Having a laugh.

My ridiculously delightful and ridiculously tall cousin, Brogan, managed to capture some of the best bits about our little family reunion in Atlanta. Despite the slightly somber reason for everyone being there, it led to an awful lot of this:


And this photo doesn't really fit the theme, but I had to include it to demonstrate the fact that, even at nearly 6', I am one of the shrimps in my family. And they're slouching! Jerks.

At least I can strap on a pair of heels.

It's all relative.

Before jumping into gratuitous style posts, I wanted to give style credit where it is due: to my mom. Actually, she may not want credit for my heart patterned tights, giant floral headbands, and love of sequins, but too bad.
She gets major credit for two reasons. First, she always let me dress exactly how I liked, without pushing any kind of fashion agenda. Even when I was small, I could wear whatever made me happy, even if it meant letting me out of the house looking like a furry bunch of grapes:

Or possibly:

But look how happy I was! You can't really see the detailing, but those shorts mostly involved orange flowers with puffy paint accents over black leopard spots. Yes. Those boots weren't just for riding either. Perfect anytime! And the red socks peeking out of the boots were a crucial part of the ensemble. If the socks were missing, I would change into something else. Probably striped belted shorts with a polka dot blouse.

My mom, on the other hand, has always managed to look lovely, even in her formative years. She has never worried much about make-up [except for the occasional dramatic lipstick, which I have fully embraced], believes in the power of a bold accessory [I have taken that to mean red satin hair bows or hot pink heels; she is more of a silk scarf or beautiful brooch person], and a red dress is always optimal. Observe:

Floral print romper while growing up in Saudi Arabia. Ahead of her time!

Now, for comparisons sake, here is my mom when she was approximately the age I am now:

And here is what I look like at approximately the age I am now:

Clearly, I still have some work to do.

My mother, however, is still willing to be seen with me in public, no matter what I'm wearing. As long as I'm happy! Thanks, Mom.

Apple pie and flying phonebooths.

I spent the weekend in Atlanta, attending my grandmother's memorial service. It was bittersweet -- it was the first time that my far-flung family had managed to really gather in a decade, but it was a terrible excuse for a reunion. Lots of stories and gin & tonics and laughter and sighs and black & white photographs and ridiculous sing-alongs. We're all very weird and very tall and I couldn't be prouder to be a Graham. Margaret was our matriarch, and she is missed.
Upon arriving home, I needed a comforting distraction -- marathons of two of my favorite television shows did the trick. Add a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches and I'm set.

P.S. The photos: Calikalie's site is one of the prettiest things I've seen.

15 years is more than half my life.

Annie and I became friends when she was offered a choice while boarding a bus on the way to a sixth grade field trip: sit next to me, or be stuck next to one of the teachers. She chose me and I charmed her with stories of my family's pet crow. 15 years later, she's still one of my favorite things.

After living states apart, she recently relocated to a nearby town, a move which has prompted silly photo shoots with her lovely new camera. Thanks for picking me, Annie!

It was a Maxfield Parrish sky.
Also, my dress strap broke immediately. Can you spot it? I am not good at being a lady.

Ivy league.

When I was in college, there was only one place on campus that guaranteed that I would get any work done: the tiny science library. As a history student, it was technically a useless spot, except for the fact that it felt like a place where important work should be accomplished: marble columns, towering ceilings, names of famous intellectuals intimidatingly carved along the walls, rows of softly lit wooden tables, and the obviously necessary illuminated oversized globe. I couldn't help but get things done.
When faced with a major project this week, I wandered down to visit a friend who works at the University of Chicago in the hopes of discovering a space that would have a similar effect.

Found it!

The Reynolds Club was just what I needed. 

The rest of the campus, minus the somewhat terrifying library, is equally as lovely. I enjoyed exploring the grounds a bit, it felt like a completely different world  -- say, Oxford? Ivy and tunnels and heavy wooden  doors.

Ivy, ivy, ivy. Riveting stuff.

The above shot is actually of a greenish little pond. Eventually I ended up surrounded by lazy turtles, chirping birds, twitchy squirrels, and grazing rabbits. I've clearly been reading far too much fantasy, between Lev Grossman's "The Magicians" and the Harry Potter books, as I half expected one of them to start a conversation or attempt to dress me. It was too eerily idyllic. 

Waiting calmly for the inevitable bird attack.

In the interest of full discloser, the day wasn't quite all work.

Again in the interest of full disclosure: immediately after this picture was snapped, I got my shoe half stuck in the tire and ended up in a decidedly unlady-like heap. This is why I'm not allowed outdoors. And why I'm usually wearing running shorts underneath my dresses.

I had a terribly busy weekend.

I wrote a love letter ...

... messed about in outer space ...

... took a dip in the ocean ...

... learned about science ...

... and played in the rain.

I can't imagine what the next one will bring.

My kind of town.

One particularly lovely thing about living in Chicago is that people are happy to make the trip to visit you. For some reason, people were more reluctant to do so when I resided in Cleveland.

In that spirit, one of my favorite people in the world came to see me a few weekends ago. In our group of friends, she was the one least likely to want to get married and have children. Naturally, she was the first one to experience both. This was her first trip away from the baby, so we used the time wisely. Fresh crepĂ©s, downtown concerts, endless bookstores, zoo carousels, many cups of coffee, swimming [my first time in the lake!], films, and late nights watching the skyline, accompanied by wine and cheese. Fine, not cheese, Cheetos. We're classy girls.

We also discovered "burst mode" on the camera. Oh dear. I cobbled together a little stop motion film of our exploits. Enjoy!

Chicago, Chicago from Emily Graham on Vimeo.

A Vida Portuguesa

I wanted one new blog post in 2017, with the promise to myself to document my travels in the new year, before I completely forget the a...