Dear Portland

Dear Portland,

Call me predictable. Everyone always said that you and I were meant for each other. I'd heard that you are everything I look for in a city - full of art, good food, great drinks, and super chill. Everyone was right. You're not too far away, and it feels like every summer we would try to make it out to see you, but never quite get there. This time was different. Something about you feels like home. I'm not sure if it's plainly the PNW vibe or something about the way your streets and buildings make me think of certain areas in Vancouver. You feel small and big and never once did you feel daunting. 


Thank you for welcoming my family so warmly! Thank you for the family friendly little food joints and the pleathora of food carts. Thanks for one of the most chill zoo's I've ever been to. Not going to lie tho - seeing the giraffes in that tiny space made my heart ache. 


I'll never forget walking down the street and seeing Powell's for the first time. The genuine excitement pulsing through my body as I realized that it was a full city block. All bookstores should have their own parking lot. I could write a full letter to this place, and I'm sure one day I will. 


I regret not seeing more of you, but I know I will be back. Thank you for being the background to our family vacation and for giving us new memories that we get to hold on to forever. You are all kinds of wonderful, and I can't wait to see you again.

x J


Harrison, B.C.

One of the few benefits of being so far behind in editing my personal photos from the summer is getting to relive these moments in the darkness of fall weather. One weekend in August, the Josues, B Cools, and MacLaren-Josues packed up and went on the first family vacation in years. It started a little late as Mike and i went to the wrong lake, but we eventually figured out Carol's perfectly planned map. 

The weekend was full of perfect simplicities: dinner on the deck, incredible rounds of Guess Who?, stunning upsets in beer pong, afternoons throwing the football on the sand, and one locked bathroom door. 

xx J

Joining Two Souls

Dearest Kuya Chris and Chelsea,

Thank you for one of the most memorable wedding ceremonies of my life. 
The rainfall over night and weather warnings in the morning couldn't stop us from celebrating your beautiful love. The beach sparkled with purple and pink hues in the sky as the bride came down the aisle. Your ceremony was truly touching. Weddings always make me cry, but yours made me think. As I watched you stare lovingly into each other's eyes, holding your breathe, I felt the love surrounding you and between both of you. 

Kuya - Thank your for always teaching me of balance. Your words never go wasted on me as I try to discover a path towards balance that you have found for yourself. Thank you for leading by example and always showing unconditional love to the family and never giving up on any of us. 

Chelsea - Thank you for all the cigar talks. You are one of the realest women I know. You teach me to reach for my dreams that are just outside my reach and to believe in what I am capable of doing. Our big, bad-ass, crazy family just got a hell of a lot stronger because you are now are "officially" a part of it. 

When I think back to your wedding day, I feel both of your spirits. I see the chill relaxing environment that you created. I appreciate the attention to detail in all of the decor and every element in the reception. I see the dance floor full of bodies grooving to the music and laughter seeming like it will never end. 

Chris and Chels - May you find yourselves always embodying the island life and find comfort in the fact that you found true love.

With endless affection,

Shuswap, B.C.

You should call this the summer of lakes.
Mike's parents bought a place on Shuswap Lake and invited the whole family up for a weekend of relaxation and fun. The weather decided to be fickle, but we made the best out of it with trips to the farmer's market, yard sale finds, and nights killin' it with the Name That Tune. On the last day, I soaked it all in. It's a special feeling when you know this is the start of a new family tradition. To many more weekends on the lake! x

Nelson, B.C.

My favourite part of this summer was the three days spend in quaint Nelson, B.C.. The fresh food, friendly aura, and quiet time with Mike was exactly what I needed. The vintage feel of the entire town really spawned a desire to live in Nelson and have a brand new kind of life. 

I can't wait to visit again!


xx J