The Last Six Months

I’ve been away for six months. Over six months, actually. As usual, it wasn’t an intentional absence. I barely thought about it one way or the other, I just sort of stopped blogging out of the blue. I tend to sort of stop whatever is going on in mid to late Feb as FIRST wraps up for the year and winter drags on. I become one with the couch, watching TV while wrapped up in a blanket. Eventually the weather warms and my drive to do something other than the daily tedium of life is renewed. And then I, eventually, come back here and let people know what’s been going on in my little world while I was away. Except that last part is usually in April, not September.

The last six months. Wow, a lot has happened. I guess any given six month period is like that; it is half of a year, after all. Let’s start at the beginning. This post is a doozy, so I’d recommend you get yourself a large beverage and some snacks before reading.

February

feb mosaic

No photos of this but I did another of my single days of skiing, this time on Gore Mountain near Albany (still with Alex and Shelly, per tradition). We stayed in a great bed and breakfast that had a five course breakfast. Yes, that is possible. I did quite well in my lesson, only falling a few times – the most notable being the first time Matt went with me up the bunny hill and I decided to try and sit fully down on the disc that pulled you up to the top. I tried to ski the next day but that was a disaster – my ankles were killing me too badly. I spent the third day reading and knitting at the same time – a first for me!

The Raven also won the Super Bowl which was pretty awesome. We had just landed and gotten back to the car when the power outage happened – we got to the house just as they resumed play.

I did keep up with my One Little Word project but failed to take any photos of my completed pages prior to tossing them all during one of my must-clean-up-office-now binges. I only regret this a little bit, if I’m honest.

I spent a day hanging out with Melissa, as she stuffed envelopes and double-checked addresses on her wedding invitations. I spent the time rambling and making a bunch of the little cards for future months of OLW.

FIRST ended in the middle of the month. The robot, well, it didn’t work when we had to put it away in its giant plastic bag. The frisbee shooter was downright terrifying the rare times it worked and the climber…well..I don’t think it worked yet, either. At least we all made it home by 9 pm.

March

I decided to go a bit nuts at Ulta and picked myself up a Bare Minerals kit. I wore it daily for a few weeks which became weekly. About now, it’s only when we’re going out to dinner or I have time to get myself ready before going somewhere with friends. Probably just as much to do with it being summer than anything else.

We also had our second of two snow events for the entire winter. I stayed home from work this time, thinking the reports of 10″ of snow would come true. Not so much. Maybe 1/2 an inch that I could have totally driven into and home from work in. But I am glad I didn’t risk it and just took the mental health day. I probably made monkey bread, as I often do when I’m home from work for a day due to weather.

April

april mosaic

The month started out like any other April (that sound ominous!). It was still pretty chilly – actually stayed that way until almost the end of May!

Because of the cold, all of the predictions for the cherry blossoms were way off. We picked a random Friday afternoon and drove to the tidal basin to take photos of the few that had showed up at that point. It was rather chilly and windy so only a few pictures turned out, sadly. The next week, they were gorgeous but we didn’t feel like dealing with all of the crowds.

The second full week of the month, I didn’t feel great. No sick per say but “off.” And I did some math and figured out I should probably take a pregnancy test. I waited three minutes, saw a negative, tossed the test, and moved on. The next day, felt even more off and decided to retake the test. Saw that it’s a 5 minute test and took another after work. I had told Matt about the first test but not this one – I figured it would probably be another negative and I wasn’t in the mood for one of his “I told you so” looks.

(Dramatic pause.)

Five minutes later…two pink lines.

I went through what I would tell him as I walked downstairs to his office. All that corny crap you see online went through my head but, come on, that’s not me.

“I don’t know how to tell you this, but I’m pregnant.”

I was shaking when I told him. His response “I had a feeling.”

Redid the test a whole hour later – positive again. So either our water is laced with something or I was actually pregnant.

Two days later, I happened to be taking the day off work to get some lights installed in our living room and called to make my first prenatal appointment. Of course, they make you wait until at least 8 weeks to come in so I had thee whole weeks to wait (and freak out, because, well, it’s me).

The month ticked by very very slowly. I kept trying to resist googling whatever random symptom I thought I had. I don’t think I’ve paid more attention to my bodily functions and random pains and what not so closely as I did those three weeks.

There was the robotics regional in Baltimore that very weekend. Yeah, five weeks pregnant, complete with the famed first trimester super sense of smell and I had to spend two days with sweaty teenage dorks. It was still a great time. Baltimore is a great place for a regional – not too much traffic, lots of cheap places to eat nearby, and just a better competition. The team did very well – we were selected to participate in the elimination rounds and BARELY didn’t make it past the first round. Everyone is very excited about what this means for next year.

Later in the month was Ben and Melissa’s gorgeous wedding on Embassy Row. First trimester exhaustion had kicked in so I wanted to be in bed by 9, whereas Matt was having a blast and was still going strong at Midnight. Then I pulled rank and we went home.

May

IMG_3756

My first appointment confirmed that I was, indeed, pregnant and that I was 7 weeks along, not 8. They talked about changing my due date to respond to this fact but haven’t to this day. Baby Leese is expected December 11. I calmed down quite a bit after that but I don’t think I took a single truly deep breath until I made it to the end of the first trimester, the next month. Twelve week appointment was perfect fine, though still measuring a week behind. We chose to do the first trimester screening which showed only a 1/10,000 chance of any of the defects they test at that point.

We went to Shenandoah for Mother’s Day weekend, where we told Matt parents. I was utterly exhausted all the time at that point. I barely made it through the Dark Hollow Falls hike, it that means anything. And I kept getting dizzy/sick on the twisty roads – especially when morning sickness decided to appear at the same time. But we relaxed and enjoyed the scenery. I took a good amount of rather mediocre photos.

Over Memorial Day, we went to Deleware as Matt’s cousins were getting together in honor of Maeg and Jeremy (and the girls) visited from Colorado. This meant we told them and some other cousins we’re closer to. It felt like we were doing something really wrong, telling people before the end of the first trimester. Anyway..we did the typical Deleware BBQ chicken thing and just hung out. Thankfully, it was a beautiful weekend and we didn’t even hit all that much traffic on our drive back.

June

spain mosaic

Most of June was spent in Spain. I’m sure things in our life happened before and after but I have no idea what. Other than me finally calming down about whether I was actually pregnant or not. I still hadn’t fully accepted the idea, but at least I stopped freaking out at every twinge. I had about three weeks of what I guess you would call morning sickness, period. Basically, I was queasy if I didn’t eat often enough and I didn’t really feel much like eating until halfway through the Spain trip. At least I had almost all of my energy back before we left.

We’d planned the big Spain trip for years. See, my mom did study abroad there back in the late 70’s. Yes, this means it was either still under Franco or just haven’t gotten out from under him when she was there – little bit of a different country now. I am so, so happy we went, even if I was easily tired out, especially in the heat. We also – finally! – got to tell my parents I’m pregnant. Right at sunset. On a rooftop balcony near the Sol plaza. I wish I could remember what they said. Mostly that they were happy/excited…then my dad called my mom “Granny Hall.”

I could talk forever about the trip. Mostly nice weather but a handful of 95+ degree days. Amazing food. Very friendly people who didn’t automatically switch to English when we faced language difficulties. All you can eat paella on the beach on the Costa del Sol. More than enough Renaissance artwork to keep Matt happy for year; enough Morrish artwork / architecture for me for ten. Six hours spent wandering slowly through the Alhambra (on, thankfully, “only” a 90 degree day). One 300 Euro bill for damaging a panel on the rental car – we were caught on a wall in Arcos de la Frontera. Lots of laughing at one another. A near-perfect last big trip before the baby arrives.

July

The first weekend of July was the annual Bontrager reunion. Many adorable children running about. Even more food. A bit of debate. Much more subdued this year, for some reason, though most of the usual crew was there. It wasn’t too hot but we had to cling to the shade offered by the trees. To my surprise, we actually had to tell most of the family our news; the one time the Bontrager rumor mill has been known to fail.

I don’t actually remember what else happened during July. Hot summer days, sure. Lots of research into baby and pregnancy-related stuff on my part. I think we picked a daycare.

Oh! We found our we’re having a girl late in the month. That was pretty big news. The 20 week ultrasound also showed everything is great with her, though she’s still measuring small. And I’m still listed as being due 11 December.

August

August was spent with Matt wrapping up a big work project and me working to train the person who will be taking over for me when I’m on maternity leave. I also did lots of research into baby products, in prep for setting up our registries. We went to Florida for a weekend to see my parents and ate the requisite amount of seafood, tried a new brewery, and went to the beach for only a few hours as it rained most of the time we were there.

I can’t remember what else we did – mostly work and relax when not at work. So, here’s what I looked like apprximately at the end of the month. Fully in the “looking pregnant” phase now though everyone enjoys commenting on how small I took – the fact I’ve maybe gained 8 pounds sincd before I was pregnancy probably helps. Heh.

25 weeks

September

Ok, not much has happened so far this month. We set up our registries and the shower is planned for mid-October (my mom is even coming up for it!). I just splurged on scrapbooking supplies and a pair of comfortable yet sort of ugly shoes to wear to work. The last few days I’ve been feeling more sore and my rings are starting to get tight. Hopefully third trimester will be as easy as the last two have been, though I know I’m nuts for thinking that.

That’s it for now…what’s new with you all?

Giving up 2012 / Remembering worth 2013

2012 was the year of giving up…and not in a I-will-no-longer-eat-fast-food sort of way. In a I-can’t-commit-to-anything sort of way. I was restless and unfocused and, overall, uninspired. At some point in the year I started then later gave up on scrapbooking, wearing makeup, photography, writing a memoir, cross stitch, knitting, crochet, blogging, sewing, running, watching the X-Files, embroidery. Only thing I really stuck to was reading (three cheers for the Kindle) and dying my hair (though partly because of the appointments made in advance).

I felt not good enough. My photos weren’t as great as those of others on Flickr or Instagram, especially because I wasn’t willing to dress up in a funny costume and never figured out how to clone myself with software. My current life had no excitement to blog about and my past was too boring to write about even within the confines of the notebooks that no one ever sees. My cross stitch was mundane; my attempts at a TARDIS embroidery untidy. My knitting (except socks, everyone always love their handknit socks) was unwanted. My attempts at cooking, bland. My attempts to mentor the students at FIRST, ineffective. My job search did go well at first because my suit didn’t fit properly (not because a great job was waiting for my within my own company – where I wore jeans to my interview). The only thing I could do correctly was eat, it seemed. Oh, and fall asleep reading. Totally mastered that this year.

So..what will be different in 2013? I’ll learn not to care. Okay, still care about important things like doing my absolute best at work and not dressing like a slob and making sure the bathrooms are clean when guests come over. But, not to care about things which are creative.

My friend Heather once told me that you can’t possibly fail at creativity. And, you know what, she’s right. No one dies if your embroidery is crooked or your photos is a bit blurry (call it “artsy”) or your mac-n-cheese is a bit runny.

Because, for the 100th time, all of my creative (and running, ’cause, you know, there’s that, too) efforts are worth it. Because, greater than that, I’m worth it. My time, my energy, my effort, my stash of craft supplies – all worth it.

What I’ve Been Up To

I’m still here, just busy with work and life. This’ll be a photo-less post, partly because I’m too lazy to dig through Flickr to find relevant photos, partly because I really don’t have that many. Maybe next week I’ll get back into the swing of things with posts with actual photos in them. Who am I kidding, it’ll probably be another month or two before I write another blog post with something that’s not just like “here’s my latest scrapbooking pages.”

So, what have I been doing? Well, working, knitting, scrapping, improving the house, enjoying the weather, planning vacation, and reading. Mostly working and reading (ok, and sleeping and eating but no one wants to hear about that).

Working

Don’t worry, no boring details. Just know that work is busy and while it’s sometimes overwhelming, I’m enjoying my current project.

Knitting

Ok, so I haven’t knit a single stitch in about three weeks but before that, I knit a shawl/scarf and about 2″ on a colorwork hat.

The shawl/scarf was Different Lines using bright blue and bright orange Neighborhood Fibre Co Studio Sock that I originally purchased to make the Steven West mystery shawl. It turned out HUGE and rather scarf-like due to how I blocked it. Of course, I forgot to really take photos of it once I gave it to the recipient (Anne, my Phi Rho big sister).

The colorwork hat actually isn’t one of the patterns I was trying to choose between a few months ago. It’s called Latvian Hat and I’m using Neighborhood Fibre Co in a white colorway that’s named, appropriately, after what Matt tells me is a very, er, racially non-diverse part of Baltimore and Miss Babs in Lilacs. Even though the pattern starts at the crown and gets larger, it’s still very slow to work a single round and the pattern requires rather a lot of conentration. It’s also at an awkward stage where it’s a bit too small to work on two needles comfortable but too large for only one. I put it aside once work got busy enough that I was only making myself more frustrated trying to work on it in the evening hours.

Scrapping

Despite not taking a whole bunch of photos lately, I have been keeping up with making at least one scrapbooking page a week. Some weeks, they’re rather unimpressive but it’s about recording what’s gone on, not always having a gorgeous page. I am going to try and pick up my picture-taking so it’s not quite so sad when I open up the week’s folder of photos and see only two in there. I’ll post pages from weeks 5 to I think we’re on 11 later this week. I also still need to finish the last few pages from our last Europe trip. I think maybe two need words then they’ll be done. Oh, and finally print some of these off, likely starting with Europe pages.

Improving the House

Nothing involving power tools or anything but quite an impressive list of small projects:

  • Hanging photos everywhere (my friend Lead provided opinions on good locales)
  • Installing a door sweep and fixing the screen on the porch door (Matt did most of this)
  • Picking out and trying a paint color for our bedroom (liked the color, will paint the whole thing starting this week)
  • Buying a new hanging birdfeeder – the old one had old feed permanantly stuck in it
  • Cleaning up the leaves / sticks / acorns / randomly strewn bricks in the backyard (Matt did most of the work here but I helped with some pickup and  moving of stuff to be picked up to the curb)

Enjoying the weather

Despite being mid-March, it’s been in the high 70s almost every day the last week or so, with mostly clear skies on top of it. We’ve already grilled out twice (burgers then chicken) and enjoyed several evenings of reading on the porch after work. I keep waiting for the weather report to talk about a return to colder temperatures but it’s supposed to remain warm at least for a few more days. Anyone know if this may mean I can get my hands on some good and not very expensive steamed crabs earlier this year than normal? The wait until Memorial Day may be the end of me. Ok, not really. I’m just impatient.

Planning vacation

Matt and I started a few weeks ago thinking about taking a summer vacation and where we wanted to go and all that. After lots of thinking and looking around, we decided we’re going to head to Ireland for 10 days in May.

Reading

Ever since Matt got me a Kindle about a month ago, I have been reading like a crazy person. I think the first book I read on it was an Agatha Christie book, quickly followed by memoirs, dystopian novellas, more Agatha Christie, two books about WWII with a time travel theme, and, most recently, a thriller. I won’t go into all of the details but you can check out what I’ve read on Good Reads.

So…what’s up with you all?

Year in Review (2011 Edition)

I was going to make this a post about how I did or didn’t meet my goals for last year then realized I never made any. Sure, I wanted to graduate but, really, was that ever in doubt? (Oh, I hope not.) So, again this year, a year in review.

January: Attempted, yet again, to blog daily which became weekly which became only when I felt guilty that I hadn’t blogged in awhile. Visited the National Building Museum. Started working with the TJ FIRST team. Mostly focused on coding my senior design project. Started a new job.

February: FIRST season concluded and senior design continued. Tried skiing for the first time.

March: Attended the St. Patrick’s parade in Old Town. DC FIRST regional held. Midterms and a big senior design deadline consumed my life. Spring break was spent working and doing school work. Attended Steph’s baby shower.

April: Life consumed by school projects, tests. etc. Traveled to West Point to attend a design competition (and really wished they didn’t have a rule about no AC before 1 may).

May: Wrapped up my last undergraduate semester. Graduated Suma Cum Laude. Celebrated Matt’s grandmother’s 90th birthday. Went to a color theory workshop with Ms Babs.

June: Started first full-time job (and it’s not so fun commute). Started looking at houses. Got back into sewing by making a few handbags (and failed at making myself a skirt).

July: Brutally hot month. Went to more open houses and house tours. Attended the first annual Bontrager cousins reunion in DE. Started digital scrapbooking five years of marriage.

August: Put a bid on a house, counterbid accepted, home inspection, mortgage application, and everything else invovled with buying a house. Felt not nearly as poor as expected at the end of the process. Really started my new job (assignment received). Started a quilt for the first time in four years.

September: Moved into the new house. Held a housewarming party with friends, family, and neighbhors.

October: Spent two and a half week exploring Spain, France, and Italy. Spent the rest of the month starting a new project at work and recovering from being away for so long.

November: Had Thanksgiving at our place, this time with Matt’s parents, Jesse’s family, Alison, and Lucy. Attended the DE reception for Caleb and Karen. Finished making a sweater for myself that actually fit.

December: Enjoyed a realitively warm December. Parents and brother visit for Christmas. Had first year of decorating our own house for Christmas (but settled for just a tree and some lights on a front window).

Udvar-Hazy

It’s been forever since I blogged or scrapbooked or knit or sewed, even. Okay, not forever. Like 10 days. Still, it seems like an eternity since I actually did anything at all creative. Last week was filled with long days at work. Thursday, my brother, Rob, got into town (though he was local for work earlier in the week). Saturday, my parents arrived. Yesterday was Christmas and all the craziness that comes with presents and stockings and massive quantities of sugar and food plus not being able to, you know, actually go anywhere all day. Today – today we were happy to get out of the house and do something.

So, after more than three years of begging Matt, we finally went. For once, it wasn’t too warm or too cold and wasn’t even crowded, despite being the day after a holiday that most people have off from work. It was everything I wanted: a giant hanger filled with dozens and dozens of airplanes plus missiles, satellites, hot air balloon baskets, and related objects.

I didn’t take notes so I can’t detail what’s in each photo so, yeah, what follows is lots and lots of pictures.

Dulles Annex 021

Dulles Annex 020

Dulles Annex 011

Dulls Annex 019

Dulles Annex 018

Dulles Annex 017

Dulles Annex 015

Dulles Annex 016

Dulles Annex 014

Dulles Annex 013

Dulles Annex 012

Dulles Annex 010

Dulles Annex 009

Dulles Annex 008

Dulles Annex 007

Dulles Annex 006

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Dulles Annex 004

Dulles Annex 003

Dulles Annex 002

Dulles Annex 001

Interestingness

Flickr, the website I use for all of my photo storage (and for the social side, too, of course) ranks photos by what it calls interestingness. It’s a secret algorithm people are constantly trying to figure out. It takes into account the number of views, comments, and favorites. You can actually see your top 20 most interesting photos. I look at this every now and then because, usually, it makes me laugh. Those photos I took a long time to frame, to get just right? Not a one is on the list. Crappy camera phone shot? Yep, it’s on there. Just proves there really isn’t a rhyme or reason to it all, even if Flickr claims their is. [To find your own, sign in, click on the "You" tab, then (once the page loads), you'll find a link to "Popular" right above your photostream.]

So, in the style of that one old guy who has a late night show, my top 20 Flickr photos, sorted by interestingnes…

Number 20: “Yeah, that didn’t work”

8 April / Day 8 - Yeah, that didn't work

To play along with a theme one day, I attempted to take a photo of myself holding a piece of paper with words that someone told me (a la Somebody Once Told Me. I picked my phrase (“You have very blue eyes!”), aimed the camera at my face, and hoped for the best. This photo series (which I combined into a single shot) was the result.

Why people probably like it: 1) I posted it to a group all about people being silly and 2) people can relate to trying hard to get that excellent photo and failing miserably.

Number 19: “Civic Duty”

108/365 Civic Duty

Taken on Election Day 2008, I was very excited to vote and find out who won. The photo was taken in response, again, to a photo challenge regarding the “I voted” stickers. The photo was taken on my phone and very blurry but it really embodies how excited I was that day.

Why people probably like it: it was the presidental election of 2008, a lot of people probably felt the same invigoration. Why my photo, specifically? I have no idea. It’s really a horrible shot.

Number 18: “Column”

Column

Finally, a shot I’m actually proud to have on this list. It was taken at the Getty Villa, one of my favorite places in the LA area.

Why people probably like it: I like to think it’s popular because it’s a good photo but it’s more likely because people were looking for photos of the Villa or a column, in general.

Number 17: “Tomatoes”

Tomatoes

I snapped this photo one random Sunday at the Long Beach Farmer’s Market. The market was always crowded and, to get over my hatred of crowds, I’d often bring my camera and snap photos of the food and people there.

Why people probably like it: It’s a photo of tomatoes. It’s actually in focus, has correct coloring, and looks mighty tasty.

Number 16: “Upward”

Upward

Taken at the other Getty, the Getty Museum in Malibu. This stairway is between two of the buildings.

Why people probably like it: Pretty building, decent photo

Number 15: “Hot with a capital H”

028/365 Hot with a capital H

Taken on a very hot summer day when we lived in California (and only had portable air conditioners).

Why people probably like it: I don’t even want to know as it’s mostly a photo of my legs and feet

Number 14: “Commute”

28 Jan - Commute

Taken on a random day last January, during my commute home from work via the Metro. Makes me miss having that time everyday to sit and knit (or crochet).

Why people probably like it: I have no idea whatsoever.

Number 13: “Freedom”

124/365 Freedom

A photo of a credit card I cancelled because they wanted to charge me a fee to use it. Sure, there were benefits in the form of frequent flyer miles (which got us to Italy for free in 2008) but it wasn’t worth the fee.

Why people probably like it: The feeling of being free of credit (or even just a fee-charging credit card) is pretty universal.

Number 12: “Not a hat”

024/365 Not-a-Hat

This was probably the very first time I stuck partially-complete knitting on my head and took a photo of it. I still remember setting up my tripod in the living room of our apartment in Long Beach and taking dozens of photos.

Why people probably like it: Again with the every loves a giant dork theory

Number 11: “The Block”

The Block

A random sidewalk at a random suburban mall in Orange County. I have no idea why I even decided to take this photo.

Why people probably like it: Is the Mall at Orange really that popular?

Number 10: “TV Knitting”

Day 003 - TV Knitting

Me, sitting and knitting and watching TV on my laptop. This photo really makes me miss that orange shirt!

Why people probably like it: Knitting content?

Number 9: “Will Draw for Food”

Will Draw for Food

Photo of a poster advertising a club at CSULB. I remember getting to school really early and finding this illustration on a poster right near what is known as “the gap” – a tiny space between a set of columns people always squeeze through because it’s “easier” than walking around the columns altogether.

Why people probably like it: Unique drawing? Search for the phrase “will draw for food”?

Number 8: “Arroz con Pollo”

april 26

A photo of a dish that neither looks good nor tasted amazingly good. Taken when we still lived in Long Beach.

Why people probably like it: Searching for photos of the finished dish.

Number 7: “Knitting on the Metro”

Day 012 - Knitting on the Metro

Another metro crafting photo, this one with a purse-eyed view.

Why people probably like it: My only guess is knitting content

Number 6: “Swingers”

swingers

We went to this retro restaurant in Santa Monica after a fiber festival. I remember the food was only decent, the waitresses were very retro-trendy, and that everyone else overpaid such that I, the person who only had a credit card, didn’t actually have to pay anything (and the waitresses got like a 30% tip).

Why people probably like it: My guess is they weren’t searching for a sign from a restaurant..

Number 5: “Strawberry Tattoo”

may 13

This woman, appropriately, sold strawberries at the Long Beach Farmer’s Market. I finally got up the nerve to take a photo of her amazing tattoos.

Why people probably like it: People often go looking for ideas of tattoos.

Number 4: “Knitter’s Contents”

Knitter's Contents

My example of how a Trader Joe’s wine storage bag can be used, instead, to store half-knitted projects. This photo amuses me because I never finished a single one of the projects shown in it. I actually gave away the bright turquoise silk you see.

Why people probably like it: I posted this idea all over the place.

Number 3: “Red Scarf Progress”

Red Scarf Progress

One of my very first knitting projects, a scarf for Matt that I never finished. I don’t even know why, other than boredom.

Why people probably like it: I guess they like to laugh at a knitter’s first project. Also, it’s not a bad photo.

Number 2: “Humanese Cuisine”

humanese cuisine

Matt and I thought this sign was a spelling error but, as you can see in the comments, apparently the spelling was on purpose. Still a little weird if you ask me. I know the restaurant was in the same plaza of some amazing restaurant deep in Orange County but I can’t, for the life of me, remember what that other restaurant was.

Why people probably like it: I have no idea what you’d even search for to find it.

Number 1: “New Year, New Notebook”

New Year, New Notebook

A photo of my ritual of buying a new notebook on the first of each year.

Why people probably like it: Maybe I’m not the only one with this crazy ritual?

So, what of your photos is popular yet you have no idea why?

Today shall be known as Awesome Day

Today was a great day.

I slept in until what is now known as 7:30.

I got all of my digital scrapbooking supplies organized and made it through four days worth of editing of my Europe photos to be scrapped.

The church service had an excellent sermon and communion.

A friend I knew at UF and haven’t seen since 2005 grabbed my attention after the service.

Sunday School was filled with people our age and at the same point on their lives (and this week was a good discussion on the purpose of prophecy).

Everyone from SS went and got burgers together.

I got through editing the rest of my Europe photos.

I kept Matt company while he canned veal stock and made dinner.

We watched lots of DVRed cooking shows.

Dinner of gnocchi.

Finished the first sleeve on my sweater.

Watched Ravens/Steelers football.

Yeah, it was an awesome day.

List 2: Things you are good at [30 Days of Lists]

What am I not good at?

Shush, I can hear you all laughing from here. Stop it.

In all seriousness, things I am good at:

  • Knitting lace shawls and socks
  • Making funny faces
  • Taking photos of my cats
  • Eating (you know it’s true if you’ve ever shared a meal with me)
  • Getting freaked out about things that don’t matter
  • Keeping perfectly calm with regards to things that do matter
  • Making lists, especially to do lists that get ignored
  • Cleaning toilets
  • Getting work done on time despite much procrastination

This was a really hard topic. No one wants to brag and I’m just starting my career so it’s not like I have any work-related things to mention. Plus, I tend to think I’m bad at everything (imagine that). But, still, I did manage to write the list.

Today’s unrelated photo: the street signs near where we had dinner last night. The location isn’t worth mentioning as it was pretty “eh,” overall.

Street

Macro May: A Summary (Sort of)

(A sort of summary because, well, it’s on the 27th. I still have a few days to actually, you know, really participate. I’ll do another post if I have a whole bunch more photos at the “real” end of the month.)

I know it seems like I forgot about Macro May entirely. Other than shots which happen to be macros that were taken for other purposes (mostly to document knitting WIP progress), I really haven’t done a ton of macro shots.

But, I really have no excuse. The first week of the month, I was busy finishing up my senior design project. The second week was spent taking finals and being terrified that something would prevent me from graduation. Last week was preparing for and enjoying my parents’ visit and graduation. This week, well, it’s my next to last week at my current job so I’m busy wrapping everything up (and doing lots of thinking about sewing outside of work).

The thing is, Matt bought me an amazing macro lens as a graduation gift. It’s a Sigma 50 mm f/2.8 macro lens (on Amazon here). It’s amazing. You can focus less than a foot away. It’s crazy! I’ve had the lens on my camera since I got it and have brought my camera everywhere I could and, still, very few photos to show for it.

Up Close

O Wool

Other side of fortune

Circle Skirt Calculations

Confetti

Ollie's existential face

Slow progress

Again with the Flowers

New Lens

Though no one said you can only take macro shots in May…