This is a thing to keep me blogging/photographing/writing regularly in 2015. It’s inspired by and modeled after Ann Friedman’s weekly newsletter. Bless her.

I didn’t make any resolutions this year. I’ve got enough goals, most of which are partially obtained. They hang on my bathroom wall. I look at them when I brush my teeth, go to pee or inspect my face/do my makeup really close to the mirror.

This week,

I felt fat. I had the Devil’s period. I panicked. I bought pants that are too big. I bookmarked a half-dozen lean-vegetarian-protein-packed-no-bread-sorrow-free recipes. I made this, this and this. I binge ate chocolate. I cried to My Boyfriend about all of it. I regret nothing.

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Family in need finds home for holidays

The Paynes and their 6 kids finally got a place of their own. We wrote about them earlier in the year here.

Homeowners: Top-O-Rock damages devastating
What the heck went on up at that pretty glass house?

Charleston homeless’ Tent City numbers dwindle
These are the folks I’m thinking of during these super chilly nights.

West Side cop-resident program gets first buyers
A project that seems timely to write about.

I photographed some booze for the New Year.

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These were taken with a Holga during a trip to and from Philadelphia. They are blurry and hilarious. I love them.

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Charlie Hebdo. Lynsey Adarrio is my photo hero. Cartier-Bresson has a comeback. Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter. Badu saves souls. Bagels save souls. Many versions of my favorite song.

Hi and oh-my-gosh.
I was so fortunate to photograph Melinda and Brian last month for their engagement.
The two got engaged in July. Brian proposed to Melinda at a great little spot on Charleston’s East End called Bluegrass Kitchen.

(do the brunch. for real.)

What was so wonderful about the proposal was that they were seated at the same table as their first date. Totally a coincidence, Brian insists. Smooth, Universe. Very smooth.

To celebrate, we started in the East End’s Living Aids Memorial Garden–a little peace and green along a busy street–then walked down to the restaurant where it all began. We ended at the Kanawha Players theater, where Brian was spending a lot of time rehearsing for Evil Dead: The Musical.

Here are some images:

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Because I am a writer–a journalist–I often think about what I cover. Is this accurate? Am I making assumptions in my coverage? Have I recorded all necessary voices for a story? Is the “necessary voice” I identified accurate? It can be a stressful line to walk as I turn in a story by (sometimes a little past) deadline.

I stumbled upon a TED Talk from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie while looking for the one that Beyonce samples in “***Flawless.” Yes, you may roll your eyes. It’s fine.

In this talk, Adichie addresses “the single story” and how it can skew perceptions and degrade a people. She discusses this as it relates to literature, but I think it can be extended to nonfiction, too. Sometimes we read or watch or hear media reports that seem to assume or create harmful perceptions That’s something I’ve tried to avoid in my coverage–writing narratives that don’t fairly or accurately represent people, places, situations. I’m not always certain I do a good job of that, but I think that’s ultimately why I’m working in journalism, which was not my plan when I graduated from college. I don’t really want to tell other people’s stories, though that seems to be my main function right now. I’d rather help create or provide space for those stories.

I love programs/podcasts like Death, Sex & Money from WNYC, where host Anna Sale creates a safe space to discuss those three topics in a raw way. She’s speaking with “everyday” people. She’s speaking with politicians. She’s speaking with musicians and actors. What’s great about this podcast is that it allows for those people to exist beyond what The World has defined them as. Jane Fonda is a celebrity and interviews primarily focus on her career and fame. But in her interview (one of my favorites) Fonda is allowed to be human.

Here’s that TED Talk:

Christina and I were connected with one another through a mutual friend, and boy am I glad.

C and John were married in a beautiful mass at Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral in downtown Charleston, W.Va. The lighting was wonderful during the ceremony, and Sacred Heart’s gardens in front of the church and across the street made for some beautiful images.

We headed across the river to Kanawha City for wedding party photos and portraits. Lucky for us, a man was willing to let us use his yard right along the riverbank for some really beautiful shots.

Bride and groom and their guests celebrated well into the evening on the pavilion at the Charleston Marriott Town Center.

Here are some images:
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It’s baby season. Again.
The second round of buns in ovens is upon my various social circles, so I’ve been traveling a lot to celebrate with moms-to-be and sometimes dads, too.

This means seeing my closest friend, all of whom are finding their ways in the world. Many people are leaving Shepherdstown–the place where we lived, studied, created, found each other and started to find ourselves. I’m so proud.

Here are some images:

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(Liz did this. I’ve been letting go of my camera more lately. More reason to keep it up.)

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I recently had to travel to Davis, W.Va., for work (oh, darn.) and decided to make a short weekend of it.
After a long day of listening and writing, this hangry vegetarian stopped in Thomas at The Purple Fiddle–a great restaurant, music venue and hostel–to grab a bite. The falafel sandwich is wonderful, so be kind to yourself and order it if you’re ever there.
I also made a stop at TipTop, a coffee shop with food and spirits that came highly recommended by some of my coworkers. TipTop is distantly related to Shepherdstown’s own HypnoCoffee, and had a brew just as bangin’.

Here are some images:

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This Fiddle cat is always ready for love from visitors.

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Nikki Talley, a singer-songwriter from Asheville, N.C.

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The Mulligan Brothers, from Mobile, Ala.

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TipTop

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Rebecca, killer artist and barista

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Oh, and First Aid Kit has a new album out. Peep this vid:

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