update

I’ve been meaning to sit down and write for months now. Seriously, months. As I’ve pondered this whole blogging thing, I’ve asked myself why I want to blog. People have different reasons, but for me, it comes down to chronicling my life. There are so many funny, crazy, overwhelming things that happen that I want to remember.

So I’m back.

Since we last met, quite a bit has happened. But I’ll just give you the highlights. (That’s not a promise to be short, just that I’m leaving out lots.)

We moved to a new apartment. Not stressful at all. :/ Who knew it could be 85* at the end of October?

We moved to a new apartment. Not stressful at all. :/ Who knew it could be 85* at the end of October?

We did the Color Run 5K in Charlotte! It was SO fun. Everyone needs to do it at some point.

We did the Color Run 5K in Charlotte! It was SO fun. Everyone needs to do it at some point.

My brother and sister were there along with a bunch of our friends.

My brother and sister were there along with a bunch of our friends.

Seriously, so fun.

Seriously, so fun.

I did a photo shoot for my cute nephews. They already look bigger.

I did a photo shoot for my cute nephews. They already look bigger.

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And I did a photo shoot for this cute family.

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I got to hang out with some cool kids when my bff came into town for a week.

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We celebrated Christmas with lots of these dark chocolate covered peppermint jo jo’s. I loved them so much that I wanted to document them. Don’t judge.

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We also celebrated Christmas in style.

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I had a merry birthday with a wee party in our new place.

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Even my photos got in the spirit of things!

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We rang in the New Year with games and friends. 5 hours can fly by when you have Mexican Train.

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We finally got some snow. This snow bunny loved it. Don’t let her face fool you.

I got bangs! Maybe you're unaware, but this is a monumental occasion in a woman's life. And apparently they are butt holes when it comes time to grow them out. There's your PSA.

I got bangs! Maybe you’re unaware, but this is a monumental occasion in a woman’s life. And apparently they are butt holes when it comes time to grow them out. There’s your PSA.

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We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary in Boone and Blowing Rock. We got to play in some snow there, too.

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You can never really get the mountains out of your blood. They’re always calling.

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We had an AMAZING dinner at the same restaurant, in the same table (!) where we had our first date 9 years ago. I would’ve taken a picture of my ahi tuna steak, creamed kale, and jasmine rice and Brian’s meat loaf with Cheerwine barbecue sauce, creamed potatoes, and asparagus but the lights were too dim. Besides, some memories are best left tucked away in your heart. (I’m talking about the meal. Seriously, so good.)

So there you have it. Thanks for reading, if you made it this far. 🙂

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Happy MLK Jr Day

I can’t remember the last time I blogged. That usually means it’s time to blog again.

We made it back from our trip to Vancouver safe and sound. It was so great to see so many of our friends and loved ones. The weather was also nicer (for the most part) than I was expecting.

This last week home has been a blur. We finally took our Christmas decorations down (last night) and I found myself humming Christmas tunes in spite of it.

I’ve been babysitting for the daughter of a friend of Brian’s. She’s about two and a half and has the ‘tude to go with it. But I get a good chuckle at least 5 times a day with her. On Friday, she was preparing tea for herself and her friend, a moose whose name she was pronouncing KAH-nick. But then I deduced that she was saying Canuck. It’s funny because she’s half Canadian. …but probably doesn’t know it. 😉

I’ve also had some time to finish a few knitting projects and start some new crocheting and knitting projects.

And we finally got to just chill and watch tv with friends. Oh, and a few YouTube videos.

If you’re looking for some fun, family friendly, feel-good vids, just do a YouTube search for “bunny cam” or “baby bunny rabbits eat” or something along those lines. You’re welcome. 🙂

Happy New Year!

Well, it wouldn’t be New Year’s Day for us if we weren’t traveling. We’re headed out to Vancouver this afternoon for a week of meetings and friendly visits.

I’m a little ashamed, but not too much, that our Christmas decorations are all still up.

But, it’s 2 hours before our ride to the airport gets here and I’m ready to go! So no complaining here!

And yes, I packed my rain coat and umbrella, but no rain boots. Last year it did not stop raining the entire week of these meetings… I’m hoping this year will be a little different. Yep, that looks about right.Anyway, here are some pics from our last few weeks. 🙂

You must buy this. Even if you don’t like coffee. It doesn’t taste like coffee. It tastes like heaven. Seriously.

We got to hang out with our friends here a couple of times. It was a nice treat. Look at those cheeks! I love her.

My seester got a Build-a-Bear for Christmas from her bf and Lola actually really liked the box. Plus, what’s cuter than a bunny popping out of a box?

My Grandma really liked Lola. And I think Lola liked her, too. 🙂 And don’t worry, the back brace looks worse than it is. It’s mostly to keep her from twisting and moving in ways that she’s not supposed to. She’s recovering from her fall quite nicely.

B-Money took me out on a date for my birthday. 🙂 It was delicious. We went to Phoenix Asian Cuisine. They offer many different varieties of Asian dishes from Japanese to Chinese to Korean. And of course fortune cookies.

Peace out!

I have time

So I’m going to blog. This last little bit has been filled with lots of driving. Lots of trips to the Boro and back. Lots of time with family and friends.A few more babies than normal.

Some baked goods. Actually, lots of baked goods. Including fantastic cookies from Catherine.

A couple of trips to Yopop… I can’t quit it!

A finished project. A more elaborate post to come on that one… But now I’m having trouble sticking with a new project. I keep changing my mind and undoing my work. Blargh. Creative slump. Sometimes I just want to knit to knit. Not to have to make any decisions. Just to zone out. Kind of like a good, uninterrupted stare. It’s therapeutic.

Enjoyed spending time with my bunny!

And Bri-pod got his big Transformers boot off today! …which was replaced by a smaller Astronaut boot. But it’s progress nonetheless! 🙂 {Sometimes my humor is missed by the general population. Bri-pod is a play on words in that Brian has had to use crutches and one leg, three points of contact with the ground. A tripod. Not to be confused with the music player you can purchase from Apple.}

My bro is here for a visit. We leave for NoVa day after tomorrow. Then head to the Boro again for Christmas. I’m really looking forward to giving our gifts this year. I feel like the presents we purchased were thought out and will be enjoyed specifically by their recipients. I’m also looking forward to relaxing by a fire… if the weather will allow it. 🙂

this is my life…

As crazy as my life has been these last few… weeks? I was going to say days, but it’s definitely been longer. Anyway, regardless of how crazy it’s been, I am still so happy to be here. 🙂 And this is my life now…

Yesterday, warm and muggy as it was, felt more like August than December. But last night, Bri-gimp and I sat on the couch watching our shows, listening to the wind and rain and occasionally scolding Lola (whose new favorite place is under the Christmas tree) while I worked on a little crochet project.

And in case you were wondering what a tree embedded into the wall à la Fringe looks like, here it is. Hopefully you’ll flatter me and say, “I can’t even tell it’s just half of a tree!” I tried to make it look somewhat normal… but it’s definitely just half of a tree.

Tonight will be my last Norwex party of the year. I have loved this job so far! I can’t wait to have a team and for people to not look at me like I’m speaking French when I tell them who I work for! 🙂 But I’m also looking forward to having a few weeks where I know I’ll have the evenings to myself.

Well, there is laundry to be folded and general tidying to be tidied. So I’m going to paint my nails. 🙂

tired and numb

Oh man guys. I am beyond tired right now. I was just trying to remember the last week and was having a really hard time. It must be because it was not a normal week. Quick recap.

Thanksgiving was yummy. The Fowlers came down from VA and we all went to eat a late lunch at my folks’ place.

The Fowlers came back to our place and spent the night. Brian and his brother ventured out on Black Friday for the first time. It was overwhelming and over-rated. Then Brian’s sister came to visit with our nephew. Naturally he enjoyed Lola.

Saturday and Sunday we put up our Christmas tree, decorated for Christmas, and watched Elf at least 5 times. The Fowlers brought their old Christmas tree for us to use. I thought it was a coffin when they carried it inside. The tree is so big around that we could only put up half of it. It looks like something from Fringe where the tree traveled through time and ended up embedded into our wall.

Tuesday we left for Orlando to go to the NCCAA Soccer tournament. Traveling with just a carry-on and your boarding pass on your phone is the only way to go.

Got home around midnight on Thursday.

Worked all day Friday.

Drove 4.5 hrs to NoVa Friday night. It’s a long drive but it went by quickly because I read one of The Underland Chronicles out loud as we went. I’ve read them all before but they are good enough to enjoy reading again. And I love driving through Richmond at Christmas. The whole city is decorated with lights and it looks like a little Lego village.

Then we spent Saturday with the Fowler family and I did a fantastic Norwex show that night. It was fantastic because I got to hang out with some really fun people and I feel like I have finally found my niche.

We drove back to NC Sunday and read the next Underland Chronicles book. When we were almost home my dad called to tell us that my Grandma is in the hospital with a fractured back. She is okay, just in pain and will be in a brace for a while. I’m hoping to see her tomorrow.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand then I woke up early this morning to take Brian to get his ankle surgery. He had a routine scope done where they removed scar tissue from old injuries. Hopefully this means he’ll be able to run and play soccer again soon without pain. He’s doing well today, still numb from the knee down and has plenty of Vicodin waiting at the ready.

So, like I said, I’m tired. But happy. 🙂 I got my bunny back from her foster parents and my man is playing FIFA to keep himself awake which leaves me with control of the Netflix.

fun with apertures

So the other day as I was taking pictures of my wee Christmas tree I was reminded of how fun it can be to play with the aperture, making shapes with the bokeh.

I had my 50mm f/1.8 lens on. Quick lesson: The f/1.8 refers to the aperture value. The aperture is the hole that lets light into the camera, like the pupil in your eye. On a bright day, your pupils get smaller, but in a dimly lit room, your pupils get larger. On your camera, you need to adjust the size of the aperture like your eyes do automatically. Unless you’ve had those crazy eye drops at the eye doctor.

Anyway, I love to use a lower f-stop because you get a much softer image. I’ve been known to wipe drool off of my chin after playing with a f/1.4. Yes, the change from f/1.8 to f/1.4 is big. In the photo above, I switched my lens to manual focus and made it way out of focus because I wanted the blur. Then lowered my aperture as far as it could go (i.e. f/1.8) and got those lovely round circles of bokeh from the Christmas tree lights. If I had used a higher f-stop of f/3.5 or so, the shape of the aperture comes through and you would see hexagons rather than circles. I wanted a circles.

Then I decided I wanted hearts and stars.

So I left my lens on manual focus, made myself a few little aperture shape filters like you can buy here, and had fun!

And of course life isn’t complete with out a little birdie.

So if you have some scrap cardboard, gitcha some scissors and let the creative juices flow. Here’s the ones I made. The holes are about the size of a nickle while the cardboard around it is still big enough to cover the entire lens.

I even saw this in a video and it really made me want to get a new DSLR that captures video. Someday! You can see it here around the 1:00 mark (and other times).

 

decorations and memories

[Warning: this post is a little bit on the sentimental side.]

I put up our wee Christmas tree today. 🙂 That always makes me happy. I listened to Christmas music the whole time, singing along and feeling like this weather is way too warm to be appropriate. We are getting our full-sized tree on Friday, so I’ll be sure to carry on the annual tradition of watching Elf over and over until everything is decorated.

This is probably the most expensively decorated tree we’ve ever had. You see, I’ve found myself feeling more nostalgic lately and so I decided to decorate the wee tree with the collection of Reed & Baron silver crosses that Brian’s Granny and Pa gave to us years ago. And some plastic snowflakes from IKEA. I love the irony. 😉

I’ll be honest with you. When Granny gave us this collection on our wedding day, all I wanted to do was get out of my dress and get on the road so we could get on with our honeymoon plans. So standing in my parents’ foyer, me in my dress and Bri Bond in his tux, listening to my new grandmother-in-law talk about who knows what wasn’t the highlight of my day. I’m still not sure how they beat us home… But looking back on it, I’m so glad she made me stand there and open it in front of her, making sure I understood the value of this gift. Pa has since gone to be with Jesus. As has one of my grandpas. And watching our remaining grandparents decline with age is sad. But I want to preserve our families’ memories, just like Granny did for us.

As I was going through the ornaments, I read the letter that Granny and Pa wrote as well as a few of the descriptions that came with each silver ornament.

They are each modeled after crosses from various cathedrals, monuments, and other architectural structures around the world. And if you’re wondering how I’m going to know which one’s which after taking them all out of their boxes, someone at Reed & Barton had me in mind!

Each ornament is stamped on the back with the year it was created. Granny had them well organized and labeled, most still in their original boxes.

…and then I started playing with my camera! I can’t believe I haven’t taken it out in over a month. Up next, some fun with apertures!