i could be sweet
and i could be sweeter
i want to be where your heart is home
she & him - home
You met Trey and Mallory behind the bar at Hoboken Coffee Roasters
. You met their dream - their wooden, mechanical, brown, window-ed, handmade dream. You met a part of them that isn't just their career or their work, but their hearts on display on Division Avenue. Hoboken is more than a part, but it isn't the whole.
Today you'll at least get to meet more of the parts, that will help you know the whole far better. The parts about an OSU cowgirl-student, paying the bills by working at a college town coffee house. The parts about her meeting Gerald Woods, the Third (or "Trey," for three. Get it?) The parts about an engagement three months later. And a wedding four months after the "Will you?" And the parts about their bike ride - on their bicycles, with pedals and wheels that runs on human muscle, determination and exhilaration - from Oklahoma to Oregon. Yes. The parts about their time in Eugene, working working working, playing playing playing, learning learning learning, dreaming dreaming dreaming. They continued to pay the bills by being hired at, well, where else? Coffee shops. And they looked forward to big new parts. Baby parts and a shop of their own parts and a house to make their home (at least for a good long while) parts.
On a personal note, before I wow you with more heartwarming Woods tales, I have to recite, once again, why I love shooting people in their real life. I'm not the biggest fan of styled shoots (I understand their fun and place), I'm never going to be a commercial "America's Next Top Model esque" photographer (but I sure am glad someone does it, because I adore the spreads in Vogue and Vanity Fair), I have no desire to learn camera and photoshop tricks and magicals to create Popular Page worthy Flickr creations (though I adore it when those are well done - they're dreamy.) Honestly, I could take or leave photography. And "art." Not in the world, oh no. But in my own life - I don't "need to take pictures!" What I do "need," however, is to create (bedrooms or meals or outfits or blog posts) and to know people. I'm far less bubbly and outgoing than I was a few years ago. I may be less social and, heck, even less friendly! But my heart is "on" and I'm addicted to knowing and discovering the stories of people. I love shooting a birth story or a wedding or a friend of mine at the pool. I just, oh, feel alive! Like life is tasty and happening and dazzling!
And here, in a living room on Oak Street, in a town set aglow by the promise of "Munson and Sons"
(or "Mummy Fords," depending on which old lady in town you speak with), is a wife and mamma and female who doesn't know how to pin something onto Pinterest. And a husband and daddy and man who looks like American Storybook Jesus, according to my husband. And a coffee-shop babe who takes her naps under a espresso machine, and who kind of looks like a munchable little coffee treat herself. And this is where they wake up and come home and close their blinds and take their showers and park their jeep and rest.
And it makes me feel alive.
They moved into this home, less than two minutes from their store, last month. They have hardy plans for it. When we opened the blinds they fell off the window and Mallory tossed them into the kitchen. Where the dish and clothes washer live. And the plaster needs to be repaired in the walls, and the bathroom isn't "them" at all. Just the night before this shoot Mallory went all "destroy the shower doors!" and hung up a curtain and rod in their place. It's just on the cusp of all it will be, but it's undoubtably theirs and beautiful.
In my various conversations with the Woods family over the past eight months, I've watched a trusty thread stitch their thoughts together. "It just wasn't us, ya know?" "That was just SO 'me'!" "It was us!" "It really wasn't 'me.'" They have some of the most developed, unstuffy, natural, pleasant, makes-you-feel-comfortable-not-judged-happy-not-like-a-failure sense of personal taste and desire I've ever come across. They aren't trendy or trying to be cool - they just dress and decorate and drink and do what they love! It's so simple and good.
Trey is the sort of person who you feel really proud-of-yourself when you've made him laugh. He's easy to talk to, interesting and not-shy - but he also doesn't pity-laugh. Mallory, on the other hand, is a feather of a speaker and, if she caught on that you were making a joke, would laugh no matter what - just to make sure you didn't feel bad. But as a couple they make you feel like you're family. It doesn't matter if you're at the shop or in their living room. And their little offspring daughter is a holdable part of their love. She is so easy to adore and want to be near. She's (obviously) super used to being around people all day long. She sucks her fists and is working on coordinating her back with her mind, and she looks at you like she's got you all figured out - and then usually smiles really big, which makes you confident that she assessed you well ;)
These three must be a little window light of heaven. Everyone - from my own family to the church ladies to the Town Member of The Year to the instagram-and-tweeters to myself - have only experienced memorable, rich and addicting love from this crew. It's honest and not something that can be faked or manufactured or posed.
Trey, Mallory and young Autumn, er, Harmony (hahah just kidding. Harvest.) yes, you're beautiful. "Inside and out," as they say. Yes, you're inspiring. But thank you, sincerely, for your hearts - especially towards people. Thank you for not making people different than you (basically your whole town!) feel snubbed or looked down on. Instead they feel a part of you. Thank you for living out what you believe is best, but not talking about those things in a way that makes me-or-others feel like half-bakes. You love differences and don't want everyone to be like you - you want them to be like them. And you bring that out in people. Thank you for talking about God like He's really your friend, and not like you're "good Christian folk who have to bring up prayer now." It's obvious that your life in Him is so interweaved with your everyday life that they just simply can't be separated. It doesn't feel hokey, ultra-spiritual or pushy. It just feels right and helpful and delightful.
Thank you for the start of a friendship - I hope our babies will be buds for a long long time, and I hope you'll get to eat at our bagel shop someday, and I hope for many nights and meals and BBQ's and holiday parties and coffee-breaks and conversations and knowings with our families.
It's been so nice to meet you.