I cannot speak highly enough of Danford Photography. Karen and Jesse are incredible people. After the short time we spent with them, we consider them friends! If you’re in the Bozeman area and need any photography in your life… hit them up!

And all of my jewelry (in the photos and basically in general forever now) is Laurel Hill Jewelry. She is also incredible. Ahh, such amazing artists in my life!

thank you thank you, all! xxo.

lovely little things.

these days, I have to remind myself to stop and breathe in life. love the little lovely things.

like the awesome card from your bff:
bees_knees
or the valentine from your dear friends and their BABY… their beautiful, wonderful babe:
jack_valentine

or remembering to watch your all-time favorite movie near enough to valentine’s:


I swear I interpret this film differently every time I watch it. I love it.
and I’m determined to drink a blue ruin someday.

or giggling throughout the day at the misfortunes of your partner in crime.
[which might make me horrid.]

or the full-on incredible valentine’s present from your mom:
crystal_and_hef mom_note

the little lovely things.

pinging joy within.

xxo.

well, now I just want to ride my bike across the country on the northern tier.

This year has brought an abundance of exciting things. One of those exciting things was working with Epic Montana via Adventure Cycling to make the first episode in a series called, “Adventure Cycling Montana.”

I’ve plastered this short video all over the rest of my social media venues, but if you haven’t watched yet, I do think you’ll enjoy…


I also wrote a little behind-the-scenes blahg post about the whole experience over here. It was such an amazing experience. I still can’t get over that this was part of my job this year.

[exciting things.]

Step 1: Be Unrealistic.

Class was cancelled this morning. After I was already sitting at the coffee shop, flustering to get all the scripts together that I need to read and making note of the loose ends I need to tie up, my three-hour class was cancelled and I have a couple hours to myself at this escape.

So as an homage to the me who sat in countless [countless!] coffee shops in Wyoming and Australia, blahgging away about hopes of love and hopes of success and observations of beauty, I sit and write.

And actually discover and listen to good music…

…instead of embarrassingly [enthusiastically] listening to Top 40 hits whilst working.

The beginning of my last year of grad school has been met with much appreciation and frustration. I am making films. People are excited that I am making films for them. I am making films for Adventure Cycling…

on_set_epic_montana

on set of an Epic Montana shoot. photo by Mick Faherty.

I am making a documentary about some of the most incredible families I’ve ever met. I have a phone call with PBS today. I am meeting tonight to discuss a sequel-ish to my most infamous work.

This is a dream come true. Beyond a dream.

This semester I am taking classes more focused around fiction, narrative. Writing. Creating. I have always wanted to be a writer. Thought that I could write. There are two compliments I hold above all others. They happened within two years from each other, both spoken by men that should not have held as much clout as they did in my life. They both had recently read something that I wrote and looked at me in the eyes and said…

– You are a writer.

And now I sit in front of my computer, ready to compose something more for my Screenwriting class, and I can’t. I don’t feel like a writer when I try to write a screenplay. Sometimes I do get words down. They’re all shit. It’s so frustrating.

And I’m so inspired lately. So insanely inspired by every ounce around me. I want to write/make short films as amazing as this…

The Video Dating Tape of Desmondo Ray, Aged 33 & 3/4 from Steve Baker on Vimeo.

And as badass as this…

Jettison Your Loved Ones from Court 13 on Vimeo.

Even as perfect as this little one…

ASPIRATIONAL from Matthew Frost on Vimeo.

It’ll happen, right? I’ll write something worth making into them movin’ pictures, right? Yes and yes.

I just read the screenplay of Little Miss Sunshine.

It made me love the movie even more, which I didn’t think was possible. Michael Arndt [who wrote the screenplay] is such an encouragement. He put this in the back:

LMS_script_1 LMS_script_2
I love this. I love it so much.

In everything, remember who you are and where you came from and that if you take yourself too seriously, you’ll kill the things you love… but if you don’t take the things you love seriously, you’ll let yourself die.

Since I’m here and we hardly talk anymore, let me show you all the songs that I am loving right now [along with the one from the beginning of this post… which I can’t stop listening to]…

Thanks, Ash!

[so so excited for that album.]

Also, I saw this film last night…

HO-LY HELLLLL. It was dark, intense, awesome, weird, beautiful. I highly recommend it.

I thought I was going to see it by myself. Evan was at the library studying, I thought I’d walk down to the pub theater and see a late movie by myself. [Sidenote: I love Missoula.] I texted Ev, “I’m going to see the 9pm show. see you at home later! xxo.” When I got to the theater, Evan was standing outside, locking up his bike.

– I wanted to hang out with you.

We went inside, bought tickets, and went to get a glass of wine. Some dear friends [another couple] were there, going to the same movie. We hugged. We sat with them. We all laughed at the humorous parts together. We all clutched our significant other during the [weirdly, yet highly] suspenseful parts together.

Afterwards, we stood outside the theater and talked about different theories and getting input from each other to try and clarify all the mindfucks. [there were a lot… this movie is awesome.]

It was a wondrous, unexpected/much-needed, double-date.

So that’s where I am. Sitting in a coffee shop, blahgging, actively encouraging inspiration, hoping that I can find talent by drinking from this glowing latte mug…

glowing_cups
I want more mornings like this.

[i want more time here.]