Lessons from Around the Farmhouse Table

POSTED IN : Casa de Youngren, Sweet and Sour

We moved from the suburbs a year ago to our ‘new-to-us’ old house in our 1950’s neighborhood, and I love it more than I can describe. The simple backyard, the old doors, the creaky floors, and the colorful cabinets all bring a smile to my heart. I am deeply satisfied and grateful to live here and to be here. To be just a four minute scooter ride away from our studio, and to have space for a vegetable garden on the sides of the house. To host dinner for 20 people on a whim, and to devour good food and great wine with our friends around our giant farmhouse table outside, sitting beneath a canopy of market lights late into warm summer nights.

It’s only been a year, but it feels like we’ve never been anywhere else.

The irony is that it scares me to be so happy sometimes. The truth that I can rely on is that seasons come to an end – always. And while the thought of the changing seasons brings a ray of hope when things are difficult, when I’m in the midst of a wonderful season, the thought of change brings a jolt of sadness.

Always, seasons are permeated with mixed emotions.

So the lesson I’m embracing in this particular season is to live in the present. Which is strange, I admit. Obviously, I love the present. It should be stupidly easy to embrace it. It’s like choosing NOT to drink a perfectly crafted glass of wine that is set in front of me, but instead  worrying that it might taste slightly better in a month and setting the glass on a windowsill to let it age some more. (Please don’t ever do that…it’s not good.) But I also can’t let myself swing the opposite direction and gulp down the wine in one slug because ‘who knows when the wine gods will whisk it away’.

I think what I’m really trying to say is that it’s just as easy to worry about the future and miss the present when the present is lovely. Worry doesn’t discriminate, I suppose. It’s an unexpected and wonderful lesson to be learning that no matter what the season looks like, it takes persistent effort to fully participate in daily life, whether that means slowing down and taking a breath or overcoming complacency and speeding up. It could mean that I need to stop rushing around once in a while and sip a glass of wine on the front patio while the neighbors wander by. Or it could mean that I should turn more normal nights into special nights by actually opening a great bottle of wine that we’ve been saving for ‘the right’ occasion.

Or even better, it probably means that I should just keep inviting awesome friends over to gather around the farmhouse table and share multiple bottles of wine with everyone involved. I think that’s definitely the best lesson to learn overall…



Hi there! We’re Jeff and Erin Youngren, a hubby and wifey wedding photography team in San Diego. We shoot together. We travel together. We dream together. And we believe the best thing to hold onto in life is each other (+ a great glass of wine…)


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We’re Jeff and Erin Youngren, a hubby and wifey team that photographs amazing couples and their incredible weddings. Hopeless romantics, BFF's, and mama + daddy to James, we’re obsessed with traveling, podcasts, Oreos (Erin) and whiskey (Jeff).