Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas on Toledo St.

Christmas was always a holiday I looked forward to as a kid.
If I was good, I increased my chances of receiving a bounty of beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree.

Each year, we exchange gifts with others as a symbol of love.
We enjoy food and time with them to rejuvenate our souls for the impending new year.

This year I bought my first Christmas tree. I never thought that something so simple could give me so much joy.

I suppose it's because I have not enjoyed Christmas the last few years. At least not as much as I used to.

I was not unhappy. I was... elsewhere. I was unsure how to enjoy the holiday when I had conflicted feelings about my year. I was always optimistic. I just had a lot on my mind.

I did remain focused. I pushed myself to find the joy, the right kind of enjoyment that I was seeking.

I am grateful to have this moment to reflect. I have so many things to appreciate in this time.

...and I always have.

Though this year, it is different.

The joy I was seeking is before me, in the simple, sparkling, plug-in tree by the window. It is in my table covered with red, green, and silver ribbon and other craft supplies. It is in spending Friday night on the couch at home recovering from a week long cold. It is in my sweetheart's warm eyes. It is in the smiley emoticons and messages from mom and dad.

It is here.

Here, at home.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mis Equipos

my teams.

I belong to many.

Some have influenced my life in the past.
Some are developing right now, challenging me, maturing me.

My teams, or equipos, equip me with the things I need to be a better human being.

I am proud of the make-up of all of the special teams I've been a part of.
I think fondly to how I'm more experienced as a result of our time together.

mis equipos.

who is on your team?


Two awesome ladies :) <3

Playing Guess Who?


Adventure time. #maui

Saturday, September 14, 2013

my favorite things.

flowers. sneakers. dinner outdoors.
tequila. painting. New House chores.
lovin' and kisses and weekends and Spring.
these are a few of my favorite things.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

peace in amsterdam.

It has been over a month since we ventured into Amsterdam.
After the trip, life moved along hazily. It took a while, with all the newness, to get back in my groove.

Now, in a bit more of a peaceful place, I have gotten things done.

Looking back at the photos I took in Amsterdam gives me peace and warmth, with a thoughtful hopefulness.

It was a memorable trip, in more ways than one.
Thinking back, I'm grateful for each moment. For the opportunity to be so fortunate.

More photos of our Amsterdam trip here.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

recordi di Italia.

When I think back to Italy, I have these distant memories. In a cloud almost.

Three weeks ago, I was welcomed to stay with Michael's family in a small Italian village an hour and half east of Rome. We visited nearby towns, were treated to delicious foods and drink, and had laughs with family and friends (in both languages!)

Most memorably, I spent the final weeks with someone dear to Michael and consequently, dear to me.

I joyfully recall all my final moments with Debbie:

My birthday, where she joined her family together with mine to sing and eat cake. She went out of her way to make my family's visit comfortable. She even coordinated Giants vs. Dodgers tickets for my dad and grandma. :)

And then there was our vacation to Italy- a relaxing and distant place with eye-opening landscapes and space to take your time.
Debbie window
Being with family. Treasuring relationships.

She was always smiling.

I took some photos during our trip to Italy. Mostly, I tried to enjoy moments without something in my hands. My collection reflects all the beauty that we experienced during that time. The loving people, the beautiful scenery, the moments of peace.

I hope you enjoy the entire album here.

Debbie light

memories I will treasure forever. <3 p="">

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sunset Session

While resting on our worn-in couch yesterday evening, I said goodbye to the day's sun as it slipped behind the distant mountains, like a coin in a gum machine slot.

It's golden brilliance, which, just moments before had spread out towards everything it touched, slowly slipped from view until I was left with the cool, deepening hue of the night sky.

"Goodbye!" I waved, "See you tomorrow!" It's warmth and light felt like an old friend that I knew would call me soon.

And there, resting in wait, was the crescent moon, a reminder that the sun would be back- that I must rest in stillness and reflection until it rises again.

I felt full, I felt happy.

I felt productive. I wanted to rest.


What I was left with was a feeling of openness. I had time and space to be there for me.
What shall I do?

There were two things left undone. The two things that make me feel 'me', that give me joy. I realized that if for no other reason than to give me light, I must do them regularly to feel complete.

So I painted.
And I danced.
Sunset session: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 #paint

:) ... to be continued.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Morning Ramblings.

An unexpected three-day weekend gives me more rest. Multiple chances to share our new space with friends and family gives us more to think about, more to appreciate right now.

Last night's light rain feels refreshing, revealing... the first rain in the new house!

Today, I am calm and curious. I am ready to begin this week and looking forward to seeing my family this weekend. 

Despite my busy schedule and the many things occupying my brain, I am giving myself time to reflect. Time to drink hot tea. Time to read a chapter in my book. Time to write in my journal.

This morning, there are many things to do. But I get to choose what they are.
I've waited to have this independence since I can remember- days of imagining a grown-up me in a place, making decisions, feeling calm and capable. 

I've learned that reflecting in this way can be good, and every day I know it more. 
And now I take it a step further by feeling proud of myself. 
Not for any big accomplishment, but for the little ones.

Patience, Practice, Persistence. 
They add up to a big pay-off. That only means something to you.

Here are three things I am grateful for today:

A collection of videos from my cousin's wedding in February. I called on friends to shoot the wedding since I was in the bridal party and edited together these videos. Here is a highlight of the wedding that encompasses all the fun we had that day.
Stephanie + Chris Get Married from Reinel on Vimeo.

A work project featuring my favorite type of content to shoot. The 2013 Music Showcase at Academy of Art University featured some amazing talent. I've watched it several times. Not only for the music but to see where I can improve on my shooting and editing. Check it out by clicking here.

And of course, the new space.
Untitled stretch out and grow. :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Stand Out.
Stretch Up.

Look Out, Over, Beyond. things you could not see.

Listen. Wait. Reflect.

Give time, and space, and love.


Expand. Enrich. Stretch.

Realize Newness.
Things beyond your reach.
Things once not understood.

Dig your roots deep.
Turn the soil, keep it fresh.
Know who you are and why you are.
Where you came from.

Keep Growing.
Keep growing until you have the tallest view,
the highest perspective.
and then...

keep growing still.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Start where you are.

I heard some good advice once: "Start where you are."

Throughout my life, I have often felt... like I was not up to 'speed', that I needed to 'catch up'.

Things have changed over the years. I have adjusted. I have learned to be flexible. I have calmed down with my state of urgency, a rush to do or be something else.

Start where you are.

We all have to start 'over' sometimes.

No... Start 'again' is better...

Start 'again'
...because 'over' sounds exhausting.

To start over, you have to repeat all the steps you already took. But to start again, you are in a forward state. You have new knowledge. You have experience.
You are not the same.
You are better, more prepared.

Again and again... and again.

I am becoming someone new. All the time. Never am I the same.

Start where you are. Start now.

Peer ahead.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I am very happy to announce that after several years of uncertainty and patiently waiting, I am starting off 2013 as a full time employee. It has been an active first four months at the Academy of Art University, but I am grateful for it. Grateful for the new perspective, grateful for the ease of mind, and grateful for the new ideas and potential for opportunities that are now within my reach.

After adjusting to a Christmas where I could actually afford to travel and buy my loved ones treats, I decided to give myself a Christmas gift. So, I had cards made of my prints on deviant art. Then, I put final touches on some paintings I started last year, but never finished, and posted them up online. Painting is my new playground and each creation a new challenge. Sometimes my creations are messy, sometimes a little odd, but always very colorful. Just like me.


I am finding that there is inspiration everywhere, if you just relax and have a good time.

Visit my gallery on