10.29.2009

Moving forward

Last month, we spent our first wedding anniversary having our potential new home inspected.

Yep, we're in the process of buying a house! It's thrilling and terrifying and exciting and stressful and eeee!

The house (not quite ours yet, but close) is in Albany. While we absolutely love the Pioneer Valley and our friends here, our grand plan was always to settle in our hometown. We'll be within a few miles of both sets of parents, and we'll be able to give back to a city that is near and dear to our hearts (and maybe we'll get to attend some of those famous All Over Albany events!).

This is something we've dreamed about and worked towards for a long time- it's surreal to be in the midst of it. The next month promises to be bonkers, with packing and goodbyes and moving and painting and leaving my job and starting a new one. Stay tuned for more...



"Life is too short to waste. Dreams are fulfilled only through action, not through endless planning to take action." ~D. Schwartz


10.28.2009

Not so candid cameras


I love this idea. We adopted a number of antique cameras from Pat's uncle, and my dad has a rather impressive collection of his own. My dad's sat on a family room shelf when I was a kid, and occassionally I'd get him to show me how they worked, but for the most part both collections just sit in a box. This display idea is so whimsical and fun-- I love the playfulness of framed cameras, poised to take your photo. And look! A neon pink 110!

p.s. After trying both, I'm declaring Vi.sualize the image bookmarking winner over We Heart It - it's just much easier to sort and find images once they're bookmarked. My Vi.sualize page of collected images is here.

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(Image via Houzz)

10.27.2009

Just souper


Sunday night I made butternut squash soup.

Monday night it was potato leek soup.



And there is a batch of tomato black bean soup cooking the day away in our slow cooker at this very moment.

It's just that kind of week- gray and chilly, the trees quickly becoming skeletons, and a need for coziness in full swing.

10.21.2009

Little projects

I have a number of friends expecting babies this winter and spring, which seems like a perfect reason to dive back into some crochet projects. Conveniently, baby projects also tend to be small, and small/quick projects will be the key to me finishing anything this autumn and winter!

I have a Webs gift card (courtesy of Meg and Steve) burning a hole in my pocket- this might be the perfect excuse to buy a new crochet book.

(How adorable are these booties? I think I could handle making a few pairs of these for the little ones!)

10.20.2009

PR

On Sunday I ran a 5k on a very cold, rainy, windy morning. I made myself go- I had already paid the registration fee, and I was meeting two friends there. But I soooo didn't want to go. I sooo wanted to stay in bed.

But I went. I bundled up and I ran. Along with a couple hundred other brave souls, I ran past a 1700s-era cemetery, through muddy fields, and alongside tractors, all the while the wind gusts smacked and rain pelted against my skin. And I crossed the finish line with my fastest time since 2003 (and only 5 seconds off that time, my true personal record).

Patrick bundled up too and cheered me on, took pictures, was the great supporter he always is. It made the miserable conditions much more bearable. He even bought me a bagel, soup, and a chai latte at Woodstar afterwards.

I'm glad I got out of bed- and glad I got to spend the rest of the day on the couch, under blankets, sipping tea and eating brownies.

10.19.2009

10.16.2009

taking pictures

Photography has been a hobby of my dad's since he was in college. While I was growing up he photographed weddings as a side job, and before that he played around with portraits and processing. He has drawers and boxes brimming with photos- family, landscape, nature, you name it. At my parents' house there's a framed series of shots he took when I was just a few weeks old. He set up a homemade portrait studio in our basement- a white sheet as a background, some lighting, and a stool. The result is a number of black and white shots of me with each of my parents. When I was a kid he'd let me take his photo with his 35mm, showing me how to hold it and how to advance the film with my thumb using the metal lever and waiting for that satisfying click. Photography, in some form, has always been a part of my life.

My first camera was a neon yellow 110. I took it to summer camp, on vacation, and out to the backyard (somewhere there's a roll I shot of toads that my friends and I caught, all of them lined up in a wagon). From there it was various point-and-shoots, until my dad passed along his Minolta SLR to me when I went to college. I didn't use it a lot because I was so nervous about damaging it (the thing was so solid though- it was all metal, heavy, substantial), but I did bring it with me to London- some of my favorite photos from my months there were taken on Dad's old Minolta. For college graduation in 2003, my parents bought me my own Minolta SLR. It was just before the digital camera age took over, and within a few years I didn't have much patience for film. I used Patrick's digital camera (an early Canon A-series point-and-shoot) and in 2006 I bought a Canon Digital Elph- a camera I still use quite a bit-- I'm thinking of replacing the little guy with a newer model (conveniently, Elphs are now less than half what I paid three years ago). My main camera now is the Nikon D80 that Pat and I share- a wedding gift to ourselves, this is a camera we spent many years lusting after. I still have a lot to learn on it, and I still use my point-and-shoot fairly often, but the D80 is an amazing piece of equipment.
All along the way though, I've documented- regardless of the camera. I can't tell you the number of times friends have confessed to not worrying about bringing a camera along anymore because they knew I'd be taking pictures. And if I wasn't snapping, Pat certainly would be. I have albums and albums of photos from each phase of my life- although I admit most albums of the past few years are in the form of Flickr sets. I just checked-- 2,785 of my photos live on Flickr, posted between February 2005 and now.

I'm not a great photographer, and I have tons to learn (I've never taken a photography class, beyond 8th grade tech ed, but I'm always on the lookout for one- I'd love to. I tried to beg my way into a photo class in college, but without the studio art pre-reqs it was a lost cause). I enjoy the experience of taking photos and the way of seeing that happens when I have a camera in hand. I love documenting this way-- for me, it's been more about the moment and the emotion than the technicalities (although I recognize the importance of understanding the technology and concepts, and I know I need work on both fronts). But throughout my life I've wanted to remember these times, these places, these people, and these feelings. Sometimes writing does it for me, but sometimes only the snap of my camera will do.

10.09.2009

Heart It

I'm always on the lookout for new ways to save images from around the web-- photos that I like, inspiring rooms, crafty ideas-- whatever catches my eye. I recently happened upon a handy image-bookmarking site. We Heart It lets you save images found on their site as well as elsewhere (this page explains how it works). Unlike saving photos in a folder on your desktop, We Heart It saves source information along with the image. You can see the images I've hearted here (you can tell I've been into photos of homes recently, eh? The transition to fall has that effect.) Let me know if you sign on- we can be contacts in yet another online space!

Update: I'm also trying Vi.sualize.us, which may prove to be better if only for the ease of searching bookmarked images. I'll let you know the verdict!

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photo by flickr user Carlos Porto

10.07.2009

Recommended reading: Don't Talk With Your Mouth Full

My friend Holly, a fab cook, a mom to two cool girls, and a great Girl Scout co-leader, has started a food blog. It's witty and educational, and the recipes look tasty (I have yet to make any, but I plan to try the Rice-Stuffed Acorn Squash ASAP.) I've had Holly's food (and beverage) at various parties, and it's always creative and delicious.

Go read about Holly's kitchen conquests and feel inspired! Her blog is here.

evolution


A link floated by early this morning and led me into the world of old blogs- my own abandoned writing, and that of friends and former friends-- the stuff that seems to stick around on these here Internets. Reading just a few paragraphs was enough to remind me of just how different Now is from Then. It brought a wave of gratitude for the love and support in my life these days. The people we surround ourselves with make such an impact on the way we feel about life- I'm thankful to have so many fun, positive, caring people around me. I spent a couple years letting the wrong type of energy in- energy that made me feel insecure, anxious, and cut down. I have the ultimate control over how I feel, but part of that control is in who gets let in. I see that now, and I'm glad for the lessons that kept me moving towards the kind of energy that makes me feel empowered, happy, and loved. It's the kind I hope to create for others, energy that creates good.

My early-to-mid-20s were a time of growth and transition, of mistakes, of asking forgiveness and forgiving, of figuring out what I wanted and what I didn't. They were an important time, and there was plenty of fun among the tougher things, but I wouldn't want to go back. I've held on to the parts of those days that are worth keeping, and left the rest back there. In these late-20s I feel more confident, more grounded, more aware of where I want to go, what I want out of this life, and how I want to make those things happen.

I don't mind looking back and reflecting once in a while, but mostly I like this time and place right here.


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