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29 May 2012

Sometimes ...

I miss having a shoulder to cry on.

And then I realize that I've never had that.

But have always wanted it.

The 6th grade take on "Call me maybe" :-)

via Instagram http://instagr.am/p/LNdsvMvs4B/

23 May 2012

Playing catch-up, CNY style

I never posted any pics from the quick trip north (mainly because I never took any! Shocking, I know!), but I finally stole some pics from The Beau's camera to share. It's odd that I didn't take any photos because I normally take a bazillion photos, but it was such a quick trip and, in all honesty, I've seen it all before. But The Beau captured some cools pics that I love. 

My and my Kyra
Leah, being Leah
The Beast and Leah
The Beast and Kyra
The Beau and me at my favorite place on earth. 
Me and the nieces, chillin'.
Walking along the creek bed.
Pretty waterfalls. 
Not missing the forest for the trees. 
A typical CNY road.
It was cool to see my home through The Beau's eyes. He's never seen it before, and, while I never take my homeland for granted, I do appreciate seeing it "new" again.

Gift from my kids

Yep. They duck taped my podium with pink and purple zebra print. 

21 May 2012

Rites of Passage

This past weekend was a dear friend's daughter's First Holy Communion. I had the honor of photographing the special event. It was wonderful service and the beautiful young catechist did a great job. You would never have known how nervous she was!!

My most favorite portrait ever. 

New gifts ... charm bracelet form mom, rosary from me, and a cross from grandma. 

The special moment ...

04 May 2012

A bit more Jordan Lake

Offloading the camera also revealed my hiking pics. 

The Lake.
Such a pretty day.
An island of trees. 
Exposed roots of a fallen tree. 
Sailin' away.
What is up with all the tree islands on Jordan Lake?
Gnarly. :)
Looking up.
More mushrooms...
And still more mushrooms! 
I still have no idea what this plant is ...

A bit more Florida

I finally offloaded the rest of my pics from the camera, and I discovered a few leftovers from Florida. 

On my last morning in Florida, Pops and I went for a walk along the beach. Mom and Pops had been at the beach for over a week, and his feet hadn't touched the sand yet! It was nice to get out there and walk with him, just the two of us, hanging out. I miss that when I am so far away. 

It was a rough surf day, and the waves were going crazy. Thankfully there was lists of soft sand to protect my dad's delicate feet. :) 

I miss Dad. And Mom. And LL. And Florida. 

le sigh ...

For all the complaining that Pops does about Mom's shell-scavenging,
I now have photographic evidence that Pops does the same. 

So beautiful ...

The dawn catching the breaking waves.

Goodbye, beach.
See you next year!

03 May 2012

My life in tags

As I posted this morning, I was taking a look at the overall presence of my blog. It has definitely evolved over time, and I've evolved with it. Or it has evolved with me, right? That would be more accurate. Anyway ... I digress...

I try to consistently tag my posts with their main focus and themes. I keep them organized in the left-hand column, the largest is the most used and the smallest is the least. I remember looking at my blog about two or so years ago and noticed that the biggest tag on the list was "this is how life blows" or something like it. While I've certainly had my fair share of hardship and trial, I was uncomfortable with the world seeing my blog as a place for complaining and whining. I realize that it happens though. Bad and difficult stuff happens to all of us, and I choose to use my blog as a way of processing and getting through al that life throws at me, the good and the bad. But, even still, the idea that the most common thing I was doing on my blog was complaining made me uncomfortable.

Fast forward to today ...

Today, the largest tags on my blog are much more representative of where I am in life and what I value. The largest tags are "photos" and "photography," two things that make my life happier and more enjoyable. Next largest is "my life as it is," which, in all honesty, is sometimes a complainy tag, but, more often than not, it is simply the ins and outs  my life. Which is what this whole blogging thing is all about. Also high on the list is "travelogue" and "proud moments for me." Both of these say a lot about where I am in life. I'm having a lot more proud moments that not these days, and I've learned to celebrate the little stuff. I'm finding that is the key to happiness for me. As well as traveling. The more I get out and move around the world, the happier I am. Even if they are just small trips to Annapolis or home to NY or to the beach for a day, getting out into the world makes me happy and relaxed. And, interestingly, the next largest tag is "relaxation techniques." I'm finding in my old age how to relax. It's still very hard for me to just stop and be (I'm definitely a mover and a shaker who finds comfort in constant movement), but I'm discovering little things that bring me peace. Like potting flowers or walking with The Beast or simply drinking some tea while laying in my hammock. I try to make time for these things, and I do a very bad job at it. But at least I'm trying.

By no means is my blog simply all happy sunshine and puppy dogs. I don't hide the bad stuff and only share the good to make myself appear different to the world. I'm still real and honest and as raw as need be. But I think I've achieved a much better balance here between sharing the heartbreak and the happiness. And I think that is reflective of my real life. I've learned to see all the goodness and joy in my life instead of all the struggle and challenge. Even those challenges and struggles allow me to see growth and good.

Taking digital stock of my life has helped me to realize that I'm really happy with where I am in life. Not my geographic location (although I'm pretty happy with that!) but with my emotional stability and well-being. I'm happier now overall than I have ever been, and the current state of my blog reflects this. So, in honor of that, this post is definitely getting a "proud moments for me" tag. :)

New tenant

This little guy was chilling in the apartment complex parking lot this morning. A long way from the pond. I'm thinking all the new goslings drove him out. I hope no one runs him over. People can be so careless. I would have moved him myself, but I wasn't sure if he was a snapper. I don't think so, but I wasn't going to take any chances. Those creatures are nasty!

Succulent Succulents

The current record highs happening here in NC (90+ degrees, people!!) inspired me to do some planting. Because I'll be traveling a little bit this summer, I always like to pant succulents because they require less water and can survive drought conditions. And, given that it's already 90+ degrees here in NC, I'm thinking we may have some drought-like conditions. 

And, of course, I can never do anything simple, so I decided to plant my succulents in a Pinterest-inspired pot. I hit up Lowes, picked out some clay pots, found myself a dowel and some dirt, chose my succulents, and went to town. I'm happy with the tower affect and hopefully they will grow well over the coming months. 

The Not-So-Leaning Tower of Succulents
I bought trailing succulents for the "tower," so hopefully they will "trail" soon.
I tried to add as much color as possible, but that's hard with succulents.
This one is a little sad, but I have faith that it will pull through. 
I like the big reddish one in the base. Pretty!

The side view ... I don't like the exposed dowel at the top.
 I need to figure out something to do with that. 

02 May 2012

Crab Sauce!

Last night The Beau and I got to have dinner with a few of My Favorite Married Couple. They had been to the beach recently and brought home a TON of fresh crabs. They put them in an amazing sauce, and we totally chowed down, enjoying some nice wine and a bit of whiskey. 

I always have such a great time when hanging out MFMC. There's always a lot of laughter and storytelling and just general merriment. I'm lucky to have such awesome people in my life. Especially since they always feed me such wonderful culinary delights. 

Oh! And their beastly puppy got to meet my beastly puppy, and it went off swimmingly. Of course, Pindar was far more interested in Bailey than the reverse, but that's to be expected with The Beast. She likes to play hard to get. 


The wife of MFMC has also finally started a blog! You should check her out. She's just getting started, but she's pretty awesome. Good things are coming!


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